- Munich is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — consider printing them all.
Munich (German: München)  is the capital city of Bavaria, the largest federal state of Germany (by area - not by population). Within the city limits, Munich has a population of more than 1.3 million, making it the third most populous city in Germany. The urban area, which sprawls on the foothills of the Alps, has a population of about 2.7 million.
Munich is noted for its architecture and culture, and the annual Oktoberfest beer celebration is world famous. Munich's cultural scene is second to none in Germany, with the museums even considered by some to outrank Berlin in quality. Many travelers to Munich are absolutely stunned by the quality of the architecture. Although it was heavily damaged by allied bombing during World War II, many of its historic buildings have been rebuilt and the city center appears mostly as it did in the late 1800s.
- City Center (Marienplatz/Isartor/Karlsplatz/Odeonsplatz)- The city center is made up largely of the Karlsplatz (also known as "Stachus" by the locals) and the pedestrian shopping zone that leads down to Marienplatz square, which are the main tourist hangouts. However, for ease of use, the areas directly around these squares should be included in the city center. The city center is usually defined as the area within the old walled city, now most distinctly recognizable by the traffic loop known as the Altstadtring, although there are many portions of the historical walls still visible. Most notable are of course the gates at Stachus, Isartor and Sendlingertor (all located at U-Bahn/S-Bahn stations).
- Schwabing/Maxvorstadt (University area) - Schwabing (as well as the neighboring Maxvorstadt) is the upscale academic district. It's trendy but charming neighborhood immediately beyond the Ludwig-Maximilian Universität (try blue/orange metro stops Universität or Münchener Freiheit) is filled with small coffee houses, expensive but impressive shoe stores, bookstores and specialty restaurants from around the world. Schwabing has always been an "in" place to live, and looking at the shady tree-lined streets, it's not difficult to imagine why. Leopoldstraße (get out at Universität or Münchner Freiheit) also offers extensive sidewalk cafes including some famous internationally known American coffee emporiums.
- Olympic area/Olympia Einkaufzentrum - Built on Munich's former airport Oberwiesenfeld, this is the area of the 1972 Olympic Games. If you climb on the hills heaped up from the debris of the Second World War, you'll have a great overview of the site, especially worthwhile if there is a concert in the Olympic Stadium.
- Haidhausen - The district around the Ostbahnhof (Eastern Station) is well-known for its clubbing area, Kultfabrik (formerly known as Kunstpark Ost, most locals will be familiar with the old name), where you can party in more than 30 clubs and discos. Also check out the many bars and restaurants in the Optimolwerke right next door. There are also several quaint sidestreets in this quarter featuring small houses virtually unchanged in several hundreds of years.
- Neuhausen & Nymphenburg - One of the more relaxing districts, where the atmosphere causes residents and visitors alike to forget they are in a city of over a million. Take any tram with the end stop Romanplatz, for example the 12, and get out there, or get out at Rotkreuzplatz and relax in a beer garden or enjoy some ice cream or a bite to eat at one of the many nearby restaurants. Both of these neighborhoods are virtually undiscovered by tourists even though Neuhausen is home to a popular night club and the world's largest beer garden. What's more astounding is that, while millions of tourists flock to Munich in the summer months and September and October for Oktoberfest, few find their way to the tranquil Schloss Nymphenburg gardens.
- Thalkirchen - This district around the banks of the river Isar is a recreational area for many residents of Munich. The zoo Hellabrunn is located here and in warm summer nights many bonfires are lit on the Flaucher, sand banks of the Isar.
When Germans are polled about where they would most like to live, Munich finds its way consistently at the top of the list. Within easy driving distance of the Alps, and some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe, it's not surprising that everyone wants to live here! Add to its benefit the beautiful architecture, especially Baroque and Rococo, green countryside which starts a mere half hour away on the S-Bahn, the second largest university in Germany, and the greatest beer culture on the planet; could there be anything wrong with Munich? Yes and no. The Bavarians are very conservative (although, Munich itself traditionally has a Social Democratic municipal council), to the point of being reactionary. This can make it tough to get to know them, and at the very least, will lead to more than a few raised eyebrows at your ripped denim shorts.
There's a price to pay for living in a city where everyone else wants to be: Munich is the most expensive city in Germany. But all in all, its advantages make a visit more than worthwhile. Just be aware that outrageous clothing will raise more than a few eyebrows!
The people of Munich don't want their city to be recognized only as a city connected to beer and the Oktoberfest. In fact, the Bavarian Kings had their share to do with Munich becoming a city of arts and science in the 19th century. Its outstanding position among other German cities may have faded, especially due to Berlin becoming the German capital again in the 1990s, but Munich still remains Germany's number-one place for art, having been the home or birthplace of many famous writers, artists, architects, and musicians, including:
Egid Quirin Asam, François de Cuvilliés, Johann Michael Fischer, Albrecht Dürer, architects Barelli and Zuccalli (credited with bringing the Italian baroque style to Munich, a style that would become omnipresent throughout Bavaria), Leo von Klenze, Franz von Lenbach, Wassily Kandinsky and the artists of the Blaue Reiter (Blue Rider) School of Expressionist art.
Thomas Mann and Lion Feuchtwanger are famous German writers that lived in Munich until they were driven out of the city by the Nazis because of their religion and/or political attitude.
Munich International Airport  (IATA: MUC; ICAO: EDDM) is the second biggest German airport and has two terminals. Terminal 2 is used by Lufthansa  and its partner airlines from Star Alliance . All other airlines use the older Terminal 1. The Munich airport is located outside of Munich in a northeastern suburb. Due to the increased number of flights, the airport has expanded and now offers connections to most domestic airports in Germany, as well as many international airports elsewhere. Intercontinental destinations include New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago, Delhi, Mumbai, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul, Dubai, Doha, Bangkok and many others. If you are unable to fly to Munich directly, you can arrange a transfer via Frankfurt. Flight time from Frankfurt to Munich is about 35 minutes.
Munich Airport has been named the winner of the "Best Airport in Europe" award for the third year in a row in an international survey of close to eight million passengers worldwide. Passengers also ranked Munich #4 in the worldwide rankings behind Asian hubs Hong Kong International Airport, Incheon International Airport, and Singapore Changi Airport in the Skytrax World Airport Awards 2007.
The airport connects to central Munich by S-Bahn (commuter train) on S1 or S8 lines basically every 20 minutes between 4AM and midnight. The journey (single) costs €9.20 (or €10.00 for a day pass) and takes about 40 minutes to get to the central station. For more information see the get around section. Lufthansa also offers an hourly bus to/from the main train station that is comparably priced (travel time can vary as subject to traffic).
Most major European cities connect to Munich by rail. Munich's Hauptbahnhof (main station) is conveniently located in the center of Munich. The Deutsche Bahn  uses Munich as one of its main German hubs and has good connections to neighboring countries (Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Italy) and to all southern German cities.
The main station is west of Marienplatz (two S-Bahn stations) or a short walk away from the city center. The main station also has a traveler-friendly infrastructure including several restaurants, a tourist's bureau and a Deutsche Bahn ticket and travel agency office.
Highways from many directions lead to Munich, however they often get congested at peak times and on weekends, especially during the ski season. For day trips to Munich, it's probably best to leave your car in a Park&Ride car park (see the Get around section).
The best way to travel around Munich is the Tram (streetcar), bus and U-Bahn (subway) system. For connections to the suburbs use the S-Bahn. You can get individual, group, day and week tickets. The metro (U-Bahn) stations are signed with a white capital "U" on a blue background. To go to the suburbs or the airport, use the S-Bahn, signed with a white "S" on green background. All lines come together in a tunnel in central Munich.
The Munich MVV website  has maps of the U-Bahn and the S-Bahn network that shows the zones and rings, and maps of the Park&Ride car parks attached to U-bahn stations (under the Pläne menu), as well as timetables. The official urban rail network map is indispensable.
Single trips in a single zone such as the city center cost €2.30, but the four-zone journey from the airport is a whopping €9.20. Thus, if you arrive at the airport and intend to explore Munich by the public system, the best option is to buy a €10.00 Gesamtnetz whole-network day ticket. This ticket will let you travel to and from the airport and all the S-Bahn and U-Bahn stops, as well as on the buses.
A day ticket is worth buying if you plan to take more than two trips on the same day. It's available in single person and group ("Partner") versions, the latter for up to five adults traveling together, and is valid until 6AM the next morning. The day card is available for four areas:
If you are staying longer than 3 days in Munich, a good option is to buy a weekly ticket. The week ticket is valid from Monday to Monday. The price of the week ticket depends on the number of rings you want to travel during the week (starting from the center of the city). Almost all U-Bahn stations are within the rings 1-4.
For several journeys on different days the blue strip card (Streifenkarte), with 10 strips, is a better value than buying lots of individual tickets. The cost is €11.00, and may be purchased at dispensing machines at every station. You need to use two strips for each colored ring on the map. If you are making several trips in a day, the day ticket is a better option.
If you plan to explore Munich and see all the sights and tourist attractions, buy the Munich CityTourCard. It is a ticket valid for all public transport services in Munich and a discount card for many tourist attractions like museums, sightseeing, shopping or gastronomy. It is available in six versions (single and group tickets) and with validity for one or three days.
- valid for 1 day in the inner area of Munich for € 9.80
- valid for 3 days in the inner area of Munich for € 18.80
- valid for 3 days in the entire area of Munich for € 29.50
For groups up to five people:
- valid for 1 day in the inner area of Munich for € 16.00
- valid for 3 days in the inner area of Munich for € 29.90
- valid for 3 days in the entire area of Munich for € 48.00
A leaflet with information about the discount offers of the partners and a map of the city center and a plan of the metro-, suburban railway- and tram-network are included. It is available at the ticket vending machines in all suburban railway, metro, tram and bus stations. Furthermore you can buy the Munich CityTourCard at the MVG customer centrer as well as in selected hotels and online. 
All tickets, except for the weekly tickets must be stamped to be valid; without a stamp the ticket is invalid and you are can be fined €40 if you don't have a valid ticket. Stamping machines (Entwerter) are found at the entrance to the S-Bahn or U-Bahn platforms, and on the buses and trams. In most other German cities, passengers can validate tickets on the train; however, this is not the case in Munich, so be sure you validate your tickets before boarding any U-Bahn or S-Bahn train.
Public transportation operates with only limited service from 2AM to 5AM. The U-Bahn (Metro) doesn't operate at all, and the tram and some buses operate only on the hour from Monday to Friday, and on the half hour on the weekend. On Friday, Saturday and nights before public holidays, there is a single S-Bahn on each line between 2:30AM and 3AM. So if you're staying out late, try to get the schedule of the so called Nachttram (night tram) in advance or don't leave the place before 5AM (or you can take a taxi of course).
If you plan on exploring Munich and Bavaria via regional trains, consider getting a Bayern Ticket , good on all regional trains within Bavaria, all Munich MVV transportation, and trains to Salzburg for up to five people for only €27 a day. The Bayern Ticket is good on any weekday after 9AM and on any weekend day (all day).
If you plan to travel on a weekend, exploring Munich and taking a regional Deutsche Bahn train to another city anywhere in Germany in the same day, consider getting a Deutsche Bahn Schoenes Wochenende ticket. This ticket covers all DB regional train travel and all Munich S-Bahn travel for up to five people for a single weekend day for €35.
With over 200km of bike trails, one of the very best ways to explore the city is on a bicycle. Guided tours are available, or for the independent-minded, rentals and maps are available at the main train station (Hauptbahnhof) and other areas of the city.
Bikes can also be rented by the Call-A-Bike system, which is run by Deutsche Bahn (national rail service). You need to call a number listed on the bikes from your mobile phone and register with the callabike.de website in order to use them. The service is convenient, as you just spot an available bike throughout the city and just leave it at your destination. However, this is not an economical alternative if you are planning many trips in a single day. In that case, it is better to get a day or multiday rental from one of the rental services located throughout central Munich.
- Mike's Bike Tour , located near the Hofbräuhaus, offers historical tours of the city.
- Discover Munich  offers free bike tours around Munich's old town and the Engish Garden.
Munich is a bike-friendly city that assigns many paths (especially along river Isar and in the parks, even in the city center) for joint usage by pedestrians and bikers alike. This is a notorious source of trouble since strollers tend to ignore the bike traffic to the detriment of everybody involved.
You can take a virtual tour to view the points of interest on City Panoramas Munich .
Museums, Galleries, and Memorials
- Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site — An incredible and sobering experience, this is a worthwhile excursion. Not recommended for small children. Tours depart from Munich; the memorial has audio guides and guided tours as well. See the listing at Dachau.
- Deutsches Museum , located in Haidhausen. The Deutsches Museum is quite probably the largest technical museums in the world. It has a hands-on, interactive section for natural science, engineering, construction, etc. as well as an impressive collection of full-scale aerospace vehicles. Plan lots of time if you want to try and see everything. There is also a major transportation exhibition branch located near Theresienhöhe (above the Oktoberfest grounds).
- Pinakotheken  — The Alte Pinakothek features 15-18th century religious paintings, the Neue Pinakothek 19-20th century Impressionist and Expressionist art and the Pinakothek der Moderne has 20th century paintings, modern art, design and architecture sections.
- Statue of the Bavaria, Theresienhöhe 16 (U4 or U5 to Theresienwiese), +49-89-290671, . A nearly 20 m high statue, standing on the west border of Theriesienwiese next to the Hall of Fame. There is a small viewing platform inside her head. €3.00/€2.00.
- Glyptothek  — Antique Grecian sculpture collection housed in an impressive classical Greek building. Certainly worth a visit in the center of the museum district.
- National Museum of Egyptian Art  — In the Royal Residence.
- National Bavarian Museum . One of the most important cultural history museums in Europe, housing a large collection of European artifacts from the Middle Ages until early 20th century. There's a wide range of important antiques here, from medieval armor to pottery, from furniture to porcelain, and seasonally displaying the world's largest collection of nativity scene sets.
- Die Neue Sammlung (Museum of Applied Arts) . Founded in 1925, this design museum displays around 70,000 objects in the world's largest permanent collection on design.
- German Theatre Museum— Founded around 100 years old, the German Theatre Museum is full of memorabilia and offers an insight into the development of German Theatre.
- City Museum of Munich — Offers a fascinating insight into the diverse history of Munich. Houses eye-opening displays of war torn Munich as well as an excellent musical instruments museum and puppetry museum (both of which stand as exemplary collections on their own!). Seasonal exhibitions are also usually worthwhile.
- Jewish Museum  — Newly opened museum at St. Jakobsplatz with one permanent exhibition which illuminates aspects of Jewish history and culture in Munich, and a range of changing exhibitions.
- Villa Stuck  — A collection of Jugendstil art primarily by Franz von Stuck. Interesting seasonal exhibitions as well, all located in a well maintained historical mansion once owned by the artist including period furniture.
- Schack Gallery  — A private collection of 19th Century art.
- Lenbach House  — A gallery exhibiting numerous works of the Blauer Reiter school of German expressionist art (Kandinsky, Macke, Mark). Highly recommended.
- Haus der Kunst  — An exhibition hall that flaunts it's National Socialist architectural design, presents ever-changing graphic arts exhibitions.
- The BMW Museum — For a BMW enthusiast, this museum is a must see on your itinerary.
- The Treasury in the Munich Residenz  — A stunning collection of Bavarian Royal jewels, furniture and art.
- Englischer Garten  located in Schwabing. Entry is free, and it is a wonderful place to relax. Munich's second-biggest beer garden is located here and it is a nice place to stay and talk to the locals. Just drive to "Münchner Freiheit" or "Ostbahnhof" by S- or U-Bahn and take bus number 54 to "Chinesischer Turm".
- Riemer Park was built from the area of the 2005 German Garden Festival (BuGa 2005). This huge park with a lake remains a top recreation spot. On a hot day take U2 to Messestadt West and don't forget your swimsuit!
- Hirschgarten located in Neuhausen— Enjoy a drink amongst deer at Munich's biggest beer garden. With a capacity for over 8000, you only need to find out who is buying the drinks!
- Tierpark Hellabrunn (The Munich Zoo) is in Thalkirchen— Even if you're not a zoo enthusiast, there is plenty to keep you interested at one of the world's largest zoos. See animals roaming in their natural habitats, take the little ones to the childrens zoo, and look up above in the large aviary. You can visit the zoo daily 8AM to 6PM (in winter 9AM-5PM); admission is 9€ ($11) for adults, 6€ ($7.20) for students and seniors, 4.50€ ($5.40) for children ages 4 to 14, and free for children 3 and under. To reach the park, you can take bus no. 52, leaving the Marienplatz, or U-Bahn U3 to Thalkirchen. (Zoo website)
Palaces and Castles
- Schloss Nymphenburg is in Neuhausen & Nymphenburg. Baroque palace that was the summer residence of the rulers of Bavaria. Also the 8,000-seat Hirschgarten beer garden is just around the corner.
- Residenz  is in the City Center, near to Marienplatz. Built in 1385, the Residenz was originally a small moated castle, and was gradually expanded by the Wittelsbach rulers who used it until 1918 as their residence and seat of government.
- Schloss Schleißheim — Not really in Munich, but you can take the S1 S-Bahn to Oberschleißheim to get there. A jewel of Baroque architechture. Built during the reign of Elector Max Emanuel, it was intended as a Royal residence, though the Elector himself was forced into exile and never lived here. Building work begun in 1701 by Zuccalli and continued between 1719-26 by Joseph Effner the Younger. French architectural features are evident in the facade and the most impressive rooms are the Große Saal, the Viktoriensaal and the Große Galerie. Worth noting is a terrific 980-seat beer garden, Schlosswirtschaft Oberschleissheim, literally on the palace grounds.
- Oktoberfest  — The first Oktoberfest took place on the 12 October 1810, to celebrate the marriage of Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen. All citizens of Munich were invited to a meadow (Wies'n) situated in front of the city tower, subsequently renamed the Theresienwiese in honor of the bride. In the early years of the fair, horse races were held, then as the event grew, included agricultural conventions, which still take place every third year. In 1896, businessmen working with the breweries in Munich built the first giant beer tents at Oktoberfest, and drinking has been the primary focus since. Each of the major breweries presides over its own large tent filled with traditional musicians leading the crowd in well-known drinking chants, incredibly strong barmaids hoisting ten or more huge Maß (1-liter glass beer mugs that are heavy even when empty!), and a spate of drunken people all trying to get into the bathroom at once. In 2003, Oktoberfest hosted 6.4 million visitors who drank 6.1 million liters of beer and ate the equivalent of 91 oxen, 383,000 sausages and 630,000 chickens.
However, visiting the Oktoberfest can be much more stressful than the visit of similar festivals (Cannstatter Wasen, Wurstmarkt Bad Dürkheim, etc.), because the tents are overcrowded and there are doormen at the entrance ruling the procedure of coming in. Especially at weekends you should try to get in the tents before 10AM. During the week, most tents are open all day, however it is not easy to get a seat and as a general rule, you won't get served if you haven't got a seat.
It is not recommended to leave the tent if you want to get in it later the day. So you have to decide early in the morning if you want to go in a certain tent or you want to enjoy the rides like the coaster with 5 loops.
Some tents, such as the Hofbräu Festzelt have a standing area that do not require seating; as such, you can sometimes get into this tent later than with other ones.
- Maibaumaufstellen  — On the 1st of May (which is a public holiday in Germany) strange things happen in some Upper Bavarian villages and even in Munich... Men in Lederhosn and girls in Dirndln carrying long poles meet on the central square. With these poles an even longer white-blue pole is erected. There is usually an oompah band playing, booths selling food and drinks and tables where you can sit down and enjoy this non-touristy spectacle. The large white-blue pole you find in almost every village and dozens in Munich (e.g. on the Viktualienmarkt) is called Maibaum (meaning may tree - known in English as a maypole) and the villages compete who has the tallest and the straightest one. It is cut down every three to five years and re-erected in the following year. Ask a local which village or district of Munich does it this year and be there not later than 10 am.
- Christkindltram — A Christmas tram that runs only during Advent through the city center every half an hour (departure is from Sendlingertor). The tram is nicely decorated, inside people can enjoy Christmas songs and mulled wine (Glühwein). One-way ticket costs €1.
Theater, Opera, and Music
Munich has many theatres showing different plays:
- Residenztheater— Variety of classical and modern plays.
- Nationaltheater — Shows ballet and opera performances almost every night. The Bavarian National Opera Company is said by critics to be one of the best in the world!
- Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz— Smaller than the National Theater, this is a very good alternative for interesting productions of operas, operettas and musicals. Tickets are generally still available on short notice, even when the big opera houses have been sold out for weeks.
- Deutsches Theater— More musicals and theme shows (like MAMA MIA!, etc).
- Kammerspiele which often surprises viewers with very modern (and sometimes shocking) interpretations of famous plays.
- Volkstheater is somewhere between Bavarian Folklore and modern theater.
If you want to go see a movie keep in mind that foreign movies are normally dubbed with german voices. In the movie theater right next to subwaystation Stiglmaierplatz, named "Cinema", they play all movies in the original language.
- Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site Tour  — An officially qualified and authorized guided tour that covers the entire history of the Dachau Concentration Camp, including the rise of the Nazi regime in Germany. A memorial for the dead and a warning for the living.
- Mike's Bike Tours  — A bike tour that whizzes by some of Munich's gardens and bike paths.
- Johns Bavarian Tours  — Day trips and tours with your own driving guide, covering all of Munich and Bavaria.
- Discover Munich  offers free bike tours around Munich's old town and English Garden. The website also has information on how to do self guided tours to Dachau and Neuschwanstein.
- River-Surfing  — In spring, join the locals surfing on the river at the edge of the Englischer Garten, at the bridge towards Lehel U-bahn station.
- Skiing/Snowboarding — In winter, get a "Bayern ticket" for Bavarian public transport, and go skiing at Garmisch-Partenkirchen for the day. Autobus Oberbayern  offers good value daytrips to Austrian ski resorts such as Kaltenbach (Zillertal) , St. Johann  and Matrei .
- Football — From August to May, you can catch football (soccer) action with FC Bayern Munich and TSV 1860 Munich at Allianz Arena.
- Hockey - EHC Munich . The local professional hockey club in Munich. They play at the Olympic ice arena in Olympic Park.
- Munich Business School , Elsenheimerstraße 61 0687 München, tel +49 89 5476780.
- Ludwig Maximilians University , Ludwig-Maximilians-niversität München, Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1, 80539 Munich, tel +49 (0)89 / 2180 - 0.
- Technical University of Munich , Großhaderner Str. 3, D-82152 Planegg-Martinsried.
- Munich University of Applied Sciences , Hochschule München, University of Applied Sciences - München, Lothstr. 34, D-80335 München.
- Academy of Fine Arts .
- Goethe Institut  — The Goethe Institut offers courses in German for anyone. The Goethe Institut offers several intensive courses and will find accommodation for students.
- Maximilianstrasse — This street in the city center is the place to go if you are looking for high end luxury goods.
- Kaufingerstrasse — This pedestrian zone stretches from Karlsplatz/Stachus to Marienplatz and is the primary shopping zone for mid-priced goods. Numerous department stores, chain and independent boutiques line the corridor. Plenty of restaurants, open air cafes and beer gardens offer the weary tourist a rest. During the summer and on Saturdays, this area will be jam packed with locals and tourists alike.
- Shopping Centers — For a collection of shops under one roof, go to the shopping centres PEP (U-Bahn stop: Neuperlach Zentrum, U5), OEZ (U-bahn stop Olympia-Einkaufszentrum, U1 (also U3 starting from autumn 2007)) or Riem Arkaden (U-Bahn stop Messestadt Ost, U2).
- Hohenzollernstr — This street has a collection of clothes shops, such as: Mazel, Vero Moda and especially during the summer in the months approaching the Oktoberfest, numerous shops selling comparatively cheap traditional German clothing (Lederhos'n and Dirnd'l). You can reach it by getting out at the U2/U8 stop Hohenzollernstr and then walking in the direction of Münchner Freiheit (the locals will be able to tell you which direction that is,) or by going one stop on the 53 bus going towards Münchner Freiheit (that's the final stop, displayed on the front of the bus). From then on continue going in that direction, until you start seeing the shops. You can walk down there in about 15 minutes, and that then brings you to the next shopping zone.
- Leopoldstr — This can be reached by the U-bahn U6 or U3 at the stops Münchner Freiheit, Giselastraße or Universität, and has chain stores such as The Body Shop, or coffee shops, such as Starbucks.
- Viktualienmarkt — Famous market in the city centre, where you will find any imaginable sort of fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, spices, and so on. Also plenty of places to get a quick bite to eat as well as it's own little beergarten when the weather's warm enough.
- Elisabethmarkt — A tiny market, it has cute stalls, a quaint beergarten seasonally and an original feel. It is located at the tram stop Elisabethplatz of the tram 27.
During Christmas time there are many of these Christkindl Märkte or Christmas Markets, including the large Tollwood, but also smaller markets, where you can buy Christmas biscuits (Lebkuchen) souvenirs and the typical Glühwein. Although pronounced glue-vine, it is mainly hot red wine with spices and different (secret) flavouring.
- Marienplatz — A bigger market, it stretches across the shopping street, so you can mix Christmas market shopping (and eating) with "normal" shopping.
- Chinesischer Turm at Englischer Garten has a nice Christmas market in a pretty park surrounding. Highly recommended if there's snow! It can conveniently be reached from U/Bus station Münchner Freiheit on the Bus 54 which has a stop Chinesischer Turm.
Seasonal and Flea Markets
Throughout the city one finds occasional markets that are well worth the visit when they are taking place and a Saturday-morning must when the sun is shining!. The flea markets in Munich can be exceptional in that they are generally genuine private citizens selling their unwanted belongings with a minimum of commercial interest. In addition to the weekly offerings, you'll find several neighborhood 'courtyard fleamarkets' events in the summer months.
- Auer Dult  are week-long market/fests that take place 3 times a year (Spring, Summer and Autumn) in Haidhausen primarily dealing in household goods and antiques but also offering beer and amusement rides. Definitely try to see this if you haven't seen Oktoberfest!
- Theresienwiese This has to be the largest annual fleamarket in Europe, taking place on the first Saturday of the Frühlingsfest (Spring Festival - occurs in the middle of April) on the same site as the Oktoberfest, there are generally several thousand citizens offering up their second-hand goods while dealers of new wares are forbidden! A yearly highlight for fleamarket and antique lovers if the weather is reasonable.
- Hofflohmärkte This is where particular Munich city quarters encourage their residents to open up their courtyards whereby entire sections of the city become a combination flea market and private courtyard siteseeing - very interesting for viewing corners of the city one usually would not see. Event dates are coordinated by the city; inquire at local information centers for dates.
- Messegelände Riem  At the site of the former airport, where in recent years the new convention grounds and residential neighborhood has bloomed, one also finds the current longest running weekly fleamarket. Although it's at the edge of town, the underground U1 will take you almost directly there. Saturdays 6AM-4PM (provided there is no convention fair taking place!)
- Olympiapark  Fine weekly flea market throughout the year, breaking only when there are Olympia Stadium events. Taking place in the nicely tree-shaded parking lot of the stadium on Fridays and Saturdays from 7AM to 4PM.
Visitors can count themselves lucky (or possibly unlucky) since Munich is home to everything quintessentially Bavarian. Munich is specifically well-known for Weißwurst, a breakfast sausage that is traditionally eaten as a late breakfast along with a Weissbier (literally 'white beer', made with wheat) and available in restaurants until noon (and not a second later!). Weißwurst are prepared in hot but non-boiling water for about ten minutes and served with a greyish-white pigment. If you are able to just enjoy one meal in Munich you should try Schweinsbraten (roasted pork) or Schweinshaxe (roasted pig's knuckle).
If you only fancy a snack, almost every butcher sells Leberkässemmeln, a white roll filled with a thick warm slice of "Leberkäse". Which, despite its name contains absolutely no liver nor cheese, but consists of a mixture of veal, pork, spices and a hint of lemon zest baked in an open pan and traditionally served with a sweet and grainy mustard. They tend to be very cheap (around €1.50), quite delicious, and filling.
Don't miss enjoying some of the truly marvelous German/Austrian style cakes and tortes by the slice in any of the countless bakeries and cafes. Regardless of where you enjoy them, they are all traditionally made with fine quality all natural ingredients. The same applies for the amazing range of bread which can be bought at any bakery. Not to be missed as a snack are the soft pretzels ("Brez'n").
If Bavarian food doesn't sound appetizing, you're in luck because Munich is host to plenty of other international restaurants including, among others; Chinese, Indian, Italian, Greek, and Turkish as well as the typical American fast food.
Munich also has numerous fresh markets, which can be a tasty, expedient and inexpensive alternatives to restaurants (see the Buy section for market listings).
If you happen to be unfortunate enough to miss Oktoberfest, you can live through a sanitized, safer version at any of Munich's many beer gardens. The Hofbräuhaus may be the most famous beer hall. There are countless beer gardens scattered around the city. For those competent beer drinkers, try Starkbierfest after Lent lasting till before Easter. The beer is darker and stronger than normal (even than Oktoberfest beer).
The coffee culture is also very strong, especially during the summer months, but is often overlooked by most visitors.
Beer gardens and beer halls
Usually located under large chestnut trees (Kastanienbäume) for shade. Often there are rows of fold-away tables and self-service. If you see tablecloths on some tables there is normally service only there. In a traditional Bavarian beer garden, you are allowed to bring your food along with you. Only beverages (usually one litre mugs of local beer or Radler which is a half and half mix of beer and lemonade) are to be bought at the beer garden. Many locals still cling to this custom, though food is available as well. Try Riesenbrezn (big pretzels) and Steckerlfisch (cured fish). Beer gardens are usually visited by a mixed crowd of people (locals, tourists, families, younger, elderly, straight, gay etc.) which the special atmosphere of a beer garden arises from; though people normally don't go alone there. If you don't manage to find a free table, don't hesitate to ask if you may join someone. No local would refuse this request. Beer gardens are family friendly, with children's play areas on site. Well-behaved dogs are welcome, on leash.
Beer gardens in the suburbs
- Hirschgarten — Europe’s biggest beer garden with 8000 seats. It's most prominent feature (apart from the size) is a mini-zoo with deer and wild boars. To get there, take the S-Bahn to Laim and walk from there.
- Kugleralm — In this traditional beer garden, the Radler (mixture half beer half lemonade) was invented in 1922, when lots of cyclists rushed into this beer garden on a hot summer day. When they ran out of beer, they diluted it with lemonade, telling the people this mix was invented especially for cyclists (Radler in Bavarian), because it does not contain so much alcohol. Take the S5 to Furth. You have to walk about 15 minutes in western direction. Ask a local for the exact way, on a nice day there will be many heading in the same direction.
- Michaeligarten — This beer garden is located in eastern Munich, in the Michaelipark, near the Michaelibad. To get there, take the U5 and exit Michaelibad. Take the front, right hand exit, walk along the street. Turn right at the next intersection, the go straight for about 5 minutes.
- Waldwirtschaft — As this beer garden is located near Munich's high-society area Grünwald, chances are good to see at least a local celebrity. No oompha bands but live jazz music. Take S7 to Großhesslohe (Isartalbahnhof). Walk down the Sollner Straße in eastern direction to the river Isar.
Clubs and Discos
You have to be at least 18 years old to get into most clubs and discos in Munich. Always have your passport or ID card with you, drivers licence may be ok too. Some clubs have "Ü30-Parties", where you should be over 30 to get in, but usually you have no problems if you are over 25. In most places, it is ok to wear jeans and sneakers. Haidhausen is the popular nightlife district being home to Munich "Kultfabrik" and "Optimolwerk" clubbing neighborhood.
Other Munich bars/clubs
- Die Registratur, Blumenstr. 28 . Located in central Munich. The entrance fee depends on acts (about €10). Well known for its electronic music, however sometimes you can wait up to an hour in line.
- Nerodom, Ganghoferstraße 74, + 49 (0)89 721 27 05 . Nerodom is Munich's only full-time "black club". That's Goth, Wave, Industrial, Electro, Medieval, Black Metal, depending on the day. All other "black events" are usually once a week or once a month, and can be found online at Schwarzes München .
- Night-Flight  — This huge High-Tech-Disco stretches over two levels. As well as a club disco, eight bars, cafés, a restaurant and an amusement arcade, there is also a swimming pool and a terrace to cool off on. Special effects, light and mirror shows, as well as the JBL-sound system with 15,000 Watt power makes the Night-Flight a unique location. The musical cross-section is as varied as the rooms: Rave, Rock, Black Mission, best of music, Hip-Hop and much more are available to the disco-goers most of whom are between 18 and 25.
Munich abounds with accommodation for every type of traveler. The area directly around the Hauptbahnhof (train station) has numerous youth hostels, and upscale hotels like Le Meridien and Sofitel. Schillerstraßer just a hundred meters away has many small hotels too; the street looks fine in the day, but the strip bars and cabarets become much more visible at night. There are also plenty of hotels and youth hostels in other districts of Munich particularly Schwabing and the Ostbahnhof area. Be aware that the fares can vary significantly. Usually you have to pay higher prices during the summer months. Finding affordable accommodation might be difficult when there are trade fairs in the town and especially during the 2 weeks of the Oktoberfest. Please see district articles.
- Jaeger's Hostel, (Near train station.), . Several similar places on the same block. Clean and comfortable lodgings, with a simple breakfast served each day. Great place to meet other travellers.
- Wombats Hostel, Senefelderstraße 1, Munich, 80336. Social hostel that is centrally located, and offers an all-you-can-eat breakfast, a bar which serves cheap drinks and food, internet terminals, laundromats, 24 hours reception service and no lockout. Recommended.
- Euro Youth Hostel, Senefelderstr. 5, Munich, 80336. Rooms and facilites are well maintained and staff and friendly and attentive. Good location.
- Hotelissimo Haberstock*** Swiss Quality Hotel, München, D-80336, (email@example.com, fax: +49 (0)89 550 36 34). Completely renovated in 2003, 200m from railway station and 300m to city center. Single room from EUR 89 Double room from 119 EUR (low season 2009).
- Hotel Royal, Schillerstr. 11A 80336 München, ☎ +49 89 591021. Non-smoking hotel with free wi-fi internet. Central location and only a few minutes to walk from pedestrian area, Marienplatz, Hofbräuhaus and the Oktoberfest-grounds. 24 hour reception.
- Hotel Präsident, Schwanthalerstr. 20, ☎ 089/549006-0. Pleasant 3 star hotel that offers a charming ambiance and business travel facilities.
- Hotel Wallis, Schwanthalerstrasse 8, ☎ 089/5490290. Don't let the austere facade fool you, the Hotel Wallis is quite charming inside. With bedrooms are small, they are furnished in a toned down Alpine-village style. Breakfast is served daily.
- NH Deutscher Kaiser, Arnulfstrasse 2, 80335 Munich. Located at the foot of the centratal station, this hotel wins points for location, but quite a soulless hotel although the staff are attentive.
- Hotel Astor, Schillerstr. 24 80336 München, ☎ +49 89 54837. This four star hotel takes care of the details, such as offering a free internet station in the lobby, free bicycle hire and an Italian bistro serving homemade culinary delights. A cozy lounge is available for smokers, and wireless LAN is available in all rooms at no extra charge. Breakfast buffet is served daily.
- Mandarin Oriental, Neuturmstrasse 1, 80331 Munich, ☎ 49 (89) 290 980. Awarded the accolade of being one of the world's top ten hotels by Travel and Leisure, and having a Michelin star awarded to Mark's restuarant, the Mandarin Oriental exceeds all expectations. Furnished with a Neo-Renaissance charm, each of its 73 rooms displays personalized touches. They are some of the largest hotel rooms in the city. The indulgence is well worth it.
There are four camping sites in the city of Munich with many more out of the city ..
- Campingplatz Obermenzing  — Situated near the end of the A8 motorway.
- Campingplatz Thalkirchen — A nice site to the south of the city, about 2km walk from Thalkirchen U-bahn station. The Site is also situated by numerous beer gardens.
- Campingplatz Nord-West , Near Ludwigsfeld, about 1.5km west from the Fasanerie S bahn stop.
- Campingplatz Langwieder See .
Munich is generally a safe city for travelers: it is one of the safest German cities overall, with a reported 8,861 criminal offenses per 100,000 people (2006) (the crime reporting rate is unknown). Therefore, take the usual precautions (don't walk in parks alone at 3AM, don't leave your camera unattended, don't flash around a big, fat wallet etc.) and you will most likely not encounter any crime at all. But be warned about testing your maximum level of alcohol intoxication, made easy by the local beer culture, the accessibility of alcohol and the fact that you're allowed to drink in public. Being drunk will raise your chances of inciting a fight, being drugged or injuring yourself dramatically. Munich is an international city, so you are unlikely to encounter problems because you're a foreigner. However, the possibility of encountering racism or other prejudices cannot be completely ruled out.
The S8 and S1 both go to the airport from Marienplatz S-Bahn station, but be careful because the S1 line splits into two separate trains at "Neufahrn" just before the airport so be sure that you are riding in the section that is actually going to the airport, which is always the last part of the train. If you find yourself in the wrong car, just wait until Neufahrn and change into the last part of the train.
The Bayern Ticket is an amazingly cheap way to do day trips from Munich. With it you can travel anywhere in Bavaria on the regional trains all day (only from 9am weekdays). It costs €27 for a group of up to 5 people, and €19 for a single . Make sure you buy it from the machines as there is a €2 surcharge if you buy it from the ticket office. There is also the Schönes Wochenende Ticket which is valid everywhere in Germany and even a fair way into the Czech Republic, but it is only valid on weekends. It costs €35 for a group of up to 5 and is also restricted to the regional trains.
- Dachau and Starnberg make for great day trips. Starnberg offers a great lake, where the King Ludwig II and his psychiatrist mysteriously drowned.
- Andechs Monastery— If you miss the Oktoberfest, it is worth travelling to the holy mountain of Andechs. It's a monastery up a hill from the Ammersee. Take the S5 from Munich to Herrsching and then either hike up the hill or take the bus. When you are there have a look at the old monastery church and the gardens before focusing on the excellent beer and Schweinshaxen in the beer garden or in the large beer hall. Makes a great day trip which can also be combined with some swimming the Ammersee.
- Garmisch-Partenkirchen at the foot of Germany's highest mountain, the Zugspitze. About 1.5 hours by regional train (from the Munich Hautpbahnhof) or by car via Autobahn. The cog railway train to the top of the Zugspitze leaves regularly from the Garmisch-Partenkirchen train station.
- Salzburg, Austria, is an easy day trip from Munich. Trains run from the main Munich station just about every hour, and take about 1.5 hours. The Bayern Ticket is valid all the way to Salzburg.
- Nuremberg— It was here that the some of the leaders of the Nazi regime faced justice. Nuremberg offers a lot of history for visitors. (Comment by a "local": when asking for it, preferably use the German name Nürnberg, the English name Nuremberg is usually unknown).
- Füssen is nestled in the Alps of southern Bavaria. A train from Munich's main station will take about two hours with one transfer at Buchloe (approximately €27). The town is famous for King Ludwig II's "fairy-tale castles," the most famous being Neuschawnstein.
- Oberammergau is a small town of unusual houses with brothers Grimm fairy-tale paintings on the walls.
- Bad Reichenhall— A lovely spa town near Munich.
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