Wilkommen to Munich, the capital of Bavaria. World famous for its Oktoberfest celebrations but October isn’t the only month to visit Munich, there’s so much else to see and explore. One of Germany’s most popular locations, visitors flock from all over to revel in the city’s Bavarian heritage of art and architecture with a whole heap of alpine clichés along the way. It is a hub of business and technology but manages to retain a small-town air with plenty for everyone, all day and late into the evening.
Munich Airport is approximately 40km north-east of the centre of the city but is effectively linked by various forms of public transport. Now you can fly directly to Munich from Southampton Airport with bmi regional or Flybe in just 1 hour 45 minutes (Flybe flights start 1st September). When you get there though, don’t be in such a rush to jump on the S-Bahn, because the airport is an attraction in itself. Munich Airport has received many awards for its beautiful architecture and many people travel just to see the airport and call in on the special Visitors Park. Here you will find fabulous shopping facilities and a superb selection of gastronomic delights. It is also the first airport in the world to have its own mini brewery called Airbräu. You can even take a guided tour around the airport or just stand on the Viewing Hill and take in the sights of the historical aeroplanes on display, the terminal and runways.
The Munich public transport authority is called MVV and, as you would expect, runs very efficiently providing smooth transitions from place to place. Find times, tickets and travel information.
Top things to see and do
It’s bustling but beautiful and it’s all about the architecture in this, the heart and soul of the Old Town. Marienplatz is a popular spot for tourists with shops, cafes and restaurants galore but also home to The Neue Rathaus (New Town Hall). You can’t miss it, this magnificent neo-gothic building dominates the north side of Marienplatz and is home to the Glockenspiel tower. Three times a day since 1908, intricate figurines make a twirling, musical appearance telling stories from Munich’s history.
Even if there is only a little bit of petrol running through your veins, the ensemble that is BMW Welt, Plant and Museum will blow your mind. Exhibiting the past, present and future of BMW within stunning architecture is just what you need to get your motor running.
You will know when you are nearing the Augustiner Bräustuben because the aroma of the hops from this traditional beer hall will greet your nose as your approach. You will enjoy an authentic atmosphere, traditional Bavarian food and the tantalising beers will make sure your evening goes with a sway.
Off the beaten track
The Isa River is loved by Munich’s inhabitants and visitors alike. Depending on the time of year you travel, you can enjoy fishing, rafting, sunbathing, picnicking, surfing and stunning surroundings. However, don’t be surprised if you get a bit more of a view than you are bargaining for, the Bavarian liberal mentality grants nudists their place by the river and they do tend to make the most of it!
With six breweries, the Hofbräuhaus and the Oktoberfest, it’s no wonder Munich earned its title of the ‘capital of beer’ and if you’re that way inclined, it is well worth booking onto a Bavarian Beer and Food evening. You will be guided through the history of beer making and, of course, sampling not just the different brews, but the traditional Bavarian snacks along the way. Pace yourself, because you end up in the Beer and Oktoberfest Museum and then onto the oldest of the breweries, the Hofbräuhaus and you will want to remember it all.
We know you’re departing from England, so to visit somewhere in Germany called Englische Garten may seem a bit odd, but it comes highly recommended. This tranquil spot rivals our own Hyde Park and New York’s Central Park. One of the largest urban parks in the world, there are all sorts of treats around every winding path including a Japanese teahouse, where ceremonies are performed regularly and of course, it wouldn’t be Munich without its own beer garden.