Flights to Munich this weekend
Flights to Munich
Sitting in the shadow of the snow-capped Bavarian Alps, Munich is a deeply traditional and old-world German city at ease with its cosmopolitan, hi-tech European status. From the flashy FC Bayern Munich football stadium, resembling a gigantic spaceship on the outskirts of the city, to the high-tech glass and steel headquarters of BMW, Munich is at the cutting edge of technology. Yet the city retains a defiantly German atmosphere, famously embodied in the beer-guzzling madness of Oktoberfest, and visible year round dirndl-clad waitresses, impressive Bavarian architecture and German hospitality known as Gemütlichkeit.
Beer gardens and Bratwurst
A trip to Munich would be incomplete without a visit to an atmospheric bierkeller. The most famous of Munich’s beer halls is the Hofbräuhaus, but locals prefer the Augustiner Bräustuben. The aroma of hops will greet you as you arrive at the oldest brewery in the city. They take their craft very seriously and the food is also superb, especially the Schweinschaxe (pork knuckle).
Work up an appetite wandering through the Viktualienmarkt where you can try Speck (smoked Black Forest ham) and local cheeses at open air stalls. Browsing continues next door in the historic Schrannenhalle – a wrought-iron market hall once home to grain sellers, it now contains a market, restaurants and shops.
Art and Architecture
The opera house and concert halls are world-renowned, especially for performances of Wagner whose patron was ‘mad’ King Ludwig II of Bavaria. The artistic legacy lives on today and the city is endowed with world-famous art collections. Established in 1836 the Alte Pinakothek is one of the oldest galleries in the world, with masterpieces by Raphael, Cezanne and Van Gogh, to name just a few. The Pinakothek der Moderne is a world-class recent addition, as is the multi-coloured Museum Brandhorst, which displays everything post-modern from Andy Warhol to Damien Hirst.
Explore the Neuschwanstein commissioned by King Ludwig II as homage to Wagner. It was the inspiration for the castle in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty and gives a magical taste of Bavarian romanticism architecture. To remain rooted in the 21st century visit the Deutsches Musuem, the world’s largest science museum.
Munich’s skyline is dominated by the twin 100m-high towers of the 15th-century Frauenkirche. Climb to the top for spectacular views over the city, or to plan your route to the next beer hall. Also offering great views is Munich’s oldest church, St Peter’s dating from 1180, which has a splendid altar and also contains the strange gilt and jewel covered skeleton of St Mundita, sitting on a cushion.
Munich has numerous festivals throughout the year so if you aren’t visiting when Oktoberfest is on don’t panic. Many Münchners prefer the more modest annual March Starkbierfest – strong beer festival. July sees the Tollwood summer festival celebrating world cuisine, music, outdoor theatre and environmental friendliness. And if you’ve booked to visit in December you’ll find Christmas markets galore, with craft stalls, mulled wine and Bratwurst.