The city of Oktoberfest, historical palaces, avant-garde art and green spaces, Munich has a uniquely Alpine flavour that’s quite unlike other German cities. City breaks in Munich will linger in the mind long after you’ve left this vibrant destination.
Things to do in Munich
Munich’s public squares are the life and soul of the city. Marienplatz is a very popular meeting spot and a great place to kick back and people watch. This square is where you’ll find the Neues Rathaus (New Townhall) with its extravagant Neogothic façade and handy tourist office. Also in the square is Mariensäule (Mary’s Column), erected in the 17th century to commemorate victory over the Swedish army during the Thirty Years’ War. Another popular square is Karlsplatz, where you’ll find the medieval Karlstor. This structure marks the limits of Munich’s ancient city wall, which kept the city protected from the medieval period until the end of the 18th century. Finally, Odeonsplatz is a square that lies beside the 19th-century Maxvorstadt quarter. In Odeonsplatz you’ll find the Feldherrnhalle and Residenz, home to Bavaria's Wittelsbach, rulers until the First World War.
To discover the history of the Wittelsbach rulers, head to the fascinating Residenzmuseum. One more essential landmark to visit is the enormous 15th-century Frauenkirche, towering over the heart of the city.
For beer-lovers, Munich goes hand-in-hand with Oktoberfest. During this famous festival the city overflows with Bavarian beer and lederhosen, and if you happen to be visiting during the celebrations you’re in for a raucous time. Not that the festivities are limited to Oktoberfest – Munich is world-famous for its beer halls and beer gardens. If the weather is nice, there’s no better way to unwind in the afternoon than by heading to the outdoor Biergarten Rathenauplatz. Another popular destination is Augustiner Bräustuben, a traditional beer hall where you can also grab some delicious local specialities such as Schweinshaxe (pork knuckles). For a real Bavarian atmosphere, head to the vast Hofbräuhaus and join in with a sing-a-long as you drink locally brewed beer.
There are plenty of green public spaces in Munich, including the vast Englischer Garten and the elegant Hofgarten. To the north of the city is the Olympiapark, the site of the 1972 Olympic games and a fantastic location for afternoon strolls and lakeside picnics.
Munich is the kind of city that's worth visiting at any time of year, but there are some standout events that make a trip even more appealing. Most famously, the city hosts Oktoberfest in September and early October, which mixes incredible beers with funfair rides, fine food, and a party atmosphere. The best weather is definitely in mid-Summer (late June to August), but Munich also appeals when the snow falls around Christmas and the New Year. So don't be afraid to book city breaks to Munich. It's a destination with plenty to offer, whatever the season.