October 18, 2020

City Guide: How to Complete Your Exploration of Munich

Munich, a European city that is the capital of Bavaria, explodes with a variety of sites including opulent Baroque churches, museums, galleries, and a lot more. Unlike other cities in the world that boast mostly of natural landscapes, scenery, and culture, this German city is about seasonal festivals, parks, gardens, colourful markets, and tons of tourist attractions.

One of its highlights is the Kunstareal, a cluster of museums filled with masterpieces, that can make choosing where to start exploring a real challenge. In fact, spending a week exploring it won’t be enough to see everything!

Interesting facts about Munich you probably didn’t know about

Think you know Munich well? Unless you’re a local from the city, you might not know the following interesting facts about the capital of Bavaria yet.

1. There are more than 60 beer gardens in Munich

You might think we’re just talking about ordinary outside decks of restaurants that serve beer. However, we’re talking about real, live beer gardens that dot the city. So, if you want to experience Oktoberfest, then, take in first this number and imagine the grandeur of the celebration.

2. Munich’s Technische Universiat has giant slides

Munich: an old structure with its name written above the door

Every school has a slide in the playground. But Munich’s Technische Universiat has no-ordinary slides because it instead has 4-storey giant slides that allow students to go to their classes faster. Yep! That’s no joke! You can look it up if you want.

3. Oktoberfest doesn’t happen only in October

a server holding mugs of beer

If you’ve experienced this event, which is one of the world’s most famous events, you’d already have known that it happens in September and October. It usually starts around the 17th of September and ends at the end of October.

4. The city has 6 major breweries

Wonder which groups have the biggest tents during the Oktoberfest? Of course, the six major breweries of Munich namely Augustiner Brau, Hofbrau, Lowenbrau, Paulaner Brauerei, Spaten-Franziskaner Brau, and Hacker-Pschorr Brau. All these breweries share the same brewing process and are bound to the German Purity Laws that were instilled some 500 years ago.

5. Bavaria considers beer as food

Beer drinkers in the country are protected from contaminants, additives, and chemicals through the Beer Purity Law. Decreed in 1516, this law is still enacted to this day and dictates how Bavaria makes its beer.

Top places to see in Munich

With these interesting facts about Munich stated, it’s time to check out the must-visit sites of the city for your exploration.

1. Munich Residenz

A brilliant structure with lights at night

The Munich Residenz has been the seat of dukes, electors, and kings of Bavaria for centuries and remains to be one of the most spectacular palaces in the world. A complex of 130 rooms and ten courtyards, this place is where successors made grand statements in Baroque, Neoclassical, Rococo, and Renaissance styles. It was only opened to the public in 1920 and features art collections and architectural styles that symbolise the royal family. After the damage it incurred during the Second World War, the palace was restored, making it one of the must-sees in Munich.

2. BMW Welt and Museum

Munich: an aerial view of the museum which consists of three circular buildings with the BMW logos at the top

Whether you’re a fan of BMW’s fast cars or not, a visit to the BMW Welt and Museum in Munich is a must. You will see here the latest offerings of the company. But that’s not all because it also sells auxiliary accessories and parts of their vehicles, as well as hosts exhibitions of the latest BMW models. Since it is located near the Olympic Park, ticket holders can enjoy a discount on their admission to the BMW Welt. One of the finest exhibits here is the one that features the history of this name’s two and four-wheeled vehicles.

3. Hofbrauhaus

a mug of beer in the foreground

If there’s one thing every Munich local would agree on, it would have to be their love for beer as observed in their celebration of Oktoberfest. However, you can always sip their beer even on other months by visiting one of its largest breweries—Hofbrauhaus. It’s one of the oldest of its kind in Munich founded in 1589 by Wilhelm V, who was the duke of Bavaria. The brewery served as the official brewery of the royalty of Munich. In its history, it is said that the Swedish invaders agreed not to sack the city in exchange for 600,000 barrels of beer.

4. Englischer Garten

Munich: a kiosk with trees and green grass at daytime

If you think New York’s Central Park is humongous, then, you haven’t been to the Englischer Garten. It’s one of the world’s largest urban parks, stretching from the city centre all the way to the northeast of Munich. As to how it got its name, it was taken from the popular English gardens in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was built by soldiers to teach them agricultural skills during times of peace and contains a meadow where nude sunbathing is allowed. There is also a Japanese teahouse and an artificial wave for surfboarders.

5. Marienplatz

early evening in the square with people walking around

Your visit to Munich won’t be complete without a visit to Marienplatz, the city’s most famous square. Every day, hundreds of tourists flock here to see the New Town Hall that dates back to 1874. Its façade features a Gothic-revival style and has most of the Wittelsbach rulers’ statues here, while those of Bavarian kings are on the lower level. Though this structure is a tourist magnet by itself, people are also drawn to the Glockenspiel, which performs three times daily.

6. Deutsches Museum

An old building against the blue skies

The Deutsches Museum is a science and technology museum that appeals to people of all ages and walks of life. There are 50 exhibit areas that can be explored through free guided tours in German, but visitors can also view demonstrations on subjects such as musical instruments and electricity and join in the many hands-on activities. And if that’s not enough to convince you, the museum contains collections of over 100,000 objects related to the subject from the Stone Age to today.

7. Viktualienmarkt

Munich: stuff sold at the market

Munich is also a place for shopping, especially when you visit Viktualienmarkt, situated next to Marienplatz. What makes this interesting is that some of the vendors in this outdoor market already have family history here. It’s the locals’ favourite place to get their much-needed fresh produce because they can conveniently stop here on the way to and from work. Of course, you can find premade soups, homemade baked goods, herbs, and nuts sold here. Foodies love this place too because it serves exotic, upscale, and gourmet dishes.

8. Eisbach Wave

two people surfing on the river

The Eisbach Wave is part of the mile-long, manmade Eisbach River that flows through the Englischer Garten. Believe it or not, some of the locals come here to surf or kayak, specifically at the one point where there is a standing wave.

Munich is not just all about palaces and churches because it also brims with sites and exhibits that are unique to the city.

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