Munich is Germany’s third largest city and the capital of Bavaria, set proudly on the River Isar.
With close proximity to the Alps, Munich is resplendent with rich architecture and cathedrals, beer gardens, unique attractions such as the BMW Welt (BMW Museum) and Olympic Park and pretty public gardens ripe for exploring.
The baroque and rococo Schloss Nymphenburg (Nymphenburg Palace) in western Munich was the summer residence of the Bavarian monarchs. Located 15 minutes from the city center, the ornate palace is decorated with tapestries and frescoes and surrounded by stunning gardens, a natural history museum and photogenic water features. Don’t miss the court stables with ancient carriages, and the portraits lining the Hall of Beauties.
Watch Germans surfing on the currents of the Eisbach at the remarkable Englischer Garten (English Garden), then sit with an ice cream under the mature trees. Munich’s largest green area, is perfect on fine days for cycling, a stroll along the paved walkways or renting a row boat.
Admire the brick-built Frauenkirche (Cathedral of Our Blessed Lady) that is a landmark of Munich and the city's largest church. The domes atop each of the dual towers were modelled after the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, and you can climb the tower steps for excellent views over Munich city and to the Bavarian Alps.
Strut your way along 2 of Munich’s biggest avenues, the Ludwigstrasse and Leopoldstrasse where you’ll find numerous landmarks, such as the Siegestor (Gate of Victory). Walk all the way from the Odeonsplatz (downtown area) and stop for people-watching and a drink at one of the pavement bars and cafeterias.
Head to Munichs art district that includes the Alte Pinakothek, the Neue Pinakothek, and the Pinakothek der Moderne that have fine examples of ancient art to modern art. Here, you’ll also find the unique colored building that houses the Brandhorst Museum, a fantastic space for contemporary art including pieces by Damien Hirst and Andy Warhol.
Munich wouldn’t be Munich without the annual Oktoberfest. Join the millions of people who go there to get their thrills on the amusement rides and wander between the huge tents as they eat wurst (sausage) and down copious liters of beer.
Dachau, a short trip northwest of Munich, was one of the first concentration camps in Nazi Germany and whilst not a pleasant place or uplifting, it is never less a popular tourist attraction near Munich and an important element in Germany’s history.
It’s not a place for every tourist, but if you visit you will see the original prisoner baths, courtyards, barracks, crematorium and memorials.
Neuschwanstein Castle found 125 kilometers southwest of Munich is a 19th century Romanesque Revival castle set on a hilltop above Hohenschwangau near Füssen. As one of the most visited castles in Germany, it was the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty castle. Tourists today can enjoy wandering through the ornate interior rooms including the Hall of Singers and Throne Hall.
Drive 1.5 hours south of Munich to the pretty alpine town of Mittenwald where you can take a cable car up the mountain for panoramic views, or visit the Geigenbaumuseum that tells the history of violin making that is significant to the town.