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CHARLES HOTEL MUNICH

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A diamond among the Rocco Forte group's luxury European collection is the Charles Hotel in Munich, Germany. Opened in 2007, the luxury hotel exudes old-world

SOFITEL MUNICH BAYERPOST

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The Sofitel Munich Bayerpost symbolizes luxury and craftsmanship and boasts a rich history that dates back to the 1930s. The premium facility sits in Munich's

MANDARIN ORIENTAL MUNICH

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The Mandarin Oriental Munich is a 5-star luxury hotel in Munich's Bavarian state capital center. Once a grand 7-story opera house, the building was converted

KEMPINSKI MUNICH VIER JAHRESZEITEN

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Established in 1858, the Kempinski Munich Vier Jahreszeiten was initially constructed for King Maximilian II. This grand hotel is famous for its luxurious city views,

HOTEL BAYERISCHER HOF

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Hotel Bayerischer Hof is a legendary hotel in Munich that King Ludwig I originally conceived. It was built in 1841 and is well known as

ANDAZ MUNICH

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A hotel in Munich that offers a premium experience for architect enthusiasts is Andaz. Andaz Munich Schwabinger Tor is known for its architectural innovation and

MüNCHEN PALACE HOTEL

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The München Palace Hotel is outside the center of Munich. It offers a perfect blend of modern amenities and traditional charm. In this review, we

BEYOND BY GEISEL

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If you want to stay in a high-end hotel in Munich, look no further than the Beyond by Geisel Hotel Munich. It has a well-designed

ROSEWOOD MUNICH

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The Rosewood Munich Hotel is in one of Europe's most iconic cities. This five-star hotel offers elegance and top-notch service for the discerning traveler. You'll

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Munich

Good to know about Munich

Munich, Germany, is a city of history and culture with its unique charm. It is home to some of the world's most iconic sites, from the Bavarian State Opera to the Hofbräuhaus beer hall. Whether planning a trip for business or pleasure, this travel guide will provide the information you need to make the most of your visit. From the best attractions to the best foods, we'll cover everything you need to know to plan the perfect trip to Munich.

History 

Munich can trace its roots to the Benedictine monastery Tegernsee - established in the 8th century. Munich was founded in 1158. Moreover, in 1157 Henry the Lion granted the monks the right to set up a market at the intersection of Salzburg road and the Isar River. The following year, they constructed a bridge across the Isar.

Munich received city status in 1175 and was fortified. In 1180 Otto II Wittelsbach became Duke of Bavaria, and Munich was transferred to the bishop de Freising. The Wittelsbach dynasty ruled Bavaria until 1918. Munich was made the capital of the new Kingdom in Bavaria in 1806. In 1923 Hitler and his followers staged The Beer Hall Putsch. It was an attempt against the Weimar Republic to take away power.

In World War II, Munich suffered heavy bombings, and its population plummeted from 800'000 to 500,000. People moved out of Munich during WWII. Munich was rebuilt from scratch following a very conservative and, compared to other German war-ravaged towns, detailed plan that kept its street grid intact. Munich was also home to 1 million people in 1957. It hosted the 1972 Olympic Games.

Munich was far from the Ruhr coal mines and seaports, which meant that it suffered economically in the past. This situation changed when other fuels became available. As a result, Munich's economy changed from being heavy to light. It became a hub for goods and services and aerospace products. They also produced cosmetics, food, and clothing. Besides, it is home to several of Germany's largest breweries. The city is also famous for its beer and the annual Oktoberfest celebration. In addition, Munich is a popular tourist destination and a convention center.

Best Time to Visit 

It's best to visit Munich in March-May. Fall's crowds are long gone, and summer's peak season is still not here. However, if you want to be part of the many who celebrate Oktoberfest, then you will need to bring a jacket. The average temperature is between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can wear a light sweater for the slightly cold summer evenings in Munich. The 70s are ideal for Biergarten weather. Winter is the city's lowest season except for December and January holidays.

Things to Do and Places to Visit

These are some of the top things to do and places to visit in Munich.

Surfing 

It may seem unlikely to see surfers in a city without water, but locals and tourists enjoy watching them conquer the waves at Munich's Eisbach River. This cold-water sport was banned in 2010 but is now practiced by wetsuit athletes yearly. Besides, there is no need to paddle to catch waves. Instead, these are created artificially on concrete breaks.

Surfers should be ready to go when they get in the water. However, before you dive in, it is best to have some experience. Things can get very strange during the summer heat. You may even see one or two locals surfing naked.

Viktualienmarkt 

Viktualienmarkt is a sprawling open-air market. It dates back 200 years. It is a convenient stop for anyone visiting Munich's historic center. From Monday to Saturday, 100 stalls sell a variety of German and international delights. Besides, you will find traditional Weisswurst sausages, pickles barrels, and cheeses from all over Europe. You will also find flowers, spices, fresh juices, and other goodies. The perfect spot to watch this market is from the shaded beer garden.

Midnightbazar 

This night market is a great place to spend a night shopping. Midnightbazar is a Saturday night market that features vendors selling clothing, nick-nacks, and other items. The entry fee is nominal, but you can browse rows upon rows of great bargains, all accompanied by a live band or DJ. There are also many street food and cocktail stands where you can grab dinner.

Alte Pinakothek 

Dating back to 1836, The Alte Pinakothek is one of the oldest art galleries in the world. Its Neo-Renaissance design could be a template for galleries in other cities such as St Petersburg, Rome, and Brussels. King Ludwig 1 ordered it to house the Wittelsbach family's unique collection.

800 paintings of exceptional quality, from the 1200s through the 1800s, in German, French, and Dutch, as well as Italian, Spanish, and Flemish languages, are the result. Peter Paul Rubens and Albrecht Durer are the masters in the spotlight, each represented by multiple paintings. You'll also meet Hieronymous Bosch, Titian, and Leonardo da Vinci.

Munich Residenz 

It was originally a castle built for Wittelsbach monarchs in the northern part of the city. Over the next several hundred years, it grew into a magnificent palace complex with ten courtyards and 130 rooms.

Successive dukes, princes, and emperors made bold statements in the Renaissance Baroque, Rococo, and Neoclassical styles. This place is worth several visits due to its size and richness in art. The must-sees include the Italian Renaissance Grotto Courtyard and Antiquarium banquet hall.

Englischer Garten 

The Englischer Garten is the most extensive garden in the city. The park was created in the 18th century and began on the left bank of the Isar, just north of the Residenz. It seems to continue forever. This vast grass, pasture, tree grove, and waterways are more significant than New York's Central Park. It covers 370 hectares.

You will also find some interesting sights, such as a Japanese teahouse built for the Olympics in 1972 and a Chinese Tower built on the pagoda at Kew Gardens. It was first constructed in 1790. Surfing is something you might not have thought of. The Eisbach River, which is artificial, has a strong current that forms a static wave that experienced borders can ride for up to one minute.

Culture and Customs 

Germans are part of a culture that values formality and planning. They highly value punctuality. This concept is so important in German culture that trains and buses are seldom late. Germans are also very strict about following rules. They will be fine if you jaywalk or litter.

Even though many people in big cities like Munich speak English, it's helpful to have a German phrasebook so you can learn some words. For example, you'll make a great impression by saying bitte (please) and Danke (thank you).

Also, be aware of your mannerisms. The symbol for OK is obscene in many parts of Europe. Whistling at the beginning or end of performance also indicates discontent. And touching people in conversation and standing at arm's length on the first meeting are considered invasions of privacy.

The official currency of Munich is the euro. However, the exchange rate between the US and Euro fluctuates, so check the current rate before you travel. Some shops and restaurants accept major credit cards.

What to Eat 

These are the top Bavarian dishes and what you can eat in Munich.

Weisswurst 

White sausage, or weisswurst, is a Bavarian sausage made with pork and veal. They usually flavor it with parsley, lemon, ginger, cardamom, and onions. You can eat them without skins with sweet mustard and pretzels.

They usually make the sausages in the morning without preservatives, so you'll have to eat them at lunchtime. They are still challenging to find after 1 pm, but they make an excellent breakfast. Besides, they taste even better when paired with a beer.

Brez'n

Tourists call it a "pretzel," but the brez'n is an essential part of everyday life in Bavaria. It is usually eaten all day. The authentic pretzels are salty and crispy on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside. Pretzels are coated in lye before baking. This gives them their distinctive chestnut brown sheen. One of the best things about eating a brez'n is quickly transitioning from the crisp crust to the soft and fluffy interior.

Pretzels are often sprinkled with coarse salt before baking. But you can also use sesame or poppy seeds, pumpkin, sunflower, or caraway seeds. They then add bacon bits and melted cheddar. Besides, many bakeries offer pretzels. You can also get them in different sizes and even in XXL.

Schnitzel 

Schnitzel is a must-try Bavarian food. The German term refers to fried and breaded meat cutlets, but you can also grill or roast them. They typically make Bavarian schnitzel with veal, pork, and fried potato.

Different parts of Germany may have their versions of schnitzel. They can also use different sauces. For example, the Munchner Schnitzel version in Munich uses veal coated with mustard or horseradish before being fried. Schnitzel, no matter how they prepare it, is a Bavarian favorite.

Knödel

You can find Knodel, and boiled dumplings, all across Central Europe. They make it with flour, potatoes, or bread. For example, Bavarian Knodel is usually made from potatoes mashed or grated into a dough and then mixed with eggs and flour. These giant balls can then be steamed, boiled, and served with meats or soups.

There are also many variations of the basic Knodel, such as Leberknodel (dumpling made from liver and bread). There is also Topfenknodel (a sweet version with cheese and cinnamon sugar). However, it's easy to find the traditional potato dumpling.

Obazda 

Obazda, also known as Obatzda, is a piquant cheese specialty integral to Bavarian cuisine. Its name derives from the Bavarian word Obatzn (to crush, mix, or blend). Obazda has Camembert and Brie cheeses, caraway seed, cloves, onions, cream cheese, butter, pepper, salt, and a little beer. Mix all ingredients until you have a creamy, spreadable mash.

They serve Obazda in most beer gardens and taverns. You can have it on bread as a spread or on pretzels. Obazda is also a favorite Bavarian food, easily accessible here in Austria.

Where to Stay 

These are some of the best areas to stay in Munich. You will find Design Hotels and Boutique Hotels, some with only 19 rooms, and Michelin Stars fine dining restaurants. Most rooms have views of Munich´s central district. All hotels offer parking and car hire services. 

Altstadt

The Altstadt (Old Town) is the best option for first-time visitors. You can find the most important sights within a short distance of each other. These include the beautiful Marienplatz town halls and the Viktualienmarkt. There is also the vast Residenz, the lavish home of the dukes of Bavaria and kings.

Not to mention the elegant Frauenkirche with its distinctive twin towers. Besides, you can stroll down the Maximilianstrasse and the Funf Hofe malls. These are full of high-end stores. Or, visit Sankt-Jakobs-Platz's excellent Jewish museums. Altstadt is also home to excellent restaurants, bars, and cafes. It's also close to Maxvorstadt's museums.

Gartnerplatz 

There are many places to visit in Gartnerplatz to enjoy live music and great bars. Fur Freunde Bar has DJs on weekends, and The High is a small, minimalist bar specializing in highballs. Niederlassung also offers a variety of sofas. Moreover, the Flushing Meadows Hotel boasts a roof terrace with Alps views. Zephyr's creative cocktails will also blow your mind.

Schwabing 

This area is home to fine art, with Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky among the many who have lived and worked here. Englischer Garten is the main draw. It would be best if you planned to spend at least half the day in the park and give yourself time to explore. But don't forget the Chinese Tower with its famous beer garden. The pagoda at Kew Gardens, London, inspired this tower.

Lehel

Lehel is a posh residential area located between the Altstadt and the Isar. It is one of Munich's most picturesque districts, with its grand Wilhelminian-Art Nouveau buildings and luxurious hotels. The Alpine Museum, which charts mountaineering history, is on Prater Island. Prinzregentenstraße Boulevard runs north to the Haus der Kunst, an art gallery that houses the exclusive P1 club. It is home to the incredible sight of Eisbachwelle surfer riders riding an artificial wave in the Englischen Garten's fast-flowing river.

There is also the Bayerisches National museum. This museum is a must-see for anyone who wants to know about Bavaria's history and art. Moreover, the Schack Collection, which contains a rare collection of old German paintings that once belonged to Count von Schack, is just beyond.

Westend

Most of the action of Oktoberfest takes place in the southwest corner of the central station. It is in the Theresienwiese area in the Westend neighborhood. The majestic statue of Bavaria is behind the Oktoberfest site. Climb it to enjoy a stunning view of the entire site. Also, the Ruhmeshalle is a monument to Bavaria's most prominent citizens. You will find it behind Bavaria.

To the west, you will also find the charming Bavariapark. It offers locals a peaceful place to relax. The Verkehrszentrum, an excellent Deutsches Museum outpost, is also nearby. It has enormous hangar-like rooms with all kinds of transport throughout the ages. These rooms are worth a visit if you're in the area.

How to Get Around  

Walking is the best way to explore Munich, as many attractions are close together. Besides, you can take the U-Bahn or S-Bahn to get around the city. You can also catch the S-Bahn at the Franz-Josef-Strauss Airport. It is about 20 miles northeast of downtown. Taxis are also available. 

How to Stay Safe 

Munich is so safe that it borders on being boring to some. However, there are still some things that travelers need to be aware of. This includes jaywalking and walking on bike paths. Don't do any of these. Bike paths that you will find along many roads are only for bikers. They are territorial, so keep to the footpaths. You might also encounter drunken revelry if you travel to Munich during Oktoberfest.