We all know that Munich is home to the Oktoberfest, but the city has so much more to offer throughout the year…
Munich is the capital of Germany’s largest state, Bavaria, and with a population of almost 1.5 million people it is Germany’s third largest city. The city’s name derives from the old German term ‘Munichen’, which means ‘by the monks’. The city’s first records date back to 1158, which is assumed to be its foundation date and was officially granted city status in 1175. Nowadays Munich is home to many major universities, museums and theatres, as well as many international sporting events, exhibitions, conferences and, of course, the Oktoberfest. In 2006 the city changed its motto to “München mag dich” which means “Munich likes you”. The city was ranked fourth in the world by the Mercer Quality of Living Survey, as well as ranking 15th in the world for economic and social innovation, thus, it is no surprise that it is one of Germany’s fastest growing cities.
Englischer Garten – The English garden is a large public garden in the heart of Munich. With an area of 3.7km2, it is one of the world’s largest urban public parks, larger than New York’s famous Central Park. The park has many sights and attractions available throughout the year. The Japanese teahouse and Japanese garden were added into the park in 1972 to celebrate the Summer Olympics that year which were held in Munich. The Schönfeldwiese (Schönfeld’s meadow) is a large open space where nude sunbathing has been permitted since the 1960s. There is also an artificial stream flowing through the garden on which people can go surfing (yes, you read that right – surfing in the middle of a large city!). There are many other temples and towers found throughout the garden, such as the Chinese Tower. There is also a large lake, the Kleinhesseloher See, a Hall to honour the garden’s founder and even a grazing area for sheep. With so much to do, it is easy to spend an entire day in the park, just remember to bring plenty of food, water and sunscreen (if you’re lucky enough to catch a day of sunshine in Germany!).
Marienplatz – The Marienplatz, or Mary’s Square, is the central square in Munich and has been since 1158. In the centre of the square stands a Mariensäule (Marian column) erected in 1638 to celebrate the end of Swedish occupation and is topped by a golden statue of the Virgin Mary. During the middle ages, the city’s square hosted many markets and tournaments. Nowadays it is dominated by the New City Hall. The Glockenspiel in the new city tower was inspired by these medieval tournaments and attracts millions of tourists each year. The Old City Hall is located on the East of the city square. The surrounding area of the city square is a crowded area filled with shops, cafes and restaurants. The Marienplatz S-Bahn and U-Bahn station, a very important transportation hub, is located below the city’s square. One tip from us – if you’re visiting Munich in summer, take the time to sit in one of the many cafes in the Marienplatz and enjoy a wonderful ice cream creation.
BMW Museum – The BMW museum, as the name suggests, is a large automobile museum in Munich which shows the history of automobile manufacturer BMW. The museum shows the technical development from engines to aircrafts, cars and motorcycles. The museum’s information is available in both English and German as it takes visitors through the past, present and future of the BMW brand. It was founded in 1973 as one of the first ever brand museum and was redesigned and expanded in 2008.
Whilst these are some of Munich’s top attractions, there is so much more to see including the Frauenkirche and Asamkirche, the Deutsches Museum, Tierpark Hellabrunn, Schloss Nymphenburg, the Viktualienmarkt, the Munich Botanical Garden, the Starnberger See, Olympiapark and a day trip to Schwangau to visit Schloss Neuschwanstein (the inspiration for Disney’s Cinderella Castle).
- Munich is home to the Bavarian Film Studios which are the biggest and most famous film production studios in Europe
- Munich has the lowest unemployment rate of any German city
- The Deutsches Museum is the world’s largest science and technology museum with more than 50 exhibition areas and 1.5 million visitors per year
- Munich is home to 61 theatres, 36 museums and 4 symphony orchestras
- The most expensive retail space in Germany is located on Munich’s Kaufingerstrasse
- Munich is known as the second largest publishing centre worldwide with approximately 250 publishing houses in the city
- The Weisswurst (white sausage) is a Munich specialty served with sweet mustard and freshly baked pretzels
- There are over 60 beer gardens in Munich