"The Big Village" Top 5 Page for this destination Munich by antistar
Munich Travel Guide: 4,443 reviews and 10,484 photos
Or the City of Singles, or any number of names the locals give it. Munich is a big city, with a small town atmosphere. It is many things to many people. Many people love it, some people hate it, but it cannot be denied that it is one amazing and unmissable city. It's easily my favourite city in Germany now. It doesn't quite have the same buzz as Berlin, but it doesn't have the crime either. It doesn't have the convenient location of Cologne, but it doesn't have the same ugly urban sprawl either. It's not quite as rich as Frankfurt, but it has a hell of a lot more style.
The city is extremely relaxed in its pace, if not in its attitude. The people are pretty conservative, and less likely to let their hair hang down than other cities, but it is also extremely safe. I felt safer walking the streets of Munich late at night than pretty much every town and city in Europe. The only time I looked twice was when a group of drunken Englishmen staggered and shouted from behind me.
Munich has so much to see and do you'll have difficulty in getting just a glimpse of it in a few days. I stayed a week and only managed a cursory glance at a fraction of the sights I wanted to see. A week would be an absolute minimum to do this city justice, and if you want to go to some of the outlying towns and cities, like Füssen or Augsburg, then you'd better give yourself a couple of weeks.
Munich doesn't have a Taj Mahal, Eiffel Tower or other easily identifiable must see attraction, but it does still have plenty to see. The city was largely destroyed during the war, but it has been immaculately reconstructed. The city is a delight to wander around at all hours, especially the many parks. The English Gardens are fantastic, but the gardens of the many palaces can be even more spectacular. In autumn, when leaves create a carpet of ochres, cinnamons and saffrons, they are jaw droppingly beautiful.
The city also boasts some world class museums for all tastes. The Pinakothek for art lovers and the enormous Deutsches Museum for lovers of cars, planes and all things technological. History buffs are perhaps not so well catered for, but Munich was host to two poignant and tragically sad moments in history that can gain a greater understanding and connection with by visiting: the Dachau concentration camp and 31 Connollystrasse in the Olympic Village.
Sport is also an area where Munich shines. The Olympics were over 30 years ago, but the park still exists and it's a great place to wander around. The two football teams no longer play at the Olympic Stadium, but at the new purpose built Allianz stadium further out of town. Bayern Munich is of course one of the greatest teams in the world, but there's also 1860 Munich. They might not be as successful now, but you will at least have a chance of watching one of their games unlike Bayern.
One of the few downsides to Munich, at least the one that most people complain about, is the cost. It certainly is more expensive than most of the rest of Germany, but compared to the costs in other nearby countries, like Austria, Denmark and the UK, it is a positive bargain. You can dine on top quality food for less than 15 euros a head and stay in three star hotels for less than 50 euros a night. There's plenty of cheaper options to be had, including top quality sit down Italian pasta for less than 3.50 euros for a full dish.
This of course all changes during the infamous Oktoberfest, where you can enjoy getting stupidly drunk in large tents with thousands of other English, Australians and Americans, and pay three or four times the price for everything for the privilege. For many the Oktoberfest is Munich's Eiffel Tower, but for most Germans and Munich inhabitants, it is the worst kind of tourist trap imaginable, and not even a good beer festival. It is the mother of all beer festivals, though, so you may want to visit in anyway, but you'll have to be prepared to pony up the dough, or sleep rough in the streets!
Things I Loved
The golden forested parks in Autumn, The Olympic Park, the Neues Rathaus, the views from Peterskirche and the Olympiaturm, the Flugwerft Schleissheim, the restaurants, walking the streets at night, and walking along the river Isar on a sunny day.
The views from the palace in Dachau; spending a week in the city and still not having enough time to do everything I wanted.
The carillon was boring and touristy, and the cathedral a little plain.
Heaven for car loving kids, and fun for adults too - and it's all free. Apart from the cost, the big differences between... more travel advice
Munich has two teams, each with its own great history. Everyone who knows anything about football knows of Bayern... more travel advice
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Munich Travel Guide
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- "Munich - Oktoberfest & a lot more !"
- "Brezn, Bier and Beautiful Days in Munich"
- "Munich is nature, art, events and culture"
- "The Big Village"
- "Munich - my current hometown"
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