Munich has celebrated its 850th birthday in 2008. What began as a monastery in the time of Henry the Lion in 1158 was Germany’s ‘unofficial capital’ until the Berlin Wall fell and is now its third-largest city. It’s become a hub of high technology, a cultural centre with more museums than any rival, and a gastronomic trailblazer, sparkling with Michelin stars.
Other attributes include a stylish cafe culture, a love of good beer (witness the Oktoberfest) and more than 100 biergardens in which to drink it. Munich is easy to explore on foot, and public transport is cheap and efficient. Munich Card and City Pass are two new official visitor cards which offer discounts, free admissions to top attractions and sights as well as free travels.
TOP – 10 –ATTRACTIONS IN MUNICH:
- Marienplatz with New Town Hall Built 1867 – 1909 in Flanders Gothic style; its facade, over 300 feet in length, features strikingly elaborate stone ornamentation. Its 260-foot tower with carillon is, with St. Peter’s Church and the twin towers of the Cathedral, one of the most distinctive features of the city’s skyline.
- Viktualienmarkt Munich prides itself on having the best food in Germany, so don’t miss the Viktualienmarkt, a central market crammed with green-painted stalls selling pyramids of fruit and vegetables, wild mushrooms, flowers, pork, sausages and wine.
- Frauenkirche (Cathedral Church of Our Lady) Metropolitan Church of the Archbishopric of Munich-Freising. Late Gothic nave from the 15th century, interior with works of art spanning 5 centuries; landmark for the City of Munich.
- Olympiapark und BMW Welt Site of the 1972 Olympics, this landscaped park contains sport facilities, lakes, bicycle paths, concert venues, restaurants and a football stadium, as well as its landmark “tent-style” roofs. Don´t miss the fascinating BMW Museum across the street, right next to the companies headquaters – which was constructed in the shape of a four-cylinder engine.
- The BMW Group opened a fascinating Gateway to the BMW brand right next to the company’s headquarters and the Munich Olympic Complex – the BMW Welt, a unique meeting place for people from around the world.
- Englischer Garten The “English Garden” is Munich’s largest urban public park and offers a lot of attractions: Enjoy a great view from the “Monopteros” or visit the famous beer garden at the “Chinesischer Turm”. The first public park in Europe is the principle creation of garden designer Friedrich Ludwig von Sckells. Today it is one of the largest city parks in the world.
- Residenz with Court Garden (Hofgarten) Over the centuries the Wittelsbach dynasty transformed a small, 14th-century moated castle into a magnificent palace, performing the dual functions of royal residence and government seat.
- The Residenz houses a number of museums and monuments maintained by the Bavarian Administration of State-owned Palaces, Gardens and Lakes (the Residenz museum itself, the Treasury, the Cuvilliés-Theater and the Allerheiligen-Hofkirche) along with other cultural institutions.
- Deutsches Museum The Deutsche Museum is not only one of the first scientific-technological museums in the world, it is with an area of 50,000 square meters the biggest of all. Learn more about the law of nature, instruments and technological methods in an enthralling and entertaining way.
- Hofbräuhaus The world’s most famous beer hall is very popular among tourists and locals. Enjoy traditional music, tasty Bavarian dishes and, of course: A “Maß” of Beer!
- Pinakotheken The Pinakothek der Moderne , next to the Alte Pinakothek and Neue Pinakothek , is an austere, impressive box, whose concrete-and-glass exterior hardly prepares you for what’s inside. It houses a fine collection of German Expressionism and Entartete Kunst – ‘degenerate art’; those paintings condemned and confiscated by the Nazis – as well as exhibitions of graphic art, architecture and design – cars, furniture, prehistoric PCs, trainers, Handys (as Germans call mobile phones) and other everyday objects asking to be examined in a new light.
- St-Jakob-Platz with Synagoge, Jewish Museum and City Museum The new Jewish Museum, which opened 2007, is part of the ensemble of the St. Jakobs-Place whith the new main synagoge and the center of the Jewish comunity. On the three exhibition floors, visitors gain a world of insights into Jewish life and culture in Munich. A special section geared towards young as well as adult audiences provides in-depth information on Jewish history and religion.
- Inspired by two recurring architectural forms in the history of Judaism, the temple and the tent, the new synagogue fluctuates between stability and flexibility.