Munich City Travel Guide

Berlin cathedral Munich English Garden, banking quarter and famous 'Frauenkirche'

Officially founded in 1158, the city of Munich has been the capital of Bavaria since 1503. Bavaria prides itself on its uniqueness and is effectively if not officially a state within a state adhering to its own rules.

Understandably, Munich as a city does not lack self confidence either.

Boasting museums and a vibrant art scene, the city centre is easily accessible on foot and extremely attractive. The charming old town embraces many fine examples of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and neo-classical architecture. At its centre lies an open expanse of cafes and bars called the 'Marienplatz'. The 'Glockenspiel' chimes away at noon and draws masses to the city hall.

Numerous ancient churches such as the 'Frauenkirche', 'St. Peterskirche' and 'Heiliggeistkirche' offer architectural highlights and help tell the city's story. Provided the weather is in accord, one can even enjoy a view of the nearby Alps from one of the many turrets.

Other impressive sights are the 'Residenz', the 'Viktualienmarkt', one of Europe's greatest food markets and Nymphenberg castle, a picture-perfect Baroque palace which once served as the royal family's summer residence.

Munich is famous for its food and favourite beverage - Beer. Many traditional breweries export their various sorts of lager, pils, bock and 'Weißbier' (wheat beer) throughout the world. The 'Hofbräuhaus' is one of the numerous beer bars which Munich is famous for. The annual 'Oktoberfest' is a unique experience with masses from all over Europe going crazy and getting drunk on beer served in 1 litre units called 'Mass'.

In 1972 Munich staged the Olympic summer games, the first Olympic games in Germany since the end of World War II. The country's high hopes were crushed: Palestinian terrorists raided the Israeli athletes quarters, opened fire and killed several athletes. After two days of mourning it was decided that the games should continue. However, they have always been remembered for the terrorism rather than for any athletic achievements.

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