The capital of Bavaria is best known for its annual Oktoberfest celebration, the world's largest beer festival, which attracts more than six million people to Munich from all around the world. But while beer and lederhosen are undoubtedly a huge part of life here, they are by no means the only reason to visit Munich. From fascinating museums to stunning architecture, top-notch theatres and vibrant marketplaces, there are countless things to do here, no matter your interests. Plan a trip to Munich to see why it's one of the fastest growing cities in Germany and an increasingly popular city break destination.
One of Munich's most defining features is its seamless blend of old and new. Centuries-old buildings like the Baroque Nymphenburg Palace and St Peter's Church sit alongside modern structures like the Pinakothek der Moderne (modern art museum) and the futuristic Allianz Arena football stadium. These contrasts reflect the rich and varied history of Munich, which began as a medieval town home to Benedictine monks.
To get a sense of Munich's beginnings, pay a visit to the Munich Residenz, where the Bavarian monarchs of the House of Wittelsbach once lived. Here you can admire the exquisite Neoclassical architecture and ornate decor of the royal palace, which was opened back in 1385.
For a better understanding of the city's contemporary status as a major centre for technology and innovation, head to the Deutsches Museum - the world's largest museum of science and technology. If you've got kids in tow, make sure to include this family-friendly attraction on your itinerary.
If you're wondering when to visit Munich, the answer depends on what you're after. In the summertime, the city's parks including Englischer Garten are packed with picnickers and ramblers appreciating the outdoors. Locals relax and along the banks of the Isar River, or they head to one of the city's more than 200 beer gardens to enjoy a drink. The weather in July and August hovers around the mid-20s Celsius, making for perfectly pleasant and long days. So if you're spending your summer holidays in Munich, you'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to activities.
On the other hand, when the cold hits, magical Christmas markets turn the city into a winter wonderland. There's nothing better than getting bundled up and walking through the romantic city streets, a freshly baked pretzel in hand. And the nearby German Alps, which are an easy day trip away, have some of the best ski slopes in the country.
To sum up, there's no bad time to go to Munich!
One thing you'll notice here is the proliferation of bicycles everywhere. In fact, around 80% of Munichers own bikes themselves, and there are more than 1,200km of bike trails twisting around the city. Exploring Munich by bike is both eco- and wallet-friendly, and we highly recommend it (just don't forget a helmet!)
Numerous bike rental companies will lend you a bicycle for the day, or you can use the Donkey Republic bike-sharing app, which has stations all around the city.