Munich (German: München, Bavarian: Minga) is the capital city of the German federal state of Bavaria. Within the city limits, Munich has a population of more than 1.5 million, making it the third most populous city in Germany. Greater Munich including its suburbs has a population of 2.7 million. The Munich metropolitan region which extends to cities like Augsburg or Ingolstadt has a population of more than 5.6 million.

Located at the river Isar in Southern Bavaria, it is famous for its beautiful architecture, fine culture, and the annual Oktoberfest beer festival. Munich has a thriving cultural scene and many travellers are absolutely stunned by the quality of the architecture. Although it was heavily damaged by Allied bombing during World War II, many of its historic buildings have been rebuilt and the city centre appears mostly as it did in the early 1900s, including its largest church, the Frauenkirche cathedral, and the famous City Hall.

Munich is a major international centre of business, engineering and research, exemplified by the presence of two research universities, several multinational companies, and world class technology and science museums like the Deutsches Museum and BMW Museum.


Munich is divided into 25 administrative districts. However, those districts don't necessarily reflect historical relationships and connections of neighbourhoods, or make much sense to travellers. Therefore, the districts provided below describe entities in a travel rather than administrative sense. Most of Munich's main attractions are in the Altstadt and Maxvorstadt; the districts of Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt and Haidhausen are major night-life spots. The other areas, while mostly residential, feature some hidden gems, which are definitely worth a visit.

Districts of Munich
Altstadt (Old City)
The city centre with a pedestrian zone that is one big shopping street, and the majority of Munich's most famous travel sights around Marienplatz
The Brain of Munich with a relaxed and studenty atmosphere, which is home to most attractions that aren't located in the city centre, including the world famous galleries Pinakotheken, along with cozy cafés and bars and several universities
Night-life area immediately south of the centre, home to many cafés, restaurants, bars, clubs and theatres, hotels and hostels, Munich Central Station, the Oktoberfest grounds and, last but not least, the Deutsches Museum, the world's biggest museum of science and engineering and the focal point of Munich's gay culture
Around the station Munich East, to which Europe's largest contiguous party area Kultfabrik & Optimolwerke draws tens of thousands of people every weekend
North Munich
The North of Munich is full of parks, gardens and relaxation areas. It includes the district of Schwabing, dominated by 19th-century architecture and the famously expansive English Garden, the park and palace of Nymphenburg, the Olympiagelände (site of the 1972 Olympic Games) with the BMW Welt and the Allianz Arena in the far north end.
East Munich
A mostly residential area with an upmarket neighbourhood to the north, a working-class neighbourhood and the Bavaria Film Studios to the south, the Munich trade fair grounds in the east, and the Flaucher beaches along the east side of the river Isar in the west.
South-West Munich
Scarcely populated in the west and mainly residential area in the south, with the main attractions Munich Zoo and the Flaucher river islands lying in the east of the area along the river Isar.


Munich city coat of arms is a monk
"You do not even go somewhere else, I tell you there's nothing like Munich. Everything else is a waste of time in Germany" —Ernest Hemingway


The year 1158 is the earliest date the city is mentioned in a document signed in Augsburg. By that time, Henry the Lion had built a bridge over the river Isar next to a settlement of Benedictine monks. Almost two decades later, in 1175 Munich was officially granted city status and received fortification. In 1180, with the trial of Henry the Lion, Otto I Wittelsbach became Duke of Bavaria and Munich was handed over to the Bishop of Freising. The Wittelsbach dynasty would rule Bavaria until 1918. In 1255, when the Duchy of Bavaria was split in two, Munich became the ducal residence of Upper Bavaria. In the late 15th century, Munich underwent a revival of Gothic arts: the Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus) was enlarged, and Munich's largest Gothic church, the Frauenkirche cathedral, was constructed in only 20 years, starting in 1468.

When Bavaria was reunited in 1506, Munich became its capital. The arts and politics became increasingly influenced by the court, and Munich became a centre of the German counter-reformation as well as of Renaissance arts. The Catholic League was founded in Munich in 1609. During the Thirty Years' War, Munich became an electoral residence. In 1632, the city was occupied by Swedish King Gustav II Adolph.

After World War I, the city was at the centre of political unrest. In November 1918, on the eve of revolution, the royal family fled the city. After the murder of the first republican premier of Bavaria in February 1919, the Bavarian Soviet Republic was proclaimed, but it was put down on 3 May 1919 by conservative troops. While the republican government had been restored, Munich subsequently became a hotbed of extremist politics, among which Adolf Hitler and National Socialism rose to prominence. In 1923 Hitler and his supporters, who were then concentrated in Munich, staged the Beer Hall Putsch, an attempt to overthrow the Weimar Republic and seize power. The revolt failed, resulting in Hitler's arrest and the temporary crippling of the Nazi Party, which was virtually unknown inside and outside Munich at that time.

The city once again became a Nazi stronghold when the National Socialists took power in Germany in 1933. The National Socialist Workers Party created the first concentration camp at Dachau, 15km (10 mi) north-west of the city. Because of its importance to the rise of National Socialism, Munich was referred to as the "Capital of the Movement" ("Hauptstadt der Bewegung"). Munich was also the base of the White Rose (Weiße Rose), a student resistance movement from June 1942 to February 1943. However, the core members—including Hans and Sophie Scholl—were arrested and executed following a distribution of leaflets at the University of Munich. The city was heavily damaged by allied bombing during World War II, with 90% of the historic city centre and 50% overall destroyed.

After the US occupation in 1945, Munich was completely rebuilt. Munich was the site of the 1972 Olympic Summer Games, during which Israeli athletes were assassinated by Palestinian terrorists.


BMW headquarters

Munich is the German economic powerhouse, with six out of the 30 companies listed in the German blue-chip stock-market index DAX. This includes luxury car maker BMW, electrical engineering giant Siemens, and the world's largest insurance company Allianz, to name just the biggest companies.

The Munich region is a centre for aerospace, biotechnology, software and service industries. As the largest publishing city in Europe, Munich is home to Süddeutsche Zeitung, one of Germany's largest and most influential daily newspapers. Germany's largest commercial network, Pro7-Sat1 Media AG is located in Eastern Munich.

Munich's flourishing local economy is reflected in its place in quality-of-life rankings of world cities. Monocle magazine even named it the world's most livable city in 2010. People continue to flock into the city due to its proximity to the Alps and some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe, especially Baroque and Rococo architecture and green countryside which starts a mere half hour away on the S-Bahn. However, there's a price to pay for living here: Munich is the most expensive city in Germany. Real estate development and hotel construction are a regular sight, but so far, demand outstrips supply by far.


The people of Munich do not like their city to be associated only as a city of beer and the Oktoberfest, and indeed the Bavarian Kings transformed Munich into a city of arts and science in the 19th century, and also quite notable architecture. Many of the city's finest buildings belong to this period and were built under the first three Bavarian kings during the first half of the 19th century. Munich's outstanding position among other German cities may have faded a bit, due to Berlin becoming the German capital again in the 1990s, but it is still a vibrant and important city of culture.

Inside the Nationaltheater

The Nationaltheater, where several of Richard Wagner's operas had their premières under the patronage of King Ludwig II, is the home of the world famous Bavarian State Opera and the Bavarian State Orchestra. Next door the modern Residenz Theatre was erected in the building that had housed the Cuvilliés Theatre before World War II. Many operas were staged there, including the premiere of Mozart's "Idomeneo" in 1781. The Gärtnerplatz Theatre is a ballet and musical state theatre, while another opera house, Prinzregententheater has become the home of the Bavarian Theatre Academy. The modern Gasteig center houses the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra.

Many prominent writers worked in Munich. The period immediately before World War I saw economic and cultural prominence for the city. Munich and especially its then suburbs of Schwabing and Maxvorstadt, became the domicile of many artists and writers. Nobel laureate Thomas Mann, who also lived there, wrote ironically in his novella "Gladius Dei" about this period, "Munich shone". It remained a center of cultural life during the Weimar period with figures such as Bertolt Brecht and Lion Feuchtwanger.

Beer garden inside the Englischer Garten

Bavaria has been the long-time antipode of Berlin: While the Protestant Prussian kings focused on building military strength, Bavaria's Catholic Wittelsbach kings were more interested in creating a centre of arts and science following the examples of cities in northern Italy. Bavaria takes a position among the German states with a strong emphasis on its independence and has its own conservative party, the CSU, which strongly advocates Bavarian interests in Berlin.

Münchner share a lot of characteristics with the rest of Bavaria and indeed it became popular again among older and younger people to wear traditional Bavarian clothing at least during the Oktoberfest and similar traditional beer festivals. One notable difference is politics: whereas the rest of Bavaria is a stronghold of conservative Catholicism, Munich has been governed by a liberal coalition of Social Democrats, Greens and the Rosa Liste (a gay rights party), and only 36.2% of residents are members of the Catholic church while 13.3% are Protestant, 0.3% Jewish and 50.3% are members of another religion or follow no religion.


The official language in Munich is, of course, German. With many Munich residents coming from other German regions or from abroad, "Standard German" dominates as the spoken language in Munich. Nevertheless, some residents speak with a more or less strong Bavarian dialect, which can deviate substantially from the German taught at schools. English is widely spoken and understood throughout the city in restaurants, cafés, tourist attractions and shops, and by many citizens. The exceptions are Munich's city administration offices, where non-English-speaking Germans seem to have found a last refuge from linguistic colonization.


 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°C) 1.1 3.5 8.4 13.3 18.0 21.4 23.8 22.9 19.4 13.6 6.5 2.3
Nightly lows (°C) 5.0 3.7 0.4 2.9 7.1 10.4 12.0 11.7 8.8 4.5 0.2 3.5
Precipitation (mm) 54.0 45.2 60.1 69.9 93.4 123.6 117.6 114.5 90.3 69.4 71.0 58.4

Munich has a continental climate, strongly modified by the city's altitude and proximity to the northern edge of the Alps. This means that precipitation is high, and rainstorms can come violently and unexpectedly.

Winters last from December to March. Munich experiences cold winters, but heavy rainfall or snowfall is rarely seen in the winter. The coldest month is January with an average temperature of −2.2°C (28.0°F). Snow cover is seen for at least a couple of weeks during winter. Summers in Munich are warm and pleasant, with an average maximum of 23.8°C (73.8°F) in the hottest months. Summers last from May until September.

An oddity of Munich is the föhn wind, a warm and dry down-slope wind from the Alps, which can raise temperatures sharply within a few hours, even in winter, and increases the range of sight to more than 100 km (60 mi). These winds are sometimes associated with illnesses ranging from migraines to psychosis. The first clinical review of these effects was published by the Austrian physician Anton Czermak in the 19th century. Residents of Munich sometimes use the Föhn as an excuse for having a bad mood, which should not be taken too seriously.

Tourism office

Get in

By plane

Munich Airport

Main article: Munich Airport

The main airport of Munich is Franz Josef Strauß International Airport 30 km (20 mi) to the north-east, close to the city of Freising. It's Germany's second busiest airport and a major hub for Lufthansa and its Star Alliance partner airlines. The city centre can be reached in about 45 min by suburban train (S-Bahn) lines S1 and S8. The S-Bahn station is located directly under the airport, with both lines S1 and S8 travelling directly to the city centre.

Allgäu Airport Memmingen

Allgäu Airport Memmingen (IATA: FMM) is around 110km (65 mi) west of Munich close to Memmingen. It's rather misleadingly marketed as "Munich West" by Ryanair. Other names include "Memmingen Airport" or "Flughafen Allgäu". There are shuttle buses to Munich with timetables aligned to Ryanair's schedule. One-way tickets are €19.50, or €15 if pre-booked via the internet. The buses arrive (and leave) close to Munich Central Station.

Railway tracks from the west leading up to the Hauptbahnhof

By train

Munich Central Station (Hauptbahnhof or main station) is conveniently located 5min on foot from the historic city centre of Munich in Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt district. To the very heart of Munich at Marienplatz it's two stops on the suburban train (S-Bahn). It is well connected to Munich's dense public transportation network. Munich Central Station has a traveller-friendly infrastructure including several restaurants, shops, a tourist information and a Deutsche Bahn ticket and travel agency office.

Deutsche Bahn uses Munich as one of its main German hubs and offers direct regional and long-distance connections to many German cities. This includes several connections with ICE, TGV, and railjet high-speed trains:

There are also a number of Eurocity connections to Strasbourg, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Vienna, Budapest, Zürich, Verona, Venice, Milan and other international cities.

Furthermore, the night train connections (CityNightLine) can be an inexpensive as well as time saving alternative. Destinations include Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest, Florence, Hamburg, Ljubljana, Rome, Venice, Verona, Vienna and Zagreb.

Two additional train stations are located in the west (Munich Pasing) and the east (Munich East (Ostbahnhof)) of Munich. Both stations are connected to the public transportation system and serve as transportation hubs for Deutsche Bahn's regional and long-distance trains.

By car

Munich Autobahn system

Munich is well connected to other cities in Germany and Austria by the German autobahn network:

Autobahn A 99 is an autobahn ring around the city, which connects the various autobahns. Munich has two inner ring roads in addition to the A 99: Mittlerer Ring (B 2R) and Altstadtring.

Traffic in Munich can be a challenge at peak times. Therefore, and especially due to the shortage of parking within the greater city centre, you might want to leave the car in a P&R parking deck (see the "Get around" section) in one of Munich's suburbs near an S-Bahn station and use public transport within the city.

By bus

Long-distance buses can be an inexpensive possibility to travel to Munich from several neighbouring countries, especially from eastern and southern Europe and the Balkans. Buses arrive at Munich Central Bus Station (ZOB) close to Hackerbrücke suburban train (S-Bahn) station. While historically domestic buses were few and far between, there are now a number of domestic bus lines as well. Despite signs, itineraries, and maps that imply that ZOB is right next the central train station, it's actually a 10-15min walk from one to the other due to the train tracks in the area.

Get around

By public transportation

Metro map

The best way to travel around Munich—besides using your own feet—is the public transport system consisting of the suburban trains (S-Bahn), subway (U-Bahn), the tram and buses. There is only one ticket system, called MVV, which means you can use all elements of the public transport system with the same ticket. You can get individual, group, day and week tickets. The U-Bahn stations are signed with a white capital "U" on a blue background. S-Bahn stations are signed with a white "S" on a green background. All S-Bahn lines join in one tunnel (Stammstrecke) between the stations Donnersbergerbrücke and Ostbahnhof in central Munich.

The Munich MVV website includes maps of the U-Bahn, S-Bahn, tram and bus network, maps of the P&R parking decks, pricing information as well as timetables and a journey planner. The official urban rail-network map is indispensable.

Single trips in a single zone such as the city centre cost €2.60, but the four-zone journey from the airport is a whopping €10.40. Thus, if you arrive at the airport and intend to explore Munich by the public transport system, the best option is to buy a €11.20 Gesamtnetz (whole network) day pass. If you are not travelling alone, then you can purchase a group ("Partner") day pass for €20.40, allowing up to five adults to travel together on all lines of the MVV system.

A day ticket is worth buying if you plan to take more than two trips on the same day. It is available for single persons and groups ("Partner"), the latter for up to five adults travelling together, and is valid until 06:00 the next morning. The day ticket is available for four areas:

Area Zone Single Ride Day ticket for 1 Person Group Day Ticket up to 5 People Note
Inner district (Innenraum) White €2.70 €6.20 €11.70 Enough to explore the city
Inner district (Innenraum) 3 Day card White €15.50 €27.10
Outer district (Außenraum) Green, yellow, red €2,70-7,80€* €6.20 €11.70 Does not cover city centre.
*depending on the number of zones
Munich XXL (München XXL) White and green €5.40 €8.30 €14.80 Good for trips to the lakes and suburban destinations
Entire network (Gesamtnetz) All €10.80* €12.00 €22.30 Allows travel to/from airport.
*Cheaper option for a single trip in any direction: combining a inner district (Innenraum) single ride (€2.70) and a outer district (Außenraum) day pass (€6.30). Validate both tickets when starting your journey.

If you are staying longer than three days in Munich, a good option is to buy a week ticket. The week ticket is valid for 7 consecutive days. The price of the weekly ticket depends on the number of "rings" you want to travel during the week (starting from the centre of the city). "Rings" for week and month tickets are different from the zones used for single ride and day tickets. There are 16 rings in total. Almost all U-Bahn stations are within the rings 1–4. As of June 2015, a week ticket for rings 1-2 costs €14,10. Rings 1-4 cost €20,30.

For several journeys on different days the blue stripe card (Streifenkarte), with 10 strips, is a better value than buying lots of individual tickets. The cost is €13.00, and may be purchased at dispensing machines at every station. You need to use two strips for each coloured zone on the map. If you are making several trips a day, the day ticket is a better option.

If you plan to explore Munich and see all the sights and tourist attractions, buy the Munich CityTourCard; this a valid for all public transportation services in Munich and a discount card for many tourist attractions like museums, sights, shopping or gastronomy. It is available in ten versions (single and group tickets) and with validity for one (only for the inner district), three days and four days.

Area Zone Period Single Group
Inner district (Innenraum) White 1 day €10.90 €17.90
Inner district (Innenraum) White 3 days €20.90 €30.90
Inner district (Innenraum) White 4 days €25.90 €39.90
Entire system (Gesamtnetz) White, green, yellow, red 3 days €32.90 €53.90
Entire system (Gesamtnetz) White, green, yellow, red 4 days €42.90 €69.90

A leaflet with information about the discount offers of the partners and a map of the city centre and a plan of the public transportation network are included. The ticket is available at ticket vending machines at all S-Bahn and U-Bahn stations and at some tram and bus stops. Furthermore it can be purchased at the MVG customer centre as well as in selected hotels and online.

All tickets, except for season tickets (weekly or longer) and tickets bought onboard buses and trams must be stamped to be valid; without a stamp the ticket is invalid and you can be fined €60. Stamping machines (Entwerter) are found at the entrance to the S-Bahn or U-Bahn platforms, and inside buses and trams (look for a small blue machine with a black "E" on yellow ground). In most other German cities, passengers can validate tickets on the train; however, this is not the case in Munich, so be sure to validate your ticket before boarding any U-Bahn or S-Bahn train.

Public transportation operates with limited service from 02:00 to 05:00. The U-Bahn does not operate at all during this time, and trams and some buses operate only in one hour intervals from Monday to Friday and on 30-minute intervals on the weekend. On Friday, Saturday and nights before public holidays, there is a single S-Bahn on each line between 02:30 and 03:00. So if you're staying out late, try to get the schedule of the so-called Nachttram (night tram) in advance or do not leave the place before 05:00 unless you want to take a taxi.

MVV-Companion, journey planner for public transport in Munich, to be used on iPhone, iPad and Android-Smartphones and for free.

If you plan to explore Munich and Bavaria via regional trains, consider getting a Bayern Ticket , which is good on all regional trains within Bavaria, all Munich MVV transportation, and trains to Salzburg for up to five people for only €43 a day (single travellers can purchase the Bayern Ticket 1 person for €23, every additional person up to 5 persons: €5). The Bayern Ticket is good on any weekday after 09:00 and all day on any weekend day.

If you travel on a weekend, exploring Munich and taking a regional Deutsche Bahn train to another city anywhere in Germany on the same day, consider getting a Deutsche Bahn Schönes–Wochenende Ticket . This ticket covers all DB regional train travel and all Munich S-Bahn travel for up to five people for a single weekend day. It costs €40 for the first person plus 4€ for every additional person up to five persons.

Schönes–Wochenende Tickets and Bayern Tickets are only valid on regional train services (red) but not on IntercityExpress and Inter/Eurocity trains (white). Additionally, both tickets are valid on trains run by the Bayerische Oberlandbahn (BOB) and Arriva–Länderbahn Express (ALEX).

By bike

Call-A-Bike bicycles.

With over 200 km (120 mi) of bikeways, one of the very best ways to explore the city is on a bicycle. Guided tours are available, or for the independent-minded, rentals and maps are available at Munich Central Station (Hauptbahnhof) and other areas of the city.

Bikes can also be rented by the Call-A-Bike system, which is run by Deutsche Bahn. You need to call a number listed on the bikes from your mobile phone and register with the website in order to use them. The service is convenient, as you just spot an available bike throughout the city and just leave it at your destination. However, this is not an economical alternative if you are planning many trips in a single day. In that case, it is better to get a day or multiday rental from one of the rental services located throughout central Munich.

You can also rent a bike from Mike`s Bike Tours at their shop close to Marienplatz. They also offer guided bicycle tours:

Munich is generally a bike-friendly city, with many designated bike lanes (especially along river Isar, in the parks and even in the city centre). The English Garden as a very big park is also best explored by bike. Rates of accidents involving bicycles are rising in Munich. Hence, the police enforces traffic rules for cyclists more rigorous, especially at the beginning of the bike season in spring. Fines range from €10 for driving without light during nighttime to €100 for ignoring red traffic lights. Drunk cycling can result in hefty fines and even in detention. Helmets are not required for cyclists, but are recommended.

By taxi

As everywhere in Germany, Munich taxi cabs can easily be recognized by their beige color and the yellow-black taxi sign on the roof. Taxis can be found at taxi stands throughout the city, at train stations and at the airport. It is also possible to flag down a taxi (if it is not occupied) or to call one of the many taxi companies of Munich. Prices are regulated by the city government. The basic fare is €3.30 with additional €1.70 per kilometer for up to 5 kilometers, €1.50 per kilometer for 5–10 km, and €1.40 per km for every additional kilometer above 10. Waiting time per hour is €24 and there are additional charges for pets (€0.60 per animal) and luggage (€0.60 per piece).

By car

It is generally a bad idea to explore Munich by car. Traffic is heavy especially during rush hour, and parking tends to be close to impossible. Moreover, many landmarks and areas of touristic interest are in the inner city, which is largely closed for car traffic. Close to the historic city centre, parking space is scarce and expensive.

Driving may be an option for visiting some of the attractions in suburban Munich like the Bavaria Film Studios or for making day trips to cities and lakes outside of Munich.

Munich has three ring-roads: the autobahn A 99, Mittlerer Ring (B 2R) urban expressway and Altstadtring, which can be used to avoid getting stuck in inner-city traffic. However, during rush hours these rings are often congested, too. In July and August when people from the rest of Germany, northern Europe and the Benelux countries travel to the beaches of the Adriatic Sea and back home (half of them towing a caravan) you're almost guaranteed to get into traffic jams around Munich.


Prices for parking on streets range from €1 to €2.50 per hour, usually from 08:00 to 23:00. There may be additional restrictions, e.g. for the maximum duration. Throughout the city centre there are "blue zones". Wherever you find blue lines on the ground, you can park your car for a maximum time of 2 hours (hourly rate €2.50). The meaning of other colours is as follows:

The best options are public parking decks which are widely available in the centre. However it can take some time to find a free parking spot. Parking garages are indicated with blue rectangular signs with a capital white "P". Usually a green sign indicates that there are free spots while a red sign indicates that the car park is full. The city has a car park routing system which shows you where you can find a parking slot. Rates are:

Outside the historic city centre (where the colour scheme isn't used), parking along the streets is mostly only allowed for residents with a special parking permit.


The police may tow your car away if it obstructs the traffic or endangers other people. Watch out for fire brigage access roads which are marked with small signs reading "Feuerwehrzufahrt". There is no stopping and standing, parking will result in immediate towing.

If your car has been towed away contact the next available police station. There is a central place where all towed cars will be brought to (Thomas-Hauser Straße 19; open 24/7; S2/S4 to station Berg am Laim, Bus 146 to Iltisstraße until stop Thomas-Hauser Straße, 5 min to walk from there). You need to show your passport/ID, drivers licence and registration document and you will have to pay a fine—expect around €150.

A constant harassment are the private towing companies that guard private parking spaces such as those of supermarkets. Their fines can easily double or triple the police's fines.


Munich Cathedral (Frauenkirche) and New City Hall (Neues Rathaus)

Munich offers visitors many sights and attractions. There is something for everyone, no matter if you are seeking arts and culture, shopping, fine dining, night life, sport events or Bavarian beer hall atmosphere. The listings in this section are just some highlights of things that you shouldn't miss, if you are visiting Munich. The complete listings are found on individual district pages.

Royal avenues and squares

The Alter Peter tower

Four grand royal avenues of the 19th century with magnificent architecture run through Munich's inner city.

Briennerstraße starts at the magnificent Odeonsplatz (where you can find Feldherrnhalle, Theatinerkirche and the Residence) on the northern fringe of Altstadt and runs from east to west past Wittelsbacherplatz with the statue of Maximilian I and Karolinenplatz, with a black obelisk built in 1833 by Leo von Klenze in honor of the Bavarian Army, to Königsplatz, designed with the Doric Propylaea, the Ionic Glyptothek and the Corinthian State Museum of Classical Art. The eastern section of Briennerstraße is lined with upscale shops, galleries, cafés and restaurants. It is dominated by neo-classical buildings such as the Alfons-Palais at Wittelsbacherplatz, which today serves as global headquarters of Siemens AG.

Ludwigstraße also starts at Odeonsplatz, but runs from south to north, through the district of Maxvorstadt, connecting the inner city with Schwabing. It is lined by buildings of Italian Renaissance designed by Leo von Klenze and Italian Neo-Romanesque architecture designed by Friedrich von Gärtner, e.g. St. Ludwig's Church and the main buildings of the University of Munich (LMU). Ludwigstraße ends at Siegestor, a triumphal arch crowned with a statue of Bavaria with a quadriga of lions, north of which it is named Leopoldstraße.

Maximilianstraße starts at Max-Joseph-Platz, where the Residence and the National Theater are located, and runs from west to east crossing the river Isar before ending at Maximilianeum, the Bavarian state parliament. The avenue is framed by mostly neo-Gothic buildings influenced by the English Perpendicular style. The western section of Maximilianstraße forms with Residenzstraße Munich's most upscale shopping area and is home to flagship stores of luxury labels, upscale retailers and one of Munich's most luxurious hotels, the Vier Jahreszeiten.

Prinzregentenstraße runs parallel to Maximilianstrasse beginning at Prinz-Carl-Palais. Several museums can be found along the avenue, such as Haus der Kunst, the Bavarian National Museum and Schackgalerie. The avenue crosses the Isar and circles the Friedensengel monument passing Villa Stuck. Prinzregentenstraße also forms a southern border of the English Garden, where you can watch surfers riding a permanent wave at the Eisbach creek.

Buildings and landmarks

Statue of Bavaria in Schwanthalerhöhe

The vast majority of landmarks commonly associated with Munich can be found within the bounds of Altstadt, and include the imposing Neues Rathaus (new Town Hall) with animated figurines, as well as the old one, the Frauenkirche cathedral whose twin, "salt and pepper shaker" towers are an unmistakable symbol of Munich, the royal palace of Residenz and many more historic buildings. The Maxvorstadt adds more magnificent buildings housing many of the museums the city is famous for. For more lavish palaces and gardens, take a trip out to Nymphenburg or Schleissheim.

As Munich has been a rich and large city for centuries, and it has been almost completely rebuilt after World War II, you will find historic buildings throughout the city, also in districts like Haidhausen and Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt. That said, as the city's regulations stipulate that no building can be taller than the Frauenkirche towers, and the amount of land available for any additional construction is limited, you will not find much contemporary architecture in the city, and most of the post-war buildings are quite unremarkable residential and office blocks. One exception would be the BMW complex in the North of the city, known for its unique shape.

Museums and galleries

Sculpture at the Glyptothek in Maxvorstadt

Bavaria's kings transformed Munich into Germany's art capital during the 19th century, and it is still home to world-class collections and museums. The Kunstareal in Maxvorstadt includes 16 museums, 40 galleries and 7 art schools. An equally impressive collection of museums is to be found in the very centre of the city. The renowned Deutsches Museum of science and technology is to be found further south in Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt, and there are interesting museums to be found also on the other bank of the Isar in Haidhausen. Another museum of global reputation is the impressive BMW Museum, documenting the history of Munich's famous car manufacturer, in the northern part of the city, where you will also find the Nymphenburg palace.

Most of Munich's museums are closed on Mondays, except for the Nyphemburg and Deutsches Museum — and also the Neue Pinakothek and Pinakothek der Moderne, which instead close on Tuesdays. The BMW Museum is also closed, but the adjacent BMW Welt, a state of the art BMW showroom is open for public visit on Monday. Hence, the best way to plan your itinerary is to visit the museums on days other than Monday and use Monday to explore the city. For many museums, Sunday will be the best day to visit since admission is only €1. This includes the Pinakotheken, Museum Brandhorst, the Bavarian National Museum and the Glyptothek as well as the Staatliche Antikensammlungen.


Englischer Garten

For a large city, Munich is relatively spread out and green, so you can enjoy its many parks and green areas, especially in the warmer months. The most known is the English Garden in the North of the city. Also of note are the Olympiapark at the site of the 1972 Olympic Games further northwest and the Munich Zoo, southeast of the centre.




Oktoberfest is the world's largest beer festival, lasting for 16 days and usually ending on the first Sunday in October. In 2015 the festival will run from 19 September until 4 October.

The first Oktoberfest took place on the 12 October 1810, to celebrate the marriage of Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen. All citizens of Munich were invited to a meadow (Wies'n) situated in front of the city tower, subsequently renamed the Theresienwiese in honor of the bride. In the early years of the fair, horse races were held, then as the event grew, included agricultural conventions, which still take place every fourth year. In 1896, businessmen working with the breweries in Munich built the first giant beer tents at Oktoberfest, and drinking has been the primary focus since.

Each of the major breweries presides over its own large tent filled with traditional musicians leading the crowd in well-known drinking chants, incredibly strong barmaids hoisting ten or more huge Maß (1-liter glass beer mugs that are heavy even when empty!), and a spate of drunken people all trying to get into the bathroom at once. In 2014, Oktoberfest hosted 6.3 million visitors who drank 6.4 million liters of beer and ate the equivalent of 112 oxen, 600,000 chickens, and untold thousands of sausages.

However, visiting the Oktoberfest can be much more stressful than the visit of similar festivals (Cannstatter Wasen, Wurstmarkt Bad Dürkheim, etc.), because the tents are overcrowded and there are doormen at the entrance ruling the procedure of coming in. Especially at weekends you should try to get in the tents before 10AM. During the week, most tents are open all day, however it is not easy to get a seat if you are many people and as a general rule, you won't get served if you haven't got a seat. It is not recommended to leave the tent if you want to get in it later the day. So you have to decide early in the morning if you want to go in a certain tent or you want to enjoy the rides like the coaster with 5 loops.

Some tents, such as the Hofbräu Festzelt have a standing area that do not require seating; as such, you can sometimes get into this tent later than with other ones. If the weather is nice, you can enjoy your beer any time at the open air tables besides the beer tents. You won't experience the typical beer tent atmosphere with Bavarian oompah music though.

Some issues to take note of when planning your visit to the Oktoberfest:

  1. Accommodation will be sold out fast during the weekends and be pretty hard to find during the week. Hotel prices can easily double or triple during Oktoberfest.
  2. Smoking is forbidden within the tents but some tents feature designated, secluded outside smoking areas. Think twice if you want to go out for smoking since you may not get in again.
  3. The main underground station "Theresienwiese" (lines U4 and U5) is very crowded and is sometimes closed to avoid congestion. An alternative is the station "Goetheplatz" (lines U3 and U6). It's crowded too, but you will still have some air to breathe there. Just follow the crowd when you get out of the station.
  4. In most tents the bar closes at 10:30pm while the tent closes at 11:30pm. You should finish your beer before then since the security will ruthlessly clear the area.
  5. Tents open at 10am (9am on weekends). The first day is tapping day (German "Anstich"). There is no beer served before noon and since the tents will surely be crowded by then, it will take some time until everyone is served.
  6. If you are with small children, try to avoid the weekends. Every Tuesday from 12 to 6pm is family day with discounts on many rides.
Maypole in Munich

Other festivals

Theatre, opera, and music

Munich is a very culturally active city, and you will find many theatres showing a wide variety of performances. You will find most of them in the Altstadt, Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt and Maxvorstadt. While you may not find many plays in languages other than German, the many opera, ballet and musical shows can be enjoyed regardless of your language knowledge.

If you want to see a movie, keep in mind that foreign movies are normally dubbed with German voices. Adverts will generally indicate if the movie will be shown in its original version (i.e., no overdubbing) with the abbreviations OF (Original version), OmU (Original with German subtitles), and OmeU (original with English subtitles). In the movie theatre right next to subway station Stiglmaierplatz, named "Cinema", they play all movies in the original language. Other options are the "Museums Lichtspiele" or the big Multiplex cinema "Mathäser" at Stachus, which usually show 1-2 movies in their original version.


Urban Surfing

Football is almost a religion and from August to May live games of FC Bayern Munich and TSV 1860 Munich at Allianz Arena can be seen.



Universities in Munich

Munich is a leading centre for science and research, with a long list of Nobel laureates from Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen in 1901 to Theodor Hänsch in 2005. It hosts two world-class research universities, several colleges and the headquarters, and research facilities for both the Max-Planck and the Fraunhofer Societies. Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) is considered one of Germany's best universities, and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) is internationally known for its science and engineering.



Munich is one of the best places to go shopping in Germany. The mixture of wealthy locals & tourists lead to a huge varierty of shops and styles. Opening times in Germany are regulated by the federal state law. so most shops close by 20:00, some as early as 18:00, and most are closed all day on Sundays (exceptions before christmas and during big trade fairs). Please see the district articles for actual shop names, here is a list of the highest shop concentrations:


For fresh food markets, visit the Viktualienmarkt in the Altstadt or the Elisabethmarkt in Schwabing.

Christmas Markets

Christmas market Chinesischer Turm

There are many of these Christkindlmärkte, or Christmas fairs , including the large Tollwood, but also smaller markets, where you can buy Christmas biscuits (Lebkuchen), souvenirs and the typical Glühwein (hot mulled wine).

Seasonal and Flea Markets

Throughout the city regular markets are well worth the visit when they are taking place and a Saturday morning must when the sun is shining! The flea markets in Munich can be exceptional in that they are generally genuine private citizens selling their unwanted belongings with a minimum of commercial interest. In addition to the weekly offerings, you'll find several neighborhood 'courtyard fleamarkets' events in the summer months.


Traditional Bavarian food

Visitors can count themselves lucky since Munich is home to everything quintessentially Bavarian. Munich is specifically well known for Weißwurst, a breakfast sausage that is traditionally eaten as a late breakfast along with a Weissbier ('white beer', which outside Bavaria usually goes by the more descriptive name Weizenbier, 'wheat beer') and available in restaurants until noon (and not a second later!). Weißwurst are prepared in hot but non-boiling water for about ten minutes and served with a brown, grainy and sweet mustard. If you are able to just enjoy one meal in Munich you should try Schweinsbraten (roasted pork) or Schweinshaxe (roasted pig's knuckle).

Beer gardens typically serve Bavarian food. Having dinner in a beer garden is a great opportunity to get a beer garden and a culinary experience at once. If you only fancy a snack, almost every butcher sells Leberkässemmeln, a white roll filled with a thick warm slice of "Leberkäse" — which, despite its name, contains absolutely no liver nor cheese, but consists of a mixture of veal, pork, spices and a hint of lemon zest baked in an open pan and traditionally served with a sweet and grainy mustard. This tends to be very cheap (around € 2), quite delicious, and filling.

Don't miss enjoying some of the truly marvellous Bavarian/Austrian style cakes and tortes by the slice in any of the countless bakeries and cafés. Regardless of where you enjoy them, they are all traditionally made with fine quality all natural ingredients. The same applies for the amazing range of bread which can be bought at any bakery. Not to be missed as a snack are the soft pretzels ("Brezn").

Due to the large influx of international business travellers & tourists, all international cuisines (from Sushi to Pizza) are available. There is a strong presence of Italian restaurants because so many Italians visit Munich.

Despite all the local dishes which are meat based, it is possible to get vegetarian food in some of the main restaurants and indeed there are some Vegetarian and Vegan restaurants in Munich.

Like in many other German cities, an interesting option for a quick bite is a visit to one of the local bakeries, who serve both breads and pastries as well as sandwiches, salads and sometimes even have broader offerings including soups or non-pastry desserts. One Munich-only chain of bakeries is Rischart.

Munich also has numerous fresh markets, which can be a tasty, expedient and inexpensive alternatives to restaurants (see the Buy section for market listings). There are also numerous small stands throughout the pedestrian area selling fresh fruit, snacks, ice cream in spring and summer and chestnuts during fall and winter.


The Hofbräuhaus is the liquid symbol of Munich

If you happen to be unfortunate enough to miss Oktoberfest, you can live through a sanitized, safer version at any of Munich's many beer gardens. The Hofbräuhaus may be the most famous beer hall. There are countless beer gardens scattered around the city. For those competent beer drinkers, try Starkbierfest after Lent lasting till before Easter. The beer is darker and stronger than normal (even than Oktoberfest beer).

The coffee culture is also very strong, especially during the summer months, but is often overlooked by most visitors.

Beer gardens and beer halls

Usually located under large chestnut trees (Kastanienbäume) for shade. Often there are rows of fold-away tables and self-service. If you see tablecloths on some tables there is normally service only there. In a traditional Bavarian beer garden, you are allowed to bring your food along with you. Only beverages (usually one litre mugs of local beer or Radler which is a half and half mix of beer and lemonade) are to be bought at the beer garden. Many locals still cling to this custom, though food is available as well. Try Riesenbrezn (big pretzels) and Steckerlfisch (cured fish). Beer gardens are usually visited by a mixed crowd of people (locals, tourists, families, younger, elderly, straight, gay etc.) which the special atmosphere of a beer garden arises from; though people normally don't go alone there. If you don't manage to find a free table, don't hesitate to ask if you may join someone. No local would refuse this request. Beer gardens are family friendly, with children's play areas on site. Well-behaved dogs are welcome, on leash.

Clubs and discos

Nightlife in Munich

You have to be at least 18 years old to get into most clubs and discos in Munich. Always have your passport or ID card with you, and a driver's licence may be okay, too. Some clubs have "Ü30-Parties", where you should be over 30 to get in, but usually you have no problems if you are over 25. In most places, it is ok to wear jeans and sneakers. Haidhausen is the popular nightlife district being home to Munich "Kultfabrik" and "Optimolwerk" clubbing neighborhoods. More clubs can also be found around Gärtnerplatz and Glockenbachviertel. Locations change so best to check on the internet for upcoming events (e.g. is one of the nightlife guides).


Porter in front of Hotel Bayerischer Hof

Munich abounds with accommodation for every type of traveler. The area directly around the Hauptbahnhof (central station) has numerous youth hostels, and upscale hotels like Le Meridien and Sofitel. Schillerstraße just a hundred meters away has many small hotels too; the street looks fine in the day, but the strip bars and cabarets become much more visible at night.

There are also plenty of hotels and youth hostels in other districts of Munich particularly Schwabing and the Ostbahnhof area. Be aware that prices can vary significantly. Usually you have to pay higher prices during the summer months. Finding affordable accommodation might be difficult when there are trade fairs and especially during the 2 weeks of the Oktoberfest.

If you look for something special, then the luxurious hotels in the city centre are a treat.

Public transport is very fast and good, so also consider staying in surrounding areas instead of in the city centre. There are four camping sites in the city of Munich with many more out of the city. Please see district articles.

Stay safe

Munich is a very safe city for its residents and travelers: it is one of the safest German cities overall and violent crime is extremely rare. Take the usual precautions (such as not leaving your camera unattended) and you will most likely not encounter any crime at all.

Munich is an open-minded, international city with a large number of immigrants and expatriates living in the city (25% of residents have a migration background), so you are very unlikely to encounter any problems because you are a foreigner. Gay and lesbian travelers should not experience any issues: Munich has a large gay and lesbian community and the Rosa Liste, a gay rights party, has been part of the city government since 1996.

The main safety hazard in Munich is the local beer drinking culture in combination with the high accessibility of alcohol. Think twice before trying to keep up with the locals or looking for your maximum level of alcohol intoxication - being drunk will sharply raise your chances of injuring yourself. Another issue for people not used to driving or walking on ice or snow, are wintry road and sidewalk conditions.

Stay healthy

Klinikum Rechts der Isar

The emergency telephone number in Munich is 112 (like everywhere in the EU), which will connect you to emergency medical services, police, or fire brigade. The emergency telephone number 110 (Germany only) will connect you directly to the police. All major hospitals have emergency rooms (Notaufnahme) that offer 24/7 medical assistance not only to patients brought in by ambulance but to walk-in customers as well. Waiting time might be lengthy if you are not considered an emergency case.


When using escalators, people in Munich usually stand on the right side and use the left side to walk up. When waiting for a subway train, first let people get off the train, then enter. Drinking alcohol on public transport has been banned, although this new rule has been hardly enforced so far. Littering and other forms of environmental pollution are highly frowned upon.


Munich has an active press and high competition leads to quality magazines. The newspaper Süddeutsche is one of the leading political and cultural institutions of Germany.


Go next

The Bayern-Ticket is an amazingly cheap way to do day trips from Munich. With this ticket you can travel anywhere in Bavaria on the regional trains as well as all regional buses, subway, tram and S-Bahn. The ticket is valid all day in weekends and holidays, and from 09:00 on weekdays. It is valid up to Salzburg and it also covers the Austrian track that connects Kempten, Reutte and Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It costs €23 for one person and €5 for every additional person for a party up to five. Make sure you buy it from the machines as there is a €2 surcharge if you buy it from the ticket office.

Another option is the Schönes-Wochenende Ticket, which is valid everywhere in Germany, but it is only valid on weekends. It costs €42 for a group of up to five and is restricted to regional trains.

There is also the Bayern-Böhmen Ticket. The ticket is valid everywhere in Bavaria and the Bohemia region of the neighboring Czech Republic. It costs €25 for singles, €29.50 for two people and €43 for a group of five. It is also restricted to regional trains.

Neuschwanstein Castle located two hours south of Munich.
Ulm Minster

Routes through Munich

Stuttgart Augsburg  W  E  Rosenheim Salzburg
Nuremberg Ingolstadt  N  S  END
END  W  E  Munich Airport Landshut
END  N  S  Junction Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Lindau Memmingen  W  E  END

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