Munich – A Friendly and Exciting City
How can anyone resist the charms of a city whose motto is “Munich likes you” (München mag dich)? Beautiful and inviting, Munich is the third largest city in Germany and the capital of the Free State of Bavaria. Situated on the Isar River, it always ranks high on all lists of best cities to live in. It is recognized as an important publishing and financial center, and it has a lot to show to its many visitors every year.
Probably the best place to start your tour is the vast Marienplatz (Mary’s Square), a vast square situated at the heart of the city. Dating back to the Middle Ages, the square got its name from Mariensäule, the Marian column (with a golden Virgin Marystatue on its top) thatevokes the end of Swedish occupation. The square holds both the Old and the New City Hall, but the latter is a little more exciting due to the presence of a century old carillon called Glockenspiel. Situated up in the tower, the mechanism comprises 32 life-size moving dolls that regularly put on shows inspired by the rich Bavarian history.
Another must-see in Munich is the MünchnerResidenz (Munich Residence), situated at the edge of the old town. With ten beautiful gardens and courtyards, the impressive construction used to be the royal home of Bavarian monarchs. Its first buildings were erected in 1385, which makes it a very appropriate place for a museum. Actually, there are several museums in the complex, totaling an impressive 130 rooms.
Frauenkirche (The Cathedral of our Blessed Lady)is a truly remarkable building that every new tourist in Munich must see. It is the city’s largest church, with a beautiful late-Gothic architecture and two tall towers that shape the skyline. One of the towers is open to public, meaning that you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to climb all its stairs and reach the top: breathtaking views will fully reward the effort. Built in the 15th century, the huge cathedral can hold as many as 20,000 people!
If you are here for some shopping, then you must take time to discover the FünfHöfe (Five Courts) shopping center with its cafes, bistros, shops, and impressive displays of modern art and architecture. Also a prime shopping area is the Theatinerstrasse, but the most exclusive of all is the Maximilianstrasse, which was planned by King Maximilian II, and where fashion addicts can find couture clothes and accessories.
Towards the end of your vacation, when all you want is to relax and unwind, instead of staying in your cozy hotel room all day, choose to visit the city’s largest park, known as EnglischerGarten (The English Garden). Measuring 900 acres, it is larger than New York’s Central Park, and it even features a man-made river called Eisbach,with artificial surf waves. Explore the wooden paths, discover the traditional beer gardens, and if you feel relaxed enough, go (legally) nude and get a nice tan by the river.
- There are two best seasons to come here: in winter for cultural events, in summer for the English Garden.
- Art lovers will definitely want to visit the StädtischeGalerie, which holds an amazing collection of Expressionist works.
- Noteworthy festivals include the Christkindlmarkt (Christmas market), the Fasching (Carnival Season), and the famous Oktoberfest.
- Foods to try: Pretzels, Weisswürste (vewal sausages), beef cabbage, and beer.
- Flawless luxury accommodation: Mandarin Oriental Munich, Muenchen Palace Hotel, and Platzl Hotel.