Country: Germany
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Peak Season: June-October, December-January
Shoulder Season: March-May
Median Temperature: 8.30 C / 46.94 F
Main Languages: German, English
Primary Modes of Transportation: U-bahn, S-bahn, tram, bus, taxi
Recommended Duration of Stay: 3 days
Recommended Pocket Money: $220.00/day
Tourist Passes: Munich Welcome Card
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Munich is the capital of Germany’s idyllic state, Bavaria. It’s an ideal tourist destination in almost any month, especially during October for Oktoberfest and January, when Alpine ski trips draw exhilarated attention from tourists. The slipstreaming of post-modernist architecture into the quaint, predominant baroque and gothic urban landscape makes being there feel like living both in the past and future, with the present halfway in between. Berlin contains many historic landmarks, many of which cover vast territory. A few buildings razed in WW2 have also been restored to near-pristine condition.

Perhaps Oktoberfest is the best festival Munich is known for. With millions in attendance every year, Oktoberfest has sprung out of Germany into the mugs and steins of many beer-loving countries, mainly the United States and Canada, where it further propelled Munich popularity – albeit some often misinformed that the festival was founded in these two countries—of being a beer guzzler’s paradise. Admission is free on almost every pub during Oktoberfest, but you’ll have to shell out money to get drenched in beer while gobbling on those large pretzels. Keep your valuables in check too.

Packing List

  • Good walking shoes, a trusty umbrella and seasonal clothing; Bavarians aren’t nosy with how other looks, but wearing mismatching apparel (rubber shoes + formal wear) will draw looks and jeers
  • Essential medication, sunscreen, moisturizer and ibuprofen for beer binges; almost everything (especially sweets) are sold here, so pack light on commodities and reduce luggage space
  • Skiing and hiking equipment and a camping bag; there are a lot of rentable gear shops here, but considering the prices in Munich, you’d be better off bringing your own
  • A decent camera, lots of film/memory and plenty of batteries; note that there will be no photography kiosks in sight when you leave for the Alps
  • Portable media players (pre-loaded with audio/video, of course), some good books and a trusty laptop; don’t bother watching the TV channels if you don’t understand German

Things to Do

  • Exploring the English Garden, known for pioneering the unrestrained, picturesque look of public parks we see today; it is famous for its grottoes, stone bridges, temples and other attractive edifices
  • Congregating at Marienplatz, the city square since the late 12th century; the square still houses plenty of medieval buildings and acts as a shopping, entertainment, dining and transportation hub
  • Touring inside the Alliance Arena, resembling a doughnut from an aerial view; it was the venue of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, having a 65,000-seating capacity and an estimated cost of € 340 million
  • Viewing exhibitions at the Deutsches Museum, the world’s largest science and tech museum; it receives roughly 1.5 million visitors each year and currently has 40 categorical exhibits
  • Witnessing Baroque beauty at Nymphenburg Palace, the Bavarian monarchs’ summer retreat; its central Great Hall is lavish with rococo design while its park is faithful to Baroque elements

DON'T

  • Even attempt to bring up the city’s Nazi past, especially in a humorous fashion; Bavarians are easily offended, and it might cost you a tooth and limb if you do a Nazi salute in a public space
  • Make fun of religion or the concept of “heaven”; sure, atheists and agnostics account for half of the population, but they are far from the westernized kind that make a travesty of people’s faiths
  • Order a beer stein if you can’t finish it; you’ll find that the rest of world uses “miniature” mugs compared to Munich’s; also, set down your glass after a toast before drinking
  • Arrive late at any scheduled meeting or occasion; Bavarians take punctuality and etiquette seriously and address people (even close friends), by academic title
  • “Check out” the nude sunbathers at the Englischer Garten or at any park, for that matter; don’t stare at the dashingly-dressed gay folks either—they might be affiliated to a mafia or gang