Munich is one of my favourite German cities, and whilst it’s famous for Oktoberfest and beer, there is so much to it than just that. Whilst Munich was heavily bombed during World War 2, it has been beautifully rebuilt and still has a lovely old town centre, epic palaces on the doorstep and a rich cultural history.
1. Nymphenburg Palace
Just a short train ride outside of the city centre lies an amazing baroque palace – one of the biggest royal residences in Europe. It was the summer residence of the former Bavarian rulers. I really loved the gardens, and the inside is just stunning.
2. Old Town and Marienplatz
This area has been the central square in Munich since 1158 and is home to the very impressive Town Hall (Rathaus), Frauenkirche, and Mary’s Column. Mary’s Column was built to celebrate the end of Swedish occupation during the 30 year’s war. This area is also really nice to walk around and explore; there’s good shopping, food and plenty of beer all around.
3. The Olympic Park
Munich hosted the Olympics in 1972 and the stadium and park are still actively used today, which is great to see. You can walk around the stadium and there are a few boards to read telling the story of the Olympics. The swimming pool where Mark Spitz won his 7 gold medals is still also in use.
You’re also able to walk up the Olympic tower which has great views out across Munich. It’s also worth visiting the memorial to the victims of the Munich massacre, victims from Israel who were killed during the Olympics by Black September, a Palestinian militant organisation.
4. Third Reich Tour and Documentation Centre
Munich is known as the ‘capital of the Nazi movement’. You can learn all about it on a Third Reich tour, including the Hofbrauhaus where the Nazi Party was formed, the beer halls where the brown shirts would meet, the buildings from which Hitler delivered his speeches and the memorials to the opposers of the regime. Munich is also the site of the failed Munich Putsch, where Hitler first tried to gain control over the Weimar government. There is also a documentation centre which focuses on Munich’s role in the Third Reich, tells the story of the rise and fall of National Socialism, and honours its victims
5. Munich Residenz
This is the former residence of the Bavarian dukes and kings, and seat of the government. It houses the royal collections and is amazing to walk around. We easily spent 2 hours here, and there’s even a full theatre inside!
6. The Beer halls
So much fun. Just sit at a table, order some beers and some sausage or strudel if you’re hungry, and pass a few hours in the great environment these communal areas create. The most famous beer house is Hofbrauhaus, which dates back to the 1500s!!! It also services delicious traditional German food and there are even oompah bands!