Tall tankards and high-tech cars, edgy art and Lederhosen – Munich is a city where traditional and modern sit side by side like few places on earth.
Mine's a Mass
Beer has been part of Munich life for at least seven centuries and the brewing tradition is very much alive and kicking today. Nowhere else in Europe has a beer tradition quite like the Bavarian capital with six mammoth breweries pumping out world-class suds to hundreds of beer gardens and beer halls. And the climax to the Munich beer year is, of course, the famous Oktoberfest, attended by over six million people. Germany’s ‘purity law’ guarantees there’s nothing in your Mass (1L tankard) that shouldn’t be, so if you can lift the thing – ‘Prost!’ (Cheers!)
Teutonic Treasure Trove
Munich has long been known as the ‘city of art and beer’, so before you head off to the pub, take some time to savour the local art scene. The Kunstareal, Munich’s art quarter, is the place to start, with four major venues displaying everything from Dutch masters to 1960s design. The city also boasts some world-class museums focusing on topics as diverse as Oktoberfest, porcelain and BMW cars. And if that weren't enough, there are still royal palaces to explore – the legacy of 700 years of rule by a single family, the Wittelsbachs.
Munich’s various quirks, the things that make the city the place it is, might be what stick in the memory most. Whether it be the inebriated oompah band, that special knife for eating monster radishes, the Bavarians outrageous dialect, the mad hat traditions of the Oktoberfest or the surfers on the Eisbach wave – you’re sure to discover some freakish aspect of Munich life every day. And then there is the local garb – nowhere else in central Europe do the locals don their traditional costume – the famous Lederhosen and Dirndl – as readily as the Münchners, so why not join them?