Beer halls, local lager, and traditional garb are integral to this German city’s character — not only during its annual Oktoberfest but year-round. Look beyond the lederhosen and dirndl skirts and you'll discover the charming capital of Bavaria's world-class museums, compelling landmarks, and an expansive public park.
What We Love
Englischer Garten: Larger than Hyde Park in London, this manicured oasis is laid out in the style of an English country park. The sprawling green zone encompasses 48 miles of biking or jogging paths, two beer gardens, a Chinese pagoda, a Japanese teahouse, and even a man-made current for urban surfers.
Gothic Gargoyles: Have a thing for mythic creatures? Head to Marienplatz and crane your neck upward to spy a host of the brazen beasts on the neo-Gothic “Neues Rathaus” (New Town Hall).
Best Known For
Beer and Oktoberfest: Able to carry six or more extra-large steins of the frothy brew at a time, Munich’s beer hall maidens are the stuff of legend. Add oompah music, giant pretzels, and assorted wursts and schnitzels, and it’s Oktoberfest for a few hours on any given day.
Glockenspiel: Located on the facade of the Neues Rathaus, the Glockenspiel features carved figurines that circle and twirl for nearly 12 minutes several times a day (March through October). The circa-1908 wooden dolls and their dances depict regional stories set to bells.
Christmas Market: This is one of Europe's best. A pre-holiday visit to Munich will give you an opportunity to experience it.
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Who It's Best For
Bavarian Fans: If you like your music accordion heavy, your beer frothy fresh and locally brewed, and your taxi to be a Mercedes or BMW sedan, Munich will make you happy.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Same Time, Next Cheers: Going to Oktoberfest may seem like a good idea in concept, but it’s more of an excuse for young, mostly male, often drunk tourists to run amok.
Donna Heiderstadt is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Coastal Living and Islands.