March 15-18, 2010
About Munich:Munich is the capital city of Bavaria, Germany. It is located on the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps. Munich is the third largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg. There are approximately 1.35 million people living within city limits, while the Munich Metropolitan Area (including the urban areas of Augsburg, Ingolstadt, Rosenheim and Landshut) is home to over 5 million people.
The city's motto is "München mag Dich" (Munich Loves You). Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" (Cosmopolitan city with a heart). Its native name, München, is derived from the Old German word Mönche, meaning "Monks". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city, hence the monk depicted on the city's coat of arms. Black and gold—the colours of the Holy Roman Empire—have been the city's official colours since the time of Ludwig the Bavarian.
The Munich agglomeration sprawls across the plain of the Alpine foothills comprising about 2.6 million habitants. Several smaller traditional Bavarian towns and cities like Dachau, Freising, Erding, Starnberg, Landshut and Moosburg are today part of the Greater Munich Region, formed by Munich and the surrounding districts, making up the Munich Metropolitan Region, which has a population of about 4.5 million people.
Culinary Specials:The Weißwürste ('white sausages') are a Munich speciality. Traditionally eaten only before 12:00 noon - a tradition dating to a time before refrigerators - these morsels are often served with sweet mustard and freshly baked pretzels. Leberkäs, Bavarian baked sausage loaf, often served with potato salad, is another delicacy of the region. The most famous soup might be the Leberknödel Soup. Leberknödel is a bread dumpling seasoned with liver and onions.
Schweinsbraten (pot roasted pork) with Knödel (dumplings made from potatoes and/or white bread) and Kraut (cabbage) or a Schweinshaxe (pork knuckle) are served as lunch or dinner. Beuscherl, a plate of lung, heart and spleen is also served with dumplings.
Popular as dessert is the Apfelstrudel (apple) strudel with vanilla sauce, the Millirahmstrudel a cream cheese strudel, Dampfnudeln (yeast dumplings served with custard) or Auszogene, a fried pastry shaped like a large donut but without a hole. And there is also the famous Prinzregententorte created in honour of the prince regent Luitpold.
Some specialities are typical cold dishes served in beergardens: Obatzda is a Bavarian cheese delicacy, a savoury blend of smashed mellow camembert prepared with cream cheese, cut onions and spicy paprika (and sometimes some butter). It's often served in the beergardens as well as Radi, white radish cut in thin slices and salted, and Münchner Wurstsalat, Munich's famous sausage salad with thinly sliced Knackwurst marinated in vinegar and oil with onions on a bed of lettuce. Popular grilled meals include Steckerlfisch which is a local fish, such as trout or whitefish, speared on a wooden stick, grilled and smoked on charcoal—the typical feature is the crispy skin. Another classic is A hoibs Hendl (half a grilled chicken). A Maß is a litre of beer, a Radler consists of half beer and half lemonade.
Weather:The average high in Munich for March is 47f / 8c and the average low is 32f / 0c. Average precipitation for the month is 1.90 in / 48.3 mm.
Things to See:BMW Museum — For a BMW enthusiast, this museum is a must see on your itinerary.
Museum Brandhorst — Most recent addition to Munich's museum district; a collection of modern and contemporary art (paintings, sculptures and installations) by Udo and Anette Brandhorst.
City Museum of Munich — Offers a fascinating insight into the diverse history of Munich. Houses eye-opening displays of war torn Munich as well as an excellent musical instruments museum and puppetry museum (both of which stand as exemplary collections on their own!). Seasonal exhibitions are also usually worthwhile.
Deutsches Museum, located in Haidhausen. The Deutsches Museum is quite probably the largest technical museum in the world. It has a hands-on, interactive section for natural science, engineering, construction, etc. as well as an impressive collection of full-scale aerospace vehicles. Plan lots of time if you want to try and see everything, even the full eight open hours of the day is barely enough to even get around to all the exhibits, much less spend a significant amount of time in them. There is also a major transportation exhibition branch located near Theresienhöhe (above the Oktoberfest grounds), and another one housing the extensive airplane collection in Oberschleißheim near Schloss Schleißheim.
German Theatre Museum — Founded around 100 years old, the German Theatre Museum is full of memorabilia and offers an insight into the development of German Theatre.
Glyptothek — Antique Grecian sculpture collection housed in an impressive classical Greek building. Certainly worth a visit in the center of the museum district.
Haus der Kunst — An exhibition hall that flaunts its National Socialist architectural design, presents ever-changing graphic arts exhibitions.
Lenbach House — A gallery exhibiting numerous works of the Blauer Reiter school of German expressionist art (Kandinsky, Macke, Mark). Highly recommended.
National Museum of Egyptian Art] — In the Royal Residence.
National Bavarian Museum — One of the most important cultural history museums in Europe, housing a large collection of European artifacts from the Middle Ages until early 20th century. There's a wide range of important antiques here, from medieval armor to pottery, from furniture to porcelain, and seasonally displaying the world's largest collection of nativity scene sets.
Jewish Museum — Newly opened museum at St. Jakobsplatz with one permanent exhibition which illuminates aspects of Jewish history and culture in Munich, and a range of changing exhibitions. The Viktualienmarkt is Munich's most popular market for fresh food and delicatessen. A very old feature of Munich's Fasching (carnival) is the dance of the Marktfrauen (market women) of the Viktualienmarkt in comical costumes.
Pinakotheken — These are three very impressive art museums. The Alte Pinakothek features 15-18th century religious paintings, the Neue Pinakothek 19-20th century Impressionist and Expressionist art and the Pinakothek der Moderne has 20th century paintings, modern art, design and architecture sections.
Schack Gallery — A private collection of 19th Century art.
The Treasury in the Munich Residenz — A stunning collection of Bavarian Royal jewels, furniture and art.
Villa Stuck — A collection of Jugendstil art primarily by Franz von Stuck. Interesting seasonal exhibitions as well, all located in a well maintained historical mansion once owned by the artist including period furniture.
Statue of the Bavaria, Theresienhöhe 16 (U4 or U5 to Theresienwiese), +49-89-290671. A nearly 20 m high statue, standing on the west border of Theriesienwiese next to the Hall of Fame. There is a small viewing platform inside her head. €3.00/€2.00.
Englischer Garten located in Schwabing. Entry is free, and it is a wonderful place to relax. Munich's second-biggest beer garden is located here and it is a nice place to stay and talk to the locals. Just drive to "Münchner Freiheit" or "Ostbahnhof" by S- or U-Bahn and take bus number 54 to "Chinesischer Turm".
Riemer Park was built from the area of the 2005 German Garden Festival (BuGa 2005). This huge park with a lake remains a top recreation spot. On a hot day take U2 to Messestadt West and don't forget your swimsuit!
Hirschgarten located in Neuhausen— Enjoy a drink amongst deer at Munich's biggest beer garden. With a capacity for over 8000, you only need to find out who is buying the drinks!
Tierpark Hellabrun (The Munich Zoo) is in Thalkirchen— Even if you're not a zoo enthusiast, there is plenty to keep you interested at one of the world's largest zoos. See animals roaming in their natural habitats, take the little ones to the childrens zoo, and look up above in the large aviary. You can visit the zoo daily 8AM to 6PM (in winter 9AM-5PM); admission is 9€ ($11) for adults, 6€ ($7.20) for students and seniors, 4.50€ ($5.40) for children ages 4 to 14, and free for children 3 and under. To reach the park, you can take bus no. 52, leaving the Marienplatz, or U-Bahn U3 to Thalkirchen.
Schloss Nymphenburg is in Neuhausen & Nymphenburg. Baroque palace that was the summer residence of the rulers of Bavaria. Also the 8,000-seat Hirschgarten beer garden is just around the corner.
Residenz is in the City Center, near to Marienplatz. Built in 1385, the Residenz was originally a small moated castle, and was gradually expanded by the Wittelsbach rulers who used it until 1918 as their residence and seat of government.
Schloss Schleißheim — Not really in Munich, but you can take the S1 S-Bahn to Oberschleißheim to get there. A jewel of Baroque architechture. Built during the reign of Elector Max Emanuel, it was intended as a Royal residence, though the Elector himself was forced into exile and never lived here. Building work begun in 1701 by Zuccalli and continued between 1719-26 by Joseph Effner the Younger. French architectural features are evident in the facade and the most impressive rooms are the Große Saal, the Viktoriensaal and the Große Galerie. Worth noting is a terrific 980-seat beer garden, Schlosswirtschaft Oberschleissheim, literally on the palace grounds.
Shopping & Markets:Maximilianstrasse / Residenzstrasse / Theatinerstrass — These streets around the Opera (Nationaltheater) in the city center are the place to go if you are looking for high end luxury goods. All of the usual international suspects and some local designers are present. A few art galleries are left despite the high rents.
Kaufingerstrasse / Neuhauserstrasse — This pedestrian zone stretches from Karlsplatz/Stachus to Marienplatz and is the primary shopping zone for mid-priced goods. Numerous department stores, chain and a few remaining independent boutiques line the corridor. The side streets are less crowded and offer some less homogenized shopping. Plenty of restaurants, open air cafes and beer gardens offer the weary tourist a rest. Foot traffic is amongst of the highest of any shopping zone worldwide. Warning: during the summer and on Saturdays, this area will be jam packed with locals and tourists alike and can be unpleasantly crowded.
Shopping Centers — For a collection of shops under one roof, go to the shopping centres PEP (U-Bahn stop: Neuperlach Zentrum, U5), OEZ (U-bahn stop Olympia-Einkaufszentrum, U1 (also U3 starting from autumn 2007)) or Riem Arkaden (U-Bahn stop Messestadt Ost, U2). Hohenzollernstr — This street has a collection of clothes shops, such as: Mazel, Vero Moda and especially during the summer in the months approaching the Oktoberfest, numerous shops selling comparatively cheap traditional German clothing (Lederhos'n and Dirnd'l). You can reach it by getting out at the U2/U8 stop Hohenzollernstr and then walking in the direction of Münchner Freiheit (the locals will be able to tell you which direction that is,) or by going one stop on the 53 bus going towards Münchner Freiheit (that's the final stop, displayed on the front of the bus). From then on continue going in that direction, until you start seeing the shops. You can walk down there in about 15 minutes, and that then brings you to the next shopping zone.
Leopoldstr — This busy boulevard can be reached by the U-bahn U6 or U3 at the stops Münchner Freiheit, Giselastraße or Universität, and has chain stores such as The Body Shop, fast food joints, inexpensive restaurants, cinemas, sidewalk cafes and for the truly adventurous coffee shops, such as Starbucks. In the side streets you can find a wide selection of boutiques and lesser known local designers. On warm summer evenings along the sidewalks dozens of local artists will be showing and selling their works.
Viktualienmarkt — Famous market in the city centre, where you will find any imaginable sort of fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, spices, and so on. Also plenty of places to get a quick bite to eat as well as it's own little biergarten when the weather's warm enough.
Elisabethmarkt — A smaller and less touristy (i.e. cheaper) market, it has cute stalls, a good selection of fruits, vegetables and delicacies, a quaint beergarten seasonally and an original feel. It is located at the tram stop Elisabethplatz of the tram 27. This is a good starting point to explore the less commercial parts of Schwabing, there are quite a few interesting boutiques and designers on Elisabethstrasse between Elisabethplatz and Leopoldstrasse.