Munich (German: München, Bavarian: Minga)  is the capital city of Bavaria. Within the city limits, Munich has a population of more than 1.4 million, making it the third most populous city in Germany. Greater Munich including its suburbs has a population of 2.6 million. The Munich metropolitan region which extends to cities like Augsburg or Ingolstadt had a population of more than 5.6 million in 2008.
Munich, located at the river Isar in the south of Bavaria, is famous for its beautiful architecture, fine culture, and the annual Oktoberfest beer celebration. Munich's cultural scene is second to none in Germany, with the museums even considered by some to outrank Berlin in quality. Many travelers to Munich are absolutely stunned by the quality of the architecture. Although it was heavily damaged by allied bombing during World War II, many of its historic buildings have been rebuilt and the city center appears mostly as it did in the late 1800s including its largest church, the Frauenkirche, and the famous city hall (Neues Rathaus).
Munich is also a major international center of business, engineering and research exemplified by the presence of two research universities, several multinational companies and worldclass technology and science museums like the Deutsches Museum and BMW Museum.
The year 1158 is the earliest date the city is mentioned in a document signed in Augsburg. By that time Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony and Bavaria, had built a bridge over the river Isar next to a settlement of Benedictine monks. Almost two decades later in 1175 Munich was officially granted city status and received fortification. In 1180, with the trial of Henry the Lion, Otto I Wittelsbach became Duke of Bavaria and Munich was handed over to the Bishop of Freising. The Wittelsbach dynasty would rule Bavaria until 1918. In 1255, when the Duchy of Bavaria was split in two, Munich became the ducal residence of Upper Bavaria. In the late 15th century Munich underwent a revival of gothic arts: the Old Town Hall was enlarged, and Munich's largest gothic church, the Frauenkirche cathedral, was constructed in only twenty years, starting in 1468.
When Bavaria was reunited in 1506, Munich became its capital. The arts and politics became increasingly influenced by the court and Munich was a center of the German counter reformation as well as of renaissance arts. The Catholic League was founded in Munich in 1609. During the Thirty Years' War Munich became electoral residence, but in 1632 the city was occupied by King Gustav II Adolph of Sweden. When the bubonic plague broke out in 1634 and 1635 about one third of the population died.
Under the regency of the Bavarian electors Munich was an important center of baroque life. In 1806, the city became the capital of the newly established Kingdom of Bavaria, with the state's parliament and the new archdiocese of Munich and Freising being located in the city. Twenty years later Landshut University was moved to Munich. Many of the city's finest buildings belong to this period and were built under the first three Bavarian kings. These years were marked by tremendous artistic and cultural activity in Munich.
After World War I, the city was at the center of much political unrest. In November 1918 on the eve of revolution, the royal family fled the city. After the murder of the first republican premier of Bavaria in February 1919, the Bavarian Soviet Republic was proclaimed, but it was put down on 3 May 1919 by conservative troops. While the republican government had been restored, Munich subsequently became a hotbed of extremist politics, from among which Adolf Hitler and the National Socialists rose to prominence. On 8 Nov 1923 Hitler and his supporters, who were then concentrated in Munich, launched the so called "Beer Hall Putsch" from the Bürgerbräukeller, in an attempt to overthrow the Weimar Republic and seize power. The revolt failed, resulting in Hitler's arrest and the temporary crippling of the Nazi Party, which at that time was virtually unknown.
The city once again became a Nazi stronghold when the National Socialists took power in Germany in 1933. The National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) created the first concentration camp at Dachau, 16 km (10 mi) north-west of the city. Because of its importance to the rise of National Socialism, Munich was referred to as the "Capital of the Movement" (Hauptstadt der Bewegung). Munich was also the base of the White Rose, a student resistance movement from June 1942 to February 1943. However, the core members including Hans and Sophie Scholl were arrested and executed following a distribution of leaflets at the University of Munich. The city was heavily damaged by allied bombing during World War II.
After US occupation in 1945, Munich was completely rebuilt following a meticulous plan which preserved its pre-war street grid. In 1957 Munich's population passed the 1 million mark. Munich was the site of the 1972 Summer Olympics, during which Israeli athletes were assassinated by Palestinian terrorists during the so called Munich massacre. The final game of the 1974 FIFA Worldcup took place in Munich and so did the opening game of the 2006 FIFA WorldCup. Today, Munich is Germany's third largest city. Together with Frankfurt it is the most important business city in Germany and it remains one of Europe's most important centers of arts, science, learning and sports.
Munich has the strongest economy of any German city and with the lowest unemployment rate of major German cities it is very prosperous. Seven out of the thirty companies listed in the German blue chip stock market index DAX are headquartered in Munich. This includes luxury car maker BMW, electrical engineering giant Siemens, chip producer Infineon, truck manufacturer MAN, industrial gas specialist Linde, the world's largest insurance company Allianz and the world's largest re-insurer Munich Re.
The Munich region is also a center for aerospace, biotechnology, software and service industries. It is home to the aircraft engine manufacturer MTU Aero Engines, the aerospace and defense giant EADS (headquartered in both Munich and Paris), the injection molding machine manufacturer Krauss-Maffei, the camera and lighting manufacturer Arri, lighting giant Osram, as well as the German and/or European headquarters of many foreign companies like McDonald’s, Microsoft and Intel.
As the largest publishing city in Europe, Munich is home to Süddeutsche Zeitung, one of Germany's largest daily newspapers. Germany's largest public broadcasting network, ARD, its largest commercial network, Pro7-Sat1 Media AG, and the Burda publishing group are also located in and around Munich.
Munich is a leading center for science and research with a long list of Nobel Prize laureates from Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen in 1901 to Theodor Hänsch in 2005. It hosts two world-class research universities (Ludwig Maximilian Universität and the Technische Universität München), several colleges and the headquarters as well as research facilities of both the Max-Planck-Society and the Fraunhofer-Society. Both the European navigation system Galileo's control center and the European Space Agency's Columbus Control Center, which is used to control the Columbus research laboratory of the International Space Station, is located at a large research facility of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) 20 km (12 mi) outside of Munich in Oberpfaffenhofen.
The people of Munich do not like their city to be associated only as a city of beer and the Oktoberfest. And indeed, the Bavarian kings transformed Munich into a city of arts and science in the 19th century. Its outstanding position among other German cities may have faded a bit, due to Berlin becoming the German capital again in the 1990s, but Munich still remains Germany's number-one place for art, science and culture.
Munich is internationally known for its collection of ancient, classic and modern art, which can be found in numerous museums throughout the city. Munich's most renowned museums are located in the Kunstareal in Maxvorstadt including the Alte Pinakothek (European paintings from the 13th to 18th century), the Neue Pinakothek (European paintings from classicism to art nouveau), the Pinakothek der Moderne (modern art), Museum Brandhorst (modern art) and Glyptothek (ancient Greek and Roman sculptures).
From the Gothic to the Baroque era, the fine arts were represented in Munich by artists like Erasmus Grasser, Jan Polack, Johann Baptist Straub, Ignaz Günther, Hans Krumpper, Ludwig von Schwanthaler, Cosmas Damian Asam, Egid Quirin Asam, Johann Baptist Zimmermann, Johann Michael Fischer and François de Cuvilliés. Munich had already become an important place for painters like Carl Rottmann, Lovis Corinth, Wilhelm von Kaulbach, Carl Spitzweg, Franz von Lenbach, Franz von Stuck and Wilhelm Leibl when Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), a group of expressionist artists, was established in Munich in 1911. The city was home to the Blue Rider's painters Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Alexej von Jawlensky, Gabriele Münter, Franz Marc, August Macke and Alfred Kubin.
Munich was also home or host to many famous composers and musicians including Orlando di Lasso, W.A. Mozart, Carl Maria von Weber, Richard Wagner, Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Max Reger and Carl Orff. With the Munich Biennale founded by Hans Werner Henze, and the A*DEvantgarde festival, the city still contributes to modern music theatre. The Nationaltheater, where several of Richard Wagner's operas had their premieres under the patronage of King Ludwig II, is the home of the world famous Bavarian State Opera and the Bavarian State Orchestra. Next door the modern Residenz Theatre was erected in the building that had housed the Cuvilliés Theatre before World War II. Many operas were staged there, including the premiere of Mozart's "Idomeneo" in 1781. The Gärtnerplatz Theatre is a ballet and musical state theatre while another opera house, the Prinzregententheater, has become the home of the Bavarian Theatre Academy. The modern Gasteig center houses the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. The third orchestra in Munich with international importance is the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, which was named the 6th best orchestra in the world by The Gramophone magazine in 2008. Its primary concert venue is the Herkulessaal in the former city royal residence, the Residenz.
Many prominent literates worked in Munich such as Paul Heyse, Max Halbe, Rainer Maria Rilke and Frank Wedekind. The period immediately before World War I saw economic and cultural prominence for the city. Munich, and especially the districts of Maxvorstadt and Schwabing, became the domicile of many artists and writers. Nobel laureate Thomas Mann, who also lived there, wrote ironically in his novella Gladius Dei about this period, "Munich shone". It remained a center of cultural life during the Weimar era with figures such as Lion Feuchtwanger, Bertolt Brecht and Oskar Maria Graf.
The Bavaria Film Studios were founded in Geiselgasteig in 1919 by the film producer Peter Ostermayr. Alfred Hitchcock made his first film, The Pleasure Garden, in Geiselgasteig in 1925. The studios have been used by numerous famous directors, such as Max Ophüls (Lola Montez, 1954), Stanley Kubrick (Paths of Glory, 1957), John Huston (Freud: The Secret Passion, 1960), Robert Siodmak (L'Affaire Nina B, 1960), Billy Wilder (One, Two, Three, 1961), John Sturges (The Great Escape, 1963), Robert Wise (The Sound of Music, 1965), Mel Stuart (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, (1971), Bob Fosse (Cabaret, 1972), Ingmar Bergman (The Serpent's Egg, 1977), Robert Aldrich (Twilight's Last Gleaming, 1977), Wolfgang Petersen (Enemy Mine, 1985), Claude Chabrol and Wim Wenders. Other famous movies shot at the studios are Das Boot (1981), The Neverending Story (1984) and Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006).
Quality of life
Munich can be consistently found in the top tier of quality-of-life-rankings of world cities. Monocle magazine even named it the world's most livable city in 2010. When Germans are polled about where they would like to live the most, Munich finds its way consistently at the top of the list. Within proximity of the Alps, and some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe, it's not surprising that everyone wants to live here. Add to its benefit the beautiful architecture, especially Baroque and Rococo, green countryside which starts a mere half hour away on the S-Bahn, a beautiful park called Englischer Garten, the two best universities in Germany, a booming economy with global headquarters of many world-class companies, modern infrastructure and the greatest beer culture on the planet - could there be anything wrong with Munich? Well, there's a price to pay for living in a city where everyone else wants to be: Munich is the most expensive city in Germany. But all in all, its advantages make a visit more than worthwhile.
People and Language
Bavaria has been the longtime antipode of Berlin: while the protestant Prussian kings focused their energy and resources on building military strength, the catholic Wittelsbacher were more interested in creating a center of arts and science following the examples of cities in northern Italy. And even today, Bavaria takes a unique position among the German states with a strong emphasis on its independence, e.g. Bavaria calls itself Freistaat (free state) and has its own conservative party, the CSU, which strongly advocates Bavarian interests in Berlin. Bavaria's transition from an agricultural society to Germany's most successful high-tech state as well as the dominance of Bayern München in German soccer has further increased the pride of its residents in their state and its traditions and dialect (to a degree considered arrogance by some non-Bavarians).
The residents of Munich, the capital of Bavaria, share a lot of characteristics with the rest of Bavaria and indeed it became popular again among older and younger people to wear traditional Bavarian clothing at least during the Oktoberfest. However, the influx of people from the rest of Germany and abroad has also led to some differences. While the rest of Bavaria is a stronghold of conservatism, Munich has been governed by a liberal coalition of Social-Democrats, Greens and the Rosa Liste (a gay rights party) and only 36.2% of residents are members of the catholic church while 13.3% are protestant, 0.3% Jewish and 50.3% are members of other religions including Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism or undenominated.
A stereotypical group strongly associated by many Germans with Munich is the Schwabing Schickeria, characterized by their obsession for social status, luxury brands, expensive restaurants and champagne. The Schickeria has been the subject of 1980s TV Shows Kir Royal and Monaco Franze as well as the movie Rossini – oder die mörderische Frage, wer mit wem schlief. Of course, not all people living in Munich belong to the Schickeria. In fact, most of the people are quite normal.
The official language in Munich is, of course, German. With many Munich residents coming from other German regions or from abroad, "Standard German" dominates as spoken language in Munich. Nevertheless, some residents will speak with a more or less strong Bavarian dialect, which can deviate substantially from the standart German. Munich attracts many international tourists and has a large community of non-German speaking professionals working in international companies, universities, research institutions or at the European Patentoffice. Hence, it is not surprising that English is widely spoken and understood throughout the city in restaurants, cafes, tourist attractions, shops as well as by ordinary citizens. The exception are some of Munich's city administration offices where non-English speaking Germans seem to have found a last refuge from globalization.
Munich has a continental climate, strongly modified by the proximity of the Alps. The city's altitude and proximity to the northern edge of the Alps mean that precipitation is high. Rainstorms can come violently and unexpectedly.
Winters last from December to March. Munich experiences cold winters, but heavy rainfall is rarely seen in the winter. The coldest month is January with an average temperature of −2°C (28 °F). Snow cover is seen for at least a couple of weeks during winter. Summers in Munich city are warm and pleasant with an average maximum of 23°C (73°F) in the hottest months. The summers last from May until September.
An oddity of Munich is the Föhn, a warm downwind from the Alps can raise temperatures sharply within a few hours, even in winter. These winds are sometimes associated with illnesses ranging from migraines to psychosis. The first clinical review of these effects was published by the Austrian physician, Anton Czermak in the 19th century. Residents of Munich sometimes use the Föhn as an excuse for having a bad mood, which should not be taken too seriously.
Munich International Airport
Munich International Airport  (IATA: MUC; ICAO: EDDM) is the second busiest airport in Germany ranks seventh in Europe, handling 38 million passengers per year. Munich airport, which has been named for former Bavarian prime minister Franz Josef Strauß, is a major hub for Lufthansa  and the Star Alliance.
Munich International Airport is located 30 km (18 mi) north-east of Munich, close to the city Freising. Originally, the airport was closer to the city center in Riem. However, in 1992 it was moved to its current location to meet the demand for more capacity and modern facilities. Due to the constantly increasing number of flights, the airport has continued to expand since then and now offers connections to most airports in Germany and Europe, as well as many intercontinental destinations. Intercontinental destinations include Abu Dhabi, Atlanta, Bangkok, Beijing, Boston, Cairo, Charlotte, Chicago, Delhi, Doha, Dubai, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Jeddah, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Montréal, Mumbai, Muscat, New York, Osaka, Philadelphia, Riyadh, San Francisco, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Washington and many others.
In 2011, Munich Airport has been named the winner of the "Best Airport in Europe" award for the third year in a row based on an worldwide survey of close to eight million passengers. Passengers also ranked Munich #4 in the global rankings behind three Asian hubs.
All airlines, which are not members of the Star Alliance, including the second largest German carrier Air Berlin , are based in Terminal 1. It is segmented into five modules A, B, C, D, E and F. Module F is used for high risk flights only - right now those are only flights to and from Israel. The Terminal has multiple levels: The train station is on level 2; the passenger transport system, which connects the modules, is on level 3; check-in counters, security checkpoints, arrival areas, customs and most restaurants are on level 4 (ground floor); level 5 is used by passengers with connecting flights.
Terminal 2 hosts Lufthansa and its Star Alliance  partners, e.g. Air Canada, Air China, All Nippon Airways, Egypt Air, SAS, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Swiss, Thai, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways. It is also used by additional Lufthansa partners such as Qatar Airways, PrivatAir and some regional partner airlines. Terminal 2 consists of the central plaza, Pier North, and Pier South. Terminal 2 also has multiple levels: The arrival area and some check-in counters (e.g. United and Turkish) are on level 3; all other check-in counters, the security check-points and duty-free shops are on level 4; the visitor deck as well as restaurants and art exhibitions can be found on level 5.
Munich Airport Center
The Munich Aiport Center (MAC) is a recreation and service center at the aiport located between terminals 1 and 2. It includes a shopping mall, restaurants, a medical center, the conference center municon and the MAC-Forum. The MAC-Forum is Europe's largest roofed outdoor-area, which is used for various events like a christmas fair and ice-skating in winter and a beach volleyball tournament in summer. Located next to the Munich Airport Center is the Kempinski Hotel Airport Munich .
Get in and out
The airport connects to central Munich by suburban train (S-Bahn) on the S1 and S8 line. The S1 runs to Munich Central Station via the northern and western districts of Munich, while the S8 serves the eastern districts before arriving at Munich Central Station.
The journey in 2013 costs €10.40 for a single ticket, €11.20 for a day pass, or €20.40 for a partner ticket (valid for up to five people). Trains run every 5-20 min and take about 40 min to reach the central station. For more information see the get around section. A slightly cheaper option is to buy a Tageskarte Außenraum (daypass for the city's outskirts; single: €5.80, partner: €10.60) and then an additional single ticket (€2.60 per person) for the trip into the inner city. If traveling from the airport, the latter ticket only has to be validated in Feldmoching station, which means that you can only travel using the S1 train. You’ll have to exit (or change for the subway train) in Feldmoching. If traveling from downtown to the airport, you can just validate both tickets and the restriction does not apply anymore.
Lufthansa also runs an Airport Bus  to and from Munich Central Station that is comparably priced.
Memmingen Airport (IATA: FMM, ICAO: EDJA)) is located around 110 km (70 mi)to the west of Munich. However, it is marketed as "Munich West" by Ryanair. Other names include "Allgäu Airport" or "Flughafen Allgäu". There are shuttle buses to Munich  with timetables aligned to Ryanair's flight schedule. One way tickets are €20 or €15 if pre-booked via Internet. The buses arrive at and leave from Munich's Central Bus Station at Hackerbrücke, which is located next to Munich Central Station and take about 1 hr 40 min. Beyond the airport, the city of Memmingen itself has a nice medieval city center.
Munich Central Station (Hauptbahnhof)  is conveniently located in the centre of Munich. The main station is west of Marienplatz (two S-Bahn stations) and only a short walk away from the city centre. It is well connected to Munich's dense public transport network. The main station has a traveler-friendly infrastructure including several restaurants, shops, a supermarket (that is open on Sundays, too), a tourist bureau, and a Deutsche Bahn ticket and travel agency office.
Deutsche Bahn  uses Munich as one of its main German hubs and offers regional and long-distance connections to many German cities. This includes several connections with ICE high-speed trains:
Munich has also a high-speed TGV-connection with Paris and Strasbourg  as well as Eurocity and CityNightLine (night train) connections with Amsterdam, Budapest, Innsbruck, Maribor, Milan, Rome, Salzburg, Venice, Verona, Vienna, Zurich and other international cities.
Two additional railway stations are located in the west (Munich Pasing) and the east (Munich East) of Munich. Both stations are connected to the public transport system and serve as transport hubs for Deutsche Bahn's regional and long-distance trains.
Munich is well connected with other cities in Germany and Austria by the German autobahn network.
The A 99 is an autobahn ring around the city which connects the various autobahns. Munich has two inner ring roads in addition to the A 99: Mittlerer Ring expressway and the Altstadtring.
Traffic in Munich can be a challenge at peak times. Therefore, and especially because of the shortage of parking within the city center and the more central districts, it is recommended to leave the car in a park & ride car park (see the Get around section) in Munich's outskirts close to a S-Bahn station and use public transportation within the city.
An inexpensive and surprisingly comfortable possibility to travel to Munich, especially from Eastern Europe and the Balkans, are long-haul buses. See the schedule of Munich's Central Bus Station ZOB  for details and destinations.
By public transportation
The best way to travel around Munich - without using your own feet - is the public transportation system consisting of suburban trains (S-Bahn), the subway (U-Bahn), streetcars (Tram), and buses. There is only one ticket system, called MVV, which means you can use all elements of the public transport with the same ticket. You can get individual, group, day and week tickets. The subway stations are signed with a white capital "U" on a blue, quadratic background. S-Bahn stations are signed with a white "S" on a green, round background. All S-Bahn lines traverse the city in a single tunnel (Stammstrecke) between stations Donnersbergerbrücke and Ostbahnhof.
The Munich MVV website  includes maps of the U-Bahn, S-Bahn, Tram and bus network, maps of the park & ride car parks, pricing information as well as timetables and a journey planner. The official urban rail network map  is available at most stations and absolutely indispensable.
Single trips in a single zone such as the city center cost €2.60, but the four-zone journey from the airport is a whopping €10.40. Thus, if you arrive at the airport and intend to explore Munich by the public transport system, the best option is to buy a €11.20 Gesamtnetz (whole network) day ticket. If you are not traveling alone, then you can purchase a Partner (group) day ticket for €20.40, allowing up to 5 adults to travel together on all lines of the MVV system.
A day ticket is worth buying if you plan to take more than two trips on the same day. It is available for single persons and groups for up to 5 people and is valid until 06:00 the next morning. The day ticket is available for four areas:
If you are staying longer than 3 days in Munich, a good option is to buy a weekly ticket. The weekly ticket is valid from Monday to Monday. The price of the weekly ticket depends on the number of rings you want to travel during the week (starting from the center of the city). Almost all U-Bahn stations are within the rings 1-4.
For only a few journeys on different days the stripe ticket (Streifenkarte), with 10 strips, is a better value than buying lots of individual tickets. The cost is €12.50, and may be purchased at dispensing machines at every station. You need to use two strips for each colored zone on the map. If you are making several trips a day, the day ticket is a better option. Children and people under the age of 21 only have to use half the number of stripes.
If you plan to explore Munich and see all the sights and tourist attractions, buy the Munich CityTourCard . It is a ticket valid for all public transportation services in Munich and a discount card for many tourist attractions like museums, sights, shopping, and gastronomy. It is available in six versions (single and group tickets) and with validity for one or three days:
A leaflet with information about the discount offers of the partners and a map of the city center and a plan of the public transportation network are included. The ticket is available at ticket vending machines at all S-Bahn, U-Bahn, Tram and bus stations. Furthermore it can be purchased at the MVG customer center as well as in selected hotels and online.
All tickets, except for weekly tickets must be stamped to be valid; without a stamp the ticket is invalid and you can be fined €40. Stamping machines (Entwerter) - a blue machine with a black "E" on yellow ground - are found at every entrance to the S-Bahn or U-Bahn platforms, and inside buses and trams. In most other German cities, passengers can validate tickets on the train; however, this is not the case in Munich, so be sure to validate your ticket before entering any U-Bahn or S-Bahn platform.
Public transportation operates with limited service from 02:00 to 05:00. The U-Bahn does not operate at all during this time, and trams and some buses operate only in one hour intervals from Sunday to Thursday and on 30 min intervals on the weekend. On Friday, Saturday and nights before public holidays, there is a single S-Bahn on each line between 02:30 and 03:00. So if you're staying out late, try to get the schedule of the so called Nachttram (night tram) in advance or do not leave the place before 05:00 unless you want to take a taxi.
If you plan to explore Munich and Bavaria via regional trains, consider getting a Bayern Ticket , which is good on all regional trains within Bavaria, all Munich MVV transportation, and trains to Salzburg for €22 a day (plus €4 for each additional person for up to 5 people in total). The Bayern Ticket is good on any weekday after 09:00 and on any weekend day (all day). There is also a Bayern Ticket Nacht for night trips, valid from 18:00 to 06:00, for a discounted price.
If you travel on a weekend, exploring Munich and taking a regional Deutsche Bahn trains to another city anywhere in Germany on the same day, consider getting a Deutsche Bahn Schönes Wochenende Ticket. This ticket covers all DB regional train travels and all Munich S-Bahn travels for up to five people for a single weekend day for €40.
Schönes-Wochenende-Tickets and Bayern-Tickets are only valid on regional train services (red) but not on IntercityExpress and Inter/Eurocity trains (white). Additionally, both tickets are valid on trains run by the BOB (Bayerische Oberlandbahn) and ALEX (Arriva-Länderbahn-Express).
With over 200 km (125 mi) of bike trails, one of the very best ways to explore the city is on a bicycle. Guided tours, or for the independent-minded, rentals and maps are available at Munich Cebtral Station (Hauptbahnhof) and many other places throughout the city.
Bikes can also be rented by the Call-A-Bike system, which is run by Deutsche Bahn. You need to call a number listed on the bikes from your mobile phone and register with the callabike.de website in order to use them. The service is convenient, as you just spot an available bike throughout the city and just leave it at your destination. However, this is not an economical alternative if you are planning many trips in a single day. In that case, it is better to get a day or multiday rental from one of the rental services located throughout central Munich.
Munich is generally a bike-friendly city with many designated bike paths (especially along Isar river, in the parks and even in the city center). However, rates of accidents involving bicycles are rising in Munich. Hence, the police enforces traffic rules for cyclists more rigorous, especially at the beginning of the bike season in spring. Fines range from €10 for driving without light in the dark to €100 for ignoring red traffic lights. Drunk cycling (>0.16% of blood alcohol level) can result in much heftier fines and even in detention. Helmets are not required for cyclists, but they are recommended.
Like everywhere in Germany, Munich taxis can easily be recognized by their beige color and the yellow-black taxi sign on the roof. Taxis can be found at taxi stands throughout the city, at train stations, and at the airport. It is also possible to stop a taxi (if it is not occupied) or to call one of the many taxi companies of Munich. The basic fare is €3.30 with additional €1.70/km for up to 5 km, €1.50/km for kilometers 5 to 10, and €1.30 for every kilometer more than 10. Waiting time per hour is €24 and there are additional charges for pets (€0.60 per animal) and luggage (€0.60 per piece).
It is generally a bad idea to explore Munich by car. Traffic is heavy especially during rush hour, and parking tends to be close to impossible. Moreover, many landmarks and areas of touristic interest are located in the inner city which is mostly closed for car traffic. Here parking space is particularly scarce and expensive.
Driving may be an option for visiting some of the attractions in suburban Munich like the Bavaria Film Studios or for making day trips to cities and lakes outside of Munich.
Don't forget to fit your car with a green coloured Umweltplakette (ECO Vignette). You will need it to be allowed to drive in most areas of the city (the whole area within Mittlerer Ring).
Munich has three ring roads, the autobahn A 99, the Mittlerer Ring urban eypressway and the Altstadtring, which can be used in order to avoid getting stuck in inner city traffic. During rush hours these rings are, however, often congested too.
Prices for parking on streets range from €1 to €2.50 per hour usually from 08:00 to 23:00. There may be additional restrictions, e.g. for the maximum duration. Throughout the city center there are "blue zones". Wherever you find blue lines on the ground, you can park your car for a maximum time of 2 hours (hourly rate €2.50). Those familiar with the parking system in Italy will easily understand the Munich system. The meaning of other colours is as follows:
The best options are public parking decks which are widely available in the center. However it can take some time to find a free parking spot. Parking garages are indicated with blue rectangular signs with a capital white "P" on it. Usually a green sign indicates that there are free spots while a red sign indicates that the car park is full. The city has a car park routing system which shows you where you can find a parking slot. Rates are:
The police may tow your car away if it obstructs the traffic or endangers other people. Watch out for fire brigage access roads which are marked with small signs reading "Feuerwehrzufahrt". There is no stopping and standing - parking will result in immediate towing.
If your car has been towed away contact the next available police station. There is a central place where all towed cars will be brought to (Thomas-Hauser-Straße 19, open 24/7; S2/S4 to station Berg am Laim, Bus 146 to Iltisstraße until stop "Thomas-Hauser-Straße", 5 min to walk from there). You need to show your passport or other ID, drivers licence and registration document and you have to pay the fine. Fines vary, expect around €150.
A constant harassment are private towing companies which guard private parking spaces. Their prices can easily double or triple the police's fines.
Munich offers visitors many sights and attractions. There is something for everyone, no matter if you are seeking arts and culture, shopping, fine dining, nightlife, sport events or Bavarian beer hall atmosphere. The listings in this section are just some highlights of things that you should see if you are visiting Munich. The complete listings are found on individual district pages.
Royal Avenues and Squares
Four grand royal avenues of the 19th century with magnificent architecture run through Munich's inner city.
Briennerstrasse starts at the magnificent Odeonsplatz (where you can find Feldherrnhalle, Theatinerkirche and the Residenz) on the northern fringe of Altstadt and runs from east to west past Wittelsbacherplatz with the statue of Maximilian I and Karolinenplatz with a black obelisk built in 1833 by Leo von Klenze in honor of the Bavarian Army to Koenigsplatz designed with the Doric Propyläen, the Ionic Glyptothek and the Corinthian State Museum of Classical Art. The eastern section of Briennerstrasse is lined with upscale shops, galleries, cafes and restaurants. It is dominated by neo-classical buildings such as the Alfons-Palais at Wittelsbacherplatz, which today serves as global headquarters of Siemens AG.
Ludwigstrasse also starts at Odeonsplatz, but runs from south to north connecting the inner city with Schwabing. It is lined by buildings of Italian renaissance designed by Leo von Klenze and Italian romanesque architecture designed by Friedrich von Gärtner, e.g. St. Ludwig Church and the main buildings of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität. Ludwigstrasse ends at the Siegestor, a triumphal arch crowned with a statue of Bavaria with a lion-quadriga, after which it turns into Leopoldstrasse.
Maximilianstrasse starts at Max-Joseph-Platz, where the Residenz and the National Theater are located, and runs from west to east crossing the river Isar before ending at the Maximilianeum, the Bavarian state parliament. The avenue is framed by mostly neo-Gothic buildings influenced by the English Perpendicular style. The western section of Maximilianstrasse forms with Residenzstrasse Munich's most upscale shopping area and is home to flagship stores of luxury labels, upscale retailers and one of Munich's most luxurious hotels, the Vier Jahreszeiten.
Prinzregentenstrasse runs parallel to Maximilianstrasse beginning at Prinz-Carl-Palais. Several museums can be found along the avenue, such as the Haus der Kunst, the Bavarian National Museum and the Schackgalerie. The avenue crosses the Isar and circles the Friedensengel monument passing the Villa Stuck. Prinzregentenstrasse also forms a southern border of the Englischer Garten where you can watch surfers riding a standing water wave at the Eisbach creek.
Palaces and Castles
Buildings and Landmarks
Museums and Galleries
Bavarias kings have transformed Munich into Germany's art capital in the 1800s and it is still home to world class collections and museums. The Kunstareal  &mdash in Maxvorstadt includes 16 museums, 40 galleries and 7 art schools. The most famous of these museums are
In addition, other great museums devoted to art and culture can be found throughout the city of Munich. These include the following examples:
Munich is also a global center of research and engineering. Therefore, it is not surprising that the city hosts several museums presenting vast science and technology-related exhibitions:
Most of the Munich museums are closed on Mondays. The Nyphemburg Castle and gardens as well as the Deutsche Museum are the only places open on Mondays. BMW Welt, a state of the art BMW showroom is open for public visit, although the museum itself is closed. Hence, the best way to plan your intinerary is to visit the museums on days other than Monday and use Monday to explore the city. For many museums, Sunday will be the best day to visit since admission is only 1 Euro. This includes the Pinakotheken, Museum Brandhorst, the National Bavarian Museum and the Glyptothek as well as the Staatliche Antikensammlungen.
Theater, Opera, and Music
Munich has many theatres showing different plays:
If you want to see a movie, keep in mind that foreign movies are normally dubbed with German voices. Adverts will generally indicate if the movie will be shown in its original version (i.e., no overdubbing) with the abbreviations OF (Original version), OmU (Original with German subtitles), and OmeU (original with English subtitles). In the movie theater right next to subwaystation Stiglmaierplatz, named "Cinema" , they play all movies in the original language. Other options are the "Museums Lichtspiele"  or the big Multiplex cinema "Mathäser"  at Stachus, which usually show 1-2 movies in their original version.
Pick up a free copy of the Haben & Sein magazine (also on www) to get latest information of shopping in Munich.
During Christmas time, there are many of these Christkindl Märkte, or Christmas Markets , including the large Tollwood, but also smaller markets, where you can buy Christmas biscuits (Lebkuchen), souvenirs, and the typical Glühwein. Although pronounced glue-vine, it is mainly hot red wine with spices and different (secret) flavouring.
Seasonal and Flea Markets
Throughout the city one finds occasional markets that are well worth the visit when they are taking place and a Saturday-morning must when the sun is shining!. The flea markets in Munich can be exceptional in that they are generally genuine private citizens selling their unwanted belongings with a minimum of commercial interest. In addition to the weekly offerings, you'll find several neighborhood 'courtyard fleamarkets' events in the summer months.
Visitors can count themselves lucky (or possibly unlucky) since Munich is home to everything quintessentially Bavarian. Munich is specifically well-known for Weißwurst, a breakfast sausage that is traditionally eaten as a late breakfast along with a Weissbier ('white beer', which outside Bavaria usually goes by the more descriptive name Weizenbier, 'wheat bier') and available in restaurants until noon (and not a second later!). Weißwurst are prepared in hot but non-boiling water for about ten minutes and served with a brown, grainy and sweet mustard. If you are able to just enjoy one meal in Munich you should try Schweinsbraten (roasted pork) or Schweinshaxe (roasted pig's knuckle).
If you only fancy a snack, almost every butcher sells Leberkässemmeln, a white roll filled with a thick warm slice of "Leberkäse". Which, despite its name contains absolutely no liver nor cheese, but consists of a mixture of veal, pork, spices and a hint of lemon zest baked in an open pan and traditionally served with a sweet and grainy mustard. They tend to be very cheap (around €1.50), quite delicious, and filling.
Don't miss enjoying some of the truly marvelous Bavarian/Austrian style cakes and tortes by the slice in any of the countless bakeries and cafes. Regardless of where you enjoy them, they are all traditionally made with fine quality all natural ingredients. The same applies for the amazing range of bread which can be bought at any bakery. Not to be missed as a snack are the soft pretzels ("Brezn").
If Bavarian food doesn't sound appetizing, you're in luck because Munich is host to plenty of other international restaurants including, among others; Afghan, Chinese, French, Indian, Nigerian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Greek, Lebanese, Kenyan, Serbo-Croatian, Pakistani, Spanish and Turkish, as well as the typical American fast food.
Despite all the local dishes which are meat based, it is possible to get vegetarian food in some of the main restaurants and indeed there are some Vegetarian and Vegan restaurants in Munich (one of which is very "upscale").
Munich also has numerous fresh markets, which can be a tasty, expedient and inexpensive alternatives to restaurants (see the Buy section for market listings).
There are also numerous small stands throughout the pedestrian area selling fresh fruit, snacks, ice cream in spring and summer and chestnuts during fall and winter.
If you happen to be unfortunate enough to miss Oktoberfest, you can live through a sanitized, safer version at any of Munich's many beer gardens. The Hofbräuhaus may be the most famous beer hall, but there are countless more beautiful beer gardens scattered around the city. For those competent beer drinkers, try Starkbierfest after Lent lasting till Easter. The beer is darker and much stronger than normal (even than Oktoberfest beer).
The coffee culture is also very strong, especially during the summer months, but is often overlooked by most visitors.
Beer gardens and beer halls
Beer gardens are a large outside area, usually located under large horse chestnut trees (Kastanienbäume) for shade. There normally are rows of fold-away tables and self-service. If you see tablecloths on some tables those tables are served by waiters. In a traditional Bavarian beer garden, you are allowed to bring your food along with you, if you are sitting at the self-service tables. Only beverages (usually one litre mugs of local beer or Radler which is a half and half mix of beer and soda) are to be bought at the beer garden. Many locals still cling to this custom, though food is available as well. Try Riesenbrezn (big pretzels) and Steckerlfisch (cured fish). Beer gardens are usually visited by a mixed crowd of people (locals and tourists, families, younger and elderly, straight and gay, blue and white collar etc.), from which the special atmosphere of a beer garden arises, though people normally don't go alone there. If you don't manage to find a free table, don't hesitate to ask if you may join someone. No local would refuse this request, if there is a spot left. Beer gardens are family friendly, with childrens' play areas on site. Well-behaved dogs are welcome, too.
Beer gardens in the suburbs
Clubs and Discos
You have to be at least 18 years old to get into most clubs and discos in Munich. Always have your passport or ID card with you, and a driver's licence may be okay, too. Some clubs have "Ü30-Parties", where you should be over 30 to get in, but usually you have no problems if you are over 25. In most places, it is ok to wear jeans and sneakers. Haidhausen is the popular nightlife district being home to Munich "Kultfabrik" and "Optimolwerk" clubbing neighborhoods.
The locations of clubs change quickly, so best to check on the internet for upcoming events (e.g in-muenchen.de  is one of the nightlife guides).
Other Munich bars/clubs
Munich abounds with accommodation for every type of traveler. The area directly around Munich Central Station (Hauptbahnhof) has numerous youth hostels, and upscale hotels like Le Meridien and Sofitel. Schillerstraße just a hundred meters to the south has many small hotels, too - the street looks fine in the day, but the strip bars and cabarets become much more visible at night (the area stays a perfectly safe area, though). There are also plenty of hotels and youth hostels in other districts of Munich particularly Schwabing and area around Munich East station (Haidhausen). As one moves into the mostly residential neighborhoods of the city outskirt, the sleeping options drop down to small inns and bed and breakfasts (German: Pension).
You can pick the location of your accomodation depending on the purpose of your visit. The culture vulture might want to stay in Schwabing, close to galleries and museums. The nightlife aficionado may think about a place in Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt, close to the Isar river, where the density of bars and clubs is the highest. However, with Munich's very efficient public transport system, you can get to literally anywhere in the city within 30min.
Munich is a very safe city for its residents and travelers: it is one of the safest German cities overall and violent crime is extremely rare. Take the usual precautions (such as don't leave your camera unattended) and you will not encounter any crime at all.
Munich is an open-minded, international city with a large number of immigrants and expatriates living in the city (25% of residents have a migration background), so you are very unlikely to encounter any problems because you are a foreigner. Gay and lesbian travelers should neither experience any trouble: Munich has a large and vivid gay and lesbian community and the Rosa Liste, a gay rights party, has been part of the city government since 1996.
The main safety hazard in Munich is the local beer drinking culture in combination with the high accessibility of alcohol. Think twice before trying to keep up with the locals or looking for your maximum level of alcohol intoxication - being drunk will sharply raise your chances of injuring yourself. Another issue for people not used to driving or walking on ice or snow, are wintery road and sidewalk conditions.
The emergency telephone number in Munich is 112 (like everywhere in the EU), which will connect you to emergency medical services, police, or fire brigade. The emergency telephone number 110 (Germany only) will connect you directly to the police.
There are several large hospitals with worldwide respect in Munich, inluding
When using escalators, people in Munich usually reserve the right side for standing and the left side for people walking up the stairs. When waiting for a subway train, first let people get off the train, then enter. Drinking alcohol public transportation has been banned, though this new rule has been hardly enforced so far. Littering and other forms of enviromental pollution are highly frowned upon. Don't try to speak Bavarian if you aren't a native speaker - to Bavarians that sounds stupid or even offensive.
The suburban trains (S-Bahn) S1 and S8 both go to the airport from Munich Central Station and Marienplatz S-Bahn station, but be careful because the S1 line splits into two separate trains at Neufahrn just before the airport, so be sure that you are riding in the section that is actually going to the airport (always the last part of the train). If you find yourself in the wrong car, just wait until Neufahrn and change into the last part of the train.
The Bayern Ticket is an amazingly cheap way to do day trips from Munich. It allowes you to travel anywhere in Bavaria on the regional trains all day (only from 09:00 weekdays). It costs €38 for a group of up to 5 people, and €22 for a single . Make sure you buy it from the machines as there is a €2 surcharge if you buy it from the ticket office. There is also the Schönes Wochenende Ticket, which is valid everywhere in Germany, but it is only valid at weekends. It costs €40 for a group of up to 5 and is also restricted to the regional trains.