From the elegance of its grand boulevards to the brass bands that perform at the beer halls, visitors can see immediately that Munich residents know how to enjoy life. Munich is compact and manageable, contains more theatres than any other city in Germany, has a wealth of fine museums, a number of restful and appealing gardens and an ample selection of beer halls.
The central point in the older part of the city is the square known as the Marienplatz. To the north of the square is the tree lined Maxmillian Strasse which leads to the Bavarian Parliament building and the Residenz Palace. Two great art collections, the Old and New Picture Galleries are a short distance northwest of the city center. To the south are the history museum and, on an island in the Isar River, the world's foremost museum of science and technology, the Deutsches (German) Museum.
Central Munich is extremely attractive and is easy to explore on foot. There are innumerable restaurants and caf√©s in Munich with a wide range of culinary choices.
Window shopping is one of the most popular pastimes all over the city, but especially along the pedestrian only Neuhauser Strasse and Kaufinger Strasse where many fine specialty shops and department stores are located. Maximilian Strasse is lined with designer fashion boutiques, art galleries and jewelers. Antiques and less expensive fashions are concentrated in the student section of Schwabing, and Bavarian crafts can be found in the streets that run off Max Josephplatz. Munich's famous open air market, Virtualienmarkt appears south of Marienplatz every day except Saturday afternoon and Sunday. Its specialties are fresh produce and baked goods of all varieties as well as locally produced cheese.
Officially founded in 1158, Munich (M√ľnchen) has been the capital of Bavaria since 1503, and as far as the locals are concerned it may as well be the center of the universe. M√ľnchener pride themselves on their special status; even people who have made Munich their home for most of their lives are still called Zugereiste (newcomers). Natives and newcomers alike consider themselves M√ľnchener first, Bavarian second and German somewhere way down the line.
Next to Berlin, Munich is Germany's most popular city, with everything you'd expect in a cosmopolitan capital. Yet it's small enough to be digestible in one visit, and it has the added bonus of a storybook setting, with the mountains and Alpine lakes just an hour's drive away. Munich is well known as a center of art and learning. It is the site of a major university and other higher educational and scientific institutes. It is also the seat of the European patent office. It is an attractive city with many fine examples of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and neo-classical architecture.
Munich is a city in which children are welcomed and loved, so provision has been made for their comfort and entertainment. The Englischer Garten is a veritable wonderland for the whole family. In addition to the boating lake, there are broad expanses of manicured lawns and grassy knolls that invite running, rolling over and over, and turning somersaults and cartwheels. Family picnics are everywhere throughout the parks. The Hellabrunn zoo is one of the best in the world. The castles provide opportunities for experiencing the wonder of days gone by, and for exploring rooms in which even whispers echo, to the delight of children. Munich is clean and orderly with completely safe food and water. It is the ideal setting for family travel.
A trip to Germany is not complete without time spent in Munich. There are treasures here that are not found elsewhere. Over the years Bavaria and its capital Munich have maintained their individuality and have produced a rich heritage.