The city of Munich, Germany’s Bavarian capital, has a winning combination of the traditional and the modern. Cobbled streets, historic pubs and lederhosen are found alongside cutting edge art and pioneering car companies like BMW. It represents the perfect weekend break for a mixture of arts, culture and simple fun: here we look at some of the top things to do in Munich.
Galleries, Museums and Historic Buildings
The neo-classical Glyptothek building in Konigsplatz square (home to Munich’s gallery and museum quarter) is one of the only museums in the world dedicated to ancient sculptures. It also offers a modern twist on classics with modern replicas of iconic statues carved from wood to take one example.
Pinakothek der Moderne is also found in Munich’s art district and forms Germany’s largest museum of modern art. It features art ranging from graphics, architecture and more conventional paintings. It has rich collections of works from German artists like Paul Klee and Oskar Schlemmer as well as works by global icons like Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol.
The central square at Marienplatz is also a must-visit and its daily Glockenspiel shows on the balcony of its 19th-century town hall always draw crowds. The cuckoo clock depicts the city’s history across 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures; and be sure to place a bet on which tiny knight will emerge victorious from battle.
Munich is home to one of the world’s biggest football clubs: Bayern Munich. Its iconic, modernist stadium the Allianz Arena is famed for its ever-changing illuminations and a tour (or better yet a football game) represents a fantastic option for any football fanatics. The team are currently one of the favorites to win the Champions League at 3/1 in the betting odds and it is therefore no surprise to see the city of Munich take great pride in their football club.
Sports fans looking for more active engagement could go down to Munich’s ‘English Gardens’ for a spot of surfing. Yes, surfing. Water smashes down under a small bridge where you will almost always find a throng of surfers waiting for their turn to hit the waves. The gardens provide a lovely walk and tourists should certainly make the effort to watch this unusual pastime which is even popular during winter.
No trip to Munich would be complete without a visit to some of its famous beer halls. The Hofbrauhaus is perhaps the most celebrated example, where one can often find lederhosen-wearing traditional German folk bands playing jaunty tunes. The pubs in Germany famously offer one litre ‘stein’ glasses of beer, so some caution is advised. Many of these taverns are over 500 years old and can offer some insight into the beer-soaked history of Munich too. Of course, a visit at Oktoberfest, its world-famous beer-filled folk festival, would truly be an experience with all the beer halls packed to the rafters. Although many of these venues are geared towards tourists, they are still frequented by locals and offer a rich experience for visitors around the world.
Munich offers a variety of options for everybody and represents an ideal weekend break. Its blend of history and modernity allows the city to retain its quaint charm whilst remaining at the cutting edge of culture. Just a short flight away, Munich is a wonderful option for an escape from reality.