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The capital city of the state of Bavaria and the third largest city in Germany overall, Munich is an international hub that draws people from far and wide. It is a modern city offering contemporary attractions alongside a rich cultural history.

Why go?

Whether you're visiting Munich to delve into its fascinating history or for a taste of contemporary Bavarian life, there is something to be found here for everyone.

Arriving in Munich, visitors will be greeted by a rich bustling city displaying characteristics both old and new. Munich's architecture pays homage to its historic role as regional centre over the centuries and many of the city's iconic buildings were built as far back as the 15th century. Of these, perhaps the most notable is Schloss ('Palace') Nymphenburg, a Baroque castle that was summer residence to Bavarian royalty from the late 1600s onwards. Similarly the Old Town Hall, in central Munich's Marienplatz square, has a history that stretches back hundreds of years. Along with its counterpart, the New Town Hall, which has been the centre of municipality since 1874, they create two of Munich's most prominent landmarks.

Despite its historic monuments, Munich is far from a city trapped in the past. The city has thriving arts, shopping and nightlife scenes and is brimming with restaurants and bars offering everything from traditional Bavarian specialties to contemporary cuisine. Bavaria is perhaps most famous for its beer and every year millions flock to Munich for the world-famous 'Oktoberfest' beer festival during September and October. Held in the city since 1810 it has become a modern phenomenon mixing all aspects of Bavarian culture.

Also a major cultural centre, art galleries and museums are prolific around Munich and the city is even home to one of the world's first science museums, The Deutsches Museum. Visitors should also make time to visit the newly opened Jewish Museum Munich and the Munich Stadtmuseum (City Museum) as well as the landmark BMW headquarters and museum, opened in the same year as Munich's 1972 Summer Olympics. The Olympic Park itself has become a top landmark in the years since the Games. Its facilities are still widely used, including the Olympiaturm (Olympic Tower) which allows fantastic views of the surrounding area.

The Olympic Park is set amongst grass covered stretches, one of many areas of green space throughout the city. Of these, perhaps the most renowned is the Englischer Garten (English Garden). Found in the centre of Munich, it is one of the world's largest urban parks, covering close to 1000 acres.

Visitors to the south German region need not confine themselves to the city limits. The city makes an excellent base from which to explore surrounding areas and attractions. Munich is found just to the north of the Alps, making the mountains easily accessible for any walking or skiing enthusiast. Many choose to visit the district of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, right on the Austrian border and in the shadow of Germany's highest mountain, Zugspitze.

Also in the mountains in the border region of Austria is Kehlsteinhaus, commonly known as 'Eagle's Nest', residence of Adolf Hitler during his time in power and Obersalzburg, now a museum site run by Munich's Institute of Contemporary History. War time history can likewise be found in Dachau concentration camp to the north of Munich, which has been commemorated as a memorial to those who suffered there.

Fans of quintessential Germany, in the meantime, should take to the 'Romantic Road'. The route passes traditional German towns, picturesque structures and a number of beautiful castles. The 19th century Neuschwanstein Castle is one of these. Perched on a mountain top, it is so iconic that it served as inspiration for Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle and can't help but draws gasps of appreciation from anyone who visits.

How to get there?

Getting to Munich is quick and easy from the UK, meaning that your hassle-free holiday can begin as soon as you step on the plane...

Munich flights take travellers into Munich Airport (MUC), Germany's second busiest airport and the region's flight hub. The area is alternately served by the smaller Memmingen Airport (FMM), also known as Munich-West Airport, found several kilometres to the west of Munich. This airport is only served by Ryanair from the UK, with flights from Edinburgh and Stansted.

Munich Airport has non-stop flights from London Heathrow with British Airways and Lufthansa. Lufthansa also operates from Manchester and Birmingham. In addition, easyJet offers services from Manchester, Gatwick and Stansted, and Monarch flies in from Manchester, Luton and Leeds Bradford.

Connecting flights to Munich can be found via a range of German cities with airlines such as Germanwings and Air Berlin, as well via Paris with Air France, Amsterdam with KLM, and via Brussels with Brussels Airlines.

Getting to and from the airport

Those travelling onwards from Munich Airport into Munich have a number of transport options to pick from to reach their final destination.

The airport is served by suburban rail lines, with the station conveniently located underneath the airport terminals to take travellers straight to the heart of the city. There are also regular bus services connecting the airport to Munich and a number of other nearby destinations.

Where to stay?

Historical Munich has a range of places to stay whatever your budget. But where should you choose?

If you want to be close to the city centre and immersed in all the wonderful sights of Munich, opt for accommodation near to the Marienplatz. This will give you access to many tourist attractions such as the New City Hall, the Glockenspiel, the opera house and Old City Hall.

Shopaholics should also consider accommodation near to the city centre as many of the main shopping areas are located here. And if you're feeling thirsty after splashing the cash, why not sample a German brew at the famous beer hall 'Hofbräuhaus am Platzl'?
Maxvorstadt is also located near to the city centre and is where culture vultures will want to flock to due to its large number of museums and galleries.

Hip Schwabing is another option for your stay, and here you will find a number of restaurants, bars and pavement cafes. Originally a mecca for artists, the area is also home to the 'English Garden' - a stunning park where you can enjoy some time out from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Visitors looking to sample Munich's nightlife should opt to stay near to Au-Haidhausen. This is located near Munich East station and has a large number of bars, clubs and restaurants.