Munich, Germany

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City Guide

Willkommen in München!

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Working hard to balance the provinziell with the modern, Munich is a bustling cosmopolitan city with such an olde worlde charm. Its name was a derivative of the old name Munichen, which translates to “by the monk’s place”, as the city was founded by Benedictine monks. The coat of arms of the city includes an image of a Benedictine monk, while the official city colors of black and gold are Holy Roman Empire colors.

 

To get the most out of your adventure, please make sure to read this itinerary from front-to-back. It is sectioned into three parts: prep, daily itineraries, and an appendix identifying everything you need to print (lodging, train tickets, etc).

Today – Now

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PLANNING & BOOKING

The dreaded part of any vacation - planning! Every savvy traveler knows that it’s always better to plan and book early in advance to bag those irresistible bargains. Not only do you get to save up to 25% on flight and hotel prices, but you also get to never settle for second-best! Lower flight prices, room deals, and early bird discounts are only some of the many benefits of booking your tickets, excursions and accommodation early on. We recommend planning and booking 3 to 6 months in advance – a surefire way to have a worry-free pre-holiday buzz when the time to travel is near!

Unforgettable Moments - Munich Highlights

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Munich, situated at the Isar River in the southern part of Bavaria, is known worldwide for the annual beer celebration, Oktoberfest. Its cultural scene is like no other in Germany, with the city teeming with beautiful architecture and great museums. The Second World War may have destroyed most of the buildings in Munich but the city took great pains to have most of the historic buildings in the city restored.

The modern city of Munich is a center for international business, research, and engineering and is home to a number of science and technology museums and numerous multinational companies. Munich is likewise a publishing and financial center and has become a top favorite expatriate location and migration destination, the city is ranked fifth most livable cities in the world as of 2012, according to Monocle and consistently ranks in Mercer’s livability rankings.

Day-by-Day Breakdown

Day 1: Arrival + Getting Acquainted

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Arrival

Guten Morgen! Welcome to Munich! We know the feeling, having your excitement of landing at a new place being replaced by the dread of customs, luggage and how you’ll be reaching your hotel. Don’t worry though, if you have everything planned beforehand, you’ll find that you’ll be done in no time.

Nearly all visitors who fly into Munich fly through Flughafen München (MUC), the second busiest airport in Germany. The airport is huge with countless amenities and entertainment opportunities that part of you will kind of want to stay just a little bit more there to explore.

We suggest taking a flight that arrives at the Airport as early as possible so you can spend the rest of your day getting acquainted with the city.

To get to the center, taking an S-Bahn from München Flughafen Terminal is the easiest option. The journey to München Marienplatz takes 38 minutes and costs $4 - $8. Alternatively, you can take a bus, taxi, or rent a car.

Morning

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The best to orient yourself with the city is by having a traditional German breakfast followed by a walking tour of the old town to get you acquainted with the city and excited for the next few days.

Within its three remaining gateways - Isartor, Karlstor, and Sendlinger Tor - Munich's Altstadt (Old Town) is easily explored on foot. Strolling through the tastefully repaved streets, with their fountains, statuary, and immaculately restored buildings is an experience you cannot fail to enjoy.

Start in busy Marienplatz, named for the Virgin Mary, whose lovely gilded statue stands atop the column erected in 1638 in the middle of the square.

 

Afternoon

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Throngs of tourists gather here to admire the Glockenspiel. It is set into the main facade of the New City Hall (Neues Rathaus), built in mock-Gothic style in the late 19th to early 20th centuries. After the bells of the carillon have played, mechanical figures appear and reenact two events: the traditional coopers' dance originally performed to ward off the plague, and a famous wedding celebrated in the square in 1568. The Rathaus has an elevator that will whisk you most of the way up its 262-foot-high (80m) tower for a great view of the city.

The Old City Hall (Altes Rathaus) on the eastern side of the square has several floors of toys from times past. A taller tower looms Over the square from the south; this is the belfry of Alter Peter ("Old Peter") more properly known as St. Peter's Church (Peterskirche), Munich's oldest place of worship with a wonderful baroque altar. The catwalk around the top of the tower gives a rooftop panorama, but note there are 306 steps to climb.

Evening

We suggest having an early night for your first day, as the next few days will be quite hectic. Go for dinner at Ratskeller, the enormous labyrinth of an underground restaurant situated in the cellar of the New City Hall. You can eat in one of the large rooms with their vaulted ceilings, or choose a more intimate booth. Typical Bavarian cuisine and plenty of beer.

Day Two: Munich’s historic center  

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Morning

The Old Town has so much to offer that it deserves another day. Start with the brick-built Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche), whose twin towers with their domes symbolize the city. From nearby, the scale of the building is almost overwhelming with improbably tall, slim Gothic windows soaring skyward Signs warning you not to stand too close in winter or you could be caught in minor avalanches of snow and ice cascading from the roof. An elevator takes you up one of the church towers for another view of the city.

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Afternoon

To descend from these lofty heights into the belly of the city walk south from Marienplatz to the Viktualienmarkt. This is probably Germany's most lively and colorful food market, its stalls peopled by square-jawed harpies with a great line in Bavarian banter Don't even think of squeezing the goods or questioning the prices. The produce may not be cheap, but nearly all of it is of excellent quality and a feast for the eye as well as the stomach.

Not far away is the superlative City Historical Museum (Munchner Stadimuseum) where the imaginatively presented exhibits tell the story of the city in fascinating detail. The stars here are the Moriskentänzer wonderfully contorted and expressive figures of dancers carved in the late 15th century. You also have one of the world's largest collections of musical instruments, museums dedicated to film, marionettes, and beer and a photographic department.


Evening

Hidden away in the lanes to the northeast of Marienplatz is the Hofbräuhaus (Court Brewery). It was established by Duke Wilhelm Vin 1589 with orders to produce a beer to suit his personal palate. Only in the early 19th century were members of the public permitted to share his taste in ale. The cavernous beer hall, with its oom-pah band and dimdi-clad waitresses bearing an impossible number of giant mugs in both hands, still has its complement of local boozers, but most of the clientele now seem

to come from other quarters of the globe. 

Day 3: Step back in time!

Morning

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Start your day by having breakfast at Cotidiano Gärtnerplatz, one of the most popular brunch places in Munich. Then head to Residenz, set around seven courtyards in the northeastern part of the Old Town. It demonstrates the power, wealth, and taste of Bavaria's Wittelsbach rulers. Employing the best architects, designers, and decorators, they built and rebuilt their palace over the centuries, lavishly decorating it and filling it with the results of their collecting mania.


The Residenzmuseum entrance is on Max-Joseph-Platz, and you need to join two tours to take everything in. On the morning tour, you may see the Ancestors' Gallery, Antiquarium, State Rooms, and Royal Apartments.

Afternoon

On the afternoon tour, you may visit the Porcelain Rooms, Court Chapel, Reliquary Room, Silver Room, Stone Room, and Imperial Chamber Treasury. You can see many of the treasures assembled by the Wittelsbachs over the centuries in the Treasury (Schatzkammer), one of the finest such collections of precious objects in the world. Among the most venerable items is an altar cibarium (Communion chalice) made a thousand years before the Bavarian crown jewels and commissioned from Napoleon's Parisian goldsmith in 1806.

Away from the heat of the Residenz in the city center, Schloss Nymphenburg was the Wittelsbachs' summer refuge. This gleaming palace is set in extensive grounds with fountains, ponds and four garden pavilions – it's the perfect place for an evening stroll.

Together with the Theatinerkirche, it was built to celebrate the birth of a new son and heir, Maximilian Emanuel, to Princess Henriette Adelaide in 1662. The palace had modest beginnings as a small summer villa, but it grew over the next century as each succeeding ruler added another wing or his own pavilion and changed the landscaping.

The palace is approached by a long canal with avenues on either bank leading to a semicircle of lawns, the Schloss Botanical Gardens, and Schloss Blutenburg.


Day 4: Berchtesgaden Day-Trip!

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Morning 

Ringed by mountain peaks, the little town of Berchtesgaden sits on a natural balcony overlooking an idyllic valley. In the surrounding area, you'll find some of the most glorious sights in the Bavarian Alps, foremost among them the fjordlike Königssee in the shadow of towering Watzmann, Germany's second highest summit.

Coming to this mountain fastness from the north is almost like entering another country - not surprising when you remember that for centuries the Berchtesgadener region was an independent state. Augustinian priors first settled the valley in the 12th century and later grew rich on the proceeds of the local salt mines. Their successors ruled the little state 

A good place to start and take in the panorama from Berchtesgaden is the garden of the NationalparkHaus, the interpretive center of Berchtesgaden National Park. Much of the sublime landscape visible from here is protected. 

Afternoon: 

Visit the National Park House for information about the area's heritage, its extraordinarily rich and varied wildlife, and it’s almost endless possibilities for walks or more challenging hikes.

A stroll through the attractive streets of old painted houses will bring you to the town's showpiece, the Schlossplatz. Facing the sturdy building on the left are the church and residence from the old monastery parts of which are from the 12th century. Items from the Wittelsbach collections-paintings, sculptures, carvings, furniture, hunting trophies, and weapons are attractively displayed here.

The town's other great attraction is the Salzbergwerk, the underground salt works on which Berditesgaden's early prosperity was founded and which is still in operation. Clad in traditional miner's garb, you whiz underground on a heart-stopping but perfectly safe slide, explore galleries and grottoes, and are rafted across a sparkling salt lake.

Evening: 

Set off from Berchtesgaden in time for dinner at Schuhbecks Südtiroler Stuben, an acclaimed restaurant run by chef Alfons Schuhbeck, with inspired blends of Eastern and Western cuisine. Menu depends on local produce available.

Day Five: – a little bit of history!

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Morning

Starting your day with a yummy breakfast is a surefire way to get your day off to a great start.  We recommend Mr. Pancake, a family-run pancake house where you can choose from pancakes recipes from 15 countries.

 

After you’re ‘pancaked’, it’s time to dip yourself in art. Many of Munich's finest museums and galleries lie northwest of the Old Town, in the area now called Art Area Munich (Kunstareal München).

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Afternoon

The royal collection of old master paintings was given a new home in the purpose-built palace of the Old Picture Gallery, the Alte Pinakothek. Here is one of the world's great collections of European art from the Middle Ages to the 18th century. Acquired over the centuries by the Wittelsbachs, the paintings are now on show in this Italian Renaissance-style palazzo.

1981 monumental concrete granite, and sandstone structure, sometimes called the "Palazzo Branca" after its architect Alexander von Branca, more than matches the older buildings in the museum district as a setting for the New Picture Gallery (Neue Pinakothek) and its fine art. It's worthwhile spending a few minutes strolling around the outside of this outstanding building, set off by rows of trees.

Evening

Opera has been an attraction in Munich for centuries and you can’t leave Munich without spending an evening enjoying opera. The town vies with Bayreuth for performances of Wagner, and the works of Mozart and Richard Strauß are favorites. Though the Italians take second place, Verdi, Rossini, and Donizetti are by no means neglected. 

The majestic Nationaltheater makes every opera evening seem like a gala. In summer there are open-air concerts on Odeonsplatz and Königsplatz, or you can enjoy performances in the palatial setting of Nymphenburg, Blutenburg, or Schleißheim. Music does not stop during the winter when concerts are performed in the Frauenkirche and many other churches in town.

Day Six

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Morning

If you feel like a change from cultural activity, try the delightful Hellabrunn Zoo (U3 U-Bahn or bus No 52 to Thalkirchen from Marienplatz). Here, animals are grouped according to their continent of origin, and you'll see zoological curiosities such as the tarpan, a kind of horse, and the white-tailed gnu. The antics of the chimps 'working out in their own private gym attract appreciative audiences. It's possible to spend hours in the kid's area alone, with pony rides and goat pens, plus a superb adventure playground and suspension bridge.

Afternoon

Take the U-3 to Olympiapark in the north of the city, the sport and recreation area, created for the 1972 Olympic Games. The complex is dominated by the 950ft-high Olympiaturm, which was a symbol of those games. The restaurant and observation decks provide spectacular views of the city and surroundings, and on a clear day, the Alps can seem almost close enough to touch. 

The other major feature of the complex is the Olympiastadion, with its 78,000 seating capacity and extraordinary tent-roof structure, designed by Behnisch and Partners. This used to be the home of Bayern Munich. The latest attraction here is Sea Life Munich, which provides a close-up look at underwater life along the Isar and Danube rivers, into the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.

At the other side of the ring road is the distinctive main headquarters building of the carmaker BMW. The bowl-shaped building in front is the BMW Museum, which provides a fascinating insight into the history of the Bavarian Motor Works, with exhibits of cars, motorcycles and aircraft engines. The futuristic BMW Welt showroom complex is another attraction.

Evening

A romantic dinner would be a great end to your day and we recommend Spatenhaus an der Oper. It offers a classic dinner before or after visiting the opera or one of the nearby theatres. Locals also love the cozy ground floor for morning snacks or lunches savoring Bavarian cuisine and upstairs for its more elegant atmosphere and dining.

Day 7: Tschüss Munich!

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We recommend taking an evening flight out of Munich so you can have a few extra hours to explore the city.

 For the last few hours, we recommend:

·      Having breakfast at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

·      Visiting the Frauenkirche Church.

·      Relaxing in the English Garden.

·      Shopping for souvenirs at Maximilianstraße.

 

Take a train from München Marienplatz to the München Flughafen Terminal, a trip that will last you about 36 minutes. We recommend leaving for the airport at least three hours before your scheduled departure.

The Black Experience

Yoruba Elite Club regularly organizes events and workshops to “to cherish, uphold and project the honor, dignity of Yoruba culture, language and tradition worldwide.” 

“The African Courier is an international magazine published in Germany to report on Africa and the Diaspora African experience. The African Courier is a communication forum for European-African political, economic and cultural exchanges, and a voice for Africa in Europe.

With too many negative representations of Africa entrenched in images of war, disease, poverty and famine, The African Courier  seeks to redress the imbalance by giving a realistic image of the continent with all its challenges and opportunities. This, we think, is very important if the world is to engage Africa to mutual benefits.”

Architekturmuseum der TU München houses an “African Mobilities” exhibition that explores how architecture can rethink the opportunities and challenges of African migration.

The Five Continents Museum has permanent exhibitions of the Art and Culture of Africa in its second floor.

The Weltkulturen Museum Munich houses impressive collections of African art.

Luxury Hotels and Villas List


We recommend staying at Maxvorstadt or Altstadt, the cultural nerve of the city, where most of the major attractions are located within walking distance. Schwabing is known for its bars and clubs so if you’re a party-person, look for a place in this neighborhood. 

Here are some of our top picks on where to stay!

Trip Prep

FLIGHTS / BUS / TICKETS

The best time to book your flight is anywhere between 50 to 90 days in advance to avoid the unpredictable fluctuations of the prices. If you’re traveling in peak season (the summer months or Christmas and New Year’s), make sure you book well in advance as well.  We also do not recommend renting a car in Munich as the public transport is fast, affordable, and reliable.

Book Ahead

Allow yourself the flexibility (and the budget!) to go on an exciting adventure

such as diving or quad biking or book yourself into that boutique hotel you just happen to find. To avoid waiting in long lines in the busy season, book all the attraction passes before you get there. We recommend purchasing the CityTourCard which includes free/discounted entrance to over 80 museums attractions. 

Insurance

Munich has a great medical system, and the best way to fully use to your advantage in case of emergencies is by purchasing travel insurance. Without insurance, and in case of emergency, you’ll find that the costs can easily pile up – leaving you with expenses you definitely did not budget for. Always have your insurance slip along with a physical copy on you, and keep another on your phone just in case. 

PASSPORT

No VISA, no problem

US Citizens are able to travel to European countries in the Schengen zone without a visa for up to 90 days. The requirements for entry are simple; make sure your passport is valid for three months after departure and you have two blank pages for stamps.

Electricity

Most people tend to forget to pack an outlet adapter and/or converter. You definitely need an outlet adapter, so we recommend getting a universal one that works around most cities in Europe and the UK as well. If you have any curlers or hair dryers with you, we also recommend using a voltage converter. 

Phones

International: Dial the international access code (001 in US, 00 in Europe), then the country code (49 for Germany) then the number. Drop the initial 0 if there is one. 

Domestic: If you’re calling from one number to another within the same European country simply dial the phone number, including the initial 0 if there is one. No country code needed.

Packing Made Simple!

  1. Packing will completely depend on when you are visiting. For winter, bring warm clothes, gloves, mittens, beanies, jackets and lots of layers. For summer, bring lighter clothes, dresses, light shirts

  2. Remember your camera, charger, memory card and power adapter. Be well equipped to capture all of the beautiful sites when wandering the city.

  3. Reusable water bottle.

  4. Pack light - using packing cubes and roll your clothes!

  5. Edgy fashion seems to be the norm in Munich.

  6. Your insurance, passport, copies of tickets and copies of your insurance. 

  7. Very comfortable shoes - you will be walking a lot and the streets need comfortable shoes. Skip the heels. 

  8. Be sure to have cash on hand—it’s not uncommon to find cash-only restaurants and shops, even in major cities.

Booking Checklist 

Flight

For this itinerary, allow 6 nights, 7 days.

  • ARRIVE: MUNICH (MUC) in the morning of DAY 1

  • DEPART: MUNICH (MUC) in the evening of DAY 7

Lodging

Munich has plenty of lodging options available that cater to all types of tastes. From luxury and boutique hotels to B&Bs, AirBnB’s and hostels - the options are endless. Most places in Munich are also very well-connected to the center, so you won’t have trouble navigating around. 

Munich, Germany  | DAY 1 - 7, 6 nights

Tickets & Reservations:

  1. Dinner at Spatenhaus an der Oper on the evening of Day 6

  2. The CityTourCard, which will include the attractions and public transport. 


Recommended Airlines & Routes 

From the U.S

The main carriers from the U.S are Lufthansa, Delta and United Airlines and each have their own advantages. The best airline completely depends on which airline has the best deals at the time you’re traveling. There are direct flights from New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston and Boston. 

We recommend choosing Lufthansa because it rates quite highly when it comes to on-time arrivals, airfare, baggage handling, and customer service. They also have one of the best frequent flyer programs.

From Europe

We recommend Lufthansa for flights in Europe due to their exceptional customer service and baggage handling. They also offer great in-flight entertainment and a clean, polished interior. 

Apps, Transportation & The ‘Gram

Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash

  • Tripadvisor | One of the best city guides to use while in Bodrum with real reviews from people. It’s a great app if you want to find less-touristy things to do or if you want to explore areas around you. 

  • Whatsapp | free text messaging and calls to other Whatsapp users

  • MVV: a journey planning application created by the Munich transport association.

  • Komoot: a great tool to help you find your way. Choose one of the suggested routes and it will provide you with real-time navigation and maps.

TRANSIT BOOKING SITES

The Gram

München @muenchen 

Munich Lifestyle @munichlifestyle 

munich.with.us @munich.with.us 

Munich / München @munich.germany 

#munich #munichgermany # munich_germany #munichcity #munichlove #munichworld #munichtrip #travelmunich #munichfood

Most Instagrammable Spots in Munich:

  • Siegestor

  • Juristische Bibliothek (The Law Library)

  • The View from St Peter’s Church Tower.

  • Munich Zoo.

  • Umschreibung AKA the Stairway to Nowhere.

  • Hofgarten.

  • The Residenz.

  • Marienplatz.

  • Justizpalast.

  • Monopteros.

Destination Facts 

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Photo by Mohammad Saifullah on Unsplash


















  • Munich is also called “Minga” rather than München – mostly by people from the surrounding rural areas.

  • Munich has a population of about 1.4 million and is Germany’s third largest city after Berlin and Hamburg, 

  • World-renowned Oktoberfest of Munich actually starts in September. It draws up to six million visitors.

  • Munich is the headquarter of the German car company BMW and has a huge museum dedicated to the it.

  • Munich is known for its white sausages. These are usually served as breakfast/brunch and eaten with pretzels and sweet mustard.

  • The city has 36 museums, 61 theatres, and 4 symphony orchestras.

  • The Louis Vuitton Maison is housed in the city’s former main post office, which was inaugurated in 1838.

  • Munich is geographically North than any other major US city.

  • The Munich Underground was built for the Olympic Games 1972.

  • Munich has Europe’s biggest film studios, the Bavaria Filmstudios.


Shenae Curry