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Munich was founded in the year 1158, and was ordained with official city status in 1175. In 1180, Otto I of Wittelsbach became the Duke of Bavaria, beginning a dynasty that would last until 1918. In 1314, Duke Louis IV became the German king, and eventually the Holy Roman Emperor in 1328. Louis IV assured Munich’s role as an economic powerhouse by beginning the salt trade there.
Beginning in 1468, Munich’s largest gothic church, the Frauenkirche, was constructed. The 1500s saw the unity of Bavaria, and Munich became the capital city. In the 16th century, Munich became the centre of the German renaissance arts, but an outbreak of the Bubonic Plague killed around a third of the population in the 17th century.
During the First World War, Munich residents experienced difficult times, being bombarded by French planes, and suffering from a devastating food and fuel blockade. After the war, the political instability led to the rise of communism under Lenin and then the eventual ring-wing backlash by Adolf Hitler. Munich became the centre for the growth of the Nazi Party, and was eventually known as the Capital of the National Socialist movement.
Following the Second World War, American forces occupied the city as it was rebuilt after the devastation of the war. In 1972, Munich hosted the Summer Olympics when Palestinian terrorists assassinated Israeli athletes. Today, Munich residents enjoy a high quality of life and a stable economy driven by the prosperous information technology, and biotechnology sectors.
Easily the largest museum of technology and natural sciences in the world, visitors would need an entire week if they wanted to visit each of the Deutsches Museum’s distinct exhibits. Spanning 13 acres, the expositions cover a wide variety of themes, including machines, equipment, models and reconstructions, and traditional mechanics and telecommunications. Hands-on exhibits allow guests to learn about the technologies through experimentation.
This church was built in the 16th century and gives visitors a glimpse of both Germany’s historical religious traditions and architectural trends. The church was badly damaged and then restored after the Second World War. Visitors can climb the two towers to take in some of the best views in the city. Daily tours of the church provide history buffs with all the information they could hope to know about the cathedral’s origins.
Cultural history buffs should head to the Bayerisches National Museum, the city’s three-storey arts and history centre. The museum features sculptures, folk pieces, cloths, and all kinds of different scientific artefacts that reveal the city’s past. Visitors can spend a full day walking around the educational displays.
Dating back to the Wittelsbach dynasty, this building is one of the biggest and most impressive architectural marvels within the city. Guests cannot tour the home of the powerful medieval family, but they can people watch from the beautiful courtyard.
One of the most popular Baroque complexes in the world, these three palaces are located just 13 kilometres from Munich’s centre in the town of Oberschleißheim. The palaces began as summer retreats for Bavarian rulers. Built in 1598, Schleissheim Palace sports marks of damage but provides an example of a Renaissance country estate.
The Schloss Lustheim was constructed between 1684 and 1688, and contains an extensive collection of porcelain plates. Built between 1701 and 1704, the New Schleibheim palace has a majestic Great Hall with a gallery of European Baroque painting.
Tip * Booking your Tours, Transfers & Airport Parking before you go will save your money & time and ensure a stress free start to your holiday
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Munich originally imported beer until Duke Wihelm V decided it would be cost effective to build the city its own brewery in 1589. The Hofbrauhaus quickly grew to be very successful and, more than four hundred years later, this beer garden remains as one of Europe’s biggest tourist attractions.
So come try one of its signature beers in a trademark mug. If you are not much of a drinker, Hofbrauhaus also serves excellent German pub food, and the unique atmosphere of a historic brew house makes it well worth the trip.
One of the oldest natural zoological parks in Europe and the world, the Tierpark Hellabrunn zoo contains more than 5,000 animals of more than 460 distinct species. The zoo is divided according the earth’s continental formation, creating 15 different sections.
Adult admission to Tierpark Hellabrunn costs just €11, making a trip here a great activity for a whole-family daytrip. The zoo’s origins date back to a compound where elector Maximillian III held exotic animals. Today, visitors can see all kinds of animas, including lions, bears, exotic birds, monkeys, and obscure insects.
One of the world’s most modern football facilities, the Allianz Arena was created in May 2005 and financed by TSV 1860 Munchen and FC Bayern Munchen. The architectural marvel was designed by Herzog and de Meuron of Basel, and has a capacity of 69,900 seats.
The stadium’s 2,874 foil panels form the 64,000 square metre roof, providing a shell-like membrane. The stadium’s most impressive feature is its lighting, which illuminates it with the colours of the two football clubs. The arena was inaugurated for the first match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
The largest green space within the city limits, the English Garden is located just north of the city, and has natural viewpoints of the city that attract thousands of visitors to the garden to pass the afternoon with picnics. The rivers that flow through the park also offer swimming recreation. The park’s beer gardens serve as rest stops for weary picnickers, providing visitors with well-deserved treats.
For visitors looking to stay in the crème de la crème of Bavarian hotels, look no further – the Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski Hotel has it all. This elegant grand hotel is 150 years old, yet all of its services and comforts are very modern. Typical rooms include Internet and a queen-sized bed, while the hotel itself has a fitness club, a spa, a pool, and a top quality restaurant. It is also located just blocks away from shopping boutiques and theatres.
Another jewel of a hotel is the Westin Grand Hotel. The 627 guest rooms and 28 suites provide panoramic views of the city and the mountains. Rooms come standard with comfortable beds, cleansing showers, and flat screen televisions. The hotel’s Paulaner’s Wirtshaus beer garden is a great place to share drink. Guests who are looking for a little relaxation will enjoy the Westin Grand Munich’s indoor pool, sauna, steam bath, and spa.
Another fine lodging establishment is the Hotel Drei Lowen. All rooms have a traditional feel, but are equipped with modern appliances such as a radios, televisions, telephones, fax machines, mini bars, and hair dryers. Step outside the hotel and guests will find themselves in Munich’s historical centre. Wireless Internet is available everywhere and the hotel’s restaurant has a great dinner menu.
The Holiday Inn Munich-Schwabing combines a great location with affordable rates. This hotel lies in the artistic quarter of Schwabing, and is a popular destination within the city. The English Garden, with its cafes and shops, is also just around the corner. Hotel amenities – including a pool, a lounge, and a sauna – are great for tourists who may require some downtime.
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Munich Airport is very accessible for travellers. The S-Bahn lines 1 and 8 operate to and from the city to the airport and many airlines include the fee of transport on the train from the terminal in the airfare. The airport bus operates every 20 minutes and cost €10. Otherwise there are taxi and limo services, but no car hire in Munich is necessary.
Munich also has the incredible S-Bahnwhich connects beyond Bavaria. More than 720,000 passengers travel by the S-Bahn daily. The S-Bahn runs on 442 kilometres of line at an average speed of 50 kilometres per hour. The trains run frequently but the next goal is to have them running every 10 minutes.
Public transportation is well developed, including 550 underground cars, 96 trams, or 250 different buses. There are also 200 plus buses which operate in cooperation with the main MVG or Munchner Verkelhrsgesellschaft company. More than one million passengers use the services daily.
A great place to get authentic food and delicious beer is the Weisses Brauhaus (Tal 7). This restaurant is the originator of the Weisswurst and Weissbier, as well as many other traditional Bavarian foods and drinks. The ambience is perfect for visitors looking for an inside perspective on the region’s culture, and prices are reasonable. Menu specialties include the Kalbskron or veal skirt steak boiled with horseradish and potatoes.
Visitors looking for a café with distinct and light food options should check out the Ruffini (Orffstraße 22). This is a warm and cheerful spot in the centre of Munich that serves a variety of snacks and coffees. The café has a great ambience and is perfect for people watching, especially during warm spring and summer days. On days like these, a traditional or cold coffee is available to help pass the hours.
To feast on traditional European flavours, check out the top-notch Rue des Halles Parisian Brasserie (Steinstraße 18). The restaurant’s cuisine is inspired by French and Mediterranean cooking. Locals love the seafood entrées such as the tuna in saffron or oysters. The restaurant’s vibe is fun, the service is quick, the wine list is extensive, and the food options will please diverse tastes. Food is all around €20.
Another classic German beer garden is the Löwenbräukeller (Nymphenburger Straße 2), which serves great local beer and traditional Bavarian food – including an extensive dinner menu – right in the heart of Munich. The atmosphere is fun and friendly with well-lit rooms and fast service. Some menu favourites include the Lowebraukeller´s sausage platter with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes.
The health infrastructure and facilities are in excellent condition. Procure a European Health Insurance Card just in case.
In the case of emergencies, dial (089) or (112) for the general European emergency number. The police rescue number is 110 or 112 for the fire department.
Good public health clinics include Klinikum der Universitat Munchen, Marchionisistr (89) 709 50, the Kinderklinik Munchen Schwabing (children’s hospital) (089) 30 68 24 89.
Petty crime has increased in some tourist areas, but attacks are infrequent. It is recommended not to walk alone at night, or with lots of jewellery or other expensive objects, such as electronics. Do not walk around with large quantities of cash. Racially motivated assaults have been reported in some towns in Eastern Germany.
Make photocopies of all original travel documents in the case that they are lost or stolen. Keep the originals locked in the hotel safe with cash. Take a mobile phone with you and make sure that you have all emergency numbers programmed. If you are assaulted, keep calm and do not to resist.
The possession and consumption of drugs is forbidden and prostitution is outlawed.