Tourists travel to Munich, capital of Bavaria, for its green spaces and Oktoberfest (beer drinking festival). Sights worth seeing include the ancient and splendid paintings gallery, the Old City, the Nymphenburg Castle and the English gardens that is often frequented by all of the young people in Munich. This garden lies along the Isar, the river of the city, and named "Isar the green" due to its colour. The Schwabing, the neighbourhood of artists and students is equally a treat, especially close to the small triumphal arch - the Siegestor, the Fine Arts Academy built at the end of the 19th century. Picasso recommended this institution to his contemporaries. In this Bohemian neighbourhood, visitors can stop in front of the trendy cafés, not leaving out its restaurants, inns and famous Munich breweries (whose appellation is strictly monitored throughout the territory). The painted façades of Munich buildings alternate between pink (especially at the Maximilian Square) and ochre (the Theatines church). One can equally find countless red-brick buildings. The buildings with pavilion roofs as well as the 950 ft tower erected during the 1972 Olympic Games have become the symbols of the modern city. The Olympic Games increased the number of tower blocks in the city (whereas tall buildings were forbidden before the Games). As an alternative to public transport (which is quite expensive), the bicycle is the most widely-used means of transport once the good weather sets in.
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In autumn, the whole world comes together at the famous 'Oktoberfest' to celebrate beer, Germany's most famous drink. In winter, Munich boasts one of the largest Christmas markets in Germany. All around the famous 'Marienplatz' square, in the heart of the city, you will find the equally famous 'Kripperlmarkt'. Established 7 centuries ago, the market is still as beautiful as it was then and it still attracts just as many visitors, of all ages. You will find absolutely everything at the city's markets! A stone's throw from the town hall, you will even find the biggest crèche market in the country. In spring and summer, everyone is outside! Green spaces ? including the famous English Garden ? regain their colours and resume their services...
Every day, the town hall (the 'Atles Rathau') celebrates the eleventh hour of the morning in a rather special way! Take the time to enjoy the show provided by the building's clock for both locals and visitors. After, wander through the maze of streets in the city centre, through the streets of Schwabing - district full of aspiring artists.
Most museums are located in the Kunstareal district. Among them, you will find the Brandhors Museum, the latest in the Bavarian capital, which is home to a surprising amount of modern works, featuring Cy Twombly, Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol and Gerhard Richter.
Just next door is the 'Pinakothek der Moderne' with its permanent collection of 20th and 21st century art works, the 'Alte Pinakothek' with its European paintings from the 14th to the 18th century, and the 'Nueue Pinakothek' with its European works from classicism to Van Gogh.
The Glypothek was built under the reign of Louis I of Bavaria in the style of a Greek Temple and is flanked by a similar building that houses a collection of antiques, statues and other period objects.
Other museums can be found in other areas of the city: The Villa Stuck Museum (former home of the Art Deco painter Franz von Stuck), houses temporary exhibitions.
The Bayerisches National Museum in Prinzregentenstraße features objects from the Middle Age to classicism, musical instruments, porcelain, etc.
The scientific Deutsches Museum, located on an island in the Isar River, right in the centre of Munich.
There is something for everyone: contemporary, modern, classical, ancient, medieval and even scientific art! It usually takes more than one trip to discover all of Munich's charms...
Make sure you wrap up warm in winter! Because of its proximity to the Alps, Munich is the snowiest city in Germany. On top of that, the city falls between the humid Atlantic and dry continental climate. Don't forget to pack comfortable shoes if you want to spend your days walking in the city cheerfully.
Every year, around six million people come to the Oktoberfest beer festival. Stay away if you don't like crowds and noise! Also, avoid booking your transport and accommodation at the last minute. All the hotels in the city are booked up several months (or more) before the festival. Lastly, try to get there early if you're hoping to find a seat inside one of the tents. Extreme organisation required...
In Germany, meat is loved by all, especially the Bavarians! Sausages and potatoes are used in 1001 different ways: in salads, baked, steamed, fried, etc. Don't expect to find any sauerkraut though, that speciality is from the French region of Alsace! Throughout your stay, you will be able try one of the 200 Bavarian specialities: 'Süßer Senf' (slightly sweet mustard that is eaten particularly with the famous 'Weißwurst' sausages), 'Kartoffelknödel' (a type of giant gnocchi), 'Semmelknödel' (quenelle), 'Dampfnudel' (a sweet bun), 'Schweinshaxe' (pork knuckle and knee), 'Leberkäs' (meatloaf), 'Brezn' (pretzel), 'Obazda' (cheese speciality made with Camembert cheese)?
After tasting the 'home-brewed beers' at home, you will definitely want to share your discoveries with your friends...in moderation of course! The Bavarian beers are some of the most famous in Germany, so take the opportunity to bring a few bottles or cans back home! Remember to bring back some famous traditional clothes (?Lederhosen' for men and ?Dirndl' for women), wood carvings ('Holzschnitzerein'), Nympehnburg porcelains, local specialities like gingerbread ('lebkuchen'), Christmas cakes ('Stollen'), marzipan and any nice Christmas objects you may find on the market as well. A special mention for the crèches and the Christmas crib figures.