What are the five best things to see and do in Munich?

Liz Humphreys
  • Liz Humphreys

  • Correspondent

  • Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands

Beyond Munich’s quintessential beer culture (which shouldn’t be missed), the southern German city boasts a surprising number of cultural attractions. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s picks for the five best things to see and do when visiting Munich:
 
1. Alte Pinakothek and Neue Pinakothek. We think the amazing art collections at these two Munich museums are must-sees for a trip to Munich. Alte Pinakothek features historic master artworks from the 14th to 18th century from artists like Dürer, Rembrandt and Rubens; while Neue Pinakothek is particularly strong in 19th-century art, including works from Monet, Degas and Cezanne.
 
2. Deutsches Museum. The largest and oldest science museum in the world, Deutsches Museum has six fascinating floors of exhibits on everything from a reconstruction of Galileo’s workshop to an original Wright brothers’ airplane.
 
3. Marienplatz. It’s definitely worth spending half a day wandering Marienplatz — which means Mary’s Square — in Munich’s center, admiring the elaborately carved Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall), strolling the pedestrian shopping streets and stopping for a bite at the Viktualienmarkt food market.
 
4. Beer gardens. If you’re in Munich between mid-May and late-September (or for Oktoberfest, the famed 16-day festival that starts at the end of September), Forbes Travel Guide editors suggest you spend some time imbibing at one of the beer gardens throughout the city. It’s the best way to appreciate the city’s rich beer culture.
 
5. Nymphenburg Palace. Built as a summer palace to the west of Munich in the late 1600s, Nymphenburg Palace still delights today with its richly decorated great hall, royal stables and Baroque gardens.

  • On October 23, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the five best places to stay in Munich?

    You’ll find Munich has a wealth of luxurious accommodations. Whether you’re in Munich for business or pleasure, Forbes Travel Guide has narrowed down the five best places to stay: 
     
    1. Hotel Bayerischer Hof. This large luxury hotel opened in 1841 at the behest of King Ludwig I and is still the epitome of elegance in Munich. With five restaurants — including the award-winning Atelier— six bars and a rooftop spa, you may never get out to explore the city.
     
    2. Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski München. Located on Maximilianstrasse, Munich’s most exclusive shopping street, this grand hotel was built in 1858 and still exudes opulence. You can choose from 12 different room styles inspired by the era of Louis II.
     
    3. Mandarin Oriental Munich. A small hotel with a devoted clientele, Mandarin Oriental Munich anticipates your every need with amenities like fruit and check in and a complimentary mini-bar. Be sure to get up to the rooftop, where you can the Alps from the heated pool.
     
    4.The Charles Hotel. One of Munich’s newest luxury hotels, The Charles created by Rocco Forte is in a quiet location within the Old Botanical Gardens. Many rooms offer verdant views while the hotel features an elegant spa and fine Italian restaurant.
     
    5. Sofitel Munich Bayerpost. With its appealing mix of French and Bavarian design, the state-of-the-art Sofitel Munich Bayerpost is conveniently located near Munich’s main train station. Each of its 10 suites was renovated in 2009 and sports a different theme. You’ll see nods to New York City and log cabins; but no matter which room you get, rest assured it will have a modern edge.
  • On August 16, 2012
    Liz Humphreys answered the question: Liz Humphreys

    What are the five best things to see and do in Munich?

    Beyond Munich’s quintessential beer culture (which shouldn’t be missed), the southern German city boasts a surprising number of cultural attractions. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s picks for the five best things to see and do when visiting Munich:
     
    1. Alte Pinakothek and Neue Pinakothek. We think the amazing art collections at these two Munich museums are must-sees for a trip to Munich. Alte Pinakothek features historic master artworks from the 14th to 18th century from artists like Dürer, Rembrandt and Rubens; while Neue Pinakothek is particularly strong in 19th-century art, including works from Monet, Degas and Cezanne.
     
    2. Deutsches Museum. The largest and oldest science museum in the world, Deutsches Museum has six fascinating floors of exhibits on everything from a reconstruction of Galileo’s workshop to an original Wright brothers’ airplane.
     
    3. Marienplatz. It’s definitely worth spending half a day wandering Marienplatz — which means Mary’s Square — in Munich’s center, admiring the elaborately carved Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall), strolling the pedestrian shopping streets and stopping for a bite at the Viktualienmarkt food market.
     
    4. Beer gardens. If you’re in Munich between mid-May and late-September (or for Oktoberfest, the famed 16-day festival that starts at the end of September), Forbes Travel Guide editors suggest you spend some time imbibing at one of the beer gardens throughout the city. It’s the best way to appreciate the city’s rich beer culture.
     
    5. Nymphenburg Palace. Built as a summer palace to the west of Munich in the late 1600s, Nymphenburg Palace still delights today with its richly decorated great hall, royal stables and Baroque gardens.
  • On August 16, 2012
    Liz Humphreys answered the question: Liz Humphreys

    What are the five best things to do with kids in Munich?

    Attractions from museums to marionettes are sure to keep your kids occupied if they’re accompanying you to Munich. Here are five things Forbes Travel Guide recommends you do in Munich with kids in tow:
     
    1. Deutsches Museum. The largest museum of science and technology in the world will keep kids occupied for hours — if not days. They’ll adore a special section called Kinderreich where children ages 3 and up are kings.
     
    2. Tierpark Hellabrunn. Munich’s zoo covers 89 acres and houses about 450 animals grouped by continent. It even includes a petting zoo for little animal lovers.
     
    3. Munich Marionette Theater. The oldest puppet theatre in the world — it started in 1858 — is a delightful venue that offers shows for kids ages 4 and up during the week. It also has Saturday evening performances for older children that their moms and dads will enjoy, too.
     
    4. Sea Life Munich. Kids of all ages will marvel at the more than 4,500 creatures in the tanks at this aquatic complex within the expansive Olympia Park.
     
    5. Circus Krone. Europe’s biggest circus is sure to delight your kids with its acrobats, clowns, lions and tigers. Though it tours much of the year, the circus resides in Munich between late December and April.
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  • On August 16, 2012
    Liz Humphreys answered the question: Liz Humphreys

    Where is the best shopping in Munich?

    Munich is not known as a shopping destination, but there are still some find goods be found, if you know where to look. Forbes Travel Guide editors suggest you start with the pedestrian-only streets of Kaufingerstrasse and Neuhauser Strasse in the city’s center for international retailers, smart cafes and restaurants. Looking for more upscale brands like Gucci? Hit Maximilianstrasse — one of the city’s four royal avenues — where you’ll also find names like Versace, Louis Vuitton and Dior. Nearby Theatinerstrasse also has some high-end stores, along with international chains.
     
    If independent boutiques are more your style, then head out of Munich’s center and into the artsy district of Schwabing. Hohenzollernstrasse in particular has a number of small shops that may offer temptations that are impossible to resist.
  • On August 16, 2012
    Liz Humphreys answered the question: Liz Humphreys

    What is the best way to see Munich in one day?

    If you only have one day to see Munich, Forbes Travel Guide editors suggest you start with a stroll around Marienplatz, Munich’s central square, where you can climb the Town Hall for an amazing view. If you’re in the square at 11 a.m., you’ll catch the charming Glockenspiel show, in which mechanical figures move in and out of the clock tower. Then, head a couple blocks over to the Viktualienmarkt food market for lunch or a snack of weisswurst (white sausage), cheese and perhaps some wine or beer.
     
    After you fill up, wander down some of Munich’s shopping streets, such as Maximilianstrasse for more high-end brands, before catching the train to the Museum District to see the Alte Pinakothek, a top-notch museum with art from the 15th to 18th centuries. Though you’ll only be able to view a fraction of the art in this large museum, make sure to leave enough time for a stop afterward at the Deutsches Museum, which is Europe’s biggest (and many say best) science and technology museum.
     
    You’ll want to follow your cultural fix with some beer and dinner. If the weather’s nice, stop by a traditional beer garden and soak in some sun while enjoying Munich’s most famous libation.
  • On August 16, 2012
    Liz Humphreys answered the question: Liz Humphreys

    Where is the best nightlife in Munich?

    If you’re looking for the best nightlife in Munich, you should head to the Kulturzentrum Gasteig near the Isar River for a little culture. With five performance venues to choose from, the area entertains with events like performances from the Munich Philharmonic and international theater and film festivals. Other good venues for concerts, theater and dance are the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz and the Nationaltheater, home of the Bavarian State Orchestra.
     
    But when in Munich, one of the best ways to soak in the nightlife is to go to a local beer hall, where you can enjoy weisswurst (white sausage) with mustard and pretzels, washed down with a cold brew. Munich’s most famous beer hall is the Hofbräuhaus, but we also suggest trying one of the beer gardens in the Englischer Garten, Munich’s largest greenspace.
  • On August 16, 2012
    Liz Humphreys answered the question: Liz Humphreys

    What are the five best Munich food experiences?

    When in Munich, you know you’ll try the local beers. But the German city also offers some unique food experiences you won’t want to miss either. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s picks for the five best:
     
    1. Drinking at a beer garden or beer hall. Between late May and September, Forbes Travel Guide editors highly recommend sampling the local brews at a Munich beer garden. If you arrive in the winter months, an indoor beer hall will do the trick; the Hofbräuhaus is the most famous — and the busiest.

    2. Weisswurst. Munich’s famed “white sausage” — made of calf’s head, veal and seasonings — can be found at any Munich beer hall. Eat it by cutting the meat out of the skin and dipping it in mustard before taking a bite.
     
    3. Pretzels. You’ll find freshly baked pretzels still warm from the oven at bakeries and beer gardens all over Munich.
     
    4. Oktoberfest. If you can, try to visit Munich in late September or early October, when the entire city becomes one huge party with brass bands and endless kegs of beer.
     
    5. Viktualienmarkt. Sample all sorts of German goods at this enormous food market. You’ll see everything from sausages and cheeses to wine and, of course, beer.
  • On August 16, 2012
    Liz Humphreys answered the question: Liz Humphreys

    What is the best thing to bring home from Munich?

    Munich is known for more than just beer, so you will have a couple of souvenir options when visiting. Here are a few souvenirs of your time in Munich that the editors at Forbes Travel Guide recommend:
     
    1. Beer mugs or glasses. You likely sampled beer in Munich, so why not continue your experience with real German beer mugs or glasses you can use at home?
     
    2. Bavarian foods. Mustards, jams and gingerbread are all delicious Bavarian specialties that you can bring home with you. The Dallmayr delicatessen and the Viktualienmarkt are great places to find these scrumptious items.
     
    3. Nymphenburg porcelain. Produced on the grounds of Nymphenburg Palace since 1761, you can find things like jewelry, table items and vases. They’re all crafted the old-fashioned way: by hand.
  • On August 16, 2012
    Liz Humphreys answered the question: Liz Humphreys

    What are the five best daytrips from Munich?

    While Munich is the land of beer, just outside of the city you can discover the land of castles and lovely scenery. In fact, it’s well worth leaving the city to visit some of Forbes Travel Guide’s five best day trips from Munich:
     
    1. Neuschwanstein Castle. You’ll love exploring the bucolic area around King Ludwig II’s fairytale Romanesque Revival style castle, which is about two hours outside of Munich. If you have lots of energy, make the two-hour mountain climb up to the castle for some amazing views.
     
    2. Hohenschwangau. The castle where Ludwig II grew up dates back to the 12th century and is just a few minutes from Neuschwanstein. Built on the remains of a fortress, the neo-Gothic castle is well worth a visit.
     
    3. Dachau. This concentration camp, just 10 miles from Munich, imprisoned more than 200,000 people between 1933 and 1945. Today, you can take an emotional visit to the infamous camp, which is now a memorial site and museum.
     
    4. Salzburg. Only a two-hour drive from Munich, this pretty Austrian town is best known as the setting for The Sound of Music, but it’s also worth seeing for the Alpine views.
     
    5. Linderhof Palace. The smallest of Ludwig II’s palaces, Linderhof was based on the Palace of Versailles in France. You’ll find this German version about an hour south of Munich.
  • On June 28, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the five best places to eat in Munich?

    Munich boasts numerous fine-dining establishments, along with seemingly endless beer halls. Here are the top five Munich restaurants Forbes Travel Guide recommends:
     
    1. Tantris. Widely considered one of the best restaurants in Germany, Tantris offers daily changing five- and eight-course tasting menus, plus you can also order à la carte. For the ultimate dining experience, pair your dishes with wines selected by the talented sommelier.
     
    2. Königshof. The award-winning restaurant, located in the luxury hotel of the same name, impresses with French- and Japanese-influenced dishes like char with avocado, baked elderflower and buttermilk, and John Dory with mussels and bell peppers, along with a fabulous wine list. Choose between two tasting menus or order à la carte.
     
    3. Dallmayr. Dallmayr is Germany’s most famous delicatessen, dating back to the 1700s. Though you’ll first find yourself entranced by all the food on display, we recommend heading upstairs to Restaurant Dallmayr to try some of the top-rated French-influenced German cuisine.
     
    4. Schuhbecks in den Südtiroler Stuben. Run by Munich celebrity chef Alfons Schuhbeck, this restaurant features upscale versions of traditional Alpine dishes.
     
    5. Ederer. A renowned restaurant serving food prepared mainly from organic ingredients, Ederer specializes in Bavarian cuisine with a French twist in an elegant setting.
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