When I think of Germany, I think beer and brats. While this is largely due to my limited exposure at Germanfest in Fort Wayne, it’s still a great way to describe it. Munich, however, adds a bit of culture to what can be a pretty boring stereotype.
As the capital of the Bavaria region, Munich functions as a centre of art and technology. The city hosted the 1972 Summer Olympics, and has fostered major companies like BMW for over a century. Munich has been around for over 8.5 centuries, making a it a haven for medieval enthusiasts as well as architecture buffs.
One of the true gems of the city is the “Englischer Garten”, or English Garden. Covering nearly 1,000 acres, this public park is frequent destination to locals and tourists alike. At any given time, you will see dogs walking their owners and hippies doing yoga. Depending on the weather, you’ll likely adventure-seekers taking advantage of the man-made surf in the park’s river.
Parks, churches, and cars are fun and all, but Munich truly does have good beer. Hofbrahaus is the quintessential german beer experience and is located in the heart of the city. Founded in 1589 by Duke Wilhelm V of Bavaria, this beer hall is one of Germany’s oldest and still holds it’s charm. Looking for more than just one old German beer? Every year Munich brings in millions of people for Oktoberfest in which millions of litres of beer are consumed over the 16-18 day period.
It’s near impossible to talk about German history without mentioning World War II, and Munich is no exception. Not far outside the city lies Dachau, a memorial remembering those that suffered through the Holocaust within it’s compounds. It is one of the most sobering experiences I’ve ever had, but I absolutely recommend you take the time to visit. If we don’t learn from the past, history is doomed to repeat itself.
Long story short, Munich is worth a visit. Whether you are traveling alone or with the family, there is a little bit of something for everyone.