Munich, Germany: Travel/Tourist Information Guide
Munich, the capital of Bavaria has a population of more than 1.4 million, making it the 3rd most populous city in Germany, located at the river Isar south of Bavaria. It is famous for its beautiful architecture, fine culture and the annual Oktoberfest beer celebration. Its cultural scene is second to none in Germany that some even considered it to outrank Berlin in terms of quality. Tourists are impressed by the quality of the city's architecture. Although it was heavily damaged by bombings during World War II, many of its historic buildings were rebuilt and the city center appears mostly as it did in the late 1800s including its largest church, the Frauenkirche and the famous city hall (Neues Rathaus).
Munich is also a major international center for business, engineering, research and medicine due to the existence of two research universities, lots of small colleges, multinational companies and museums like Deutsches and BMW. It is Germany's most prosperous city which constantly makes it into the top 10 of global quality of life rankings. The city was able to stay at the forefront of technological developments while maintaining its cultural heritage.
Munich being the capital has a city center (Alstadt-Lehel) usually defined as the area within the old city fortifications. It is now distinctly recognized by the traffic loop known as the Alstadtring. Many tourists attractions are found here and the most notable is the New City Hall (Neues Rathaus) with the world famous Glockenspiel, the Old City Hall, the Felderrenhalle, the Residenz (former home of the Bavarian kings), National theater (Opera house) and the world famous beer hall, the Hofbrauhaus am Platzl. There are historical churches found in Munich like the Fauenkirche, Asamkirche, Peterskirche and the Theaterkirche. Three of the historic city gates are still existing; the Karlstor (at Stachus), Isartor and Sendlinger tor (all are located in the city Bahn Stations). Major shopping areas are located in the city center with department stores and branches of international fashion chains. There are vendors/sellers that offer fresh and specialty products in small market booths.
Maxvorstadt is the posh academic and arts district of the city center. Germany's top two universities (Munich university and Technische Universitat Munchen); a couple of world class art museum (Pinakotheken and Brandhorst Museum); art galleries can also be found in the district. This place is often referred to as the Brain of Munich. The area is full of little shops, bars and restaurants.
One of the most relaxing districts, the Neuhausen Nymphenburg lets visitors and residents forget that they are in a city of over a million. Trams 12, 16 and 17 will bring everyone at Romanplatz or at the Rotkreuzplatz to relax in a beer garden or enjoy some ice cream or even get a bite at one of the many nearby restaurants.
The Ludwigvorstadt Isarvorstadt has a large immigrant population and is full of small grocery stores offering fresh fruit and vegetables as well as Oriental and Asian specialties. At first, the area may look loutish to visitors because of adult stores, gambling halls and strip clubs but it is perfectly safe and a good place if one is on the look-out of an authentic Asian and Middle Eastern restaurants.
The district around Munich east station (Au-Haidhausen) is well known for its clubbing scene wherein one can party in more than 30 bars, clubs and discos. Check out the many bars and restaurants in the Optimolwerkeright. There are also old fashioned side streets in the area which feature small houses virtually unchanged in around Orleansplatz.
The eastern bank of the river Isar is a recreational area for Munich's residents. A zoo is located here and warm summer nights are greeted by many bonfires on Flaucher. The Bavaria Filmstadt is located a bit further south just outside the city's border in the posh-celebrity suburb Grunwald.