6 Must-do things in Munich


6 Must-do things in Munich

by Stacy Roman
Stripes Europe

As one of Germany’s gateways to the Alps, Munich oozes glamour, history, charm and, most importantly, fun. Synonymous for the world-famous celebration of all things beer, there is more to this fabulous Bavarian city than Oktoberfest. Filled with fantastic architecture, traditions and plenty of things to do, here are some favorites to check off your Munich bucket list.

Stroll through Marienplatz. This stunning square is right in the heart of Munich in the middle of the Altstadt. The striking Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall) is the seat of the city government and is home to a giant, intricately detailed Glockenspiel which chimes twice a day (three times during the summer). The gigantic clock comes to life, with 32 life-sized carvings rotating through scenes of Munich’s history. The show lasts no more than 15 minutes but is worth a peek if you’re there around lunchtime.

Discover a foodie’s paradise at Viktualienmarkt. What began as a simple farmer’s market more than 200 years ago has transformed into a gastronomic delight for any food lover. Just a short walk from Marienplatz, your senses will be delighted with fresh produce, baked goods and plenty of culinary specialties. More than 140 vendors offer a variety of local foods, as well as hard-to-find ingredients and spices. You can also find reasonably priced souvenirs and knickknacks to bring home.

Check out the surfing scene. Is there seriously a surfing scene in Munich? Yes, well, at least a small one. Along a small section of the Isar River in the Englischer Garten is the Eisbach. Roughly translating to “ice brook,” this icy channel emerges from underground and collides with a stone step creating a sizeable wave all year long. Because of the strong current, only experienced or professional surfers should give this wave a go. However, it’s still a lot of fun to check it out from along the riverbank.

Spend the day at Olympiapark. Host to the 1972 Olympics, Munich has transformed the former site into a sprawling park full of playgrounds, entertainment venues, a well-maintained swimming pool and so much more. Visitors can make the trek to the top of the Olympic Tower for a breathtaking panoramic view of the city. Thrill-seekers can also do a roof climb atop the stadium or zipline their way across.

Get up late and shop the Midnightbazar. In a twist on the traditional “Flohmarkt,” the Midnightbazar is a night market held usually on the first Saturday of the month. For a mere 3 euros, shoppers can peruse through vintage clothes and one-of-a-kind oddities. With an eclectic and funky vibe, the market is complete with a beer hall, food vendors and a live DJ.

Fulfill your need for speed at BMW Welt. Even if BMW isn’t your favorite car brand, you can’t help but be impressed at BMW Welt. Located next to their headquarters in Munich, you can tour the factory and check out models dating back to their inception at the museum. If you want a more hands-on experience, you can rent any production model of BMW or MINI. You can also learn to drift like the best of them with a lesson or two from their driving instructors on their closed-course racetrack.

Munich is so much more than lederhosen and Oktoberfest. With plentiful museums, galleries, shops, parks and other activities, you’ll want to keep coming back for more.

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