Surfing in the middle of Munich

Munich is Germany’s second most popular destination after Berlin. It is the capital of Bavaria with a population of 1.5 million and a history spanning more than 800 years. Munich is characterized by folk traditions, lederhosen, a vibrant arts scene, fairy-tale Gothic architecture, beer gardens, and the world-famous Oktoberfest.

Munich is an important cultural center of arts and performances where visitors and locals alike can enjoy theatre plays, operas, ballets, and concerts. There are numerous museums, galleries, and memorials as well. The Dachau Concentration camp, for example, is a notable one and memorializes the 32,000 Jews who died in the holocaust at this Nazi concentration camp. The Deutsches Museum is also noteworthy for being the largest technical museum in the world with sections dedicated to natural science, construction, and engineering. The BMW museum is another museum worth visiting – you can learn the history of the BMW company.

Other points of interest include the Englischer Garten, where you’ll find Munich’s second largest beer garden. The Englischer Garten is great for taking walks and sun-tanning. The Neuhausen and Nymphenburg district are also worth visiting – there, you’ll find the Schloss Nymphenburg 17th-century baroque palace, the 1972 Olympic Center, and the world’s largest beer garden. And of course, the Hofbräuhaus am Platzl is the world famous beer hall at the center of Munich that everybody knows about. It consists of a restaurant, inn, ballroom, and a beer garden. The menu features sausages, wursts, and roast pork. The inn was originally built in 1589 by Duke William V to avoid buying beer for his soldier. It was rebuilt in 1958 after being destroyed in WWII.

Oktoberfest, however, is perhaps Munich’s most popular attraction for tourists. The festival begins in late September and ends in early October. Beer tents are set up, traditional musicians lead the crowds in drinking chants, strong barmaids hoist heavy beer mugs, and beer lovers guzzle millions of liters of beer and endless plates of sausages, schnitzels, and chicken. Besides the Oktoberfest, the city also hosts celebrations in Maibaumnaufstellen, a public holiday in Germany. In Maibaumnaufstellen, villages compete with one another to erect the longest and straightest poles. And people come together for food, drinks, and music.