If you ask the average traveler about this Bavarian capital, you’ll hear beer, beer, and more beer. The birthplace of Oktoberfest, Munich is the third largest city in Germany (pop. 1,380,00) and one of the country’s most expensive. It’s difficult to believe that this affluent, beer-soaked city is where the Nazi NSDAP Party had its first headquarters. Hitler’s first attempt to seize power took place in Munich, and the Führer himself spoke at some of the beer halls that you can still visit today. The first Nazi concentration camp, Dachau, is just 30min. away from the city. Today, Munich is trying to put much of this history behind it and has become a thriving center of European commerce, with world-class museums, parks, and architecture. Salzburg (only 1.5 hr. away by train) is a popular day trip for many Munchkins—er, Müncheners—and the fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein is a major tourist attraction.
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The Munich Top 5
Residenz Museum and Hofgarten
The 130-room Residenz palace, once home to Bavarian dukes and electors, is now a museum that takes the word “excess” to new dimensions, with mirrors, porcelain, and blinding gold leaves galore.
Don’t let the whole “five museums” thing scare you away from Pinakotheken: think of all these museums as just one giant and super impressive art gallery.
The Roof Climb lets you unleash your inner Spider-Man and climb the stadium’s roof with a rope and a hook
Check out the freakish, gem-studded skeleton of St. Munditia, exhibited in a glass case that looks more like a diamond ad gone wrong than holy remains.
BMW Welt and Museum
The amazing, futuristic architecture of the entire BMW complex alone will make your visit worthwhile.