Visit Munich in September and October for its legendary annual beer festival, the Oktoberfest, but come anytime of the year for the city's Hofbruhaus beer hall. Discover world-class art in Munich's Alte Pinakothek museum and the 17th-century Rococo elegance of Nymphenburg Palace. Relax at outdoor cafes on Marienplatz square, then grab your credit card for a shopping spree along Munich's smart Maximilianstrasse.
The Isar River cuts through the centre of Munich, but you'll soon discover that the Altstadt (Old Town) and most attractions lie on the river's west bank. Look out for the Altstadt's central historic sites, including the medieval, onion-domed Frauenkirche church and the Gothic Revival New City Hall with its beautiful Glockenspiel, complete with moving figures. You'll find Munich's remaining tourist gems dotted around this centre. Head north-west to see the Alte Pinakothek's centuries of European art and the BMW Museum's array of vintage cars. Travel north-east to explore the forest trails of the vast English Garden park. Go south-east for the hands-on technical Deutsches Museum and west for the lavish 17th-century Nymphenburg Palace, former summer residence of the royal family.
Begin your day at the Gothic Frauenkirche church, just steps away from the Gothic Revival New City Hall that dominates Munich's main square, Marienplatz. Enjoy people-watching and a coffee here while waiting for Munich's beloved Glockenspiel figures to perform. Make a quick lunchtime stop at the Viktualienmarkt, Munich's favourite outdoor market for fresh bread, cheese and sausage. Then spend the afternoon at one of Munich's world-class museums: choose the Alte Pinakothek's collection of medieval to 18th-century art or the Deutsches Museum with its scientific artefacts. Finish with a beer at the famous Hofbruhaus brewery.
Wander south of the central Marienplatz square to visit lesser-known cathedrals like Peterskirche for its sweeping bell-tower views, and the intricately decorated Baroque Asamkirche. You'll find more splendour at the 17th-century Nymphenburg Palace, home to the Nymphenburg Porcelain Manufactory. You can see gleaming vintage and new BMWs at Munich's BMW Museum. Rest your tired legs on the immense lawns of the English Garden, or at a bistro in the trendy Schwabing district, near the University of Munich.
Munich International Airport flies more than 30 million passengers a year from its two terminals. Frequent S-Bahn trains whisk passengers to central Munich in 50 minutes.