Munich, the capital of the state of Bavaria and the main gateway to the southern part of Germany, attracts many visitors and is considered a touristic and highly sought-after city. Its proximity to charming natural sites, together with its rich and very special history, have made Munich a place of pilgrimage and a city that offers those who stay there, whether for a long or short time, everything they need for a perfect vacation of a few days in the big city: a variety of places to stay, a variety of Great attractions, good restaurants, many events and more. Munich has one and a half million residents and a very large number of visitors each year. The story of the city begins as early as 1158, when it was founded, and continues through quite a few changes and upheavals that have passed through it, as befits other cities in Germany and Europe in general.
In Munich you can find a huge selection of accommodation solutions, designed for all budgets. There are reputable and good luxury hotels in the city, there are hostels for backpackers and all those who are saving, and also hotels for business people who come to the city and for tourists who want to pamper themselves and take advantage of the great abundance it offers. Most of Munich’s hotels are right in the center and are considered very accessible and comfortable. Others are more distant and require the use of public transportation or a private vehicle in order to reach the attractions and the various sites. Those who arrive in the city for a few hours or wish to leave it by flight, will find great hotels near the Munich airport, which is adjacent to the city, that provide a suitable solution for this purpose and include all the facilities needed for a short stay.
The cost of accommodation in Munich for one night ranges from 50 to 200 euros and even more (and sometimes even less). This cost is determined according to the accommodation itself and its conditions. In recent years, Airbnb apartments have become a very popular accommodation solution for visitors to the city, apartments suitable for individuals, couples and families with children. The variety is very wide and suitable for every budget, as is the location of the apartments. It is highly recommended to check in advance what each apartment includes and what its location is compared to all the attractions in the city and its transportation solutions.
Those interested in visiting Munich and staying there for several days will be able to enjoy very comfortable accommodation solutions. Although there is a huge selection of options, it is very important to make sure to book accommodation in advance, especially if you plan to come to the city during the Oktoberfest (big beer celebration) in the months of October and November, as well as during Christmas or a few weeks before and after. During this period, colorful Christmas markets open throughout the city, which brings crowds who want to experience up close the wonderful festive atmosphere of Munich at that time. Even during the summer months, like other cities in the world, Munich is very touristy, so it is necessary to book a place to stay in advance, especially if you are looking for an accessible and central place.
Munich is, without a doubt, a perfect place to try the wonderful local Bavarian food and also enjoy a very wide selection of culinary options, suitable for almost every palate and every budget. Like big and very busy cities, Munich also has restaurants of almost all genres, including reputable and successful luxury restaurants and fast, cheap and simple street food stalls. There are kosher restaurants and restaurants in Munich that offer Mediterranean food and Israeli food, familiar to us from home, it has restaurants based on the rich and indulgent Bavarian cuisine and it also has various international restaurants, which bring the flavors of the East, Italian flavors that everyone loves and flavors of other destinations. In Munich, you can find restaurants for vegetarians, vegans, health seekers and, of course, also for meat lovers.
Being a cosmopolitan city, everyone, when visiting Munich, will be able to find the right and most delicious culinary answer for them, both in the central areas of the city and in the remote ones. In Munich, as in other cities in Germany, there are immigrants from different countries in the world, which is reflected in the variety of restaurants and the varied flavors they offer. In many places you can find Indian restaurants alongside Turkish or Lebanese restaurants, Japanese restaurants alongside restaurants with kosher Jewish food. The hot dog stands in Munich are a thing and it is recommended not to miss them and they are considered a popular and highly sought after national dish. Munich’s gourmet restaurants are also known all over the world, and as you can expect from them, the prices are not cheap. At the same time, not far from most of them, those with a low budget, or those who do not want to spend too much money on food, will be able to find cheap and equally tasty solutions in the form of fast and simple food restaurants or stalls with fresh and good dishes.
For those who want to try real Bavarian food, it is recommended to look for the wine and beer cellars scattered throughout the city (mainly in the center). These, apart from the warm and happy atmosphere they offer, make available to the visitors a good traditional Bavarian menu, based on ancient dishes, which have been served there for quite a few years. Soups that warm the stomach well, rich stews with vegetables and meats, of course sausages in a selection of flavors and combinations, fish and even sweet desserts, such as the famous apple strudel that is known to “close” every meal well.
Being a very old city, Munich offers quite a few historical attractions, which tell its story over hundreds of years, and of course also more innovative attractions, of recent times. In the city, you can find attractions for children as well as attractions for adults, attractions for those interested in learning about the Jewish people and their hardships in Germany, including in Munich, over the years, as well as a response to art and museum lovers who like to spend a few hours in front of interesting works by the best artists. You can book guided tours of professional guides and go on a tour of the city for a few hours or walk around it independently between the various sites.
Important tip: Planning a short or long stay in Munich? Munich CityPass is the right solution for you. The card gives a variety of discounts both to the sites in the city, to the attractions and to the guided tours around Munich and is also used as a travel card on the various means of transportation in the city (at an attractive discount). The cost of the basic ticket: between 11.90 for an adult (age 15 and over) and 4.90 for a child (ages 6-14). You can purchase a group ticket (up to 5 people) at a cost of €21.90 (as of 2019).
Here is a short overview of attractions in Munich that warrant a stop:
This is the well-known square of Munich, where there are quite a few well-known and important buildings in the city, including the new town hall. Marian Square, which has been serving the city’s residents and visitors since 1158, was in its distant past a lively square, where various competitions were held. Today, crowds come to it thanks to that special musical instrument (carion) that plays in the tower next to the town hall, accompanied by puppets, which together constitute an attraction in itself. The square is visited by both residents and visitors, especially on sunny days, who take advantage of the many restaurants in the square, the shops and the pleasant atmosphere it offers.
It is, perhaps, one of the most prominent attractions of Munich, both due to its location and due to its design. The Church of Our Lady is a very central cathedral in the city and is known as the seat of the Archbishop of Munich. It has two towers with magnificent domes, which were designed and built inspired by the famous Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, and today they adorn the skyline of the city. After suffering severe damage during World War II, the cathedral was renovated and restored a few years later, a renovation and restoration that lasted for many decades and ended only in the 90s, about 40 years later.
As in European cities and other big cities in the world, in Munich you can also find charming gardens in the shape of a large and impressive park. The English Gardens of Munich, located right in the center near its northern border, provide visitors with beautiful shaded walking trails, small lakes and swans and a wonderful tranquility that make them a perfect place to escape from the busy and big city. The gardens were opened to the public in the late seventies of the last century and are now considered one of the most popular attractions in the city.
This is a mandatory stop for us Israelis and among the important attractions of Munich. The Olympic Park that was used by the players of the Olympics both for living and for competitions and games in 1972 is a very large complex, remembered by most of us thanks to a difficult event, during which 11 Israeli athletes were murdered. In this Olympic park you can find today a monument to the memory of the murdered and a commemorative plaque, adjacent to it. Beyond this Israeli point, the park also has routes for those who want to go for a light bike ride, as well as lakes that are a pleasant green spot and a suitable place to stop. Not far from the park is a museum, which also justifies a stop, the BMW Museum, which reviews the rich, long history of one of the world’s leading automobile companies.
This impressive palace, which is adjacent to a gorgeous and very well-invested park, was used in the past as the home of the royal family of Bavaria and is now one of Munich’s most important attractions. The palace itself was built at the beginning of the 18th century and has undergone several renovations since then. Its special design is what makes it so attractive – the exterior of the palace is designed similar to other familiar European buildings, while the interior is dominated by design elements inspired by the Far East – Asia. The palace is open to visitors throughout the year and it is recommended not to miss the large park adjacent to it.
It is difficult to ignore, and already upon arriving at this synagogue, its special appearance. After being completely destroyed during World War II, the Ohel Jacob Synagogue was reopened in 2006, 68 years after the famous Kristallnacht, and since then it has been considered one of the most interesting Jewish sites in Munich. This is a very large synagogue that can accommodate 500 worshipers at the same time with an impressive facade, made of stone and glass. The place is open both for prayers and for visitors, who wish to be impressed by its beauty.
A visit to Munich must also include a visit to its famous beer house – Hopferhaus, where fine local beers are offered for drinking as well as a real Bavarian atmosphere. This ancient beer house, established in the 17th century, is one of the most well-known and respected beer houses in all of Germany, one that attracts crowds. Along with delicious local dishes, you can also hear traditional Bavarian music in the brewery and meet quite a few locals.
Munich is a very large city and although most of its attractions and interesting sites are concentrated in one area, it has quite a few places that warrant a visit that require a very long drive or walk. Renting a car in Munich is a suitable solution for all those who wish to get out of the city and combine, along with visiting it, a visit to other sites throughout Germany, whether as part of a star trip or otherwise, and less so for those who choose to spend their vacation only in the city itself. Be that as it may, there are quite a few car rental companies in the city, providing a variety of vehicles of different grades and prices. For those planning to come to the city at the height of the season, during the touristy summer months, it is very worthwhile to book a rental car in advance.
A short flight of 4 hours and 15 minutes on average will take you from Ben Gurion Airport in Israel to Munich Airport, a flight offered by various airlines, including the Israeli El Al. The airport of Munich – Flughafen Munchen Franz Josef Strauss is a large and very active airport, which is located approximately 28.5 km from the city itself. There is active public transportation that connects it with the city, as well as taxis that can be used if desired.
Flights to Munich depart from Israel throughout the year, with a high frequency in the summer months. There are many airlines operating the flights, with some of which you can even reach Munich by non-direct flight. In the list of airlines that offer non-direct flights to the city, you can find Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Air France, Turkish Airlines, Aegean Airlines, Pegasus, Swiss, Lot and more. Some also offer low-cost flights in season.
It is worthwhile, and even recommended, to come to Munich in any season. In the summer months the weather in the city is very comfortable and pleasant and it is easy to walk around freely without worrying about the cold temperatures, while in the winter Munich offers a great winter charm, which adds quite a bit to the atmosphere.
For those who choose to fly to Munich, you should take into account special events, which are recommended to include during the visit:
The Oktoberfest is perhaps one of the most well-known events of Munich, one that is also known throughout Germany and is held in other cities throughout the country. It is a huge beer celebration of the best local producers usually. Along with the beers, sausages and other local dishes, there is good music, some of which also comes from Bavaria itself, and of course crowds of people, who make the celebration itself extraordinary fun. The various events organized as part of the Oktoberfest take place during September, October and also November sometimes.
The Christmas markets of Munich, which operate from the end of November until Christmas itself, are an attraction in themselves in the city, one that brings you multitudes of visitors from all over the world, and of course quite a few Israelis as well. These markets offer their visitors colorful stalls with gifts and good food as well as music and a wonderful atmosphere. The markets, in some parts, have been held for hundreds of years and are a symbol of festivities and joy. Marienplatz in Munich is one of the central points in the city, where a beautiful market is held that warrants a visit.
Every June 14, there are many events and quite a few celebrations taking place throughout Munich, marking her birthday, which falls on this very day. Munich, founded in 1158, celebrates this day for three days of colorful parades, good music performances and also special folklore shows that should not be missed. These events are held throughout Munich and are an excellent opportunity to meet other travelers and of course also the locals, the permanent residents of the city.
As for the summer months, Munich has a host of summer festivals and events worth considering. But, just before the summer, here is another event that is also a real celebration: the Munich Spring Festival offers two weeks of unusual fun throughout the city: colorful parades, markets that offer almost everything and are open throughout the day, parties until the wee hours of the night and many surprises. All of these are held during the months of April and May. Opera lovers should not miss the opera festival in the summer. The festival, which starts in mid-June and continues until the end of July, is a real musical celebration. Some of the performances are held under the open sky and some in closed places. Some are suitable for adults and some are also suitable for children.