Red rooftops of Munich
Photo by: maveric2003, Creative Commons

Munich is Bavaria, Germany’s capital city. It is nestled along the banks of the River Isar, above the Bavarian Alps. In terms of land area, Munich is the third largest German city, next only to Berlin and Hamburg. It derived its name from the German word for “monks,” after the Benedictine monks credited for founding the city.

As a city and a tourist destination, Munich straddles between extremes. You can find historical treasures on Munich streets, and walk past modern influences like automobiles and sleek boutiques. Museums that showcase the rich culture and tradition exist side by side with haunts for fun and entertainment. And while there are a lot of things happening in Munich, there are hidden spots that remain bucolic and rustic, giving visitors a taste of the laidback German life.

The best time to go to Munich is during the Oktoberfest season, when most of the tourists of the world say “cheers!” and toast with the locals. You have to take extra caution though if you plan to celebrate Oktoberfest in Munich. As can be expected from the nature of the celebration, crimes and the proliferation of drunks in Munich’s streets are at a staggering high at this time of the year. As a result, documented cases of assault are also high. It is therefore best to stay sober or leave before the action happens. Be prepared for any medical emergency by requesting for a list of English-speaking doctors from the consulates of the US and UK. You should not worry about buying medicines from local pharmacies either because they are bound to have English-speaking personnel.

But there is much to do here than drink authentic German beer. You can get around by stepping on a bus that takes you from Munich to such cities as Amsterdam, Berlin, Vienna, Rome, Prague and Paris, and back to Munich. You can also hire a car or motorcycles so you can hop from one attraction to the next at your desired pace. Or, if you want a taste of the true-blue European travel adventure, you can take the train from Munich, around Munich, and off to other major German cities and back again.

While walking around, expect the urge to spend either at a local deli or a boutique. There is no need to worry should you need instant access to cash, as there are ATMs located all over the city.

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