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In Munich, it’s the mix that makes the message. Old meets new, past meets present and future, the modern blends harmoniously with the traditional, bits and bytes with beer, business and leisure. For the visitor, there is never any shortage of sights to see or activities to engage in. The Bavarian Metropolis with its 1.5 million inhabitants lies virtually at the centre of Europe. Munich’s origin goes back to an early settlement of monks from the Tegernsee Monastery which was called “ad Munichen” (the monks’ home). The situation leading to its later growth was treated by an act of violence of Henry the Lion, Duke of Bavaria from the House of Guelph. At that time the salt transports coming from Reichenhall and Hallein had to go over a bridge spanning the Isar River at Föhring north of Munich. The bridge passage was accompanied by a toll, and this traffic brought considerable revenue to the Bishop of Freising in whose territory Föhring was located. Henry the Lion had this bridge destroyed forcing the salt transports to use his new bridge a few miles upstream in ducal territory. On June 14, 1158, the new bridge, the market, the customs office and the mint at “Munichen” were approved by imperial decree thus in one fell swoop the monastic settlement assumed a completely different function. The rapidly prospering town was selected by the ruling family of the Wittelsbach in the middle of the 13th century as its Residence due to a territorial split and in 1294 it was granted a new municipal charter. During the reign of Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian – of the Wittelsbach family – the city extended its walls six fold and in 1504 it finally became the capital of the reunited Duchy of Bavaria. Under the 700 years of Wittelsbach reign as dukes, electors and kings Munich attained increasingly the reputation of being a European centre of culture. Year after year, Munich takes gold in German city rankings. When asked where they would prefer to live, most Germans say Munich. The reason is simple: a magic combination of a vigorous economy and top-notch leisure time activities and outstanding cultural offerings.
Munich has come to be associated with the Oktoberfest, the Hofbräuhaus, the Olympic grounds and the Fasching carnival. However, Munich also has an international reputation as a metropolis of both, art and culture. Its music scene ranges from classical to jazz and pop and the many museums display impressive collections.
Munich offers a large selection of events when it comes to art, music, sports and traditional "fests" (parties). We have listed some important events below, but you can find more on: www.muenchen.de/int/en/events
Perhaps most people associate Munich with beer and there certainly are a lot of breweries and beer halls in the city. But don’t miss Munich’s classic high-calorie everyday cooking! Haxe is knuckle of pork and it tastes good together with sauerkraut and “Knoedel“ (dumplings). We also recommend apple strudel and custard or a Dampfnudel (a kind of cream bun with chocolate or vanilla custard) for dessert.
The café culture in Munich is rather exclusive. Particularly if you stick to the area around Marienplatz and Odeonsplatz. Most cafés are open from 10am and serve breakfast as well as warm meals.
Football celebrities, musicians and media elite, Munich’s nightlife is swarming with celebrities. The city offers a large selection of very trendy bars & nightclubs.
No city break is complete without a good long stroll through the shops. Munich offers absolutely ideal conditions for a great big splurge: haute couture in the Maximilianstrasse, Theatinerstrasse, Residenzstrasse and Brienner Strasse, department and chain stores in the pedestrian precinct, trendy and flamboyant clothes between many galleries in such town districts as the Gärtnerplatz and Glockenbach area, Haidhausen or Schwabing, Bavarian local costumes, handicrafts and souvenirs in specialist shops, delicacies from all over the world at Dallmayr’s or Käfer’s, the leading delicatessens in Europe, or at the Victuals Market in the heart of the city. Another typical feature of Munich is the number of small shops that concentrate on a few articles, for example, umbrellas, felt, gloves, candles or wood carvings, and which are still to be found in the centre of town. Munich’s ultra-chic shopping area additionally covers Perusastrasse, Residenzstrasse, Brienner Strasse and Odeonsplatz. You will discover gems in the shop belonging to the Nymphenburg Porcelain factory (Odeonsplatz 1), which has been based in Munich for over 250 years. In the district of purveyors to the court, where not only the Bavarian king was a customer, you can go on a regal shopping expedition – from porcelain, jewellery and select delicacies to high-quality shoes and clothing. The recently opened “Maximilianshöfe” – Maximilian’s court yards - will also carry you off into the world of international design. You can take a break from shopping in the columned hall of the former “Marstall” – the royal stables, as a new restaurant has been established in the classified historical building. Outside the old town centre, for example in Schwabing, Haidhausen, around the Gärtnerplatz and in the Glockenbach area, the shops – and the customers – are quite obviously more unconventional. The Gärtnerplatz and the Glockenbach district are also ideal shopping areas for gays and lesbians. Shop ateliers, boutiques and concept stores, with many cafés and bars in between that are open during the day, invite you to go shopping, to look and enjoy yourself. Bargain-hunters are in their element at flea markets and designer outlets, or they amuse themselves in search of curiosities and crockery, junk and antiques at an old Munich institution, the street market-cum-funfair called the Auer Dult (in May, July/August and October).
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