Munich and Bavaria
Munich is the capital of Bavaria, and the third largest city in Germany. Home to countless historic buildings and numerous museums, the city is best known for its annual Oktoberfest celebration, which actually starts in September every year, and its cavernous beer halls, including the famed Hofbräuhaus, founded in the 16th century.
Munich’s old city is easy to walk around. Summer in Munich is warm, and locals and tourists alike enjoy escaping the heat of the day in the city’s numerous shady parks and beer gardens. In the fall Munich celebrates Oktoberfest, when six million people converge on the fairgrounds outside the city where the first Oktoberfest took place in 1810 to celebrate the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig 1) to the Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen.
In the wintertime Munich enjoys one of Germany’s oldest and most established Christmas markets, which takes place in Marienplatz, in front of the city’s famous gothic town hall.
Munich is a great base for exploring some beautiful countryside and mountain scenery, as the Alps are not far away. King Ludwig II of Bavaria built his famous castles in the lakes and mountains surrounding the city, the most famous being the stunning Neuschwanstein Castle, located less than two hours away.
Munich is easy to combine with visits to the Black Forest, with Austria, and is well connected by rail, road and air with the other major cities of Germany and central Europe.