Munich has developed a reputation as being a city dominated by a single attraction, the Oktoberfest beer festival. This is unfair as the city has a lot to offer, especially to those who wouldn’t dream of attending a beer festival. The city has cultural and historical attractions aplenty, as well as being a useful gateway city and transport hub for the Bavarian Alps. Here are five fun facts about this beguiling and often misunderstood city.
Munich’s city centre has been comprehensively and lovingly restored after 80% of the old town centre was destroyed by allied bombing in World War Two. This demonstrates the respect and affection the locals have for their city and its architecture. The restoration has been so complete that after touring the city and visiting the architectural highlights many visitors find it hard to believe the state of destruction in which the city was left in 1945. The City Museum of Munich has fascinating displays showing the devastation and reconstruction.
Oktoberfest actually takes place mostly in September. This fact foxes many visitors each year who turn up just as the tents are being packed away and hung-over revellers are leaving the city. The crowds and large scale drunkenness can put off many but for others Oktoberfest is one of the truly great hedonistic experiences. It has become increasingly popular with Australians in recent years who feel some mysterious affinity with a festival based almost entirely on consuming large quantities of beer.
Munich is widely considered to be the most expensive city in Germany. This may not be a particularly fun fact for many visitors because of the deleterious effect on their budget of a stay in the city, but it represents the high aggregate demand brought about because so many people want to live in Munich. It consistently tops opinion polls of the best places to live in Germany.
Munich is home to the great German car company BMW and is very proud of its achievements and ongoing legacy. The number of BMW’s on the streets is immediately obvious and is disproportionate even for a city with the wealth and prestige of Munich. Other high class German car brands are noticeably absent from Munich. There is an interesting BMW museum detailing the history, development and future of the brand which will be of interest to both connoisseurs and general visitors.
The English Garden in central Munich has dual attractions for many visitors. There are beer tents for refreshment and a nudist area where local office workers sun themselves during summer lunch breaks. This combination of beer and nudity provides, for some, the ideal way to spend an afternoon, although the pastime tends to be seasonal as nudism falls out of popularity in the winter months.
Hotel in Munich
Hotel Eckelmann - Munich
Average Price of a Double Room: € 39
Guest Rating: 8
Innside by Meliá München Neue Messe – Aschheim, Munich
Average Price of a Double Room: € 56
Guest Rating: 9.7
Photo by RC Designer