The capital of Bavaria is home to many historic buildings and numerous museums. But Munich, which is also famous for its annual Oktoberfest and beer halls, has even more to offer than old buildings and world-class art.
Here are some other options for your city break in Munich:
Chill out at Munich’s biggest park
The English Garden, which was created in the 18th century by the American Sir Benjamin Thompson, is a wonderful place to escape the crowds of sightseers and unwind.
One of the largest urban parks in Europe at 900 acres, it is bigger than Central Park in New York.
The park stretches from the city centre to the north eastern perimeters of Munich and has plenty of shady paths – just under 49 miles of them – brooks and a sightseeing point, the Monopteros, which offers panoramic views of the city.
You can also hire a paddle boat, surf the Eisbach stream, take tea at the Japanese teahouse. Or, if you fancy something a little stronger, try a pilsner at a beer garden.
Visit Dachau, one of Germany’s first concentration camps
It may not be the first thing on your wish-list when planning your holidays to Munich, but for mature travellers who grew up in the aftermath of the Second World War it will have its relevance.
Dachau, which is located 10 miles north west of Munich, was one of the first concentration camps to be set up in Germany.
Today, you can walk the path of the prisoner from arrival at the main gate with its infamous motto, Arbeit macht frei (‘work makes you free’) to the rooms where they were stripped of all their belongings. You will also visit the original baths for inmates, barracks, crematorium and courtyards. There are also several displays, a visitors’ centre, a library, an archive and a bookstore.
Go log rafting on the Isar River
While on your city break in Munich, this is another great way of getting away from the hustle and bustle. One hundred years ago, the river transported goods and was a tough business for those employed doing it.
Today, it’s a great way of relaxing and getting out of the city and into the natural world. Your journey begins at 8.30am at Neptune’s Fountain, around five minutes from the hauptbahnhof (train station) in Munich.
From here you’re driven some 20 miles upstream to the town of Wolfrathausen. As you embark on the raft but things really get underway with the cry of ‘O’zapft is’, or ‘barrel is breached’ from the rafter.This is the cue for draught beer to flow and Bavarian meatloaf, rolls and pretzels to be handed out. All you have to do is relax, snack, drink and take in the scenery.
The journey includes a stop after around two-and-a-half to three hours at a beer garden for a typical Bavarian midday meal.
After lunch, the trip includes negotiating one of two rapids, the first being the biggest in Europe, which should wake up anyone dozing off after a good lunch.
Take a walking tour exploring Hitler’s Munich
Munich occupies a special place in Nazi history since it was here that Hitler, inspired by the March on Rome of Mussolini in 1922, led an attempted coup d’etat known as the Munich, or Beer Hall Putsch.
His subsequent trial and imprisonment led to the writing of Mein Kampf or My Struggle.
Walking tours around the city explore the dark side of the city, and take in the site of the first mass meeting at the Hofbrauhaus for the failed attempt to seize power at the Felderrnhalle.
It also includes less obviously significant sites such as the photographer’s studio where Hitler met Eva Braun and the buildings he painted when he was still an aspiring artist. Tours are led by local historians.
Take to the water
Finally, another great option on holidays in Munich is to chill out at Muller’sches Volksbad, or the ‘pool for the poor’. The building, which opened in 1901 and is a gem of Art Nouveau design, is situated on the Isar River.
The Roman-style steam bath is the highlight, with its hot sauna and a warm 31-metre swimming pool. But be warned, the sauna and bathing are mixed sex and nude so this may not be for everyone.