Ten reasons to visit Munich

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The Glockenspiel on Marienplatz

A trip to Munich's central square is a must for any visitor. Here the top attraction is the Glockenspiel in the tower of the New Town Hall, located on Marienplatz. Every day at 11 a.m., and three times a day in summer, 32 life-sized figures re-enact two events from 16th century Bavarian history. It's the largest glockenspiel in Germany, and it's always a hit with tourists.

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The Hofbräuhaus am Platzl

Just a short walk from Marienplatz is the Hofbräuhaus am Platzl - probably the world's best-known beer hall. It was originally built in 1589 by the Bavarian duke Maximilian as an extension of the royal brewery. It's often called the "white" Hofbräuhaus because it features a variety of wheat beer whose name translates literally as "white beer." The Hofbräuhaus serves up to 30,000 guests a day.

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English Garden

The English Garden is a large public park in the heart of Munich. It covers nearly 400 hectares. It's especially popular in summertime, with plenty of open space for sun-bathing or sports. Don't miss the Chinese Tower beer-garden, where you can enjoy traditional Bavarian cuisine including "Haxn" (roasted ham hock) and "Hendl" (roast chicken).

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The Eisbach surfers' delight

The Eisbach, or "icy stream," is appropriately named. The water is definitely ice-cold, even during the summer months. In fact, it's TOO cold for most people - but not the surfers. When the surfing season begins at the end of May, they're out there in force - and they put on a great show.

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The Residenz

Lavish architecture is on display throughout Munich, and the Residenz is no exception. For more than 400 years, this complex of buildings served as the royal palace of Bavarian dukes, electors, and kings. One of the highlights of the complex is the Renaissance Hall, which was built by the 16th-century duke Albert V to house his collection of Greek and Roman antiquities.

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Nymphenburg Palace

Another top tourist attraction is the Nymphenburg Palace. It was commissioned in 1664 by the Bavarian Elector Ferdinand Maria as a gift to his wife, and later served as the main summer residence of the Bavarian royal family. Every year, more than 300,000 people visit the palace and ist park.

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The Pinakothek Art Museums

Art lovers will definitely want to visit the three Pinakothek museums, located in central Munich. The Alte Pinakothek features more than 700 works from the 14th to the 18th centuries - including those of Dürer, Raphael, and Rembrandt. The Neue Pinakothek is devoted to 19th century art - and a third Pinakothek offers a collection of modern artworks.

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Tradition

Munich residents love tradition, and that includes Bavarian clothing. Any time of year, you're likely to see men wearing lederhosen and women wearing a dirndl. At some local events, the wearing of lederhosen and dirndls is just about mandatory. Such events include the Korcherball - a large folk-dance festival that's held every summer at the Chinese Tower.

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Oktoberfest

Lots of people wear lederhosen and dirndls when they go to Oktoberfest - the world's largest beer festival. On the grounds of the Oktoberfest site, you'll find huge tents that feature food, beverages, and music - and plenty of amusement-park rides, too. The first Oktoberfest was held in 1810 - and since then, it has been copied- but never equaled - in many cities around the world.

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Munich's "way of life"

There are some things in life that you just can't capture in a photograph - like the essence of Munich: a big city that still has a charming small-town feel to it. So all we can say at the end of our story is: „Minga, I mog Di!“ ("Munich, I like you!").

Lederhosen, beer, and Oktoberfest are clichés that come to mind for people around the world when they think of Germany. You'll find all three in the state of Bavaria and its capital, Munich - and much more.

    

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