There's more to Munich than lederhosen and beer halls (unless you're lucky enough to visit during Oktoberfest). The capital of Bavaria also has world-class art galleries, sprawling parks, gorgeous churches and a wealth of interesting history. It takes about two hours to fly to Munich from most UK airports, so it's the perfect distance for a weekend break. The city's major sights are all within walking distance, but the public transport system is fantastic if you feel like getting out and about. The liveliest time to visit Munich is during September, when Oktoberfest is in full-swing. Summer is high-season in the city, when temperatures soar past the mid-twenties °C. A range of art and music festivals come to town, and people get out and enjoy the beer gardens. Winter is bitterly cold, but visit in December and you can enjoy the famous Christkindlmarkt. The chilly weather creates the perfect excuse to tuck into hearty Bavarian cuisine.
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What to do in Munich
Munich is an excellent short-break destination for foodies, shopaholics, families, couples, party animals and culture vultures. There's something to keep everyone entertained during a weekend visit. Enjoy lunch in a Mediterranean cafe or beer hall before visiting one of the fantastic art galleries or museums. Take a bicycle tour or join a raft tour of the river with an oompah band and plenty of beer. Pay a visit to an ancient monastery before strolling through flowery meadows, or just relax and catch the sun in the city's lush green parks and buzzing beer gardens. What you get up to during your city break will depend on what you're into, so we've put together some tips for culture vultures and foodies.
Munich has a huge array of art galleries, museums and theatres. Cram a few into your weekend break.
- With its dazzling edifice of marble, crystal and gold, The National Theatre is worth visiting even if you don’t have time to catch a performance during your mini-break. The internationally renowned orchestra puts on spectacular performances, including a summer opera festival. Box office opens from 10am- 7pm. Ticket prices start at €13.*
- Neue Pinakothek is housed in an austere 1980s building in Munich’s vibrant Kunstareal arts district. It is home to over 400 paintings by German Romantics and French Impressionists: don't miss ‘Sunflowers’ by Van Gogh. Open daily from 10am-6pm and until 8pm on Wednesdays. Entry fee is €7 or €1 on Sundays: ideal if you're on a weekend break.
A city break in Munich means hearty traditional Bavarian fare and fine dining in a very creative food scene.
- A weekend in Munich wouldn’t be complete without a trip to one of its famous beer halls. One of the best is Hofbräuhaus, opened in 1598. Long tables, Dirndl-wearing bar maids, lively locals and colossal glasses make for a rowdy but fun atmosphere. Open from 9am to 11.30pm.
- Munich's Farmers Market, the Viktualienmarkt, is a bustling affair dating back to 1807. From vegetable mountains to streets lined with sausages, this is a great place for foodie and family city breaks. Open every day from 10am to 6pm. Free entry.
- The opulent Dallmayr delicatessen is a historic and thriving little shop beloved by locals. Purchase specialist teas, coffees, wines, handmade truffles, cheese and other luxury goods. Open from Monday to Saturday, 9.30am-7pm.
* Prices correct as of December 2015