Munich might be most famous as the host of the annual beer marathon of Oktoberfest, but even if you’ve missed out on the big event there’s still plenty to keep you busy in the city. With only one day to explore, stick to the center and admire the city’s stunning medieval architecture, before hitting the bars in the evening.
A wander around the city’s old town takes in a number of landmark buildings with the Marienplatz square at its heart. The late 19th-century Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall), an arresting gothic structure, presides over the Marienplatz but save a visit for midday, when a fascinating display of clockwork figurines rings in the afternoon from the hall’s famous clock tower, the ‘Glockenspiel’.
Take a morning stroll around the Viktualienmarkt, Munich’s oldest market dating back to 1807, where you can pick up some breakfast and marvel at the fresh produce and traditional delicacies. Nearby, the St Peter’s Church, or Peterskirche, offers impressive panoramic views from its tower. If it’s shopping you’re after, be sure to hit Kaufingerstrasse, Munich’s most popular pedestrianized shopping street with a wide range of high street and designer stores.
On the way to the 14th-century Karlstor, the monumental gate to the old city, climb the tower of the medieval Frauenkirche, or the “Cathedral of Our Blessed Lady”, Munich’s biggest church and home to the notorious Devil’s footprint. If you’ve got time, pick from a number of renowned museums and galleries – the Deutsches Museum, the Alte Pinokothek and the National Bavarian Museum are all worthy choices.
Finally, there’s no excuse for visiting Munich without enjoying a few pints of beer – one of city dwellers’ favorite pastimes. Beer gardens abound in the summer months, while in the colder months, you’ll find yourself huddled up in cozy beer cellars instead. Whatever the season, pay a visit to the legendary Hofbräuhaus, the 19th-century Royal Brewery, where the huge Bavarian beer hall seats an impressive 3,500 and you’ll be able to enjoy a cold drink while soaking up the electric atmosphere.