Destination Insight: Munich City Guide
Munich for Business Travel
Bavaria's capital Munich has long been something of an industrial powerhouse, with a booming economy of technology, finance, media and research companies, including the likes of tech titans Seimens, lighting giant Osarm and of course BMW, among many others.
Things to Do in Munich
For many people Munich means one thing and one thing only: Oktoberfest. But let's face it practically every city has its own version of the beer swilling spectacular these days and besides, the fine, historic Bavarian city has much else to offer, no matter what time of year you visit.
Even if you only have a short amount of downtime here after your business trip, there's no shortage of unmissable things to do. Here's our selection of some of the best things Munich has to offer first time business travel visitors.
Architecture & History
Munich's historical centre has plenty of splendid sights to take in. Marvel at the Frauenkirche Cathedral, a splendidly over-the-top Gothic masterpiece, and wander around the equally attractive Marienplatz Square, taking in both the old and 'new' Rathaus.
Kick Back at the Victualmarkt
This bustling, 200-year-old food and flower market is the perfect spot for a touch of Teutonic people watching. The 100 or so food stalls are bound to tempt you to linger outside a café here and while away a good chunk of the afternoon. Expect plenty of sausages, giant jars of pickles, Bavarian cakes and even artfully arranged platters of fresh seafood. The intimate restaurant Fish Witte is an especially good place to sample some gilled delights fresh from the Danube.
Wipe-out in the Park
Munich may be a long way from the sea, but that doesn’t stop the city's determined surf junkies. Watch the surfers riding the waves on the Isar River's Eisbach, a 2 km stretch in the English Garden (for more on that, see below). The waves here may be artificially made, but the seriously deft moves on display are definitely very real!
Wander some English-style Gardens in Germany
After that, stroll along the river and around this wonderful park, the English Gardens, walking up the mound to the Observatory to enjoy some fine views and prime panoramic photo opps.
Take a Bench at a Beer Garden
You can’t come to Munich and not sample some authentic year-round beer garden culture. So make sure you reward yourself with a large, refreshing stein of beer, and maybe a colossal pork knuckle or other barbequed morsel in the Pagoda Beirgarten.
One of the city's most attractive beirgartens is found in the English Garden, its centrepiece is the distinctive, 75 foot high wooden Chinese pagoda that gives it its name. If you're lucky, you may even be serenaded by a traditional German oompah band playing from the balcony here.
Continuing the Oriental theme, the Japanese Tea Garden nearby is an oasis of serene calm that's also worth popping into, should you have some time to spare.
Catch some Contemporary Art at Lenbachaus
Head to Konigsplatz and visit the Lenbachaus Art Gallery, which has a fascinating and challenging collection of 19th and 20th century art. It's famed for being home to the Expressionist 'Blue Rider collection', including various works by Kandinsky and Paul Klee, alongside those by influential conceptual sculptor Joseph Bueys.
You can’t fail to miss the staggering glass chandelier that is Olafur Eliasson's Vortex in the atrium, Franz Marc's gorgeous Blue Horse, the environmentally-conscious sculptures and video of Klaus Auderer and paintings by surrealists and artists from the early 20th century New Objectivity movement.
There are some creepy Alice in Wonderland-style square mannequins (by Erwin Wurm) and a fantastic, slightly tongue-in-cheek, wall piece demystifying conceptual art. The building (originally the villa and studio of artist Franz von Lenbach) was recently re-developed by world-famous British architects Foster & Partners, and the café and ornamental gardens are well worth checking out here too.
Make a Pit Stop at BMW Welt
If things that go vroom get your pulse racing, then head to BMW Welt (or BMW World) the vast factory and museum run by the automotive giant. It's a veritable cathedral for petrolheads to all things Vorsprung durch Technik. You can take a factory floor tour if you like, or just kick the tyres on a range of motoring machines from down the decades.
Aim High at the Olympic Park
Nearby BMW Welt is the Olympic Park, built for the 1972 games, where - if you have a good head for heights - you can climb the roof, go zip lining or simply enjoy a bite and a cocktail in the revolving restaurant at the top of the 290-metre high Olympic Tower.
Getting Around Munich
As you might expect, Munich has an excellent public transport system, taking in buses, trams, the U-Bahn and an S-Bahn. It's operated by MVV (www.mvv-muenchen.de), Staff hand out free network maps and timetables, sell tickets and answer questions. The U-Bahn and S-Bahn run almost 24 hours a day, with perhaps a short gap between 2am and 4am. Night buses and trams operate in the city centre.
Getting to Munich
You can fly direct to Munich from most UK airports, including Birmingham, Nottingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Southampton.
You can reach the city centre from Munich Airport by train. The S1 and S8 S-Bahn trains depart from the airport for the city center every 20 minutes. The journey to the main station at the center of Munich takes approx. 45 minutes.
The Lufthansa Airport Bus also leaves every 20 minutes for the Munich main railway station (Hauptbahnhof) via Munich-Schwabing (Nordfriedhof). The trip takes approx. 35 minutes.
The Lufthansa Airport Bus stops at Terminal 1 (Arrivals A), the bus terminal at the Munich Airport Center (Z) and at Terminal 2 on the arrivals level (Level 03).
Tickets can be bought from the driver.www.airportbus-muenchen.de
To learn more about Munich, go to the tourist board's site Visit Munich.
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