Munich is the capital of Bavaria and full of fantastic attractions just waiting to be discovered, from museums, and galleries to beautiful churches. In the summer, visitors enjoy heading into the mountains for hiking and climbing adventures. In the winter, skiing in the Bavarian Alps is a popular pastime as is visiting the Christmas Markets. While the city hosts numerous beer festivals all-year-round, Oktoberfest is the most famous, which, combined with the annual Oktoberfest Rugby 7s tournament, makes October one of the most popular times to travel to Munich.
Both modern and historic, Munich is also famous for the BMW World and Museum as well as the dirndl-wearing Bavarian beer waitresses. And let’s not forget the city’s renowned warmth and festive atmosphere, known as ‘gemütlichkeit’. Munich loves its tradition, its beer and its cars – and that’s just an idea of why you need to visit Germany’s third-largest city on vacation.
Why tour Munich
- It’s the ideal base from which to explore the Bavarian Alps for skiing in winter and hiking in the summer months.
- To savour its beer in numerous beer gardens.
- There are nearly 80 museums to visit, including Museum Brandhorst.
- It hosts numerous festivals and musical concerts.
- There are plenty of city palaces and country castles to visit.
- Classical music is revered here, and Munich is home to 4 grand symphony orchestras.
- It’s home to the impressive Residenz, a building complex that includes the Renaissance Hall full of Greek and Roman antiquities.
Munich’s classic attractions – beer, lederhosen, dirndls and the Oktoberfest are very much part of what makes Munich so attractive as a holiday destination. But there is so much more to this vibrant city; so many things to do and see in the city itself and in the surrounding areas. Experience it all on a Munich travel package from Thompsons Holidays.
Things to do in Munich
Munich is a heady mix of Baroque churches, fascinating museums and incredible art and architecture. Come to experience the traditional beer and food and meet the welcoming locals. Use Munich as a base from which to explore its rural surroundings, or go skiing in the magnificent Bavarian Alps.
Whether you’re here for a stopover or part of a multi-day package, you will have your pick of Munich attractions. With so many things to do, places to go and famous sights to see, a vacation package in Munich will give you an insight into Germany’s history, traditions and culture.
Top Munich attractions and things to do
- Don’t be surprised if you see locals carrying surfboards in landlocked Munich. You can go surfing at the Eisbachwellein, a year-round surfing spot in the famous English Garden.
- Explore more of the English Garden, Munich’s largest park, which surrounds Nymphenburg Castle.
- Shop till you drop in charming traditional Christmas markets.
- See classic artworks by Rembrandt, Titian and others at the Alte Pinakothek – and modern masterpieces in the Pinakothek der Moderne.
- Enjoy the traditional Glockenspiel in the New Town Hall.
- Visit during famous Oktoberfest, when the beer is on tap, music is loud, and Munich is at its party-best.
- Learn all about Bavarian tradition in the vast Bavarian National Museum.
With so many museums, including one that celebrates BMW motorcars, there is plenty to keep you busy. Your Munich travel package can also include active pursuits and sports such as hiking and skiing just outside the city. Book your German holiday today.
Know before you go...
- The best time to visit Munich is in spring (April and May).
- Oktoberfest, a popular festival in Munich, is in the cooler months, September and October.
- High season (summer) is June to August; winter is November to March.
- You will fly from Johannesburg to Munich. Flight duration from Johannesburg: 10 hours, 45 minutes.
- There are weekly flights from South Africa to Germany. You can also opt for more frequent routes to Berlin and Frankfurt and travel to Munich from there.
- South African passport holders require a Schengen visa to enter Germany.
- Passports should be valid for at least 3 months after travel and have blank pages.
- Germany is on Central European Time, one hour behind South Africa during the winter (November to March) and the same time as South Africa in the summer months (last Sunday in March to last Saturday in October).
- The official currency is the Euro (€ or EUR).
- Credit cards are widely accepted, and ATMs can be found throughout the city.
- Tipping is an accepted custom. Tip porters, housekeepers, concierges, doormen, taxi drivers and tour guides at your discretion.
- In restaurants, round up to the next Euro. For excellent service, add 5-10% to the bill.
- German is the official language.
- English is widely spoken.
- About 70% of the population is Christian. Catholic and Evangelical churches are the most popular.
- When visiting religious sites, dress conservatively.
- It is safe to drink tap water in Frankfurt. Bottled water is readily available.
- Vaccinations are not currently required but do check with your travel clinic before you go.
- Smoking is not permitted in public areas such as restaurants, bars and indoor workplaces as well as on public transport. Airports offer designated smoking rooms.
What must I pack?
- Depending on when you visit, lightweight clothing for summer, warm clothing for winter and ski wear if you’re planning to go skiing in the Bavarian Alps.
- If you’re attending the Oktoberfest Rugby 7s, don’t forget to dress up!
- Comfortable walking shoes.
- Sunscreen, lip balm, hat and sunglasses for summer holidays.
- Mini first aid kit and regular prescription medication.
- Hand sanitiser and insect repellent.
- Travel adaptor.
- Munich has an extensive public transportation system consisting of underground (U-Bahn) and suburban trains (S-Bahn), trams and buses. Subway stations are marked with signs showing a white "U" on a blue background. The S-Bahn suburban lines are marked with a white "S" on a green background.
What can I do to be a responsible traveller?
- Wherever possible, buy local food and souvenirs and support local artisans.
- Avoid single-use plastic; rather take fabric shopping bags with you and use refillable water bottles (when local drinking water is available).
- Respect each other's cultures and customs and avoid imposing your beliefs.
- Do not support animal encounters and wildlife activities that are harmful or unethical.
- Always have a map (or app) on hand, especially when travelling at night.
- Be safety conscious: don’t display cash or valuables. Leave jewellery and expensive watches at home.
- Keep your belongings safe – use the hotel safe for passports and valuables and watch out for pickpockets and bag snatchers when out and about.
What do I do in an emergency?
- If passports or valuables are stolen, report the theft to the hotel/police immediately.
- Contact the Thompsons Holidays 24-hour care line to assist.
Out of season
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