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The Bavarian capital, Munich encapsulates most of what people most associate with classic German culture.

The beer gardens, cellars, and loden coats and Lederhosen, car manufacturers, hiking opportunities, and all the rest are all here, mixed with vibrant contemporary offerings, upscale dining, Italianate architecture that’s migrated across the alps, and spectacular art museums.

Munich is also the perfect base to dive into a world of fairy tale castles and villages, and get up into the mountains and go hiking.

Here's what we think should form the core of your experience:

Art & History

For art lovers, Munich boasts an impressive array of art collections that cater to diverse tastes. In a relatively dense area, it’s possible to visit museums showcasing works from the 14th-18th century by Dürer, Rubens, Da Vinci, and Rembrandt, and then 19th Century collections of Van Gough and Monet, as well as exploring the largest collection of works by the Blue Rider Group.

Munich is deeply intertwined with the darker parts of Third Reich history as well, with many pieces of its past still visitable today. Much beyond that though go the stories of Ludwig II, the builder of Bavaria’s fairy tale castles of Neuschwanstein, Herrenchiemsee, and Linderhof, and his patronage of Richard Wagner.

As well as enjoying a high standard of living and cultural opportunities, this is also still very much a tech and automotive manufacturing hub, and for those who love BMWs, this is the place.

Bavarian Traditional Culture

Munich is quite a conservative city, and has worked hard to preserve many aspects of its traditional cultural heritage. Many shops in Munich still bear the title of Royal Bavarian Purveyor to the Court. This is much like the UK’s Royal Warrant appointment, except that as Germany no longer has a king, the title is merely a historical reference.

Whether you just want to observe this lovely and well-preserved piece of the old world, or purchase your own trachten outfit (traditional Bavarian clothing) and look the part properly at Oktoberfest, or while hiking, there are plenty of opportunities to do so.

Beer Culture & Festivals

Oktoberfest is the largest Volksfest in the world, and certainly the most bombastic beer festival in Munich, but it’s hardly the only one. The city also famously celebrates its ‘fifth season’, the Starkbierfest in March.

Most importantly though, is the general daily celebration of beer culture, with historic beer gardens and cellars, and the cooking that comes with it. Immerse yourself, and spend some time looking at the world through the uniquely southern German way of life.

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