It’s the juxtaposition of old-world charm and contemporary chic that makes Munich special. The 850-year-old city is the birthplace of biersteins and Beamers, home to the 15th-century Frauenkirche Cathedral and the Deutsches Museum—the world’s largest science and technology collection. Of course, there’s the food. From traditional Bavarian schnitzel and schweinsbraten, to elegant Michelin-starred dining, Munich’s culinary scene runs the gamut.
While the fall Oktoberfest dominates tourism, this city offers fantastic experiences year-round. With winter comes one of the world’s most fantastic Christmas celebrations—few places evoke a more magical feeling than christkindlesmarkt in the city’s twinkling Marienplatz. The Christmas market, which dates back to the 14th century, highlights the country’s handmade toys, lots of treats (think gingerbread cookies, grilled sausages and mulled wine) and Christmas trees. Spring in Munich is the optimal time to go for those who love food and beer, but don’t dig the touristy crowd. Celebrate Fasching, or Mardi Gras, Deutsches-style, followed up by Starkbierzeit—a Lenten festival honoring strong beers, most notably dopplebock. As for summer, there’s nothing better than relaxing in the English Garden, one of the largest urban parks on the planet.