More than lederhosen, giant beer steins and pretzels
From the time of the Bavarian kings, there are royal residences, civic buildings and squares that remain aesthetically unchanged; they're just newer. You might hear the German word gemütlichkeit in the same breath as Munich – it means cosy. The local pride in life here has been steeping since 1175, when Munich officially became a city.
Though the atmosphere is less cosy and rather more flamboyant when more than 5 million people arrive for the annual Oktoberfest! About 7 million litres of beer are consumed here, one stein at a time. If you holiday in Munich, what's to do when your drinking is done? Head north of the city centre to ride a wave in the creek at Englischer Garten. Enjoy the shoe stores, upscale restaurants and bookstores of the leafy district, Schwabing. Dance up a sweat in more than 30 clubs of Haidhausen. On a quieter note, enjoy respite in the Schloss Nymphenburg gardens. Munich is a pleasant walking city too – there's much to admire in the city centre without needing a plan.