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DreamTown – Munich

Thursday, June 22, 2017

DreamTown – Munich

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September 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Destination, Germany, Munich

Englischer_GartenJust read a great article about Munich – it depicts the city very well… makes me want to go back! I’m including below some highlights, for the full article, click here

Washington Flyer | by Melanie D. G. Kaplan

(…) the capital of the state of Bavaria is one of Europe’s leading centers of art and culture (with 58 theaters and 45 museums) and has an extraordinary public transportation system. München, as the Germans call it, was founded as a town in 1158, and residents are proud of their history.

The city’s heritage is displayed daily in storefronts, concert halls, restaurants and attire. A history teacher named Gudrun, who takes me on a walking tour of the city (…)

(…) My tour with Gudrun covers the city’s main attractions—including the glockenspiel at Marienplatz and the onion-shaped domes atop the two towers of the Frauenkirche, the Gothic cathedral. But I’m surprised to learn that many of the historic-looking buildings are just decades old. Munich was all but destroyed by Allied airstrikes in World War II, Gudrun tells me, “but the city was careful to rebuild in the same style, not like other German cities that are very modern now.” She says only one out of 220 churches survived the war.

The next day I take a quick subway ride north to the Olympic Park and BMW compound. The Olympic Park (olympiaparkmunchen.de) was home to the 1972 Games, tarnished by the killing of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches by Palestinian terrorists. Today it’s beautiful and vibrant, with walkways, lakes, bicycle paths, concert and sports venues and restaurants.

(…) Visitors can even reserve a spot to climb onto the roof of the Olympic Stadium between April and November (rope and snap hook provided), or for the more conventional tourist, there are daily tours of the stadium and the 955-foot Olympic Tower.

Next door is BMW’s headquarters, factory, museum and showroom, a glass and steel structure as impressive as the motor masterpieces housed inside.

The BMW Museum (bmw-museum.com), which reopened last year after a renovation and expansion, tells the company’s history from its beginnings in 1916, through its cars, motorcycles, design and technology. The BMW Plant tour (www.bmw-plant-munich.com) takes place in German and English; reservations are accepted up to six months in advance. Finally, BMW Welt (bmw-welt.com), or world, offers one of the planet’s largest permanent automobile presentations, including car components that have been turned into art.

(…) It seems everyone rides a bike in Munich. In the city’s 3-mile radius, you’ll get around faster on a bike than any other mode of transportation. Munich supports an extensive network of dedicated bike lanes that cover 745 miles, and the city Web site (muenchen.de) has an interactive route planner that allows you to print maps.

There are 22,000 bike stands, but you’ll often see bikes leaning against a restaurant or store as riders dine or shop. Bikes are allowed on the trains (with a Bicycle Day Pass, $3.50), except during rush hour, and Munich’s bike lanes put cyclists in a commuter class that you rarely see in the States. (Avoid angry cyclists: Don’t walk in the lanes. Cycling is one of Munich’s favorite pastimes with 745 miles of bike lanes. Residents love their cycles for sport, fun and getting around town.

If you want a basic Munich cycling (and history) primer, Mike’s Bike Tours (mikesbiketours.com) is a good place to start. The company’s four-hour tour ($33.50)—which includes a beer garden break—is a great way to get your bearings and work off that bretze (pretzel) and butter sandwich.

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kristraveler recommends…..

Munich is indeed a lovely town, and bikes and subways are definitely the best way to explore it. I would also recommend the Englischer Garten, an even bigger version of Central Park. There’s a huge Neuschwansteinbeer garden next to the chinese tower in the middle of the park – it’s the second largest Bier Garten in Munich.

Close to Munich, there’s the the town of Fussen and the Neuschwanstein Castle (one of the finalists of the New 7 Wonders), which was the inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty castle at Disneyland. The story of the castle, architecture and landscape surrounding it are truly amazing and unforgettable.

The author from the article above also recommends visiting Murnau, an hour south of Munich in the foothills of the Alps. “The town, surrounded by warm lakes, is a popular weekend destination for cycling, paragliding, climbing and winter sports.”

I didn’t make it to Murnau in my last visit, but hopefully can see it for myself next time!

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