Summer breaks in Munich
Discover the heartland of Bavaria
HomeAway travel expert
When you think of Bavaria, what do you think of? Be honest. Lederhosen, alpine hats, and tankards of beer? Well, Bavaria's heartland, the stunning city of Munich, doesn't disappoint. The city chooses to embrace these iconic images, and it wouldn’t be unusual to stumble across a jovial, lederhosen-clad troupe enjoying several rounds in one of the beer halls.
However, Munich also has been the site of much medieval and modern history, and the city consciously celebrates both its tourists’ expectations and its extraordinary heritage. Trace the city's medieval development, following a guided tour around the city's quarters, and then take a moment to reflect on Munich's significance in World War II.
There are a number of striking contrasts between Munich and Berlin - each city's approach to memorializing the war being a significant one of these. Whereas Berlin is home to interractive features like the symbolic slabs of the Holocaust Memorial, Munich has chosen to educate in a different way. Discover plaques, engravings, and gold-speckled cobbles which serve to symbolise the city's significance in this period.
This nuanced engagement with the events that took place in Munich continues to divide opinion. However, many argue that these signs and architectural signals have the potential to trigger a quiet, yet powerful, introspection. Visit the city's museums, art galleries, and stunning cathedral, before dining in Munich's Rathaus square, or one of Munich's Michelin star restaurants. Then retire to one of our chic Munich apartments - or, if it suits you better, country holiday homes in the city's rural outskirts - to plan your next day's itinerary over an Augustiner beer.
Top five destinations in Munich
Summer breaks in Munich: the historic centre
Munich’s historic centre is both stunning and intriguing. Large sections of the city are relatively modern and were deliberately designed to reflect older historical periods. Munich’s Rathaus, or New Town Hall, for example, was built in the late nineteenth century, yet its ornate architectural features seem timeless. The imposing building lies in Marienplatz (Mary’s Square), one of the city’s dynamic squares. Across town, the older Town Hall leads onto the gorgeous Viktualienmarkt, a daily market selling Bavarian produce. Grab breakfast from one of the stalls, some freshly cut flowers for your rental, and perhaps a bit of Bavarian loose tea to recreate a home from home experience! From the centre, explore the web of streets that host some of Germany’s chic designer boutiques, as well as iconic chocolate and lederhosen shops. Stop for coffee in the Rathaus courtyard, or visit the Residenz, the city’s royal palace, and explore its spectacular corridors and rooms. And don't forget to catch the famous Glockenspiel performance which takes place each evening at 5pm in Marienplatz.
Summer breaks in Munich: picnics and parks
Find a quiet picnic spot in one of Munich’s serene parklands, or, alternatively, find a perfect corner in the shade in the heart of the bustling Viktualienmarkt. The Englischer Garten, English Gardens, is considered one of the largest parks in the world, and Bavarian locals contest that its larger than New York’s Central Park! The English Gardens is home to the superb Chinese Biergarten, majestic gardens, woodland, and expansive lawns. Search for a tranquil picnic spot or embrace the park’s host of lively activities, including wind band practises, football matches, and yoga classes. Rent bicycles, stopping by the stream or sampling Augustiner-Bräu München in the biergarten, before cycling towards the city centre for your evening meal. Or, if you're feeling whimsical, flag down a cycle rickshaw and take an unforgettable trek through the park to the dynamic city centre!
Summer breaks in Munich: new developments
Plan a tour of the Allianz Arena, home to both Bayern Munich and 1860 Munich, and the venue for 2006 World Cup matches, and 2012's Champion's League final! The reptilian building, which bursts into colour at night, is just one of numerous contemporary developments that have transformed Munich's skyline. Explore Olympiapark, an area which marks Munich's position as one of Germany's cultural hubs. The park, built for the city's Summer Olympics in 1972, is home to an array of cultural events. Summer events include open air theatre, opera nights, folk concerts and live comedy. The park's various stages and halls is exemplar of the park's incredible architecture. Climb the Olympiaturm for stunning views of the city, or join one of various tours, climbing the stadium's roof or jumping into a harness to experience the 'Flying Fox' across the Olympiastadion. Other notable buildings include the Deutsches Museum, considered one of the world's leading Science museums, the Bavarian National Museum, and the Jewish Museum, the latter located in one of the city's Jewish quarters near to the city centre. Take advantage of the Mediterranean-like summer sunshine and explore the Botanic Gardens, and then later walk down one of the city's chic avenues, such as The Maximilianstraße.
Summer breaks in Munich: Bavarian cuisine
Bavarian's distinct identity also extends to its unique cuisine, and Munich's Oktoberfest isn't the only time of year that beer is made a cultural event! Snake around the variety of different Biergartens, from the tourists' favourite, Hofbrauhaus, to Viktualienmarkt beer garden, considered the locals' favourite. Most biergartens will chalk the name of its particular beer up onto its board and tourists can decide for themselves how smooth their tipple of choice is! For an authentic Bavarian meal, discover Munich's variety of restaurants. With the Bavarian flag bordering most avenues and streets, tourists are reminded of this area's proud culture, and this is reflected in the striking gastronomy. Choose an alternative to currywurst, and sample Weisswurst, a Knödel soup or dish, a Frikadelle beef dish, or a Schnitzel. For some of the sweetest deserts in Munich, visit one of the city's patisseries, such as Dallmayr, for something truly world-class!
Summer breaks in Munich: surrounding area
Climb any of Munich's towers, and there they are: the majestic Alps. You could be forgiven for forgetting that this chic city, with its elegant boutiques, stunning architecture, and timeless glamour is circled by Germany's iconic countryside. Glassy lakes, mountain ranges and idyllic valleys provide the perfect backdrop to a rural excurision. Venture into the countryside for a hike or bicyle ride, or explore the smaller, medieval towns that ring Munich. Travel to Herreninesel island and explore the royal Herrenchiemsee; visit the medieval cities of Regensburg, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site; or the smaller towns of Nördlingen and Mittenwald. Visit the surrounding towns and villages on their market days, catch a few local summer festivals, or head out into the hills for a picnic.