City guide: Munich

Check out this city guide for tips on what to see, do and eat during your free time in Munich. Bavaria’s capital city is well known for its architecture, culture and Oktoberfest celebrations. Automotive is one of the city’s biggest industries; auto giant BMW calls Munich home. Technology, finance, engineering and tourism are also key sectors. Munich hosts multiple global conferences and events each year.

Bavaria’s capital city is well known for its architecture, culture and Oktoberfest celebrations. Automotive is one of the city’s biggest industries; auto giant BMW calls Munich home. Technology, finance, engineering and tourism are also key sectors. Munich hosts multiple global conferences and events each year.

The city’s slogan “München mag Dich,” or “Munich likes you” in English, invites visitors from all over the world to explore what Germany’s third-largest city has to offer.

Know before you go

Time zone: Central European Time (CET)
Currency: Euro (€) (US$1=€0.90)
Language spoken: German

Airport

Munich International Airport (MUC) is located about 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) northeast of the city.

Getting around

S-bahn, the electric rail transit system, runs to and from the Munich airport. Both the S1 and S8 lines run to the city center; a journey of approximately 35 minutes. The S1 line runs via Munich West and the S8 via Munich East. Purchase tickets at airport ticket machines or S-bahn station machines. Trains arrive every 10 minutes.

The Lufthansa Express Bus stops at Munich Hauptbahnhof (main station) in the city and the Munich airport every 15 minutes. A one-way ticket costs 10.50€ (US$11.69) and the trip takes about 45 minutes.

You’ll pay more for a taxi or Uber. Rides cost around 70€ (US$77.52) or 75€ (US$83.05) respectively. Travel time is approximately 45 minutes.

Workspaces

Design Offices München Nove offers a 29€ (US$32.19) day pass to their coworking lobby and its full range of coworking amenities. The office is a short 10-minute walk from public transportation.

For 15€ (US$16.65), you can secure a flex desk, high-speed Wi-Fi, access to phone booths and kitchen facilities, print, copy and scan capabilities and coffee and tea at Base Co-Working.

Top things to see

Exploring Munich by foot under a bright blue sky is a pleasure. The ideal starting point is the Odeonplatz. From there, you can quickly reach three architectural highlights: The Munich Residenz, Germany’s largest city palace which houses the world-famous Herkulessaal concert hall; the Theatinerkirche, a beautiful church known for its light-yellow rococo façade; and finally, Feldherrnhalle, a monument to honor the Bavarian army. Continue your stroll through the old town via Max-Joseph-Platz to the Viktualienmarkt, a daily food market in the heart of Munich. Experience the colorful variety of delicious food there and end your day in the beer garden.

Marienplatz is Munich’s most famous square, located in the heart of the Altstadt (Old Town). There you’ll see Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall) and the famous Rathaus-Glockenspiel mechanical clock. Hear it chime and watch the carousel of figures every day at 11 a.m., noon and 5 p.m. (Note: There’s no 5 p.m. show from November – February).

Olympiapark was home to the 1972 Summer Olympic Games. Unlike some Olympic facilities, the centers built for the Munich games are still in use today. The 190-meter viewing platform of the Olympiaturm (Olympic Tower) affords spectacular panoramic views of the city. Adults can purchase tickets for 9€ (US$9.97).

Food & drink

Enjoy beer, pretzels and fun at Hofbräuhaus. Founded in 1589 by the Wilhelm V, Duke of Bavaria, the tavern and brand have grown to locations all over the world. But, there’s no place like the original.

Buffet Kull in the Marienstraße has all the usual charm of a French bistro. It’s not a buffet in the traditional sense, but they do serve a variety of international dishes with French-inspired highlights. An exquisite three-course menu and an excellent wine list make the visit a culinary experience.

A visit to Schumann’s bar at the Hofgarten is a must. Owner Charles Schumann created numerous cocktails himself. The regular audience includes authors, journalists and artists. The stylish Vega Bar is a livelier alternative.

Those with a sweet tooth should make a trip to Café Frischhut. They offer a few traditional pastries, but the freshly baked Schmalznudel, which can be described as a flat doughnut, is arguably the best. Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee.

Business etiquette tips

The Bavarians have maintained a centuries-old cultural identity.

When it comes to salutations, “Mr.” and “Mrs.” are customary, however, older colleagues may use the address “Fräulein” (Miss). Academic titles of higher-ranking employees should always be mentioned at the executive level. Hierarchy determines the order of greeting, but ladies are always welcomed first in social occasions.

The weather, the landscape, the food, the company, the latest models from BMW are all pleasant topics for small talk. FC Bayern also fits in well to conversation, but be careful ― not every Bavarian is a fan of the club.

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