Munich The Beating Heart of Europe

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Long regarded as Germany’s most beautiful city, Munich was voted the world’s most liveable city by Monocle Magazine in 2010. It’s easy to see why. It has an agreeable climate — warm from May to September, but never oppressively so. The hottest months are July and August with daytime temperatures in the mid twenties It’s near the Bavarian Alps, so it’s a popular base for winter ski holidays. Around Christmas, its fairytale weinachtsmarts (Christmas markets) enchant thousands of visitors, young and old. In autumn, the world-famous annual beer festival the Oktoberfest — takes place.
The Munich Oktoberfest —the world’s largest festival is a two-week celebration of Bavarian culture that attracts five million visitors each year. It runs from mid Se pt ember to the first Sunday or Monday of October (the dates vary by a day or two from year to year). The 2011 festival starts on September 17th and ends on October 3rd. It promises a fabulous carnival of street entertainment, traditional Bavarian food and, of course, beer. But be careful with the beer; much of it has a higher alcohol content during the festival.
Munich’swide colourful boulevards and its classic Bavarian buildings make it one of the most pleasant cities just to saunter around. The shopping is equal to the best in Europe with fashionable big stores offering huge selections and trendy boutiques with a distinctly Bavarian ambiance. Fabulous restaurants nestle around every corner with fare to suit every pocket and taste. Convivial beer cellars serve tasty wurst (German sausage) with cool beer, while romantic candle-lit bistros offer succulent local and international cuisine with the finest wine.

Things to do and places to see:

Das Neues Rathaus and the Glockenspiel

Das Neues Rathaus (The New Town Hall) is an impressive,  highlyomate building that dates from the late century. It dominates the Marienplatz,though in noway visually overwhelms it. Rather, it lends it a dignified, cultural air,  especially when the famous glockenspiel plays; on an elevated stage at the front of one of the towers, life-size puppets re-enact historical Bavarian events at 11a.m. each day (as well as at noon and 5 p.m. in summer).

Hofbrauhaus

One of the oldest beer halls in Munich, the Hofbrauhaus was founded in 1589 by the Duke of Bavaria, Wilhelm V. It’s one of Munich’s most popular tourist attractions and is well worth a visit because of its history, its spectacular interior and, not least, its beer. Over the centuries, the beer hall had many famous patrons, including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart who lived around the corner, and Vladimir Lenin. In 1919, the Munich Communist Party held meetings there and Adolf Hitler, who had painted a watercolour of the building before he became involved in politics, held the first meeting of the National Socialists Party there in 1920.

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