There’s more to Munich than Oktoberfest – whether it’s beer halls, history, arts, or sport, Germany's second largest city has plenty to keep visitors occupied. It's located within some of the world's most beautiful scenery: alps, lakes, and truly spectacular castles.
Day 1: Sport, spires and shopping in Munich
Orientate yourself by riding the hop on hop off bus, pedaling around on a bicycle, or walking on foot. Walking is recommended to appreciate the amazing architecture. Find the Nationaltheater in Max-Joseph-Platz, check out the gargoyles and climb to the top of neo-Gothic Neues Rathaus or St. Peterskirche towers for a bird's eye view of the city. The Nazi party was born in Munich, and a fascinating walking tour charts the rise of Hitler from struggling artist to the most notorious dictator in history. Grab a bite to eat at the Viktualienmarkt, then head to Maximilianstrasse or Kaufingerstrasse for shopping. The athletically-inclined can swim and ice-skate at the Olympia Park, built for the 1972 summer Olympics, while football fans should head straight to the FC Bayern Football Stadium.
Day 2: Munich Museums and Bavarian Beer!
Go behind the scenes at the BMW museum, and see the factory’s assembly line in action. The Deutsches Museum is a wonderful place to get lost with models of atoms, miniature gas refineries, and electricity-generating bikes. Visit the Neue Pinakothek, the toy (Spielzeugmuseum), and potato (Kartoffelmuseum) museums. Beer halls are quintessentially Munich, so try them for yourself on a night tour. The Hirschgarten even has a mini zoo with deer and boar. Beer, food, and oompah music? Now that's my kind of history lesson.
Day 3: Castles, Lakes and Mountains
The shimmering white towers of Castle Neuschwanstein are instantly recognizable, as Bavaria's fairytale King Ludwig II built his dream castles in the mountains. On a more somber note, the Berchtesgaden Eagle's Nest was Hitler's mountain retreat and southern headquarters of the Nazi party, while pretty artist town Dachau was the location of an infamous WWII concentration camp. While interesting for history buffs, for a more family-friendly trip go to Salzburg, Swarovski's Crystal World, historic Nuremberg, or along the Romantic Road.