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15 Things To Love About Munich

15 Things To Love About Munich

Hugged to the south by the Bavarian Alps, this German city blends the past with the present.

Originally founded by a group of monks, Munich has come a long way over the past eight centuries. With a strong sense of its history and a thoroughly modern outlook, there's a lot to love about the Bavarian Capital city. Here are some of our favorites:

Beer Halls: The home of Oktoberfest, Bavarians know their beer. Beer halls are a great way to enjoy traditional meals and drink, and some, like the iconic Hofbräuhaus, even offer live music! (Photo: Przemek Czaicki)

Beer Gardens: While beer halls are particularly alluring during the winter months, on a sunny summer day, Germans flock to outdoor beer gardens. The Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower), located in the English Garden, is one of the most popular examples. And during the winter, it houses a massive Christmas market! (Photo: Przemek Czaicki)

Opera: Munich is a musical city, with opera firmly at its heart. The National Theater is home to the Bavarian State Opera and the Bavarian State Ballet. It was built by Ludwig II, a gay icon, and has premiered several operas by Richard Wagner and even Mozart. Every year, Munich Opera Festival makes opera accessible to all, attracting thousands. (Photo: Przemek Czaicki)

Prinzregententorte: What the Sachertorte is to Austria, the Prinzregententorte is to Bavaria. Named in honor of Prince Regent Luitpold, the luxurious cake has seven layers to represent the seven regions of Bavaria. Best enjoyed with a nice cup of coffee or tea.  (Photo: Przemek Czaicki)

Englischer Garten: Nestled in central Munich, the English Garden is one of the world’s largest urban parks. Built to keep the common people happy in the aftermath of the French Revolution, today it boasts numerous beer gardens and endless paths to explore. (Photo: Przemek Czaicki)

Surfing: Yes, you read that correctly, landlocked Munich has become an international destination for surfers. One of the artificial streams in the English Garden creates powerful waves, and surfers line up for their chance to have a go. (Photo: Sigi Mueller/GermanyTourism)

Ludwig II:  King of Bavaria in the late 19th century, Ludwig II was a major patron of the arts, a lifelong bachelor, and, as his letters reveal, a gay man struggling with his sexuality. He had a string of close male favorites and is today a celebrated gay icon. The Fairy Tale King, as he is also known, also built the dreamlike Neuschwanstein Castle. (Photo: Andrew Cowin/GermanyTourism)

Neues Rathaus: The New Town Hall, built at the turn of the 20th century, is a stunning structure at the heart of the city, on Marienplatz. For the best views, walk up to the tower of St. Peter’s Church. It’s a hike, but well worth it.  (Photo: Przemek Czaicki)

Gay Crosswalks: Taking a cue from Vienna, this year Munich installed gay crosswalks in the city center, just in time for Christopher Street Day (Pride) celebrations.  (Photo: Przemek Czaicki)

Pastel Buildings: Like many European cities, many of the historic buildings in Munich are painted in bright colors. However, Munich stands out for its delicate palette of pastels. (Photo: Przemek Czaicki)

Gay Acceptance: The people of Munich and their government are very accepting of the city’s LGBT population. Even the conservative parties participate in Christopher Street Day. In the New Town Hall, there’s a permanent tribute to the EuroGames, which were held in the city in 2004, and every Christopher Street Day, the Town Hall transforms into one massive gay club!  (Photo: Przemek Czaicki)

Jewish Culture: Ohel Jakob Synagogue, which now serves as the city’s main synagogue, was completed in 2006, and is adorned with an outer wall designed to mimic the Western Wall in Jerusalem.  (Photo: Przemek Czaicki)

Nymphenburg Palace: A former summer palace for the rulers of Bavaria, today it is an idyllic day trip destination. The expansive gardens are perfect on a nice day, and if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the current Duke of Bavaria, who still lives in the palace! (Photo: J Lutz/GermanyTourism)

Dallmayr: A luxury delicattessan dating back to the 17th century, Dallmayr is a Munich staple. At one time the official purveyors of food to the Bavarian royal court, today its main store has a restaurant and sells high end food and coffee.  (Photo: Przemek Czaicki)

Fünf Höfe: For upscale shopping, this shopping arcade is your best bet. Built into an old block of houses, the design is world renown, and houses boutiques, cafes, and galleries.  (Photo: Przemek Czaicki)

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