Sheraton Munich Arabellapark
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100 (4301 reviews)/
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When travellers think of Munich, thoughts of Oktoberfest and the world-famous Hofbräuhaus beer hall inevitably spring to mind. But beyond the steins of foaming Bavarian beer, Munich has much more to offer. The attractive historic centre features traditional architecture and enchanting delights such as the Glockenspiel with its clockwork characters. Foodies can enjoy sampling delicious local delicacies in Viktualienmarkt, while football fans will no doubt want to visit the Allianz Stadium to see the mighty FC Bayern Munich play football. If that’s not enough, more relaxing and thoughtful pastimes can be sought in the city’s numerous museums and parks.
For those travellers choosing a cheap hotel near Munich Airport, a speedy train journey into the central railway station will put many of the city’s sights and attractions within walking distance. If celebrating Oktoberfest is the main purpose of the visit, head straight for a place called Theresienwiese, which means ‘Theresa’s meadow’ in English. It’s also known locally as Weis’n. Here, breweries, restaurants and other vendors pitch large tents and invite revellers from all over the world to enjoy the party with as much Bavarian food and drink as they can manage! It’s the perfect opportunity to try the Oktoberfestbier, a beer brewed especially for the festival, and to tuck into all manner of roast meats and sausages accompanied by heaps of sauerkraut and potato salad. Of course, the celebrations wouldn’t be complete without traditional music and dancing and, by the end of the evening, many patrons are more than happy to be seen wearing a pair of traditional lederhosen!
A few minutes’ walk from Munich Hauptbahnhof (central railway station) is Marienplatz in the centre of the Old Town. It’s been the city’s main square for over 700 hundred years and features several cafés, restaurants and high-end hotels. Probably the main attraction here is the Glockenspiel which features a troupe of mechanical characters that act out scenes from Bavarian history to the chimes of the clock. After marvelling at the neo-gothic architecture of Neues Rathaus (new town hall), excellent photo-opportunities over the city’s rooftops await at the top of its 85 metre high tower. The nearby Viktualienmarkt is a great place to buy a budget lunch thanks to the fresh meats, cheeses, fruits and vegetables on sale here six days a week. A short walk from there, the 16th-century Hofbräuhaus beer hall is a must-see and offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy a drink while soaking up the Bavarian atmosphere.
Several miles north of the city centre, but easily reached by public transport, is the Allianz Arena, home of FC Bayern Munich. The most successful football team in Germany, this powerhouse of team sport has won the European Cup / Champions League five times, including three back-to-back wins in the 1970s. The team plays home games at the Allianz Arena in the German Bundesliga, the premier football competition in the country, and all football fans will relish the chance to witness a game with 70,000 plus passionate supporters chanting and cheering. If a Bayern game isn’t scheduled during a visit, it’s possible that the stadium’s other team, TSV 1860 Munich, might be playing a game instead. Alternatively, a guided tour of the stadium is a popular option where visitors have the chance to go behind the scenes and get a small taste of what it’s like to be a professional footballer. The stadium also offers a souvenir shop and the on-site Allianz Bistro is highly recommended.
Munich offers a wide range of parks and green spaces. To the north-west, Olympiapark, site of the 1972 Summer Olympics, offers lovely walks and views of the city as well as a Sea Life Centre. Travellers opting to stay at one of the hotels in the western suburbs of Munich will be able to explore Nymphenburg Palace, a stunning 18th-century Baroque palace with perfect gardens that used to house Bavarian rulers. Also located in this area, Hirschgarten is Munich’s largest beer garden with space for 8000 guests! Back nearer the centre of Munich, locals absolutely adore spending their leisure time in the Englischer Garten (English Garden), one of the world’s largest urban public parks. It’s styled in the manner of a traditional English garden with a mixture of green spaces, lakes and waterways and is a perfect spot for a picnic or a long run. Some of the park’s other highlights include the Chinese Tower beer garden and the opportunity to surf on an artificial stream – just for experienced surfers only unfortunately!
Munich is home to many excellent museums that provide entertainment and education for the whole family. Germany has a rich automotive history and one of its major companies, BMW, has its roots and HQ in the Bavarian region. The BMW Museum, located near Olympiapark, offers a fascinating insight into the history and workings of this automotive giant. Visitors can choose from three tours, one of the building (BMW Welt), the museum (which showcases many classic BMW models) and the factory where new cars are made. Other museums to visit in the city include the Deutsches Museum with its focus on interactive science exhibits and the Pinakothek der Moderne which features modern art pieces by the likes of Salvador Dali and Francis Bacon.