A city in southern Germany, the capital of Bavaria, Munich has always been in the thick of historical events. The name itself, according to Wikipedia, comes from the Old High German “Munichen” – “among the monks”. In terms of population, it is the third city in Germany (after Berlin and Hamburg), and in addition to the cultural component, it is also a large industrial center (BMW alone, not to mention many others). Also, the tradition to organize Oktoberfest was born here, which quite justifiably acquired world-wide fame – a large number of breweries, as well as a high concentration of beer lovers contributed to this very much.
It so happened that we had to spend quite a long time in Munich in 2015 in medical affairs (local medical technologies also deserve attention). And in order to diversify our stay, we mastered not only the city itself, but also its nearest (and not so) neighborhood.
The city itself is especially comfortable in the summer period (although nothing bad can be said about it in other seasons), and in terms of entertainment there is a great choice. The historical center is not so extensive, the streets around Marienplatz (the central square with the Old and New Town Halls) and a few more blocks, but very comfortably equipped for the needs of tourists. The German “order” was felt in everything – how street space is organized, the choice of cafes, shops, parks, how traffic and car parking is organized… There was one moment with this “order” , which in our understanding, turned out to be very revealing.
In the summer of 2015, we still looked at the “old” Munich in its classical European understanding. However, in the autumn of that year, the “great resettlement of refugees” to Germany began, and Munich was flooded with carriers of another culture. I would not like to delve into the political or economic causes and consequences of this process, I will only describe the impressions through the eyes of a tourist. From a beautiful European city with decent life, it at that time turned into a teeming anthill. And, unfortunately, the carriers of another “culture” were convinced that their “culture” needed to be planted everywhere, no matter where they came – crush, noise and heaps of garbage appeared everywhere in the city, and this was very striking because we in contrast still found the city different. I was surprised by the disregard for local traditions and the unwillingness to somehow adapt to them. And this is before even more resonant events (like the “New Year’s Eve” in Cologne).
However, already at that time, one radical German party held an action against the domination of refugees. And at the same time and on the same central square, the “anti-action” of refugee defenders intensified. Moreover, we did not notice any tension – with the accumulation of young activists with diametrically opposed views in the center of the city, there was no reason to feel anxious in such an environment, everything went civilized and quietly ended.
In Munich, there is a fairly large number of museums for every taste. Especially a lot of art museums, including modern (for example, the “Old Pinacotheque” – the most visited museum in the city, located in a historic building in the Renaissance style, and many, many others). However, we were particularly impressed by the German Museum, one of the most famous technical museums in Europe dedicated to the natural sciences and technology. Its expositions present almost all the major discoveries of the 20th century. During a visit to the museum, you can attend the presentation to your liking, we really liked the generation of real lightning, and the exposure of steam boilers from the beginning of the last century was also impressive. The souvenir shop at this museum also made an indelible impression – there are so many interesting mechanisms from the “do it yourself” series that you will be amazed 🙂
We were particularly impressed by a tour of the film studio “Bavaria film“. In addition to the opportunity to walk through the pavilions, where various films were shot (for example, to get into the submarine in full size), you can take part in a show about the features of using computer graphics in a movie, when your real-time moving image is added to a picture. You can also see how popular German television shows are shot.
Of course, we rented a car (via the mashup booking autos) and drove around. The first thing we have mastered for especially sunny days is Lake Ammer(Ammersee). The shores of the lake have a fairly convenient infrastructure for recreation – many cafes and bars near the water, walking paths for those who want to take a walk in the park, picnic and barbecue areas, as well as various possibilities for swimming on the lake (including on a large ferry). Ride from Munich is quite close, and positive emotions from measured pastime on the nature – more than enough. You can also stay for the weekend at cozy hotels to be away from the city bustle.
Without a doubt, we decided to visit the fairytale castle Neuschwanstein (you could hardly get the name out the first time). I wrote a separate post about this wonderful place, it’s very beautiful there. We got to Liechtenstein, in summer the Alpine meadows are especially picturesque and also deserve a hotel post. Well, we visited various places in Austria, which is also better to describe in more detail.
And, talking about the cultural and entertainment part of Munich, it is necessary to focus separately on visiting the museumBMW. Actually, BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke) is the quintessence of everything Bavarian. Located next to the headquarters of this brand, the museum also provides an opportunity to go on an excursion to the factory’s conveyor. In real time, you can see the complete production cycle of the car, ranging from stamping metal sheets of the body, and ending with the final assembly of the finished car. It makes, without exaggeration, an amazing impression! In particular, it is interesting to realize that machines of different series (3, 5, 7, etc.) are assembled in the same way and practically from the same components. In the museum itself, you can track the evolution of cars from the very foundation of the brand to the present day, which provides interesting food for thought about changes in consumer needs and preferences over the long life span of the brand.
Additionally, you can look into its future, getting acquainted with the prototypes of new models. Fun fact is that there is also a car dealership at the headquarters, the factory and the museum, where you can buy a finished car. However, its cost there will be significantly (30 percent) higher than for the same car in Russia. It is very important to book tickets for a visit to the conveyor belt much in advance – in two weeks, no less. Otherwise, you can only get into the museum itself and not see the most interesting.
Since we had enough free time at that time in Munich, we were actively exploring the area. So we visited the Royal Lake (Konigsee) in the area bordering with Austria. This lake was also worth a visit – surrounded by mountains, with old houses along the banks, it seems to transfer to another reality. It has crystal clear water – this was a special mention on the excursion while sailing on a pleasure boat on the lake. In the very middle of it, the boat stopped, and its captain came out on the deck and began to blow the pipe (local custom), with which many tourists were amused.
Extensive “boat garages” were located along the coast – small wooden houses for boats, such we saw here for the first time. However, on the other side a visit to a small old settlement was waiting for us. This settlement now functions as a museum, where all the conditions for slow walks and unity with nature are created quite skillfully, without forgetting about comfort. It is difficult to put into words why this lake is worth visit – it creates such an amazing (almost meditative) feeling of measured unity with nature, and the landscapes around are fascinating.
And since we are talking about lakes (and where else to go in the summer!), The special mention is Lake of Constance (Bodensee), on which different cities are located not only in Germany, but also in Austria. In that region, we especially remember a visit to the German city Lindau. Its characteristic feature is the amazing beauty of the harbor, at the entrance to which are two towers. If you climb one of them – an old lighthouse, you will see a breathtaking panorama of the harbor on the one side, and on the endless lake on the other. Also, the town itself has perfectly preserved its distinctive streets and houses, giving many tourists the opportunity to enjoy the “gingerbread” architecture.
To choose a location for summer holidays you may visit 1001beach.com, the best beaches in the world on one website.
To explore a new city during your visit with a guide you may through excurzilla.com