A metropolis with small-town charm

The history of Munich is documented all the way back to 1158 when it was first mentioned as “forum apud Munichen”. The Old German name means “by the monks” and derives from the monks who ran a monastery at the place that was to become the Old Town of Munich. A monk is still depicted on the city’s coat of arms. 

Today, the Bavarian state capital is the third-largest city in Germany – behind Berlin and Hamburg – and one of the most prosperous and fastest-growing cities in the country. It is consistently voted one of Germany’s most liveable cities, with various career opportunities, a low crime rate, a broad selection of leisure and recreational activities plus an efficient infrastructure ensuring a high quality of life.

A modern city with tradition

A modern city with tradition

Munich has become a global household name in various sectors, be it art, science, technology, education, or sports. The city houses many world-known brands, such as BMW, Siemens, Allianz, or FC Bayern Munich. There is a broad range of culture to be found in the 47 theatres and 46 museums, including the renowned Pinakotheken and the world’s largest technology museum, Deutsches Museum.  

Built on a human scale, with no building taller than the spires of the Cathedral Church of Our Lady, Munich does not feel as overwhelming as other cities of its scale. Various other factors add to the cosy vibe, from the city’s parks to Bavaria’s cordiality and famed beer culture.

Did you know? While the Oktoberfest nowadays often pictures a cliché, it is deeply rooted in tradition. When Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen in 1810, the citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held in front of the city gates. The royal celebrations were crowned with a horse race, which is considered the origin of the Oktoberfest. 

Gateway to the Alps

Gateway to the Alps

Besides its touristic attractions, Munich boasts numerous green areas, with the English Garden alone covering 375 hectares. The Eisbach wave at its southern edge is one of the most famous river surfing spots and used by surfers throughout the year. Over a length of 13.7 kilometres, the Isar winds its way through the city and offers additional recreational activities on its banks. 

With its central European location and proximity to the Alps, Munich is the perfect destination for both city and nature lovers. The picturesque lakes and mountains are a short drive away and provide the perfect setting for a weekend getaway.  

Facts & Figures

  • Population: 1,561,720 (as of 31 March 2020) 
  • Total urban area: 310.71 km²  
  • Average altitude: 519 m above sea level 
  • Time zone: CET/CEST 
  • Currency: EUR 
  • Website: muenchen.de