What to do in Munich
Inevitably, all local festivals stand in the shadow of the Oktoberfest , but there are plenty of other annual events. Fasching , Munich's Carnival, begins in earnest immediately after Epiphany with a week-long series of costume parades. Fancy-dress balls are held regularly up to and including Carnival Week, whose festivities come to a climax on Ash Wednesday with a ceremony of washing money bags at the Fischbrunnen in Marienplatz. A couple of weeks later begins Starkbierzeit , the period when strong beer is served in the taverns to help make the stringencies of Lent bearable. More specially brewed strong beer can be sampled at the Maibock-Anstich in May. Held in the Olympiapark during June and July, Tollwood is a world music festival which additionally features stalls selling a similarly international range of food and handicrafts.
Museums, Galleries, and Memorials
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Egyptian MuseumÃ‚Â (http://www.aegyptisches-museum-muenchen.de/) - admission Ã¢â€šÂ¬4 (concessions Ã¢â€šÂ¬3, children free, free for all on Sundays)
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Lenbachhaus GalleryÃ‚Â (http://www.lenbachhaus.de/) - Expressionist art
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Dachau concentration camp An incredible, and sobering experience, this is a worthwhile excursion. Not recommended for small children. Tours can be booked in Munich or at Dachau there, in English. While the tour is certainly of historical value, there is very little to see from the original camp, as most of the structures fromt the WWII era have been detroyed.
Tourists, who, take a tour of Dachau from a private guide/tour company often complain that they didn't have enough time to explore the camp. Three hours or more should be dedicated to exploring the camp, though, to fully see the camp may require five or more hours.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Marienplatz The Marienplatz is the traditional heart of Munich. Its MariensÃƒÂ¤ule (Marian column) was built in 1638 as a reminder the city had been spared during Swedish occupation. It is not exceptionally different from any number of plague columns scattered around central Europe. What really draws a crowd on Marienplatz, though, is the Glockenspiel in the faÃƒÂ§ade of the Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall). The summer tourist crowds gawk at the Glockenspiel figures enacting the SchÃƒÂ¤fflertanz (coopers' dance), a ritual originally performed to celebrate the end of the plague in Munich. The Rathaus was built in Flemish Gothic style between 1867 and 1908 by Georg Joseph Hauberissere. If you are interested in shopping, go here and follow the main shopping street down to Karlsplatz (Stachus), a major tram/U-Bahn/S-Bahn stop. Major chainstores, such as H&M and Saturn (for CDs and electronical equipment)can be found there.
The Auer Dult is a traditional market that takes place on the Mariahilfplatz during the last weeks of April, July and October each year. It has a combination of hardware, crafts and antiques, as well as a fairground for the kids. An annual Christmas market, known as the Christkindlmarkt , is held on the Marienplatz during the month of December, though the ones at the MÃƒÂ¼nchener Freiheit, and around the Pariser Platz in Haidhausen, are less commercialized with more handmade crafts.
Schloss Neuschwanstein near Munich
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Schloss Neuschwanstein (located in FÃƒÂ¼ssen, worth a day trip) Visit the beautiful park! The famous fantasy castle built by Ludwig II, picture postcard perfect and used in the 1960s film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It is easily visited in a day trip from Munich.