Hipmunk City Love: A District Guide to Munich

Munich is often ranked in the top 10 global cities with the best quality of life and it’s no mystery why. This charming city manages to maintain its cultural heritage while mixing in a booming technology sector and world-famous companies like BMW. Yet the city is also renowned for its top-notch museums, theaters, and art galleries. This intersection of economy, history, and culture makes Munich a fascinating city for travelers. While most of the famous tourist attractions are found in the city center, the surrounding districts each offer a unique opportunity for exploration. Use this district guide to choose your Munich hotel, and consider staying outside the center.

The City Center

Photo by Sophie via Trover.com 

The city center is hemmed in by the old city fortifications, some sections of which can still be found. Here you’ll find some of the most impressive sights in the city, like the New Town Hall with its Glockenspiel or the Old Town Hall originally built in 1474. For something a little different, visit the old residence of Bavarian monarchs (the Residenz in German) or enjoy a frosty brew at the Hofbräuhaus. This brewhouse is world-famous, originally built in 1589 by a Bavarian Duke and serving up traditional Bavarian dishes and delicious beer to this day.

Schwabing

Photo by Wolf G. via Flickr.com

Schwabing has become one of the most popular and most expensive residential areas in Munich. It’s easy to see why, as this district features leafy boulevards, tons of sidewalk restaurants, and an array of beer gardens. You’ll also find plenty of upscale clothing shops and fancy restaurants, but the real appeal of this area is the English Garden. More than twice the size of New York’s Central Park, the English Garden offers both locals and visitors a fantastic place to spend an afternoon. You’ll find hiking and biking trails, sleepy meadows, and fantastic cafes and beer gardens.

Maxvorstadt

Photo by Heribert Pohl via Flickr.com 

This district is best known for art and studies, as the University of Munich along with six other universities are scattered throughout the area. You’ll also find some of the top art galleries and museums in the country, such as the Antikensammlung and Glyptothek which feature impressive Greek and Etruscan collections. Head over to the Pinakotheken museums for the largest collection of Rubens works in the world and some frighteningly modern art. As this area is dominated by students, you’ll find tons of great cafes and eateries.

Neuhausen-Nymphenburg

Photo by Heribert Pohl via Flickr.com 

This district is relatively undiscovered by tourists, giving the area a very tranquil vibe that almost makes you forget you’re in such a large city. The major site in this district is theSchloss Nymphenburg, the biggest baroque palace in Germany. However, it’s not the residence itself that draws both locals and tourists. The expansive palace gardens offer a wonderful space to relax, explore, and enjoy the outdoors. Stroll along the various paths and take in the gorgeous buildings scattered throughout the gardens.

With so many unique and intriguing districts, you’ll have no trouble finding a great place to stay in Munich. 

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