Kick off at Munich’s most famous food market, as excellent for people-watching as it is for fine regional produce. Relax with a drink at one of the numerous stands – no shame in a Radler (beer and lemonade) if you need to take it easy – and set about sampling the array of fresh regional produce, with specialities including bread, speck and Schweinshaxe (ham hock), the love-it-or-hate-it Weißwurst, as well as locally foraged mushrooms. If you’re in town in late November or December, the Viktualienmarkt hosts an annual Christmas market, Alpenwahn, complete with carols, homemade cards and gifts, and generous cupfuls of Glühwein (mulled wine).
This being the home of the Oktoberfest beer binge, the number one attraction in Munich must be drinking itself. But with outstanding art museums, compelling history and glistening mountain spas in sight, there’s plenty to lure you away from the beer garden in this beautiful southern city. Munich’s verdant riverbanks, soft southern light and panoramic Alpine views are a world away from industrial Hamburg and gritty Berlin, but refreshingly so. For the ideal day out, tour the rigorous Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism; stand spellbound before the Brandhorst Museum’s Cy Twombly cycle ‘Le Panto’; or brave a wetsuit and the waves at the Eisbachwelle, Munich’s incongruous surf hotspot at the gateway to the Englischer Garten.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Munich