see + do
Munich see + do
Munich sits 1,500 feet above sea level and is more than a little in thrall to its weather. In winter it's a nearly Alpine paradise just a quick car trip from skiing, in summer a sunny outdoor collection of parks and beer gardens that seem to stretch across the whole city. The Englischer Garten that sits at the edge of the Isar river is a three-mile-long park that presents a uniquely German take on cultivated nature: By and large, the park is unmanicured and scrubby, more like the woods than a garden (49-89-386-663 90; www.schloesser.bayern.de/englisch). In its center is the Chinese Tower, a huge pagoda surrounded by the city's premier beer garden. A totally democratic warm-weather phenomenon, these places bring together all of Munich's social classes at long tables under towering old-growth trees. In colder weather, such communal drinking happens indoors at the city's several beer houses, as well as Oktoberfest, which runs from the end of September into the first week of October (49-89-233-965-00; www.oktoberfest.de/en). But beyond all this is serious culture: Munich is host to several world-class museums and collections, as well as the Residenz palace, one of the most serious Renaissance pavilions outside of Italy.