It cannot really be called contradictions but Munich enjoys having the old and new together in one place. Although gaining infamy during World War, Munich still retains much of its pre-war charm and tries to live with modernity as comfortably as it can. You can still go around the city and be amused to see men wearing the traditional lederhosen.
Munich has also gained the reputation of being an art center as well as an entertainment capital in Germany. The old and young converged here. The rich and not-so-rich hobnob in the streets. And if not only for the annual beer orgy of the Oktoberfest, Munich beer tour would still have hundreds of things to offer the visitor. Here are a few of them.
1. Take a walking tour of Altstadt.
This is the area that can give you an initial and lasting impression of Munich, the historical city. You can begin at Marienplatz. If you follow the trail, you can see some places associated with Hitler such as Feldherrnhalle where the young Hitler clashed with the police in 1923.
2. Watch the glockenspiel (set of bells) does its thing.
It springs to action at exactly the same time every day at the Neuse Rattans which is a Gothic town hall. There are always tourists milling around while the glockenspiel announces the time with its parade of miniatures that is quintessentially German.
3. Be a culture vulture.
Spend a few hours at the Resident which was once a royal palace and is now a museum. You can view artifacts from Munich's past as well as artworks from old and contemporary artists. Also, drop by the Pinakothek der Moderne which houses some of the best contemporary artworks in the country. You can marvel at the works of Kandinsky, Klee, and de Kooning who are the major names in German Expressionism.
4. If you are in the mood for some downtime.
Head over to the Neuhausen and Nymphenburg. You can get yourself a big glass of beer and an authentic German sausage while you chill out with friends. This is one of the more quiet and relaxing areas in Munich. Neuhausen is actually a beer garden and there are a few nightclubs here.
5. Oktoberfest! Need I say more?
This is held annually every October and it pulls millions of people from all over the world. Originally a celebration of Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese in 1810, this has turned into one of the world's most beloved festivals. Why? Primarily because of the beer-drinking which has become synonymous with the festival. Germany regulates the ingredients that are placed in the beer so Germans take pride in producing some of the best beers in the world.
Tents around the city are already open before 10:00 AM and go on until the morning. It's not a requirement that you find a seat since you are allowed to stand up while consuming your beer and sausages. It's a fun and great way to meet people of all ages, races and persuasion. This is a very popular festival so if you are interested, make your travel plans months in advance.