Munich, the third largest city in Germany, is the most popular tourist destination in the country. As a modern capital of the region where most German stereotypes come from as well as the infamous Oktoberfest celebration, Munich is what most tourists want in a German city. From modern marvels like BMW and the 1972 Olympic grounds, to Baroque churches and fairytale castles, there is something for everyone in this corner of Germany.
It is a vibrant, sophisticated, modern city with some of the best shopping, nightlife, and trade fair facilities in Europe. Munich is also home to FC Bayern, the German soccer team with the best record in German soccer history. FC Bayern's stadium, the Allianz Arena, has been a highlight for soccer enthusiasts from around the globe since it opened in 2006. It is also known as the high tech center of Germany with Siemens headquartered here as well as corporate offices of big names such as Microsoft, Texas Instruments, Infineon, and many others either in Munich or just outside the city limits.
Historically, Munich was one of the major capitals of Munich as it was the capital of the country of Bavaria. Bavaria was one of the largest, most powerful, and wealthiest countries in the Holy Roman Empire. The ruler of Bavaria was at times a Duke, an Elector, a Holy Roman Emperor, and a King. Munich's name comes from the earliest known name for the city "bei den Munichen" or by the little monks. Today it has been shortened to basically little monks. There are three forms of the city names you should be familiar with as a tourist: München (proper German name of the city), Minga (name for the city in the local dialect) and of course Munich, the English name for it. It may also be worth noting that in Italian the name is Monaco, just like the country, which also simply means little monk.
Millions of people every year come to Munich for its beer culture, since Munich is often known as the beer capital of the world. Although Germany has nearly one thousand three hundred breweries, Bavaria has more than nine hundred of them and as Munich is its capital, it is easy to see why so many call this the beer capital. The largest and most famous beer halls and beer gardens in the world are within Munich's city limits and open daily for travelers and locals alike. The most famous celebration in Munich, the infamous Oktoberfest, is held every September and attracts over six million people to dress up in the local costumes and revel in all that is Bavarian.
Munich is located in the south eastern corner of the country within sight of the Alps. Day trips are extremely popular from Munich as Salzburg, Augsburg, Neuschwanstein, Regensburg, Nuremberg, and Garmisch-Partenkirchen are all within a two hour train ride. Hundreds of hiking trails through the Alps can be found just south of Munich as well as world class skiing opportunities. It is also useful as an international hub as it has a central location to break up long journeys within Europe.