With the excellent public transport network, a car is unnecessary.
Franz-Josef-Strauss airport in 25 miles north of the city with regular flights by national carriers and budget airlines. The €10 airport bus is the best way into town (www.autobusoberbayern.de); the S-Bahn train stops at every station taking seemingly forever, and taxis are around the €60 mark.
The extensive S-Bahn (overland) and U-Bahn (underground) systems work like clockwork, as do the strassenbahn (trams) and buses. International trains arrive at the centrally located main train station.
Country code for Germany: 49. Munich: 89.
The White Rose: Munich, 1942-1943 by Inge Scholl & Dorothee Soelle.
Do go / Don't Go
Winters can be long and hard but whilst it is definitely busy in the summer, nothing beats a cold bier in the shade of a chestnut tree under the blue and white Bavarian sky. The Oktoberfest is hectic with hotels and flights overpriced and fully-booked, but it's still a memorable (or perhaps slightly hazy) event (www.oktoberfest.de).
Munich is justly proud of its wurst and bier culture. A traditional Bavarian meal is weisswurst und brez'n, white veal sausages served with a pretzel and sweet grain mustard. Local menus are packed with all manner of pork dishes served with dumplings and sauerkraut, followed by countless variations of strudels, and weissbier (wheat beer). There are plenty of less weighty international influences, too. Muncheners like to think of themselves as living in the most northerly of Italian cities. Local dry Riesling and Spätburgunder wines are eminently quaffable as well.
The best place to find a cab is at one of the many taxi ranks but if you do see one for hire, just hail it down; they should stop unless they're a stone's throw from a rank. There is an extra charge for luggage but prices are reasonable.
Service is included in restaurant bills so tipping is not expected, particularly in the more traditional places. Most Muncheners just round things up to the nearest euro, but we suggest a more generous ten per cent is the norm for good service.
Bring plenty of cash; surprisingly few places accept credit cards. Pack something smart to wear as Muncheners like to show off a little when they are out.
Munich is a city that punches above its weight in terms of museums and galleries. The leading light is the Pinakothek gallery with exhibitions on architecture, works on paper (including sketches by Van Gogh) and modern art including Warhols and Picassos (www.pinakothek-der-moderne.de). An architectural tour of Munich should start with Herzog & Demueron's UFO-like football stadium, the Allianz Arena - you could even take in a Bayern Munich match. A walk down the neo-Renaissance facades of Leopold Strasse leads you to the Gothic splendour of the Rathaus (City Hall).
Stroll south along the grassy banks of the river Isar towards the zoo and watch the Muncheners at play. You might just pass a biergarten or two on the way.
Munich has its very own 'Prada Street', otherwise known as Maximilianstrasse. In Glockenbachviertel find one-off, hand-made men's and women's fashions by Clara Niggl or Michael Wagner and a great line in handbags by Florence Mucret. For everything from home wares to food stuffs and toiletries, Manufactum in the Fünf Höfe shopping centre sells top quality kit in modern surroundings (www.manufactum.com). Schumann's Bar Am Hofgarten in the same complex is a stylish place for a shopping pit stop.
On a clear day you can see the Alps from the Olympiapark tower. Alternatively, walk to the top of the nearby hill also in the Olympiapark for a similar view without the queues (www.olympiapark-muenchen.de). There's a wonderful vista over the city centre from the Alter Peter tower in the Rindermarkt.
The bridge overlooking the Eisbach offers a grandstand view of the city's surfers riding a 'permanent' wave on this fast flowing river. Even on a winter night these guys are out there, fully suited and booted in neoprene.
1 May Many local communities run up a maypole as part of traditional festivities on the May Day. Mid June The Tollwood Festival at the Olympiapark focuses on food, music and local crafts (www.tollwood.de). July Mediaeval jousting is re-enacted at the Kaltenberg castle to the west of Munich. September Part of the cultural heritage of Bavaria, the Oktoberfest is worth experiencing, even if only once. December For Christmas novelties, tree decorations and anything and everything covered or made from chocolate, visit the Christkindlmarkt (Christmas market). Most neighbourhoods have their own but the most popular is the one in Marienplatz in front of the city hall. Warm yourself with a gluwein as you wander.