The capital of Bavaria is famous for its Oktoberfest, but Munich is also a high-tech hub with a lively arts scene and splendid architecture. The central square of the Old Town is Marienplatz, and there the famous 43-bell Rathaus-Glockenspiel rings out daily from the New Town Hall. Munich’s museums rival those of Berlin. The uncrowded Alte Pinakothek houses one of the world’s finest collections of old master paintings. The Neue Pinakothek covers 19th-century art, the Pinakothek der Moderne exhibits contemporary works, and the Lenbachhaus has masterpieces from the vibrant Der Blaue Reiter and Neue Sachlichkeit movements. When the warm weather arrives, residents and visitors alike head for the Englischer Garten park. Dining in Munich is a consistent pleasure, whether in a Michelin-starred restaurant or a wirtshaus, a traditional pub. (We must admit that we always make a beeline for the latter when we first arrive.)

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