Samstag, 22. Mai 2010

Munich Sightseeing

When planning a trip to Germany, one might have a hard time deciding which city to visit. Berlin is often the first city to come to mind, alongside the Reichstag, the Brandenburg Gate, and cruises down the Spree, Germany's capital does have a lot to offer. Frankfurt's skyscrapers and Hamburg's enormous harbor also attract a large number of tourists. Munich is well worth considering. It's only a ninety-minute train ride between Munich and the Alpine Mountains, and Munich is also one of the safest large cities in Germany.

Munich offers a large assortment of museums. A good start is the Deutsches Museum, which is one of the largest museums in Germany, and offers a wide variety of exhibits surrounding science and technology. The transportation exhibit which includes antique trains, aircraft, and automobiles is so large that is was recently moved to a separate exhibition hall. The transportation exhibit also includes a huge model railroad which is always popular with children. Amongst the other exhibits is an exhibit which displays the development of the printing press, dating back to Gutenberg.

Amongst Munich's other museums is the lesser-known Bavarian National Museum. It's a good idea to go on a Sunday, when the admission is only one Euro. This museum offers a collection of historical exhibits dating from the Middle Ages to about the 18th century, including a display of knights' armor and weaponry. There's also a popular display of nativity scenes, which don't only commenorate Christmas, but also Easter and Good Friday.

The Museum of Ethnology is another lesser-known museum in Munich, and where the admission is only one Euro on Sundays. This museum shows a collection of artifacts from non-Western cultures around the world. One exhibit on Asian religions greets visitors with a huge, brass Buddha, sitting in a darkened room surrounded by a red background. Other displays include clothing and household goods from Africa, along with Native American and Eskimo cultures.

Munich offers a wide variety of art museums. The Haus der Kunst is probably the most well-known, and mostly displays art from the mid-20th century. There's also the Glyptothek, featuring statues from ancient Greece and Rome. The exhibit starts in the nearby underground station, Königsplatz, where some of the statues are on display on the train platform. Nearby are the Alte and Neue Pinatotheken (Old and New Picturs Galleries) which display paintings from the 16th to 20th centuries, including pictures from Rembrandt and Monet. The Pinakothek der Moderne consists of modern art, housed in a glass building to let in plenty of sunlight.

Some of the best activities in Munich are free. The Englischer Garten is a large park where the locals enjoy strolling. There are a number of Biergärten in the park, where brass bands sometimes play traditional Bavarian music during the summer. There are a number of large lakes in the park with wading geese and swans. Surfers often meet on a rushing stream which runs through the Englischer Garten, although surfing there is prohibited.

The Maximilianstrasse is one of the most expensive streets in Munich, and it's a nice stroll even if one can't afford to shop at Dior and Cartier. Walking is the best way to see Munich, as most of the attractions are within walking distance of each other, and Munich is a scenic city with lots of fountains, sidewalk cafes, and interesting architechture. And there's usually something interesting going on in Munich's pedestrian zone.

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