Munich may be only the third largest city in Germany, but it’s certainly the place with the largest ego. Munich tells the world that it’s the best – and that goes for football, beer, sausages and the locally-produced BMW cars. Visit and you’ll find that Munich is a relaxed and happy city, a place where the locals certainly know how to enjoy themselves. Munich has all the airs and graces of a capital (and it is the capital of the Free State of Bavaria), but it also has a homely feel. Key sights include the palace of the Wittelsbachs, the family who presided over Bavarian affairs for several centuries, and the park known as the Englischer Garten (about which there is nothing particularly English).

The main railway station is Munich Hauptbahnhof, which lies just west of the city centre. From here, Deutsche Bahn’s smart silver ICE trains leave at regular intervals for cities across Germany. Cologne is less than five hours away, Hamburg about six, and the journey to Berlin takes between six and seven hours. Closer to hand, Munich is an excellent jumping-off point for excursions by train into the Bavarian Alps. There are departures at least every two hours to Garmisch, Oberstdorf and Füssen.

Munich has excellent international connections. French TGVs speed to Paris in just over six hours. Comfortable EuroCity trains run by ÖBB Austrian Railways run from Munich direct to Innsbruck, Verona, Bologna and Venice. There are Swiss EuroCity trains to Zürich and Basel. Fast Railjet trains leave Munich for Vienna and Budapest. There’s a great choice of overnight trains from Munich (although not all of these can be booked on Loco2). You can board a comfortable sleeper in the evening and alight next morning in Amsterdam, Brescia, Budapest, Düsseldorf, Florence, Hamburg, Milan, Rome, Venice or Zagreb.

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Image credits: Aerial view of Munich © Sborisov

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