Monocle magazine lists Munich, the capital of Bavaria, in its top 10 cities in the world, citing its “boomtown economy” and media-friendly appeal. In Mercer’s 2015 Quality of Living survey, Munich was the world’s fourth most liveable city.
The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, regards it as a “pole of excellence” for technology start-ups, and LinkedIn, the professional social network, has set up its German headquarters in the city. To top it off, Bavaria has one of the highest gross domestic products of any region in Germany.
Sun and ski
It only takes one hour by train to reach the Bavarian mountains. In fashionable resorts, such as the old Winter Olympics town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, there are many luxury chalets available (a five-bedroom example is on Engels & Völkers’ books for €1.85m). Outside the resorts, langlauf (cross-country skiing) fans will be delighted to find wooded slopes more akin to Canada than Europe.
A short ride on Munich’s suburban rail network — or a 45-minute drive south-west of the city — takes you to the picturesque Starnberger See for an afternoon’s sunbathing. Prime property here has spiked in recent years, with lakeside villas priced in the region of €8m.
With Munich’s two main universities (LMU and the Technical University of Munich) ranked among the top 50 in the world by Times Higher Education, the city is becoming as renowned for its education as its beer. There is also a host of well-regarded bilingual schools. The Munich International School (50 years old this year), sits in 26 acres of grounds, complete with its own Bavarian schloss.
Munich’s famous Oktoberfest, during which roughly 6.9m litres of beer are drunk, dates back to medieval times. However, beer halls are open all year round, and they allow drinkers to bring their own food. The daily life of locals is often punctuated with a trip to one of its renowned beer halls. Among the best-loved beer gardens in the city are the 200-year-old Augustiner Keller and the Hofbräukeller, which has a shady garden.
Less well known is the city’s extensive run of high-calibre museums and galleries.
The aesthetically minded can linger in the Museum Brandhorst, which features modern art, and the galleries of the three Pinakotheken. Die Neue Sammlung is known as one of the best design institutions in the world thanks to its 100,000-strong collection.
Those with a more technical bent will find plenty in the BMW Museum and the Deutsches Museum of science and technology, and historians likewise in the Bavarian National Museum, Münchner Stadtmuseum and the moving Jüdisches Museum.
Culture lovers in need of some respite should visit the gilded surrounds of the Goldene Bar in the Haus der Kunst gallery, which has a beautiful terrace come summer.
Looking at a map of Munich, it is clear that the city is covered in green spaces. The Englischer Garten is a local favourite covering about 900 acres and is home to streams, lakes, walkways and a number of beer houses and restaurants.
Active types head to the Olympic Park to jog and cycle in the footsteps of past champions.
Photographs: UniversalImagesGroup via Getty Images; Johann Hinrichs/Alamy; Graeme Fordham; imageBROKER/Alamy; incamerastock/Alamy; Sean Pavone/Alamy; Radius Images/Alamy; Munich International School
Related article: Why Munich is the most expensive place in Germany to buy a home