Naysayers call it a dorf (village) in southern Germany, meaning slow. Dorf is accurate. Munich has a provincial feel. People stare: unlike Parisians or New Yorkers, they haven’t seen it all. It’s charming. But the sleepy, southern image is wrong. Things work. Munich captivates because it’s cosy, not sleepy. It harbors a passion for the best. Take the Festspiele (opera festival). For five weeks in July, the city seethes with activity unique in Europe, probably the world, staging 20 operas by 12 composers, 50 performances in 30 days. If you can’t come in July, visit the Oktoberfest for the best of traditional Bavaria: beer drinking to brass bands in leafy chestnut gardens. Year round beautiful Lake Starnberg is a half-hour train ride away; you can see the Alps from here. They don’t shout about it, but Munich is the city of good living.
Awed by Munich, travels also visit Nuremburg, Dresden, Hannover and Bremen.