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Munich was considered the capital of the Nazi movement and had half of its buildings destroyed during the war. However, the city has bounced back from a turbulent and problematic past – the recovery experienced by Munich is referred to as Wirtschaftswunder, or ‘economic miracle’. Munich enjoys a high standard of living and is a major center of the arts and culture as well as a flourishing center of business, industry and innovation. The 1980s saw Munich storm the high-tech and scientific industries, and today the city is one of the fasted growing and most economically exciting places in Germany. The educational and innovative promise of Munich has made it a top-ranked destination for international students.

Things to do in Munich

Events - Munich’s Bavarian proximity means quaint clichés, of which the Christmarkt is probably the coziest. For the best part of December, Marienplatz is transformed into a sparkling extravaganza of music, food, costumes and all things festive. Students should also take advantage of the time of year when drinking excessively is a requisite. Oktoberfest draws hordes of drinkers who storm Munich’s beer halls, drink copious amounts and feast on Weisswurst, although the aroma of hops and the sound of the oompah-band is a year-round occurrence.

Sites and landmarks – Architecture buffs should visit Nymphenburg Palace, with its ornate rococo interiors and impeccable baroque gardens. Constructed in 1664 and the long-time summer residence of the German royal family, the palace consists of sumptuous period rooms with softly-lit portraits peering down from the walls. The Englischer Garten is also a treat – commissioned by Elector Karl Theodor in 1789, the park is built in the style of an English country and entails a 7000-capacity beer garden, a Chinese-style tower and (optional) nude sunbathing.

Art and culture – The Museum of the Munich Residenz (Residenzmuseum) is unrivalled in terms of wow-factor. It houses the precious trappings of Bavaria’s Wittelsbach rulers, from golden toothpicks to literal treasure troves. Prepare to be overwhelmed by the Ancestral Gallery – a long corridor of Wittelsbach family portraits offset by bedazzling rococo gilding. Students and respecters of art should also pay a visit to Alte Pinakothek, Europe’s main repository of Old Masters. The neoclassical temple that houses the canvases is an attraction within itself, however the featured Da Vincis, Titians, Raphaels and Rembrants are predictably magnificent.

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