See what makes Munich one of Europe’s best-loved cities and most traveled cultural centers.
Metropolitan Munich is a magical blend of old and new; the capital of the German state Bavaria is a chic and contemporary city while simultaneously steeped in rich, old-world tradition.
Settled on the banks of the River Isar and north of the Bavarian Alps, Munich is a charming and quaint cosmopolitan city where man-made marvels compliment the natural beauty of southern Germany.
Affectionately nicknamed Millionendorf, or village of a million, this modern urban city has something of a small-town feel. The city is home to the annual Oktoberfest celebrations, Bavarian cuisine, beer gardens, centuries-old buildings, eco-parks, and a world-class collection of museums to discover.
Adventure around Altstadt, Munich’s medieval old town. The historic district is an ensemble of cathedrals, gates, parks, squares, and towers. Traces of the past are present around each corner: dine from gourmet food stalls and beer halls, then shop in the area’s phenomenal flagship stores and traditional Bavarian boutiques.
Dive deeper into the history of this region. Travel to Dachau, the site of a former WWII concentration camp, a place that has preserved the history, location, and stories of the individuals impacted.
Expand your palette. Enjoy the best of Bavarian cuisine as you sample southeastern German specialties, from pretzels and pastries to sausages and schnitzels! Experience Bavarian hospitality as you drink and dine at Munich’s many beer gardens and halls.
Hear the Rathaus-Glockenspiel clock tower chime. Motorized figurines inside the tower dance and joust in reenactments of two stories from the 1500s; these performances are visible from the north side of Maritenplatz Square, one of the busiest landmarks in central Munich.
Stroll through one of the planet’s largest urban parks. The Englischer Garten covers an area of 370 hectares in central Munich with an expanse of lush lawns, shaded groves, and waterside wonders—among them, a singular static wave in the man-made Eisbach River that is popular among river surfers.
Visit one of the premier royal palaces in Europe. Ranking among the finest gardens in Germany, Nymphenburg Palace and the surrounding grounds are a glorious example of garden artistry in Germany. Originally built as a summer residence for the former rulers of Bavaria, today Nymphenburg’s expansive park provides visitors with a taste of history, horticultural creativity, and spectacular royal splendor.
Annabel H., EF Gap Year Class of 2019 Boston University Class of 2023
My gap year took me out of my comfort zone so many times—and my life is better because of it. Now, as I head off to college, I am able to focus on my excitement rather than feeling nervous, because I have built so much confidence within the past year. If anyone is searching for a path to follow, a way to achieve their goals, or even just who they are, they need to take a gap year.