If we were to do a word association, the first one that would come to most peoples' minds when Munich is mentioned is Oktoberfest. The world's biggest festival and everything you'd think it would be, it would still be a shame to limit your view of a diversely artistic, attractive, and "liveable" city to a sometimes sophomoric celebration of alcohol excess. This city of over 1.5 million people is the modern ambassador of Bavarian culture, and while beer gardens and Wirtshäuser (restaurant-pubs) are typically ubiquitous, you won't need beer goggles to appreciate the cultural and adventurous attractions. Think stunning castles, churches, and squares, a selection of museums that truly rival Berlin, open spaces like the English Garden that are arguably more spectacular than Central or Hyde Park, and an exceptional standard of entertainment that includes theater, opera, and even football. Add the fact that Munich is also the closest metropolitan area to some of Germany's most profound national wonders, including its biggest mountains and lakes, and you've got the recipe for a true Embark destination.
One step into the famed Marienplatz, presided over by the iconic Frauenkirche and the Neues Rathaus (the town hall, whose glockenspiel is renowned), should be enough to sell you on first impression. If not, the stellar architecture of the Theatinerkirche and Residenz on Odeonplatz and the mixture of old (the City Museum) and new (the Jewish Museum) on the lesser known St. Jakob's Platz should do the trick. Although large portions of the city center were destroyed during the second World War, much of it has been rebuilt in a manner reminiscent of the Munich's 19th century heyday, making for quite a surprising selection of period architecture that complements the numerous landmarks that survived within the circumference of the Altstadtring. The city's most popular museums are fittingly located in the museum district (the Kunstareal) in Maxvorstadt; the three art galleries of the Pinakotheken and the newer Brandhorst are highlights. Then again, head out from city center for the castle and sprawling grounds of the stately Schloss Nymphenburg, to the still highly-relevant Olympia Park and the nearby BMW Museum. Lastly, you can't help but support Germany's most historic football team, FC Bayern Munich, as they battle at the highest level in the Bundesliga. And that's hardly everything of interest in Munich; our culture page will give you a more profound idea of city's attractions.
All right, back to the beer. Brewing history is best represented through a visit to the oldest continuous brewery, Weihenstephan Abbey, or even a Baroque monastery in the hills like Andechs. We also won't hate you for participating in the Hofbrauhaus tourist experience; everyone's got to do it once. If you are going to make it a beer-centric trip, then huge beer gardens like those in the English Garden or Munich's biggest, Hirschgarten, are no-brainers while the weather is nice. And, of course, you'll have to eat as the Bavarians do. That means sausage for breakfast, lunch, and dinner accompanied by pretzels the size of a human torso. Our cuisine page paints a more detailed picture, while you'll find that the nightlife is also far more varied than a mug of Augustiner and some bratwurst.
Believe it or not, getting out of town will be an essential part of your Munich experience. Adventures can range from exploring some of the preserved medieval centers of nearby towns like Regensburg, Würzburg, and Rothenberg (see the well-traveled Romantic Road for more on these locations); skydiving in a handful of drop zones; mountaineering in the Alps; and engaging in a number of active pursuits in locations where picturesque peaks and pristine nature are front and center (Karwendel Nature Reserve, Berchtesgaden National Park, the towering Zugspitze, Lake Chiemsee, etc.). This means a whole lot of excellent hiking, climbing, skiing, and snowboarding for interested adventure-seekers. There's always the Munich adventure page if you'd like more details.
Munich not only bursts with enticing attractions, but it is one of the cleanest, safest, and most prosperous cities in Europe. Travelers of all types are openly welcome and getting around is quite easy, with a public transportation system that is reliable and efficient. Combine this with the romantic notions of Bavaria that you're going to want to indulge (the beer, the lederhosen, the sauerkraut, the strangely alluring dirndl), and Munich is suddenly the next adventure you find yourself counting down to. And that's not just the beer goggles talking.