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Munich Music, Festivals, and Entertainment

From: Munich Travel Guide

Nabucco

ABOVE: A scene from a Bavarian State Opera production of Verdi's Nabucco.

Music and events

Munich is a city where entertainment runs the gamut from oompah bands to opera, and from dance clubs to ballet.

To learn what's on during your visit, check the online Events Calendar at Munich Found, an English-language magazine for expats and visitors. It has up-to-date listings of cabaret shows, concerts, operas, theatre productions, readings, lectures, and other events.

An even better resource, if you read German, is the Officielles Monatsprogramm. Pick up the print edition at the tourist office while you're in Munich, or check monatsprogramm-muenchen.de online. (The program lists concerts, clubs, music halls, pop concerts, ice-skating shows, museums, libraries, gallery shows, children's attractions, sightseeing tours, etc. in German.)

NationaltheaterIf yo'ure a fan of classical music, read our articles about the Bavarian State Opera, a.k.a. the Bayerische Staatsoper, and see the English-language schedule on its Web site. The Staatsoper has a year-round calendar of operas, orchestral concerts, and ballet productions, plus an opera festival from late June to late July and a ballet festival week in April. (Even if you don't attend a performance, you may want to take an inexpensive guided tour of the Nationaltheater, which is Germany's largest opera house.)

Other major classical-music companies include the Münich Philharmonic, the orchestras and choir of the Bayerischen Rundfunk TV and radio network, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, and the State Theatre on Gärtnerplatz, which offers operetta, light opera, musicals, and jazz concerts.

If you're on a budget, you'll find inexpensive performances at venues such as the Hochschule für Musik und Theater  (which has two concert halls on its premises) and various churches around town.

For popular music, the Munich Tourist Office suggests Alabamahalle (dancing and drinking for up to 2,000 patrons), the Atomic Café (indie bands and retro pop near the Marienplatz), and several other venues. Pick up a City Guide at the Tourist Office (see page 10) or see the nightlife and other entertainment listings on the English-language pages at muenchen-tourist.de.

Oktoberfest tentFinally, if you're visiting Munich at the end of September or in early October, read our article about Oktoberfest, where you can quaff beer by the liter with thousands of other fairgoers. (You haven't experienced Bavarian culture until you've heard several thousand people singing John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads" in German-accented English).

Next page: Munich hotels and hostels


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