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Old World charm in Munich

You've let another year go by without taking that trip you've been promising yourself to the intriguing German city of Munich.
/ Source: The Associated Press

You've let another year go by without taking that trip you've been promising yourself to the intriguing German city of Munich.

Learn about palaces, churches, next year's Oktoberfest and other sights to see in Munich at the city's official Internet welcome mat _ http://www.muenchen.de/. Click on the tiny British flag in the upper left to enter the English pages; you'll need to do the same thing at some of the other Web sites as well. The helpful bits are listed under "Tourism," including sightseeing suggestions and a hotel finder. Follow "Sightseeing" through "Places of Interest" to reach "Around and About," a summary of day trips outside the city to destinations such as the fairy tale castle Neuschwanstein.

You have until September to make your plans for Oktoberfest _ http://www.oktoberfest.de/ _ a Web site that offers helpful tips under "Facts & FAQs." The most important might be two words under accommodations: "book early." Click on "Big Tents" to learn about the 14 tents that house the festivities; the Kaefers Wies'n-Schaenke is described as "comparatively small" with only 1,000 seats. And be sure to click on "Lexikon" for an English-Bavarian German dictionary. By the way, when you get tired of the beer flood cartoon across the bottom of the screen, click on the "X" in the bottom right corner next to the word "schliessen."

Pick up some visual stimulation by browsing through "Images of Munich" at the Munich City Guide _ http://www.perob.com/pages/index.htm _ put together by an Englishman living in the city. Click on "Munich Attractions" for links to the Circus Krone and the Munich Philharmonic.

Munich is a perfect reason to consult Frommer's _ http://www.frommers.com/destinations/munich/ _ for some terse information on everything from the top spots to eat to resources for bicycle tours. Check out "Frommer's Favorite Experiences" for ideas on things to do, and consult "Attractions" for descriptions of the city's top museums.

If you'd like a map to start getting acquainted with the city's layout, Munich Info _ http://www.munich-info.de/map/city/welcome(dash)en.html _ has an interactive offering that will help you locate hotels and restaurants.

Then you'll need to know about things such as public transit. Muenchen Online _ http://www.muenchen-online.de/index3(dash)E.html _ has a link to the Verkehrsverbund streetcar system and German Railway. While you're there, try out the Webcams and explore some of the links to other guides to Munich, although they're not all in English and one or two are dead ends.

Get out of the city and see what the rest of Bavaria _ http://www.bayern.by/ _ has to offer, from picturesque villages to skiing in the Alps. Click on "Guide" to reach a map where you can highlight regions for information on districts such as the wine country around the baroque city of Wuerzburg or Bavarian-Swabia around historic Augsburg.