Munich prides itself on both its traditions and its modernity. As a result, the city is often called the "Land of Laptops and Lederhosen." It’s not uncommon, especially during festivals, to see women walking around in dirndls and men wearing lederhosen. Unsurprisingly, beer has a long-standing tradition in Munich, so much so that Hirschgarten, Europe’s largest beer garden, is sometimes referred to as "Munich’s living room." Unlike other places in the world, though, families and beer do mix—and not in a bad way. Many beer gardens have playgrounds situated near tables so that the whole family can enjoy the outing. It’s not about overindulging but about enjoying time with friends and family over a leisurely beer or two.
Oktoberfest is the most famous festival in Munich, running 16 days from the middle of September to the first week in October each year. Lesser known but loved by locals is the Starbierfest (Strong Beer Festival), which runs during Lent. But go easy—this beer has around 7.5 percent alcohol content. Tollwood is a cultural and environmental festival of sorts running in both summer and winter. It features musical and theatrical performances along with multicultural food vendors. You don’t want to miss Fasching, Munich’s Carnival. It runs from January to March every year. Bring your finest dress, because there are over 800 fancy-dress balls held every year during this time!