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Munich - Germany
Munich is a place where great value is attached to representing traditional culture, and so classical music plays an important role. But the city's entertainment options don't stop there. The cultural revolution of the 1960s also made a great impact on the hustle and bustle of Munich's nightlife, as well as the famous political satire and the more traditional stages.
Bavaria's capital is the home to three important orchestras, lead by prominent conductors: The orchestra of the Bayerische Staatsoper (conductor: Zubin Mehta), the Münchner Philharmoniker (James Levine) located at the Gasteig cultural center, and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (Lorin Maazel). As well as staging ambitious concerts, the Nationaltheater with its cast of world class soloists, the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz and the Prinzregententheater feature outstanding productions of opera, operetta, musical and ballet.
With a capacity of almost 14,000 the Olympia-Halle, along with the slightly smaller Rudi-Sedelmayer-Halle, hosts the big events in pop and rock. Other popular venues include the Colosseum situated at Kunstpark Ost. Friends of jazz shouldn't miss the Unterfahrt, Muffathalle and Wirtshaus zum Isartal jazz clubs.
Theater and Cabaret
There is a vast choice in theater: both sides of Maximilianstraße marking the battleground in the eternal competition for spectators and high quality productions between the Bayerisches Staatsschauspiel (its venues include the Residenztheater, the Cuvilliéstheater and the Marstall) and the Kammerspiele. Apart from that, there are more light-hearted theaters such as the Komödie im Bayerischen Hof, small stages like the Metropol-Theater and even smaller ones, such as the Theater am Sozialamt. Contemporary dance and experimental drama can be seen at the Neues Theater. A slightly crazy blend of opera, operetta, musical, ballet, drama and comedy is on offer at the Pasinger Fabrik.
Munich holds a unique position in the history of German political satire. This great tradition is still represented at the Lach- und Schießgesellschaft. The stars of political stand-up (the comedy scene's modern day equivalent to satirical revues) appear at the Lustspielhaus.
Visitors will find an abundance of cinemas spread over all parts of the city. Currently the most modern multiplex is Maxx at Isartor, the most impressive are Filmtheater Sendlinger Tor and Arri-Kino.
As a consequence of having been the royal residence of the art-loving Bavarian kings, Munich has inherited a rich legacy in the way of art. The Alte Pinakothek exhibits European paintings and sculpture dating from the 14th to 18th Centuries, while fine arts from the 18th and 19th Century are shown next door at the Neue Pinakothek. The Pinakothek der Moderne was inaugurated in 2002 after a lengthly seven year construction period. The massive museum is characterized by its concrete rectilinear facade, and features four collections in each of its corners: art, design, architecture, and works on paper. The Staatsgalerie is part of the Haus der Kunst whose constantly changing temporary exhibitions attract many visitors. The most famous of Munich's museums is the Deutsches Museum situated on an island in the river Isar. Visitors to the museum are taken on a vivid and spectacluar voyage through the history of human technology from its early beginnings into the future. The Museum Mensch und Natur at Nymphenburg Castle is also well worth the visit. The Bayerisches Nationalmuseum documents the culture, art and technology of Bavaria. The Münchner Stadtmuseum (Munich City Museum) lies at the cultural heart of Munich.
In the event that a day in Munich wasn't enough to wear you out completely, Munich also offers a wide range of nightclubs to spend the hours until breakfast. Nachtcafe is the classic late-night retreat, the piano bar at the Hotel Bayerischer Hof offers the most stylish way to spend the evening. Since the Swinging Sixties Schwabing has been Munich's entertainment center and still today small theaters, cabarets, cinemas, pubs and bars congregate in this area. In the streets around Münchner Freiheit the local youth mix with tourists from all over the world.