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Karlstor to Isartor

The old part of Munich is steeped in history, extremely elegant and well worth exploring. This tour takes you directly through the centre of old Munich. It starts at the Karlplatz and ends at the Isartor, which is at theopposite side of the city.

The tour may take you about an hour and a half, depending on what you are interested in.

From the Karlsplatz, you walk through the Karlstor, which was once part of the city wall that Ludwig the Bavarian built at around 1300. The main tower was demolished following concerns about its structural safety and only two towers can be seen now. Now walk into the Neuhauser Straße, which is the city's main pedestrian zone and you will see the church of St. Michael to your left. This 16th century church was built for the Jesuits. Its interior is picturesque and the domed ceiling is second only to St. Peter's in Rome. Time permitting you can attend one of the numerous concerts that are held here almost round the year.

After leaving the church, carry on walking along the pedestrianized zone until you reach the German Hunting and Fishing Museum, which is housed in what used to be the Augustinian church. The skillfully made hunting sledges are the special features here.

Once the museum is over, turn left toward the Frauenplatz. This is where the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) stands, which is the city's cathedral. It is widely regarded as Munich's most prominent landmark with its distinctive twin towers. Each tower is over 300 ft high. This late Gothic structure suffered severe damage during World War Two but was fully restored by 1958. On entering the cathedral, take a look at the floor where you will see a large footprint, said to be that of the devil!

Now walk towards the heart of the city, the Marienplatz. This square is dominated by the New Town Hall (Neue Rathaus), whose carillon attracts hundreds of tourists every day - 38 figurines dance to the tune of the bells at 11am and 5pm.

St. Peter, Munich's oldest parish church is next. Climb the 302 wooden steps of "Old Peter" (Alte Peter) for a view of the city. On a clear day, you can see to the Alps.

To the South of St. Peter's is the Viktualienmarkt. It is an open-air food market. There is a beer garden if you feel like having a beer. If you are looking for a cosier atmosphere, there is the Turmstübl which is part of the Valentin-Musäum. Karl Valentin was the city's most famous comedian and a museum dedicated to him can be found in the Isartor, which was once Munich's Eastern gate. At the top of the Isartor you will find the museum's café which serves coffee, apple strudel, sausages and some other typically Bavarian dishes.

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