Munich is southern Germany’s celebrated center of culture. All things Bavarian converge in its grand and sprawling Marienplatz, or Old Town Square. Here, the splendid Gothic Revival New Town Hall, called the “Rathaus,” lures locals and visitors alike each morning at 11:00 as the Glockenspiel springs to life. As its 43 bells chime, 32 life-sized carved figures emerge from the facade’s inner workings to act out some of Bavaria’s most beloved fables. Another city treasure, Nymphenburg Palace, is a grand complex of manses, gardens and pavilions. Built as the summer residence of Bavarian rulers, today it attracts architecture, history and nature lovers with its 500-acre park, French and Italianate gardens, fountains and pretty lakes in a spectacular setting. Back in the city, visitors need not wait for Munich’s famed Oktoberfest to linger a while in its outdoor beer gardens. The Hofbräuhaus am Platzl has been pouring since 1589. More than one-sixth of the world’s breweries are in Bavaria, and there’s nothing like enjoying a stein or two with the rhythmic beat of oompah music washing over you.