Meandering around Munich
Willkommen in München!
Munich -- about to become known for hosting the X Games and some of the best skateboarding on the planet -- has long been synonymous with Oktoberfest, the biggest beer festival in the world. Here, local skateboarder Daniel marries the two concepts seamlessly. Having just come from the fall festivities, wearing traditional Bavarian clothes, he was all hyped up for a late-night session. He pulls off a frontside air in Munich Hirschgarten Bowlpark.
Incredibly, there are a lot of surfers in Munich, although the city is some 400 miles from the nearest ocean. People surf the wave at the Eisbach, or "Ice Brook," river day and night, summer and winter. It doubles as one of the biggest tourist attractions around town.
BMW World and Olympic Tower
The building that houses BMW World looks like the Starship Enterprise, which isn't too far-off a comparison considering the combination museum, factory and showroom exhibits all the latest BMW cars and technology. Entrance is free to the public, and if you buy a new BMW car, you can pick it up here and enjoy a rather elaborate handover ceremony.
Bruno Hoffmann, Berlin
Last month at X Games Barcelona, Germany's Bruno Hoffmann earned a bronze medal in BMX Street. Although this event is not running at X Games Munich, Hoffmann will be on hand to support his Red Bull teammates Drew Bezanson and Daniel Dhers, who will compete in BMX Park. In between X Games jaunts, Hoffmann takes the necessary time to wallride historic objects, such as the Berlin Wall. It's become a sort of rite of passage for BMX riders who visit the Berlin area.
Munich's tourism tagline is "Mnchen mag dich," or "Munich likes you." Just a few years ago, it was "Weltstadt mit herz," or "Cosmopolitan city with a heart." Either way, this town's got nothin' but love for you, baby.
Munich Im Gefilde Flowpark
Flow's name says it all for this concrete playground. Mostly just wobbles and corners, this park is an interesting alternative to the regular bowl or street park. Ben Dillinger performs a tuck knee.
Theresienwiese Flea Market
Every April, what might be the world's biggest flea market springs up close to where Oktoberfest goes down later in the year. Beer or bargains, the area always seems to draw a crowd.
When you come to Oktoberfest, most of the visitors will be dressed like this. Heck, if you visit a beer garden or other tourism draw, you might spot folks kitted out this way as well. Fabian Lang is not a traditional Bavarian farmer but a professional skateboarder who likes to represent his roots.
Whatever the season, the Isar river is one of the city's main hangs. Grab your favorite beverage from the kiosk at the bridge end of the Fraunhoferstrasse U-Bahn station and join in.
Munich has no shortage of bowls and parks to shred, but city streets still offer plenty of imaginative options. Gap to wallride on a modern marble marvel.
Just a couple of months after X Games pulls up stakes and heads to Los Angeles for the final event of 2013, Munich will undertake its best-known transformation into the home of Oktoberfest -- "die Wiesn," as it's known to the locals. For 16 days, the world's biggest fair offers Bavarian staples such as sausage, sauerkraut and kndel; carnival rides; and, of course, beer brewed to Reinheitsgebot specs.
Part of the Munich experience is taking a breather at a biergarten. And no beer garden -- so common to southern Germany -- is complete without a rousing Bavarian soundtrack conducted live while one sips suds. Munich's 900-acre Englischer Garten holds many.
Munich's main form of public transit is its subway system, shortened to "U-Bahn" from the German "untergrundbahn." The seven main lines serve hundreds of millions of passengers annually, run, on average, every five minutes and will deliver thousands of spectators to the Olympiapark Mnchen to watch X Games Munich 2013 June 27-30.
Built in 1972, the architecture still looks pretty futuristic, and the Olympic Park roofs are one of Munich's most recognizable urban features. The X Games will be held in this area -- the same hallowed grounds that once hosted the Summer Olympics.