Munich is the capital and largest city of the German state of Bavaria. It is located on the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps. Munich is the third largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg. About 1.47 million people live within the city limits.
The city's native name, Munchen, is derived from the combined Late Latin and Old High German term ad Munichen, meaning "by the monks (' place)". It derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who ran a monastery at the place that was later to become the Old Town of Munich; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat of arms.
Munich, located at the river Isar in the south of Bavaria, is famous for its beautiful architecture, fine culture, and the annual Oktoberfest beer celebration. Munich's cultural scene is second to none in Germany, with the museums even considered by some to outrank Berlin in quality. Many travelers to Munich are absolutely stunned by the quality of the architecture.
Munich is a major international center of business, engineering, research and medicine exemplified by the presence of two research universities, a multitude of smaller colleges, headquarters of several multinational companies and worldclass technology and science museums like the Deutsches Museum and BMW Museum. It is Germany's most prosperous city and makes it repeatedly into the top 10 of global quality-of-life rankings.
The city is a mix of historic buildings and modern architecture, Munich having reconstructed the ruins of their historic buildings while creating new landmarks of architecture. A survey, conducted by the Society's Center for Sustainable Destinations for the National Geographic Traveler, chose over 100 historic places around the world and ranked Munich as the 30th best destination.
Munich can be consistently found in the top tier of quality-of-life-rankings of world cities. Monocle magazine even named it the world's most livable city in 2010. When Germans are polled about where they would like to live, Munich finds its way consistently at the top of the list. Within proximity of the Alps and some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe, it is not surprising that everyone wants to live here.