Munich may be the best place in the world for a car nut. Just driving around the city you will see the newest and finest German cars, as well as those from nearby European neighbors.
Munich is the home of the famous BMW brand and its’ home plant. Munich also hosts the BMW museum, and a destination experience called BWM Welt (World). The structure for BMW Welt is a blockbuster event by itself. It looks to be part Guggenhiem museum, part luxury airport terminal, and part showroom floor.
BMW Welt is also the launch point for an experience known as “BMW on Demand”. This is a car rental service, just like at the airport, with a couple of differences: 1) you rent by the hour instead of the day, and 2) you can pick from any amazing thing BWM has to offer. Each of the cars is pre-programmed (via navigation system) for the two-hour “Bavarian Adenaline” route, which will ensure your experience is as close to a BMW TV commercial as possible. You can also rent classic BMW models here, and even BMW motorcycles.
(By the way, BMW stands for Bayerische Moteren Werke, or Bavarian Motor Works in English. People often wonder).
The two-hour BMW rental would be just about enough to get you one-way to Stuttgart – the home of Porsche. Stuttgart houses the main Porsche manufacturing plant, as well as the Porsche museum. Porsche is a bit more closed off than BMW, however, as it doesn’t offer a driving experience for visitors. It does try to match BMW Welt in terms of architecture and brand history lessons, however.
Before making the turnaround trip to Munich, you can stop by the Mercedes Benz headquarters, also in Stuttgart. You’ll find another silver paneled Guggenhiem-like museum. The main attraction here is an indoor faux race track, which diplays historical race cars banking around turns. Like Porsche, the Mercedes Benz museum offers brand history and new car showroom , but no driving option. In nearby Fellbach, however, you can purchase classic Mercedes Benz cars. Expect high prices here.
If you keep heading west out of Fellbach, you can hit Ingolstadt on your way back to Munich. There you’ll find the home of Audi and its’ museum. This museum is smaller that it’s German auto museum counterparts, but has some interesting features. The main event: a huge elevator mechanism that rotates cars between floors for a variety of viewing angles.
All along the trip, you’ll see all of the cars Germany has to offer, sometimes at high speed. Volkswagen and Opel are built in Germany as well, and can be seen all around Germany and Munich. Just a normal commute in Munich is a car nut’s fantasy.