Though Munich has a vast number of hotels in all price ranges, booking one can be a challenge, as this is a trade-show city as well as a prime tourist destination. If you're visiting during any of the major trade fairs such as the ISPO (sports, fashion) in January or the IHM (crafts) in mid-March, or during Oktoberfest at the end of September, try to make reservations at least a few months in advance.
It is acceptable practice in Europe to request to see a room before committing to it, so feel free to ask the concierge.
Some of the large, upscale hotels that cater to expense-account business travelers have attractive weekend discount rates—sometimes as much as 50% below normal prices. Conversely, most hotels raise their regular rates by at least 30% during big trade fairs and Oktoberfest. Online booking sites like Hotel Reservation Service (www.hrs.com) often have prices well below the hotel's published prices (i.e., price ranges in this book) in slow periods and on short notice. Look for the names we suggest here and search online for potential deals.
Munich's tourist information office has two outlets that can help you with hotel bookings if you haven't reserved in advance. One is at the central station and the other is on Marienplatz, in the Rathaus. Your best bet is to visit in person.
A technical note: A few years ago, some hotels in Munich chose to farm out their wireless Internet services to third parties—meaning that you could get online with their Wi-Fi hotspot, but you had to log in with a credit card and pay with a separate service provider. Thankfully, this is changing, and most of the newer hotels, plus some forward-thinking older establishments, offer Wi-Fi for free throughout.
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