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10 things to do and see in Munich

A complete and detailed guide about 10 things to do and see in Munich in 1, 2 or 3 days

Munich is exactly as you imagine it: full of beer, history and cordiality.

It can be defined the “other” capital of Germany, one in which modernity is mixed with traditions. The most famous beer festival in the world, the “Oktoberfest”, is a clear example of how the habits of the past have become an active part of this city.

The historic city center is a concrete example of how the past and the present of Munich are part of a unique, harmonious environment. In the central square, in fact, there are the Alte and NeueRathaus (old and new town hall), one built around the ‘400, the other from the early’ 900. The two municipalities represent the history of the city through the Gothic architecture that gave a timeless beauty to Munich. The streets have seen the passage of important historical people such as the great composer Wolfgan Amadeus Mozart, who in Munich looked for a job at the court of the Wittelsbach family, who ruled the Bavarian city for about 800 years, and  Pope Benedict XVI who was the archbishop of Munich.

In this page we suggest you 10 things to do and see during a trip to Munich.

If you are looking for a hotel in Munich, we suggest you to choose among those offered by Booking.com. There are about 320 hotels with prices, pictures and comments of guests already stayed there. Go to Booking.com

NeuesRathaus and AltesRathaus in Munich

1

The old (Altes) and the new (Neues) Town Hall of Munich are two of the most beautiful and interesting buildings in the entire city. They are located in the center of Monaco, in Marienplatz, the square dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

NeuesRathaus and AltesRathaus in Munich
NeuesRathaus and AltesRathaus in Munich

In the beautiful Gothic façade of the NeuesRathaus there  is the Glockenspiel, the clock-carillon, decorated with animated statues. At 11and 12 o’clock am (even at 5 pm in summer), the Glockenspiel ringsand the small statues that are on the front start moving. The statues evoke the traditional dance made by horse traders to avoid  the plague. The AltesRathaus was almost entirely rebuilt after the war, trying to maintain the original style of the building. Within the “Old Town Hall” there is a beautiful collection of antique toys and from the top of the building you can watch the entire city. The show is impressive, but the 306 steps to climb to get to the top may not be as pleasant as the view. The square is dominated by the bell tower of Alter Peter, better known as the Peterskirche (St. Peter’s Church), the oldest church of Munich.

Where: Marienplatz
How to get there: by subway, Line 3 and 6 – Marienplatz direction
When:
NeuesRathaus:
Tower from November to April: Mon –Fri 10 am – 5 pm ; during the Christmas market every day 10 am – 7 pm ; May to October daily 10 am – 7 pm ; never: Holidays.
Carillon (Glockenspiel)
Nov – Feb : 11 am  and 12 pm
March to October: 11 am , 12 and 5 pm , except on Good Friday
AltesRathaus: daily from 10 am to 5 pm
Ticket: AltesRathaus: 3 €

Residenz, the Royal Palace of Munich

2

The royal residence of the Wittelsbach dynasty is one of the most spectacular palaces in Europe: the family members have contributed to embellish and enlarge the structure, creating a real art museum.

Residenz, the Royal Palace of Munich
Residenz, the Royal Palace of Munich

Construction works of the building began around 400 century, when the Wittelsbach realized they has many enemies. The Residenz, in fact, was built after some peasants revolt. One of the entrances, the one that overlooks the Max-Joseph-Platz, was inspired by the famous Palazzo Pitti in Florence. The oldest façade of the building has two large portals, guarded by a statue of the Virgin Mary. Inside, the “Ahnengalerie”, the gallery of the ancestors, will leave you breathless for the beauty of the frescoes. At the entrance there are  four bronze lions that, according to legend, were pet by the military before going to the wars as a superstitious gesture.

How to get there: Subway Station Odeonsplatz and Marienplatz, lines U3 and U6. Odeonsplatz stop with Bus 100. Stop “Nationaltheater” of tram line 19.
When: from 9 am to 6 pm from  April to 15 October, from 10 am to 5 pm from 16 October to March
Ticket: € 11 full ticket, € 9 reduced ticket

Frauenkirche in Munich

3

The Cathedral of Our Lady (Dom zuUnsererLieben Frau) is the imposing building that dominates the city of Munich. Built between 1468 and 1488 in pure Gothic style, the cathedral was built on the ruins of an ancient Roman basilica.

Frauenkirche in Munich
Frauenkirche in Munich

The brick façade and  two columns 99 meters high, give to Our Lady of Munich Cathedral a gloomy and severe appearance. The brass domes mounted on top of the two towers have a very particular form: they are usually called “the “onion”. The bombings of the Second World War seriously damaged the Frauenkirche but with the restoration work completed in 1994, it has regained the ancient and severe aspect of the Cathedral of Our Lady. In the Church there is a floor tile with a foot imprint, called “The Devil’s footprint”. It is said that the builders of the Church challenged Satan, claiming that they built a cathedral with no windows. Focusing toward the altar from where is the footprint, the windows are covered by columns: apparently, thanks to this stratagem, the builders were able to win the bet with the devil, who realized it only after the consecration of the Cathedral.

Where: Frauenplatz
How to get there: by subway U3 and U6 Marienplatzstop
When: Every day from 7 am to 7 pm and Friday from 7 am to 6 pm.

Kunstareal in Munich

4

Do not blame the too many beers if you see many works of art: you are simply inKunstareal. “The art area” is the area made in the first half of the nineteenth century with the intention of concentrating in one area of the city the real institutions that housed the works of art from around the world.

Kunstareal in Munich
Kunstareal in Munich

The project was conceived, as many of the sights of Monaco, from the Ludwig I when he was just Dauphin and not King. Inside the Kunstareal there are the three most important art galleries of all Munich: AltePinakothek, NeuePinakothek and Pinakothek der Moderne. From the Italian Renaissance to the works of French masters, Spanish and Flemish, up to the modern art of Andy Warhol and Joseph Beuys, in these three art galleries you can find what you want. Kunstareal district, however, also hosts the Lenbachhaus, the museum dedicated to impressionism, expressionism and art nouveau. The museum complex of Munich also offers an important look at the history of ancient art, with collections of works of Greek and Roman cultures, housed in the Glyptothek and the Staatliche Antikensammlungen. You’ll be surprised and delighted by the wealth of museums housed in Kunstareal!

 

Deutsches Museum in Munich

5

The Deutsches Museum in Munich is the largest museum of the world dedicated to science and technology. There are about 28,000 objects.

Deutsches Museum in Munich
Deutsches Museum in Munich

The construction of this monumental attraction of Munich dates back to 1903, and was commissioned by the engineer Oskar von Miller, who had already made the first high-voltage train line linking Monaco to Misebach. In addition to thesize and the beauty of the exhibition, another special feature of the Deutsches Museum of Munich is to be placed on the small island Kohleinsel (coal island), then renamed Museumsinsel (island museum). The headquarters of the museum, in fact, is placed  in the middle of the Isar River which cross the city. The Deutsches Museum of Munich is a special attraction for both adults and children, for whom are set up special attractions, surprises and games inside the museum.

Where: Museumsinsel
How to get there: by subway: S-Bahn: all lines Isartor direction
U-Bahn: line 1 and 2 Fraunhoferstrasse stop
When: from 9 am to 5 pm
Never 1 January, 24 February, April 10, May 1, November 1, 24, 25 and 31 December
Ticket: full ticket including transport, visit to the Central Museum, and Flugwerft € 17. Reduced, up to sixteen years old , € 8.50.

Englischer Garten in Munich

6

The English Garden of Munich is the beautiful green area of the Bavarian town of about four kilometers. It is one of the largest parks in the world and is much appreciated by the citizens of Munich and tourists.

Englischer Garten in Munich
Englischer Garten in Munich

It was built in 1789 as a garden for the military people, but the entrance was allowed in the early nineteenth century also to civilians, transforming the “Englischer Garten” in the first public park in Germany. One of the features of the park is that on the inside, near the entrance, there is an area reserved for nudists. In summer, in fact, the park is ideal for enjoying a little bit of sun, swimming or just spend a few hours into the nature. In some areas you can see young people doing surf. In the English Garden of Munich there are special buildings: one of these is the Japanese structure that stands at the entrance, called “JapanischeTeehaus”, offered by the government of Tokyo to the city of Munich for the 1972 Olympic Games. There is also the temple in greek style and the “Pinakothek” hosting the Monopteros restaurant.

Where: ten minutes from Odeonsplatz on subway lines U4, U5 and U6
When: 7 am – 7 pm

Oktoberfest in Munich

7

To celebrate the marriage of Prince Ludwig I of Bavaria was organized a big party that lasted from 12 to 17 October 1810. The main attractions of the celebration days were the horse race and the famous Bavarian beer.

Oktoberfest in Munich
Oktoberfest in Munich

The success of the festival was so big that it was decided to repeat it every year: thus was born the Oktoberfest in Munich. With this event, about about six million visitors a year under come in the area of Theresienwiese (gardens), where are served  gallons of the most famous Bavarian beer brands. The Oktoberfest  lasts  sixteen days, ending with the first Sunday in October. The opening ritual of the ceremony sees the mayor to put a tap into the barrel chosen for the inauguration. Once tapped the first beer, the mayor opens with the famous words “O’zapft is!”, (typical phrase of the Bavarian dialect meaning more or less “is untapped!”). The Oktoberfest is a festival to attend without a doubt if you are in Munich during that period of  time.

Where: Theresienwiese
How to get there: Theresienwiese Station on subway lines U4 and U5
When: last Saturday of September to the first Sunday of October

Things to buy in Munich

8

The road connecting the central Marienplatz square toStachus square, is called Kaufingerstrasse (and changes its name to Neuhauserstrasse in the midway) and is the place for shopping. In this way there is really everything from shopping centers to diamond shops. Especially loved by tourists is Max Krug, the shop specializes in souvenirs and typical Bavarian objects. For all the women who go crazy for fashion, the doors of Ludwig Beck are always open, even if the prices can sometimes be prohibitive. But Munich not only has megastores: one of the most fun things to do, is to stroll among the stalls dell’AuerDult, the flea market that takes place in Marienplatz.

Nightlife in Munich

9

You cannot go to Munich and not spend an evening in a pub eating sausages and drinking so much beer. It will be trivial, obvious and a little bit out of fashion, but it is one thing to do absolutely. So we suggest you to go to Hofbräukeller, the ancient royal brewery that started the legendary production of beer. There is also the Kultfabrik which is an area with many clubs, bars, restaurants,  concert halls and exhibition spaces. In Kultfabrik you can find all kinds of fun, from erotic shows to art exhibitions.  Moreover to see the young and creative face of Monaco, take a trip to Schwabing, the artists’ district, where the excitement never rest, either by day or by night. When stroll in Schwabing, remember that it was enlightened for the first time with electric current by Hermann Einstein, father of the future Nobel Prize in Physics Albert.

Where to sleep in Munich

10

Munich is a very rich city and it’s really hard to find cheap hotels: even hotels with only two stars are priced like luxurious hotels, and do not even offer breakfast.

Where to sleep in Munich
Where to sleep in Munich

Neither the hotels far away from the centre are a little bit cheaper. So you’d better to choose a hotel near the main sights. If you want to do anything to save on accommodation, there is an economic solution: you can find some overnight parking for a few Euros per hour. In this way you can save some euros but does it worth it?

If you are looking for a hotel in Munich, we suggest you to choose among those offered by Booking.com. There are about 320 hotels with prices, pictures and comments of guests already stayed there. Go to Booking.com