Ready to explore Munich
Here's the best travel
guide to the city.
Pic: © Presseamt München
• Munich Skylines - Six of the best city views in Munich
• Top 10 Tourist Attractions Munich - The best 10 sights you won't wanna miss
• A Munich self-guided walking tour - a self-guided schnell! schnell! walking tour of Munich. See the best the city has to offer in just two hours.
• Take the stress out of it with bookable tours of Munich's highlights
• Bike, bus or rickshaw - other options for exploring Munich
• Munich for Kids - What to do with tots in tow
• Munich Beer Gardens - Quite simply a Munich institution and where you want to be this summer
• Photos of Munich - Add you own gallery of Munich and Bavaria photos or check out other people's
Munich’s three remaining city gates serve as bookends to the southern part of Altstadt (Old City).
This is where a group of monks founded a settlement over 850 years ago which eventually gradually grew into the metropolis we know today. Munich’s main shopping axis runs from Karlsplatz (Stachus) with its Karlstor gate to the west, all the way through the Isartor gate in the east.
Things to see in between include Marienplatz, the Viktualienmarkt market and the mighty Frauenkirche church. Another pre-eminent shopping strip runs south towards the Sendlinger Tor, another old city gate.
▪ Marienplatz - Munich's belly button. The city's central square.
▪ Frauenkirche - The Devil lurks within Muncih's greatest church.
▪ Hunting and Fishing Museum The dying art of taxidermy.
Pomp and grandeur abound in the northern section of the Altstadt. This was the powerbase of Munich’s high and mighty, defined by the former imperial palace, the Residenz and its forerunner the Alter Hof.
Other grand as gold attractions include the Hofgarten, Odeonsplatz with its adjutant Field Marshall’s Hall and the National Theatre. On the other side of the cultural spectrum sits the world’s most famous watering hole, the Hofbräuhaus.
▪ Munich Residenz - The jewel in the city's crown.
▪ Hofbrauhaus - Where Munich meets the world for a beer.
Taste Italy in Munich at this Florentine square.
More at the Residenz
Hofgarten - A place for lovers. 4/5
Egyptian Art Museum - The Spinx is back. 3/5
Feldherrnhalle - A lions' den. 3/5
Theatinerkirche - It's yellow. 3/5
Literaturhaus - Get it in writing. 2/5
Alter Hof - Original power point. 2/5
National Theatre - Take the stage. 2/5
▪ The Englischer Garten - Splendor in the grass at the city's park.
▪ LMU uni and White Rose museum - Top of the class.
▪ Siegestor Built for victory, destroyed by war, urging peace.
Munich’s artistic treasures rival Paris or London – no kidding.
The greatest concentration of museums and art galleries is in the Kunstareal in the Maxvorstadt, just north of the Main Train Station. King Ludwig I first ticked the public’s artistic senses here.
He envisaged the area as a “forum of art”, building Greek temple style museums on Königsplatz and two art galleries, the Pinakotheks, nearby. A third, the Pinakothek der Moderne, was added in 2002 to pick up where Ludwig left off. Another highlight is the Lenbachhaus Art Gallery, a brilliant mustard-yellow villa featuring artists from the edgy Blaue Reiter (Blue Riders) group which stirred up sensibilities from 1911 to 1914.
▪ Konigsplatz - The Grecian square with many faces.
▪ The Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism - The anatomy of terror.
▪ Neue Pinakothek - A world-class collection.
▪ Pinakothek der Moderne - Cutting-edge art on display.
More art and sculpture galleries
Museum Brandhorst - Stunning collection of modern art. 4.5/5
State Antiques Collection - We never change. 3/5
Glyptothek - Treasures from the ancients. 3/5
Alte Pinakothek - The Old Masters. 2/5
Bavarian Collection of Graphic Arts - Defty drawings. 2/5
Karolinenplatz (Caroline’s Square)- A circle-shaped "square". 1/5
Amerikahaus - U.S.A! U.S.A! 1/5
To see another round-up of sites to visit in Munich's Kunstareal, see The Art District.
The mighty Isar River flows all the way from the Bavarian Alps and right through the heart of Munich.
Most of the attractions along the Isar can be found between the Deutsches Museum (itself on an island in the river) and the Lutipoldbrücke (Lutipold Bridge) further north.
Visitors usually stick to the west bank because that’s where the Old Town is, but there’s no lack of things to do and see across the water in the increasingly trendy suburb of Haidhausen.
East bank highlights include the fortress-like cultural complex Gasteig, the venerable Müllersches Volksbad swimming pool and the stylish Villa Stuck art gallery.
Party people will want to check out the clubbing scene at the Kultfrabrik and Optimolwerke, a haven of over 40 pubs and clubs near the Ostbahnhof S-Bahn station.
A couple of wacky little museums can be found around the Isartor, including the Beer and Oktoberfest Museum and the Valentin-Karlstadt Musäum.
Munich’s golden shopping mile, Maximilian Strasse, reaches across the river to the Maximilianeum (Bavarian parliament) on the east bank.
▪ Deutsches Museum - The mad scientist of museums.
▪ Angel of Peace - Golden girls calls for peace and love.
To see another round-up of sites to visit along the River isar in Munich, check out the page Along the Isar.
On your bikes! There’s plenty more to see out the city centre, and much of it can’t be ignored.
What would a trip to Munich be without soaking up the glory of Nymphenburg Palace, for example?
It’s about four kilometres west of the Main Train Station, near the Botanical Gardens and Europe’s biggest beer garden, the Hirschgarten.
North of the centre lies the Olympic Park and the BMW complex, further out still, Allianz Arena and Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial.
South west of the centre starts the idyllic Fünf Seen Land (Five Lakes District) full of great day-tripping opportunities.
▪ Nymphenburg Palace - Summer retreat for royals.
▪ BMW Welt and Museum - Rolling sculptures.
▪ Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial - Lessons.
Nymphenburg Park palaces - Royal retreats 5/5
Museum of Humankind and Nature - All about us 3/5
Olympic Park - Breaking records. 4/5
Allianz Arena - Soccer's space-aged temple. 4/5
Bavaria Filmstadt - Munich's own "Hollywood". 3/5
Munich Zoo - The world's first "geo-zoo". 4/5
Bavaria Statue - Get inside her head. 3/5
Blutenburg Castle - A fortress through the ages. 2/5
Zirkus Krone - Europe's largest circus. 2/5