Munich is the third largest city in Germany. Unfortunately during World War II, it was heavily bombed and much of it was destroyed. Fortunately, it has been rebuilt and it is thriving city full of beautiful architecture, shopping, historical sites, and of course, beer. In this guide you will find all you need to visit in Munich.
What to see in Munich travel video:
The best things to do in Munich walking m map:
The best things to do in downtown Munich:
Walk around Marienplatz
- New Town Hall: In the tower of the New Town Hall do not miss the glockenspiel chimes and that reenacts stories of Bavaria from the 16th century.
- Old Town Hall: Inside of the old town hall is now a toy museum. Interestingly, the old town hall was destroyed in WWII and later rebuilt. This means the Old Town Hall is actually a newer building than the Old Town Hall!
- Mary Column:
Visit the Munich Frauenkirche
The Cathedral of Our Dear Lady, just a few blocks from Mary Square. This 16th century church was built in just 20 years, a relatively short time for its size. This is due to its simple interior and cheap local red brick material. Inside the church is a marker that is meant to be the Devil’s Footprint, which makes for an interesting photo.
The two onion topped towers of the church remain as an iconic symbol of Munich. The towers are the only part of the church that survived WWII due to its strategic height for orientation. There is also no other structure in the old city can legally be taller than this tower!
If you are a fan make sure to stop at the Michael Jackson Memorial
One of the more interesting spots to visit is the small Michael Jackson Memorial. This small memorial sprung up on an existing statue after his death, in front of the hotel Jackson would stay when visiting Munich. After a short time, it was recognized as an official memorial by the city!
Walk along the Viscardigasse Alley
When visiting Viscardigasse, or Dodger’s Alley, it is easy to miss its importance without some historical context. On the street is a small path of golden bricks used to mark the path that dissidents took during the Nazi rule to avoid a nearby Nazi memorial to the failed Beer Hall Putsch. Taking this alleyway demanded risk, as the Nazis would watch to see who was not supporting their cause.
Get some good luck in Odeonsplatz
Odeon Square remains a significant point within the city of Munich. It remains a highlight of protest and parades to this day. In the middle of the square is two polls with the images of a monk and a lion, the two symbols of Munich.
Visit the Theatiner Church
Theatiner Church was originally built in the late 1600s. Its now yellow Baroque facade has become a symbol of the city.
Take a photo of the Feldherrn Hall
On one end of the square is Feldherrn Hall, a monument to the Bavarian army. It is also the site of Hitler’s failed 1923 Beer Hall Putsch.
Visit the Munich Residenz
Next to Odeon Square is the Munich Residence. This royal complex served as the seat of the Bavarian government and as the home of the regions dukes or kings. Following a nearly complete restoration after WWII the palace is now a large Residence Museum and Treasury.
Walk through the grounds for a glimpse into the life and history of the Bavarian monarchy. There is nearly an endless supply of rooms to explore, so plan enough time to see it all.
Entrance tickets to the Residence or Treasury cost €7 each, with a combined ticket available for €11/person. There is a free audio guide available to make sure you get the most of your visit.
In front of the Residence are four lion statues. Local legend states that rubbing the nose of the lion on the shield will provide you with good luck, so make sure to rub all four!
Take a stroll at Hofgarten
Right behind the Residence is Hofgarten, a beautiful public garden. During the spring the whole park is full of a rainbow of flowers. Get your camera ready as this small park has so many photo opportunities including a pavilion for the goddess Diana.
Go to a show at the Opera Square and walk around Max Joseph Square
Walking through the Residence leads you directly to Max Joseph Square, named after King Maximilian Joseph. It is also known as Opera Square as one end is the National Theatre Munich, home of the Bavarian State Opera, Bavarian State Orchestra and the Bavarian State Ballet.
Drink a beer or two at the Hofbrauhaus
No visit to Germany is complete without a visit to one of its many biergartens. The most famous of them all is Hofbrauhaus. Originally built in 1589, it is still owned by the Bavarian state government. Hofbrauhaus has become world famous due to its prominence in Oktoberfest.
While there are better, cheaper and more local biergartens, it is still worth the visit.
Take a photo at the Julia Statue
Right behind the Old Town Hall is a statue of Juliet. Yes, the one from Romeo and Juliet. The bronze statue was a gift from the city of Verona to Munich in 1974. If you are looking for love, just place some flowers in the statues hand.
Go inside the St. Peter’s Church
To end off our time in downtown Munich, we made it nearly full circle to St. Peter’s Church. It is technically the oldest church in town, although it has been rebuilt and restored many times, most recently after its near total destruction in WWII.
What you must not miss is Alter Peter, its 91 meter tall clock tower. The odd thing is, each side of the tower has two clocks on it! You can climb 306 steep steps to the top of the tower for the most amazing panoramic views of the city. If it is a clear day, like when we visited, you can even see the Alps looming in the distance.
Entrance to the tower is only €3/person with the following hours:
- Monday to Friday: 9 AM to 6:30 PM.
- Saturday, Sunday and holidays: 10 AM to 6:30 PM.
- Monday to Friday: 9 AM to 5:30 PM.
- Saturday, Sunday and holidays: 10 AM to 5:30 PM.
Walking Map of the Outer Boroughs of Munich
Best things to do in the greater Munich area:
If it is sunny and warm day, especially during the late spring or summer, spend some time exploring and walking through the English Garden. As one of Europe’s largest urban public parks, there are endless walking paths and green areas to rest or picnic. Within the gardens, there are several spots not to be missed:
Chinese Tower: The Chinese Towerwas designed to resemble a traditional Chinese pagoda. Surrounding the tower is the second largest bier garden in Munich. Enjoy a cold beer and some delicious bavarian foods in the warm sun.
Monopteros: Walking further south is the Monopteros, a small greek style temple built atop a small hill. From the hill you can get great panoramic views of the skyline of Munich.
Eisbach: Right at the southern tip of the Englischer Garten is the man-made Eisbach river flowing through the park. At its entrance to the park is a standing wave, a popular spot for surfers. It is quite interesting to see surfers in wet suits in the middle of a green park at the center of a city!
Whether or not you are looking for fresh food, head on over to the Viktualienmarkt. This open air market is full of endless rows of fruits and vegetable vendors.
Visit the Augustiner Brewery
The Augustiner Brewery is Munich’s oldest independent brewery, established back to 1328 inside a monastery. Head on over to their traditional Bavarian restaurant for a more local atmosphere and prices!
Augustiner Brewery is also one of the staple tents at Oktoberfest, not to be missed if that is your reason for visiting Munich.
Drink a beer at Theresienwiese
The name Theresienwiese might not sound familiar, but Oktoberfest should! Theresienwiese is the location of this famous beer festival and many other festivals throughout the year. When we were in Berlin it was the middle of Frühlingsfest, a spring festival similar, but smaller than the one in October.
If you are a lover of museums, science or just having fun, there is something for everyone at the Deutsches Museum. It is the largest museum of science and technology in the whole world! There are so many exhibits to see that you can spend the entire day there.
Tickets are €11 for adults and the museum is open daily from 9AM to 5PM. Make sure to set aside most of a day to visit or take advantage of a rainy day in Munich.
BMW Plant Tour
If you are a fan or fanatic about cars, your visit to Munich will not be complete without a tour of the BMW Plant. Head inside the famed factory for a behind the scene look at how the automobiles are built from the ground up.
Tickets are €9 per person. Reservations are required for the tour as they sell out well in advance. Make sure to get your reservation done online as soon as you know the dates you will be visiting Munich. There are many dates the tour does not run throughout the year, so check out their website for the most up to date information.
If you are not interested in cars, skip the tour to spend more time exploring all that Munich has to offer.
The tragic events of the 1972 Munich Olympics will go down in history. However, the olympic park has rebuilt itself as a modern destination. Across the massive park there are many different places to see and tour. For just €7 per person, you can head up the Olympic Tower for panoramic views of the city as far out as the Alps on a clear day!
For those who want to witness the home of the FC Bayern, head on over to the Allianz Arena to tour the facilities. Take a guided tour of one of the most modern stadiums in all of Europe and immerse yourself into the history of the greatest team in Germany.
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