From the elegance of its grand boulevards to the brass bands that perform at the beer halls, visitors can see immediately that Munich residents know how to enjoy life. Munich is compact and manageable, contains more theatres than any other city in Germany, has a wealth of fine museums, a number of restful and appealing gardens and an ample selection of beer halls.
The central point in the older part of the city is the square known as the Marienplatz. To the north of the square is the tree lined Maxmillian Strasse which leads to the Bavarian Parliament building and the Residenz Palace. Two great art collections, the Old and New Picture Galleries are a short distance northwest of the city center. To the south are the history museum and, on an island in the Isar River, the world’s foremost museum of science and technology, the Deutsches (German) Museum.
Central Munich is extremely attractive and is easy to explore on foot. There are innumerable restaurants and cafés in Munich with a wide range of culinary choices. Window shopping is one of the most popular pastimes all over the city, but especially along the pedestrian only Neuhauser Strasse and Kaufinger Strasse where many fine specialty shops and department stores are located. Maximilian Strasse is lined with designer fashion boutiques, art galleries and jewelers. Antiques and less expensive fashions are concentrated in the student section of Schwabing, and Bavarian crafts can be found in the streets that run off Max Josephplatz. Munich’s famous open air market, Viktualienmarkt appears south of Marienplatz every day except Saturday afternoon and Sunday. Its specialties are fresh produce and baked goods of all varieties as well as locally produced cheese.
Officially founded in 1158, Munich (München) has been the capital of Bavaria since 1503, and as far as the locals are concerned it may as well be the center of the universe. Münchener pride themselves on their special status; even people who have made Munich their home for most of their lives are still called Zugereiste (newcomers). Natives and newcomers alike consider themselves Münchener first, Bavarian second and German somewhere way down the line.
Next to Berlin, Munich is Germany’s most popular city, with everything you’d expect in a cosmopolitan capital. Yet it’s small enough to be digestible in one visit, and it has the added bonus of a storybook setting, with the mountains and Alpine lakes just an hour’s drive away. Munich is well known as a center of art and learning. It is the site of a major university and other higher educational and scientific institutes. It is also the seat of the European patent office. It is an attractive city with many fine examples of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and neo-classical architecture.
Munich is a city in which children are welcomed and loved, so provision has been made for their comfort and entertainment. The Englischer Garten is a veritable wonderland for the whole family. In addition to the boating lake, there are broad expanses of manicured lawns and grassy knolls that invite running, rolling over and over, and turning somersaults and cartwheels. Family picnics are everywhere throughout the parks. The Hellabrunn zoo is one of the best in the world. The castles provide opportunities for experiencing the wonder of days gone by, and for exploring rooms in which even whispers echo, to the delight of children. Munich is clean and orderly with completely safe food and water. It is the ideal setting for family travel.
A trip to Germany is not complete without time spent in Munich. There are treasures here that are not found elsewhere. Over the years Bavaria and its capital Munich have maintained their individuality and have produced a rich heritage.
Museumsinel l, (entrance on Ludwigsbrücke)
089 217 9433
Tram 18 or S-Bahn to Isartor
Founded at the turn of the 20th century, the Deutsches Museum has become the world’s largest science and technology museum with over 10 miles of exhibits (17.000 items are on display). Hands-on activities and fascinating demonstrations of human accomplishment, , from classical mechanics to telecommunications, from a full-size reconstructed coal mine to space travel technology.
Forum der Technik
Museumsinsel 1 (entrance on Ludwigsbrücke),
089 2 11 250
Germany’s first IMAX cinema, in which films are shown on a screen 52 feet high and 72 feet wide; a unique cinematic experience. The Forum also includes an ultra modern planetarium.
U Bahn to Odeonsplatz, Universität, Gielastrasse or Münchener Freiheit
Bus 44,54,154 or Tram 17
Stretching along the banks of the Isar River, Englischer Garten is one of the largest city parks in Europe. It was completed in 1789, the same year as the French Revolution, and presented to the people by the reigning prince.
The park covers 900 acres and has shaded paths, brooks, ponds and even swans. Its open, formal style is reminiscent of the parkland surrounding the great English country estates, hence the name. This oasis in the midst of a large city is extremely popular with locals and visitors alike. Like everything else in Munich, the park is easily accessible by public transportation. At the end of a work day families congregate there with picnic baskets and sit down on benches at the long wooden tables for a picnic feast. Restaurants and cafés and of course a beer garden are also available. It takes several hours to walk through the entire park at a leisurely pace, stopping to see the Chinese pagoda, the monopteros (circular temple), and to take a ride in a rented boat on the Kleinhesseloher See. Strolling entertainers provide musical entertainment, and there is always a good band playing at the Seehaus, Chinesischer Turm, Hirschau, and Aumeister (the park’s four beer gardens).
Am Platz 9
089 22 16 76
Nightly Bavarian show in the Fest Hall requires an admission fee. Wilhelm V of Bavaria founded the Hofbräu (meaning royal or court brew) in 1589 to brew a dark ale that was more to his liking than the local beer. At that time, beer was a beverage reserved for the upper classes. They had made it their own after a series of bad grape harvests decimated the wine supply. Finally, in 1828 the brewery became an inn and the wonderful world of beer drinking became available to people of all social classes. The Hofbräu House is Munich’s most popular beer hall and its three floors fill quickly in the evenings as some 4500 people gather to sit on the long benches, listen to the brass band, and drink beer served by waitresses in traditional costume. Beer is served by the Mass , an ancient measure equivalent to about one liter.
Note: Tables labeled with “Stammtisch” are reserved for regulars (this is true for all Bavarian restaurants). Visitors unaware of this designation who sit at one of the reserved tables will find that they are not served. For a few coins, patrons can utilize the Hofbräuhaus’s coin operated breathalyzer machines to check their alcohol level before driving home.
One of Munich’s many beer gardens. Historically, both the Bürgerbräukeller and the Hofbräuhaus are interesting for a reason other than their bill of fare. The ballroom upstairs in the Hofbräuhaus was the site of the first meeting of the National Socialist Party (NAZI party) on February 20, 1920.
The Bürgerbräukeller organized a discussion in 1923 entitled Can a Catholic be a National Socialist (NAZI party member or sympathizer)? The discussion was led by a Jesuit priest named Father Rupert Mayer. Father Mayer’s presentation stunned the audience, and he was booed and jeered for his views. >From that time on Father Mayer was a marked man, but he continued to speak out. When the Third Reich began in 1933, Father Mayer openly condemned the Nazi leaders in his weekly sermons at St. Michael’s church and in other gatherings. In the late 1930’s he was arrested by the Nazi’s and imprisoned. There was reluctance to kill him as it was feared he would be martyred and gain even more followers in death than he had in life. He was imprisoned in concentration camps and released a number of times. Finally he was placed in a monastery south of Munich and isolated there until he was freed in 1945 at the end of the war. Father Mayer died of a stroke soon after. He was beatified by the Catholic Church in 1987.
U-Bahn 4 and 5 and S-Bahn to Karlsplatz Stachus Trams 18,19,20,25,27.
This church was built in the baroque and rococo style in 1710 as an assembly hall for the Marian confraternity, an order dedicated to the Virgin Mary. In its crypt is the body of Father Rupert Mayer who died after his release from Sachenhausen concentration camp in 1945. Upstairs in the church, the Virgin is represented sheltering the faithful under her cloak. Under the organ console is an angel in flowing robes pointing to the heavens and tenderly leading a child by the hand. Other paintings depict the major pilgrimage sites of Bavaria. Over the high altar is a 1710 relief of the Annunciation by Andreas Faistenberger.
Museum Mensch und Natur
(Museum of Mankind and Nature)
Schloss Nymphenburg, Nordflügel
089 17 64 94
Tram 17 or Bus 41
Small admission charged. Children under 6 are free.
One of Munich’s newest museums, this is a must for inquisitive minds. Interactive exhibitions intrigue and delight as they teach about the wonders of natural science. Covering such diversified topics as the workings of the mind to the earth’s creation, permanent and special exhibits are friendly, fun and challenging for all ages. (Displays are in German).
(Old Residence Theater)
Entrance Residenzstrasse 1
Tel. 089 2 90 671
2-5 Mon.-Sat. 10-5 Sunday
Enchanting rococo theater named after its architect, Francois Cuvilliés, it has a striking, lavish interior. The building was destroyed by bombings in 1944, but the interior furnishings had been removed and were preserved from harm. The building was completely restored. Visitors are welcome at the hours listed above except during state opera and theater company rehearsals.
Eingang Max-Joseph-Platz 3
089 2 90 671
10-4:30 Tuesday – Saturday
Admission for adults; children free
Built in 1385, the main city palace residence of the Wittelsbach dynasty is breathtaking in its size and diversity. Within the palace, the museum occupies over 100 rooms. It is broken into two sections which take about two hours each to fully explore. A guided tour book in English is available for a low price at the museum information desk. The entrance is an enclosed grotto court which features the Perseus Fountain. Next door is the Antiquarium, a long hallway resembling a tunnel that was built to house the huge Wittelsbach antique collection. The Elector’s Room features some remarkable Italian portraits and has a long passageway containing two dozen views of Italy painted by one of Munich’s leading artists of the Romantic period, Carl Rottmann. The Ancestral Gallery holds 121 portraits of the rulers of Bavaria. There is also a Porcelain Chamber and an Asian collection, among others.
Schatzkammer der Residenz
(Residence Treasure Chamber)
Entrance Max-Joseph-Platz 3
089 2 90 67-1
This museum is part of the Residenz Museum complex with a separate entrance and separate admission fee. It houses an enormous exhibit of jewels and handcrafts from around the world. Included is a display of the Bavarian crown jewels which were made in the early 19th century for Max II Joseph soon after the duchy was made a kingdom by Napoleon. The English language guide, Treasury in the Munich Residence is available at the information desk.
Staatliche Sammlung ägyptischer Kunst
(State Collection of Egyptian Art)
Residenz, entrance Hofgartenstrasse
Tel.089 29 8546
Tues. 9-4 and 7-9 Wed-Fri. 9-4
U-Bahn to Odeonsplatz S-Bahn to Marienplatz
Also located in the Residenz, the museum evolved from collections made by Duke Albrecht V and King Ludwig I and contains pieces from every period of Egyptian history from the pre dynastic period (4500-3500 BC) to the Coptic period (4th-9th centuries). On exhibit are sculptures, reliefs, jewelry, tools, weapons, and sarcophagi.
Tel. 089 28 61 00
Collection of Greek and Roman sculpture as well as portraits of Greek philosophers, leaders and Roman kings. One of the most unusual exhibits is the stunning remains of the Greek Temple of Aegina which was excavated by German and English explorers in the early 19th century. The inner courtyard of the museum has a pleasant café and an open area where classical theater is staged under the stars in the summer.
(Bavarian National Museum)
089 2 16 81
U4 or U5 U-Bahn to Lebel or Tram 17 or Bus 53
Contains the city’s largest collection of Bavarian and other German art as well as art from around the world. The ground floor is devoted to Gothic, Renaissance, rococo, baroque and neo classical works; the first floor to the applied arts including clocks, stained glass, ceramics and jewelry. Sculpture, carvings, and paintings up to the 14th century are displayed in the Fine Arts collection.
The Neue Sammlung (New Collection), housed in a side wing, presents rotating exhibits from its huge collection of industrial and applied art. The northern section, Prähistoriche Staatssammlung (Prehistoric Collection) at Lerchenfieldstrassen 2, holds artifacts from the city’s first residents (Romans and Celts). It is open from 9-4 Tues.-Sun. and until 8pm on Thursdays.
Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde
(State Museum for Folkloric Art)
089 2 10 1360
Tues.-Sun. 9:30- 4:30
Tram 17 or 19
The museum is housed in an imposing building that was completed in 1865. It has an extensive collection of art and artifacts from all over the world and is one of the principal museums of its kind in Europe. It has an extensive Peruvian collection and also has exhibitions from other parts of South America, East Asia, west and central Africa.
(Munich Municipal Museum)
Tel. 089 2332 2370
Tues. and Thurs.-Sun. 10-5 Wed. 10-8:30
U-Bahn or S-Bahn to Marienplatz
This museum is to the city what the National museum is to the whole state. It offers insight into the city’s history and the daily lives of the people. Special exhibitions about the popular arts and traditions are regularly presented. There is even a scale model in wood of the city of Munich in 1572. An extensive furniture collection is rotated annually to show the furnishings typical of different periods in the city’s history.
The most important exhibit is the Moorish dancers on the ground floor. There are 10 figures (each two feet high) carved in wood and painted by artist Erasmus Grasser in 1480 which are among the best examples of secular Gothic art in medieval Germany. There is also a large collection of armor and weapons displayed. A photo collection traces the early history of the camera back to 1839. Every day at 6 and 9pm the film museum shows two films from its archives. On the second floor is a collection of musical instruments from around the world that has been acclaimed as one of the greatest of its kind anywhere.
Take any S-Bahn to Isartor
089 22 32 66
11:01-5:29 Mon.Tues.,Fri.,Sat. and 10:01-5:29 Sun. Closed Wed.,Thurs.
The hours of operation set the tone of hilarity associated with this museum’s theme of good hearted humor. It is dedicated to one of Bavaria’s best loved comic actors and celebrates the life and work of Karl Valentin and his partner, Liesl Karlstadt. It is located at Isartor, the southernmost gate of the medieval fortifications. it is adorned with a fresco of Ludwig the Bavarian’s triumphant reentry into the city in 1322. The museum is filled with props and other items from Valentin’s films and stage career. The humor is apparent if you speak and understand German. There is a café with folk music at the top of the tower. Additional music is provided by a tuba player and an accordionist.
Petuelring 130 (opposite Olympia Park)
089 3822 33 07
take U3 from Marienplatz to Olympiazentrum
Behind the museum is the BMW (Bavarian Motoren Werke) headquarters building. The exhibition Zeitmotor (Time Machine) surveys motorized transport past and present, and even includes a look ahead to the year 2030. 100 exhibits, video films, slide shows and a 70mm film form the core of the exhibition. Many BMW cars, motorcycles, planes, concept cars, as well as simulators and interactive displays are included.
Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus
Tel. 089 2333 2000
U2 to Königsplatz
This gallery is located in the Florentine style villa housing the Lenbach art collection. It displays works of Munich painters from the Gothic era to the present, including Kobell, Spitzweg, Leibl, Corinth, etc.; Kandinsky’s internationally acclaimed “Blue Rider” collection; works of Klee, Marc, Macke, Münter; and modern art. The enclosed patio café is pleasant for a coffee break.
(Old Gallery)Barerstrsse 27-29
Tel. 089 2380 5216
U-Bahn U2 to Königsplatz. Tram 27: Bus 53.
Daily 10-5 (Thurs. until 8)
After a long period of renovation work the Alte Pinakothek has been reopened. This is Munich’s most important art museum and one of the most significant collections in Europe. The paintings on display in the huge neoclassical building represent the greatest European artists from the 14th through the 18th centuries. Small galleries are given over to the Dutch and Flemish masters. There are also a number of works by Rembrandt, Rubens, and Van Dyck, including a series of religious panels painted by Rembrandt for Prince Frederick Hendrick of the Netherlands. The Italian masters whose works are displayed include Fra Filippo, Lippi, Giotto, Botticelli, Raphael and Titian. There is also a Madonna by leonardo da Vinci and a number of works by Lucas Cranach.
(New Gallery)Barerstrasse 29
Tel. 089 230 5195
U-Bahn to Königsplatz Tram 27
Located across the street from the Renaissance style Old Picture Gallery, is the New Picture gallery, a modern concrete, glass and granite building featuring art from the late 18th to the 20th century. Its displays include works of the French and German Impressionists, Romantic paintings and the art noveau style known in Germany as Jugendstil. There is also an impressive collection of sculpture from the same time period.
Staatsgalerie Moderner Kunst
(State Gallerie of Modern Art)
in the Haus der Kunst (west wing)
089 2112 7137
U-Bahn: Odeonplatz, Bus 53
Tues.-Wed. and Fri.-Sun. 10-5 Thurs. 10-8.
Admission charged. Free on Sunday.
Munich’s State gallery of Modern Art is housed in the west wing of the massive Hans der Kunst which was built in 1937. It displays a fine collection of about 400 paintings, sculptures and art objects from the 20th century. The largest exhibit is devoted to modern German art. Italian artists and American abstract expressionists, minimalists, and young modern artists are also well represented.
East wing: this area has a separate entrance and is open Tues.-Thurs. 10-10 and Fri.-Mon. 10-6. It features an exciting collection of the work of cutting edge new artists. Exhibits change frequently, and the canvases are for sale when they are displayed. Traveling exhibitions of worldwide importance stop here.
Museum Villa Stuck
089 4555 5125
U-Bahn 5 to Prinzegentenplatz
10-5 daily Thurs. 10-9 (closed Monday)
The museum is located in the Art Noveau style villa of Bavaria’s wealthy “painter prince” Franz von Stuck. It has changing exhibitions of the classical, modern and contemporary periods. The artist’s own work is also displayed.
U-Bahn to Odeonsplatz or tram 19
089 234 2660
10-5 weekdays and Sunday.
The Siemens Museum contains exhibitions of electrical engineering, electronics and microelectronics from their beginnings up to the present day. The museum’s motto is: “Understanding and experiencing technology”. Visitors can operate many of the exhibits themselves. There is an audio tour in English.
Cathedral Church of Our Lady
U-Bahn and S-Bahn Marienplatz
After the 1945 bombings only the shell of the cathedral remained. Workmen and architects combed the rubble and salvaged every scrap that they could. The 15th century Gothic cathedral has been beautifully restored.
The twin towers with their early Gothic onion shaped domes have been a Munich landmark since they were added in 1525. The construction of a cathedral was a project that took all of the mature years of a master builder. The hope was first to develop the knowledge and skill whereby one would be commissioned to build a cathedral and then to live long enough to see the completion of this lifelong labor of love.. Each builder incorporated his own unique style and design into the work in progress. Munich’s cathedral does not employ the common style of flying buttresses which usually provided support. Instead, huge props on the inside support the edifice and separate the side chapels. The weight of the Gothic vaulting over the nave and chancel is borne by 22 octagonal pillars.
In the chapel directly behind the high altar is the painting The Protecting Cloak, a 1510 work by Jan Polack, showing the Virgin holding out her majestic robes to shelter all of humanity. Beneath the cloak is a collection of miniature people representing everyone from the Pope to peasants.
(Church of St. Peter)
089 260 4828
Admission to church free. Small charge for tour of tower.
Oldest parish church in Munich (1180), it contains a series of murals by Johann Baptist Zimmerman. there is a tall steeple which can be climbed via an inside stairway. The stairs are steep and there is no elevator. Weather coded circles on the pavement outside indicate the view from the top. If a white circle has been placed there that day, then the Alps can be viewed from the steeple. The ornate interior of the church is decorated with old masters from 6 centuries. In the 1990’s the gray and white interior of the church was decorated with painted medallions and gilded baroque.
Theatinerkirche St. Kajetan
U-Bahn 3 and 6 to Odeonsplatz.
Mon.-Sat. 9-5:30 (Churches are open for services on Sun., but not for sightseeing)
Dedicated to St. Kajetan, this ocher colored church was built as an offering of gratitude when Henriette Adelaide, wife of Elector Ferdinand Maria gave birth in 1662 to Crown Prince Max Emmanuel. She came from Savoy, and brought in Swiss and Italian architects who created a building in the Venetian style. It was finished in 1688 and the tower was added in 1697. The façade was modified with a rococo aspect in the 1760’s by the Cuvilliés. The high altar was decorated by 17th century stucco artists. Above the altar is a painting of the Virgin and saints by Caspar de Crayer who was a pupil of Rubens. In the late 1680’s German artist Andreas Faistenburger designed the magnificent pulpit.
Sendlinger Strasse 61 and 62
U-Bahn 3 and 6: Sendlinger Tor Bus 56
The church was constructed by the Asam brothers, Ägid Quirin Asam and Cosmas Damian Asam. The brothers were both brilliant architects. In addition, Ägid was a gifted sculptor and Cosmas a painter of frescoes. Both had studied baroque architecture in Rome. The church was built as a private chapel, but was loved so much by the local citizens that the brothers let them use it as a parish church. The entrance and interior are lavishly decorated. Inside are exceptional carvings and frescoes unlike any others of the period.
(New Town Hall)
Built 1867 – 1909 in Flanders Gothic style; its facade, over 300 feet in length, features strikingly elaborate stone ornamentation. It contains six courtyards. Its 260-foot tower with carillon is, with St. Peter’s Church and the twin towers of the Cathedral, one of the most distinctive features of the city’s skyline.
Glockenspiel im Rathausturm
(Carillon in New Town Hall Tower)
Largest carillon in Germany, with three levels and near-life size figures performing the traditional Schäfflertanz (Coopers’ Dance, is held live in the city streets every 7 years – next in 2005. it celebrates the passing of the plague in 1517) and a Ritterturnier (a knights’ tournament held in 1568 to celebrate the marriage of Duke Wilhelm V). The glockenspiel was installed in 1903. The figures sing into motion every day from April to October at 11am,noon and 5pm. The 40+ bells are currently played via a tape recording.
Commissioned by Ludwig I and later used as a Nazi headquarters, this neo-Classical square boasts the Propyläen gateway and the Glyptothek, a small but fascinating collection of Greek and Roman sculpture. It is also the site of an annual summer outdoor concert series.
Magnificent “showpiece” of Munich, extending from the Siegestor (Triumphal Arch) to the Feldherrnhalle (Commanders’ Hall); built under King Ludwig I in the first half of the 19th century, it marked the transformation of Munich from a medieval town to an imperial residence.
Theresienwiese / Oktoberfest site
The Theresienwiese is mainly known as the site of the Oktoberfest, and is also referred to as the “Wies’n”.
Named after the column of the Virgin Mary at its center, the square is famed for its neo-Gothic Town Hall, whose mechanical clock, or Glockenspiel, plays every day at 11.00, 12.00 and 17.00. The Marienplatz is a centerpiece for the city’s Founding Festival as well as for Fasching celebrations and the popular Christmas market.
64 99 23 04
Take the Film Express through Germany’s Film City, where around 150 hours of cinema and TV films are produced every year. It is Europe’s largest filmmaking center, and has been in business since 1920. This was the birthplace of films such as “Das Boot” (“The U-Boat”), “Cabaret”, “The Never-Ending Story” and many German TV series. Films are shown on an extra wide screen. The dream and the reality, the locations and the scenery, the truth and the tricks of the film business are illustrated clearly. There is even a model of the streets of Berlin built for Ingmar Bergman’s film Schlangené. There is also an “Action Show” , a demonstration of movie stunts.
089 210 6910
Tues-Fri 10-4 and Thurs 2-4
Founded in 1910, the German Theatermuseum is a gathering place for theater fans from around the world. Its collection includes theater plans and stage sets, as well as various props, costumes, and masks. Thousands of manuscripts, programs, scores, and revues are preserved in its library.
Ruhmeshalle (Hall of Fame) and Bavaria statue
U-Bahn 4 and 5 to Thereisenwiese
U-shaped open hall modeled in the Graeco-Roman style was built as a memorial to distinguished figures of Bavarian history. Bavarian rulers and other figures of history. The museum displays over 70 busts of It is situated above the Theresienwiese (site of the Oktoberfest). The bronze statue ( a woman dressed in a bear skin and accompanied by a pet lion) in front of the hall represents the State of Bavaria and was designed by Leo von Klenze for Maximilian II. There is a good view of the city skyline with its many towers from the top of the 181 steps leading to the head of the statue.
U-Bahn: Isartor. Tram 18
089 297 453
Tues.-Wed. 2-6pm and Thurs. 2-8pm
This small, private museum documents the history of the Jewish people living in Nazi Germany through photographs, letters, and exhibits. The horrors suffered during that time in history are made clear through testimonies of those involved. The yellow stars marked Juden that Jews were forced to wear are on display as well as an exhibit that details the hunt for Raoul Wallenburg, the Swedish diplomat who hid hundreds of Jews and led them to safety during World War II.
Isartor (Isar Gate)
Most easterly of Munich’s three remaining town gates, dating from the 14th century. Careful restoration has recreated the dimensions and appearance of the original structure.
Karlstor (Charles’s Gate)
Westerly town gate from 14th century. Incorporated at the end of the 18th century into the square known as “Stachus” (officially Karlsplatz). Today it marks one end of Munich’s primary pedestrian zone.
Sendlinger Tor (Sendlinger Gate)
Remaining towers of southerly fortifications from the 14th century.
Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)
Most easterly building on Marienplatz square, at the heart of Munich. Gothic council hall and ballroom and the adjoining town hall tower have been reconstructed.
Park open: 11-5:30 and 6:30-11:45
Stadiun open: 8:30-6 (April to October) 9-4:30 (November to March)
U-Bahn 3 to Olympiazentrum
Site of the 1972 Olympics, this landscaped park contains sport facilities, lakes, bicycle paths, concerts, restaurants and a football stadium, as well as its landmark “tent-style” roofs. This is the site of the Olympic Stadium which is used by the Bayern-München soccer team for all their home games. The surrounding park is very popular with cyclists, joggers, skaters, roller bladers, and casual strollers. There are boats fro rent on the lake. Sports facilities in the park are available for public use. These include a skating rink, swimming hall with sauna, solarium and sun bathing area, tennis courts, bowling alley, fitness and recreation centers. The Olympic Hall is a favorite venue for concerts. As a new attraction, the “Olympic Spirit Center” opened in 1999.
(at the Olympiapark)
(Olympic Tower), 951 feet
Germany’s highest television tower.
Botanical Gardens in Nymphenburg
U-Bahn to Rotkreuzplatz, then tram 12
089 1786 1310
Hours change seasonally. call for hours.
Small admission charge
One of the largest botanical gardens in Germany with 49 acres of 15,000 varieties of plants from all over the world in outdoor displays and hothouses. Each section is devoted to a particular variety of plant.
S-Bahn to Laim or Bus 32 or 83 from Steubenplatz
located between Schloss Nymphenburg and the main railway line.
the park was designed as a deer park by Elector Karl Theodor in 1791. It is now a beautiful expanse of greenery extending for 67 acres. In the days of the deer park, the head huntsman secured permission to sell beer and thus what is now the largest beer garden in the world came into being. It has the capacity for 8000 patrons. the park is a favorite for family picnics, barbecues or afternoon chess games between friends.
Just Outside Munich
Dachau concentration camp
10 miles northwest of Munich
Take S-2 train from Marienplatz.
Then bus 724 or 726 to and from the camp.
The English language version of the documentary film KZ-Dachau is shown at 11:30 and 3:30.
All documents in the museum are translated into English in the museum catalog – available at the entrance. The camp lies north-west of the city and is easily accessible by train and a special shuttle bus that takes visitors to and from the camp. In 1933 this quiet artists’ community outside Munich became the first German concentration camp. Records show 206,000 names of people imprisoned there between 1933 and 1945. Three memorial prayer chapels (Catholic, Jewish, Protestant) were built on the site in the 1960’s. Dachau has been preserved as a museum and memorial by all major religious faiths to serve as a grim reminder of the reality of the Holocaust and of the absolute necessity for all people everywhere to care for and about each other.
Zugspitze and other mountains
The peak of Germany’s highest mountain (2963 m, 9000 ft.) can be climbed or reached by mountain train
From the train station in Garmisch, there are buses to the “Zugspitzbahn”. (Also direct trains from the train station to the mountain).
If you want to climb, get off the mountain train at “Hammersbach”, then follow the signs for “Höllental”. It’s a long way up, but very nice. After 2-3 hrs. you reach the “Höllentalhütte”,a hut where you can spend the night or just have lunch. From there, it’s about 3-4 hours to the top. If you want to make everything (up and down) in one day, get up very early !! It’s nicer to spend one night somewhere in the mountains. If you want to do more mountain hiking, it is advisable to buy a “Wanderkarte”(walking map) from the area you want to go to. Available in most bookstores in Munich, such as “Hugendubel”, located at Marienplatz.
Splendid open-air museum displaying farm buildings and handicrafts. You can watch potters, cobblers, blacksmith and other craftsmen work just as they did centuries ago in this recreation of a Bavarian village of old. The museum is situated near Lake Kochelsee, about 1 1/2 hours by car south of Munich. While there, visit the Trimini water park in on the shores of the Kochelsee. 088 51 5300.
River rafting on the Isar
Romantic trip on traditional wooden river rafts through the beautiful Isar valley. Departure point is Wolfratshausen, a small town about 30 km south of Munich. Romantic moated castle with a late Gothic chapel from the 15th century. The main building houses the International Youth Library; the gate tower contains the Erich Kästner memorial site, while another wing overlooking two small lakes accommodates a concert hall and restaurant.
A world renowned Passion Play is held here every 10 years. There was one in the Spring and summer of 2000. The next will be in 2010. Tickets sell out a year ahead of the time of the play.
A hike from the railway station at Oberammagau to Unterammergau: Take a left in the direction of the train station and cross the Ammer River bridge. Keep right after the bridge and follow the river. Flower filled meadows accompany your hike and lead you to the nature preserve “Pulvermoos”, a remnant of the Ammer glacier which filled the valley during the last ice age (until about 10,000 years ago). Shortly after you will reach the border of the village of Unterammergau.
Before World War I, Unterammergau was one of the few places in the world that produced whetstones. These whetstones were of very high quality. During the war, the US had to find another source. Factories were established in Arkansas, and Unterammergau’s market declined. In the late 60’s Master potters Baldur Brieger and his wife Ursula moved into the building that was once the mill for all of the whetstones and opened it as a pottery center. Baldur turns the pots and Ursula is the art director and decorator. The pottery they create is deemed functional, to be used every day around the house., but includes beautiful tea services, table settings, etc. They have a very interesting method of decoration for their wares using special glazes artistically applied. The colors are outstanding: selenium reds, cobalt blues, and many others. The pottery center can be found by driving north from Oberammergau (toward Bad Kohlgrub), about a half mile outside of Unterammergau on the left hand side.
Landsberg am Lech
36 miles west of Munich.
Landsberg has a picturesque medieval city center and is a good starting point to explore the mountain area outside of Munich, as there are frequent train connections (about 1 hr ride to Munich central.)
is a small town about 100 km east of Munich dedicated to religious pilgrimage. The center of activity is the mother house of the Capuchin order. It lies on a hill about half way between Munich and Passau. Housed here in a silver tabernacle smelted in 1645 is the famous carved wooden image of Our Lady of Altötting, a Madonna and Child blackened over the years by the smoke of many candles that dates from around 1300. The town attracts over 500,000 pilgrims a year. It was visited by Pope John Paul II in 1980.
Starnberger See and Ammersee
S-Bahn 5 or 6 train from Marienplatz
The two biggest lakes ín the Munich region, can be easily accessed by S-Bahn from Munich in about 40-60 mins.
This is a popular place for day excursions. 20 km of the 49 km shoreline are reserved for recreational purposes only with activities ranging from surfing to steamboat excursions. The visit to Ammersee from Herrsching (end point of S-Bahn line 5 from Munich), can be combined with a visit to the brewery of Andechs.
Frequent trains from Munich travel about 1 h 10 minutes through lovely countryside to reach Tegernsee. Boat round trips are offered around the lake, Casino at Bad Wiessee Visit the brewery in Tegernsee, or take the mountain railway to Wallberg (5000 ft. peak) in Rottach-Egern with a beautiful view of the whole lake.
Berchtesgaden and its magnificent Königssee (“King’s Lake”)
If you like a mountain atmosphere in a tourist environment, this is the place to go. About 2 hrs from Munich, it can be combined with a trip to Salzburg, which is close. Excellent for mountain hiking, lots of things to see and do.
10 km long emerald-green mountain lake, considered the pearl of the Berchtesgadener Land. Some of the most magnificent panoramic views across all of Bavaria can be found here. Breathtakingly beautiful mountains are all around. To preserve the purity and tranquillity of the water only electrically-powered boats have been allowed on the lake since 1909.
Castles and Palaces
The castles of King Ludwig II
Located at Hohenschwangau, near Füssen, about 2hrs. by train from Munich
From train station in Füssen take a tour bus.
Call for information. The approach is steep and requires much walking and climbing, but you can choose a ride in a horse cart to get you there.
083 628 1035
Ludwig II became king of Bavaria in 1864. He had grown up in the castle of his father in Hohenschwangau and wanted to build a castle in the same setting, framed by the Alps and the mountain lakes. He commissioned, not an architect, but a stage designer, Christian Jank, to design his masterpiece of fantasy Other members of Jank’s theater group assisted. Construction went on for 17 years. Unlike his father, Ludwig II built not for the people but for his own pleasure. It is said that he often kept artists at work all night decorating the rooms. The wood carvings on his bed took 14 wood carvers more than 4 years to complete. He became obsessed with the works of Richard Wagner and became his patron. Wagner’s operas influenced the decoration of many of the rooms in the castle. Ludwig lived there only a total of 6 months from 1884-1886. 170 days after the project was close enough to being finished for him to move in, he was found dead in Lake Starnberg. He had received news of his dethronement three days earlier.
If you miss this on your trip to Germany, you probably miss Loch Ness in Scotland, too. It’s the fairy tale-castle of famous, fool Bavarian King Ludwig II, who spent most of the state’s money on his castles 100 years ago.
near the small town of Oberammergau
Take the train to Oberammergau
Buses run from there to Schloss Linderhof and back 7 times a day from 9am
088 223 512
Admission is charged. Under 15 free.
In 1869 King Ludwig II created a French rococo palace on land where a family hunting lodge had once stood in the Ammergau Mountains. It was to be his most successful building venture, and the only one that was completed. The winged staircase of Carrara marble leads to the music room which is decorated with carved and gilded paneling and richly colored tapestries. This leads into the Hall of Mirrors inspired by Louis XIV and Louis XV. The ceiling of the room is lavishly decorated with frescoes depicting mythological scenes. The king’s bed chamber is the largest room in the palace and is placed in the back overlooking the Fountain of Neptune and the waterfalls in the gardens. the gardens are laid out in geometric shapes with baroque sculptures and elegant fountains. The front of the palace opens onto a large pool from which a jet of water sprays over 100 feet into the air.
Several exotic buildings are in the gardens. There is the Moorish Kiosk and also the magic grotto, which is built of artificial rock and divided into three chambers like a cave, complete with stalactites and stalagmites. The main chamber is filled with an artificial lake lighted from below. In Ludwig’s time it had artificial light produced by 24 dynamo engines. A gilded shell like boat is tied near the lake.
In 1873 Ludwig purchased Herrenwörth island in Chiemsee, the province’s largest lake. In 1878 work began on the Herrenchiemsee palace. A series of reception rooms lead from the top of a staircase made with 16 different types of marble. >From room to room, the décor becomes more and more lavish and often so complex as to be oppressive. The 320 foot Mirror Gallery is lined with intricate golden stucco carvings and huge chandeliers. At the time of Ludwig’s death, over 20 million marks had been spent on the building of the castle. The king spent only one week of his life there.
Ludwig spent his own private fortune on his castles and then used the funds of the State, plunging the nation deeply into debt. His ministers were alarmed and persuaded doctors to declare the king insane. Three days later he and his psychiatrist mysteriously drowned in Starnberg Lake. No one knows whether the deaths were an accident, suicide or murder. Ludwig’s unfettered spending has been repaid many times over from the revenue realized as a result of the millions of tourists who have visited his resplendent creations. Was Ludwig II insane or was he a visionary?
S-Bahn 5 from Marienplatz to Herrsching, then the bus to Andechs.
Bus departs every hour.
081 523 457
This is not a castle, but a monastery with its own brewery. Set high on a mountain, this Benedictine monastery attracts pilgrims who come to venerate relics from the Holy Land as well as visitors who have heard of the monks’ reputation for producing excellent cheese and outstanding beer.
U-Bahn to Rokreuzplatz or Bus 41; tram 17
08917 90 80
Tues-Sun 9-12:30 and 1:30-5 (in season)
For centuries the Wittelsbach family ruled Bavaria, with Munich as their base. Nymphenburg Palace is on the western outskirts of the city and was built as their summer villa by Agostino Barelli in 1674. Every generation of Wittelsbachs added to the palace which now measures 1,640 feet from one end to the other. it contains lavish baroque decoration and a great hall adorned with frescoes.
In the center is the Gallery of Beauties: 36 paintings of beautiful women produced between 1827 and 1850 for Ludwig I. The Marstallmuseum (Royal Stables Museum) houses a collection of porcelain, products of the Nymphenburg porcelain factory established here in 1747. and a grouping of state carriages and sleighs.
Schloss Schleissheim and Schloss Lustheim
089 315 8720
S-Bahn 1 to Oberschleissheim, bus 392
Tues-Sun 10-12:30 and 1:30-5 Closed Mondays.
Admission is charged.
Schloss Schleissheim palace was built on a scale to rival Versailles. Max Emmanuel commissioned the building in 1701 from the Italian architect, Zuccalli. The building was finally completed in 1725, having had its schedule interrupted by a war. Other masters provided decoration. The frescoes are spectacular! The building now serves as a museum displaying baroque works of art, particularly Italian masterpieces from the Bavarian National Museum’s collections. There are also extensive displays of Christian art and religious folk art from around the world.
Schloss Lustheim is located on the far side of the formal park surrounding Schloss Schleissheim. This palace was built by Enrico Zuccalli in the baroque style in 1684, on the occasion of the marriage of Max Emanuel of Bavaria to Maria Antonia, daughter of Emperor Leopold I. It has a festival hall with a mirrored vault and frescoes depicting Diana the Huntress by Francesco Rosa. There are 15 rooms displaying the 2000 piece Meissen porcelain collection of philanthropist Ernst Schneider. the collection dates from 1710 to 1800.
Activities for Family and Kids
Hellabrunn Zoo in Munich-Thalkirchen
Tel. 62 50 80
U-Bahn U3 to Thalkirchen or Bus 52 from the Marienplatz
About four miles south of the city center, easily reached by bus or U-Bahn. with approximately 460 species and a total of about 5000 animals roam in natural habitats. There is a large aviary and a huge petting zoo especially for children. The walk through the park is magnificent for adults as well as children. It is one of the largest zoos in the world, so plan a day and bring a picnic lunch.
Deutsches Museum (German Museum)
Museumsinel l, (entrance on Ludwigsbrücke)
089 217 9433
Tram 18 or S-Bahn to Isartor
Founded at the turn of the 20th century, the Deutsches Museum has become the world’s largest science and technology museum with over 10 miles of exhibits (17.000 items are on display). Hands-on activities and interactive exhibits demonstrate many areas of human accomplishment, from classical mechanics to telecommunications; from a full-size reconstructed coal mine to space travel technology.
Forum der Technik (Technology Forum)
Museumsinsel 1 (entrance on Ludwigsbrücke),
Tel. 2 11 25-0
Germany’s first IMAX cinema, in which films are shown on a screen 52 feet high and 72 feet wide; a unique cinematic experience. The Forum also includes an ultra modern planetarium.
Münchner Stadtmuseum (Municipal Museum)
St. Jakobsplatz 1
089 2332 2370
Tues.-Wed. 2-6 and Thurs. 2-8
U-Bahn: Isartor. Tram:18
On the third floor is a collection of puppets from around the world, including both marionette and hand puppets. The collection also includes detailed puppet theaters and miniature scenery. A special department is devoted to fairground art, including carousel animals, shooting galleries, roller coaster models, and wax museum figures. The main exhibit contains the oldest known carousel horses dating from 1820.
In the Altes Rathaus, Marienplatz 15
A historical toy collection.
Münchner Marionetten Theater
089 265 712
U-Bahn to Sendlinger Tor
Performances Saturday 8pm ; also Wed., Thurs., Sat. , Sun. 3pm.
matinees recommended for younger children
Adults as well as children can attend the puppet shows and Marionette Theater. Many of the productions are Mozart operas.
Bavarian Film Studio
Bavariafilmplatz 7, Geiselgasteig
Children enjoy the film presentations and the Bavarian Action Show in which stunt teams demonstrate the filming techniques of fist fights, escapes from burning buildings, falling down staircases, and a plunge off a 92 foot building. It is important that children viewing this series be old enough to distinguish between fantasy and reality. The show lasts about 30 minutes.
Matinees Wed., Fri., Sat. Sun.
Circus presented in the hall from December 25 – March 31.