The capital of Bavaria and the third largest city in Germany, Munich, lies on the banks of River Isar on the edges of the Bavarian Alps. This is a fun-loving city famous for its seasonal festivals and abundant cultural calendar. In addition to its world-famous beer houses, it boasts stunning architecture, outstanding museums and palaces, which means no visitor will ever be left disappointed!
If you’re planning a visit to Munich, make sure you spend at least a few days exploring the city and its must-see spots listed here.
Marienplatz is Munich’s most famous square that attracts thousands of visitors every day to see the New Town Hall. The city hall was built in 1874 in the Gothic Revival style, and its main façade is highly ornate with the figures of the past rulers. Another thing that draws tourists to Marienplatz is the captivating Glockenspiel performance that happens three times a day. Plus, when that is over and you’re feeling peckish, the famous Ratskeller restaurant is right down in the basement.
The Munich Residenz was the official home to Bavarian rulers, the Wittelsbachs, for centuries before it became available to the public in 1920. Its various architectural styles and rich art collections symbolize the royal family’s power. The residence was heavily damaged in World War II but has been thoroughly restored, and today, it is deemed one of the prime palace museums in Europe.
The palace of Nymphenburg, built in the Baroque style, lies on the northwest outskirts of the city. In the 17th century, it was the summer residence of the Wittelsbachs Electors. It covers over 600 meters from wing to wing and is surrounded on each side by the Nymphenburg Canal, which splits as it goes around the main buildings only to merge again in an embellished pool. Next to the palace, in the former Court Stables, you can see the Marstallmuseum display of beautiful state coaches.
Herrenchiemsee – the magnificent royal palace
Another palace worth visiting will take you out of the city to Prien and the largest lake in Bavaria, Lake Chiemsee. Exciting Munich day trips like this take you on an enjoyable hour-long bus ride city through breath-taking scenery making it a pleasant departure from the busy city. Once you arrive in Prien, and after a short ferryboat ride across the Bavarian Sea, you arrive on the gorgeous island of Herrenchiemsee, where the Palace is situated. It was built in the 19th century by King Ludwig II who wanted to create his own Versailles.
Munich’s Englischer Garten is one of the world’s largest city parks. It was established in 1789 but continued to grow in size over the centuries. It got its name from the traditional English gardens of the 18th and early 19th centuries, and it was built by soldiers in peaceful times so they could learn agricultural skills. There’s a Japanese teahouse, a meadow where you can sunbathe nude, and an artificial wave utilized by surfboarders.
The Olympic Park
Once home to the 1972 Summer Olympics, Munich’s epic Olympic Park is now a major recreational centre that hosts a variety of concerts and events. Many family activities have been added as well so there are plenty of things to do, such as roof climbing, zip lining, and behind-the-scenes tours of the facility’s spectacular architecture. The 290-meter-high Olympic Tower has viewing platforms with breathtaking views over the city.
St. Peter’s Church
Peterskirche, or St. Peter’s Church, is a Catholic church in Munich’s city centre. It was started in the 12th century making it the city’s oldest church, although it has sustained certain damage over the centuries. Services are held several times each day, and they’re well worth attending so you can admire the interior. You can also make the effort to climb the 300 steps of Alte Peter tower and be rewarded with a stunning view over the city from the top.
Pinakothek Art Museums
Munich is known for its many great museums, and the three major ones known as the Kunstareal are located in the area of Maxvorstadt. It’s the Pinakothek der Moderne, New Pinakothek and Alte Pinakothek. The first one houses the best contemporary art in the city (such as the works of Warhol, Dalí and Picasso) in a strikingly modern structure designed in the International Style. The New Pinakothek contains an impressive collection of impressionist and expressionist art from the 19th and 20th centuries, and the Alte Pinakothek is a must-see destination for classical art fans with works of the Old Masters, such as Rembrandt, Hals and da Vinci, as well as German painters Dürer and Grünewald.
The Deutsches Museum is an outstanding science and technology museum that attracts visitors of all ages, even if they’re not particularly keen on the matter. There are free guided tours of 50 exhibit areas, where you can see various demonstrations and take part in numerous hands-on activities. The museum boasts a huge collection of over 100,000 objects from the Stone Age to today.
Munich is a fantastic and versatile city that offers something for everyone – stunning palaces and castles for culture vultures, great markets and shops for holiday enthusiasts, and lots of exciting museums and restaurants for visitors of all ages and interests!