Munich Travel Guide
Munich, the capital of Germany, is also the country’s largest city. Munich dates back to the middle ages and is an historical treasure trove. Whether you’re visiting for Oktoberfest, castles or alpine skiing, Munich has something for everyone.
Here are some of the top things to see and do in Munich to get you started:
Marienplatz, Mary’s Square, is the heart of the Old Town and the busiest square in Munich. From here you can explore the many churches, landmarks and wonderful architecture that surround it. Here you will find the old and the New Town Hall, which houses the famous 100 year-old Glockenspiel. Every day at 11 a.m. and noon, the carillon chimes and 32 life-size figures reenact Bavarian historical events. A golden bird chirps three times to end the event.
The Church of Our Lady is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Munich whose foundation stone was laid in 1468. The Gothic cathedral is noted by its 325 ft., double towers, crowned with onion domes. The building suffered damage by an Allied bombardment at the end of World War II. Restoration was completed in 1994. One of the most interesting monuments inside the cathedral is the tomb of Emperor Ludwig IV of Bavaria. You can climb the steps of the towers for an incredible view of the city and the Alps beyond.
Residence Palace of Munich
The Munich Residences has been open as a museum since 1920 and is one of the most important palace museums in Europe. It is a monument to the rulers of Bavaria who reigned from the 17th century to 1918. The architecture and furnishings represent Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassisist and Historicist styles. The Antiquarium is the oldest hall in the Residence and is filled with antique sculptures. Allow plenty of time here to take in the multitude of rooms, halls, courtyards, gardens and art, porcelain and tapestries on display.
Established in 1903, the Deutsches Museum of Science and Technology is one of the oldest and largest museums of its kind in the world. It holds an impressive collection of over 28,000 artifacts in 50 different fields of science and technology.
Oktoberfest is the world’s largest beer festival, running for two weeks from the end of September into the first week in October. More than six million people from around the globe attend annually. Festivities kick off when the Mayor of Munich taps the first keg of beer. Visitors can attend parades, ride amusements, enjoy traditional foods and, of course, drink lots of beer.
The Alte Pinakothek, the Neue Pinakothek, and the Pinakothek der Moderne each highlight a different period in art. The Alte Pinakothek is one of the oldest art galleries in the world and houses the largest collection of Rubens. Over 800 masterpieces, spanning from the Middle Ages to the end of the Rococo period are on display. The Neue Pinakothek houses art and sculpture from the 18th and 19th centuries, including a number of French Impressionists. The Pinakothek der Moderne is the largest museum of modern art in Germany, highlighting works from the 20th century.
Many of the beer halls in Munich brew their own beer. Add a plate of local food and some oompah music and you will revel in the true Bavarian bier experience. Possibly the world’s most famous is the Hofbrauhaus. Established in 1589 as the Royal Brewery, it’s loud and filled with locals and tourists taking advantage of homebrewed beer, oompah bands, waitresses in traditional dress and hearty Bavarian food. A brewery tour is offered with samples and Bavarian snacks. Lowenbraukeller offers an elegant air with high-vaulted ceilings, oil paintings and chandeliers. It was the first beer hall in the city to offer tablecloths and napkins.
The Olympic Stadium in Olympia Park is the original site of the 1972 Olympic games. The canopies of acrylic glass were constructed to represent the Alps. With a capacity of 80,000, the stadium today hosts open-air concerts and sporting events. Three different tours are offered along with a roof climb and zip-lining experience.
Dachau Concentration Camp
The Dachau Concentration Camp was the model for all other internment camps and a “school of violence” for the SS. Over 200,000 people from across Europe were imprisoned at Dachau and other concentration camps and 41,500 were murdered. Dachau was liberated by the Americans on April 29, 1945. The memorial site was established in 1965 in accordance with the plans of survivors. A new exhibition on the history of the camp has been created. Admission is free and the memorial site is open daily, except for December 24th.