Top 10 Things To Do In Munich!
When we visited Munich, we fell in love, this is an awesome city! History, culture, beautiful parks, incredible views, great food, the famous beer, and a friendly atmosphere filled with people looking to enjoy themselves. “Shall we move here?” We’ve said this in so many places around the world, most of the time with tongue in cheek, but this place we were that little bit more serious about…it’s a wonderful city and makes for a great city break destination whether it be as a couple, a family, or with mates…you will have a brilliant time here!
Discover The World Class Museums and Galleries
So many of the cool things to do in Munich are free and although not completely free, admission to most of the world class museums and galleries costs just 1 euro on a Sunday. The Kunstareal (art area) is the area around the Konigsplatz which is home to some of the best galleries. Take in modern art by Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst at Museum Brandhorst, or world famous pieces by masters such as Rembrandt, Monet, Raphael, and Van Gogh at the Alte Pinakothek and Neue Pinakothek. The Bavarian National Museum displays the history and treasures of a nation. As the headline says, two millennia of European art and culture can be discovered here inside such a grand impressive building found on Prinzregentenstrasse.
Wander Through The English Garden
During our visit to Munich the temperature was touching 30C and it felt like half of Bavaria had headed here to one of the worlds biggest urban parks (covering 3.7 sq km). People were cooling off in the river, even bobbing along in the mechanically propelled man made streams, the atmsophere was lovely. Places to eat and biergartens are scattered throughout, we took in one at a table by the 25 metre tall Chinese Tower where a band played traditional songs from one of the levels in full lederhosen! It was a lot of fun with some great places to get food as well. There is so much to do and see here it is incredible, wander under the shade of the tree lined paths, enjoy an ice cream on a bridge over one of the streams watching the man made waves and mini waterfalls, as well as…
Surf The Eisbach Wave!
On the southern edge of The English Garden surfers take on the artificial wave of the fast flowing Eisbach just after it thunders through a small bridge there. This takes some skill to take on and is not really for beginners but people crowd round to watch what really is a unique spectacle and has become something really famous in Munich.
Enjoy a Beer (or more) at Hofbrauhaus
There are loads of great beer halls in Munich but the Hofbrauhaus is the original, most famous, and for me the best! Originally founded in 1589 a few paces from the current beer hall the Hofbrauhaus is a real part of the history of Munich and Bavaria. Full of tradition and culture, there is still and area of seating reserved for regulars where they can also store their steins. This is the beer hall experience you have heard of in Germany, and although it is the place that the tourists head to, it is still great fun. Grab spare seats at a table made for sharing and enjoy the sounds of the traditional brass band, the traditional food, and the traditional beer. This place is a must when in Munich!
BMW – The Home Of The Bavarian Motor Works
Okay so it may not be as romantic as visiting the home of Ferrari in Italy, but it is still as much a part of the fabric of German culture as Ferrari is to Italian culture. There is a museum here shows the history of the company and then there is a chance to see the current range of vehicles and concept cars on show. BMW is famous the world over and this place is a petrol heads dream, the futuristic building is amazing too.
Beautiful Churches and Cathedrals
There are many beautiful and important churches and cathedrals in the city. The beautifully decorated Asamkirche, St Peterskirche where you can climb the tower for great views over the city. The grand interior of St Michaels Church, Frauenkirche with its twin towers which has become a symbol of the city and the bright yellow baroque Theatine Church on the historic Odeonplatz. The architecture of each of these buildings is amazing and unique.
Odeonplatz is a place of historical significance as well as a place surrounded by the interesting buildings of the Theatine Church, the Feldhernhalle monument and the Munich Residenz. It was here in November 1923 that Adolf Hitler attempted a coup which in the end failed. On the morning of the 9th November realising that the coup attempt had stalled Hitler marched with 2000 Nazis into Odeonplatz on their way to seize the Bavarian Defence Ministry. By the Feldhernhalle they were blocked by some 130 soldiers lead by a senior police lieutenant, a brief gunfight ensued where 4 police officers and 16 Nazis were killed. The attempted coup known as the Beer Hall Putsch ended there and Hitler was arrested 2 days later for treason. However this incident pushed Hitler into the public limelight, he was convicted of treason and sentenced to 5 years in prison, he served 9 months and in this time he started Mein Kampf the book outlining why he was antisemitic and his future plans for Germany. When he came to power he made this site into a memorial site for those Nazis who were killed, built a monument to them which people were required to give the Nazi salute to when passing, which has now been destroyed, and held a number of events. There are two lions standing here now, one with its mouth open and the other with it’s mouth closed symbolising that you can speak out against the countries rulers but not against the church.
This is probably my favourite part of Munich, it feels to me like its beating heart, a really lively place which all at once is a meeting place, a tourist hot spot, a great place to find food and drink, surrounded my beautiful historic buildings, in the heart of the shopping centre.
Marienplatz is named after a column which was erected in the centre of the square in 1638 to mark the end of Swedish occupation. On top of the column is a golden statue of Mary from 1590 which was originally located in the Frauenkirche. The square is overlooked by the impressive New Town Hall on its northern side, on its eastern side is the Old Town Hall shown in the photograph above rebuilt after damage from bombing during the second world war.
Walk past the old town hall or through its archway under the clock tower and you will find the statue of Juliet with her right boob exposed… she has been groped so many times that her boob has actually become shiny! The excuse is that apparently it brings good luck!
Marienplatz has been the city’s main square since the 12th century and plays host to numerous events throughout the year including the Christmas market, I imagine that it would be really beautiful around Christmas time.
The Germans really are passionate about the game and I know there is that whole England V Germany rivalry especially with the national teams but to experience the atmosphere in one of the major German football stadiums really is something to behold. Being an Arsenal fan makes this even harder to write. The Allianz Arena is the new 75,000 capacity home of Bayern Munich who are undoubtedly one of the very best teams in world football currently. Despite the 75,000 capacity tickets to home games here can still be pretty tough, and expensive to come by, but plan early enough and you may be able to strike it lucky. During the night the entire stadium is lit up, a really impressive sight. Bayern Munich also hold several public training sessions which are free to watch and give you a behind the scenes look at how one of the worlds elite teams prepares for competition. Check out their website for the schedule, the sessions take place a couple of miles south of the city at the teams training ground on Sabener Strasse 10 minutes from Mangfallsplatz U-Bahn station.
The New Town Hall
The Neues Rathaus built between 1867 and 1874 is for me the most impressive building in Munich. The 100 metre long intricately decorated facade dominates Marienplatz showing almost the entire line of the Bavarian Royal Family (House Wittelsbach). You can take a lift to the top of the 85 metre clock tower which in my opinion gives you the best views over the city. The first photograph of Marienplatz and the photograph at the top of the page were both taken from the top of the tower. This was a real highlight. In 1874 the Ratskeller Restaurant opened underneath the town hall, it’s painted vaulted ceiling make dining here a lovely unique experience. Walk under the archway of the clock tower and you enter a large courtyard with outdoor seating where you can also enjoy a snack, we loved having a coffee and some cake here under the bright blue sky.
Munich…We LOVE You!
If looking for a city break destination in Europe Munich really should be near the top of your list of places to consider. During our summer visit we were able to make the most of the parks and outdoors and it was really warm and sunny. Obviously in October you have the world famous Oktoberfest beer festival…definitely on my bucket list. Then around Christmas with all of the decorations and the traditional Christmas markets any time of year is a great time to visit this amazing city.
Thanks for reading!