Munich: How To Fall In Love With The Capital Of BavariaRuss Bily
Bavaria, which is called the “beer land”, is considered one of the most visited by tourists. People visit Oktoberfest, Neuschwanstein Castle, and the snowy Alps much more often than other cities in Germany.
Munich, the heart of Bavaria, lies in the foothills of the Alps. It diverse and unique. There you can enjoy the views of the mountains and cozy cafes. Marienplatz and Englischer Garten, BMW Welt and Olympiapark…there you can make wonderful photos and enjoy the views of Munich from a height.
In this article, we will tell you what to do and see in Munich so that you can fall in love with this beautiful Bavarian city while saving your money.
It does not matter if you are going to spend just a day in the capital of Bavaria, or you want to explore it without hurry, we recommend starting from Marienplatz square. There you will find the following Munich highlights:
- New Town Hall is one of the most beautiful and large buildings of the city. If you want to take the best photos, we recommend climbing to the viewing platform of St. Peter’s Church, located on the opposite side. The central tower of the Town Hall is decorated with a clock at which every day at 11:00 and 12:00 (and from March to October at 5:00 pm in addition) begins a 15-minute performance, including two scenes from urban life: a knight tournament in honor of the Wilhelm V wedding 1568 and the dance of co-owners celebrating the victory over the plague in 1517.
- Old Town Hall. Since 1874 does not fulfill its function (the city council moved to the New Town Hall), most of the rooms now occupied by the Toy Museum (runs daily from 10:00 to 17:30, the children’s ticket costs € 1, the adult’s costs € 4).
- The Frauenkirche is the highest temple in Munich (100 meters), which can accommodate about 4000 people at the same time. There are several legends connected with it, the most famous of which is that the architect went to a deal with the devil: that he did not interfere with the construction, promised to build a building without windows. And indeed, from a certain angle, the window openings are hidden behind the columns. In the portico under the organ choirs one can see the imprint of the male boot on the plate – the so-called “devil’s trace”.
- Church of St. Peter. The oldest temple in Munich (construction began in the XI century). Strongly damaged during the war and was finally restored only by the year 2000. On its tower is located one of the most spectacular viewing areas of the city.
Under the square is a hub with the same name, where U3 and U6 metro lines intersect with the central branch of the city electric train. Come out to the surface and find yourself in the tourist center.
Look at the city from a height
Unlike Prague or Rome, where there are many hills, Munich is flat, which means that the viewing areas here are mostly man-made.
The best viewpoint is the tower of St. Peter’s Church, from where the New Town Hall is visible in its glory. Its height is 92 meters, at a level of 56 meters there is a circular platform, which can only be reached on foot, breaking 306 steps. Take into account that the staircase is very narrow. So for pregnant women and those who suffer from claustrophobia, it is better to refrain from lifting. The ticket costs € 3, the site is open on weekdays from 9:00 to 17:30 (winter) or 18:30 (summer), on weekends and public holidays – from 10:00 to 17:30 or 18:30, respectively.
- Tower of the New Town Hall. Height – 85 meters, you can climb only on weekdays from 10:00 to 17:00 (November to April) or 19:00 (from May to October), the ticket costs € 3.
- The statue of “Bavaria” on Meadow Theresa, where the famous “Oktoberfest” is held annually. Height – 18.5 meters, on the head of the statue is an observation deck, where you can climb the spiral staircase. You can get here from April 1 to October 15 every day from 9:00 to 18:00, the ticket price is € 3.5.
- TV Tower Olympiaturm. Height – 291 meters, at 185 meters there is a closed viewing platform and a small museum of rock and roll, at an elevation of 189 meters – an open viewing platform. There is also a revolving restaurant, which makes a full turn in 53 minutes. The tower is open for visitors daily from 9:00 to midnight, the ticket costs € 7.
Related: Travel from Prague to Munich
Communicate with art
There are three Munich’s Pinakotheks for the connoisseurs of paintings and sculptures, forming the so-called Area of Art:
- The Old Pinakothek. One of the most famous galleries in the world, where a collection of paintings from the Middle Ages to the middle of the XVIII century. In total there are about 700 exhibits, among which there are the works of Durer, Rubens (the largest collection of paintings in the world), Van Dyck, Titian, Tintoretto, Raphael, da Vinci, Velasquez and other masters. The museum operates daily except Monday from 10:00 to 18:00 (Tuesday to 20:00), the ticket costs € 4 (reduced price until 2018).
- New Pinakothek. Here are exhibited paintings and sculptures of masters of the XIX-early XX century: Goya, Renoir, Gauguin, Monet, Cezanne, van Gogh, Rodin, Picasso, and others. The museum operates daily except Tuesday from 10:00 to 18:00 (Wednesday to 20:00), the ticket costs € 7.
- The Pinakothek of the Present. Includes 4 independent museums: the Contemporary Art Collection, the New Collection (considered the first design museum in the world), the Architectural Museum of the Munich Technical University and the State Graphic Collection. The collection of contemporary art presents the works of Matisse, Picasso, Kandinsky, Warhol and other artists, and the Graphic collection contains drawings by Durer, Rembrandt, da Vinci, and Cezanne. The museum works daily except Monday from 10:00 to 18:00 (on Thursday until 20:00), the ticket costs € 10.
Visit the largest zoo in Europe
The area of the Hellabrunn Zoo is 39 hectares, there are 14500 animals of 650 species. Its territory is thematically divided into zones (“continents”), where the conditions of keeping animals are originally aimed at bringing them closer to their natural ones. At present, the geo-zoo continues to improve in this direction.
On the territory of Hellabrunn, there are about 17000 animals – representatives of more than 750 species.
It runs daily from 9:00 to 16:00 (18:00), depending on the season, the ticket costs € 15 for an adult and € 6 for a child of 4-14 years.
Walk around one of the world’s largest parks
Feel yourself a real lord in Munich is the English Garden (Englischer Garten). The area of the English Garden is more than 4 km ². It was open to the public in 1790 and has since been popular with locals as a place for recreation, walking, and sports. Here you can ride a bicycle, feed ducks and other animals, swim in the river and sunbathe (including topless), have fun in the beer garden near the Chinese Tower (it is designed for 7000 people and is the second largest in Munich), admire the the city from the hill, and watch the extremists who at any time of the year are surfing in the waters of the Eisbach brook—the deepest in the park.
Learn more about the legendary BMW brand
In the BMW Museum, on an area of about 5000 meters, exhibited 125 exhibits, telling the story of one of the most famous automobile concerns in the world. In some cars, you can sit, which invariably causes delight to guests of any age. We recommend investing about 4 hours for a visit, so as not to miss anything. If the museum seems small, you can get on an excursion to the BMW plant and see how cars are assembled (book a tour in advance).
The museum operates daily except for Monday, from 10:00 to 18:00. The ticket costs € 10.
Learn a lot of new in the German Museum
There are expositions devoted to chemistry, physics, aviation and space flights, transport … Among the exhibits: the first electric dynamometer Siemens (1866), the first automobile engine Benz (1886), submarines of the First and Second World War and even coal mine from the Ruhr Basin. Many exhibits can be touched and turned on!
The museum is open daily from 9:00 to 18:00, the ticket costs € 11.
Take a stroll to the residence of the kings of Bavaria
The Munich residence is the largest inner-city palace of the country and one of the most important art museums in Europe. It has 130 rooms, the most popular of which are the old palace chapel, porcelain room with exhibits from Europe and East Asia, a collection of miniatures, a silver chamber, living rooms of Louis I. The treasury contains the prayer book of Emperor Charles (860 years), the cross of Henry II, the crown of the Empress Kunigunda, the crown of Henry II (1270), the service of the Empress Maria-Louise of Austria, the decoration of Queen Theresa and other interesting exhibits.
Have a drink and a bite
Bavaria is a paradise for fans of wheat beer (Weissbier), as there dozens of varieties are brewed. We recommend you to have a look at the beer restaurant Weisses Bräuhaus (Tal 7), in the menu of which more than 10 Weiss species are represented.
The lovers of dark beer like Andechser Dunkel from the monastery brewery Andechs, which is served, for example, in the institution Andechser am Dom (Weinstraße 7A).
Those who do not like the taste of beer can appreciate the Radler – a sweet light drink, a mixture of beer and lemonade.
The popular format of pubs in Munich and Bavaria in general – “beer garden” (Biergarten). Long tables and wooden benches (in the summer – in the open air, in the winter – indoors), the rumble of hundreds of voices, waiters with huge circles (0.5 here is considered a “ladies” dose, most local takes just a liter), the Germans in traditional outfits… In many institutions there are high chairs for children, changing tables in the toilets and even gift sets for young visitors.
The most famous beer restaurant in Munich is Hofbräuhaus (Platzl 9). Some sources say that Hitler loved to come here, others refute it, but it’s not so important. People come here for the sake of the atmosphere: listen to Bavarian tunes, drink beer and make new acquaintances among locals or tourists.
A few more noteworthy establishments: Augustiner-Keller (Arnulfstr. 52), Löwenbräukeller (Nymphenburger Str.2), Der Pschorr (Viktualienmarkt 15) and Ratskeller in the basement of the New Town Hall (Marienplatz 8).
Worth a try:
- Munich white sausages (Münchener Würsthen);
- meatloaf (Bayerischer Leberkäse);
- liver dumplings (Leberknödel);
- A cheese snack (Obazda), which is eaten with bread or pretzel Bretzel;
- Pork roll (Schweinehaxe);
- roast pork (Schweinebraten);
- bread dumplings (Semmelknödel).
Related: Travel from Salzburg to Munich
3 ways to save in Munich
Resting in one of the most expensive cities in Germany, we found 3 ways to save money.
1. Buy Bayern ticket (Bavarian ticket). According to it, 1-5 people can simultaneously make unlimited trips on city transport in Munich and regional trains of certain types (including those following to Salzburg). The cost of the ticket depends on the number of the company: for one – € 25, for five – € 49. The children or grandchildren under 14 years old on this ticket can be carried free of charge. On weekdays it is valid from 9:00 to 03:00 the following day, on weekends and holidays – from 00:00 to 03:00 the following day. For comparison – only a one-time ticket for 1 zone in Munich costs € 2.8, and a trip from Munich to Salzburg by rail will cost from € 20. The benefit is obvious. Going without a ticket is a bad idea. Can be lucky, but the probability of meeting with the supervisors is quite high. This meeting is fraught with a loss of € 40.
2. Plan a cultural program on Sunday. On this day, the entrance to many museums in Munich (for example, all three of the Pinakothek and the Bavarian National Museum) costs only € 1 instead of the standard 7-10.
3. Go on a free city tour. Tours are conducted by Munich enthusiasts, after a walk, you can thank the guide with any amount. Place of start – Marienplatz square. You can reserve a place in the group here.
If your budget is limited, we do not recommend planning a trip to Munich for the period of the Oktoberfest. These days, housing prices are increasing at times, and finding a free place in institutions is very problematic (which means that you have to eat not where the prices suit, but where you managed to sit down). Another obvious advice – to buy food in the supermarket, it will significantly reduce the cost of food.