Other Top Sights Around Munich:
After you are done checking out the core of Old Town Munich, consider adding a few of the following stops onto your itinerary. Some of them can be added right to the Walking Tour itself and other you may have to hop on the local subway train.
Prioritizing Your Time:
Most of the attractions on this list are awesome, but it is important to prioritize your time in Munich. Make sure to visit the main sights like the Hofbrau House, Old Town Walking Tour, Residenz Palace, and the English Garden before tackling this list. As long as you have 3-4 days you can see everything plus fit in a day trip or two. Please consult our Suggested Itineraries For Munich for more tips.
1. Nymphenburg Palace: The huge Nymphenburg Palace on Munich’s West side was built by Bavaria’s Royal Wittelsbach family as their country home in 1664. While Munich has grown a lot since then, when the estate was built it was actually considered very rural. The biggest expansions in 1700 under Prince Max Emanuel helped turn the manor into a huge estate. He added large wings of mural filled salon rooms to each side of original square Italian villa and added a French formal garden. Several royal pavilions were also added around the grounds. Among these pavilions were the beautiful Hall of Mirrors and the very fancy Royal Hunting Lodge (Amalienburg) designed in Rococo-style in 1734. If you look closely along the floor of the lodge you will see cubicles made for the hunting dogs to sleep in.
The central part of the home was turned into the Grand Hall in the mid-1700s with over the top decorations. These decorations included hidden musical instruments as the space was used for concerts. The ceiling of the main hall was done by the famous baroque artist Johann Zimmermann as the 76 year old spent 10 months painting on his back. While the Grand Hall in the main building is amazing, our favorite place overall at the Palace is the Carriage House (Marstallmuseum). The Carriage House sits at the far end of the property and holds a large collection of gilded royal stage coaches, carriages, and sleighs. The second level of the Carriage House is a truly unique Porcelain Museum highlighting dishes made over 300 years in the family’s porcelain plant.
Getting Here: The easiest way is to take Tram #17 which connects the Palace, the Main Train Station, Karlplatz,and even the English Garden. Tram #12 is also very handy to get to the Palace. Hours: Open Daily, April-October 15th 9am-6pm, October 16th-March 10am-5pm. Cost: Palace only 6 euros, Carriage and Porcelain Museum only 4.50 euros, All Palace Grounds Combo Ticket is 11.50 euros in Summer & 8.50 euro in Winter, All of the Palace is also covered by the Castles Pass. 360 Degree Panoramas: (From Fountain | Up Close). Hot Tip: If you plan on seeing other palaces and castles during your trip to Bavaria, we suggest getting the Bavarian Castles Pass which gets you into almost all Castles and Palaces for 14 days from your first use. This pass is 45 euros for one person or 65 euros for 2 adults and your kids under 18 years old.
2. Augustiner Keller Beer Garden: The famous Hofbrau Haus and popular Chinese Tower Beer Garden are both amazing, but the Augustiner Keller is the best hidden gem out of Munich’s beer gardens. We find it weird that most tourists look the Augustiner Keller even though it has been open since 1812 and is located right next to the main train station. With seating for 5000 guests the beautiful beer garden is shaded by over 100 large Chestnut Trees which really adds to the atmosphere.
Maybe the coolest thing is that Ausustiner is a self-service beer garden which is very different for foreign visitors. Whenever you hear the bartender ring the bell, you’ll know that a new barrel has been opened and it’s time to fill up. Like other self-service beer gardens you are able to bring in your own snacks in addition t having the option of ordering fresh food there. There are also some regular tables with a waitress if you prefer to have someone else serve you. If you can try to get a seat on one of the 3 elevated terraces to a unique view over the beer garden. Beer Garden Hours: 11:30am-Midnight. Restaurant Hours: 10am-1am. Indoor Bar Hours: 4pm-1am.
3. BMW World, Museum, & Factory (BMW-Welt): Car lovers will love a stop at BMW’s World Headquarters, Museum, and Factory. The museum itself could turn into an all day visit for the hard core car enthusiast. BMW not only has its current line up on display, but also has a number of large collection ranging from classic, to sport, art, and even concept cars. You can go into the main building without a ticket but any tours are best booked ahead and they can fill fast. Even if you’re not that into cars, BMW is a must if you are planning on stopping at Olympic Park anyway.
Getting Here: Take the U3 Metro line right to the front door Hours: Daily 9am-Midnight, Museum Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm Cost: Building Free, Museum 8 euros Welk Tours: Daily at 2pm, last 90 minutes, costs 7 euros Museum Tours: Call for current times, lasts 90 minutes, costs 3 euros BMW Factory Tours: Tours book fasts but unused tickets opened to the public 90 minutes before each tour, you can book online HERE, lasts 150 minutes, costs 8 euros.
4. Olympic Park (Olympiapark): Originally built when Munich hosted the 1972 Olympics, Olympic Park is a great combo stop with the neighboring BMW World. The main attractions are the park’s giant Bird’s Nest Soccer Stadium built when Munich hosted the 2006 World Cup and the 820 foot-tall Olympic Tower (Olympiaturm). The view from the Tower is pretty cool because you are up so high, but it is not as enjoyable as climbing any of the main church towers in the historic City Center. If the weather it good, however, you can see as far as the Alps from the top of Olympic Tower. Photographers love the Park at night when the exterior of the Soccer Stadium glows in a cycle of bright changing colors. Getting Here: Take the U3 Metro line right to the Park Hours: Daily All Day, Tower open 9am-midnight Cost: Park Free, Tower is 4.50 euros. Roof Walk Guided Tour: For 41 Euros you can walk on top of the bird’s nest roof of the stadium, more info. 360 Degree Panoramas: (Tower | Stadium View)
5. Sea Life Aquarium: Sea Life you can be enthralled in the Underwater world with more than 10,000 animals in 700,000 liters of fresh and salt water. While their under water walkways are amazing, we like the 400,000 liter tropical Ocean tank the most. In addition to brightly colored fish, this tank also has Black Tip Reef Shark, Nurse Sharks and a Sea Turtle. The kids will like the Rock Pool where they can touch Starfish and Crabs.
6. Schleißheim Old & New Palace (Schlossanlage Schleißheim): Duke Wilhelm V of Bavaria was a very religious man who cared more about Catholicism than we did about being a leader. In 1597 he bought the old Schleißheim farm as a retreat and quickly built a manor, small hermitages and forest chapels on the property. He lived a peaceful life here as his son Duke Maximilian rose from Duke to Holy Roman Emperor Elect. By 1616 the rich Maximilian bought his father’s estate and started replacing the manor with a residential palace known now as Schleißheim Old Palace. When Elector Max Emanuel later took the property over in 1680 he ambitiously expanded it by added his own residence called Schleißheim New Palace. The beautiful new palace with painted ceilings also doubled as a casino and is still a great example of a country palace. Getting Here: Take the S1 Train line right to the Park which is also one of the 2 lines that goes to the Airport. Hours: April-September Tuesday-Sunday 9am-6pm, October-March Tuesday-Sunday 10am-4pm. Cost: 8€ for the Combo Ticket for all the Palaces.
7. Blutenburg Palace: Duke Albrecht III had wanted a rural hunting lodge away from Munich so he built Blutenburg Palace on the River Würm in the 1430s. The location was perfect and he was able to built right over a moated castle from the 1200s that had burned down. The Palace might not be as huge or grand as other Medieval works, but we find it to be pretty impressive for a small hunting lodge. We really like the turrented wall and how Albrecht made use of the original castle moat.
8. Allianz Arena: The 70,000 person soccer stadium known locally as the The UFO is one of the most unique in the World. The coolest feature is the plastic skin-like exterior that it able not only to be lit up, but can actually change between a wide range of colors. Since the stadium opened in 2005 it was been the home to the profession team FC Bayern Munich who used to play in the Olympic Stadium. Visiting Hours: Daily 10am-6pm. Guided Tours: Guided tours in English are available Daily at 1pm except for days when there are home games or other large events.
9. Flight Museum: Located at the Oberschleissheim Airfield, the Flight museum is housed in an huge hangar originally built 1912. After being converted into a museum in 1990, the hangar gained a number of historic aircraft to start their displays. One of the biggest functions of the museum is aircraft restoration and they often have hands on workshops with real projects they are working on. If you like aerospace, this is a good stop. Hours: Daily 9am-5pm. Cost: 6€.
Sights We’re Currently Adding To This List:
21. Pinakothek Museums: The powerful Wittelsbach Royal Family ruled Bavaria from the 1100s through 1918 and during their reign also produced 2 Holy Roman Emperors, a German King, a King of Greece, King of Rome, and Kings of Scandinavia. As you can imagine with such vast influence the Wittelsbachs accumulated a trove of wealth and art. In the early 1800s King Ludwig I had a huge art complex built to hold the Royal family’s vast painting collection. When the Pinakothek building opened in 1836 it became the largest museum in the World. One of the huge galleries was built just to house Rubens’s “Last Judgment” from 1617 which was one of the largest canvasses ever painted.
Known today as the Alte Pinakothek, the Wittelsbach’s first major museum build now focuses on the Old Master painters. Two other World-class museums were later added to the Pinakothek including the Neue Pinakothek in 1981 which covers the painters of the 1800s and the Pinakothek Moderne which covers modern art from the early 1900 as well as post-1960 contemporary art. Alte Hours: Daily 10am-6pm; open until 8pm on Tuesdays. Neue Hours: Daily 10am-6pm; open until 8pm on Wednesdays. Moderne Hours: Daily 10am-6pm; open until 8pm on Thursdays. Museum Cost: Each museum is from 5-10€ each; they have a great combo ticket for 12€ which also includes all 3 Pinakothek Museums during the same day plus the Sammlung Gallery.
22. Königsplatz Square Museums: The large Königsplatz Square was originally laid out in the early 1800s by Kind Ludwig I to be a Roman Forum-like complex. Building started in 1816 with the large Glyptothek Museum done in the Ionic style to house the Wittelsbach Royal Family’s Greek and Roman sculptures. Building went really slow as the Glyptothek Museum didn’t open until 1930, just 6 years before Ludwig’s painting museum opened at Pinakothek. The 2nd major building in the Square, called the Propylaea Gate, was also supposed to start being built in 1816 but just couldn’t get off the ground. Finally in 1848 King Ludwig I paid for the gate out of his own pocket in honor of his son Otto who was the King of Greece. The gate, modeled after the entrance to the ancient Athenian Acropolis, was built in the Doric style and took 14 years to slowly build. At the same time as the Propylaea Gate, the Corinthian style columns of the State Museum of Antiques was started to house the royal family’s antiques. In 1887 a huge mansion was built on the West side of the square by Franz von Lenbach which was later turned into the Städtische Galerieafter his death. Even if you don’t go inside, check out the amazing garden courtyard from the road.
While the full Roman Forum vision the King Ludwig had was never realized, the buildings and museums around Königsplatz Square are still impressive. The Square gained even more historical context when the Nazi Party made their headquarters, called the Brown House, right next to it in the 1930s. In 1935 they even added 2 large Greek Temples to enshrine the remains of 16 members killed in a beer hall raid. In the height of the Third Reich, mass rallies were commonly held in the square. After WW2 the rallies platforms and Nazi-made Greek temples were all tore down. Museum Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm; Glyptohek open until 8pm on Thursdays; Antiques open until 8pm on Wednesdays.