Munich is one of the European cities that offer two experiences at the same time with its well-preserved historic Bavarian structures and its modern German metropolitan culture.
What makes the city so unique is this culture combination, and it is mostly the result of Germany’s successful postwar reconstruction.
During the postwar reconstruction, Munich had been one of the German cities that preserved its old plan including the street layout and the historic structures.
Below are the top highlights from my visit to this beautiful city.
Glockenspiel in Marienplatz
Neues Rathaus’ or the New Town Hall’s contruction was completed in 1908. This makes the building relatively young, compared to Marienplatz itself, since the square is considered as the city center of Munich since 1100s.
Rathaus — Glockenspiel is a 15-minute show performed by figures and bells. The show recounts a wedding, a tournament, and a dance ritual. The performance takes place at 11 AM, at noon, and at 5 PM. The last one is not performed between October and March.
Alongside Marienplatz are Kaufingerstrasse and Neuhauser Strasse, the pedestrian streets which connect Marienplatz to Karlsplatz (or Stachus, as the locals call it).
In Munich, there are so many options for eating traditional German food and drinking beer that visitors can easily be overwhelmed.
Zum Dürnbräu on Dürnbräugasse (or Dürnbräu Road) is four blocks away from Marienplatz. The restaurant is a great alternative for lunch, as it is not overcrowded like the large traditional restaurants close to Karlsplatz and it offers authentic German dishes with delicious beer from the in-house brewery. Original Nürnberger Rostbratwurst is my favourite on the menu.
Nymphenburg Palace (Schloss Nymphenburg)
The palace was completed in 1675, and it had been the summer residence of the rulers of Bavaria. The palace building that comprises Central, Southern, and Northern Pavilions, and the 490-acre park constitute the palace complex.
Although Frauenkirche was constructed in late Gothic style during late 15thcentury, it has a plain design in terms of both architecture and interiors. The cathedral is one of the largest churches in Bavarian region, and it still serves as the cathedral of Munich. Like many other structures in the city, Frauenkirche was damaged during World War II bombings, and had been restored afterwards.
Beer, Beer, and More Beer
Regardless of the duration of your trip, you shouldn’t leave Munich without drinking beer in a beer garden. Since my visit to Munich coincided with Euro 2016 quarter-final and semi-final, the beer gardens were particularly crowded but the atmosphere was even better.
I don’t like breaking the bad news but it is almost impossible to complete a whole tour in Deutsches Museum in just one day. If you are planning to see more than 4 sections, you should reserve at least 6 or 7 hours for your museum visit.
The High-voltage Demonstration is one of the most popular events in the museum. The demonstration does not require any reservations in advance but it is performed at certain times of the day, and it lasts about 20 minutes. Its schedule can be checked on the museum website.
Generals’ Hall (Feldherrnhalle) is a monumental hall in Odeonsplatz. It was commissioned by King Ludwig I to honor the Bavarian army, and it was completed in 1844. The square and the hall also became the scene of a failed coup attempt by Hitler and his supporters (the Beer Hall Putsch) on 9 November 1923.
Die Alte & Neue Pinakothek
Bavarian State Painting Collections are on show in Alte Pinakothek and Neue Pinakothek. Both museums are next to the campus of Technical University of Munich on Theresienstrasse.
Alte Pinakothek hosts more than 700 European artworks that mostly belong to Renaissance and the Baroque. Among the selections is world’s largest Rubens collection. The museum building, which was designed by Leo von Klenze, exemplifies neoclassical architecture of 19th century.
Neue Pinakothek was founded by King Ludwig I of Bavaria as the first public museum that is exclusively dedicated to contemporary art in Europe. In Neue Pinakothek, you can see works from neoclassicist and romantic periods as well as impressionism, and the works of the pioneers of modern art including Vincent van Gogh’s Vase with Twelve Sunflowers or Sonnenblumen, Francisco Goya’s portrait of Don José Queraltó, and Gustav Klimt’s portrait of Margaret Stonborough-Wittgenstein, just to name a few.