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Expert Tips

 

Beer halls, palaces, churches, and museums are just a taste of Bavaria.



There are weeks worth of museums, palaces, beer halls, memorials, and activities to see and do in the modern yet historic city of Munich.  Most visitors, however, do not have weeks in Munich, they have days, and so narrowing the list to only the most important, thought provoking, interesting, and exciting of the bunch is crucial for the average tourist.  Here you will find the top attractions, but also tips narrowing down even further what you are there to see and do so that no time is wasted.  Anything on this list is well worth your time and you can be assured that these will please even the most well traveled visitor.  From the opulence of the Residenz to the harsh reality of Germany's dark past in Dachau, Munich is everything you dream a German city should be and more.  This is certainly not a complete list, but is a starting point that will be rank good to excellent depending on your personal preferences and each of these represents an entire list of its own of similar places and things to see in the Munich area. 

Entrance fees are usually quite small in Munich. State owned museums are only one euro on Sunday.


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Nymphenburg palace is Germany's largest baroque palace. Built between 1664 and 1675, Nymphenburg is Munich's summer palace and includes a massive main building, a carriage house, porcelain factory, and several out buildings located throughout its sprawling gardens. The gardens, in the warmer months of the year, are worth a visit by themselves and are what people are usually expecting when they visit the dreary English Garden. There is a separate entrance fee for each part of the palace or you can buy one of a series of combination tickets. There is also the possibility to buy a 14 day ticket which includes all palaces and castles owned by the state of Bavaria which can easily save you money.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Nymphenburg is Germany's largest baroque palace and fully intact after the city was bombed in world war two.

Mike's expert tip: Make sure to see the carriage house and the many buildings throughout the gardens.

Read more about Schloss und Park Nymphenburg →


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Isarvorstadt

This is the largest technological and scientific museum in Europe and offers a range of exhibits detailing the development of the sciences and technology. The impressive building sits on a small island on the Isar river. Since the museum is so large, it is recommended to come early and stay until it closes. The main museum location houses a little of everything and more than enough for most people. Although there is an emphasis on teaching children about the sciences, there are exhibits made for mainly adults as well. Everything in the museum has been translated into English so that visitors from around the world can enjoy.

Read more about Deutsches Museum →




One of the first natural zoological parks in the world, this animal sanctuary houses more than 5000 animals and 460 species. There is also a popular children's zoo, which showcases a wide range of animals from around the world. Daily feeding shows are held throughout the year offering kids of all ages the ability not to just admire the beauty of the animals, but learn about what they eat as well as how the zoo cares for the animals. The zoo is located on the South side of the city and is easily accessible by the city's subway on the U3.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Munich's zoo has all the animal favorites in enclosures that are more animal friendly than most.

Mike's expert tip: Have a look at their back breeding program recreating the formerly extinct Tarpan.

Read more about Tierpark Hellabrunn →


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Schwabing


This interesting automotive museum offers visitors a look at the international car maker through displays that mark the history of the company in relation to the development of the modern automobile. Exhibits, videos, slide collections, and films are highlights of the tour. The museum was completely torn down, built anew, and re-opened to critical acclaim in 2008. The museum shows every car, motorcycle, and engine the company has ever publicly produced along with many prototypes and the stories behind them. The museum takes the average visitor a few hours to visit and can easily be combined with a visit to the neighboring BMW World and factory tours.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Covering the history of the BMW brand, the museum has an example of everything they have ever made.

Mike's expert tip: Check the museum's website for special events as a couple times a year they have white glove nights where you can get in the cars for a closer look!

Read more about BMW Museum →


Munich's most impressive art museum as far as masterpieces per square meter is without a doubt the Alte Pinakothek. Established in 1836 by King Ludwig I and designed by Leo von Kenze, its original intent was to allow the public to see the royal collection of paintings from many of the most world renowned artists. The collection started in the 16th century and includes art that was collected up until the museum was founded. Major artists represented include Albrecht Durer, Hieronymus Bosch, Hans Holbein, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Tintoretto, Titian, Tiepolo, El Greco, Peter Paul Rubens, and Rembrandt van Rijn.

Read more about Alte Pinakothek →




This beautiful Gothic cathedral was once simply a massive parish church. Built in the fifteenth century, it was not until the nineteenth century that it became a cathedral. It is one of the two best known symbols of the city. Within the cathedral is a dark story of its construction and a deal with the devil. It is said that the extremely quick building time of the church (twenty years) was because of this deal and the story ends with the devil's footprint just a few meters inside the front door. The full story can be found next to the footprint for those who are curious.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: One of the two symbols of the city, it's hard to say you've been to Munich without a visit to its cathedral.

Mike's expert tip: Other than the devil's foot print a few meters inside the front door, check out the cenotaph of Ludwig IV the Bavarian. He's buried under the main altar.

Read more about Frauenkirche →


KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau


This small village on the outskirts of the city was once a quaint artists' community before it housed the infamous concentration camp of the same name. Tours of the facility show the cruel treatment and elimination of Hitler's political enemies, Jews, and non-Germans. Photographs from the period paint an especially poignant picture. The camp is a short train ride from the city on the S-bahn. Tours can be done by audio guide or with a specially trained guide. Tour companies from Munich arrange for memorial authorized guides or there are also once a day tours starting from the memorial itself.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Dachau was the first concentration camp in Germany's history and the model for all the others. It operated until the very end.

Mike's expert tip: Tours starting at the main train station make this trip a lot easier and include an official guide of the memorial.

Read more about KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau →


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Schwabing


Olympic Park was the site of the 1972 Summer Olympic Games held in Munich. Although the Olympics were ultimately overshadowed by the massacre of the Israeli athletes, the games is also known for American Mark Spitz winning 7 gold medals, a record number which held until 2008. Walk through the lovely park, visit the modern and mesmerizing stadium and see great views from the Olympic Tower. The tower now holds a small rock music museum as well as a top restaurant, Restaurant 181, which is headed by a Michelin star chef. The sculpted park can be visited year round as is directly adjacent to BMW.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: The 1972 summer Olympics created one of the most beautiful park areas of the region. The Olympic tower offers a great view of it.

Mike's expert tip: Restaurant 181 is located at the top of the tower and has a Michelin star chef at its helm. The restaurant rotates for awesome views while you eat.

Read more about Olympic Park →




The oldest church in Munich and dating from the late 12th century, this Baroque masterpiece offers sweeping views of the city and the popular Marienplatz below. There is no elevator, but on clear days the climb to the top of the steeple pays off with views as far as the Alps. It's also a beautiful example of medieval religious architecture and parallels the growth and development of the city. A detailed description of the evolution of the church can be seen on the inside of the church doors. There is no better place to watch the famous glockenspiel than from St. Peter's tower as it is directly across the square.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: As the oldest building in the city, Old St. Peter is one of the most important.

Mike's expert tip: The best view of the city is from the tower, the entrance is on the opposite side of the tower from Marienplatz.

Read more about Peterskirche →


This grand, 112-room palatial structure on the Max-Joseph Platz features historic pieces from the age of the Wittelsbach, the first ruling family of the region. A tour of the gallery of the ancestors is available, and it outlines the rich history of this large, ruling family beginning around 700 AD. A second tour focuses on the antiquarian displays, which feature a large number of books and sculptures. Also, view the porcelain collection, the majestic courtyard, and the Rococo staterooms. The audio guide is included in the price of entry. The treasury has the same entrance and is an additional fee.

Read more about Residenzmuseum →


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Meet Mike Richardson

Mike Richardson, originally from Albert Lea Minnesota, moved to Munich for love. What he hadn’t expected was that over the next several years he would constantly live and breathe Bavarian...  More About Mike

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