Munich sights

The top sights and experiences in Munich, Germany

It's a shame many come to Munich with nothing but beer on the mind as the city has some pretty stellar museums—from painting galleries stuffied with Old Masters to one of Europe's top science and technology museums—as well as some lovely royal palaces to tour.

Top 5 Munich sights & experiences

Marienplatz★★★ Marienplatz/Rathaus - The center square of Munich is this lively, cafe-lined plaza bounded by the pinnacles and tracery of the 19th-century Neo-gothic Rathaus (City Hall) with a mechanical musical joust on its bi-level glockenspiel clock... » more

Beer keller tavern in Munich★★★ Dinner at a Braühaus - If Munich is famous for anything, it's the bräuhaus, that bar/restaurant/communal meeting place of long wooden tables, bustling waitresses, plates of sausages, baskets of pretzels, and mug after liter-sized mug of frothy beer... » more

Ahnengalerie (Ancestor's Gallery) at the Residenz, Munich★★ Residenz - The official residence of Bavarian royalty is a rambling palace now open as a museum of Renaissance, baroque, and rococo excess. Best bit: the Schatzkammer (Treasure House), home to the 1,000-year old Bavarian crown jewels... » more

Leonardo da Vinci in Munich's Alte Pinakothek★★ Alte Pinakothek - Munich's "Old Painting Gallery" is filled with European masterpieces from the 14th- to 19th-centuries, including works by Dürer, van de Weyden, Rembrandt, Rubens, Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, El Greco, and Titian... » more

The world's first car at Munich's Deutschesmuseum Deutsches Museum - This is a fantastic see-and-touch science museum. Kids will love it (and the break from Europe's usual art, churches, and monuments). Adults will appreciate the scientific history, including the world's first automobile (an 1886 Benz), diesel engine, electric dynamo, and the lab bench at which Hahn and Strassmann split the atom in 1938... » more

More great Munich sights

A beer garden in Munich Lunch at a Biergarten - A biergarten is an outdoor space of picnic tables (occasionally with a few indoor tables) where you bring your own food (basic sandwiches are on hand if you forgot), the servers provide the huge mugs of beer, and you can dine under the sun and shade trees... » more

Schloss Nymphenburg, München Schloss Nymphenburg - The Wittelsbachs' countryside palace was after the nymphs frescoed in its main entrance hall. It's home to a gaggle of baroque buildings and museums, and a park to rival Versailles—more than 500 acres of grassy lawns, English-style gardens, canals, and pavilions... » more

Bayerisches national museum Bayerisches Nationalmuseum - One of this hodgepodge museum's main attractions is the impressive collection of medieval church art, including vibrant altarpieces carved by the undisputed heavyweight champion of 16th century German woodcarvers, Tilman Riemenschneider... » more

Dachau Dachau - In 1933, in a little town outside Munich, Himmler set up Germany's first concentration camp. By the war's end, 206,000 prisoners had been officially registered here, thousands more were interned without record, and more than 41,500 had died... » more

...if you have the time

Cuvillies-Theater, MunichCuvilliés Theater - This flamboyantly rococo theater was named after its builder, a former court jester who overcame 18th-century prejudices at his dwarfism, won the patronage of the Wittlesbachs, and went on to become one of southern Germany's most important architects... » more

The Neue Pinakothek of MunichNeue Pinakothek- The "New Painting Gallery" covers the late 18th to mid-20th centuries with everyone from Gainsborough, Goya, Delacroix, and Manet to Monet, Degas, Cézanne, van Gogh, and more modern masters such as Gustav Klimt, Max Beckmann, and Edvard Munch... » more

Prost!Oktoberfest - Oktoberfest is the world's ultimate keg party, a city park filled with big-top tents, each of which can seat 6,000 people plus an oompah brass band. For 16 days, tens of thousands of people do nothing but party medieval-style, roasting whole oxen on spits and drinking more than five million liters of beer... » more

The beer garden under the Chinesischer Turm pagoda in Munich's Englisher Garten parkEnglischer Garten - Munich's premier park stretches for three miles along the west bank of the Isar River, with a biergarten under the shadow of a faux 1790 Chinese pagoda, swimming holes, and even a nude sunbathing spot... » more

Tips & Links

Save on Sundays:

On Sundays, admission to many Munich museums is just €1.

How long should I spend in Munich?

With museums galore and a thriving cultural and theater life, Munich's sights are sure to keep you busy for at least two or three days.

You can do it in one, but you'll be giving the city short shrift.

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This article was by Reid Bramblett and last updated in September 2013.
All information was accurate at the time.

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Copyright © 1998–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.