Do you only have 24 hours in Munich? Have you been confronted with over a hundred things to see and do, and you’re not sure where to even begin? Or maybe you’re planning on spending a handful of days in Bavaria’s capital, and you want to make sure that you don’t miss the good stuff?
Regardless of the duration or purpose of your visit, if you enjoy a good view and a good brew, I’m going to tell you about 4 sites and attractions in Munich you don’t want to miss.
St Peter’s Church and Tower
St Peter’s Church, locally referred to as Old Peter (Alter Peter), is in Munich’s Old Town. The church is around 1,000 years old and has undergone many transformations during the past millennium. In addition to having a remarkable interior (it’s an amalgamation of artistic styles), the church also has a tower that visitors can climb up in order to access an observation deck.
Inside St. Peter’s Church
Going up the tower to the observation deck costs only 3 Euros. From the top, you can experience the perfect bird’s-eye view of Munich’s Old Town. On one side of the tower, you can even catch a glimpse of the Alps (mostly on clear days).
View of Old Town Munich from St. Peter’s Church Tower
Can you see the Alps along the horizon?
If you’ve read a few of my other posts, such as the ones about Warsaw, Turin, Venice or even Sarajevo, you’ll know how much I love panoramic views. I definitely could not skip a trip up the tower. If you want to catch one of the best views of Munich, you shouldn’t either.
For information regarding the tower’s opening and closing times, you can visit Munich’s city information website by clicking here.
Please note that in order to reach the observation deck, you must climb nearly 300 steps. Climbing up may take a little bit longer than expected, especially if you let visitors heading down pass you on the narrow stairs. However, the view at the top is definitely worth the effort.
Marienplatz and Surrounding Old Town Streets
Marienplatz is a large square in the heart of Munich’s historic Old Town. Often, it’s where the party is at because the city holds many of its festivities there. During my visit at the end of February, the city was celebrating Fasching (Carnival in Southern Germany), so of course, hundreds of wildly costumed, alcohol-consuming people gathered in Marienplatz to celebrate the occasion. Other notable events that will take place in or around Marienplatz this year, 2017, include the City Foundation Festival in June and the annual Christmas Market in December.
Some costumed Fasching partygoers
Around this downtown city square, you can also see and admire the old and new town halls. However, appearances are deceiving. The medieval-looking town hall found on the northeastern side of the square is hundreds of years newer than the old town hall found on the eastern side of the square. In fact, the new town hall, Neues Rathaus, was only built in the late 19th century.
View of Marienplatz and the New Town Hall from St. Peter’s Church Tower during Fasching
If you happen to be in Marienplatz at 11:00 am (or 12:00 pm and 5:00 pm in the summer), you can enjoy the Rathaus-Glockenspiel’s show. The figures on the New City Hall’s tower come to life and reenact events from the city’s history.
On the western side of Marienplatz, you can access Munich’s pedestrian shopping street, Kaufingerstrasse. Moreover, if you continue down any street from Marienplatz, you can keep exploring the city’s lovely old town.
Munich Old Town Street Corner
Munich Old Town
The Munich Residence
I’m sure you’ve heard of Versailles, but have you heard of the Munich Residence?
The Munich Residence was where Bavarian kings, dukes, and other individuals in power lived and ruled between 1508 and 1918. In my opinion, the elegance and brilliance of the Residence is comparable to that of Versailles. If you don’t believe me, scroll straight down to the photos.
You can spend a whole day exploring the Residence buildings and grounds. In addition to the Residence Museum, you can walk around the Cuvilliés Theatre, treasury, courtyards and other halls depending on the ticket you buy. I purchased the Residence Museum ticket and was able to entre the main rooms, halls and living quarters of past rulers. It took me nearly two hours to explore it all, so I highly recommend visiting the Munich Residence at least two hours before closing (and that’s if your not planning on exploring any other part than the Residence Museum).
The Ancestral Gallery and Porcelain Cabinet
A bright corridor
The Green Gallery
A significant portion of the Munich Residence was destroyed during the Second World War and has slowly been rebuilt and restored. The Green Gallery was one of the affected rooms.
Hofbräuhaus am Platzl
I’ve spent a lot of time writing about good views, so now it’s time to write about good brews. It’s common knowledge that Germans love their beer (does Oktoberfest ring a bell?). In fact, Germans have loved their beer for quite some time.
The Hofbräuhaus am Platzl is a traditional German beer hall in Munich’s Old town. It’s actually one of Munich’s oldest beer halls. It’s been in business for just under 500 years and open to the public for nearly 200 years. In addition to indulging on beers brewed from the Hofbräu München Brewery’s 16th century recipes, you can feast on some Bavarian food. Be warned that most beers are only available in 1 litre portions (so food was a necessity for 5’2” me).
I didn’t want my DSLR to be in such close proximity to hundreds of litres of beer. iPhone photos will have to do.
The main beer hall in the Hofbräuhaus. Similar to the Munich Residence, only a small part of the beer hall escaped destruction during WWII.
I have a soft spot for the Hofbräu Münchner Weisse.
I visited Munich at the end of February. The city greeted me with mild winter weather (a pleasant contrast to my daily Scandinavian winter reality). I busted out the sunglasses and decided to conquer the downtown area on foot. All the sites and attractions listed above are located within Munich’s Old Town, so they are all within walking distance of one another.
To make your travel planning even easier, here’s map marking all 4 sites and attractions:
Are there other sites or attractions in Munich that should not be missed? Comment and share them below!