Munich Guides

Great activities for those who love art

There is always something to discover in Munich, regardless of whether you’re staying for 4 or 24 hours, for a long weekend or even an entire week. Some suggestions for those who love art!

Stopover: 4 hours

 

For anyone who is pressed for time, the best way to get to know the Münchner Altstadt (old city of Munich) is on a guided tour which takes about 90 minutes. Your official guide will show you the following sights, amongst others:

- Marienplatz
- Frauenkirche
- Odeonsplatz
- Viktualienmarkt 
- Residenz palace

Afterwards you can enjoy the unique atmosphere of the Bavarian state capital by visiting a beer garden or a café at the Viktualienmarkt or at the Hofgarten.

Anyone wishing to spend more time exploring art in Munich should book the “Kunststadt München” (Munich City of Art) tour (lasting about 2 hours). An official guide will show you both the Alte and the Neue Pinakothek together with the Pinakothek der Moderne in the Kunstareal (Does not include visit to gallery interiors). At the end there will still be time for you to make a personal visit the places which interest you the most.

Short trip: 1 day

 

In the morning you will visit the Kunstareal and one the three Pinakotheks or art galleries:

The Alte Pinakothek, designed by Leo von Klenze in the classical style, represents ground-breaking building in the history of European museum architecture and dates from the year 1836. This museum contains a collection of landmarks in the history of European painting from the Middle Ages, through the Renaissance and up to the Baroque period.

The Neue Pinakothek contains paintings and sculptures from the 19th Century: From Classicism to the Jugendstil, the German name for the Art nouveau movement. Paintings from the German Romantic period and the works of the French Impressionists form some of the highlights of the collection.

The Pinakothek der Moderne houses a collection of modern art – Design museum, Modern art collection, the Architecture Museum and the graphic art collection.

The area around the art galleries in the Maxvorstadt (the university and galleries district) contains many restaurants and cafés where you can enjoy a light meal or snack. The roof terrace at the café in the Vorhoelzer Forum at the technical University is the ideal place to get a rooftop view of Munich.

In the afternoon you will travel to the Schloss Nymphenburg. The palace complex with its majestic park is one of the largest Baroque buildings in Europe. Around the main palace there are several other attractions which are well worth a visit, such as:

- park palaces Amalienburg, Pagodenburg and Badenburg
- Marstallmuseum
- Nymphenburg Porcelain Manufactory
- Botanical Garden

Tip: When the weather is fine, a trip in an authentic Venetian gondola along the Palace Canal is an unforgettable experience!

 

Weekend: 2 days

 

From the main railway station you take the No. 100 bus (the “Museum Line”). You get off a short distance away at the Königsplatz square to visit the Lenbachhaus. This houses the largest collection of paintings by the members of the “Blauer Reiter” group of artists in the world. The Königsplatz is also home to a little piece of classical antiquity, right in the heart of Munich. The Glyptothek museum of Greek and Roman sculpture which also houses the State collection of antiquities. This museum is a delight for lovers of the art of antiquity.

Very close by is the Löwenbräukeller with beer garden - the ideal place to enjoy a traditional Bavarian light meal!

After a lunch you can take the 15 minute-walk to the NS-Dokumentationszentrum (Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism) and the Staatliche Museum Ägyptischer Kunst (State Museum of Egyptian Art).

Alternatively you can travel further on the Museum Line bus to the Haus der Kunst (House of Art) at the Englischer Garten, an international exhibition hall for contemporary art.

Afterwards we recommend a walk in the Englischer Garten (English Garden) where you can watch the Eisbach surfers. In the evening, attending a performance at the Bayerische Staatsoper (Bavarian State Opera) is a beautiful way to round off the day (performances last about 3 hours).

The second day is the ideal time to visit the Munich Residenz. This former seat of the Wittelsbach rulers of Bavaria is now one of the most important museums of interior design in Europe. Afterwards you can enjoy the unique atmosphere of the Bavarian state capital by visiting a beer garden or a café at the Viktualienmarkt or at the Hofgarten.

Video: Arts & Culture

Experience Munich: 4 days 

 

Day 1: A guided tour takes you past the highlights of Munich. You can take this tour individually, with an official tour guide for the city of Munich or using the Hop-on Hop-off Express Circle Tour bus route. If you choose the Hop-on Hop-off Tour by bus we recommend that you get off at the Kunstareal. Today the Art Quarter contains a total of 18 museums and exhibition halls, over 40 galleries, six universities and colleges as well as numerous cultural institutions. In the evening you can experience that “Broadway feeling” by going to a musical at the Deutsches Theater.

Day 2: Discover the Nymphenburg Palace with its famous “Gallery of Beauties” and the porcelain manufactury (3 hours). In the afternoon you can get to know Munich’s city centre on a tour of the old city and you can visit the city’s most important churches as well as the famous Town Hall Glockenspiel on the Marienplatz square. Alternatively, the “Münchner Kaiserburg” permanent exhibition in the late Gothic vaulted cellars of the Old Court (Alter Hof) is also well worth a visit. Experience the city’s history from its beginnings up to the last days of the Kingdom of Bavaria in a fascinating multimedia presentation. In the evening we recommend a visit to see a performance at the Münchner Kammerspiele, a German-language theatre which has won many awards.

Day 3: This could be a good time to make an excursion to Lake Starnberg (Starnberger See). The boat tour goes to the Buchheim Museum in Bernried. This contains one of the most outstanding collections of the works of the German Expressionists. The S6 train towards Tutzing (exit at Starnberg) takes you from the city centre to the landing stage on Lake Starnberg in about 30 minutes. Alternatively, you could visit one of the many galleries of contemporary art in Munich.

Day 4: In the morning you will visit the Museum Brandhorst. From an architectural point of view, its colourful façade, composed of 36,000 ceramic rods, is fascinating. The main focus of its collection is on Classical Modernism. From there it is just a short walk to see ancient craftwork at the Staatliche Antikensammlung. The inner courtyard at the Staatliche Antikensammlung is the ideal place for enjoying a light snack while you soak up the atmosphere of Classical Greece! In the afternoon we recommend a little shopping, far from the large department stores and big chains of shops, in the Gärtner- und Glockenbach district. You will also find some small craft workshops hidden away in the rear courtyards where visits can watch craftspeople and artists at work. Unique items made of metal, ceramics, felt and leather are all made here with great attention to detail.

Enjoy Munich: 1 week

 

Day 1: Today you will immerse yourself in the colourful world of Munich’s museums. We will show you four tours through Munich’s museums and galleries. In the evening we recommend that you attend the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz (State Theatre on Gärtnerplatz square), where you can enjoy one of the many opera, operetta, musical and ballet performances which are put on there.

Day 2: On day 2 you will travel to the Schloss Nymphenburg (Nymphenburg Palace). The palace complex with its majestic park is one of the largest Baroque buildings in Europe. Around the main palace there are several other attractions which are well worth a visit, such as:

- park palaces Amalienburg, Pagodenburg and Badenburg
- Marstallmuseum
- Nymphenburg Porcelain Manufactory
- Botanical Garden

When the weather is fine, a trip in an authentic Venetian gondola along the Palace Canal is an unforgettable experience! In the afternoon you will visit the Bayerische Nationalmuseum, which is one of the greatest museums of the history of art and culture in Europe. In the evening, attending a performance at the Bayerische Staatsoper (Bavarian State Opera) is a beautiful way to round off the day (performances last about 3 hours).

Day 3: Today could be a good time to visit the Herrenchiemsee Palace. Ludwig II began work on this “new Palace of Versailles” on the Herreninsel Island on the Chiemsee lake in 1878. The Herrenchiemsee Palace is the last and most magnificent of the palaces built by the “Fairy-tale King of Bavaria". Anyone wishing to make this journey under their own steam should get the train from Munich’s main railway station to Prien am Chiemsee. The journey takes about an hour. The walk from Prien to the landing stage takes about another 20 minutes. Alternatively you can make this trip of about 1.8 km to the landing stage on the legendary Chiemsee Steam Railway, which dates back the year 1887. The boat trip from the landing stage at Prien to the Herreninsel Island takes about 15 minutes.

Day 4: In the morning you will visit the MUCA – Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art. This is just a stone’s throw away from the Marienplatz and was opened at the end of 2016 as the first Museum for Street Art in the whole of Germany. In the afternoon you will be taken on a guided tour of the central factory district. In the creative quarter close to the East Railway Station you will discover a colourful and varied landscape of art and culture. In the evening we recommend a visit to see a performance at the Münchner Kammerspiele, a German-language theatre which has won many awards.

Day 5: In the morning you will visit the Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung (Art Gallery in the Hypo-Culture Foundation) in the Fünf Höfe (shopping centre). Four major exhibitions are held each year on the 1,200 sq metres of exhibition space. Topics covered range from pre-history and early history right up to the present day. Afterwards, why not wander through the unusual shopping streets? Shopping malls and districts with hanging gardens and sublime architecture. In the evening you can experience that “Broadway feeling” by going to a musical at the Deutsches Theater.

Day 6: You will take a day’s excursion into the countryside around Munich to experience either Neuschwanstein and Linderhof, the places built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who is also known as “The Fairy-tale King.” Anyone wishing to find out more about the Blauer Reiter or Blue Rider group of artists should take a trip to Kochel am See. The artists of the Blue Rider Group, such as Gabriele Münter, Franz Marc, Alexei von Jawlensky or Wassily Kandinsky lived and worked around Kochel am See and Murnau in the alpine upland and were fascinated by its landscape. Franz Marc called the idyllic landscape around Kochel his “Blue Land”. Flyers about the Art Trail are available at the Kochel am See Tourist Information Office.

Day 7: The afternoon is the ideal time to visit the Munich Residenz. This former seat of the Wittelsbach rulers of Bavaria is now one of the most important museums of interior design in Europe. Afterwards you can enjoy the unique atmosphere of the Bavarian state capital by visiting a beer garden or a café at the Viktualienmarkt or at the Hofgarten (Court Garden).

 

 

Text: München Tourismus; Photos: Christian Kasper; Illustration: Julia Pfaller; Video: Redline Enterprises