Munich is taking off this summer, and not just for the anniversary of the Summer Olympics. You can find the latest news on events, sights, restaurants and hotels here.
The 1972 Summer Olympics was a key factor in Munich gaining its global reputation as an attractive modern city rich in culture and sports. To mark the 50th anniversary of the Games, Munich will be hosting the European Championships from Aug. 11 to 21 – the biggest multi-sporting event to be held in the city since 1972. 4,700 athletes from 36 nations will compete in nine sports: athletics, canoe racing, rowing, gymnastics, cycling, triathlon and table tennis.
The European Championships will be combined with the eleven-day Roofs Festival, with headliners such as Ry X, Gayle and the Beatsteaks rocking the Olympiapark (Olympic Park) – admission free.
Exhibition highlights to mark the anniversary include the following:
An overview of the programme of the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich can be found here: Programme overview
50 years after the 1972 Olympic Games, there is still lots to see and do in the Olympic Park: great architecture, cafés and restaurants, events and an enormous range of sports and leisure activities. The “spirit of 1972” can be relived at other sites in Munich, too. We have compiled ten tips.
For anyone wishing to explore the city at a leisurely pace and still take in lots of sights, we recommend the city walking routes. The 21-kilometre north-south passage is perfect in any season, offering a wealth of nature and culture. It starts at the BMW Welt right next to the Olympic Centre and leads to a lake in the south of the city, Hinterbrühler See.
More than anything, this walk demonstrates that Munich is a city of lush green spaces – set through with magnificent boulevards, world-famous museums and a cityscape steeped in architecture and history. Those who don’t wish to walk this far in one day or who would like to take a little more time can divide the tour up into three sections, or else cover individual sections by rental bike or MVV – the Munich public transport system. The hikingapp komoot is a convenient guide for your walk. Alternatively it is possible to book a private guide for a walking tour or our city walk travel package.
The 1972 Olympics – a defining event that took place 50 years ago. Rock Museum director Herbert Hauke and the city explorers of MucTours offer a guided tour on e-bikes that allows you to relive the spirit of yesteryear. The tour is offered regularly in German language and available in English upon request. In particular, the tour reveals how much music history has been written in the Olympic Park. From the first regular rock concert in early 1973 featuring Deep Purple and the Superbloom Festival right through to the present day.
Guide Herbi Hauke has some great anecdotes in store – such as how his grandfather almost bought the Olympic Park (known as Oberwiesenfeld at the time), but then invested the money in two American cars instead, or how he himself shook Freddie Mercury’s hand at the latter’s first concert in Munich without knowing who he was. More also in our podcast with Herbi Hauke.
Freddie Mercury lived in Munich for six years and actually celebrated his 39th birthday here at the former discotheque Mrs. Henderson. It was on this occasion that he filmed his legendary birthday video “Living On My Own” – one of the most frequently watched music video clips ever, with over 100 million views. Queen recorded several albums at Musicland Studios in Arabella Park, and the band regularly stayed at the nearby Hilton Munich Park Hotel.
Freddie is said to have written “Crazy Little Thing Called love” in the bathtub of the presidential suite there. MucTours offers a three-hour Freddie Mercury Walking Tour. The tour is offered in German language on a regular basis and in English upon request.
More on the subject: Interview with Peter Ambacher
8 July sees the public opening of the first part of the new Deutsches Museum, the world’s biggest museum of science and technology. After seven years of intense construction work, the first phase of renovation is complete. Access is via the new entrance building at Corneliusbrücke. The Deutsches Museum now has 19 new permanent exhibitions covering a surface area of 20,000 square metres. The thematic spectrum is diverse, ranging from atomic physics to robotics.
The Agriculture and Nutrition exhibition is an example of how contemporary the display concepts are: not only are objects presented, there are also explanations of technical progress and its impact – both positive and negative – including lots of hands-on activities. There are numerous media stations and interactive elements, whether food shelf or plant cinema, cow brush or tactile tractor model – making it easier for visitors to grasp the complexity of the themes. Renovation of the second half of the building will begin after the first part opens. Modernisation is scheduled to be completed in time for 2028, the building’s 125th anniversary.
The Pinakothek der Moderne combines four world-class collections under one roof, including Die Neue Sammlung (‘The New Collection’), which is considered the world’s oldest design museum and contains the world’s biggest collection in the fields of industrial design, applied art and graphic design.
To mark the 20th anniversary of the Pinakothek der Moderne, Die Neue Sammlung presents objects from the last 20 years. Each year is represented by an object focusing on a development that reflects a theme relevant to both society and design. The objects come from areas such as: VR, robotics, 3D printing, fair trade, upcycling, social design and diversity (until Jan. 15, 23).
What do the Isarphilharmonie and the Elbphilharmonie have in common? Except for the fact that their names both contain the name of the river that flows through the city? Internationally renowned sound expert Yasuhisa Toyota and his company Nagata Acoustics were consulted for both building projects, ensuring excellent acoustics.
The Isarphilharmonie saw its premiere in mid-October 2021. At the same time, the orchestra officially opened Kulturquartier Gasteig (cultural centre) HP8 (Hans-Preissinger-Strasse 8) in the district of Sendling: this was built during the renovation of the original Gasteig building for interim use as a substitute for Europe’s largest cultural centre. Both the then chief conductor Valery Gergiev and the premiere guests were delighted with the acoustics in the new hall. The new Isarphilharmonie, a modern building with space for 1,900 guests, was designed by the architectural firm gmp (von Gerkan, Marg und Partner).
Believe it or not: Munich was a pioneer of the German graffiti scene. In the years 1985 to 1988, graffiti boomed so much in Munich that sprayers would come from all over the world to get the chance to paint in the city. Today Munich is home to Germany’s first Museum for Urban and Contemporary Art (MUCA) – housed in a former substation of the public utility company. One new feature here is the extension of the museum to include the rooms of a former air-raid shelter dating back to the Second World War.
Guided tours of the Bunker and the art exhibition it houses are offered once a month. Another spectacular new facility: KUNSTLABOR 2. This MUCA interim use project occupies a surface area of just under 10,000 square metres spread over six floors. One thing of particular interest to fans of street and urban art: two of the six floors are being transformed into a walk-in work of art by more than 100 artists. The latter include well-known names such as Loomit and rapper Samy Deluxe as well as newcomers like Pepe (aka Jose Luis Villanueva Contreras).
After four years of extensive reconstruction work, Leo von Klenze’s masterpiece in yellow stucco marble can now be viewed once again. The Yellow Staircase is one of the highlights of any visit to the residential and state rooms of the Bavarian rulers in the Munich Residence. The Residence is the largest inner-city palace in Germany, now open to the public as a museum. Having developed over centuries, the palace of the Wittelsbach dynasty is a mixture of Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo and Classicist styles.
The almost 100-metre South Tower of Munich's Frauenkirche (‘Cathedral of Our Dear Lady’) is open to visitors again after ten years. The starting point of the (non-barrier-free) climb is the cathedral’s South Chapel. The 16 windows of the tower dome mean that visitors can look out in all directions, as well as getting a close-up view of the North Tower, which is not open to the public. The windows can’t be opened, but visitors can step directly up to them via small steps. Eight touchscreens in the window cavities provide detailed information about the most important buildings in the surrounding area. The South Tower is open to the public from 10 am (11.30 am on Sundays and public holidays) to 5 pm from Monday to Sunday. The last admission is always at 4.30 pm.
The tower of the Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall) on Marienplatz (main square) recently opened for visits, too. A (barrier-free) lift takes visitors up in just a few moments to a height of 85 metres, from where various city highlights can be seen in all directions: here you can step right up to the railing and feel the wind in your hair as you watch the hustle and bustle of Marienplatz below. Lift runs daily from 10 am to 8 pm Tickets are available online and at the tourist information office at the Town Hall.
The New Town Hall on Marienplatz with its famous Glockenspiel (Carillion) is something visitors to Munich usually only know from the outside: guided tours are now available that provide a fascinating glimpse of the interior of this neo-Gothic building. In addition to the state rooms and the Town Hall balcony – where the Bayern Munich title celebrations are traditionally held – the tour also takes in the impressive reading room in the law library, which has served as a film set on several occasions.
Thanks to mobile VR headsets, anyone opting for a 90-minute TimeRide Go! can now immerse themselves in virtual scenes from over 850 years of Munich’s history – and compare them directly to the city’s present-day urban landscape.
The emotion-packed journey starts with the founding of the city and goes on to the magnificent Baroque period and King Ludwig II – probably Munich’s most famous king. And the city’s darker periods are not left out either: guests are transported back to both the political upheavals of the 1920s and the war-torn Munich of 1945. The emotional climax: a “live” visit to the legendary 1974 World Cup at the Olympiastadion (Olympic Stadium)!
When it comes to sustainable fashion, Munich is a hotspot. Green Fashion Tours give you a peek behind the scenes of Munich’s sustainable fashion sector all year round, giving you the opportunity to talk to designers and shop owners in person.
The programme includes three to four stores and studios. Green Fashion Tours has a total of more than 20 sustainable Munich fashion hotspots on its Green Fashion Tours Map. English tours are available on request.
The aim of the Werksviertel district is to create a neighbourhood of the future. The area covers a total of 40 hectares. Occupying a total surface area of some ten hectares, Werksviertel-Mitte offers visitors all sorts of things to see and do, welcoming them with a pop-up city consisting of a stack of converted shipping containers. This industrial estate at Ostbahnhof (Munich East) was once the place where potatoes were turned into dumplings and mashed potatoes.
Now a contemporary-style urban quarter, it owes its distinctive aura to the fact that numerous former industrial buildings which previously belonged to the food manufacturing company Pfanni were not demolished but renovated and repurposed. The former production lines at WERK3 are now home to loft offices, artists’ studios, bars and clubs, as well as restaurants and shops. Only a few metres away at WERK4, the 30-metre-high silos where potato flakes were once stored have been converted into a climbing and bouldering hall.
And because the silos are so stable, the city’s tallest hotel – at a height of 86 metres – was built on top of them. What used to be the Pfanni staff canteen is now used as a live performance venue complete with catering. A former potato warehouse has become a theatre, while WERK1 has been transformed into one of Germany’s most innovative start-up centres.
It’s not just the old repurposed buildings that are impressive here, however. Werksviertel-Mitte is now also being enhanced with spectacular new buildings such as WERK12 – which was voted “Germany's Best Building” by the German Architecture Museum in 2021. All this results in a highly distinctive blend. The Umadum Observation Wheel offers a superb view of the district and you can even see as far as the Alps.
This newly opened wine bar with a touch of Mediterranean flair in the Glockenbachviertel is perfect for design fans, wine connoisseurs and gourmets.
The wines offered here are mainly naturally pressed, untreated and biodynamically produced, while the menu features Mediterranean-inspired dishes such as Meeres Fritto – calamari, prawns and three dips – or cauliflower with rocket, lemon and chilli mayonnaise. DJs are in action in the evening at weekends, turning the wine bar into a lounge club.
“Kind of Izakaya” is the tagline of Ciao Chang – referring to the Japanese culture of the izakaya, where people get together to drink and share tapas-sized dishes with friends. The Bavarian element at Ciao Chang mainly concerns the regional source of all the ingredients used: the tofu comes from Erding, for example, the fish from Aumühle mill in the Isar valley and even the miso paste doesn’t have far to travel – it comes from the Black Forest.
So what does the menu actually look like? Char sashimi on radish and apple slices in honey mustard cream and ponzu sauce, cauliflower karaage with truffle mayonnaise, colourful nori carrots in sour cream and beetroot carpaccio with edamame, orange and lemongrass.
Paulaner im Tal has now been transformed into Herrschaftszeiten – Das Paulaner im Tal, with a young team of hosts consisting of Nadja van Mark, Constantin Mede, Mitja Lafere and Sebastian Erlenmaier. All of them have previous experience in Munich’s restaurant scene.
The classic dishes are still available but often in new variations, such as the 57-degree ox and onion roast in the Surf & Turf version, or the Bavarian cream cheesecake. Chef Rob Valls is American by birth and previously worked in the upmarket hotel sector.
A new stylish restaurant within walking distance of the Käfer flagship store in Bogenhausen: Green Beetle offers vegetarian and vegan food – and in surprising combinations, too. The restaurant has been awarded a Green Star. Head chef Felix Adebahr previously worked at more than one Michelin-starred Munich restaurant – including Tantris and Esszimmer.
The place is pleasantly unobtrusive and sustainably styled. The 40-year-old parquet floor was recycled from an old gymnasium, the lights are made of tobacco, hemp and wine leftovers, and there are 63 porcelain beetles hanging on the walls – hence the restaurant’s name.
The famous gourmet restaurant Tantris reopened in October 2021 with a new concept and now goes by the name of Tantris Maison Culinaire. It includes the two-star menu-type restaurant Tantris, the à la carte restaurant Tantris DNA with one star and the Bar Tantris. Tantris, under the direction of chef Benjamin Chmura offers high cuisine from the menu, with four or six courses at lunchtime and six or eight courses in the evening. At Tantris DNA, under the direction of Virginie Protat, you can order classic dishes of French cuisine as well as others spanning five decades of Tantris on an à-la-carte basis for lunch and dinner.
Julius Brantner’s new transparent organic bakery opened at Norddendstr. 24 in May, with a second due to follow in Kreuzstrasse in July. At his previous premises on Türkenstrasse he was already something of a pop-star celebrity. One key element to his success: the dough is freshly prepared and baked on site and you can watch the bakers performing their craft.
Julius Brantner is now the third generation of his family to carry on the baking tradition – though he originally wanted to study computer science. He gets his flour from Drax-Mühle a mill located about fifty kilometres east of Munich. Here, too, great emphasis is placed on craftsmanship and tradition. Fun fact: Monika Drax is one of the few female millers in Germany. One thing you must be sure to try: the rye bread with fermented apple pieces.
Gourmets will find everything they could ever wish for on Viktualienmarkt – from typical Bavarian specialties through to exotic delicacies. In addition to family businesses being run in the third generation, there are also new young faces such as 31-year-old pastry chef Lea Zapf, who opened her market patisserie in the middle of the pandemic.
Her “Luftikus” cream puffs are a particularly outstanding speciality. Meanwhile, the lads at Caspar Plautz are well-known. Theo, a trained goldsmith, and Dominik, a sociologist, have been attracting potato fans to their stall for several years now. München Tourismus offers regular tasting tours on Viktualienmarkt.
Located directly at the central station, Ruby Rosi has 101 rooms, a public roof terrace and a 24/7 bar that is open to everyone. It is used as a venue for readings and events involving local artists. The hotel was inspired by a Munich original: folk singer Bally Prell is well-known to this day for songs such as Die Schönheitskönigin von Schneizlreuth and Isarmärchen. The public areas combine a stately palace style with rustic village ambience that creates a fairy-tale atmosphere: luxurious materials and vintage furnishings appear alongside timber framework and medieval workshop flair.
Schwan Locke in Munich is the first European location of lifestyle aparthotel brand Locke. Just a few minutes’ walk from Theresienwiese (Oktoberfest fairground) and the central station, the hotel offers 151 modern studio flats in mid-century industrial design, an art collection with local works and a co-working lounge await. The food at the hotel bar Bambule! is taken care of by the team from the Michelin-starred restaurant Mural. Besides an excellent wine list it offers international cuisine with regional products, e.g. fish & chips with fish from the Schliersee (lake).
The group’s second European outlet WunderLocke is to follow in July 2022 in the district of Sendling. This will offer 360 studio flats, a co-working space, meeting and event rooms, a workout studio and a heated outdoor swimming pool. In addition, Locke will be collaborating with the Mural gastronomy team on the four planned restaurants and bars – including an urban farm that will offer a farm-to-table concept – as well as a rooftop cocktail bar with panoramic views of the Bavarian Alps.
A perfect option for visitors who are Bayern Munich fans, DO & CO Hotel offers direct access to the five-storey “FC Bayern World” not far from Munich’s Marienplatz. It opened in the summer of 2021.
Its 30 rooms and Penthouse Loft Suite are styled according to the club’s 31 championship titles, combining international flair with Bavarian charm. The hotel includes two DO & CO restaurants: one on the ground floor serving regional cuisine and an internationally inspired eatery on the first floor.
The family-run Design Hotel Stadt Rosenheim has been renovated and has now reopened under the name of Moma1890 Boutique Hotel. It is located directly on Orleansplatz in the charming district of Haidhausen. Each of the 51 rooms is unique, making creative use of accessories, colours and materials. Anyone who likes colourful wallpaper is definitely well catered-for here: One nice detail: instead of minibars in the rooms, there is a lounge on the first floor. All non-alcoholic drinks and snacks here are free of charge for guests.
Set among bars, restaurants, concept stores and offices, no fewer than four new hotels and a hostel are available to Werksviertel visitors. The latest addition is Wombat’s City Hostel Munich Werksviertel. It is located on the lower floors of a former potato silo, Werk4 in Werksviertel-Mitte.
In the same building, on floors 9 to 24, is the 4-star Adina Apartment Hotel Munich. At a height of 86 metres, the Adina is currently the highest hotel in the city. From some of the 234 studios and flats you can even see sheep and chickens: right next to the hotel is the Stadtalm – an urban nature project on the roof of Werk 3. One particularly attractive detail: room numbers with pictograms indicate what the view is through the floor-to-ceiling windows inside the room.
In the direct vicinity is the gambino Hotel Werksviertel with 303 rooms and the best view of the Umadum Observation Wheel. The decision was deliberately made not to have a restaurant here so as to give visitors the opportunity to use all the services in the area and become part of the Werksviertel community, at least temporarily.
The lifestyle hotel Moxy opened in autumn 2019. It is positioned as a young, innovative boutique hotel that offers fair prices. The design concept is based on Zündapp, which produced motorbikes in the Werksviertiel district for decades. The Residence Inn next door with its 75 studios, focuses primarily on those staying in town for longer. Larger-sized rooms, a wardrobe and a kitchenette including dishwasher are combined with a clear-cut design and soothing colours: the idea is to create a cosy retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the city.