When the long wait is over and visitors are finally able to return to Munich, they can look forward to especially exciting new attractions at several of the Bavarian capital’s cultural venues. From scientific exploration in the interdisciplinary BIOTOPIA lab and the Deutsches Museum, to ancient art in the Glyptothek, and drama at the new Volkstheater: the diversity of Munich’s cultural institutions means everyone can discover something new here.
The BIOTOPIA Lab in the Botanical Garden opens in spring 2021, when the current coronavirus situation and case rates permit. It gives a taste of what can be expected in BIOTOPIA Naturkundemuseum Bayern, the future new museum which will emerge following the redesign and extension of the much-loved Museum Mensch und Natur ( natural history museum ). The BIOTOPIA Lab includes a laboratory kitchen and a workshop area, where it will host biological and environmental science workshops, with special provision for schools and families and a visitor programme open to all, as well as interdisciplinary events. It also contains a flexible exhibition space for a changing programme of pop-up exhibitions such as the upcoming “Fungi for Future”. For those who really can’t wait until the BIOTOPIA Lab opens, there is also the chance to explore the world of science at home, by way of experiments and ideas from BIOTOPIA Lab@Home. The website tells you how to make your own scientific discoveries about the natural world through projects such as growing mushrooms or isolating DNA from fruit and vegetables.
Following two years of renovation work, Munich’s oldest public museum, the Glyptothek, is set to open its doors again on 26 March. The new “Bertel Thorvaldsen and Ludwig I – The Danish sculptor at work for Bavaria” special exhibition also opens on the same date. This exhibition, which marks last year’s 250th anniversary of the classical artist’s birth, focuses on the special relationship between the Dane and King Ludwig I. The King was one of the artist’s biggest admirers, as evidenced by his commissioning of Bertel Thorvaldsen – who was considered the best sculptor of his time – with the restoration of the museum’s greatest treasure, namely its early Greek pediment figures from the Temple of Aphaea on the island of Aegina.
From October, the Munich Volkstheater (People’s theatre) will welcome audiences to its new home in the Schlachthofviertel district. With the new venue, the company under Christian Stückl will, for the first time, have enough space to accommodate rehearsal stages, set construction and wardrobes under one roof. It is set to not only be one of the largest theatres in Munich, but also one of the most advanced in Germany. The opening of the new Volkstheater will be celebrated with a full week of events in October, and then Bonn Park and Jessica Glause will be among the first directors to stage works in the new space.
There is yet another cultural highlight on its way at the end of the year: completion of the first phase of renovations at the Deutsches Museum, with 19 new permanent exhibitions in place – an extra 20,000 square metres of museum space. So as well as old favourites such as the “Tante Ju” aeroplane, visitors can look forward to exploring lots of new arrivals which bring the wonders of science and technology to life. A giant human body in the Health section is sure to be a particularly striking attraction. The new roof terrace bar, Frau im Mond – which translates as “woman in the moon” – has been designed by the creators of the Flushing Meadows Hotel, and is inspired by the nearby space flight exhibition area. It will offer fantastic views over Munich and the Isar river, which can be experienced by anyone, not just museum visitors. The Deutsches Museum will remain open during construction.
Visitors can enjoy access to all city and state museums as well as many other museums, sights and visitor attractions, with the Munich Card and the Munich City Pass. The Munich Card starts at €13.90 and offers discounted entry fees, while the Munich City Pass starts at €44.90 and gives free admission. Both cards include travel on local public transport. Cultural enthusiasts may be interested in the culture travel package, which includes two nights’ stay together with a three-day City Pass offering free entry to 45 museums and cultural attractions. This package starts at €313 for two people.