Panoramic view of Karlsplatz / Stachus in Munich with the Frauenkirche in the background photographed from the air.

Munich's city centre

Classical and curious

Numerous Munich stories can be told along the roughly one-kilometer-long route which starts at Karlsplatz-Stachus, continues through the pedestrian mall along Neuhauserstraße and Kaufingerstraße until it reaches Marienplatz square. 

Salt traders and merchants once bustled around here. Now this area attracts countless shopping fans. Even Napoleon followed this path into Munich on a foggy evening in the fall of 1805. The double name Karlsplatz-Stachus already brings a smile to one’s face today: After taking over the rule of Bavaria in 1777 the Palatinate Elector Karl Theodor without further ado renamed squares and places in Munich after himself. This resulted in the terms Karlstor and Karlsplatz.

Munich locals engaged in civil disobedience and furnished the square with the nickname “Stachus” inspired by the nearby inn of Eustachius Föderl. The unpopular Elector had intended to trade Bavaria as a barter object to the Austrians! And so it happened that the name “Stachus” has been preserved – alongside the official term – to the present day and is even used to announce the subway stop.

The Karlstor is one of the three remaining original gates of the city wall that was torn down at the end of the 18th century. Until the construction of the pedestrian mall in 1972 this was one of the main thoroughfares of the city. Under the curved section of the arch the corners are adorned withso-called “collar heads” of prominent Munich residents. One of them depicts the coachman Franz Xaver Krenkl, whose audacity put the tolerance of King Ludwig I to a grueling test.

Munich locals engaged in civil disobedience and furnished the square with the nickname “Stachus” inspired by the nearby inn of Eustachius Föderl.

Krenkl bypassed the royal coach with a team of horses whose splendor and strength was far superior to those of the King. As if this breach of etiquette was not already too much, Krenkl called out proudly to the already-insulted sovereign, “Wer ko, der ko!” (Those who can, do!). In Bavaria this proverbial phrase has become synonymous with relaxed self-confidence.

Video: Districts of Munich

On the way through the pedestrian mall you see the green building complex of the Munichpolice headquarters to the left on Ettstraße. Many people know this structure from the Munich “Tatort” TV series.The headquarters accommodate the Polizeimuseum which is open to the public. The exhibition documents police work, including spectacular police operations e.g. during the murderous attacks at the 1972 Olympics and criminal cases such as the murder of the Munich fashion czar Rudolph Moshammer in 2005. Advance registration at www.muenchnerblaulicht.de, Phone +49 89 29 10 20 10. Children under 14 years are not admitted.

In 1935 the devilish pilot Ernst Udet roared his plane between the two towers by flying sideways.

A few steps farther on the left you get a view of Frauenkirche which was built by Jörg von Halsbach in the 15th century. The towers with the so-called “Welsh domes” are a landmark of the city. It is less known that the domes were designed according to the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, one of the most important sanctuaries of Islam. The twin towers time and again inspire spectacular feats.

In 1935 the devilish pilot Ernst Udet roared his plane between the two towers by flying sideways. In 2014 a large-scale police operation was required to stop extreme climbers who had already mounted the southern tower up to the belfry. Due to renovation the regular ascent to the observation deck of the southern tower is not possible at the moment.

Now we are arriving at Marienplatz. At the time of Munich’s foundation in 1158 the whole settlement was not much larger than this square. St. Mary’s Column (Mariensäule) in the middle of the square gave the former market place its name. It dates back to an oath taken during the Thirty Years War when Munich was occupied but not destroyed by the Swedes.

Tour of the Rathaus

Magistrates, Monachia and magnificent celebrations: explore the Neue Rathaus on Marienplatz with an official city tour guide. Read more

The Neue Rathaus is the office of the Lord Mayor. From its balcony the FC Bayern Munich greats its fans at championship celebrations. At 11am and noon (and in summer also at 5 pm) numerous spectators watch the Carillon (Glockenspiel) in the town hall tower. On the ground level of the town hall the city’s Tourist Information provides advice to visitors.

 

Become curious? Then book an individual or group tour of the Old Town and let an official guide show you the most beautiful corners of Munich's city center.

 

 

Text: München Tourismus; Photo: Jörg Lutz; Illustration: Julia Pfaller; Video: Redline Enterprises

Covid-19: current regulations

Hotels and accommodation establishments, shops, indoor and outdoor catering, and also clubs and discos are open. However, restrictions apply. All other important information on the coronavirus and your stay in Munich can be found here.

People at the Siegestor in Munich

A district full of life and adventure

Maxvorstadt is a bustling district: education, culture and business meet a colourful urban offering.

Maxvorstadt is a bustling district: universities, cultural temples and business meet small cafés, bars, restaurants and colourful shops.

Weissenburger Platz in Munich photographed from above with a drone.

A village in the city

Haidhausen and Au have developed from working-class quarters into popular residential areas.

When strolling along the narrow streets of the districts Haidhausen and Au with small shops and green courtyards, it almost feels like being in a village in the middle of the city.

The Academy of Fine Arts in Munich in autumn.

From artists and writers

Around 1900, it was the artists and writers who settled around the university and the art academy and shaped the spirit of Schwabing.

In the heyday of the Schwabinger Bohème around 1900, it was the artists and writers who settled around the university and the art academy and shaped the spirit of Schwabing.

Towers ot the St Luke's Church in Munich photographed from the air.

A beautiful spot

Lehel is considered one of Munich's most popular and exclusive residential areas. But it wasn't always the case.

Lehel is considered one of Munich's most popular and exclusive residential areas. But it wasn't always the case.

Nymphenburg Palace in Munich photographed from above with a drone.

Around Nymphenburg Palace

Neuhausen-Nymphenburg offers a wealth of things to discover besides the palace.

In addition to the palace, Neuhausen-Nymphenburg also has the Botanical Garden, numerous museums and the vibrant neighbourhood of Neuhausen with its vibrant shopping and café scene.

The Hans-Mielich-Strasse in the district Untergiesing in Munich

A district full of variety

Giesing may be famous for soccer and beer, but what the locals value most is the neighbourhood’s lively diversity.

Giesing may be famous for soccer and beer, but what the locals value most is the neighbourhood’s lively diversity of architecture, culture, and people.

Flowerbed at Gärtnerplatz in Munich.

Where the night begins

Independent labels, hip bars, pubs and cool inns attract the young and the young-at-heart.

The Gärtnerplatz and Glockenbach neighbourhoods are known as trendy quarters. Their independent labels, hip bars, pubs, cool inns and calm backyards attract the young and the young-at-heart.

Panoramic view of Karlsplatz / Stachus in Munich with the Frauenkirche in the background photographed from the air.

Classical and curiosities

Numerous Munich stories can be told along the roughly one-kilometer-long route between Karlsplatz-Stachus and Marienplatz square. A city walk.

Numerous interesting Munich stories can be told along the roughly one-kilometer-long route between Karlsplatz-Stachus and Marienplatz square. A city walk.

Maximilianeum in Munich at sunset.

Once a village, now a noble district

The Bogenhausen district in the northeast of Munich captivates with many green areas, old villas and its proximity to the river Isar.

There's a lot to discover here: the Bogenhausen district in the northeast of Munich captivates with many green areas, old villas and its proximity to the river Isar.

Tower of the Deutsches Museum with the river isar in the background photographed from the air.

Between the Isar and the Theresienwiese

The Isar river, clubbing, Oktoberfest or multicultural mix at the main station: On a voyage of discovery in a versatile district of the city

The Isar river, clubbing, Oktoberfest or multicultural mix at the main station: On a voyage of discovery in a versatile district of the city

Panoramic view of the Olmpic Park with Olympic Tower, Olympic Swimming Hall, Olympic Lake and the headquarter of BMW in Munich in the background.

Masterpieces of architecture and entertainment

BMW Welt, Allianz Arena and Olympic Park - Munich's north has much to offer.

With the Olympiapark, BMW Welt and Allianz Arena and the city's oldest church, the north of Munich has a lot to offer.

A group of humans is tasting Baklava in front of a vitrine in a shop in the station district in Munich.

Many cultures, one neighborhood

The charm of the oriental Bajuvaric microcosm in the quarter to the south of the main train station gives you that holiday feeling.

The aroma of mocha and black tea fills the air: the charm of the oriental Bajuvaric microcosm in the quarter to the south of the main train station gives you that holiday feeling.

Munich Card & City Pass

Discover Munich in a relaxed and uncomplicated way: discounts for the diverse range of art, culture and leisure activities with our guest cards.

Public transport is included

Many discounts with the Card, many things for free with the Pass.

Online or at the tourist information offices

Small meeting room of the Neues Rathaus in Munich

Exclusive tour through the town hall

Explore the Neue Rathaus on Marienplatz with an official City of Munich tour guide. A visit of the famous law library is also included!

Book now from 18 €

Magistrates, Monachia and magnificent celebrations: explore the Neue Rathaus on Marienplatz with an official City of Munich tour guide. A visit of the famous law library is also included!

Stage and audience of the Passionsspiel in Oberammergau.

The game of suffering, death and resurrection

The inhabitants of Oberammergau staging probably the world's most successful and largest amateur play. Buy your Tickets here.

The inhabitants of Oberammergau have staged what is today probably the world's most successful and largest amateur play. Buy your Tickets here.

Merchant with dried fruit on the Viktualienmarkt in Munich.

Viktualienmarkt Tasting Tour

Discover the most delicious delicacies of the city and learn all kinds of interesting facts about Munich's most famous food market.

Book now for 32 €!

Discover the most delicious delicacies of the city and learn all kinds of interesting historical facts about Munich's most famous food market.

Panoramic view of the Neues Rathaus in Munich with the Frauenkirche in the background.

Visit to the Town Hall Balcony

Join us on the famous balcony of the New Town Hall, where FC Bayern has celebrated a triumph many times - and enjoy the beautiful view over Marienplatz.

Book now for only 6 €!

Join us on the famous balcony of the New Town Hall, where FC Bayern has celebrated a triumph many times - and enjoy the beautiful view over Marienplatz.