Detailed photo of the oak wreath of the Bavaria statue at Theresienwiese in Munich photographed with a drone

Westend

Old buildings and winding backyards

A walk through the Westend: a district on the move. 25 nations live here next door in the best neighborhood.

The highlights at a glance

Ilse the snail has the best view. This four-metre-tall clay snail beams a friendly smile as she looks casually out over Bavariapark while the daily hustle and bustle goes on around her. This is where children come to ride their bikes and where locals and visitors enjoy the good life in the nearby beer garden.

The Verkehrszentrum - a unique collection

A snail like this isn’t particularly speedy, though carrying her home on her back means she is incredibly mobile. Ilse’s “parents”, respected American artists Jason Rhoades and Paul McCarthy, had this mobility in mind when they placed their “Sweet Brown Snail” directly opposite the Verkehrszentrum (the transportation centre of the Deutsche Museum). This spot is full of exciting and entertaining exhibits – and not just for technology fans!

With its unique collection of land vehicles, the Verkehrszentrum tells the story of travel and mobility of the past, present and future. A glimpse of an old Vespa, a blue and white train from the 1972 Olympic Games or the first pair of roller skates may conjure up feelings of nostalgia, while a carriage simulator can help you to learn about the uncomfortable travel conditions in the age of Mozart.

From specially constructed platforms, you can climb aboard historic and modern trains. With a loud blast of its whistle, Puffing Billy, the world’s first steam train, sets off from here every day at 3 p.m. Regular demonstrations show a range of different vehicles in action. Speaking of trains...

During the two-week-long Oktoberfest, this spot at the foot of the Bavaria is perfect for listening to the music from the beer tents and the sounds of the fairground rides as the scent of grilled fish and toasted almonds wafts beneath your nose.

The Hackerbrücke connects

... the Hackerbrücke, a historic iron construction from the 19th century, connects the main station with the Westend. With a view over the tracks and towards the city centre to the Frauenkirche, it is not only used to get from A to B, but also to enjoy the sunset with friends. Big city romance - that is what the Hackerbrücke is really good at, because with its picturesque bridge railing it is a meeting place for tourists and locals alike for an after-work beer - and therefore no longer an insider tip.

For all Oktoberfest fans, the joy of celebrating usually begins with crossing the Hackerbrücke, together with thousands of people who have travelled from all over the world. On the way, people often open their first beer, sing and arrange to meet later on the grounds. Bridges connect. The Hackerbrücke in particular.

The Bavaria watches over the hustle and bustle of the Theresienwiese

A few metres to the east in Bavariapark you will encounter a sudden steep slope. This hill leading to the Bavaria statue is a unique, natural grandstand terrace, which was also used for the horse race that was part of the festivities to honour the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Therese (the first ever Oktoberfest in 1810). From here, you can enjoy unobstructed views over the world’s largest folk festival.

During the two-week-long Oktoberfest (held from mid-September until early October), this spot at the foot of the Bavaria is perfect for listening to the music from the beer tents and the sounds of the fairground rides as the scent of grilled fish and toasted almonds wafts beneath your nose.

In December, this spot affords views over the beautiful sea of lights created by the Tollwood Winterfestival and the fireworks on New Year’s Eve.

Video: Districts of Munich

From a run-down quarter to a popular residential area

It’s not that long ago that locals used to think of Westend as the run-down part of town. It just didn’t seem to fit in with the grand, classical architecture of Athens on the Isar (as Munich is sometimes known) despite the fact that it was home to the magnificent Bavaria statue and the elegant Ruhmeshalle building (Hall of Fame).

The area was very sparsely populated all the way up to the early 19th century. It was not until the start of the Industrial Revolution in 1850 that the first factories began to spring up. In the 19th century, it was mainly workers from the surrounding region who moved here to live close to the factories. In the 1960s, however, many foreign workers moved to Westend to start their new lives in Germany. Thanks to countless initiatives and social facilities, the area is now home to up to 25 nationalities who live together in a thriving community.

The last of the factories were closed and torn down in the 1980s, to be replaced by beautiful green courtyards. Many of the Gründerzeit (Wilhelminian-style) buildings here have since been restored. Since the city’s trade fair grounds were moved to the east-end of Munich in 1998, a new residential and business district has sprouted up in Schwanthalerhöhe in the area around Bavariapark.

With the Wohnturm residential block, which was inspired by the tower in the former trade fair, Munich’s famous architect Otto Steidle created one last architectural monument prior to his death in 2004. Thanks to its colourful ceramic cladding, the KPMG building – designed by Steidle and Partner – is another of the area’s landmarks. The jewel in its crown is the double helix installation in the courtyard, created by world famous artist Olafur Eliasson.

The gastronomy: Bavarian tradition meets international cuisine

For fans of tradition, Westend is the home of Munich’s oldest brewery, Augustiner, which has been based here for 130 years. The large, rustic beer garden at Augustiner-Keller to the north of Hackerbrücke bridge remains a popular meeting spot for locals and visitors.

If you’re looking for an unconventional place to eat breakfast, head to Parkstrasse 2 where you’ll find a shop-cum-café housed in a recently restored textile warehouse. The wooden interior features shop counters and shelves full of hundreds of tiny drawers left over from the 1920s. The mix and match settee sets from the period between 1900 and 1960 are available to buy.

The large, rustic beer garden at Augustiner-Keller to the north of Hackerbrücke bridge remains a popular meeting spot for locals and visitors.

As an ideal example of just how deeply rooted residents are in this area, an elderly lady who used to work as a waitress at Oktoberfest explains how she now travels into the city every day to say a prayer for the residents in her building at Alte Peter church. Everyone here knows each other and looks out for their neighbours. And because very few flats have their own garden, they often meet on the squares to chat and play.

The colourful community of this multi-cultural neighbourhood is reflected in the diversity of its eateries. From Turkish to Ethiopian, Italian, Greek and French to Caribbean, Thai and Japanese, and from Spanish to Vietnamese, there is something here for every taste.

 

 

Text: München Tourismus; Photos: Redline Enterprises, istock/bene-a; 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

In addition to the palace, Nymphenburg-Neuhausen also offers numerous other opportunities for discovery.

In addition to the palace, Nymphenburg-Neuhausen also has the Botanical Garden, numerous museums and the lively Neuhausen district with its small shops and cafés.

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.