Munich's City Center (Altstadt meaning "Historic city center") is easily navigable with all the must-sees easy to find by travellers. It is in the heart of Munich, where eyes gaze upon architectural masterpieces like the Neues Rathaus and Frauenkirche, and taste the wonderful Hofbräu beer all the while listening to "Take Me Home Country Roads" in the Hofbräuhaus. Since all suburban trains, subways, and trams have at least one stop in the vicinity of Munich's center, it is a great place to start any day of sightseeing.
By suburban train (S-Bahn)
- S-Bahn lines S1, S2, S3, S4, S6, S7, S8, and S27 all run in west-easter direction and stop at the western end of the pedestrian zone at Karsplatz (Stachus), the very heart of Munich at Marienplatz, and the eastern end of the city center at Isartor.
By subway (U-Bahn)
- Subway lines U1 (dark green), U2 (red), and U7(gold) stop at the southern tip of the city center at Sendlinger Tor, where they connect to lines U3 and U6.
- Subway lines U4 (light green) and U5 (brown) stop at Karlsplatz (Stachus) and at the northern end of the city center at Odeonsplatz, where you can connect to lines U3 and U6.
- Subway lines U3 (orange) and U6 (blue) serve the stations Sendlinger Tor, Marienplatz and Odeonsplatz.
- Tram line 18 runs along the southern rim of the city center with many stops along the way, including Karlsplatz (Stachus) and Sendlinger Tor.
- Tram line 19 runs right through the city center with a number of stops, inlcluding Karlsplatz (Stachus) and Nationaltheater.
Map of Munich's City Center (please note: some information is outdated!)
- Odeonsplatz, Odeonsplatz (Subway U3 & U6: ''Odeonsplatz''). The Odeonsplatz is a square at the southern end of the wide Ludwigstraße boulevard and northern beginning of the historic city center. It comprises the Italian high-Baroque style Theatine Church (Theatinerkirche) to the east, the Field Marshals' Hall (Feldherrnhalle) to the south, and the Munich Residence (Münchner Residenz) to the east of the square.
- New City Hall/Glockenspiel (Neues Rathaus), Marienplatz 8 (S-Bahn & Subways U3 & U6: ''Marienplatz''). M-F 10:00-17:00. During the summer, a curious sight appears sveral times a day (11:00, 12:00, 17:00, 21:00) at Marienplatz. Hundreds of tourists begin craning their necks skyward to see the Glockenspiel work its magic on the front facade of the New City Hall (Neues Rathaus). As the automated clockwork figures come out to dance, the bells play and the tourists gape. But the glockenspiel is truly a piece of art - it was built of handmade parts long before automation was the buzzword of the day, and it's still entrancing. While watching the glockespiel from Mariensplatz is obviously free, climbing the bell tower of the city hall isn't. €4.
- Mariensäule (Column of Mary), Mariensplatz (S-Bahn & Subways U3 & U6: ''Marienplatz''). A golden statue on a column, located in the middle of Marienplatz. The statue was built in honor of the Virgin Mary to celebrate the sparing of the city from the Swedes in the Thirty Years' War.
- Old City Hall (Altes Rathaus), Marienplatz 15 (S-Bahn & Subways U3 & U6: ''Marienplatz''), ☎ +49 89 294001, . Daily 10:00-17:00. Built in 1474 and rebuilt after World War II to its original state. Today it houses a toy museum (Spielzeugmuseum). Outside you will find a statue of Juliet (Romeo's Juliet) which is a present by Munich's twin town Verona. Adults €4, Concessions €1.
Houses of worship
- Asamkirche (St. John Nepomuk), Sendlinger Straße 32 (Subways U1, U2, U3, U6, U7: ''Sendlinger Tor''), . No sightseeing during services; services (Catholic): Tu, Th, F 17:00, W 8:30, Su 10:00. Rococo architect and sculptor Egid Quirin Asam built this amazingly ornate church right next door to his own house. His brother, Cosmas Damian, did all the frescoes. The church is dedicated to St John Nepomuk, a Bohemian monk was thrown into the river Vltava from Charles Bridge in Prague at the behest of Wenceslaus, King of Bohemia. The Asamkirche, completed in 1746, glitters like a row of diamonds and is best seen by candlelight, especially at the yearly Christmas Eve service, replete with Bavarian singers in the choir stall.
- Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), Frauenplatz 1 (S-Bahn: ''Marienplatz''), . Sa-W 07:00-19:00, Th 07:00-20:30, F 07:00-18:00; No sightseeing during services. Frauenkirche is topped by two copper onion-domed towers recognizable from a distance. Instead of adding sculptural ornamentation in carved stone to the exterior like other typical Gothic churches, the Frauenkirche differs from all contemporary churches in its plain brick simplicity. The church was completed in 1488. The legendary or devil's footstep (Teufelstritt), stems from the large amount of light inside the Frauenkirche that seems to come from nowhere thanks to the large columns that block the view of the windows. According to legend, Jörg of Halspach made a deal with the devil that he could build a church that had a spot where not a single window could be seen from. From the vestibule, looking down the center aisle (as long as the high Baroque altar covered the windows at the very back of the church) there appeared to be no windows at all. The devil stamped his foot in a fit of pique, leaving his footprint on a paving stone immediately inside the entrance. Another version tells that this is where the devil stood when he curiously regarded and ridiculed the windowless church that Halsbach had built. In fact, it is a large casting in the square base plate, and none of the side windows can be seen from the spot when one looks to the high altar.The stone is readily visible because it is mustard yellow rather than red and grey like the other tiles. Right to the entrance is a monumental tomb of Emperor Ludwig IV of Bavaria, the work of Hans Krumpper.
- Michaelskirche (St. Michael), Neuhauser Straße 52 (S-Bahn: ''Karlsplatz (Stachus)''), . M & F 10:00-19:00, Tu-Th & Sa 08:00-19:00, Su 07:00-22:15; No sightseeing during services. The largest Renaissance church north of the Alps was built between 1583-1599 thanks to Duke Wilhelm V, called The Pious. Despite nearly bankrupting Bavaria, Munich was left with an amazingly beautiful structure that houses an extremely unified iconographic program. In the church crypt are the tombs of many members of the Wittelsbach dynasty, including that of "Swan King" Ludwig II. The church today belongs to the order of the Jesuits.
- Ohel Jakob synagogue (Hauptsynagoge Ohel Jakob), St.-Jakob-Platz 18 (Subways U1, U2, U3, U6 & U7: ''Sendlinger Tor''), ☎ +49 89 202400100, . Guided tours: M-Th 12:00 & 16:30 & 18:00, Su 12:00 & 14:00 & 16:00. Ohel Jakob is the new main synagogue of the Jewish community in Munich, built 2004-2006. It is built in a modern style, with a glass cube on top. The huge doors are picturing the 10 commandments.
- Peterskirche, Rindermarkt 1 (S-Bahn: ''Marienplatz''), . No sightseeing during services; services (Catholic): M-F 08:00 & 09:00 & 10:00 & 11:00 & 18:00, Sa 18:00, Su 07:00 & 08:00 & 09:00 & 10:45 & 12:00 & 18:00. Munich's first parish church was started in the 12th century, but ongoing additions and renovations have kept artists busy for centuries. During a city fire in 1327, the church was damaged and in 1607, the tower (called Alter Peter) was struck by lightning. At the back of the church is a Lourdes grotto tucked under the choir loft stairs, as well as an educational display which shows step by step how a fresco is made. Climb up the 306 steps inside the tower to have a nice view over the city center.
- Theatinerkirche (St. Cajetan), Theatinerstraße 22 (Subways U3, U4, U5 & U6: ''Odeonsplatz''), . Daily 06:30-20:00; No sightseeing during services; services (Catholic): M-Sa 07:00 & 08:00 & 17:00, Su 08:15 & 10:30 & 12:00 & 17:30 & 18:30. Located to the north of the city center at Odeonsplatz. The church is beautifully ornated and is probably the most eye catching structure, because its architecture departs dramatically from the rest of Munich's buildings. The church was built as a thanks to God for the birth of Maximilian II Emanuel, the son of Wittelsbach ruler Ferdinand Maria.
Museums and galleries
- Haus der Kunst (House of Art), Prinzregentenstraße 1 (Tram 18: ''Nationalmuseum/ Haus der Kunst''), ☎ +49 89 21127113, . Daily 10:00-20:00, Th 10:00-22:00. Haus der Kunst is located at the southern end of English Garden. Opened in 1937 as the Third Reich's first monumetal structure, the building's original designation was to showcase what was supposed to be the finest German art. After World War II the building housed the collection of modern arts until 2002, when it moved to Pinakotehk der Moderne. While having no collection of its own, Haus der Kunst is a venue for temporary and traveling exhibitions. Dependent on the exhibtion.
- Jewish Museum, St.-Jakobs-Platz 16 (Subways U1, U2, U3, U6 & U7: ''Sendlinger Tor), ☎ +49 89 23328189, . Tu-Su 10:00-18:00, Closed on Mondays. The Jewish Museum was opened in 2007. It displayes a permanent exhibition on Jewish history and culture in Munich in different times. It futhermore features temporary exhibitions on different aspects of Jewish life. Adults €6; Concessions €3; Free of charge for people under 18.
- Munich City Museum (Münchner Stadtmuseum), St.-Jakobs-Platz 1 (Subways U1, U2, U3, U6 & U7: ''Sendlinger Tor''), ☎ +49 89 23322370, . Tu-Su 10:00-18:00, Closed on Mondays. Apart from the permanent exhibitions Typically Munich! and National Socialism in Munich - Codes of Remembrance, the Münchner Stadtmuseum presents exhibitions on contemporary and civil history, photography, musical instruments and puppetry/fairground amusement. Permanent exhibitions (Adults/Concessions) €4/€2; All exhibitions (Adults/Concessions): €6/€3.
- Residenz (Residence), Residenzstraße 1 (Subways U3, U4, U5 & U6: ''Odeonsplatz''), ☎ +49 89 290671, . Apr-15 Oct: Daily 09:00-18:00; 16 Oct-Mar: Daily 10:00-17:00. The Treasury (Schatzkammer) within the Residence has one of the best collections of ecclesiastical treasures in Europe, not to mention the royal insignia of Bavaria (crowns, orb, scepter, etc). The Antiquarium has the largest Renaissance room north of the Alps, and the Ancestral Portrait Gallery (Ahnengalerie) has a Wittelsbach family portrait collection. There is also a series of Rococo rooms by Cuvilliés. Combined admission for treasury, museum, and Cuvilliés theater: Adults: €13, Reduced: €10.50.
- Residenz Museum, Residenzstraße 1 (Subways U3, U4, U5 & U6: ''Odeonsplatz''), ☎ +49 89 290671, . Apr-15 Oct: Daily 09:00-18:00; 16 Oct-Mar: Daily 10:00-17:00. Within the Residenz. Step in to the life of royalty in this museum dedicated to showing off the furniture and housewares of the royal family of many generations ago. Adults: €7, Concessions: €6.
- Sammlung Schack (Schackgalerie), Prinzregentenstraße 8 (Tram 18: ''Nationalmuseum/Haus der Kunst''), ☎ +49 89 23805224, . W-Su 10:00-18:00, closed on public holidays. Sammlung Schack contains some materpieces of German Romanticism, inlcuding some works of Carl Spitzweg and Franz von Lenbach. Adults: €4, Concessions: €3, Sundays: €1. "
- Treasury (Schatzkammer), Residenzstraße 1 (Subways U3, U4, U5 & U6: ''Odeonsplatz''), ☎ +49 89 290671, . Apr-15 Oct: Daily 09:00-18:00; 16 Oct-Mar: Daily 10:00-17:00. Within the Residenz. The crown jewels, golden works of art and much more. Adults: €7, Concessions: €6.
- Christkindlmarkt at Marienplatz, (Marienplatz), . End of Nov-24 Dec: M-F 10:30-21:00, Sa-Su 10:30-20:00. A large Christmas fiar that stretches across the shopping streets to Marienplatz, so you can mix Christmas market shopping (and eating) with "normal" shopping. The market offers some delicious treats and some great souvenirs/gifts.
- Climb ''Alter Peter'', Rindermarkt 1 (S-Bahn: ''Marienplatz''), . M-F 09:00-17:30, Sa-Su 10:00-17:30. After climbing the 306 steps to the top of the bell tower of Peterskirche you will have the best view you can get of the historic city center. Adults €1.50, Concessions €1.
- Viktualienmarkt— This large open-air market sells everything from soup to nuts. Just off Marienplatz, generations of market families continue to hawk their wares from the same location. There are open air fruit and vegetable stands similar to those scattered around the city, as well as closed stands and little year-round trinket shops. Early in the morning and late in the afternoon on the way to and from work, Munich women stop by the market to pick up something from dinner - during midday it's a bit slower and therefore better for browsing.
- Kaufingerstraße & Neuhauser Straße— Located between Marienplatz and Stachus, it is one of the main shopping streets of Munich. This is the place to go for medium range to high end clothing retail, however, there are plenty more stores than just clothing stores like the large retailers Karstadt and Kaufhof.
- Grano (Italian), Sebastianplatz 3 (S-Bahn: ''Marienplatz''), ☎ +49 89 23269939. M-Sa 10:30-23:00. You might have a hard time finding a free table in this small restaurant. Although it is very centrally located not far from the new synagogue, prices are low and the quality of the food is good. However, the atmosphere and service speed meanwhile suffer from the restaurant's popularity. Pizza €8.
- Sasou (Asian), Marienplatz 28 (S-Bahn: ''Marienplatz''), ☎ +49 89 263701, . M-Sa 11:00-22:00. This pan-Asian fast food restaurant at the southern side of Marienplatz (same entrance as Cafe Glockenspiel) serves excellent Asian noodle soups for an affordable price. €3.80-€9.40.
- Bräustüberl (Bavarian), Am Platzl 9 (S-Bahn: ''Marienplatz''), ☎ +49 89 29013610, . Daily 09:00-23:30. The Bräustüberl restaurant is located on the first floor of the Hofbräuhaus. Both the ambiance and food are traditional Bavarian. There is live music most evenings. Reservations are recommended during high season and major festivals. €3.50-€12.90.
- Paulaner im Tal (Bavarian), Tal 12 (S-Bahn: ''Marienplatz''), ☎ +49 89 2199400 ([email protected]), . Daily 10:00-24:00. Great Bavarian food in a cosy atmosphere. €4.20-€18.80.
- Weißes Bräuhaus (Bavarian), Tal 7 (S-Bahn: ''Marienplatz''), ☎ +49 89 2901380 ([email protected]), . Daily 08:00-01:00. Very rustic ambiance. Maybe the only typical Bavarian restaurant left in the city center. Leave Marienplatz on the east. The street is called Tal. Walk 100 m, Weißes Bräuhaus is on your left hand side. €4-€23.
- Zum Spöckmeier (Bavarian), Rosenstraße 9 (S-Bahn: ''Marienplatz''), ☎ +49 89 268088 ([email protected]), . Su-W 09:00-01:00, Th-Sa 09:00-03:00. Modern Bavarian cuisine, at an affordable price. €4.40-€24.50.
- Haxnbauer im Scholastikahaus (Bavarian), Sparkassenstraße 6 (S-Bahn: ''Marienplatz''), ☎ +49 89 2166540 ([email protected]), . Daily 11:00-24:00. Haxnbauer is a restaurant where you can taste Schweinhaxe. While ordering the waiter brings several knuckles with prices on them so that you could choose which you like best. €9.50-€22.
- Bratwurst Glöckl (Bavarian), Frauenplatz 9 (S-Bahn: ''Marienplatz''), ☎ +49 89 2919450 ([email protected]), . M-Sa 10:00-01:00, Su 10:00-23:00. An authentic restaurant with a good variety of sausages, including original Nürnberger Rostbratwürstl. Great place to sit and relax outside. €5.80-€22.50.
- Katzlmacher (Italian), Bräuhausstraße 6 (S-Bahn: ''Marienplatz''), ☎ +49 89 333360, . M-F 12:00-15:00 & 18:30-01:00, Sa 18:30-01:00, Closed on Sundays. Katzlmacher is among Munich's best Italian restaurants, with accordingly high prices. It is located just around the corner from the infamous Hofbräuhaus. Pasta €15.
- Ratskeller, Marienplatz 8, ☎ +49 (089) 219989-0 ([email protected]), . Offers real Bavarian food and is easy to find. Find the Neues Rathaus (The Gothic city hall) and descend into the the basement. The entire basement is a restaurant. Great for experiencing Bavarian customs.
- Andechser Am Dom, Weinstraße 7a (S-Bahn: ''Marienplatz''), ☎ +49 89 24292920, . Daily 10:00-01:00. This is a good place to stop off if you are going to visit the Frauenkirche. Andechs beers are all brewed at the Klosterbrauerei Andechs, which also is a fun day trip in itself and all the beers are world-class. The brewpub is much smaller than most similar places and seating is limited, but they have tables with a view of the cathedral outside in the summer time and a nice outdoor patio that is heated during the winter. The food is also quite good and varied. This place gets pretty packed at around 15:30, so get there early if you want a table. Otherwise order a beer and strike up a conversation. Beer (0.5L) €3.60.
- Hofbräuhaus, Am Platzl 9 (S-Bahn: ''Marienplatz''), ☎ +49 89 29013610 (fax: +49 (089) 22 75 86), . Daily 09:00-23:00. Touristy, but fun, with good beer and "oom-pah" bands. The Hofbräuhaus, Munich's (and maybe the world's) most famous brewpub, moved to its current location in 1644. It opened to the public after 1830. Nowadays, the embodiment of Bavarian beer culture is visited only by tourists. More likely than not you will hear the famous "oans, zwoa, g'suffa!" song at least once if you spend any time there at all. Basically it means "one, two, drink up!" Bring your passport, because you're likely to be asked for ID, and without your passport bouncers will not let you in. Beer (1L) €7.30.
- Zum Augustiner, Neuhauserstraße 27 (S-Bahn: ''Marienplatz''), ☎ +49 89 23183257, . Daily 09:00-00:00. History has it that beer has been brewed and drank on this site since the 14th century and upon entering you may be inclined to agree with that assertion. Augustiner brews great beers and this place has them all. If the weather is nice, order a Weißbier and sit outside at one of the tables set up to watch pedestrian traffic along Neuhauser Straße. Beer (0.5L) €3.80.
Bars and Pubs
- Kilians Irish Pub, Frauenplatz 11 (S-Bahn: ''Marienplatz''), ☎ +49 89 24219899, . M-Th 16:00-01:00, F-Sa 11:00-03:00, Su 12:00-01:00. Kilians is located behind the Frauenkirche and offers the usual Irish beers. Occasionally it hosts live music and is a popular place among expats, tourists, and Germans alike. The staff is friendly and vigilant about protecting their customers - a string of pickpocket thefts in 2004 caused them to post warnings to customers. Beer (0.5L) €3.60, Long Drinks €7.
Clubs and Discos
- Atomic Café, Neuturmstraße 5 (S-Bahn: ''Marienplatz''), ☎ +49 89 2283054, . Tu-Th 22:00-03:00, F-Sa 22:00-05:00. The Atomic Café is not the typical Munich disco, it has a comfortable sofa area, nostalgic lava lamps and a cosy flair. The stylish 60s design fits perfectly to the varied choice of music. The organizers don't just rely on techno and trance, everything is played here from "easy listening" over "rare groove" to beat and electronic sounds and is also known as Munich's HQ for Britpop. It is also possible to see top international bands live on stage without paying excessive prices for "standing room only". Beer (0.33L) €3.50.
- P1 Club, Prinzregentenstraße 1 (Tram 18: ''Nationalmuseum/Haus der Kunst''), ☎ +49 89 2111140, . This club lives from its reputation as the most exclusive club in Munich it built up many years ago. Management had made a mistake by getting greedy and doubling its size and adding a terrace, that overlooks the English Garden. Thus it has been a problem staying exclusive and simultaneously having enough guests to guarantee a good atmosphere. The bouncers are eventually understanding that P1 is just one of many high class clubs nowadays. Prices are ok.
- Hilton Munich Park, Am Tucherpark 7 (Tram 18: ''Tivolistraße''), ☎ +49 89 38450 (fax: +49 (089) 38452588), . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. This five star hotel has floor-to-ceiling picture windows showcasing a distant view of the Alps. The hotel also comprises of 3 restaurants, a bar, an indoor pool with fitness center and 24hr room service. 20% early birds rebate available. Double from €119.
- InterCityHotel Munich, Bayerstrasse 10 (Connected to the Hauptbahnhof), ☎ +49 89 444440 (fax: +49 (089) 44 44 4-599), . Good value for money at a great location. Rooms are small but simple, but the easy access to the train station is convenient. €77-265.
- Hotel Königshof, Karlsplatz 25 (S-Bahn: ''Karlsplatz (Stachus)''), ☎ +49 0 89 551360, . The luxury hotel is located directly at the Karlsplatz (Stachus). It's only 200m away from the main station and a 10min walk through the pedestrian zone to the Marienplatz. Aside from the spacious rooms, hotel guests can expect a champagne breakfast in the gourmet restaurant Königshof, which is awarded with a Michelin star. Double from €312.
- Hotel Bayerischer Hof, Promenadeplatz 2-6, ☎ +49 89 21200 ([email protected], fax: +49 (089) 21 20-906), . One of the grand old dames in Munich, the hotel's splendor and facilities reflect the personal management of the Volkhardt family who have owned the hotel for four generations. A luxury hotel, it boasts an admired location, a pool well positioned on the top floor alongside a gym and spa bar. Rooms are calm and spacious with big double beds, flatscreen TV's and a sitting area. The large bathrooms have a private phone and plenty of shelf space, with a shower-tub combination. Rooms are furnished with both modern and traditional pieces, with marble, antiques and art decorated plentifully, and you can dine at any one of the three fabulous restaurants. Rates include a champagne breakfast.
- Le Meridien Munich, Bayerstrasse 41 (The hotel is located across the street from the main train station), ☎ +49 (089) 24220 (fax: +49 (089) 2422 2025), . Le Meridien has all of the old-world flair one expects from a charming European hotel, combined with modern amenities. High speed internet access and sleek conference rooms for business meetings provide an elegant atmosphere for corporate events. €150-€615.
- KING's Hotel First Class, Dachauer Str. 13 (In walking distance to Central Main Station Hauptbahnhof Muenchen), ☎ +49 (089) 55 18 7-0, . 4 Star Hotel, very individual, no hotel chain, four poster bed and internet access in every room, friendly service, dogs allowed.
- Mandarin Oriental, Neuturmstraße 1 (S-Bahn: ''Marienplatz''), ☎ 49 89 290980, . The hotel was awarded an accolade of being one of the world's top ten hotels by "Travel and Leisure" and a Michelin star was awarded to Mark's restaurant. Each of its 73 rooms is furnished in a Neo-Renaissance style. They are some of the largest hotel rooms in the city. Double from €525.
- Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski, Maximilianstraße 17 (S-Bahn: ''Marienplatz''), ☎ +49 89 21252799, . Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski is an elegant grand hotel with 150 years of tradition. Its central location on Maximilianstraße, the address for exclusive boutiques and theatres, as well as the nearby opera house, will make your stay very special. Double from 330; early bird rebates.
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