Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt is a district of Munich, comprising the neigborhoods of Isarvorstadt, Ludwigsvorstadt, and Schwanthalerhöhe. It is located directly adjacent to the historic city center to the south. Isarvorstadt is a very vibrant residential area with lots of bars, pubs, and clubs, around the beautiful Gärtnerplatz square. On warm summer evenings this square is a very popular location among young folks to gather, drink a few local beers, and generally enjoy life. Isarvorstadt is also the focal point of the gay and lesbian community in Munich. Ludwigsvorstadt consists of Munich Central Station and the adjacent area to the south of the station, where a lot of hotels, hostels, international diners, casinos, and sexshops are located. Immigrants from over 150 countries make this district one of the most buzzing and internatinal areas of Munich. Last but not least Theresienwiese, the site of the infamous Oktoberfest (Wiesn in local Bavarian language), is located in Ludwigsvorstadt. Schwanthalerhöhe to the west of Theresienwiese comprises a mix of mostly residential parts and a few industrial facilities, like the huge Augustiner brewery. The area of Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt roughly is bounded by the Isar river to the east, the Südring railtracks to the south and west, and the main railtracks and Altstadtring circular road to the north.
The main arteries serving the area are Lindwurmstraße from the south from autobahns A 95 and A 96, Landsberger Straße/Bayerstraße from the west from autobahn A 8 and A 99, and Altstadtring circular road from the east and north. However, it is generally not advisable to go to the area by car. Though traffic isn't to heavy outside rush hours, you will have a hard time finding a parking spot. There is only one bigger parking garage close to the central station, otherwise parking is only allowed to residents with a special parking permit.
Munich Central Station (Hauptbahnhof) is located in the area. It has direct conncetions to almost every bigger city in Germany and also some international services.
By suburban train (S-Bahn)
- S-Bahn lines S1, S2, S3, S4, S6, S7, S8, and S27 all run along the northern boundary of the area with stops at Donnersbergerbrücke, Hackerbrücke, Munich Central Station, Karlsplatz (Stachus), and Isartor.
- S-Bahn lines S7, S20, and S27 also serve the stop Heimeranplatz in the south-west of Schwanthalerhöhe.
By subway (U-Bahn)
- Subway lines U1, U2, and U7 run from Munich Central Station in eastern direction and stop at Sendlinger Tor and Fraunhoferstraße.
- Subway lines U4 and U5 run from Munich Central Station in western direction and stop at Theresienwiese (for the Oktoberfest) and Heimeranplatz.
- Subway lines U3 and U6 run from Marienplatz through the center of the area to stop at Sendlinger Tor, Goetheplatz, and Poccistraße.
- Tram lines 18 and 19 run from western Munich along Bayerstraße through the length of the northern part of the area to the Isar river with many stops along the way. While line 18 continues to follow Altstadtrinf through the area all the way, line 19 branches off at Karlsplatz (Stachus) to run through the historic city center.
- Tram lines 16 and 17, coming from Neuhausen-Nymphenburg and Maxvorstadt have their first stops in the area at Munich Central Station and Karlsplatz (Stachus). They run along Altstadtring until line 17 branches off to the south-east at Müllerstraße to have its final stop in the area at Fraunhoferstraße, while line 16 goes on to the north-east to serve the stops at Isartor and Deutsches Museum and go on to Haidhausen.
As Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt is very bike-friendly, with bikeways along almost every larger street, and generally not too much traffic, going by bike is probably the fastest way to get to the area. There are a plethora of bike rentals around the city.
Given that the area is rather centrally located just south of the historic city center, it is easily accessible by foot. From Marienplatz, just walk south for a few minutes and you will get to Sendlinger Tor on the northern edge of the area.
Given the compact size of the area the easiest way to get around is on foot. From the center of the area at Müllerstraße everything is located withing 500 m. Like most parts of Munich the area is very bike-friendly. With bike lanes running along most of the bigger streets and generally low traffic on other roads, it is a very fast and pleasant way to explore these neigborhoods. The biggest hazard while going by bicycle are tram railtracks running on the streets - if you manage to get into one with your tire you should brace yourself for getting off your bike the hard way. Another valid option, especially if you desire to go to the more western parts beyond Theresienwiese, is going by tram 18, which crosses the full extent of Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt from east to west.
- Deutsches Museum (German Museum of Masterpieces of Science and Technology), Museumsinsel 1 (Tram 16: ''Deutsches Museum''), ☎ +49 89 21791 ([email protected], fax: +49 89 2179324), . Daily 09:00-17:00. Deutsches Museum, the world's largest museum on science and technology, is the most important sight in the area and one of the absolute "Must see's" of Munich; if science and technology is of any interest at all to you, you should not leave it out. Roughly 1.5 million visitors per year can't be all wrong. Topics range from aviation to brewing, from computer sciences to bridge building. There are many guided tours on specific themes and in different languages. Plan to spend plenty of time. There's a planetarium and two branch offices in other locations, which show vehicles that found no place in downtown Munich. Adults €8.50, Concessions €3.
- Old South Cemetery (Alter Südfriedhof), Thalkirchner Straße 17 (Subways U1, U2, U3, U6, U7: ''Sendlinger Tor''), . The Old South Cemetery was established in 1563 as plague cemetery. From 1788 to 1868 is was Munich's single collective burial ground - making it the last resting-place for many famous Munich residents of that time, like Josef von Fraunhofer, Friedrich von Gärtner, Leo von Klenze, Justus von Liebig, Georg Simon Ohm, Carl Spitzweg, and the 1100 victims of the massacre of Sendling's Night of Murder (Sendlinger Mordweihnacht) of 1705 with artistic gravestones and crypts. Today, the cemetery is a protected area and a local recreation area.
- St. Maxmilian's church, Auenstraße 1 (Subways U1 & U2: ''Fraunhoferstraße''), ☎ +49 89 2024070, . The church was built at the beginning of the 20th century in the Romaneque Revival style as the first church in the Isarvorstadt district. Its location right at the shore of the Isar river makes it a very prominent structure. The church gets is fame mostly from its unorthodox pastor, who used to serve beer at the Oktoberfest and ownes two pubs in the neighborhood.
- St. Paul's church (Paulskirche), St.-Pauls-Platz 10 (U-Bahn U4 & U5: ''Theresienwiese''), ☎ +49 89 531547, . Daily 08:00-20:00 (no sightseeing during services). St. Paul is the second largest church in Munich. Its 97 m high bell tower can be accessed for a stunning view of Munich and the Alps. Free of charge.
- Statue of Bavaria and Hall of Fame, Theresienhöhe 16 (U-Bahn U4 & U5: ''Theresienwiese''), ☎ +49 89 290671, . Apr-15 Oct: daily 09:00-18:00, during Oktoberfest 09:00-20:00, closed from 15 Oct-Mar. The 19 m high statue is the personification of the Bavarian homeland. You can climb up to the viewing platform inside the head. During Oktoberfest you can get a great view of the fair. The Hall of Fame at the back of the statue is a pantheon to celebrated Bavarians (the Hall of Fame is closed during Oktoberfest). Adults €3.50, Concessions €2.50.
- Climb St. Paul's bell tower, St.-Pauls-Platz 10 (U-Bahn U4 & U5: ''Theresienwiese''), ☎ +49 89 531547, . Only during Oktoberfest: M-F 14:00-21:00, Sa-Su 12:15-21:00; no admission during services). During Oktoberfest you can access the bell tower of St. Paul's church directly north of Theresienwiese. It is kind of an insider tip, that the 97 m tower of St. Paul's can be climed for one of Munich's most spectacular views. It is a gathering point for professional as well as hobby photographers, due to the postcard panorama. The tower even had its 15 minutes of fame, when in 1960 an American military plane streaked it during take-off and subsequently went down to hit a streetcar. 52 people died in the accident - 20 passengers on the plane and 32 on the ground.
- Pink Christmas, Stephansplatz (U-Bahn U1, U2, U3, U6, U7: ''Sendlinger Tor''), . End of November until Christmas Eve: daily 16:00-21:00. A small and cozy Christmas fair organized by Munich's gay and lesbian community. The name is taken very literal - nearly everything is of pink color. There is a daily show act at 19:00.
- German Theater Munich (Deutsches Theater München), Schwanthalerstraße 13 (south of ''Munich Central Station''), ☎ +49 89 55234444, . Closed and relocated to northern Munich until Apr 2013. The German Theater Munich is Germany's largest theater for guest performances. The theater focuses on music hall besides productions of theater, ballet, operettas, and musicals. It was opened in 1896 and underwent several renovations since then.
- Relax at Gärtnerplatz, Gärtnerplatz (U-Bahn U1 & U2: ''Fraunhoferstraße''). The circular Gärtnerplatz square is one of Munich's most impressive architectural masterpieces. During warm summer evenings hundreds of people gather in the middle of the square itself or in one of the surrounding cafés to enjoy a few local brews and life in general. There is a supermarket right at the square in case you forgot to bring along drinks.
- Oktoberfest, . — The highlight and one of Munich's "must see's" during the last weeks of September and early October is the infamous annual Oktoberfest, the world's largest beer festival. The first Oktoberfest took place on the 12 Oct 1810, to celebrate the marriage of Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen. All citizens of Munich were invited to a meadow (Wiesn) situated in front of the city tower, subsequently renamed Theresienwiese in honor of the bride. In the early years of the fair, horse races were held, then as the event grew, included agricultural conventions, which still take place every fourth year. In 1896, businessmen working with the breweries in Munich built the first giant beer tents at Oktoberfest, and drinking beer has been the primary focus ever since. Each of the major breweries presides over its own large tent filled with traditional musicians leading the crowd in well-known drinking chants, incredibly strong barmaids hoisting ten or more huge Maß (1 L glass beer mugs that are heavy even when empty!), and a spate of drunken people all trying to get into the bathroom at once. In 2012, Oktoberfest hosted 6.4 million visitors who drank 6.9 million liters of beer and ate the equivalent of roughly 90 oxen, 400,000 sausages and 600,000 chickens.
- State Theater at Gärtnerplatz (Gärtnerplatztheater), Gärtnerplatz 3 (Subways U1 & U2: ''Fraunhoferstraße''), ☎ +49 89 202411, . Closed until 2015 due to major construction works. The Gärtnerplatztheater is one of only three Bavarian state theaters and Munich's second opera house. It focuses mainly on opera, with occasional productions of operettas, musicals, and ballets. The opera house itself opened 1865 and was built in classicistic style.
- Italfisch (Italian), Zenettistraße 25 (Subways U3 & U6: ''Poccistraße''), ☎ +49 89 776849, . M-F 11:30-14:30 & 18:30-01:00, Closed on Saturdays and Sundays. This restaurant is all about Italian fish dishes - hence the name. The menue is straightforward with not a too big assortment, but the food is really good. The restaurant normally isn't too crowded. Business lunch €16.50.
- Euro Youth Hostel, Senefelderstraße 5 (100 m south of ''Munich Central Station''), ☎ +49 0 89 59908811, . Rooms and facilites are well maintained and staff are friendly and attentive. Very good location. Lively Bar and free wi-fi in all areas. starting from €11.
- Munich Jaeger's, Senefelderstraße 3 (100 m south of ''Munich Central Station''), ☎ +49 89 555281, . Jaeger's is one of many youth hostels in that street. It features clean and comfortable lodgings, with a simple breakfast served each day - a great place to meet other travelers. starting from €12.
- Wombats City Hostel Munich, Senefelderstraße 1 (directly south of ''Munich Central Station''), ☎ +49 89 59989180, . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 10:00. Social hostel that is centrally located. It offers an all-you-can-eat breakfast, a bar which serves cheap drinks and food, internet terminals, laundromats, 24hr reception service and no curfew. starting from €12.
- Hotel Präsident, Schwanthalerstraße 20 (100m south of ''Munich Central Station''), ☎ +49 89 5490060, . Pleasant 3 star hotel that offers a charming ambiance, business travel facilities, and Munich tour packages. Double from €97.
- Hotel Royal, Schillerstraße 11 (100m south of ''Munich Central Station''), ☎ +49 89 59988160, . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. The hotel offers free wireless internet access and free premiere movie channel (German & English). It features a very central location with only a few minutes to walk from Munich's historic center, Marienplatz, Hofbräuhaus and the Oktoberfest site. Double from €89.
- Hotel Wallis, Schwanthalerstraße 8 (200m south of ''Munich Central Station''), ☎ +49 89 5490290, . Don't let the austere facade fool you, Hotel Wallis is quite charming inside, with free wireless internet access. Although the bedrooms are small, they are furnished in a toned down Alpine-village style. Wireless internet is free for one device, and 5 Euro/day for each additional device. Double from €93.
- Hotel Astor, Schillerstraße 24, ☎ +49 89 54837, . This 4 star hotel takes care of the details, such as offering a free internet station in the lobby, free bicycle hire and an Italian bistro serving homemade culinary delights. A cozy lounge is available for smokers, and wireless internet access is available in all rooms at no extra charge. Double from €99.
- Hotelissimo Haberstock Swiss Quality Hotel, "Schillerstraße, (fax: +49 89 5503634), . The hotel was completely renovated in 2003 and is located 200m from Munich Central Station and 300m from the city center. Double from €104.
- anna hotel, Schützenstraße 1 (100m east of ''Munich Central Station''), ☎ +49 89 599940, . The design hotel is located right between Munich's central station and Karlsplatz (Stachus) quare. All rooms are designed to not leave anything to be desired. The bar and restaurant at the anna hotel has become a hot spot for hotel guests and locals alike. Double from €220.
- Hotel Excelsior, Schützenstraße 11 (Munich Centre), ☎ +49 0 89 551370, . The first class hotel is centrally located, not far from the central station (150m) and only a 10min walk through the pedestrian zone to the Marienplatz. The breakfast is offered as a buffet and does not leave anything to be desired. Free wireless internet access is provided. Double from €220.