Visitor's Guide 2017
All you need to know about Munich on one page!
More than 70 million people from all over the world visit the Bavarian capital each year, making it Germany's most popular city for tourists. Munich's parks (totaling over 70,000 acres), stunning architecture, history, culture, beer gardens and a magnificent countryside give it a very special character and are the reason why so many people decide to visit the city on the Isar River.
- Germany's third-largest city, after Berlin and Hamburg
- Situated close to the Alps
- Population: 1,326,206, 23% of which are foreigners
- Elevation: 529 m
- Time zone: GMT/UTC
- Has a four-season climate, but experiences frequent changes in weather conditions, for a
detailed description of Munich's weather conditions, go to our Find It!
- Germany's country code is 0049. Munich's area code is 089 (omit the 0 when calling from
MUNICH'S TOP SIGHTS
This square is the heart of the city. It is dominated by the Neo-Gothic New City Hall (Neues Rathaus
), whose famous Glockenspiel, with its 43 bells and moving figures, attracts flocks of tourists when it plays daily at 11 am and noon (and 5 pm from March–October). For a detailed description of New City Hall, go to our Landmarks & Highlights
The seat of Bavaria's former ruling family, the Wittelsbacher, until 1918. This sprawling complex of buildings was constructed over three centuries from the 16th to the 19th century. From the outside it appears rather modest, but the inside boasts splendid royal apartments, a treasury and courtyards.
The 500-year-old Church of Our Lady is a Late Gothic brick edifice, whose austere design evokes an image of simplicity and fortitude. Its twin towers with onion-shaped domes have become the city's best-known landmark. A popular attraction is the legendary "devil's footprint" embedded in the church floor. For a detailed description of Frauenkirche, go to our Landmarks & Highlights
First held in 1807, this outdoor farmer's market is popular with locals and tourists alike. Visitors can find everything from fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers, meat and cheese to seafood, wines and spices. There is also a small beer garden. Our Landmarks & Highlights
section will give you more details about this unique market.
Munich's oldest church is well worth the long climb to the top of the tower where a beautiful view of the city awaits you. Our Landmarks & Highlights
section will give you more in-depth information on one of the city's century-old sights.
Tucked between gorgeous baroque townhouses at Sendlingerstrasse 62, Asam Church is considered a masterpiece of Rococo architecture. To find out more about this architectural gem and other Munich buildings designed by the Asam brothers, go to Landmarks & Highlights
On November 9 in 2006 Munich's new main synagogue opened. It is located next to the Jewish Museum and the Jewish Center on St.-Jakobs-Platz. To register for an admission free guided tour, call (089) 20 24 00 117. To learn more about this newly established center of Jewish life, go to Landmarks & Highlights
Commissioned by King Ludwig I in an effort to create an "Athens on the Isar" and later abused by the Nazis as a parade ground, this square is bordered by impressive Neoclassical structures: the Propylaeum gateway, the Glyptothek, a unique museum with a Greek and Roman statuary and the Antikensammlung, which houses a collection of ancient Greek and Etruscan pottery and jewelry. For more information, go to Landmarks & Highlights
This world-famous beer hall remains one of Munich's most popular tourist attractions. Founded in 1589 as a royal brewery, it's a great location to experience true Bavarian Gemütlichkeit (plus oompah music and tipsy tourists). To learn more about this historic site of inebriation, go to our Landmarks & Highlights
This landscape garden is one of the largest city parks in Europe. On summer days more than a quarter of a million visitors may crowd into the park, yet it is never difficult to find quiet paths and secluded places. Four beer gardens provide refreshments, relaxation and excellent people-watching opportunities. Our Landmarks & Highlights
section will inform you on the interesting history of Munich's green lung.
In the heart of the Englischer Garten stands the "Chinese Tower." Built more than 200 years ago when the Chinese artistic influence was highly popular, it is now surrounded by one of Munich's largest beer gardens that has a seating capacity of 7,000.
Built for the 1972 Olympics, this landscaped park, with its lakes, hills and footpaths, is a popular spot for sports and recreation. Facilities for swimming, cycling and skating are open to the public. The large stadium—whose famous tent-like steel and glass roof is one of the city's landmarks—hosts everything from wine festivals to rock concerts. The 290-m-high Olympic Tower features a lookout platform and a revolving restaurant. Landmarks & Sightseeing
will tell you more about Olympic Park.
This splendid Baroque palace, once a summer residence of the Bavarian Electors, houses Ludwig I's celebrated "Gallery of Beauties." There are two museums located in the wings of the palace: the Museum of Mankind and Nature and the Marstall Museum, which houses historic coaches, as well as carriages and a collection of the famous Nymphenburg porcelain. The adjacent Botanical Garden is home to an extensive collection of flora. For a detailed history of this splendid palace, go to our Landmarks & Highlights
The post office at the Central Train Station (Hauptbahnhof
) is open Mon.–Fri., 7 am–8 pm,
Sat., 8 am–4 pm and is open Sun., 9 am–3 pm. For more information on services of the Deutsche Post
(German Post), visit www.deutschepost.de
There is no limit on the amount of foreign currency you may bring in to or
take out of Germany. The European currency, the euro, is issued in
denominations of 1,000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 bills, and in 2- and
1-euro coins. One euro equals 100 cents, which are issued in the form of 50-, 20-, 10-, 5-, 2- and 1-cent coins. Money can be exchanged at banks and post offices. ATMs offer various cash withdrawal options—not just with an EC card but also with Cirrus and Plus from the US, along with the classic credit cards Visa, Mastercard and American Express. While an increasing number of restaurants, hotels and stores accept credit cards, it is advisable to ask about methods of payment before ordering a meal or making a purchase. The EC banking card is widely accepted.
There is a travel center at the central branch of the Stadtsparkasse München,
(089) 21 67 0, Sparkassenstr. 2, just off Marienplatz, open Mon., Tues., Wed. and Fri. 8:45 am–4 pm and Thurs. 8:45 am–6 pm, here you can exchange money, cash traveler's checks and withdraw cash with a credit card. An ATM outside the bank accepts currencies from the following countries: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Great Britain, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA.
The central pedestrian zone of the city (Fussgängerzone
) consists of Kaufingerstrasse
, Neuhauser Strasse
, where there are many large department stores, well-known chain stores and souvenir shops. Between Marienplatz and Odeonsplatz is Theatinerstrasse
. This upmarket street has a great combination of book stores, jewelers, chic boutiques, galleries, shoe shops and cafés and is a good place to shop for designer labels. Fünf Höfe, a high-class shopping mall consisting of five courtyards, is also located on Theatinerstrasse. It is worth a visit for the exceptional architecture alone, not to mention the tasteful shops and cafés, restaurants and galleries. Close to Theatinerstrasse is the most exclusive of Munich's shopping areas, Maximilianstrasse
. This glamorous part of the city is definitely worth a look, even if you cannot afford the haute couture on offer. Near Marienplatz is Sendlinger Strasse
, which has a wide range of stores selling everything from home accessories to hiking gears, furniture and shoes, as well as some cool clothes and jewelry shops. If you are looking for funky shops, explore Schwabing
and the Glockenbachviertel
. These districts have a more Bohemian flavor. They have unique shops, including second-hand stores and local designer boutiques. There is an abundance of lively cafés, bars and restaurants where you can rest your weary feet after a hard day's shopping. Discover exotic delectibles and local delicacies at Munich's traditional farmer's market, the Viktualienmarkt
Opening Hours: Many stores are open until 8 pm from Mon.–Sat., but if you venture out of the city center you might find that they close earlier. All shops are closed on Sundays and holidays. FOOD & BEER
Even though you will find culinary diversity in Munich, a visit to the city should include a traditional Bavarian fare! Here are a few translations of local specialties to help you along:Brezn
— soft pretzels strewn with coarse saltHaxe
— grilled knuckle of pork or vealKäsespätzle
— egg pasta served with melted cheese and butterKnödel
— bread (Semmel
) or portato (Kartoffel
) dumpling Leberkäse
— meatloaf of beef and porkObazda
— cheese spread with butter and spicesRadi
— thin slices of white radishSauerbraten
— marinated beef with a sour flavorSchweinebraten
— roast porkSteckerlfisch
— whitefish or trout grilled on a spitWeisswurst
— boiled white veal and pork sausage
Beer doesn't get any better than in Bavaria. The Reinheitsgebot
(purity law) decreed by Duke William IV in 1516 and still followed today, state that only four ingredients are allowed in the brewing process—water, hops, yeast and barley (malt)—and the fact that there are fewere preservatives means you'll end up with less of a hangover. In addition to the six local breweries featured at the annual Oktoberfest—Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu, Löwenbräu, Paulaner and Spaten—there are numerous other excellent Bavarian breweries, such as those at the monasteries in Andechs and Ettal. Each brewery runs its own beer halls and gardens, where only the house brew is sold. A Munich institution, beer gardens date back to when breweries stored beer in cellars and planted chestnut trees above to ensure that the beer remained cool in the summer.
It will not take you long to find out if you prefer Weissbier
(wheat beer), dunkles Bier
(dark beer), Pils
(pilsener) or Helles
(light-colored beer). When you order a beer, you will usually get half a liter of Helles unless you specify, but at beer gardens or the Oktoberfest you will get a Mass, or liter, of beer. In Bavaria around 2.7 billion liters of beer are served annually, 500 million of which are consumed in the two-week-long Oktoberfest.
For a list of Munich's best Bavarian restaurants, visit our Food & Dining