Munich - Fodor's Germany - Fodor's

Fodor's Germany - Fodor's (2016)


Welcome to Munich

Previous Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Top Reasons to Go | Getting Oriented | What’s Where | Planning | Viktualienmarkt | Munich’s Beer Gardens

Updated by Elizabeth Willoughby and Paul Wheatley

Known today as the city of laptops and lederhosen, modern Munich is a cosmopolitan playground that nevertheless represents what the rest of the world incorrectly sees as “typically German”: world-famous Oktoberfest, traditional Lederhosen (leather pants), busty Bavarian waitresses in Dirndls (traditional dresses), beer steins, and sausages.

Munich’s cleanliness, safety, and Mediterranean pace give it a slightly rustic feel. The broad sidewalks, fashionable boutiques and eateries, views of the Alps, a sizable river running through town, and a huge green park make Munich one of Germany’s most visited cities. When the first rays of spring sun begin warming the air, follow the locals to their beloved beer gardens, shaded by massive chestnut trees.

The number of electronics and computer firms—Siemens, Microsoft, and SAP, for starters—makes Munich a sort of mini-Silicon Valley of Germany, but for all its business drive, this is still a city with roots in the 12th century, when it began as a market town on the “salt road” between mighty Salzburg and Augsburg.

That Munich was the birthplace of the Nazi movement is a difficult truth that those living here continue to grapple with. To distance the city from its Nazi past, city leaders looked to Munich’s long pre-Nazi history to highlight what they decreed was the real Munich: a city of great architecture, high art, and fine music. Many of the Altstadt’s architectural gems were rebuilt postwar, including the lavish Cuvilliés-Theater, the Altes Rathaus, and the Frauenkirche.

The city’s appreciation of the arts began under the kings and dukes of the Wittelsbach dynasty, which ruled Bavaria for eight centuries, until 1918. The Wittelsbach legacy is alive and well in many of the city’s museums and exhibition centers, the Opera House, the philharmonic, and, of course, the Residenz, the city’s royal palace. Any walk in the City Center will take you past ravishing baroque decoration and grand 19th-century neoclassical architecture.

Although Munich began as a market town on the salt road between mighty Salzburg and Augsburg in the 12th century, today it is a cosmopolitan technology capital that values quality of life above all else. Nevertheless, Munich still has a Medieval feel. It’s a place that seamlessly blends modernity and tradition with Lederhosen (leather pants), Dirndls (country dresses), parks, beer gardens, and cavernous halls.


Deutsches Museum: The museum has an impressive collection of science and technology exhibits, and its location on the Isar River is perfect for a relaxing afternoon stroll.

Englischer Garten: With expansive greens, beautiful lakes, and beer gardens, the English Garden is a great place for a bike ride or a long walk.

Gärtnerplatz: Gärtnerplatz and the adjoining Glockenbachviertel are the hip hoods of the moment, with trendy bars, restaurants, cafés, and shops.

Marienplatz: The heart of Munich, everyone passes through this pretty medieval square at the center of everything. Be sure to take in the Glockenspiel’s turning knights and musicians on the facade of the Rathaus at midday.

Viktualienmarkt: Experience farmers’-market-style shopping, where there’s fresh produce, finger food, and a beer garden. Dating back to 1823, this market should not be missed.


In the relaxed and sunnier southern part of Germany, Munich (München) is the proud capital of the state of Bavaria. Even Germans come here to vacation, mixing the city’s pleasures with the nearby natural surroundings—on clear days, from downtown the Alps appear to be much closer than around 40 miles away. The city bills itself as “Die Weltstadt mit Herz” (“The Cosmopolitan City with Heart”), but in rare bouts of self-deprecatory humor, friendly Bavarians will remind you that it isn’t much more than a country town with 1.5 million people. Münchners will also tell visitors that the city is special because of its Gemütlichkeit (cozy atmosphere). With open-air markets, numerous parks, the lovely Isar River, and loads of beer halls, Munich has a certain charm that few cities can match.


Altstadt. Altstadt (Old Town) and its surrounding streets are a hub for locals and tourists alike. It’s home to Marienplatz, the Rathaus, and Frauenkirche—Munich’s landmark church with two soaring towers—as well as the Residenz and Hofgarten (royal palace and court gardens).

Lehel. East of Marienplatz, down toward the Isar River, is a maze of Altstadt’s smaller streets. These run seamlessly into Lehel, which gently spreads out across the Isar. A highly sought-after residential neighborhood, Lehel is calm, pretty, and family-oriented, but is also chic and self-sufficient.

Ludwigsvorstadt and Isarvorstadt. These neighborhoods south and west of Altstadt encompass several smaller quarters, like Isarvorstadt’s Glockenbachviertel and Gärtnerplatz, two action-packed hoods with cafés, bars, restaurants, and nightclubs, as well as the world-famous Deutsches Museum. Ludwigsvorstadt is home to two of Munich’s most important landmarks: Hauptbahnhof (main train station) and Theresienwiese, where Oktoberfest takes place each autumn

Schwabing and Maxvorstadt. Maxvorstadt marks the northern boundary of Innenstadt (City Center). On the east side of Maxvorstadt is Ludwigstrasse, a wide avenue flanked by impressive buildings, running from the Feldherrnhalle at Odeonsplatz to the Victory Arch. A block west are Maxvorstadt’s smaller streets, lined with shops and restaurants frequented by students. The big museums lie farther west. Schwabing starts north of the Victory Arch, where Ludwigstrasse becomes Leopoldstrasse. The Englischer Garten extends from Schwabing back down into the northeast part of Altstadt.

Au and Haidhausen. Across the Isar are fashionable Au and Haidhausen; these residential neighborhoods are conveniently located to Munich’s Altstadt.

Outside Innenstadt. Although Ludwigvorstadt and Isarvorstadt begin in the City Center, they extend south and west beyond what is considered the Innenstadt borders. The western part of Munich, outside of the Innenstadt, is Nymphenburg, dominated by Nymphenburg Castle and its glorious grounds.



It’s nicer to walk through the Englischer Garten when the weather’s fine in summer. A few post-summer sunny days are usual, but the Oktoberfest is also an indication that fall is here, and the short march to winter has arrived. There are world-class museums and good restaurants to keep you entertained year round, though, and theater and opera fans will especially enjoy winter, when the tour buses and the camera-toting crowds are gone.


Munich comes alive during Fasching, Germany’s Mardi Gras, the week before Ash Wednesday in the pre-Easter season. The festival of festivals, Oktoberfest, takes place from the end of September to early October.

Die Lange Nacht der Musik (Long Night of Music).
In late April or May this festival is devoted to live performances through the night by untold numbers of groups, from heavy-metal bands to medieval choirs, at more than 100 locations throughout the city. One ticket covers everything, including transportation on special shuttle buses that run between locations. | Munich | 089/3061-0041 | | €15.


Munich’s International Airport is 35 km (22 miles) northeast of the City Center and has excellent air service from all corners of the world. An excellent train service links the airport with downtown. The S-1 and S-8 lines operate from a terminal directly beneath the airport’s arrival and departure halls. Trains of both S-bahn lines leave at 20-minute intervals, and the journey takes around 40 minutes. Easiest is to buy a Tageskarte (day card) for the Gesamtnetz (whole network), costing €12, which allows you to travel anywhere on the system until 6 am the next morning. A one-way bus trip costs around €10.50 and takes about 40 minutes to the City Center. A taxi from the airport costs around €70. During rush hours (7 am-10 am and 4 pm-7 pm), allow up to an hour of driving time. If you’re driving to the city yourself, take the A-9 and follow the signs for “München Stadtmitte” (downtown). If you’re driving to the airport from the City Center, head north through Schwabing, join the A-9 autobahn at the Frankfurter Ring intersection, and follow the signs for the “Flughafen” (airport).

Airport Information
Flughafen München. | Flughafen München 2 | 089/97500 | | Station: Flughafen.


The location of Munich’s 2009 Central Bus Terminal (ZOB) means that many excursions and longer trips are now centralized in this futuristic hub five minutes from the main train station. As well as numerous shops and banks, it has travel firms offering bus tickets and destination advice.

Touring Eurolines buses arrive at and depart from the ZOB. Check their website for trips to Neuschwanstein and the Romantic Road.

Bus Information
Central Bus Station Munich (ZOB). | Arnulfstr. 21, Ludwigsvorstadt | | Station: Hackerbrücke.
Touring Eurolines. | DTG-Ticket-Center München (ZOB), Hackerbrücke 4, Ludwigvorstadt | 089/8898-9513 | | Station: Hackerbrücke.


If you’re driving to Munich from the north (Nürnberg or Frankfurt), leave the autobahn at the Schwabing exit. From Stuttgart and the west, the autobahn ends at Obermenzing, one of Munich’s most westerly suburbs. The autobahns from Salzburg and the east, Garmisch and the south, and Lindau and the southwest all join the Mittlerer Ring (city beltway). When leaving any autobahn, follow the signs reading “Stadtmitte” for downtown Munich.


Munich has one of the most efficient and comprehensive public transportation systems in Europe, consisting of the U-bahn (subway), the S-bahn (suburban railway), the Strassenbahn (streetcar, also called “Tram”), and buses. Marienplatz forms the heart of the U-bahn and S-bahn network, which operates regularly from around 5 am to 1 am (intermittently in the very early morning, so check times if you’re expecting a long night or early start). The main MVV service counter under Marienplatz sells tickets and gives out information, also in English. The website has excellent and extensive transportation information, also in English.

A basic Einzelfahrkarte (one-way ticket) costs under €2 for a journey of up to four stops (a maximum of two of them using U- or S-bahn), and under €3 for a longer ride in the inner zone. If you’re taking a number of trips around the city, save money by buying a Streifenkarte, or multiple 10-strip ticket. On a journey of up to four stops validate one stripe, for the inner zone validate two stripes. If you plan to do several trips during one day, buy a Tageskarte (day card), which allows you to travel anywhere until 6 am the next morning. For a group of up to five there is a Tageskarte for the inner zone and one for all zones. There is also a three-day card for a single person and one for two people. See the MVV website for current prices and options. All tickets must be validated at one of the blue time-stamping machines at the station, or on buses and trams as soon as you board (don’t wait till you’ve found a seat; if an inspector’s around you’ll get fined €40 that must be paid on the spot, and they don’t care whether you’re a tourist or a local). Spot checks for validated tickets are common. All tickets are sold at the blue dispensers at U- and S-bahn stations and at some bus and streetcar stops. Bus drivers have only single tickets (the most expensive kind). TIP Holders of a EurailPass, a Youth Pass, or an Inter-Rail card can travel free on all suburban railway trains (S-bahn) and regional trains. Be forewarned: if caught on an U-bahn, tram, or bus without a normal public-transport ticket, you will be fined €40, with no exceptions.

Munich Transport Corporation (MVG).
Munich Transport Corporation operates the integrated and extensive subway (U-bahn), bus, and streetcar (tram) system. In cooperation with Munich Transport and Tariff Association (MVV) and its partner companies, the transport system extends to urban rail (S-bahn), regional railway, and other bus operators. For the most part, this complex system manages to run like clockwork. Tickets, maps, schedules, and advice in English are available at this service center. | Hauptbahnhof (Central Station), Bahnhofpl. 1-3, Ludwigsvorstadt | Underground in the mezzanine of the U- and S-bahn by exit to the U1/U2 | 0800/3442-26600 toll-free throughout Germany | | Closed Sunday | Station: Hauptbahnhof.


Munich’s cream-color taxis are numerous. Hail them in the street, find them at a taxi stand, download their app, locate the nearest call box online, or phone the call center for one. Rates start at €3.50. Expect to pay around €10 for a 5-km (3-mile) trip within the city. There’s a €0.60 charge for each piece of non-hand luggage and an additional charge of €1.20 if you call to order a cab.

Taxi München.
This taxi association in Munich is the largest in Germany, with over 3,000 automobiles owned by various companies operating under the Taxi München umbrella. | Munich | 089/21610, 089/21610 |


All long-distance rail services arrive at and depart from the Hauptbahnhof; trains to and from some destinations in Bavaria use the adjoining Starnberger Bahnhof, which is under the same roof. The high-speed InterCity Express (ICE) trains connect Munich, Stuttgart, and Frankfurt on one line, Munich, Nürnberg, Würzburg, and Hamburg on another. Regensburg can be reached from Munich on Regio trains. You can purchase tickets by credit card at vending machines.

Fodor’s Choice | Deutsche Bahn.
For travel information at the main train station, go to the Deutsche Bahn (German Rail) office in the main arrival and departures hall (don’t forget to grab a number before you start waiting), or use their website. The office is open daily 7 am to 9 pm. | Reisezentrum München Hauptbahnhof, Bahnhofpl. 2, Ludwigsvorstadt | 180/699-6633 | | Station: Hauptbahnhof.

Fodor’s Choice | EurAide.
For train travel assistance in English go to the EurAide counter within the Deutsche Bahn office. EurAide is very thorough and, as an agency of the German railroad, knows the systems inside and out, saving travelers a lot of money. Be patient, because they also spend time fixing the mistakes people have made by buying the wrong tickets online. In summer, go in the afternoon (2 pm-7 pm) when EurAide operates two counters. They also offer discounted hop-on, hop-off Munich bus tickets. The counter is open May through October, weekdays 8:30-8, Saturday 8:30-2; March, April, November, and December, weekdays 10-7. It is closed January and February. | Reisezentrum, Bahnhofpl. 2, Counter 1, Ludwigsvorstadt | | Station: Hauptbahnhof.


There are several ways to experience a guided tour through Munich, on foot or by various modes of transportation, such as bus, rickshaw, octopus bike (an eight-person bicycle) and Segway.

City Segway Tours.
Take a 2½-hour group Segway tour for a stop-and-go trek to see the main sights of the city, or a four-hour day tour to learn Munich’s history from its humble beginnings, through tumultuous times and up to the present day. Tours begin with a “driving” lesson. Drivers must be at least 15 years old and have a valid driver’s license. | Karlspl. 4, Altstadt | Look for the shop in the courtyard | 089/2388-8798 | | From €59 | Station: Karlsplatz Stachus.

Gray Line Sightseeing Munich.
The best way to get a feel for Munich is to board a double-decker sightseeing bus—look for Stadtrundfahrten (city sightseeing). These blue buses, run by Autobus Oberbayern, offer a hop-on, hop-off service throughout the City Center, with commentary headphones available in eight languages and a live host who offers commentary in English and German. The tour takes an hour. Buses run every 20 minutes April through October and every 30-60 minutes November through March. TIP Book online for the best price. | Hauptbanhof, Bahnhofpl. 7, Ludwigsvorstadt | Wait outside the Karstadt department store | 089/5490-7560 | | From €15.50 | Station: Hauptbahnhof.

Mike’s Bike Tours.
The oldest bike-tour operation in Munich, Mike’s humorous tours last four to seven hours, typically with an hour’s break at a beer garden, and cover upward of 6 km (4 miles). From March through mid-November tours start on foot daily at the Altes Rathaus at the east end of Marienplatz, followed by a short walk around the corner to pick up the bikes. A standard tour starts at 11:30 am, and from mid-April through August a second tour starts at 4:30 pm. November-March is by appointment. Reserve to be sure, though you’ll probably get a bike if you just show up. Bus Bavaria, part of the same company, also offers day trips by bus to Neuschwanstein castle. | Bräuhausstr. 10, Altstadt | 089/2554-3987 | | From €30 | Station: Marienplatz, Isartor.

Fodor’s Choice | Munich Tourist Office.
Munich’s tourist office offers individual guided tours with certified guides in 29 languages. Tours should be booked at least six days ahead of time and should include all the specifics, such as the desired language, the number of people in your group, meeting place, time, date, and duration, and your address. You can include any specific sights if you have something in particular you want to see. Tours can last up to three hours. | Marienpl. 2, Altstadt | 089/2333-0234 | | From €120 | Station: Marienplatz.

Pedalheroes Munich.
A novel way of seeing the city is to hop on one of the bike-rickshaws with foldable rain canopies. The bike-powered two-seater cabs operate from Marienplatz and, besides the planned tours, you can also let a driver take you to a sight of your choosing. It’s best to book a week ahead. Those traveling in a group, large or small, could consider taking an octopus bike tour on a circular tandem bicycle. | Müllerstr. 6, Altstadt | 089/2421-6880 | | From €39 | Station: Marienplatz.

Radius Tours & Bike Rental.
Theme walks of Munich’s highlights, Third Reich Munich, and the Dachau concentration camp are offered here, all departing from the Radius office in Hauptbahnhof. Third Reich tours start daily at 3 pm between April and mid-October and daily at 11:30 am the rest of the year. The Dachau tour starts daily at 9:15 am and 12:15 pm from April to mid-October, with a third tour added daily in June and July at 10:15 am. The rest of the year the Dachau tours run daily at 10:15 am. Advance booking is not necessary for individuals, but it is recommended. | Hauptbahnhof, Arnulfstr. 3, Ludwigsvorstadt | Office: in Hauptbahnhof opposite platform 31 | 089/5434-8777 20 | | From €13 | Station: Hauptbahnhof.

Segway Tour Munich.
Reserve your Segway online for the Classic Tour that stops at 20 key Bavarian sights around Munich, or the Third Reich Tour for the 22 most important places of the Nazi regime. With several starting times to choose from, standard tours of up to eight people begin at the Altes Rathaus at Marienplatz. Tours take about three hours, including a safety briefing. A valid driver’s license is required to operate a Segway in Germany. | Marienpl. 15, Altstadt | Below the archway of the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) | 089/2420-3401 | | €75 | Station: Marienplatz.

Stadtrundfahrt CitySightseeing.
Yellow Cab’s double-decker buses offer hop-on, hop-off service on one-hour tours leaving every 10-20 minutes between 10 am and 5 pm from April through October. From November through March, the red and yellow buses leave between 10 am and 4 pm every 30 to 60 minutes on weekdays, and every 15 to 30 minutes on weekends. Commentary is in German over a loudspeaker and in several other languages with headsets. Tickets ordered online are cheaper. | Luisenstr. 4, Ludwigsvorstadt | Across the street from Hauptbahnhof Nord | | From €14.90 | Station: Hauptbahnhof.


Set aside at least a whole day for the Old Town, hitting Marienplatz with the rest of the spectators when the glockenspiel plays at 11 am, noon, and also 5 pm in summertime. There’s a reason why Munich’s Kaufingerstrasse has Germany’s most expensive shop rents. Munich is Germany’s most affluent city and Münchners like to spend. The pedestrian zone can get maddeningly full between noon and 2 pm, when everyone in town seems to be taking a quick shopping break, though it’s hardly any better up until around 5 pm. If you’ve already seen the glockenspiel, try to avoid the area at that time. Avoid the museum crowds in Maxvorstadt by visiting as early in the day as possible. All Munich seems to discover an interest in art on Sunday, when most municipal and state-funded museums are €1 or even free; you might want to take this day off from culture and have a late breakfast or brunch at the Elisabethmarkt or around the Gärtnerplatz-Glockenbach areas. Some beer gardens and taverns have Sunday-morning jazz concerts. Many Schwabing bars have happy hours between 6 pm and 8 pm—a relaxing way to end your day.


The Munich Tourist office has two locations. The Hauptbahnhof (main train station) tourist office is open Monday through Saturday 9-8 and Sunday 10-6. The Tourist office in Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall) in Marienplatz is open weekdays 9:30-7:30, Saturday 9-4, and Sunday 10-2.

For information on the Bavarian mountain region south of Munich, contact Bavarian Tourism (

As well as tourist offices, a great way to start your Munich visit is to go to Infopoint in Alterhof’s Münchner Kaiserburg, a comprehensive information center for all museums and palaces across Bavaria.

Fodor’s Choice | Infopoint Museen Bayern, Münchner Kaiserburg.
In addition to information on Bavarian museums and palaces, you’ll find a vaulted cellar where two short films (also in English) play, one about Munich’s history, the other about Alter Hof. To get here from Marienplatz, walk 180 yards down attractive Burgstrasse and through Alter Hof’s tower. On the right is Infopoint. Another 100 yards will take you to the Münzhof entrance, and another 50 to the Residenz Theater, next to the Residenz. This walk is an incredible introduction to 1,000 years of history. It’s open Monday-Saturday 10-6. | Alter Hof 1, Altstadt | 089/2101-4050 | | Station: Marienplatz.

Munich Tourist Office—Hauptbahnhof.
Come here for maps, flyers, event information, tours and sightseeing information, or even to book a hotel. Assistance is available in English. The office is open Monday to Saturday 9 to 8 and Sunday 10 to 6. | Hauptbahnhof, Bahnhofpl. 2, Ludwigsvorstadt | Entrance is from the street, outside of Hauptbahnhof | 089/2339-6500 | | Station: Hauptbahnhof.

Fodor’s Choice | Munich Tourist Office—Rathaus.
Come here for maps, museum flyers, and information about sightseeing tours. Assistance in English is available. Ticket sales to performances and events have moved around the corner to Dienerstrasse. Still within the Rathaus building, the ticket shop is across the street from Dienerstrasse 20. The office is open weekdays 9:30-7:30, Saturday 9-4, and Sunday 10-2. | Marienpl. 2, Altstadt | 089/2339-6500 | | Station: Marienplatz.


It’s not just the fascinating array of fruit, vegetables, olives, breads, cheeses, meats, pickles, and honey that make the Viktualienmarkt (victuals market) so attractive. The towering maypole, small Wirtshäuser (pub-restaurants), and beer gardens also set the scene for a fascinating trek through Munich’s most famous market.

The Viktualienmarkt’s history can be traced to the early 19th century, when King Max I Joseph decreed that Marienplatz was too small to house the major city market. In 1807, a bigger version was created a few hundred yards to the south, where it stands today. You are just as likely to find a Münchner buying something here as you are a visitor. Indeed, a number of City Center restaurants proudly proclaim that they get their ingredients “fresh from the market.” This is the place to pick up a Brotzeit: bread, olives, cheeses, gherkins, and whatever else strikes your fancy, then retreat to a favorite Biergarten to enjoy the bounty.


All stalls are open weekdays 10-6 and Saturday 10-3, though some stalls open earlier or close later. It’s not kosher to touch the fresh produce but it is to ask to taste a few different olives or cheeses before buying. The quality of the various produce is invariably good; competition is fierce, so it has to be. Therefore, buy the best of what you fancy from a number of stalls, not just one or two.


Beer and Prepared Food

If it’s just a beer you’re after, there are a number of beer stalls not far from the towering maypole. Biergarten am Viktualienmarkt is the main location, but there are also small Imbissstände (snack bars) where you can pick up roast pork and beer. Kleiner Ochsenbrater sells delicious organic roast dishes. Poseidon and the nearby Fisch Witte rustle up a fine selection of fish dishes, including very good soups and stews. Luigino’s Bio Feinkost, an organic deli that also has fine cheeses and wines, is the spot for a quick grilled sandwich. And the modest-looking Münchner Suppenküche dishes out delightful helpings of soup, including oxtail, chicken, and spicy lentil.

Fruits and Vegetables

The mainstay of the market is fruit and vegetables, and there are a number of top-quality stalls to choose from. The centrally located Fruitque has some of the freshest, most attractive-looking, and ripest produce on display, or try Frische Kräuter und Gewürze for the tastiest olives, peppers, garlic, and dips of all kinds. For something a little more exotic, try out Exoten Müller, which specializes in unusual fruits and vegetables from around the world.

Honighäusel am Münchner Viktualienmarkt

Honighäusel means “small honey house” and is an apt description of this petite honey wonderland. Much of the produce comes from Bavaria, but there’s also a selection of honeys from farther afield: Italy, France, even New Zealand. This is also the place to buy honey marmalades and soaps, and beeswax candles. For a chilly evening, pick up a bottle of Bavarian honey schnapps.

Schenk und Schmidt

There are numerous stalls at the market that serve mouthwatering, freshly pressed fruit drinks, so no matter where you buy, you won’t be disappointed. “Schenk’s frischgepresste Säfte” is a favorite because the drinks are top-notch and the staff are engaging, speak English, and take the time to explain the ingredients in each drink.


There is no better Lebkuchen, the ginger Christmas cookies that originated in Nürnberg, available in Munich than from Lebkuchen-Schmidt. This little corner store offers their authentic products in attractive tin boxes for any occasion.

A Wine Break

For a welcome respite from summer heat or a chilly winter wind, or even from the omnipresent offers of Bavarian beers, nip into Edle Pfälzer Weine, and stand around a table with friends for a glass of wine to help you decide which bottle to select for dinner later.


With a bit of sunshine, a handful of picnic tables, and a few of the finest beers around, you have yourself a Biergarten (beer garden). There are beer gardens throughout Germany, and many imitations across the world, but the most traditional, and the best, are still found in and around Munich. The elixir that transforms the traditional Munich beer garden into something special is the unbeatable atmosphere.

Beer gardens formed out of necessity. Brewers in the 18th and 19th centuries struggled to keep beer cool to prevent it from spoiling in warm weather. As early as 1724, Munich brewers dug cellars and began to store beer next to the shady shores of the Isar River. Local residents promptly took along their beer glasses for a cool drink and before long the odd table and bench appeared, and the beer garden tradition was born.


Often, a beer garden is separated between where guests can bring food and where they must buy it. Simply ask to avoid confusion, or look for tablecloths—generally these are table-service only. The basis of a beer garden Brotzeit is delicious black bread, Obatzda, sausage, gherkin, and radish. As tradition dictates, remember to also order “Ein Mass Bier bitte!” (“A liter of beer please!”)


Augustiner Keller Biergarten

This is perhaps the most popular beer garden in Munich and certainly one of the largest. Located in Maxvorstadt, it is part of the Augustiner Keller restaurant, a few hundred yards from Hackerbrücke S-bahn station, or five minutes from the Hauptbahnhof. The main garden is separated in half between where you can bring your own food and where you buy food from the beer garden. The leaves of countless horse chestnut trees provide a canopy covering, which adds to the dreamy atmosphere.

Hofbräukeller am Wiener Platz

Some of the best beer gardens are found away from the City Center. This one in Haidhausen is a 15-minute walk (or take Tram No. 18 or 19 from the Hauptbahnhof) over the Isar River, past the Maximilianeum, to Wiener Platz, a delightful square well worth visiting. The beer garden attracts Münchners, as well as groups of British, Australian, and American expats. The staple beer garden chicken, fries, roast pork, and spare ribs are better here than most.

Königlicher Hirschgarten

With seating for 8,000, this is the biggest and most family-friendly beer garden in Munich. In a former royal hunting area outside the City Center (in Nymphenburg), it takes a little time and effort to reach. Your best bet is to take the S-bahn, or rent a bike and cycle there. The rewards are clear: surrounded by trees and green parkland, the tables and benches seem to go on forever. The food and beer is good and there is even a small deer sanctuary, lending the “Deer Park” its name.

Park Café

This is where trendsetters head for a more modern and sunny—there isn’t as much shade here—take on the traditional beer garden. Set in Maxvorstadt in Munich’s old botanical garden, five minutes from the Hauptbanhof, this medium-size beer garden regularly has live bands on Friday and Saturday evenings, and live jazz often plays during Sunday-morning family breakfasts. It also has a good selection of cakes and a hip indoor bar.

Seehaus im Englischen Garten

Within Munich’s very own oasis, the Englischer Garten, it was an inspired decision to build this beer garden next to a boating lake. A leisurely stroll through the garden to the Seehaus takes about an hour, but go early because it’s popular after 11:30. Lots of people visit the Englischer Garten in Schwabing to play soccer and other sports, and if you want to join in you might choose to pass on the roast dinner and instead snack on a Brezn (pretzel), Obatzda, and salad.

Previous Chapter | Beginning of Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Exploring Munich

Previous Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Altstadt | Lehel | Ludwigsvorstadt and Isarvorstadt | Schwabing and Maxvorstadt | Au and Haidhausen | Outside Innenstadt

Munich is a wealthy city—and it shows. At times this affluence may come across as conservatism. But what makes Munich so unique is that it’s a new city superimposed on the old. The hip neighborhoods that make up the City Center (Innenstadt) are replete with traditional locales, and flashy materialism thrives together with a love of the outdoors.


The core of Munich’s Innenstadt is Altstadt (Old Town), which has been rebuilt so often over the centuries that it no longer has the homogeneous look of so many other German towns. World War II leveled a good portion of the center, but unlike other cities that adopted more modern architectural styles, much of Munich’s Altstadt was rebuilt as it was before the destruction. An amazing job has been done to restore the fairy-tale feel that prevailed here. From the modest palace of the Alter Hof in the Old Town, the Wittelsbachs expanded their quarters northward, away from the jumble of narrow streets. The new palace, the Residenz, is one of the stunning royal landmarks, and abuts the Englischer Garten, a present from the royal family to the locals. Although a few royal-themed sites can be found farther afield, most of the historical treasures are fairly concentrated in the Innenstadt, and mostly in Altstadt, making them easy to visit on foot.

Munich: Altstadt

Next Map | Germany Maps


Feldherrnhalle (Field Marshals’ Hall).
Erected in 1841-44, this open pavilion, fronted with three huge arches, was modeled on the 14th-century Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence. Set on Odeonsplatz, it faces Ludwigstrasse, with Siegestor in the distance, and was built to honor Bavarian military leaders and the Bavarian army. Two huge Bavarian lions are flanked by the larger-than-life statues of Count Johann Tserclaes Tilly, who led Catholic forces in the Thirty Years’ War, and Prince Karl Philipp Wrede, hero of the 19th-century Napoleonic Wars.

There’s an astonishing photograph in existence of a 25-year-old Adolf Hitler standing in front of the Feldherrnhalle on August 2, 1914, amid a huge crowd gathered to celebrate the beginning of World War I. The imposing Feldherrnhalle structure was turned into a militaristic shrine in the 1930s and ‘40s by the Nazis, to whom it was significant because it marked the site of Hitler’s failed coup, or putsch, in 1923, and where they installed a memorial in 1933 to commemorate the Nazis killed that day. During the Third Reich, all who passed the guarded memorial had to give the Nazi salute. Viscardigasse, a passageway behind Feldherrnhalle linking Residenzstrasse and Theatinerstrasse, and now lined with exclusive boutiques, was used as a bypass by those who didn’t want to salute the memorial. The alley became nicknamed Drückebergergassl’ (Shirkers’ Lane). The memorial was removed in 1945. | Residenzstr. 1, Altstadt | Odeonspl., between Theatinerkirche and the Residenz | | Station: Odeonsplatz.

Fodor’s Choice | Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady).
Munich’s Dom (cathedral) is a distinctive late-Gothic brick structure with two huge towers, each 99 meters (325 feet) high (a Munich trademark). The main body of the cathedral was completed in 20 years (1468-88)—a record time in those days, and the distinctive onion-dome-like cupolas were added by 1525. Shortly after the original work was completed in 1488, Jörg von Halspach, the Frauenkirche’s architect, died, but he managed to see the project through. In 1944-45, the building suffered severe damage during Allied bombing raids, and was restored between 1947 and 1957. Inside, the church combines most of von Halspach’s plans with a stark, clean modernity and simplicity of line. The cathedral houses the elaborate marble tomb of Duke Ludwig IV (1282-1347), who became Holy Roman Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian in 1328. One of the Frauenkirche’s great treasures is the collection of wooden busts by Erasmus Grasser. | Frauenpl. 1, Altstadt | 089/290-0820 | Tower closed until 2017 for renovation | Station: Marienplatz.

Duke Wilhelm V founded Munich’s Hofbräuhaus (court brewery) in 1589; it’s been at its present location since 1607, where the golden beer is consumed from 1-liter mugs called Mass. If the cavernous ground-floor hall or beer garden is too noisy, there’s a quieter restaurant upstairs. Americans, Australians, and Italians far outnumber locals, who regard HBH as a tourist trap. The brass band that performs here most days adds modern pop and American folk music to the traditional German numbers. | Platzl 9, Altstadt | 089/2901-36100 | | Daily 9 am-11:30 pm | Station:Marienplatz / Isartor.

Open since 1775, Tambosi is Munich’s longest-running café. Its location is superb, partly sitting in full view of Theatinerkirche on Odeonsplatz and partly in the Hofgarten. Watch the hustle and bustle of Munich’s street life from an outdoor table on the city side, or retreat through a gate in the Hofgarten’s western wall to the café’s tree-shaded beer garden. If the weather is cool or rainy, find a corner in the cozy, eclectically furnished interior. | Odeonspl. 18, Altstadt | 089/298-322 | | Daily 8 am-1 am | Station: Odeonsplatz / Marienplatz.

Hofgarten (Court Garden).
The creation of the formal court garden, part of the royal residence, dates back to 1613 when it lay outside the Residenz moat. It’s now bordered on two sides by arcades designed in the 19th century by court architect Leo von Klenze. On the east side of the garden is the state chancellery (office of the Bavarian prime minister), built in 1990-93 around the ruins of the 19th-century Army Museum and incorporating the remains of a Renaissance arcade. Bombed during World War II air raids, the museum stood untouched for almost 40 years as a reminder of the war. Critics were horrified that a former army museum building could be used to represent modern, democratic Bavaria, not to mention about the immense cost. In front of the chancellery stands one of Europe’s most unusual—some say most effective—war memorials. Instead of looking up at a monument, you are led down to a sunken crypt covered by a massive granite block. In the crypt lies a German soldier from World War I. The crypt is a stark contrast to the memorial that stands unobtrusively in front of the northern wing of the chancellery: a simple cube of black marble bearing facsimiles of handwritten wartime manifestos by anti-Nazi leaders, including the youthful members of the White Rose resistance movement. As you enter the garden from Odeonsplatz, take a look at the frescoes (drawn by art students 1826-29 and of varying degrees of quality) in the passage of the Hofgartentor with scenes from Bavarian history. | Hofgartenstr. 1, Altstadt | North of the Residenz. | | Station: Odeonsplatz / Marienplatz.

Fodor’s Choice | Marienplatz.
Bordered by the Neues Rathaus, shops, and cafés, this square is named after the gilded statue of the Virgin Mary that has watched over it for more than three centuries. It was erected in 1638 at the behest of Elector Maximilian I as an act of thanksgiving for the city’s survival of the Thirty Years’ War, the cataclysmic, partly religious struggle that devastated vast regions of Germany. When the statue was taken down from its marble column for cleaning in 1960, workmen found a small casket in the base containing a splinter of wood said to be from the cross of Christ. On the fifth floor of a building facing the Neues Rathaus is Café Glockenspiel. It overlooks the entire square and provides a perfect view of the glockenspiel. Entrance is around the back. | Bounded by Kaufingerstr., Rosenstr., Weinstr., and Dienerstr., Altstadt | | Station: Marienplatz.

Michaelskirche (St. Michael’s Church).
A curious story explains why this hugely impressive Renaissance church, adjoining a former extensive Jesuit college, has no tower. Seven years after the start of construction, in 1583, the main tower collapsed. Its patron, pious Duke Wilhelm V, regarded the disaster as a heavenly sign that the church wasn’t big enough, so he ordered a change in the plans—this time without a tower. Completed in 1597, the barrel vaulting of St. Michael’s is second in size only to that of St. Peter’s in Rome. The duke is buried in the crypt, along with 40 other Wittelsbach family members, including the eccentric King Ludwig II. A severe neoclassical monument in the north transept contains the tomb of Napoléon’s stepson, Eugène de Beauharnais, who married a daughter of King Maximilian I and died in Munich in 1824. Once again a Jesuit church, it is the venue for performances of church music. A poster to the right of the front portal gives the dates. | Neuhauser Str. 6, Altstadt | 089/231-7060 | | Crypt: €2. Church: free. Musical performances: mostly free | Church: Mon. and Fri. 10-7, Tues. 8-8:15, Wed., Thurs., and Sat. 8-7, Sun. 7-10:15. Crypt: Mon.-Thurs. 9:30-4:30, Fri. 10-4:30, Sat. 9:30-2:30 | Station: Karlsplatz / Marienplatz.

Fodor’s Choice | Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall).
Munich’s present neo-Gothic town hall was built in three sections and two phases between 1867 and 1905. It was a necessary enlargement on the nearby Old Town Hall, but city fathers also saw it as presenting Munich as a modern city, independent from the waning powers of the Bavarian Wittelsbach royal house. Architectural historians are divided over its merits, although its dramatic scale and lavish detailing are impressive. Perhaps the most serious criticism is that the Dutch and Flemish styles of the building seem out of place amid the baroque and rococo styles of parts of the Altstadt. The main tower’s 1908 glockenspiel (a chiming clock with mechanical figures), the largest in Germany, plays daily at 11 am and noon, with an additional performance at 5 pm March-October. As chimes peal out over the square, the clock’s doors flip open and brightly colored dancers and jousting knights act out two events from Munich’s past: a tournament held in Marienplatz in 1568 and the Schäfflertanz (Dance of the Coopers), which commemorated the end of the plague of 1515-17. You, too, can travel up there, by elevator, to an observation point near the top of one of the towers. On a clear day the view across the city with the Alps beyond is spectacular. | Marienpl. 8, Altstadt | | Tower €2.50 | Tower: May-Sept., daily 10-7; Oct.-Apr., weekdays 10-5 | Station:Marienplatz.

Fodor’s Choice | Peterskirche (Church of St. Peter).
The Altstadt’s oldest parish church (called locally Alter Peter, Old Peter) traces its origins to the 11th century, and has been restored in various architectural styles, including Gothic, baroque, and rococo. The rich baroque interior has a magnificent high altar and aisle pillars decorated with exquisite 18th-century figures of the apostles. In clear weather it’s well worth the long climb up the approximately 300-foot-high tower, with a panoramic view of the Alps. | Rindermarkt 1, Altstadt | 089/2102-37760 | | Tower €2 | Tower: late Mar.-late Oct., weekdays 9-6:30, weekends 10-6:30; late Oct.-late Mar., weekdays 9-5:30, weekends 10-5:30. Church: daily 7:30-6:30 | Station: Marienplatz.

Fodor’s Choice | Residenz (Royal Palace).
One of Germany’s true treasures, Munich’s royal Residenz began in 1363 as the modest Neuveste (New Fortress) on the northeastern city boundary. By the time the Bavarian monarchy fell, in 1918, the palace could compare favorably with the best in Europe. With the Residenz’s central location, it was pretty much inevitable that the Allied bombing of 1944-45 would cause immense damage, and subsequent reconstruction took decades. For tourists today, however, it really is a treasure chamber of delight. A wander around the Residenz can last anywhere from three hours to all day. The 16th-century, 70-meter-long arched Antiquarium, built for Duke Albrecht V’s collection of antiques and library, is recognized as one of the most impressive Renaissance creations outside Italy (today it’s used chiefly for state receptions). TIPAll the different rooms, halls, galleries, chapels, and museums within the Residenzmuseum, as well as the Cuvilliés-Theater and Treasury, can be visited with a combination ticket that costs €13. | Residenzstr. 1, Altstadt | Enter from Max-Joseph-Pl. 3 | 089/290-671 | | Combination entry to Residenz Museum, Treasury, and Cuvilliés Theater €13. Audio guides free | Museum and Treasury: Apr.-mid-Oct., daily 9-6; mid-Oct.-Mar., daily 10-5 | Station: Odeonsplatz/Marienplatz.

This stunning example of a rococo theater was originally built by court architect François Cuvilliés between 1751 and 1753 and it soon became the most famous in Germany. In 1781 it premiered Mozart’s Idomeneo , commissioned by the Elector of Bavaria, Karl Theodor. The lavish rococo style went out of fashion with the emergence of the less ostentatious, more elegant period of 18th-century classicism. But in 1884 it became the first theater in Germany to be fitted out with electric lighting and in 1896 the first to have a revolving stage. As with so much of the Altstadt, it was destroyed during Allied bombing raids, although some of the original rococo decoration had been removed. A new theater, the Neues Residenz-Theater (now the Bavarian State Drama Theatre Company) was built (1948-51) in a different location. In 1956-58, using some of the original rococo furnishings, Cuvilliés’s lavish theater was rebuilt at a corner of the Residenz’s Apothekenhof (courtyard). | Residenzstr. 1, Altstadt | Enter from Kapellenhof (Chapel Courtyard) | | From €3.50. Combined ticket with Treasury and Museum €13 | Aug.-mid-Sept., daily 9-6; mid-Sept.-mid-Oct. and Apr.-July, Mon.-Sat. 2-6, Sun. 9-6; mid-Oct.-Mar., Mon.-Sat. 2-5, Sun. 10-5. Closed during rehearsals | Station: Odeonsplatz / Marienplatz.

The Residenzmuseum comprises everything in the Residenz apart from the Schatzkammer (Treasury) and the Cuvilliés-Theater. Paintings, tapestries, furniture, and porcelain are housed in various rooms and halls. One highlight is the Grüne Galerie (Green Gallery), named after its green silk decoration, and its opulence and outstanding paintings are captivating. Also impressive is the Ahnengalerie (Ancestral Gallery) at the end of the tour, which demonstrates the Wittelsbach royal family lineage. | Residenzstr. 1, Altstadt | Enter from Max-Joseph-Pl. 3 | | From €7. Combined ticket with Treasury and Cuvilliés Theater €13. Audio guide free | Apr.-mid-Oct., daily 9-6; mid-Oct.-Mar., daily 10-5 | Station: Odeonsplatz / Marienplatz.

Schatzkammer (Treasury).
The Schatzkammer comprises many hundreds of masterworks, including a host of treasures from the Wittelsbach royal crown jewels. A highlight is the crown belonging to Bavaria’s first king, Maximilian I Joseph, created in Paris in 1806-07. The Schatzkammer collection has a staggering centerpiece—a renowned 50-cm-high (20-inch-high) Renaissance statue of St. George studded with diamonds, pearls, and rubies. | Residenzstr. 1, Altstadt | Enter from Max-Joseph-Pl. 3 | | €7. Combined ticket with Residenz Museum and Cuvilliés Theater €13. Audio guide free | Apr.-mid-Oct., daily 9-6; mid-Oct.-Mar., daily 10-5 | Station: Odeonsplatz / Marienplatz.

Staatliche Münzsammlung.
More than 300,000 coins, banknotes, medals, and precious stones, some 5,000 years old, star in the Staatliche Münzsammlung. | Residenzstr. 1, Altstadt | Enter from Kapellenhof (Chapel Courtyard) | 089/227-221 | | From €2.50 | Tues.-Sun. 10-5 | Station: Odeonsplatz / Marienplatz.

Theatinerkirche (St. Kajetan).
This glorious baroque church owes its Italian appearance to its founder, Princess Henriette Adelaide of Savoy, who commissioned it in gratitude for the long-awaited birth of her son and heir, Max Emanuel, in 1662. A native of Turin, the princess mistrusted Bavarian architects and builders and thus summoned Agostino Barelli, a master builder from Bologna, to construct her church. It is modeled on Rome’s Sant’Andrea della Valle. Barelli worked on the building for 12 years, but he was dismissed as too quarrelsome. It was another 100 years before the building was finished in a style similar to today’s. Its striking yellow facade stands out, and its two lofty towers, topped by delightful cupolas, frame the entrance, with the central dome at the back. The superb stucco work on the inside has a remarkably light feeling owing to its brilliant white color. The expansive Odeonsplatz in front of the Feldherrnhalle and Theatinerkirche is often used for outdoor stage events. | Theatinerstr. 22, Altstadt | Facing Odeonspl. | 089/210-6960 | | Daily 7 am-7:30 pm | Station: Odeonsplatz / Marienplatz.

Fodor’s Choice | Viktualienmarkt (Victuals Market).
The city’s open-air market really is the beating heart of downtown Munich. It has just about every fresh fruit or vegetable you can imagine, as well as German and international specialties. All kinds of people come here for a quick bite, from well-heeled businesspeople and casual tourists to mortar- and paint-covered workers. It’s also the realm of the garrulous, sturdy market women who run the stalls with dictatorial authority. Whether here, or at a bakery, do not try to select your pickings by hand. Ask, and let it be served to you. There’s a great beer garden (open pretty much whenever the sun is shining).The available beers rotate throughout the year among the six major Munich breweries, which are displayed on the maypole. These are also the only six breweries officially allowed to serve their wares at the Oktoberfest. | Viktualienmarkt, Altstadt | Just south of Marienpl. | | Weekdays 10-6, Sat. 10-3 | Station: Marienplatz.

Tips for Saving Money in Munich

Prices for decent accommodations drop when you choose a hotel outside the City Center (Innenstadt). A small, suburban hotel will be clean, quiet, and often provide free parking either at its own lot or on a side street.

To save money on meals, go to where the students eat. Take the U-bahn 3 or 6 to Universität. At the back of the main university building is a solid block bordered by Amalienstrasse (east), Türkenstrasse (west), Schellingstrasse (south) and Adalbertstrasse (north). Along these streets are eateries, restaurants, and bakeries with a few stand-up tables, all catering to the hundreds of students who come out of class throughout the day.


Alter Hof (Münchner Kaiserburg).
Alter Hof was the original home of the Wittelsbach dynasty of Bavaria (not to be confused with the adjacent Residenz). Established in 1180, the Münchner Kaiserburg (Imperial Palace) at Alter Hof now serves various functions. Its Infopoint is a tourist-information center for Bavaria’s castles and museums. In the vaulted hall beneath is a multimedia presentation about the palace’s history. The west wing is home to Restaurant Alter Hof, offering Franconian delicacies and a wine bar. | Alter Hof 1, Altstadt | 089/2101-4050 | | Infopoint: Mon.-Sat. 10-6 | Station: Marienplatz.

Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall).
Much of the work on Munich’s first town hall was done in the 15th century, though various alterations were made through the centuries. Its great hall—destroyed in 1943-45 but now fully restored—was the work of the renowned architect Jörg von Halspach. Postwar, the tower was rebuilt as it looked in the 15th century and now it’s used for official receptions and is not usually open to the public. The tower provides a fairy-tale-like setting for the Spielzeugmuseum (Toy Museum), accessible via a winding staircase. Its toys, dolls, and teddy bears are on display, together with a collection of Barbies from the United States. | Marienpl. 15, Altstadt | 089/294-001 Spielzeugmuseum | | Spielzeugmuseum €5 | Daily 10-5:30 | Station: Marienplatz.

Fodor’s Choice | Asamkirche (St.-Johann-Nepomuk-Kirche).
Perhaps Munich’s most ostentatious church, it has a suitably extraordinary entrance, framed by raw rock foundations. The insignificant door, crammed between its craggy shoulders, gives little idea of the opulence and lavish detailing within the small 18th-century church (there are only 12 rows of pews). Above the doorway St. Nepomuk, the 14th-century Bohemian monk and patron saint of Bavaria, who drowned in the Danube, is being led by angels from a rocky riverbank to heaven. The church’s official name is Church of St. Johann Nepomuk, but it’s known as the Asamkirche for its architects, the brothers Cosmas Damian and Egid Quirin Asam. The interior of the church is a prime example of true southern German late-baroque architecture. Frescoes by Cosmas Damian Asam and rosy marble cover the walls. The sheer wealth of statues and gilding is stunning—there’s even a gilt skeleton at the sanctuary’s portal. | Sendlingerstr. 32, Altstadt | | Daily 9-6 (from 1 pm Fri.) | Station: Sendlingertor.

Deutsches Jagd- und Fischereimuseum (German Museum of Hunting and Fishing).
This quirky museum is in the enormous former St. Augustus Church, and it contains a large collection of fishhooks, taxidermy animals (including a 6½-foot-tall brown bear and a grizzly from Alaska), and a 12,000-year-old megaloceros (giant deer) skeleton. You’ll even find the Wolpertinger, a mythical creature with body parts of various animals. Its newest exhibit contains a forest path that displays animal habitats within Germany to be discovered via a virtual guided tour, and there is a walk-under-water area that showcases the different fish habitats of Germany. | Neuhauser Str. 2, Altstadt | 089/220-522 | | From €3.50 | Daily 9:30-5 (until 9 Thurs.) | Station: Karlsplatz / Marienplatz.

Dreifaltigkeitskirche (Church of the Holy Trinity).
Take a quick look at this characteristic church built to commemorate Bavaria’s part in the Spanish War of Succession. A further motivation for its construction was a prophecy from the devout Maria Anna Lindmayr that if the city survived the war intact and a church was not erected in thanks, the city was doomed. The city was saved and a church was built between 1711 and 1718. It has a striking baroque exterior, and its interior is brought to life by frescoes by Cosmas Damian Asam depicting various heroic scenes. Remarkably, it is the only church in the city’s Altstadt spared destruction in the war. | Pacellistr. 6, Altstadt | 089/290-0820 | | Daily 7-7 (until 6 Fri.) | Station: Karlsplatz / Lenbachplatz (Tram).

Jewish Center Munich (Jüdisches Zentrum).
The striking Jewish Center at St.-Jakobs-Platz has transformed a formerly sleepy area into an elegant, busy modern square. The buildings signify the return of the Jewish community to Munich’s City Center, six decades after the end of the Third Reich. The center includes a museum focusing on Jewish history in Munich (plus kosher café), and the impressive Ohel Jakob Synagogue, with its rough slabs topped by a latticelike cover, manifesting a thought-provoking sense of permanence. The third building is a community center, which includes the kosher Einstein restaurant (089/2024-00332, Guided tours of the synagogue are in great demand, and must be booked at least two weeks in advance (089/2024-00100). | St.-Jakobs-Pl. 16, Altstadt | 089/2339-6096 | | From €3 | Museum: Tues.-Sun. 10-6; synagogue by prior arrangement | Station: Marienplatz / Sendlinger Tor.

Karlsplatz (Stachus).
In 1728, Eustachius Föderl opened an inn and beer garden here, which might be how the square came to be called Stachus—it’s still called that by the locals although the beer garden is gone. One of Munich’s most popular fountains is here. It’s a magnet on hot summer days and makes way for an ice-skating rink in winter. Karlsplatz is a bustling meeting point, even more so because of the underground shopping center. | Karlspl., Altstadt | | General hrs for Stachus Passage shops: Mon.-Sat. 9:30-8 | Station: Karlsplatz.

Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung (Hall of the Hypobank’s Cultural Foundation).
Chagall, Giacometti, Picasso, and Gauguin are among the artists that have been featured in the past at this exhibition hall in the middle of the shopping pedestrian zone. It is set within the upscale Fünf Höfe shopping mall, designed by the Swiss architect team Herzog and de Meuron, who also designed London’s Tate Modern. Exhibitions at the Kunsthalle rarely disappoint, making it one of Germany’s most interesting exhibition venues. | Theatinerstr. 8, Altstadt | 089/224-412 | | €12 | Daily 10-8 | Station: Odeonsplatz / Marienplatz.

Munich’s most expensive and exclusive shopping street was named after King Maximilian II, who wanted to break away from the Greek-influenced classical architecture favored by his father, Ludwig I. He thus created this broad boulevard lined with majestic buildings culminating on a rise above the River Isar at the stately Maximilianeum. Finished in 1874, this building was conceived as an elite education foundation for the most talented young people across Bavaria, regardless of status or wealth. It is still home to an education foundation, but its principal role is as the grand, if slightly confined, home to the Bavarian state parliament. Rather than take the tram to see the Maximilianeum, the whole walk along Maximilianstrasse (from Max-Joesph-Platz) is rewarding. You’ll pass various boutiques, plus the five-star Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten, the Upper Bavarian Parliament, the Museum Fünf Kontinente (State Museum of Ethnology), and cross the picturesque River Isar. Five minutes past the Maximilianeum, on the charming Wiener Platz, is the Hofbräukeller and its excellent beer garden. | Maximilianstr., Altstadt | Station: Maximilianeum (Tram).

Münchner Stadtmuseum (City Museum).
This museum is as eclectic inside as the architecture is outside. The buildings facing St.-Jakobs-Platz date to the 15th century, though they were destroyed in WWII and rebuilt. Recent extensive renovation has revitalized the City Museum, exemplified by its fabulous Typical Munich! exhibition, charting a riotous history few other cities can match: royal capital, brewery center, capital of art and classical music, and now wealthy, high-tech, and cultural center par excellence. There is also a separate, permanent exhibition dealing with the city’s Nazi past. The museum is home to a puppet theater, a film museum showing rarely screened movies, and numerous photo and other temporary exhibitions. Check out the museum shop, servus.heimat, with the great and good of Munich kitsch and souvenirs. If the threat of sunshine makes it difficult to get a table outside at the lively museum café on St.-Jakobs-Platz, try the Stadtmuseum’s inner courtyard, which still catches the sun but can be less packed. | St.-Jakobspl. 1, Altstadt | 089/2332-2370 | | €7 | Tues.-Sun. 10-6 | Station: Marienplatz / Sendlinger Tor.

Münzhof (Mint).
Originally built between 1563 and 1567, the ground floor was home to Duke Albrecht V’s stables, the second floor to living quarters for the servants, and the third to the ducal collection of high art and curiosities (6,000 pieces by 1600). Between 1809 and 1983 it housed the Bavarian mint, and a neoclassical facade, with allegories of copper, silver, and gold, was added in 1808-09. Today, with its slightly garish green exterior on three sides, it can appear to be little more than the somewhat undistinguished home to the Bavarian Land Bureau for the Conservation of Historic Monuments, but step inside the inner arcade to see a jewel of German Renaissance architecture. | Hofgraben 4, Altstadt | Enter from Pfisterstr. | Free | Station: Marienplatz.

Nationaltheater (National Theater).
Bavaria’s original National Theater at Max-Joseph-Platz didn’t last long. Opened in 1818, it burned to the ground in 1823 before it was completely finished. By 1825 it was rebuilt with its eight-column portico, and went on to premiere Richard Wagner’s world-famous Tristan und Isolde (1865), Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1868), Rheingold (1869), and Walküre (1870). Allied bombs destroyed much of the interior in 1943, and its facade and elements of its interior were rebuilt as it was prewar. It finally reopened in 1963. Today, it is one of Europe’s largest opera houses and contains some of the world’s most advanced stage technologies. As the principal home to the Bavarian State Opera, it is considered one of the world’s outstanding opera houses. Family opera is also available for children under 16 with an accompanying adult. The Munich Opera Festival takes place each July, including performances, free open-air Opera for All events, and live streaming opera online with Staatsoper TV. | Max-Joseph-Pl. 2, Altstadt | 089/2185-1024 | | From €15 | Station: Odeonsplatz / Marienplatz.


Seamlessly extending from Altstadt, Lehel is also home to some of Munich’s royal-themed sights. While it mixes and mingles with the Old Town, it’s a chic residential neighborhood as well, where locals come to escape from the crowded City Center.

Munich: Lehel

Previous Map | Next Map | Germany Maps


Haus der Kunst (House of Art).
This colonnaded, classical-style building is one of Munich’s most significant examples of Hitler-era architecture, and was officially opened as House of German Art by the Führer himself. During the Third Reich it only showed work deemed to reflect the Nazi aesthetic. One of its most successful postwar exhibitions was devoted to works banned by the Nazis. It now hosts cutting-edge exhibitions on art, photography, and sculpture, as well as theatrical and musical happenings, and P1 is the hottest bar in town. | Prinzregentenstr. 1, Altstadt | 089/2112-7113 | | €12 | Daily 10-8 (Thurs. until 10) | Station: Odeonsplatz / Lehel / Nationalmuseum/Haus d.Kunst (Tram).


Bayerisches Nationalmuseum (Bavarian National Museum).
Although the museum places emphasis on Bavarian cultural history, it has art and artifacts of international importance and regular exhibitions that attract worldwide attention. The museum is a journey through time, principally from the early Middle Ages to the 20th century, with medieval and Renaissance wood carvings, works by the great Renaissance sculptor Tilman Riemenschneider, tapestries, arms and armor, a unique collection of Christmas crèches (the Krippenschau), Bavarian and German folk art, and a significant Jugendstil (art nouveau) collection. | Prinzregentenstr. 3, Lehel | 089/211-2401 | | From €7 | Tues.-Sun. 10-5 (Thurs. until 8) | Station: Lehel / Nationalmuseum/Haus d.Kunst (Tram).

OFF THE BEATEN PATH: Klosterkirche St. Anna (Monastery Church of St. Anne).
This striking example of the two Asam brothers’ work in the Lehel district impresses visitors with its sense of movement and heroic scale. The ceiling fresco from 1729 by Cosmas Damian Asam glows in all its original glory. The ornate altar was also designed by the Asam brothers. Towering over the delicate little church, on the opposite side of the street, is the neo-Romanesque bulk of the 19th-century Parish Church of St. Anne. Stop at one of the stylish cafés, restaurants, and patisseries gathered at the junction of St.-Anna-Strasse and Gewürzmühlstrasse, about 250 feet from the churches. | St.-Anna-Str. 19, Lehel | 089/211-260 | | Mon.-Sat. 8:30-11:45 and 2-5:45, Sun. 9:30-11:45 | Station: Lehel.

Museum Fünf Kontinente (Five Continents Museum).
Founded in 1862, this museum houses an enormous quantity of ethnographic articles from around the world, including arts, crafts, photographs, and library material. The extensive museum takes a peek into non-European cultures from Africa, America, Asia, Australia, the Near and Middle East, and the South Seas to see how they differ (or not) from Europe with both permanent displays and special exhibits. | Maximilianstr. 42, Lehel | 089/2101-36100 | | €5 | Tues.-Sun. 9:30-5:30 | Station: Isartor / Lehel / Maxmonument (Tram).

Sammlung Schack (Schack-Galerie).
Around 180 German 19th-century paintings from the Romantic era up to the periods of Realism and Symbolism make up the collections of the Sammlung Schack, originally the private collection of Count Adolf Friedrich von Schack. | Prinzregentenstr. 9, Lehel | 089/2380-5224 | | From €4. Day ticket to the three Pinakotheks, Brandhorst, and Sammlung Schack €12 | Wed.-Sun. 10-6 (1st and 3rd Wed. of month until 8) | Station: Lehel / Nationalmuseum/Haus d.Kunst (Tram).



Oktoberfest and the Winter Tollwood Festival, not far from Hauptbahnhof, take place at the Theresienwiese meadow, which is located in Ludwigsvorstadt. This neighborhood, which includes the Hauptbahnhof (main train station), runs south from there, and is joined to the east by Isarvorstadt.

Bavaria Statue.
Overlooking the Theresienwiese, home of the Oktoberfest, is a 19th-century hall of fame (Ruhmeshalle) featuring busts of famous Bavarian scientists, artists, engineers, generals, and philosophers, and a monumental bronze statue of the maiden Bavaria. Unsurprisingly, it was commissioned by the art- and architecture-obsessed King Ludwig I, though not finished before his abdication in 1848. The Bavaria is more than 60 feet high and at the time was the largest bronze figure since antiquity. The statue is hollow, and an initial 48 steps take you up to its base. Once inside, there are 66 steps to her knee, and a further 52 all the way into the braided head, the reward being a view of Munich through Bavaria’s eyes. | Theresienhöhe 16, Ludwigsvorstadt | | €3.50 | Bavaria Statue and Ruhmeshalle: Apr.-mid-Oct., daily 9-6. Bavaria Statue open until 8 during Oktoberfest. Ruhmeshalle closed during Oktoberfest | Station: Theresienwiese / Theresienhöhe (Bus).

Hauptbahnhof (Central Station).
The train station isn’t a cultural site, but it’s a particularly handy starting point for exploring. The city tourist office here has maps and helpful information on events around town. On the underground level are all sorts of shops that remain open even on Sunday and holidays. There are also a number of places to get a late-night snack in and around the station. | Bahnhofpl., Ludwigsvorstadt | Station: Hauptbahnhof.

Fodor’s Choice | Oktoberfest Grounds at Theresienwiese.
The Oktoberfest and winter Tollwood music fest grounds are named after Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen, who celebrated her marriage to the future King Ludwig I here in 1810 with thousands of Münchners. The event was so successful that it grew into a 16- to 18-day international beer and fair-ride bonanza attracting over 6 million people annually. Oktoberfest originally began in October. As it grew, it extended into September for better weather. Follow the crowds to any of the several points of entry. | Theresienwiese, Ludwigsvorstadt | Some entrance points: in the northeast at St.-Pauls-Pl. from Theresienwiese station; from the east at Beethovenstr.; in the southeast at Matthias-Pschorr-Str. from Goetheplatz station | | Opening night 10 am-midnight, Mon.-Thurs. 10 am-11:30 pm, Fri. 10 am-midnight, Sat. 9 am-midnight, Sun. 10 am-11:30 pm | Station: Theresienwiese / Goetheplatz.


Isarvorstadt, west of Ludwigsvorstadt and south of Altstadt and Lehel, continues eastward until just past the Isar River. Close to Altstadt, this neighborhood has happening restaurants and shops, as well as the world-famous Deutsches Museum.

Fodor’s Choice | Deutsches Museum (German Museum).
Aircraft, vehicles, cutting-edge technology, historic machinery, and even a mine fill this monumental building on an island in the Isar River, which comprises one of the best science and technology museums in the world. The collection is spread out over some 500,000 square feet, with eight floors of exhibits, The Centre for New Technologies includes interactive exhibitions, such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, and robotics. Children have their own “kingdom,” the Kinderreich, where they can learn about modern technology and science through numerous interactive displays (parents must accompany their children). One of the most technically advanced planetariums in Europe has two shows daily, at 10 am and 2 pm, albeit in German only. The Verkehrszentrum (Center for Transportation), on the former trade fair grounds at the Theresienhöhe, has been completely renovated and houses an amazing collection of the museum’s transportation exhibits. The museum’s Flugwerft Schleissheim airfield is in Oberschleissheim, north of Munich. | Museumsinsel 1, Isarvorstadt | 089/21791 | | Museum €11 | Daily 9-5 | Station: Isartor.


Some of the finest museums in Europe are in lower Schwabing and Maxvorstadt, particularly in the Kunstareal (Art Quarter). Schwabing, the former artists’ neighborhood, is no longer quite the bohemian area where such diverse residents as Lenin and Kandinsky were once neighbors, but the cultural foundations of Maxvorstadt are immutable. Where the two areas meet, in the streets behind the university, life hums with a creative vibrancy. The difficult part is having time to see it all.

Munich: Schwabing and Maxvorstadt

Previous Map | Next Map | Germany Maps


Formerly Munich’s bohemian quarter, Schwabing is known for the Englischer Garten, one of the world’s largest urban parks. Due to the universities that are located in Maxvorstadt to the south, Schwabing also has a healthy selection of bars, clubs, and restaurants which are frequented by students.

Elisabethmarkt (Elisabeth Market).
Founded in 1903, Schwabing’s permanent outdoor market is smaller than the more famous Viktualienmarkt, but hardly less colorful. It has a pocket-size beer garden, where a jazz band performs on Saturdays in summer. | Elisabethpl., Arcisstr. and Elisabethstr., Schwabing | | Weekdays 10-6, Sat. 1-3 | Station: Josephsplatz; Elisabethplatz (Tram).

Fodor’s Choice | Englischer Garten (English Garden).
This seemingly endless green space blends into the open countryside at the north of the city. Today’s park covers nearly 1,000 acres and has 78 km (48 miles) of paths and more than 100 bridges. The open, informal landscaping—reminiscent of the English-style rolling parklands of the 18th century—gave the park its name. It has a boating lake, five beer gardens, and a series of curious decorative and monumental constructions. In the center of the park’s most popular beer garden is a Chinese pagoda, erected in 1790 (reconstructed after World War II). The Englischer Garten is a paradise for joggers, cyclists, musicians, soccer players, sunbathers, and, in winter, cross-country skiers. The park has semi-official areas for nude sunbathing—the Germans have a positively pagan attitude toward the sun—so in some areas don’t be surprised to see naked bodies bordering the flower beds and paths. | There are various entrance points around the garden, Schwabing | | Station:Chinesischer Turm (Bus); Seehaus: Münchner Freiheit (U-bahn); Hirschau: Herzogpark (Bus); Mini-Hofbräuhaus: Herzogpark (Bus); Aumeister: Studentenstadt (U-bahn).

Siegestor (Victory Arch).
Built to bookend the Feldherrnhalle and mark the end of Ludwigstrasse, Siegestor nowadays also marks the beginning of Leopoldstrasse. Unsurprisingly, it has Italian origins and was modeled on the Arch of Constantine in Rome. It was built (1843-52) to honor the achievements of the Bavarian army during the Wars of Liberation (1813-15) against Napoléon. It received heavy bomb damage in 1944, and at the end of the war Munich authorities decided it should be torn down for safety reasons. Major Eugene Keller, the head of the U.S. military government in the postwar city, intervened and saved it. Its postwar inscription on the side facing the inner city is best translated as: “Dedicated to victory, destroyed by war, a monument to peace.” | Leopoldstr. 2, Schwabing | Intersection of Leopoldstr., Ludwigstr., Shackstr., and Akademiestr. | | Station: Universität / Giselastrasse.


Just north of Munich’s Altstadt, Maxvorstadt is home to Ludwigs-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) and the Technical University (TUM) of Munich, two of Germany’s top universities popular with students the world over. Maxvorstadt’s Kunstareal is rife with not-to-miss world-class museums and galleries as well.

Top Attractions

Fodor’s Choice | Alte Pinakothek.
With numerous old master paintings from the Netherlands, Italy, France, and Germany, the long redbrick Alte Pinakothek holds one of the most significant art collections in the world. At this writing it is partially closed due to renovations that are scheduled to last until 2018. It was originally constructed by Leo von Klenze between 1826 and 1836 to exhibit the collection of 14th- to 18th-century works (started by Duke Wilhelm IV in the 16th century). The collection comprises about 700 pieces, including masterpieces by Dürer, Titian, Rembrandt, da Vinci, Rubens (the museum has one of the world’s largest Rubens collections), and two celebrated Murillos. Most of the picture captions are in German only, so it is best to rent an English audio guide. The Alte Pinakothek forms a central part of Munich’s world-class Kunstareal (Art Quarter). Museums and collections here are of the highest quality, and are a few hundred yards apart. | Barer Str. 27, entrance faces Theresienstr., Maxvorstadt | 089/2380-5216 | | €4 during renovations. Day ticket to the three Pinakotheks, Brandhorst, and Sammlung Schack €12 | Tues. 10-8, Wed.-Sun. 10-6 | Station: Königsplatz.

Bavaria’s greatest monarch, Ludwig I, was responsible for Munich in the 19th century becoming known as Athens on the Isar, and the impressive buildings designed by Leo von Klenze that line this elegant and expansive square bear testament to his obsession with antiquity. The two temple-like structures facing one another are now the Staatliche Antikensammlungen (an acclaimed collection of Greek and Roman antiquities) and the Glyptothek (a fine collection of Greek and Roman statues). After WWII, Munich authorities ensured that the square returned to the more dignified appearance intended by Ludwig I, since this was a favorite parade ground for the Nazis, and it was paved over for that purpose in the 1930s. Today, the broad green lawns in front of the museums attract students and tourists in the warmer months, who gather for concerts, films, and other events.The area around here, focused on Briennerstrasse, became the national center of the Nazi Party in the 1930s and ‘40s, with various buildings taken over or built by the authorities. Nazi HQ, the Brown House, was between Königsplatz and the obelisk at Karolinenplatz. Destroyed in the war, the new Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism opened here in 2015 on Brienner Strasse 34. On Arcisstrasse 12 is the Nazi-era building (now a music school) where in 1938 Britain’s prime minister, Neville Chamberlain, infamously thought he had negotiated “peace in our time” with Hitler. | Königspl. 1, Maxvorstadt | 089/5998-8830 Staatliche Antikensammlungen, 089/286-100 Glyptothek, 089/2336-7007 NS-Dokumentationszentrum | | From €6, includes Antikensammlungen and Glypothek. From €5 for NS-Dokumentationszentrum | Antikensammlungen: Tues.-Sun. 10-5 (Wed. until 8); Glyptothek: Tues.-Sun. 10-5 (Thurs. until 8); NS-Dokumentationszentrum: Tues.-Sun. 10-7 | Station: Königsplatz.

Museum Brandhorst.
This multicolor abstract box is filled with videos, paintings, sculptures, and installations by artists such as Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, Gerhard Richter, and Joseph Beuys, and is a real treat for contemporary art fans. The location in the middle of the historic Kunstareal art district, although shocking to some less progressive art aficionados, highlights that the city has broken out of the shackles of its postwar conservatism. Königsplatz U-bahn is a simple way to get to the Kunstareal, though it involves a pleasant 15-minute walk. Tram 27 takes you directly from Karlsplatz to the Pinakothek stop, in the heart of the Kunstareal. | Theresienstr. 35a, Maxvorstadt | 089/2380-52286 | | €7. Day ticket to the three Pinakotheks, Brandhorst, and Sammlung Schack €12 | Tues.-Sun. 10-6 (Thurs. until 8) | Station: Königsplatz; Pinakotheken (Tram).

Fodor’s Choice | Neue Pinakothek.
Another museum packed with masters, the fabulous Neue Pinakothek reopened in 1981 to house the royal collection of modern art left homeless and scattered after its original building was destroyed in the war. The exterior of the modern building mimics an older one with Italianate influences. The interior offers a magnificent environment for picture gazing, partly owing to the natural light flooding in from skylights. French impressionists—Monet, Degas, Manet—are all well represented, while the comprehensive collection also includes the great Romantic landscape painters Turner and Caspar David Friedrich, and other artists of the caliber of van Gogh and Cezanne. This is another must-see. | Barer Str. 29, Maxvorstadt | 089/2380-5195 | | €7. Day ticket to the three Pinakotheks, Brandhorst, and Sammlung Schack €12 | Wed. 10-8, Thurs.-Mon. 10-6 | Station: Königsplatz / Pinakotheken (Tram).

Pinakothek der Moderne.
Opened to much fanfare in 2002, this fascinating, light-filled building is home to four outstanding museums under one cupola-topped roof: art, graphic art, architecture, and design. The striking 130,000-square-foot glass-and-concrete complex by Stefan Braunfels has permanent and temporary exhibitions throughout the year in each of the four categories. The design museum is particularly popular, showing permanent exhibitions in vehicle design, computer culture, and other design ideas. | Barer Str. 40, Maxvorstadt | 089/2380-5360 | | €10. Day ticket to the three Pinakotheks, Brandhorst, and Sammlung Schack €12 | Tues.-Sun. 10-6 (Thurs. until 8) | Station: Königsplatz; Pinakotheken (Tram).

QUICK BITES: Brasserie Tresznjewski.
A good spot, especially if you’re visiting the neighboring Pinakothek museums, the ever-popular Brasserie Tresznjewski serves an eclectic menu, well into the wee hours. | Theresienstr. 72, corner of Barer Str.,Maxvorstadt | 089/282-349 | | Daily 8 am-midnight (Fri. and Sat. until 2 am) | Station: Pinakotheken (Tram).

Fodor’s Choice | Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus.
Art aficionados were waiting in anticipation for the reopening of this exquisite late-19th-century Florentine-style villa, the former home and studio of the artist Franz von Lenbach (1836-1904). In the middle of the 19th century, Munich was one of the most important art centers in Europe, and in the 1880s, Lenbach was one of the most famous artists in Germany. He painted Germany’s Chancellor Bismarck around 80 times. Nowadays, Lenbachhaus is home to the stunning assemblage of art from the early-20th-century Der Blaue Reiter (Blue Rider) group: Kandinsky, Klee, Jawlensky, Macke, Marc, and Münter. Indeed, only New York’s Guggenheim comes close to holding as many works from a group that was at the forefront in the development of abstract art. There are also vivid pieces from the New Objectivity movement, and a variety of local Munich artists are represented here. Renowned British architecture firm Foster+Partners was commissioned with the renovation work, and crucially to design a new building on the grounds. Now with the addition of a significant Joseph Beuys collection, its new gallery and renovated exhibition spaces were met with great acclaim on the museum’s unveiling in spring 2013. The adjoining Kunstbau (art building) within the Königsplatz U-bahn station hosts changing exhibitions of modern art. | Luisenstr. 33, Maxvorstadt | 089/2333-2000 | | From €10 | Tues. 10-9, Wed.-Sun. 10-6 | Station: Königsplatz.

Worth Noting

DenkStätte Weisse Rose (Memorial to the White Rose Resistance Group).
Siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl, fellow students Alexander Schmorell and Christian Probst, and Kurt Huber, professor of philosophy, were the key members of the Munich-based resistance movement against the Nazis in 1942-43 known as the Weisse Rose (White Rose). All were executed by guillotine. A small exhibition about their work is in the inner quad of the university, where the Scholls were caught distributing leaflets and denounced by the janitor. A memorial to White Rose is just outside the university. | Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Geschwister-Scholl-Pl. 1, Maxvorstadt | 089/2180-3053 | | Permanent exhibition free. Prebooked guided tour €60 | Weekdays 10-4, Sat. noon-3 | Station: Universität.

Planted halfway along the stark, neoclassical Ludwigstrasse is this superb twin-towered Byzantine- and Italian-influenced church, built between 1829 and 1838 at the behest of King Ludwig I to provide his newly completed suburb with a parish church. From across the road, look up to see the splendidly colored, 2009 mosaic on the church’s roof. Inside, see one of the great modern frescoes, the Last Judgment by Peter von Cornelius, in the choir. At 60 feet by 37 feet, it’s also one of the world’s largest. | Ludwigstr. 22, Maxvorstadt | 089/287-7990 | | Mon. and Fri. 9-noon, Tues. and Thurs. 2-7 | Station: Universität.

Staatliche Sammlung Ägyptischer Kunst.
Various Bavarian rulers were fascinated with the ancient world and in the 19th century accumulated huge quantities of significant Egyptian treasures, part of which make up the Staatliche Sammlung Ägyptischer Kunst. In 2013 the collection moved from the Residenz to an impressive new building in Munich’s superb Kunstareal (Art Quarter). | Gabelsbergerstr. 35, Maxvorstadt | 089/2892-7630 | | From €7 | Tues. 10-8, Wed.-Sun. 10-6 | Station: Königsplatz.


On the east side of the River Isar, bordered by Lehel and Isarvorstadt to the west, lie Au and Haidhausen, calm, green, and pleasant residential areas punctuated with a few cafés and restaurants, and very conveniently located to Munich’s Altstadt.

Fodor’s Choice | Museum Villa Stuck.
This dramatic neoclassical villa is the former home of one of Germany’s leading avant-garde artists from the turn of the 20th century, Franz von Stuck (1863-1928). His work, at times haunting, frequently erotic, and occasionally humorous, covers the walls in many rooms. Stuck was prominent in the Munich art Secession (1892), though today the museum is famous for its fabulous Jugendstil (art nouveau) collections. The museum also features special exhibits of international modern and contemporary art. | Prinzregentenstr. 60, Haidhausen | 089/455-5510 | | From €9 | Tues.-Sun. 11-6 (1st Fri. of month until 10) | Station: Prinzregentenplatz.

A Brief History of Bavaria

For most visitors, Bavaria, with its own sense of Gemütlichkeit, beer gardens, quaint little villages, and culturally rich cities, appears to be the quintessence of Germany. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Of the 16 German Länder, as the German federal states are called, none is more fiercely independent than Bavaria: it was an autonomous dukedom and later kingdom until 1871, when it was incorporated into the German nation state.

For Bavarians, anything beyond the state’s borders remains foreign territory. The state has its own anthem and its own flag, part of which—the blue-and-white lozenge—has virtually become a regional trademark symbolizing quality and tradition. Bavarian politicians discussing the issue of Europe in speeches will often refer to Bavaria almost as if it were a national state. They inevitably call it by its full official name: Freistaat Bayern, or simply “der Freistaat,” meaning “the Free State.” The term was coined by Kurt Eisner, Minister President of the Socialist government that rid the land of the Wittelsbach dynasty in 1918. It is simply a German way of saying republic—a land governed by the people. Bavaria’s status as a republic is mentioned in the first line of the separate Bavarian constitution (its fourth constitution since 1808) that was signed under the aegis of the American occupation forces in 1946.

Bavaria is not the only Freistaat in Germany, a fact not too many Germans are aware of. Thuringia and Saxony also boast that title. But the Bavarians are the only ones who make such a public point of it.

—Marton Radkai



Olympiapark (Olympic Park).
Built for the 1972 Olympic Games on the staggering quantities of rubble delivered from the wartime destruction of Munich, the Olympiapark was—and still is—considered an architectural and landscape wonder. The jewel in the crown is the Olympic Stadium, former home of Bayern Munich soccer team. With its truly avant-garde sweeping canopy roof, winding its way across various parts of the complex, it was an inspired design for the big events of the 1972 Olympic Games. Tragically, a bigger event relegated what was heading to be the most successful Games to date to the sidelines. It was from the adjacent accommodation area that a terrorist attack on the Israeli team began, eventually leaving 17 people dead.

Unlike many former Olympic sites around the world, today the area is heavily used; it’s home to numerous concerts and sporting events, and is a haven for joggers, swimmers, and people just wishing to relax. Tours of the park are conducted on a Disneyland-style train throughout the day. For the more adventurous, how about climbing the roof of the Olympic Stadium and rappelling down? For the best view of the whole city and the Alps, take the elevator up the 955-foot Olympiaturm (Olympic Tower) or try out the revolving Restaurant 181 on the same level. | Spiridon-Louis-Ring 21, Milbertshofen | 089/3067-2415 restaurant | | Stadium tour €7.50 | Tour schedules vary; call ahead for departure times | Station: Olympiazentrum.

Fodor’s Choice | Schloss Nymphenburg.
This glorious baroque and rococo palace, the largest in Germany, grew in size and scope over more than 200 years. Begun in 1662 by the Italian architect Agostino Barelli, it was completed by his successor, Enrico Zuccalli. It represents a tremendous high point of Italian cultural influence, in what is undoubtedly Germany’s most Italian city. Within the original building, now the central axis of the palace complex, is the magnificent Steinerner Saal (Great hall), extending over two floors and richly decorated with stucco and grandiose frescoes by masters such as Francois Cuvilliés the Elder and Johann Baptist Zimmermann. One of the surrounding royal chambers houses Ludwig I’s famous Schönheitsgalerie (Gallery of Beauties), portraits of women who caught his roving eye. The palace park is laid out in formal French style, with low hedges and gravel walks extending into woodland. Among the ancient tree stands are three fascinating pavilions, including the Amalienburg hunting lodge by François Cuvilliés. | Schloss Nymphenburg, Nymphenburg | 089/179-080 | | From €4.50. Combination tickets from €8.50 | Nymphenburg Palace, Marstallmuseum, and Museum of Nymphenburg Porcelain: Apr.-mid-Oct., daily 9-6; mid-Oct.-Mar., daily 10-4; Amalienburg, Badenburg, Pagodenburg, and Magdalenenklause: Apr.-mid-Oct., daily 9-6 | Station: Schloss Nymphenburg (Tram or Bus).

Marstallmuseum and Nymphenburger Porzellan (Museum of Royal Carriages & Porcelain Manufacturer Nymphenburg).
Nymphenburg contains so much of interest that a day hardly provides enough time. Don’t leave without visiting the former royal stables, now the Marstallmuseum. It houses a fleet of vehicles, including an elaborately decorated sleigh in which King Ludwig II once glided through the Bavarian twilight, flaming torches lighting the way. Also exhibited in the Marstallmuseum’s upper rooms are examples of the world-renowned Nymphenburg porcelain, the electoral porcelain factory founded by Max III Joseph in 1747. Nymphenburg porcelain has a flagship store at Odeonsplatz and is also available in numerous other shops around the city. | Schloss Nymphenburg, Nymphenburg | 089/179-080 Schloss Nymphenburg | | From €4.50 | Apr.-mid-Oct., daily 9-6; mid-Oct.-Mar., daily 10-4 | Station: Schloss Nymphenburg (Tram or Bus).

Museum Mensch und Natur (Museum of Man and Nature).
This popular museum in the north wing of Schloss Nymphenburg has nothing to do with the Wittelsbachs but is one of the palace’s major attractions. Through interactive exhibits, the Museum Mensch und Natur looks at the variety of life on Earth, the history of humankind, and our place in the environment, as well as genetics and nature conservation. Main exhibits include a huge representation of the human brain and a chunk of Alpine crystal weighing half a ton. | Schloss Nymphenburg, Nymphenburg | 089/179-5890 | | €3 | Tues.-Fri. 9-5 (Thurs. until 8), weekends 10-6 | Station:Schloss Nymphenburg (Tram or Bus).


Bavaria Filmstadt.
For real movie buffs, Munich has its own Hollywood-like neighborhood, the Geiselgasteig, in the affluent Grünwald district, on the southern outskirts of the city. A number of notable films, such as Das Boot (The Boat) and Die Unendliche Geschichte (The Neverending Story), were made here. It was also here that in 1925 British filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock shot his first film, The Pleasure Garden. There are a number of tours and shows, including a 4-D cinema (in English at 1 pm in high season), and extra events for kids. | Bavaria Filmpl. 7, Geiselgasteig | 089/6499-2000 | | From €5.50 | Apr.-mid-Nov., daily 9-6; mid-Nov.-Mar., daily 10-5 | Station: Grünwald, Bavariafilmplatz (Tram, Bus).

BMW Museum.
Munich is the home of the famous BMW car company. The circular tower of its museum is one of the defining icons of Munich’s modern cityscape. It contains not only a dazzling collection of BMWs old and new but also items and exhibitions relating to the company’s social history and its technical developments. It’s a great place to stop in if you’re at the Olympiapark already. | Am Olympiapark 2, Milbertshofen | 089/1250-16001 | | €10 | Tues.-Sun. 10-6 | Station: Olympiazentrum.

BMW Plant Munich.
Come see how a BMW car is made. The BMW factory live production can be toured on weekdays (minimum age to participate is seven). Registration for plant tours, which last a maximum of 2½ hours, is only possible with a reservation. The tours start and finish at the north information counter at BMW Welt. Due to plant reconstruction, there is no wheelchair access at present. Reserve at least two weeks in advance via phone or email; see the website for details. | BMW Welt, Am Olympiapark 1, Milbertshofen | 089/1250-16001 | | | From €8 | Weekdays 9-4:30 | Station: Olympiazentrum.

BMW Welt.
Opened in 2007, the cutting-edge design of BMW Welt, with its sweeping, futuristic facade, is one structure helping to overcome the conservative image Munich has had in the realm of architecture since 1945. Even if you have just a passing interest in cars and engines, this showroom is a must—it has averaged 2 million visitors a year since its opening. In addition to tours of the building, there are readings, concerts, and exhibitions. Tours can only be booked via telephone or email.

| Am Olympiapark 1, Milbertshofen | 089/1250-16001 | | Mon.-Sat. 7:30 am-midnight, Sun. 9 am-midnight | Station: Olympiazentrum.

Botanischer Garten (Botanical Garden).
On the northern edge of Schloss Nymphenburg, this collection of some 16,000 plants, including orchids, cacti, cycads, alpine flowers, and rhododendrons, makes up one of the most extensive botanical gardens in Europe. It is also used to provide a refuge for bee species, and for scientific research by local university students. | Menzingerstr. 65, Nymphenburg | 089/1786-1310 | | €4.50 | Nov.-Jan., daily 9-4:30; Feb., Mar., and Oct., daily 9-5; Apr. and Sept., daily 9-6; May-Aug., daily 9-7. Hothouses close 30 mins earlier.

Deutsches Museum Flugwerft Schleissheim.
Connoisseurs of airplanes and flying machines will appreciate this magnificent offshoot of the Deutsches Museum, some 20 km (12 miles) north of the City Center in Oberschleissheim. These buildings, constructed in the early 20th century by the Königlich-Bayerische Fliegertruppen (Royal Bavarian Flying corps), tell the story of aviation history. It’s an ideal complement to a visit to Schloss Schleissheim. | Effnerstr. 18 | Oberschleissheim | 089/315-7140 | | €6. Combined ticket with Deutsches Museum and Verkehrszentrum €16. | Daily 9-5 | Station: Oberschleissheim.

Neues Schloss Schleissheim (Schleissheim Palace).
Duke Wilhelm V found the perfect peaceful retreat outside Munich, and in 1598 built what is now known as the Altes Schloss Schleissheim (Schleissheim Old Palace). In 1685 Elector Max Emanuel added Lustheim, which houses one of Germany’s most impressive collections of Meissen porcelain, and at the beginning of the 18th century the Neues Schloss Schleissheim (Schleissheim New Palace). This baroque palace’s rooms display great works of art and outstanding interior decoration. | Maximilianshof 1 | Oberschleissheim | 089/315-8720 | | €4.50. Combined ticket with Old Palace and Lustheim Palace €8 | Apr.-Sept., Tues.-Sun. 9-6; Oct.-Mar., Tues.-Sun. 10-4 | Station: Oberschleissheim.

Tierpark Hellabrunn.
On the Isar, just upstream from the city, this attractive zoo has many parklike enclosures but a minimum of cages. Founded in 1911, the zoo is slightly different from most others in that it’s a self-styled nature reserve, and it follows a concept called Geo-Zoo, which means care has been taken to group animals according to their natural and geographical habitats. Critics of the concept of zoos won’t agree, but supporters appreciate the extra attention to detail. As well as the usual tours, there are also 90-minute nighttime guided tours with special night-vision equipment (register ahead of time at The huge zoo area also includes restaurants and children’s areas, and some of the older buildings are in typical art nouveau style. | Tierparkstr. 30, Harlaching | From Marieneplatz, take U-bahn 3 to Thalkirchen, at the southern edge of the city | 089/625-080 | | From €14 | Late Mar.-late Oct., daily 9-6; late Oct.-late Mar., daily 9-5 | Station:Thalkirchen (Tierpark) / Tierpark (Alemannenstrasse) (Bus).

Previous Chapter | Beginning of Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Where to Eat

Previous Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Altstadt and Lehel | Ludwigsvorstadt and Isarvorstadt | Schwabing and Maxvorstadt | Au and Haidhausen

Munich claims to be Germany’s gourmet capital. It certainly has an inordinate number of fine restaurants, but you won’t have trouble finding a vast range of options in both price and style.

Typical, more substantial dishes in Munich include Tellerfleisch, boiled beef with freshly grated horseradish and boiled potatoes on the side, served on wooden plates. Schweinebraten (roast pork) is accompanied by dumplings and sauerkraut. Hax’n (ham hocks) are roasted until they’re crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside. They are served with sauerkraut and potato puree. Game in season (venison or boar, for instance) and duck are served with potato dumplings and red cabbage. As for fish, the region has not only excellent trout, served either smoked as an hors d’oeuvre or fried or boiled as an entrée, but also the perchlike Renke from Lake Starnberg.

You’ll also find soups, salads, casseroles, hearty stews, and a variety of baked goods—including Breze (pretzels). For dessert, indulge in a bowl of Bavarian cream, apple strudel, or Dampfnudel, a fluffy leavened-dough dumpling usually served with vanilla sauce.

The generic term for a snack is Imbiss, and thanks to growing internationalism you’ll find a huge variety, from the generic Wiener (hot dogs) to the Turkish döner kebab sandwich (pressed and roasted lamb, beef, or chicken). Almost all butcher shops and bakeries offer some sort of Brotzeit, which can range from a modest sandwich to a steaming plate of goulash with potatoes and salad. A classic beer garden Brotzeit is a Breze with Obatzda (a cheese spread made from Camembert and paprika served with freshly sliced rings of onion).

Some edibles come with social etiquette attached. The Weisswurst, a tender minced-veal sausage—made fresh daily, steamed, and served with sweet mustard and a crisp pretzel—is a Munich institution and, theoretically, should be eaten before noon with a Weissbier (wheat beer), supposedly to counteract the effects of a hangover. Some people use a knife and fork to peel off the skin, while others might indulge in auszuzeln, sucking the sausage out of the skin.

Another favorite Bavarian specialty is Leberkäs—literally “liver cheese,” though neither liver nor cheese is among its ingredients. Rather, it’s a sort of meat loaf baked to a crust each morning and served in pink slabs throughout the day. A Leberkässemmel—a wedge of the meat loaf between two halves of a bread roll slathered with a slightly spicy mustard—is the favorite Munich on-the-go snack.


Andechser am Dom.
$ | GERMAN | At this Munich mainstay for both locals and visitors, the vaulted, frescoed ceiling and the old stone floor recall the nearby Andechs monastery. As with many smaller Bavarian Wirtshäuser (pub-restaurants), it’s invariably pretty full, so be prepared to find seats at a table already half full, though this is part of the lively charm of the place. The boldly Bavarian food—blood sausage with potatoes or roast duck—and fine selection of delectable Andechs beers will quickly put you at ease. The covered terrace, steps from the Frauenkirche, is a favorite meeting place, rain or shine, for shoppers, local businesspeople, and even the occasional VIP. | Average main: €12 | Weinstr. 7, Altstadt | 089/2429-2920 | | Station: Marienplatz.

Brasserie L’Atelier Art & Vin.
$ | FRENCH | Take a seat by the wall of windows, or at the long blond-wood bar, in this airy, casual brasserie, which specializes in French food and wine. On nice days, tables are also set outside on the sidewalk of the pleasant, relatively quiet street. The light, crisp quiches, in particular, are a delight, and the wine list is a curated selection of French wines. The Bier & Oktoberfestmuseum is right next door, highlighting the wonderful contrasts that are so typical of this city. | Average main: €12 | Westenriederstr. 43, Altstadt | 089/2126-6783 | | No credit cards | Closed Sun. and public holidays | Station: Marienplatz / Isartor.

Brasserie OskarMaria.
$$ | EUROPEAN | After New York, Munich has more publishing houses than any other city in the world. Literaturhaus is a converted Renaissance-style schoolhouse that, as the name suggests, is now a “literature” center, for authors, publishers, and book fans. The front side of the building is a stylish brasserie, named after Munich writer Oskar Maria Graf, an exile after the Nazis took power in Germany in 1933, and who eventually settled in New York. The brasserie’s vaulted high ceiling and plate-glass windows create a light and spacious atmosphere. The range of dishes here is pretty eclectic, from beetroot with garden vegetables and goat’s cheese to lobster risotto. It has a sprawling terrace, and it’s one of the city’s best outdoor eating locations, whether for a main meal or cappuccino and Kuchen (cake). About 100 yards away, on Jungfernturmstrasse, is one of the largest remaining remnants of the city wall. Reservations are highly recommended. | Average main: €16 | Salvatorpl. 1, Altstadt | 089/2919-6029 | | Station: Odeonsplatz / Marienplatz.

$ | GERMAN | Tucked into a quaint little square off Viktualienmarkt, this delightful Bratwurst joint cooks up specialty sausages right in the main room over an open grill. For those looking for a bit less meat, there is also a hearty farmer’s salad with veal strips and tasty oyster mushrooms. They have outdoor seating, perfect for people-watching when the weather is good. | Average main: €9 | Dreifaltigkeitspl. 1,Altstadt | 089/295-113 | | Closed Sun. and public holidays | Station: Marienplatz.

Buffet Kull.
$$$ | EUROPEAN | This simple yet comfortable international bistro delivers a high-quality dining experience accompanied by a good variety of wines and friendly service. Dishes range from bouillabaisse halibut with king prawns and calamari to the excellent New York steak. The daily specials are creative, portions are generous, and the prices are good value for the quality. Reservations are recommended (dinner service starts at 6 pm). | Average main: €25 | Marienstr. 4, Altstadt | 089/221-509 | | Station: Marienplatz.

Café Dukatz.
$ | FRENCH | This café has been a popular relatively upmarket eatery on the Munich scene for years. Even with the closure of their city-center restaurant, it has been a busy time for the owners as they now have two cafés—one in Maxvorstadt on Klenzestrasse 69 and this one in Lehel. They specialize in French-style pâtisseries, with the daily home-baked delights and fine coffees expected of such a renowned name. | Average main: €4 | St.-Anna-Str. 11, Lehel | 089/2303-2444 St.-Anna-Str., 089/2006-2893 Klenzestr. | | No credit cards | Station: Lehel.

City Hotel Lux Restaurant.
$$$$ | INTERNATIONAL | The chef here learned his trade at Munich’s much-vaunted Königshof. Much of the meat here is organic; ask the ever-charming staff for information. The creamy asparagus risotto is a real treat for lunch, while the duck with ratatouille and potato-celery gratin is a highlight of the evening menu. Though the restaurant is small, it deliberately has a front-room feel, with red, velvetlike upholstery complementing the wooden ceiling and walls. The small bar is also terrific. Hotel Lux is a hotel with 17 rooms (€149), free Wi-Fi, and simply furnished rooms—except for the top-floor “birdroom,” designed by Hans Langner, who is famous for his bird depictions. This extraordinary blue, bird-filled single room is not to everyone’s taste, but good fun for a night or two. | Average main: €25.50 | Ledererstr. 13, Altstadt | 089/4520-7300 | | Station: Marienplatz / Isartor.

Fodor’s Choice | Due passi.
$ | ITALIAN | So small it’s easy to miss, this former dairy shop, now an Italian specialty shop, offers Italian fare for a quick lunch. There’s a small but fine selection of fresh antipasti and pasta. You can eat at the high wooden tables and counters or have your food to go. Menus change daily. Beat the lunch crowd and arrive by 11:30 for the quieter, cooler window seat. | Average main: €8 | Ledererstr. 11, Altstadt | 089/224-271 | | No credit cards | Closed Sun. and holidays | Station: Marienplatz.

$$$ | FRENCH FUSION | This specialty shop, where you can buy various European staples from French cheese to Belgian chocolate, doubles as a comfortable, relaxed restaurant. Their extensive Saturday buffet breakfast is popular in the neighborhood. Seating can become a little crowded inside, but the excellent service will make up for it and you’ll feel right at home. In summertime, however, tables spill out onto St.-Anna-Platz in a charming setting. At lunch Gandl is just the place for a quick pastry or excellent antipasto misto before proceeding with the day’s adventures. Dinner is more relaxed, with Mediterranean-influenced cuisine. | Average main: €22 | St.-Anna-Pl. 1, Lehel | 089/2916-2525 | | Closed Sun. | Station: Lehel.

Gasthaus Isarthor.
$ | GERMAN | This old-fashioned Wirtshaus is one of the few places that serve Augustiner beer exclusively from wooden kegs, freshly tapped on a daily basis. Beer simply doesn’t get any better than this. The traditional Bavarian fare is good, and the midday menu changes daily. All kinds are drawn to the simple wooden tables of this unspectacular establishment. Antlers and a wild boar look down on actors, government officials, apprentice craftspersons, journalists, and retirees, all sitting side by side. | Average main: €11 | Kanalstr. 2, Lehel | 089/227-753 | | No credit cards | Station:Isartor.

$ | GERMAN | The Hofbräuhaus is simply the most famous beer hall not just in Munich but in the world. Regulars aside, many Bavarians see it as the biggest tourist trap ever created, and few ever go more than once, but they are still proud that it attracts so many visitors. Yes, it’s a little kitschy, but the pounding oompah band draws the curious, and the singing and shouting drinkers contribute to the festive atmosphere (the beer garden provides a bit of an escape from the noise in good weather). This is no place for the fainthearted, and a trip to Munich would be incomplete without at least having a look. Upstairs is a quieter restaurant, where the food is fine, although there are better places for Bavarian cuisine. In March, May, and September ask for one of the special, extra-strong seasonal beers (Starkbier, Maibock, Märzen), which complement the traditional Bavarian fare. | Average main: €12 | Platzl 9, Altstadt | 089/2901-3610 | | Reservations not accepted | Station: Marienplatz / Isartor.

$ | GERMAN | This cozy alpine lodge-style restaurant in a small street behind the Rathaus is a treat for those craving an old-world tavern, complete with live accordion playing. As its name suggests, yodelers perform most nights, telling jokes and poking fun at their adoring guests in unintelligible Bavarian slang. The food is traditional, including Käsespätzle (a hearty German version of macaroni and cheese), goulash, and meal-size salads. The tasty beer is from the Ayinger brewery. The place is small and fills up fast. | Average main: €14 | Altenhofstr. 4, Altstadt | 089/221-249 | | No credit cards | Closed Sun. and Mon. except during Oktoberfest. No lunch | Station: Marienplatz.

Museumsstüberl im Bier und Oktoberfestmuseum.
$ | GERMAN | In one of the oldest buildings in Munich, dating to the 14th century, the beer museum (open Tuesday-Saturday 1-6) takes an imaginative look at the history of this popular elixir, the monasteries that produced it, the purity laws that govern it, and Munich’s own long tradition with it. The rustic Museumsstüberl restaurant, consisting of a few heavy wooden tables, accompanies the museum. It serves traditional Brotzeit (breads, cheeses, and cold meats) during the day and hot Bavarian dishes from 6 pm. You can visit the Museumsstüberl restaurant without paying the museum’s admission fee and try beer from one of Munich’s oldest breweries, the Augustiner Bräu. | Average main: €9 | Sterneckerstr. 2, Altstadt | 089/2424-3941 | | Museum €4 | No credit cards | Closed Sun. | Station:Isartor.

Nero Pizza & Lounge.
$ | ITALIAN | The typical Italian thin-crust pizzas and pastas at this independent restaurant are great; try the diavolo, with spicy Neapolitan salami. They also serve great steaks. On a side street between Gärtnerplatz and Isartor, Nero has high ceilings and large windows that give it an open, spacious feel. You can sit upstairs in the lounge for a cozier experience. Credit-card payment is only accepted for meals over €50. | Average main: €11 | Rumfordstr. 34, Altstadt | 089/2101-9060 | | Station: Isartor.

Nürnberger Bratwurst Glöckl am Dom.
$ | GERMAN | One of Munich’s most popular beer taverns is dedicated to the delicious Nürnberger Bratwürste (finger-sized grilled sausages), a specialty from the rival Bavarian city of Nürnberg. They’re served by a busy team of friendly waitresses dressed in Bavarian dirndls who flit between the crowded tables with remarkable agility. There are other options available as well. In warmer months, tables are placed outside, partly under a large awning, beneath the towering Frauenkirche. In winter the mellow, dark-panel dining rooms provide relief from the cold. For a quick, cheaper beer go to the side door where, just inside, there is a little window serving fresh Augustiner from a wooden barrel. You can stand around with the regulars or enjoy the small courtyard if the weather is nice. | Average main: €10 | Frauenpl. 9,Altstadt | 089/291-9450 | | Station: Marienplatz.

Pfälzer Residenz Weinstube.
$ | GERMAN | A huge stone-vaulted room within the Residenz, a few smaller rooms on the side, wooden tables, flickering candles, dirndl-clad waitresses, and a long list of wines add up to a storybook image of a timeless Germany. The wines are mostly from the Pfalz (Palatinate), as are many of the specialties on the limited menu. Beer drinkers, take note—beer is not served here. | Average main: €11 | Residenzstr. 1,Altstadt | 089/225-628 | | Station: Odeonsplatz / Marienplatz.

Prinz Myshkin City Restaurant.
$$ | VEGETARIAN | Traditional Bavarian dishes can sometimes be heavy affairs, and after a meal or three they can become a bit much. This restaurant is one of the finest in the city, and it’s vegetarian to boot, with a selection of vegan dishes. The delightful holiday from meat here brings an eclectic choice of skillfully prepared antipasti, quiche, pizza, gnocchi, tofu, crepes, stir-fried dishes, plus excellent wines. The airy room has a high ceiling, and there’s always some art exhibited to feed the eye and mind. | Average main: €16 | Hackenstr. 2, Altstadt | 089/265-596 | | Station: Marienplatz.

Fodor’s Choice | Restaurant Dallmayr.
$$$$ | EUROPEAN | Enter one of Munich’s premier delicatessens, where rows of specialties tempt your nose. If you can tear yourself away from the mesmerizing displays of foods, take a carpeted flight of stairs either to the much-vaunted Restaurant Dallmayr or the adjoining elegant-yet-casual Café-Bistro. Whether your choice is restaurant or café, this place is a sheer delight, showcasing delicacies from the delicatessen, while the service is friendly and attentive. Few are surprised that Diethard Urbansky, head chef at Restaurant Dallmayr, has won Michelin stars from 2009 onward. Menus change often, but a typical starter might be red king prawns with vegetables and yogurt. For mains, try the Nebraska beef with goose liver, tarragon, and pineapple. | Average main: €130 | Dienerstr. 14-15, Altstadt | 089/213-5130 | | Restaurant closed Sun. and Mon. No lunch Tues.-Fri. | Station: Marienplatz.

Schmalznudel Café Frischhut.
$ | GERMAN | From the deep Bavarian accent to the food on offer, this is as Bavarian as one could get, though it serves neither typical great slabs of meat nor Knödel. The fryers are turned on in the early morning for Viktualienmarkt workers, and stay on for those still standing after a night out. At midday, lines of people are waiting for helpings of freshly cooked Schmalznudel, a selection of doughnut-type creations, from apple to sugar-coated to plain. It’s really no more than a narrow-passage kind of café, located on a busy street between the Stadtmuseum and Viktualienmarkt, and easily missed by those not in the know. Regulars are equally happy whether they manage to find a seat inside or at the handful of tables outside, or there’s always the option to take out and eat as you wind your way through the ever-colorful market. | Average main: €2 | Prälat-Zistl-Str. 8, Altstadt | 089/2602-3156 | No credit cards | Closed Sun. | Station: Marienplatz.

Spatenhaus an der Oper.
$$$ | GERMAN | The best seats are the window tables on the second floor. The quiet dining-room walls and ceiling are paneled with old hand-painted wood and have a wonderful view of the square and the opera house. Make a reservation if you want to come after a performance. The outdoor tables are a favorite for people-watching. There are few better places for roasted fillet of brook trout, lamb with ratatouille, or duck with apple and red cabbage. And they do the best Wiener schnitzel in the city. Leave room for one of the wonderful desserts featuring fresh fruit. | Average main: €21 | Residenzstr. 12, Altstadt | 089/290-7060 | | Station: Odeonsplatz / Marienplatz.

Weinhaus Neuner.
$$$$ | GERMAN | Munich’s oldest wine tavern serves good food as well as superior wines in its two nooks: the wood-panel restaurant and the Weinstube. The choice of food is remarkable, from roast duck to fish to traditional Bavarian. | Average main: €52 | Herzogspitalstr. 8, Altstadt | 089/260-3954 | | Closed Sun. and holidays | Station: Marienplatz / Karlsplatz (Stachus).

Weisses Bräuhaus.
$ | GERMAN | If you’ve developed a taste for Weissbier, this institution in downtown Munich is the place to indulge. The tasty brew from Schneider, a Bavarian brewery in existence since 1872, is served with hearty Bavarian dishes, mostly variations of pork and dumplings or cabbage. The restaurant itself was beautifully restored in 1993 to something approaching how it would have looked when first opened in the 1870s. The waitresses here are famous in Munich for being a little more straight-talking than visitors might be used to in restaurants back home. But if you’re good-natured, the whole thing can be quite funny. There is the possibility to sit outside, though it is quite a busy street. Credit cards are accepted for totals over €20, but with the good beer and food, this isn’t difficult to reach. | Average main: €14 | Tal 7, Altstadt | 089/290-1380 | | Station: Marienplatz / Isartor.

Zum Dürnbräu.
$$ | GERMAN | In existence in one form or another since 1487, this is easily one of the oldest establishments serving food in Munich, and there’s little surprise that the food is resolutely traditional: lots of roast meat, potato and bread dumplings, fish, and equally hearty desserts. As the Bräu in the name suggests, this was also a brewery centuries ago. The front biergarten is small so get there early in good weather. Inside, the central 21-foot table is a favorite spot and fills up first. It’s popular and attracts everyone from businesspeople to students. | Average main: €18 | Dürnbräug. 2, Altstadt | An alleyway from Tal 21 offers convenient access | 089/222-195 | | Station: Marienplatz / Isartor.


$ | ECLECTIC | The beloved Faun is on Hans-Sachs-Strasse, one of the city’s most interesting streets, with great restaurants and boutique shops—even a century-old cinema. It’s a happy combination of Munich tavern and international bistro, with great outdoor seating on a small square. The Thai curries are wonderful, and their juicy Schweinebraten will satisfy any meat cravings. The dishes on the daily changing menu are tasty, filling, and easy on your wallet. The beer served is Augustiner, so you can’t go wrong there. Build up your appetite by browsing your way through the neighborhood shops and boutiques, or walk off your meal on a stroll back into the Old Town. | Average main: €9 | Hans-Sachs-Str. 17, Ludwigsvorstadt | 089/263-798 | | No credit cards | Station: Frauenhoferstrasse.

$$$$ | ECLECTIC | Don’t be fooled as you cross the threshold of the dour and unremarkable-looking postwar Hotel Königshof. The contrast with the opulent interior is remarkable. From a window table in this elegant and luxurious restaurant in one of Munich’s grand hotels, you can watch the hustle and bustle of Munich’s busiest square, Karlsplatz, below. You’ll forget the outside world, however, when you taste the outstanding French- and Japanese-influenced dishes created by Michelin-starred chef Martin Fauster, former sous-chef at Tantris. Ingredients are fresh and menus change often, but you might see lobster with fennel and candied ginger, or venison with goose liver and celery, and for dessert, flambéed peach with champagne ice cream. Service is expert and personal; let the sommelier help you choose from the fantastic wine selection. Reservations are recommended, especially Fridays and Saturdays. | Average main: €57 | Karlspl. 25, Ludwigsvorstadt | 089/551-360 | | Closed Sun. and Mon., and Aug. | Jacket and tie | Station: Karlsplatz.


Alter Simpl.
$ | GERMAN | Named after Germany’s most famous satirical magazine, Simplicissimus, this pub-restaurant has been a Munich institution since 1903, when it was a meeting and discussion center for leading writers, comedians, and artists. Today the pictures of those days hang on the dark wood-panel walls. It’s quite small inside and far from salubrious, but the beer’s good and the equally good food is served until 2 am (beer until 3 am). The menu includes filling options like roast pork, Munich schnitzel, and a bacon-cheeseburger with french fries. Students are at home here and will welcome anyone at their table when the others are all taken. | Average main: €11 | Türkenstr. 57, Maxvorstadt | 089/272-3083 | | No credit cards | Station: Universität.

Augustiner Keller.
$ | GERMAN | This flagship beer restaurant of one of Munich’s oldest breweries opened in about 1812. It is also the location of the unbeatable Augustiner beer garden, which should be at the top of any visitor’s beer garden list. The menu offers Bavarian specialties, including half a duck with a good slab of roast suckling pig, dumpling, and blue cabbage. If you’re up for it, end your meal with a Dampfnudel (yeast dumpling served with custard), though you probably won’t feel hungry again for quite a while. | Average main: €13 | Arnulfstr. 52, Maxvorstadt | 089/594-393 | | Station: Hauptbahnhof.

$ | GERMAN | In 1893 Augustiner, the oldest brewery in Munich, built this sturdy Wirtshaus to sustain travelers on the 12-km (7-mile) trek from Munich to the castles at Schleissheim. This pub-restaurant has been renovated over the years and is today as much a forum for good eating and drinking as it was more than 100 years ago. You’ll get hearty food in a dining room festooned with antlers. If you want to relax further, retire to the small Bibliothek (library), or head outside to sit on the covered terrace. | Average main: €14 | Görresstr. 38, Maxvorstadt | 089/2020-9550 | | Station: Josephsplatz.

$$$$ | GERMAN | With nearly 100 years of history to its credit, polished wood paneling, and antlers on the walls, the Halali is an old-style Munich restaurant that is the place to try traditional dishes of venison, pheasant, partridge, and other game in a quiet and elegant atmosphere. Save room for the crème brûlée and hazelnut ice cream. | Average main: €31 | Schönfeldstr. 22, Maxvorstadt | 089/285-909 | | Closed Sun. and public holidays. No lunch Sat. | Reservations essential | Jacket and tie | Station: Odeonsplatz.

Fodor’s Choice | Limoni.
$$$ | ITALIAN | It’s not just Munich’s neoclassical architecture that underpins its playful, centuries-old moniker as Italy’s most northern city. There are a number of fine Italian restaurants around the city, but this is certainly one of the best. You’ll pay more for meat and fish dishes, but there are also lovely pasta dishes that are a little more budget-friendly. There is a Bavarian professionalism combined with Italian grace and elegance in how the delicacies are served: pea and ginger cream soup, strozzapreti with veal ragout, artichokes, thyme, and scarmoza cheese to name just a couple, and then the fantastic chocolate cake with mascarpone cream. Be sure to reserve your table in good weather so you can sit on the charming patio in the back; note that warm food is only served from 6:30 pm to 11 pm. | Average main: €24 | Amalienstr. 38, Maxvorstadt | 089/2880-6029 | | Closed Sun. No lunch | Station: Universität.

$ | GERMAN | This historic old brewery tavern, first opened in 1880, offers great value Bavarian dishes. The best part about this place, however, is the cozy, secluded little beer garden with huge chestnut trees, tucked in the back amid the apartment blocks. | Average main: €10 | Adalbertstr. 33, Schwabing | 089/271-5158 | | No lunch Nov.-Mar. | Station: Universität / Giselastrasse.

Fodor’s Choice | Tantris.
$$$$ | EUROPEAN | Few restaurants in Germany can match the Michelin-starred Tantris. Select the menu of the day and accept the suggestions of the sommelier or choose from the à la carte options and you’ll be in for a treat. Try, for example, the variation of char with marinated white asparagus and orange hollandaise, followed by roast lamb fillets with spinach, beans, and fennel-curry puree, superbly complemented by stuffed semolina dumplings with raspberries and curd-cheese ice cream. It surprises few that head chef Hans Haas has kept his restaurant at the top of the critics’ charts in Munich for so long. | Average main: €150 | Johann-Fichte-Str. 7, Schwabing | 089/361-9590 | | Closed Sun., Mon., and public holidays | Jacket and tie | Station: Münchener Freiheit / Dietlindenstrasse.

Vorstadt Café.
$ | GERMAN | Young professionals mix with students at this lively restaurant, a symphony in red and orange in an ode to the 1970s, on the corner of Adalbert- and Türkenstrasse. The 13 different breakfasts are a big draw: the Vorstadt Classic includes bacon and eggs, rolls and several other kinds of bread, with a plate of salami and homemade jam; the Veggie has scrambled eggs with tomatoes, cheese, and spinach, muesli with fresh fruit, and cheese with nuts. Their daily lunch specials, served quickly, are good value. The atmosphere at dinner is relaxed, complete with candlelight. Reservations are recommended on weekends. There is another location in Altstadt at Maximilianstrasse 40. | Average main: €14 | Türkenstr. 83, Maxvorstadt | 089/272-0699 Türkenstr., 089/2554-7010 Maximilianstr. | | No credit cards | Station: Universität.


$$$$ | ITALIAN | In the setting of an old apothecary, diners can enjoy specialties from Venice and other northern Italian regions, such as spaghetti with sardines or roast goat, prepared to perfection by chef Marco Pizzolato. Service is good-humored and conscientious and the menu changes regularly. | Average main: €28 | Steinstr. 42, Haidhausen | 089/4895-0356 | | No lunch Sat. | Station:Rosenheimer Platz.

Wirtshaus in der Au.
$$ | GERMAN | Wirtshaus is a word that describes a kind of bar-restaurant serving traditional Bavarian food and beer. This has been serving since 1901 and it’s one of the best. A stone’s throw from the Deutsches Museum, it has a great vaulted room and collections of beer steins, providing one of the best atmospheres around. It has a combination of fantastic service and outstanding local dishes, and it serves everything from Hofente (roast duck) to Schweinsbraten (roast pork). But the real specialty, and for which it is renowned, is Knödel (dumplings), which, in addition to traditional Semmel (bread) and Kartoffel (potato) varieties, come in spinach, cheese, and even red-beet flavors. Weather permitting, you can sit in the small beer garden under chestnut trees. Spend a day in the Deutsches Museum followed by an evening here, and experience Munich at its best. | Average main: €15 | Lilienstr. 51, Au | 089/448-1400 | | No lunch weekdays | Station: Isartor / Rosenheimerplatz.

Previous Chapter | Beginning of Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Where to Stay

Previous Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Altstadt and Lehel | Ludwigsvorstadt and Isarvorstadt | Schwabing and Maxvorstadt | Outside Innenstadt

Though Munich has a vast number of hotels in all price ranges, booking one can be a challenge, as this is a trade-show city as well as a prime tourist destination. If you’re visiting during any of the major trade fairs such as the ISPO (sports, fashion) in January or the IHM (crafts) in February/March, or during Oktoberfest at the end of September, try to make reservations at least a few months in advance. It is acceptable practice in Europe to request to see a room before committing to it, so feel free to ask at check-in once you arrive.

Some of the large, upscale hotels that cater to expense-account business travelers have attractive weekend discount rates—sometimes as much as 50% below normal prices. Conversely, most hotels raise their regular rates by at least 30% during big trade fairs and Oktoberfest. Online booking sites like Hotel Reservation Service ( often have prices well below the hotel’s published prices (i.e., price ranges in this guide) in slow periods and on short notice. Look for the names we suggest here and search online for potential deals.

TIP Munich’s tourist information office has two outlets that can help you with hotel bookings if you haven’t reserved in advance. One is outside Hauptbahnhof, the central station, and the other is at Marienplatz, in the Rathaus information office. Your best bet is to visit in person.


$$ | HOTEL | This modern hotel is near a number of great museums and the English Garden, with large rooms that are tastefully decorated. There’s no hotel restaurant, but there is a breakfast room with a buffet. Pros: good location; nice lobby. Cons: no bar or restaurant. | Rooms from: €117 | Liebigstr. 8a, Altstadt | 089/242-1170 | | 44 rooms | Breakfast | Station: Lehel.

Fodor’s Choice | Bayerischer Hof.
$$$$ | HOTEL | There’s the Michelin-starred Atelier, the swanky suites, the rooftop Blue Spa and Lounge with panoramic city views, fitness studio, pool, private cinema, and to top it all, suites in Palais Montgelas, the adjoining early-19th-century palace. Yes, it would be easy to pigeonhole the Bayerische Hof as just another expensive luxury hotel. But this hotel, opened in 1841, is an almost unique combination of luxury, history, and accessibility. Münchners, for example, are encouraged to visit the traditional Bavarian restaurant, while it is also a top jazz venue. Even King Ludwig I of Bavaria paid regular visits to take a “royal bath,” when his own residence lacked hot running water. When meeting someone at “the bar,” or “restaurant,” specify which one: there are seven bars (including a night club) and five restaurants. Pros: superb public rooms with valuable oil paintings; the roof garden restaurant has an impressive view of the Frauenkirche two blocks away; Atelier restaurant has a habit of garnering Michelin stars. Cons: expensive. | Rooms from: €498 | Promenadepl. 2-6, Altstadt | 089/21200 | | 340 rooms, 65 suites | Breakfast | Station: Karlsplatz / Marienplatz.

$$ | HOTEL | One of Munich’s design hotels, Cortiina follows the minimalist gospel. The reception is done in sleek gray stone with a high-tech gas fireplace along one wall. For guests, the emphasis is on subtle luxury—fresh flowers, mattresses made from natural rubber, sheets made of untreated cotton. The rooms are paneled in dark moor oak and come with all the amenities. In the Annex, 54 yards away, are 30 apartments with cooking facilities. There is free Wi-Fi throughout. Pros: welcoming, modern reception and bar; nice, comfortable rooms; personalized service. Cons: street noise; expensive breakfast. | Rooms from: €169 | Ledererstr. 8, Altstadt | 089/242-2490 | | 75 rooms | No meals | Station: Marienplatz.

Hotel am Markt.
$$ | HOTEL | At this excellent location next to the Viktualienmarkt, you’ll find simple rooms and fair prices. Pros: friendly and helpful staff; free Wi-Fi; decent restaurant. Cons: rooms are simple; some spots could use fresh paint; breakfast costs extra. | Rooms from: €112 | Heiliggeiststr. 6, Altstadt | 089/225-014 | | 22 rooms | No meals | Station: Marienplatz.

Hotel Concorde.
$$ | HOTEL | Although the Concorde is just steps away from the Hofbräuhaus, it has a peaceful location on a side street. The nearest station, Isartor, is a two-minute walk away. Fresh flowers and bright prints add a colorful touch. A varied continental breakfast buffet, included in the price, is served in a stylish, mirrored dining room. Pros: quiet; functional; good location. Cons: no restaurant or bar. | Rooms from: €160 | Herrnstr. 38-40, Altstadt | 089/224-515 | | 72 rooms | Breakfast | Station: Isartor.

Fodor’s Choice | Hotel Opera.
$$$ | HOTEL | In the quiet residential district of Lehel, Hotel Opera offers rooms decorated in an elegant style—lots of Empire, some art deco; some rooms even have glassed-in balconies. There are no minibars, but guests can order room service around the clock. Enjoy summer breakfast in the back courtyard decorated with orange and lemon trees. The street it’s on can be accessed through the neo-Renaissance arcades of the Ethnology Museum. Pros: free Wi-Fi throughout; elegant; pleasant courtyard; quiet location; special service. Cons: parking is €18 per day; no restaurant. | Rooms from: €210 | St.-Anna-Str. 10, Lehel | 089/210-4940 | | 25 rooms | Breakfast | Station: Lehel.

Fodor’s Choice | Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski München.
$$$$ | HOTEL | Trend and tradition blend throughout this property, especially in the new guest rooms, where flat-screen TVs hang on the walls alongside original oil paintings and Bose stereos rest on antique cupboards. The lobby has been called the “most beautiful living room in Munich,” and just as the world’s wealthy and titled have felt for more than 160 years, you’ll feel at home enjoying a drink and a bite in this “lived-in” spacious and luxurious room with a glass dome ceiling and dark-wood paneling. In the Vue Maximilian restaurant your attention may be torn between the excellent food and watching people on Maximilianstrasse, Munich’s premier shopping street. Pros: great location; occasional special packages that are a good value; free Wi-Fi. Cons: expensive. | Rooms from: €490 | Maximilianstr. 17, Altstadt | 089/2125-2799 | | 230 rooms, 67 suites | No meals | Station: Lehel / Kammerspiele (Tram).

Fodor’s Choice | Louis Hotel.
$$$$ | HOTEL | No other hotel in Munich manages to combine the subdued elegance of a design hotel, first-rate service, and perhaps the best Old Town location, overlooking Viktualienmarkt, as this hotel. Opened in 2009, this former bank is aiming for a slightly more affluent clientele, though some room prices are competitive. All of the interiors are unique, and the owners put their individual stamp on many of the designs. The oak floor in the Louis Room suite has been oiled just once, and provides an organic, natural feel. A few feet below, you can see the hustle and bustle of the Viktualienmarkt, and opening the balcony door allows you to hear “Prost!” as beer glasses are cracked together at the biergarten. Close the door and all is quiet again. There is a compact rooftop terrace with bar, with the historic St Peter’s Church towering above and free Wi-Fi throughout. Look for the tiny, enticing chocolate store below the hotel. Pros: brilliant location; attentive service; modern designs; very good restaurant. Cons: the bustle of the Viktualienmarkt is not for everyone; parking costs €26 a day. | Rooms from: €289 | Viktualienmarkt 6, Altstadt | Enter from the “Viktualienmarkt passageway” that runs from Rindermarkt street to Viktualienmarkt street | 089/4111-9080 | | 72 rooms | No meals | Station: Marienplatz.

Mercure Hotel München Altstadt.
$$ | HOTEL | This straightforward, comfortable hotel is a decent deal for its great location; there are a number of Mercure hotels in Munich, but this location, between Marienplatz and Karlsplatz, is in the Altstadt. Breakfast, now included in the price, is better than breakfasts you’ll get at some restaurants. Pets are allowed for an extra €13. Pros: central location; moderate price; free mineral water; free Wi-Fi. Cons: public parking garage is a bit of a hike. | Rooms from: €121 | Hotterstr. 4, Altstadt | 089/232-590 | | 75 rooms | Breakfast | Station: Marienplatz / Karlsplatz / Sendlinger Tor.

Motel One München-Sendlinger Tor.
$ | HOTEL | With well-thought-out designs and free Wi-Fi, the Motel One chain jumped ahead of the game with its simple but classy concept that caters to the young, fast-paced professional. Boisterous furniture and offbeat colors give the place a slightly edgy feel. The service is terrific and there are no hidden costs. This location is one of seven throughout Munich (there are more across Germany, plus a few farther afield) and they are a great option for the price. Pets (one per room), parking, and breakfast cost extra. The location, near Sendlinger Tor, is perfect for the historic Altstadt. Pros: great location; decent designs; amiable, attentive service; free breakfast for kids age 1-6; children under 12 stay in parents’ room for free. Cons: staying in one is like staying in all of them; no restaurant or room service; breakfast, parking, and pets cost extra. | Rooms from: €94 | Herzog-Wilhelm-Str. 28, Altstadt | 089/5177-7250 | | 241 rooms | No meals | Station: Sendlinger Tor.

Fodor’s Choice | Platzl Hotel.
$$$$ | HOTEL | The privately owned Platzl has won awards and wide recognition for its ecologically aware management, which uses heat recyclers in the kitchen, environmentally friendly detergents, recyclable materials, waste separation, and other eco-friendly practices. In 2011 the hotel won a gold award from the Bavarian Ministry for the Environment for such work. It stands in the historic heart of Munich, near the famous Hofbräuhaus beer hall and a couple of minutes’ walk from Marienplatz and many other landmarks. The egg-shell walls, wooden tables, cupboards and accents, and royal-colored carpets and curtains provide a rich, Bavarian backdrop to the rooms’ best feature: the generously-sized beds. Pfistermühle restaurant, with 16th-century vaulting, is one of the area’s oldest and most historic establishments. Pros: excellent restaurant Pfistermühle; progressive environmental credentials; around the corner from the Hofbräuhaus; free Wi-Fi. Cons: rooms facing the Hofbräuhaus get more noise; some rooms are on the small side. | Rooms from: €265 | Sparkassenstr. 10, Altstadt | 089/237-030 | | 167 rooms | Breakfast | Station: Marienplatz.

$$$ | HOTEL | The welcoming Torbräu has been looking after guests in one form or another since 1490, making it the oldest hotel in Munich, and it has been run by the same family for more than a century. It’s next to one of the ancient city gates—Isartor, originating in the 14th century—and the location is perfect for an amble up to Marienplatz, or to the River Isar, then on to the Deutsches Museum. The comfortable rooms are modestly decorated in a plush and ornate Italian style, rather than cutting-edge modern design. Pros: nice rooms, air-conditioned and with free Wi-Fi; central location; good restaurant; very attentive service. Cons: underground parking difficult; front rooms a little noisy. | Rooms from: €215 | Tal 41, Altstadt | 089/242-340 | | 90 rooms | Breakfast | Station: Isartor.


Fodor’s Choice | Admiral.
$$ | HOTEL | The small, privately owned, tradition-rich Admiral enjoys a quiet side-street location and its own garden, close to the River Isar, minutes from the Deutsches Museum. A comfortable bar with regal-looking chairs is right behind the lobby. Many of the nicely furnished and warmly decorated bedrooms have a balcony overlooking the secluded garden. The breakfast buffet is a dream, complete with homemade jams, fresh bread, and Italian and French delicacies. An increasing proportion of the breakfast is organic and it can be taken in the garden. The use of the minibar is included in the room price and Wi-Fi is free throughout. Pros: attention to detail; quiet; excellent service. Cons: no restaurant. | Rooms from: €149 | Kohlstr. 9, Isarvorstadt | 089/216-350 | | 33 rooms | Breakfast | Station: Isartor.

Anna Hotel.
$$$$ | HOTEL | Modern, slightly minimalist decor and features are characteristic of this design hotel. The suite on the sixth floor has fabulous views through the panorama windows, and its sumptuous bathroom, with delightful colored lights, comes with a TV. The bistro restaurant has a large terrace overlooking one of Munich’s central squares and Schützenstrasse, a pedestrian street leading to the train station. The location and good food make it a busy place where locals stop in for a drink and a bite to eat. Its sister hotel, the Königshof, is a couple of minutes away, and use of the spa there is free for Anna guests. Pros: terrific location; fabulous views from the top floor; beds are huge; free Wi-Fi throughout. Cons: bar and restaurant get hectic from passersby on the busy street; no single rooms. | Rooms from: €230 | Schützenstr. 1, Ludwigsvorstadt | 089/599-940 | | 75 rooms | Breakfast | Station: Karlsplatz.

$$ | HOTEL | A nice, light-filled lobby makes a first good impression, but Oktoberfest revelers value Brack’s proximity to the beer-festival grounds, and its location—on a busy, tree-lined thoroughfare just south of the city’s center—is handy for city attractions. The rooms are furnished in light, friendly veneers, have soundproof windows (a useful feature during Oktoberfest), and have amenities such as hair dryers. The buffet breakfast, which lasts until noon, will prepare you for the day. Pros: good location for accessing Oktoberfest and city; breakfast until noon; free use of bicycles; free Wi-Fi. Cons: front rooms can be noisy despite soundproof windows. | Rooms from: €119 | Lindwurmstr. 153, Ludwigsvorstadt | 089/747-2550 | | 50 rooms | Breakfast | Station: Poccistrasse.

Hotel am Viktualienmarkt.
$$ | HOTEL | This design-led hotel is perfectly located a few hundred yards from Viktualienmarkt and the Gärtnerplatz quarter. Stark white walls and bedding, wooden floors and brown accents give the rooms a light, bright, spick and span feel, while the lobby is dominated by large windows, suffusing it with natural light. The buffet breakfast is good, served in a stylish front room with neat tables and high-back chairs. The impressive five-person apartment is remarkably just €229 a night. Next door is a small cupcake store and there’s a decent Thai restaurant at the end of the street (Utzschneiderstrasse 6). Free Wi-Fi throughout, and thankfully the hotel now has an elevator. Pros: refreshing atmosphere; service attentive but not overbearing; great location. Cons: no air-conditioning; no restaurant; no parking on-site. | Rooms from: €149 | Utzschneiderstr. 14, Isarvorstadt | 089/231-1090 | | 26 rooms | Breakfast | Station: Marienplatz / Isartor / Reichenbachplatz (Tram).

Hotel Excelsior.
$$ | HOTEL | Just a short walk along an underpass from the Hauptbahnhof station, the Excelsior welcomes you with rooms that are spacious and inviting. Warm wood helps create the atmosphere of a luxury alpine resort, and although some aspects of the decor, like the fake awning near the ceiling, are close to kitsch, altogether it works. The Vinothek restaurant has excellent food, and a wine list to match. Pros: welcoming reception; spacious rooms; excellent breakfast; free Wi-Fi throughout. Cons: Schützenstrasse can get very busy; breakfast is normally not included in room price; fee per night for pet, and additional cleaning service after the stay. | Rooms from: €155 | Schützenstr. 11, Ludwigsvorstadt | 089/551-370 | | No lunch Sun. in restaurant | 118 rooms, 9 suites | No meals | Station:Hauptbahnhof / Karlsplatz.

Hotel Kraft.
$$ | HOTEL | Conveniently located between the City Center and the Oktoberfest grounds, this hotel has spacious rooms with an armchair, an ample-size writing desk, and natural light from a large window. The lobby of this basic hotel is inviting, with wood-paneled walls and comfortable armchairs. Unlike most city-center hotels, you can even open the window without letting in too much street noise because the university hospitals which surround the hotel prevent through traffic. Pros: privately owned; hotel and rooms well cared for; quiet neighborhood; Wi-Fi and breakfast are included in the price. Cons: no nightlife. | Rooms from: €110 | Schillerstr. 49, Ludwigsvorstadt | 089/550-5940 | | 33 rooms | Breakfast | Station: Sendlingertor / Theresienwiese.

Hotel Mariandl.
$$ | HOTEL | The American armed forces commandeered this turn-of-the-20th-century neo-Gothic mansion in May 1945 and established Munich’s first postwar nightclub, the Femina, on the ground floor. Breakfast is served downstairs in the Café am Beethovenplatz, which also has free Wi-Fi. Most rooms are spacious, with high ceilings and large windows overlooking a leafy avenue. The Oktoberfest grounds and the main railway station are both a 10-minute walk away. Prices during Oktoberfest increase substantially. Pros: hotel and café are charmingly worn and a bit bohemian. Cons: no elevator; no private parking spaces. | Rooms from: €128 | Goethestr. 51, Ludwigsvorstadt | 089/552-9100 | | 28 rooms | Breakfast | Station: Hauptbahnhof.

Hotel Mirabell.
$$ | HOTEL | This family-run hotel is used to American tourists who appreciate the friendly service, central location (between the main railway station and the Oktoberfest fairgrounds), and reasonable room rates. Two suites are available for small groups or families. Rooms are furnished in modern light woods and bright prints. A breakfast buffet is included. Pros: free Wi-Fi; family run; personalized service. Cons: no restaurant; this area of the Hauptbahnhof is not the most salubrious. | Rooms from: €119 | Landwehrstr. 42, entrance on Goethestr., Ludwigsvorstadt | 089/549-1740 | | 69 rooms | Breakfast | Station: Hauptbahnhof.

Hotel-Pension Schmellergarten.
$ | B&B/INN | Popular with young budget travelers, this family-run hotel tries to make everyone feel at home on a quiet street off Lindwurmstrasse, a few minutes’ walk from the Theresienwiese (Oktoberfest grounds). The Poccistrasse subway station is around the corner to take you to Marienplatz in the center of town. Pros: good location; good price; free Wi-Fi; all rooms have a fridge and microwave; no extra fee for pet. Cons: no elevator. | Rooms from: €92 | Schmellerstr. 20, Ludwigsvorstadt | 089/773-157 | | 14 rooms | Breakfast | Station: Poccistrasse.

Hotel Präsident.
$ | HOTEL | The location—just a block from the main train station—is the biggest draw of this hotel; the second draw is the price. For those who want a basic and inexpensive place to stay, this is a good place to rest your weary feet before you set off again to enjoy Munich. The satisfying breakfast will give you a good start. Wi-Fi is €14.99 for 24 hours. Pros: central location; filling breakfast. Cons: rooms toward the street are noisy; streets around the hotel are not the most salubrious; parking is 100 yards away, not free. | Rooms from: €98 | Schwanthalerstr. 20, Ludwigsvorstadt | 089/549-0060 | | 42 rooms | Breakfast | Station: Hauptbahnhof / Karlsplatz.

Fodor’s Choice | Hotel Uhland.
$$ | HOTEL | This stately villa is a landmark building with pleasant rooms that are quite large and can accommodate three people. The owner and host was born here and will make you feel at home, too. She and her staff welcome all questions and seem to love answering them. The spacious, inviting breakfast room filled with light and the excellent food will get you ready for the day ahead. Pros: a real family atmosphere; care is given to details; free Wi-Fi in most rooms; free on-site parking. Cons: no restaurant or bar. | Rooms from: €105 | Uhlandstr. 1, Ludwigsvorstadt | 089/543-350 | | 29 rooms | Breakfast | Station: Theresienwiese.

Hotel Westend.
$ | HOTEL | Visitors have praised the friendly welcome and service they receive at this well-maintained and affordable lodging above the Oktoberfest grounds. Rooms are comfortable, if furnished in a manner only slightly better than functional. Pros: good location; good prices; free Wi-Fi, no charge for pets. Cons: no restaurant; rooms are simple; it’s best to confirm your reservation; breakfast and parking cost extra. | Rooms from: €88 | Schwanthalerstr. 121, Ludwigsvorstadt | 089/540-9860 | | 44 rooms | No meals | Station: Hackerbrücke / Schwanthalerhöhe.

Pension Seibel.
$ | HOTEL | If you’re looking for an affordable little “pension” a stone’s throw from the Viktualienmarkt, this is the place. You can’t get any closer than this for the price, with the added bonus that it is also just a few minutes’ walk from the trendy Gärtnerplatz and Glockenbach areas. The rooms are simple; there are also three larger rooms for four to six people. Pros: great location at a great price; pets are welcome. Cons: tiny breakfast room; no elevator; Wi-Fi and pets cost extra. | Rooms from: €79 | Reichenbachstr. 8, Isarvorstadt | 089/231-9180 | | 15 rooms | Breakfast | Station: Marienplatz / Isartor / Reichenbachplatz (Tram).


$$ | HOTEL | A modern block of a building, but covered with geraniums in summer, the Biederstein seems to want to fit into its old Schwabing surroundings at the edge of the English Garden. The many advantages here: peace and quiet; excellent service; and comfortable, well-appointed and renovated rooms. The breakfast buffet is very good, and there is free Wi-Fi throughout. Pros: wonderfully quiet location; all rooms have balconies; exemplary service; underground parking is available. Cons: not the most handsome building; no restaurant; U-bahn is four blocks away. | Rooms from: €135 | Keferstr. 18, Schwabing | 089/3302-9390 | | 34 rooms | Breakfast | Station: Münchner Freiheit.

Carlton Astoria.
$$ | HOTEL | This family-run house, with an atmosphere of simple elegance, is a three- or four-minute walk to Amalienstrasse and Türkenstrasse, two of the most lively places in town, with dozens of restaurants, eateries, and student pubs.

Its downtown location, near the Pinakotheken (art museums) and the university, means you can reach many places on foot. Pros: well located; fairly priced; free Wi-Fi. Cons: rooms on main street can be noisy; limited parking (prearrange with hotel). | Rooms from: €140 | Fürstenstr. 12, Maxvorstadt | 089/383-9630 | | 49 rooms | Breakfast | Station: Universität / Odeonsplatz.

Creatif Hotel Elephant.
$ | HOTEL | Tucked away on a quiet street near the train station, this hotel appeals to a wide range of travelers, from businesspeople to tourists on a budget. The recently renovated rooms are simple and quiet. A bright color scheme in the reception and breakfast room creates a cheery atmosphere. Pros: close to Hauptbahnhof, the main station. Cons: no restaurant; modest furnishings. | Rooms from: €59 | Lämmerstr. 6, Maxvorstadt | 089/555-785 | | 44 rooms | Breakfast | Station: Hauptbahnhof.

Eden-Hotel Wolff.
$$$ | HOTEL | Beyond a light-filled lobby, a spacious bar with dark-wood paneling beckons, contributing to the old-fashioned elegance of this downtown favorite with rooms that are large, comfortable, and furnished well. It’s directly across the street from the northern exit of the main train station with U-bahn, S-bahn, and trams at your service. The color scheme is relaxing pastels and the back rooms face a quiet street. You can dine on excellent Bavarian specialties in the intimate Zirbelstube restaurant. Pros: all rooms have air-conditioning; some breakfasts included. Cons: close to the hustle and bustle of the main station. | Rooms from: €194 | Arnulfstr. 4, Maxvorstadt | 089/551-150 | | 214 rooms | Breakfast | Station: Hauptbahnhof.

Fodor’s Choice | Gästehaus am Englischen Garten.
$$ | B&B/INN | Reserve well in advance for a room at this popular converted water mill, more than 300 years old, adjoining the English Garden. The hotel is only a five-minute walk from the bars, shops, and restaurants of Schwabing, and there is a well-known Bavarian restaurant across the street. Be sure to ask for one of the 11 nostalgically old-fashioned rooms in the main building, which has a garden on an island in the old millrace. In summer, breakfast is served on the terrace of the main house. The nearby annex has 20 apartments, most with balconies and all with kitchenettes. Pros: quiet location; ideal for walking or cycling; wonderfully cozy rooms; free Wi-Fi. Cons: no elevator; no restaurant. | Rooms from: €163 | Liebergesellstr. 8, Schwabing | 089/383-9410 | | 11 rooms, 6 with private bathroom; 20 apartments in the annex | Breakfast | Station: Münchner Freiheit.

Hotel Amba.
$ | HOTEL | Right across the street from the main train station, Amba provides clean, bright rooms, good service, no expensive frills, and everything you need to plug and play. The lobby, with a small bar, invites you to relax in a Mediterranean atmosphere of wicker sofas with bright-color upholstery. After a solid breakfast buffet (with sparkling wine) on the second floor overlooking the station, you can hit the nearby sights on foot or use the public transportation options a few yards away. There are also occasional special deals on weekends. Pros: convenient to train station and sights. Cons: breakfast is usually extra; rooms that face the main street and the station are noisy. | Rooms from: €98 | Arnulfstr. 20, Maxvorstadt | 089/545-140 | | 86 rooms | No meals | Station: Hauptbahnhof.

Hotel Erzgiesserei Europe München.
$$ | HOTEL | Rooms in this modern hotel are bright and decorated in soft pastels. The cobblestone garden café is quiet and relaxing. Rates vary greatly, even on their own website. The original-language Cinema is around the corner if you’re hankering for a film in English, and the subway station is a easy seven-minute walk away. Pros: relatively quiet location; nice courtyard; air-conditioning in all rooms. Cons: charm of a business hotel; Wi-Fi costs extra. | Rooms from: €109 | Erzgiessereistr. 15, Maxvorstadt | 089/126-820 | | 106 rooms | Breakfast | Station: Stiglmaierplatz.

H’Otello F’22.
$$ | HOTEL | This is a high-caliber example of the design- and style-driven nature of the new Munich hotel scene—the style is minimalist, but with a roomy feel. The king-size beds are a big plus, as is the breakfast buffet, which includes homemade yogurt and lots of fresh fruit. This location is a few minutes from Luitpold Park and equidistant from the Olympiapark and the Englischer Garten. There are three H’Otellos in Munich, two of which are within five minutes of one another in the still trendy Schwabing district, both equally attractive (the third is near Viktualienmarkt); there’s also one in Berlin. Pros: parking available; well-thought-out design; some rooms have balconies; free Wi-Fi. Cons: no restaurant; breakfast costs extra. | Rooms from: €129 | Fallmerayerstr. 22, Schwabing | 089/4583-1200 | | 74 rooms | No meals | Station: Hohenzollernplatz / Kufürstenplatz (Tram).

H’Otello H’09.
$$ | HOTEL | The second in the H’Otello chain to open in Munich, this high-design hotel is a five-minute walk to the Englischer Garten; the style is minimalist but still luxurious with king-size beds and a breakfast buffet. The nearby garden’s green space is a plus, and it’s even closer to the long Leopoldstrasse, which is filled with bars and restaurants; it’s just the place to begin your tour of Bohemian Schwabing. Pros: free Wi-Fi; great location; well-thought-out design; uncomplicated rooms. Cons: no restaurant. | Rooms from: €159 | Hohenzollernstr. 9, Schwabing | 089/4583-1200 | | 71 rooms | Breakfast | Station: Münchner Freiheit / Giselastrasse.

Hotel Pension Am Siegestor.
$ | B&B/INN | Modest but appealing, the pension—which takes up three floors of a fin de siècle mansion between the Siegestor monument on Leopoldstrasse, and the university—is a great deal in Germany’s most expensive city. An ancient elevator with a glass door brings you to the fourth-floor reception desk. Most of the simply furnished rooms face the impressive Arts Academy across the street. Rooms on the fifth floor are particularly cozy, tucked up under the eaves. Pros: a delightful and homey place to stay; very good value stay for the price; not far to walk to the English Garden; free Wi-Fi. Cons: if elevators make you nervous, don’t use this old one; no restaurant or bar. | Rooms from: €98 | Akademiestr. 5, Maxvorstadt | 089/399-550 | | No credit cards | 20 rooms | Breakfast | Station: Universität.


$$ | HOTEL | This century-old hunting lodge in Munich’s leafy Obermenzing suburb is a delightful hotel. The rustic look has been retained, with lots of original woodwork and white stucco. Many of the comfortable pastel-tone bedrooms have wooden balconies with flower boxes bursting with color. In the beamed restaurant or sheltered beer garden you’ll be served Bavarian specialties by a staff dressed in traditional lederhosen (shorts in summer, breeches in winter). Pros: peaceful location; beer garden; easy parking; free Wi-Fi in rooms. Cons: away from the City Center; convenient only with a car; no elevator. | Rooms from: €140 | Alte Allee 21, Pasing-Obermenzing | 089/820-820 | | 36 rooms, 1 apartment | Breakfast.

$$ | HOTEL | This welcoming, family-run pension is in a quiet western suburb. If you’re traveling with children, you’ll appreciate that it’s a 10-minute walk from Schloss Nymphenburg and around the corner from the Hirschgarten Park. The tram ride (No. 16 or 17 to Kriemhildenstrasse stop) from the train station is 10 minutes. Pros: quiet location; family-run; free Wi-Fi; close to Nymphenburg Castle. Cons: far from the sights at the city’s center; rates don’t include breakfast. | Rooms from: €108 | Guntherstr. 16, Nymphenburg | 089/171-1170 | | 21 rooms | No meals | Station: Laim / Kriemhildenstrasse (Tram).

Westin Grand München.
$$$ | HOTEL | The building itself, with 23 floors, may raise a few eyebrows as it stands on a slight elevation and is not the shapeliest of the Munich skyline. What goes on inside, however, is sheer five-star luxury. Guests of the top four floors, the Tower Rooms and Suites, are greeted with a glass of champagne. Snacks, drinks, and a fantastic view of the city and the Bavarian Alps are available in the Towers Lounge. Room service is available around the clock. There are several spots within the hotel to eat, including Zen, which serves international food, and Paulaner’s Wirtshaus, which also has a beer garden. If you want to add a special Bavarian flavor to your stay, book one of the “Bavarian rooms” on the 15th and the 16th floors, with antique wood furniture and a country feel. Pros: luxurious lobby and restaurant; rooms facing west toward the city have a fabulous view. Cons: hotel is difficult to reach via public transportation; €29 breakfast; free Wi-Fi in lobby only. | Rooms from: €177 | Arabellastr. 6, Bogenhausen | 089/92640 | | 627 rooms, 28 suites | No meals | Station: Arabellapark.

Previous Chapter | Beginning of Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Nightlife and Performing Arts

Previous Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Nightlife | Performing Arts


Munich has a lively night scene ranging from beer halls to bars to chic clubs. The fun areas for a night out are in Altstadt, Isarvorstadt (Gärtnerplatz and Glockenbachviertel are arguably the best in the city), and Schwabing around Schellingstrasse and Münchner Freiheit. Regardless of their size or style, many bars, especially around Gärtnerplatz, have DJs spinning either mellow background sounds or funky beats.

However many fingers you hold up, just remember the easy-to-pronounce “Bier bitte” (“beer please”) when ordering a beer. The tricky part is, Germans don’t just produce one beverage called beer; they brew more than 5,000 varieties. Germany has about 1,300 breweries, 40% of the world’s total.

In Munich you’ll find the most famous breweries, the largest beer halls and beer gardens, the biggest and most indulgent beer festival, and the widest selection of brews. Even the beer glasses are bigger: a Mass is a 1-liter (almost 2-pint) serving; a Halbe is half a liter and the standard size. The Hofbräuhaus is Munich’s best-known beer hall, but you are more likely to find locals in one of the English Garden’s four beer gardens or in a Wirtshaus (tavern).

In summer, last call at the beer gardens is around 11 pm. Most of the traditional places stay open until 1 am or so and are great for a few hours of wining and dining before heading out on the town. Most bars stay open until at least 3 am on weekends; some don’t close until 5 or 6 am.

Munich has dozens of beer gardens, ranging from huge establishments that seat several hundred to small terraces tucked behind neighborhood pubs; the rest of the beer gardens are a bit farther afield and can be reached handily by bike or S- and U-bahn. Beer gardens are such an integral part of Munich life that a council proposal to cut down their hours provoked a storm of protest in 1995, culminating in one of the largest demonstrations in the city’s history. They open whenever the thermometer creeps above 10°C (50°F) and the sun filters through the chestnut trees that are a necessary part of the scenery.

Everybody in Munich has at least one favorite beer garden, so you’re usually in good hands if you ask someone to point you in the right direction. You do not need to reserve. No need to phone either. If the weather says yes, then go. Most—but not all—allow you to bring your own food, but if you do, buy your drinks from the beer garden and don’t defile this hallowed territory with something so foreign as pizza or a burger.

There are a few dance clubs in town worth mentioning, but the larger the venue, the more difficult the entry. In general, big nightclubs are giving way to smaller, more laid-back lounge types of places scattered all over town. If you’re really hankering for a big club, go to Optimolwerke in the Ostbahnhof area. Otherwise, enjoy the handful of places around the City Center.

Munich also has a decent jazz scene, and some beer gardens have even taken to replacing their brass oompah bands with funky combos. Jazz musicians sometimes accompany Sunday brunch, too.



Bar Centrale.
Around the corner from the Hofbräuhaus, Bar Centrale is very Italian—the waiters don’t seem to speak any other language. The coffee is excellent; small fine meals are served as well. They have a retro-looking back room with leather sofas. | Ledererstr. 23, Altstadt | 089/223-762 | | Station: Marienplatz / Isartor.

Goldene Bar.
Everything glows golden at this aptly named bar within the Haus der Kunst. Despite its 75-year-old wall paintings, it’s very hip. | Prinzregentenstr. 1, Lehel | 089/5480-4777 | | Station:Odeonsplatz / Lehel / Nationalmuseum/Haus d.Kunst (Tram).

Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski.
The Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski’s talented bartenders offer sparkling wines, whiskeys, and an entertaining range of cocktails. Live piano plays until 1 am weeknights and 2 am on weekends. | Maximilianstr. 17, Altstadt | 089/2125-2217 | | Station: Lehel / Marienplatz / Kammerspiele (Tram).

Fodor’s Choice | Kilian’s Irish Pub and Ned Kelly’s Australian Bar.
Just behind the Frauenkirche, Kilian’s Irish Pub and Ned Kelly’s Australian Bar offer an escape from the German tavern scene. Naturally, they have Guinness and Foster’s, but they also serve Munich’s lager, Augustiner, and regularly televise international soccer, rugby, and sports in general. | Frauenpl. 11, Altstadt | 089/2421-9899 both bars |; | Station:Marienplatz.

Night Club Bar.
The Bayerischer Hof’s Night Club Bar has live music, most famously international stars from the jazz scene, but also reggae to hip-hop and everything in between. | Promenadepl. 2-6, Altstadt | 089/212-0994table reservation | | Closed last 2 wks Aug. | Station: Karlsplatz / Marienplatz.

Pusser’s Bar Munich.
At the American-inspired, nautical-style Pusser’s Bar Munich, great cocktails and Irish-German black-and-tans (Guinness and strong German beer) are poured to the sounds of live piano music. Try the “Painkiller,” a specialty of the house. | Falkenturmstr. 9, Altstadt | 089/220-500 | | Live piano Tues.-Sat. from 9 pm, reservations necessary | Station: Marienplatz / Lehel.

Schumann’s Les Fleurs du Mal.
At Schumann’s Les Fleurs du Mal, Munich’s most famous bar, the bartenders are busy shaking cocktails after the curtain comes down at the nearby opera house. On the first floor of Schumann’s Bar am Hofgarten, Les Fleurs du Mal has one 27-foot-long table for guests to share and converse with the barman. Alternatively, there’s Schumann’s Bar, which gets going after midnight. | Odeonspl. 6-7, Altstadt | 089/229-060 | | Les Fleurs du Mal closed Sun. | Station: Marienplatz / Odeonsplatz.

Trader Vic’s.
Exotic cocktails are the specialty at Trader Vic’s, a smart cellar bar in the Hotel Bayerischer Hof that’s as popular among out-of-town visitors as it is with locals. It’s open till 3 in the morning. | Promenadenpl. 2-6, Altstadt | 089/212-0995 | | Station: Karlsplatz / Marienplatz.

Beer Gardens

Fodor’s Choice | Biergarten am Viktualienmarkt.
The only true beer garden in the center of the city, and therefore the easiest to find, is the one at Viktualienmarkt. The beer on tap rotates among the six major Munich breweries to keep everyone happy throughout the year. | Viktualienmarkt, Altstadt | 089/297-545 | | Station: Marienplatz.

Dance Clubs

Bordering the Englischer Garten, in a wing of Haus der Kunst, P1 is definitely one of the most popular clubs in town for the see-and-be-seen crowd. It is chockablock with the rich and the wannabe rich and can be fun if you’re in the mood. The bouncers can be choosy about whom they let in, so you’ll need to dress in style. | Prinzregentenstr. 1, Lehel | On west side of Haus der Kunst | 089/211-1140 |


Around Gärtnerplatz and Glockenbachviertel are a number of cool bars and clubs for a somewhat younger, hipper crowd.


Holy Home.
For a New York City-style, corner-bar-type experience, check out Holy Home. A hip local crowd frequents this smoky hole-in-the-wall that books great low-key DJs. | Reichenbachstr. 21, Isarvorstadt | 089/201-4546 | Station: Fraunhoferstrasse / Isartor.

Take a seat on Grandma’s retro couches at Trachtenvogl, which is more of a daytime bar than a nighttime destination (it closes at 10 pm on weekdays and 3 pm on weekends). The café serves all sorts of tasty treats from good sandwiches to hearty Bavarian meals, which you can top off with a Tegernseer beer—a Munich favorite. | Reichenbachstr. 47, Isarvorstadt | 089/201-5160 | | Station:Fraunhoferstrasse.

Gay and Lesbian Bars

Munich’s well-established gay scene stretches between Sendlingertorplatz and Isartorplatz in the Glockenbach neighborhood. For an overview, check

The Ochsengarten is Munich’s men-only bar for lovers of leather and rubber. | Müllerstr. 47, Isarvorstadt | 089/266-446 | | Station: Sendlinger Tor / Fraunhoferstrasse.

Paradiso Tanzbar.
Formerly Old Mrs. Henderson, this is still one of the most lively clubs on the scene, combining dance, champagne, all kinds of music, all night long. | Rumfordstr. 2, Isarvorstadt | 089/263-469 | | Closed Sun.-Thurs. | Station: Blumenstrasse (Bus) / Reichenbachplatz (Tram) / Isartor.


Fodor’s Choice | Jazzbar Vogler.
The Jazzbar Vogler is a nice bar with jam sessions on Monday nights and regular jazz concerts. | Rumfordstr. 17, Isarvorstadt | 089/294-662 | | Station: Isartor / Reichenbachplatz (Tram).

Mr. B’s.
The tiny Mr. B’s is a treat. It’s run by New Yorker Alex Best, who also mixes great cocktails and, unlike so many other barkeeps, usually wears a welcoming smile. | Herzog-Heinrich-Str. 38, Ludwigsvorstadt | 089/534-901 | | Closed Mon. | Station: Goetheplatz.



Alter Simpl.
Media types drink Weissbier, Helles, as well as Guinness and Kilkenny, at the square bar at Alter Simpl. More than 100 years old, this establishment serves German food until 2 am (weekends till 3 am). | Türkenstr. 57, Maxvorstadt | 089/272-3083 | | Station: Universität.

Schall und Rauch.
Up on Schellingstrasse, this legendary student hangout, whose name literally means “Noise and Smoke,” has great music and food. | Schellingstr. 22, Schwabing | 089/2880-9577 | Station: Universität.

An absolute cornerstone in the neighborhood is the Schelling-Salon. On the corner of Barerstrasse, this sizeable bar has several pool tables and even a secret Ping-Pong room in the basement with an intercom for placing beer orders. The food’s not bad and pretty inexpensive. | Schellingstr. 54, Schwabing | 089/272-0788 | | Closed Tues. and Wed., and mid-July-early Sept. | Station: Universität / Shellingstrasse (Bus and Tram).

The Türkenhof is a solid local joint that serves Augustiner and good food. | Türkenstr. 78, Schwabing | 089/280-0235 | | Station: Universität / Türkenstrasse (Bus).

Beer Gardens

Fodor’s Choice | Augustiner Keller Biergarten.
Among the largest (5,000 seats), and Munich’s oldest beer garden, Augustiner Keller is one of the more authentic beer gardens, with excellent food, beautiful chestnut shade trees, a mixed local crowd, and Munich Augustiner beer. It’s a few minutes from the Hauptbahnhof and Hackerbrücke. | Arnulfstr. 52, Maxvorstadt | 089/594-393 | | Station: Hackerbrücke / Hauptbahnhof.

Biergarten am Chinesischen Turm.
The famous Biergarten am Chinesischen Turm is at the five-story Chinese Tower in the Englischer Garten. Enjoy your beer to the strains of oompah music played by traditionally dressed musicians. | Englischer Garten 3, Schwabing | 089/383-8730 | | Station: Chinesischer Turm (Bus).

The Hirschau, pleasantly located in the Englischer Garten, has room for 2,500 guests, and it’s about 10 minutes north of the Kleinhesseloher See. | Gysslingstr. 15, Englischer Garten, Schwabing | 089/3609-0490 | | Station: Herzogpark (Bus).

Park Café.
This is one of Munich’s hippest cafés, restaurants, nightclubs, and beer gardens. It often draws a younger crowd, attracted by a thriving music scene in the café itself, which ranges from DJs to live bands, and the occasional celebrity spotting. There’s a great atmosphere to go with the good food and drinks, even better when the sun is shining and the beer garden is open. | Sophienstr. 7, Maxvorstadt | 089/5161-7980 | | Station: Hauptbahnhof.

Fodor’s Choice | Seehaus im Englischen Garten.
The Seehaus im Englischen Garten is on the banks of the artificial lake Kleinhesseloher See, where all of Munich converges on hot summer days. Take Bus 59 and exit at Osterwaldstrasse or U-bahn 3/6 to Münchner Freiheit and stroll through the park. | Kleinhesselohe 3, Schwabing | 089/381-6130 | | Station: Münchner Freiheit.


Alfonso’s Live-Music Club.
At tiny Alfonso’s, the nightly live music redefines the concept of intimacy. | Franzstr. 5, Schwabing | 089/338-835 | | Station: Münchner Freiheit.


Beer Gardens

Fodor’s Choice | Hofbräukeller am Wiener Platz.
This is one of the city’s midsize beer gardens but undoubtedly one of the best. Its location off Wiener Platz makes it attractive enough, plus the food’s good, and it serves the same beer as the Hofbräuhaus. Inside, the restaurant is well worth a look. There is a play area for the little’uns, sometimes with babysitter (best to reserve), and as usual a play area for children outdoors as well. There’s also a lounge area with sand and sun loungers. | Innere Wiener Str. 19, Haidhausen | 089/459-9250 | | Station: Max-Weber-Platz.

Dance Clubs

One of the best live venues in the city, this club housed inside a historic power station puts on up-and-coming bands as well as ones on their second or third or more appearances after making it big. Many leading acts from the U.K. and U.S. scenes have played here. The café-bar here has different DJs nearly every night of the week, and the modest beer garden serves organic food. | Muffatwerk, Zellstr. 4, behind Müllersches Volksbad near the river, Haidhausen | 089/4587-5010 | | Station: Isartor / Deutsches Museum (Tram) / Gasteig (Tram).

A former factory premises hosts the city’s largest late-night party scene. The Optimolwerke has no fewer than eight clubs (the number changes) including a Brazil bar, the self-styled “party bar” Die Burg, and Theaterfabrik, a venue for concerts and more parties. | Friedenstr. 10, Haidhausen | 089/450-6920 | | Station: Ostbahnhof.


Fodor’s Choice | Jazzclub Unterfahrt.
Unterfahrt is the place for the serious jazzologist, though hip-hop is making heavy inroads into the scene. | Einsteinstr. 42, Haidhausen | 089/448-2794 | | Station: Max-Weber-Platz.


Beer Gardens

Fodor’s Choice | Königlicher Hirschgarten.
Out in the district of Nymphenburg is the huge Königlicher Hirschgarten, Munich’s largest beer garden, with 8,000 seats. It’s also a family-oriented beer garden; it even has a deer reserve. To get there, rent bikes and make a day of it in the park and beer garden, or take the S-bahn to Hirschgarten, then walk for 10 to 15 minutes. No matter how you get there, it’ll be worth it. | Hirschgarten 1, Nymphenburg | 089/1799-9119 | | Station: Hirschgarten.

The crowd at Neuhausen’s Taxisgarten, with 1,500 seats, is fairly white-collar and tame, but the food here is excellent, not to mention the beer. While parents refresh themselves, children exhaust themselves at the playground. | Taxisstr. 12, Neuhausen-Nymphenburg | 089/156-827 | | Station: Gern.

Dance Clubs

The Backstage is mostly a live-music venue for alternative music of all kinds, but there’s also a chilled-out club and a beer garden. Purchase tickets at various websites, including München Ticket ( | Reitknechtstr. 6, Neuhausen-Nymphenburg | 089/126-6100 | | Station: Hirschgarten.


The Big Easy.
This classy New Orleans-style restaurant features jazz-accompanied Sunday brunch. It’s pricey, but it’s good. | Frundsbergstr. 46, Neuhausen-Nymphenburg | At the corner of Ruffinistr. | 089/1589-0253 | | Station: Rotkreuzplatz.


Bavaria’s capital has an enviable reputation as an artistic hot spot. Details of concerts and theater performances are listed in in münchen (free) and Monatsprogramm, booklets available at most hotel reception desks, newsstands, and tourist offices. Prinz magazine lists almost everything happening in the city, as do a host of other city magazines, while the superb and official city website ( has listings. Otherwise, just keep your eye open for advertising pillars and posters.

Box Office of the Bavarian State Theaters.
Tickets for performances at the Bavarian State Theater, Nationaltheater, Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz (scheduled to reopen in October 2016), plus many other locations, are sold at the central box office. It’s open Monday to Saturday 10 am-7 pm. | Marstallpl. 5, Altstadt | 089/2185-1920 | | Station: Marienplatz / Lehel / Odesonsplatz.

München Ticket.
This ticket agency has a German-language website where tickets for most Munich venues can be booked. | Munich | 089/5481-8181 |

Zentraler Kartenvorverkauf.
Two Zentraler Kartenvorverkauf ticket kiosks are in the underground concourse: one at Marienplatz, and one at Karlsplatz (Stachus). | Altstadt-Lehel | 089/292-540 Marienplatz, 089/5450-6060 Karlsplatz (Stachus) | | Station: Marienplatz / Karlsplatz.


Munich and music go together. The city has two world-renowned orchestras. The Philharmonic was directed by Lorin Maazel, formerly of the New York Philharmonic, from the 2012 season until his death in 2014. Valery Gergiev filled the position in 2015. The Bavarian State Opera Company is managed by Russian conductor Kirill Petrenko, who will leave in 2018 for the equivalent position in Berlin. The leading choral ensembles are the Munich Bach Choir, the Munich Motettenchor, and Musica Viva, the last specializing in contemporary music. The choirs perform mostly in city churches.

Bayerischer Rundfunk Ticket.
The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra sometimes performs at the Bayerischer Rundfunk and other city venues, such as Gasteig. The box office is open weekdays 9-5:30. | Arnulfstr. 42, Maxvorstadt | 089/5900-10880 tickets | | Station: Hauptbahnhof.

Gasteig Culture Center.
Hugely expensive to build and not particularly beautiful, this brick complex stands high above the Isar River, east of downtown. Its Philharmonic Hall is the permanent home of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and the largest concert hall in Munich. Gasteig also hosts the occasional English-language work. It hosts the annual book fair and numerous other events and celebrations. The sizeable open-kitchen Gast (, part of the Gasteig complex, is a good option for a range of quick foods, from Thai curries to pizzas. There are also several smaller concert and event spaces in Gasteig, as well as the public library. | Rosenheimerstr. 5, Haidhausen | 089/480-980 | | Station: Rosenheimerplatz.

Herkulessaal in der Residenz.
This highly regarded orchestral and recital venue is in the former throne room of King Ludwig I. | Residenzstr. 1, Altstadt | 089/5481-8181 München Ticket | | Station: Odeonsplatz / Marienplatz.

Hochschule für Musik.
Free concerts featuring conservatory students are given at the Hochschule für Musik. | Arcisstr. 12, Maxvorstadt | 089/28903 | | Station: Königsplatz.

Fodor’s Choice | Nationaltheater (Bayerische Staatsoper).
The Bavarian State Orchestra is based at the Nationaltheater. | Max-Joseph-Pl. 2, Altstadt | 089/218-501 | | Station: Odeonsplatz / Marienplatz.

Fodor’s Choice | Olympiahalle.
One of Munich’s major pop-rock concert venues is the Olympiahalle, and the official ticket seller is München Ticket. | Spiridon-Louis-Ring 21, Milbertshofen | | Station: Olympiazentrum.

Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz.
At this writing, the theater was under extensive renovation, but expected to be finished for the 2016/2017 season. The romantic art nouveau Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz has a variety of performances including opera, ballet, and musicals. Tickets can be purchased at the theater on weekdays 10-6, Saturday until 1 pm, or at Zentraler Kartenvorverkauf in Marienplatz, and Karlsplatz (Stachus). | Gärtnerpl. 3, Isarvorstadt | 089/2185-1960 tickets | | Station: Fraunhoferstrasse.


Munich’s Bavarian State Opera Company and its ballet ensemble perform at the Nationaltheater. | Max-Joseph-Pl. 2, Altstadt | 089/218-501 | | Station: Odeonsplatz / Marienplatz.


Munich has scores of theaters and variety-show venues, although most productions will be largely impenetrable if your German is shaky. Listed here are all the better-known theaters, as well as some of the smaller and more progressive spots. Note that most theaters close during July and August.

Bayerisches Staatsschauspiel (Bavarian State Theater).
Bayerisches Staatsschauspiel is Munich’s leading ensemble for classic playwrights such as Goethe, Schiller, Lessing, Shakespeare, and Chekhov. Its main home is the Residenz Theater, but it also plays at the Cuvilliés-Theater and at Marstall. | Max-Joseph-Pl. 1, Altstadt | 089/2185-2020 | | Station: Odeonsplatz / Marienplatz.

Fodor’s Choice | Cuvilliés-Theater.
This is an incredible historic, rococo venue particularly famous for its Mozart productions. | Residenzstr. 1, Altstadt | Enter from Kapellenhof (Chapel Courtyard) | 089/2185-1940 tickets | | Station: Odeonsplatz / Marienplatz.

Deutsches Theater.
After years of renovation work, the Deutsches Theater has reopened and is again the premier spot for musicals, revues, balls, and big-band shows. | Schwanthalerstr. 13, Ludwigsvorstadt | 089/5523-4444tickets | | Station: Hauptbahnhof.

Münchner Kammerspiele.
A city-funded rival to the nearby state-backed Bayerisches Staatschauspiel, Münchner Kammerspiele-Schauspielhaus presents the classics as well as new works by contemporary playwrights in a beautiful art nouveau setting. | Maximilianstr. 28, Altstadt | 089/2339-6600 | | Station: Marienplatz / Isartor / Kammerspiele (Tram).

Previous Chapter | Beginning of Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Sports and the Outdoors

Previous Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Bicycling | Ice-Skating | Jogging | Swimming


A bike is hands-down the best way to experience this flat, pedal-friendly city. There are loads of bike lanes and paths that wind through its parks and along the Isar River. The rental shop will give you maps and tips, or you can get a map at any city tourist office.

Weather permitting, here is a route to try: go past the Isar Tor to the Isar River and head north to the Englischer Garten. Ride around the park and have lunch at a beer garden. Exit the park and go across Leopoldstrasse, making your way back down toward the museum quarter via the adorable Elisabethmarkt. Check out one or two of the galleries then pass through Königsplatz as you head back to the Old Town via Odeonsplatz.

You can also take your bike on the S-bahn, U-bahn, and certain regional trains (except during rush hours Monday to Friday from 6 am to 9 am and from 4 pm to 6 pm), which take you out to the many lakes and attractions outside town. Bicycles on public transportation cost €2.60 for a day ticket.


Mike’s Bike Tours.
Besides offering guided tours, Mike’s Bike Tours also rents bikes. You can book your tour at the office around the corner from the rear entrance of the Hofbräuhaus, at Bräuhausstrasse 10, but the bike-rental location is a few hundred yards away, on the other side of the Isar Tor. Return time is 8 pm mid-April-August, earlier in other seasons. | Thomas-Wimmer-Ring 16, Lehel | 089/2554-3987 | | Bikes from €16/day, €75/ week | Station: Isartor.

Radius Tours and Bikes.
Based at the central station, Radius Tours and Bikes rents bikes. Choose from seven/eight-gear bikes to 24/27 gears to e-bikes. Helmets, child bikes, and child seats are also available. | Hauptbahnhof, Arnulfstr. 3, Ludwigsvorstadt | Office: in Hauptbahnhof opposite platform 31 | 089/5434-877720 | | Bikes from €3/hour, €14.50/day, and €75/week | Station: Hauptbahnhof.


Climate changes permitting, there’s outdoor skating on the lake in the Englischer Garten and on the Nymphenburger Canal in winter. Watch out for signs reading “gefahr” (danger), warning you of thin ice.

Eisstadion im Olympia-Eissportzentrum.
The Eisstadion in Olympiapark is an indoor rink. | Spiridon-Louis-Ring 3, Milbertshofen | 089/3067-2415 | | From €4.50. | Station:Olympiazentrum.

Eis- und Funsportzentrum West.
In the west of Munich is another outdoor rink, the Eisbahn West—open each year from mid-October until spring. | Agnes-Bernauer-Str. 241, Pasing-Obermenzing | 089/8968-9007 | | Station: Westbad (Tram).

Fodor’s Choice | Karlsplatz.
In winter the fountain on Karlsplatz is turned into a public rink with music and an outdoor bar. | Karlspl., Altstadt | | From €4.50 | Station: Karlsplatz.


Fodor’s Choice | Englischer Garten.
The best place to jog is in the Englischer Garten, which is 11 km (7 miles) around and has dirt and asphalt paths throughout. | Schwabing | | Station: Odeonsplatz / Universität / Giselastrasse / Münchner Freiheit.

Isar River.
The banks of the Isar River are a favorite route for local runners. | Lehel | Station: Isartor.

The 500-acre park of Schloss Nymphenburg is ideal for running, as is the Olympiapark, if you’re in that area. Olympiapark also has four Nordic walking routes. | Milbertshofen | | Station: Olympiazentrum.


Munich set itself a goal of making the Isar River drinkable by 2005, and nearly did it. Either way, the river is most definitely clean enough to wade in on a hot summer day. Hundreds of people sunbathe on the banks upriver from the Deutsches Museum and take the occasional dip. If you prefer stiller waters, you can try swimming outdoors in the Isar River at the Maria-Einsiedel public pool complex. However, because the water comes from the Alps, it’s frigid even in summer. Warmer lakes near Munich are the Ammersee and the Starnbergersee.

There are also a number of public pools and spas in Munich if you just have to get in the water while you’re here.

The Dantebad has a heated, outdoor Olympic-size pool; in summer the place is packed. They also have a pool available in winter, which is usually not too crowded and provides a nice respite in the frigid months. | Postillonstr. 17, Neuhausen-Nymphenburg | 089/2361-5050 | | Station: Westfriedhof.

Fodor’s Choice | Müller’sches Volksbad.
The Müller’sches Volksbad is in a glorious Jugendstil (the Munich-based art nouveau movement) building right on the Isar. Even if not to swim, take a look inside and out. The pool is small but functional. There is also a sauna and steam bath area (mixed, birthday suit required) that is fantastic for a chilly winter’s afternoon. Bathing on Tuesday from 3 pm to 8 pm is reserved for women only. | Rosenheimerstr. 1,Haidhausen | 089/2361-5050 | | Station: Isartor / Rosenheimer Platz / Deutsches Museum (Tram).

The Nordbad is known for its stately swimming hall, large outdoor pool, and spacious sauna area. | Schleissheimer Str. 142, Schwabing | 089/2361-5050 | | Station: Hohenzollernplatz.

The Olympia-Schwimmhalle has an Olympic-size pool and a sauna area with a “steam cavern” as an extra delight. | Olympiapark, Coubertinpl. 1, Milbertshofen | 0800/796-7960 | | Station: Olympiazentrum.

Previous Chapter | Beginning of Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents


Previous Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Altstadt | Ludwigsvorstadt and Isarvorstadt | Schwabing and Maxvorstadt | Outside Innenstadt

Munich has three of Germany’s most exclusive shopping streets as well as flea markets to rival those of any other European city. In between are department stores, where acute German-style competition assures reasonable prices and often produces outstanding bargains. Artisans bring their wares of beauty and originality to the Christmas markets. Collect their business cards—in summer you’re sure to want to order another of those little gold baubles that were on sale in December.

Munich has an immense central shopping area, a 2-km (1-mile) Fussgängerzone (pedestrian zone) stretching from Karlsplatz to Marienplatz along Neuhauser Strasse and Kaufingerstrasse, where most of the major department stores are, and then north to Odeonsplatz. For upscale shopping, Maximilianstrasse, Residenzstrasse, and Theatinerstrasse are unbeatable. Schwabing, north of the university, has more offbeat shopping streets—Schellingstrasse and Hohenzollernstrasse are two to try. TIP The neighborhood around Gärtnerplatz also has lots of new boutiques.

A few small shops around Viktualienmarkt sell Bavarian antiques, though their numbers are dwindling under the pressure of high rents. Antiques shoppers should also try the area north of the university—Türkenstrasse, Theresienstrasse, and Barerstrasse are all filled with antiques stores.

If you’re looking for something really rare and special and money’s no object, try the exclusive shops lining Prannerstrasse, at the rear of the Hotel Bayerischer Hof. Interesting and inexpensive antiques and assorted junk from all over Europe are laid out at the Friday and Saturday flea markets at Olympiapark (7 am-4 pm), not far from the Olympic Stadium, with hundreds of sellers.

If you want to deck yourself out in Lederhosen or a Dirndl, or acquire a green loden coat and little pointed hat with feathers, you have a wide choice in the Bavarian capital. TIP There are a couple of other shops along Tal street that have new and used lederhosen and dirndls at good prices in case you want to spontaneously get into the spirit of the ‘Fest.

Munich is a city of beer, and items related to its consumption are obvious choices for souvenirs and gifts. Munich is also the home of the famous Nymphenburg Porcelain factory. Between Karlsplatz and Viktualienmarkt there are loads of shops for memorabilia and trinkets.



Antike Uhren Eder.
In Antike Uhren Eder, the silence is broken only by the ticking of dozens of highly valuable German antique clocks and by discreet negotiation over the high prices. | Prannerstr. 4, Altstadt | Behind Fünf Höfe | 089/220-305 | | Weekdays 10:30-6:30, Sat. 11-3 | Station: Karlsplatz / Odeonsplatz.

Roman Odesser.
Antique German silver is the specialty at Roman Odesser. | Westenriederstr. 21, Altstadt | 089/226-388 | | Weekdays 10-6, Sat. 10-2 | Station: Marienplatz.


Fodor’s Choice | Hugendubel.
There is a good selection of novels in English on the fifth floor of Hugendubel. | Marienpl. 22, Altstadt | 089/3075-7575 | | Mon.-Sat. 9-8 | Station:Marienplatz | Karlspl. 12, Altstadt | 089/3075-7575 | | Mon.-Sat. 9-8 | Station: Karlsplatz.


For Dresden and Meissen porcelain wares, go to Kunstring near Odeonsplatz. | Briennerstr. 4, Altstadt | | Weekdays 10-6:30, Sat. 10-6 | Station: Odeonsplatz.

Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg.
Nymphenburg’s flaship store, this opulent space resembles a drawing room in the Munich palace of the same name. It has delicate, expensive porcelain safely locked away in bowfront cabinets. | Odeonspl. 1,Altstadt | 089/282-428 | | Weekdays 10-6:30, Sat. 10-6 | Station: Odeonsplatz.


Fodor’s Choice | Bayerischer Kunstgewerbe-Verein.
Bavarian craftspeople have a showplace of their own, the Bayerischer Kunstgewerbe-Verein. Here you’ll find every kind of handicraft, from glass and pottery to textiles. | Pacellistr. 6, Altstadt | 089/290-1470 | | Mon.-Sat. 10-6 | Station: Karlsplatz / Odeonsplatz.

Max Krug.
If you’ve been to the Black Forest and forgot to acquire a clock, or if you need a good Bavarian souvenir, like a Krug (stein) try Max Krug in the pedestrian zone. | Neuhauser Str. 2, Altstadt | 089/224-501 | | Mon.-Sat. 8:30-8 | Station: Karlsplatz / Marienplatz.


Chocolate & More.
Opened in 2001, this tiny shop, located in the Viktualienmarkt, specializes in all things chocolate. | Westenrieder Str. 15, Altstadt | 089/2554-4905 | | Mon.-Sat. 10-6 | Station: Marienplatz.

Dallmayr is the city’s most elegant and famous gourmet food store, with delights that range from exotic fruits and English jams to a multitude of fish and meats, all served by efficient Munich matrons in smart blue-and-white-linen uniforms. The store’s famous specialty is coffee, with more than 50 varieties to blend as you wish. It even has its own chocolate factory. This is the place to prepare a high-class—if pricey—picnic. | Dienerstr. 14-15, Altstadt | 089/21350 | | Mon.-Sat. 9:30-7 | Station: Marienplatz.


Sebastian Wesely.
Besides a great variety of religious trinkets, Sebastian Wesely is the place to come for beer-related vessels and schnapps glasses (Stampferl), walking sticks, scarves, and napkins with the famous Bavarian blue-and-white lozenges. | Rindermarkt 1, at Peterspl., Altstadt | 089/264-519 | | Weekdays 9-6:30, Sat. 9-6 | Station: Marienplatz.


Fodor’s Choice | Christkindlmarkt.
From the end of November until December 24, the open-air stalls of the Christkindlmarkt are a great place to find gifts and warm up with mulled wine. Two other perennial Christmas-market favorites are those in Schwabing (Münchner-Freiheit Square) and at the Chinese Tower, in the middle of the Englischer Garten. | Marienpl., Altstadt | | Mon.-Sat. 10-9 (Sun. until 8, Dec. 24 until 2) | Station: Marienplatz.

Fodor’s Choice | Viktualienmarkt.
Munich’s Viktualienmarkt is the place to shop and to eat. Just south of Marienplatz, it’s home to an array of colorful stands that sell everything from cheese to sausages, flowers to wine. A visit here is more than just an opportunity to find picnic makings; it provides an opening into Müncheners’ robust—though friendly—nature, especially at the Viktualienmarkt’s Bavarian Biergarten (beer garden). | Viktualienmarkt,Altstadt | | Weekdays 10-6, Sat. 10-3 | Station: Marienplatz.


For a classic selection of German clothing and hats, including some with a folk touch, try Munich’s traditional family-run Breiter, with one of its stores on Altstadt’s Kaufingerstrasse. | Kaufingerstr. 26, Altstadt | 089/8905-8401 | | Mon.-Sat. 9:30-8 | Station: Marienplatz.

Fünf Höfe.
For a more upscale shopping experience, visit the many stores, boutiques, galleries, and cafés of the Fünf Höfe, a modern arcade carved into the block of houses between Theatinerstrasse and Kardinal-Faulhaber-Strasse. The architecture of the passages and courtyards is cool and elegant, in sharp contrast to the facades of the buildings. There’s a decent Thai restaurant in there as well, not to mention the Kunsthalle, one of Germany’s leading art exhibition venues. | Theatinerstr. 15, Altstadt | Other entrances from Salvatorstr., Kardinal-Faulhaber-Str., and Maffeistr. | | Weekdays 10-7, Sat. 10-6 | Station:Marienplatz / Odeonsplatz.

Galeria Kaufhof.
With eight floors of offerings in this department store, you’ll find midprice goods from cosmetics, fashion, and jewelry to greeting cards, office supplies, household items, and culinary delicacies. The end-of-season sales are bargains. | Kaufingerstr. 1-5, Marienpl., Altstadt | 089/231-851 | | Mon.-Sat. 9-8 | Station: Marienplatz.

Hirmer has Munich’s most comprehensive collection of German-made men’s clothes, with a markedly friendly and knowledgeable staff. International brands are also here, such as Polo, Diesel, and Levi’s. | Kaufingerstr. 28, Altstadt | 089/236-830 | | Weekdays 9:30-8, Sat. 9-8 | Station: Marienplatz / Karlsplatz.

Kaufinger Tor.
Kaufinger Tor has several floors of boutiques and cafés packed neatly together along a passageway under a high glass roof. | Kaufingerstr. 117, Altstadt | | Mon.-Sat. 10-8 | Station:Marienplatz / Karlsplatz.

Ludwig Beck.
Ludwig Beck is considered a step above other department stores by Müncheners. It’s packed from top to bottom with highly original wares and satisfies even the pickiest of shoppers. | Marienpl. 11, Altstadt | 089/236-910 | | Mon.-Sat. 9:30-8 | Station: Marienplatz.

The more-than-100-year-old Oberpollinger—one of Germany’s finest upscale department stores—was renovated in 2008. Its seven floors are packed with pricey and glamorous fashion, furniture, and beauty items. The large, open-plan self-service restaurant on the top floor, with an outdoor patio for the warm and sunny days, is well worth a visit, and isn’t expensive. | Neuhauser Str. 18, Altstadt | 089/290-230 | | Closed Sun. | Station: Karlsplatz.

Pool is a hip shop on the upscale Maximilianstrasse, with fashion, music, and accessories for house and home. It’s a shopping experience for the senses. | Maximilianstr. 11, Altstadt | 089/266-035 | | Closed Sun. | Station: Marienplatz / Nationaltheater (Tram).

Sporthaus Schuster.
The focus here is on adventure sports, so if it’s climbing, trekking, biking, or walking you’re into, this huge store, just off Marienplatz, is the place. | Rosenstr. 1-5, Altstadt | 089/237-070 | | Closed Sunday | Station: Marienplatz.

For general information about sports in and around Munich, contact the sports emporium SportScheck. Now on Neuhauser Strasse, this big store not only sells every kind of equipment but is very handy with advice. | Neuhauser Str. 21, Altstadt | 089/21660 | | Station: Karlsplatz / Marienplatz.


Johanna Daimer Filze aller Art.
In an arcade of the Neues Rathaus is tiny Johanna Daimer Filze aller Art, a shop founded in 1883 that sells every kind and color of felt imaginable. | Dienerstr., Altstadt | In the Rathhaus building a few steps up from Marienpl. | 089/776-984 | | Closed Sun. | Station: Marienplatz.


For a more affordable option on loden (water-resistant woolen material used for traditional coats and hats) and general fashion, try the department store C&A in the pedestrian zone. | Kaufingerstr. 13, Altstadt | 089/231-930 | Mon.-Sat. 9-8 | Station: Marienplatz / Karlsplatz.

Lederhosen Wagner.
The tiny Lederhosen Wagner, right up against the Heiliggeist Church, carries Lederhosen, woolen sweaters called Walk (not loden), and children’s clothing. | Tal 2, Altstadt | 089/225-697 | Station: Marienplatz / Isartor.

Much of the fine loden clothing on sale at Loden-Frey is made at the company’s own factory, on the edge of the Englischer Garten. | Maffeistr. 7, Altstadt | 089/210-390 | | Closed Sun. | Station: Marienplatz / Odeonsplatz.


Fodor’s Choice | Spielwaren Obletters.
In the corner shop beside Hugendubel, Spielwaren Obletters has two extensive floors of toys, with the usual favorites plus many handmade playthings of great charm and quality. | Karlspl. 12, Altstadt | 089/5508-9510 | | Closed Sun. | Station: Karlsplatz.



Internationale Presse.
Various locations in the train stations have magazines and novels. | Opposite track 23, Hauptbanhof, Ludwigsvorstadt | 089/5511-7170 | | Station: Hauptbahnhof.

Karstadt commands an entire city block between the main train station, Hauptbahnhof, and Karlsplatz. It is the largest and one of the best department stores in the city. On the fourth floor is a cafeteria with a great selection of excellent and inexpensive dishes. | Bahnhofpl. 7, Ludwigsvorstadt | 089/55120 | | Closed Sun. | Station: Hauptbahnhof / Karlsplatz.


GötterSpeise is across the street from the restaurant Faun in Glockenbachviertel. The name of this delectable chocolate shop means “ambrosia,” a fitting name for their gifts, delights, and hot drinks. | Jahnstr. 30, Isarvorstadt | 089/2388-7374 | | Closed Sun. | Station: Fraunhoferstrasse.


Slips, a beautiful shop on Gärtnerplatz, has a wide range of dresses, jeans, shoes, and accessories. Prices are a bit outrageous. | Gärtnerpl. 2, Isarvorstadt | 089/202-2500 | | Closed Sun. | Station: Fraunhoferstrasse / Isartor.



Die Puppenstube.
For Munich’s largest selection of dolls and marionettes, head to Die Puppenstube. | Luisenstr. 68, Maxvorstadt | 089/272-3267 | Closed weekends | Station: Theresienstrasse / Josephsplatz.


Lehmkuhl is Munich’s oldest and one of its finest bookshops; it also sells beautiful cards. | Leopoldstr. 45, Schwabing | 089/380-1500 | | Closed Sun. | Station: Münchner Freiheit.


Ludwig Mory.
This pewter handcraft shop has everything from dinner plates and veal sausage to mugs and beer. Mugs come in all shapes and sizes, and are also available in ceramic. | Amalienstr. 16, Maxvorstadt | 089/224-542 |


If you’re in the Schwabing area, the daily market at Elisabethplatz is worth a visit—it’s much smaller than the Victualienmarkt but the range and quality of produce are comparable. Whereas at Viktualienmarkt you have visitors from many lands pushing past the stands, here life is more peaceful and local. There is a nicely shaded beer garden here as well. | Elisabethpl., Schwabing | | Closed Sun. | Station: Elisabethplatz (Tram).


Schloss Nymphenburg.
You can buy porcelain directly from the factory called Porzellanmanufaktur Nymphenburg on the grounds of Schloss Nymphenburg. | Nördliches Schlossrondell 8, Nymphenburg | Take tram 17 from Karlsplatz Stachus to stop Schloss Nymphenburg (direction Amalienburgstrasse) | 089/179-1970 | | Closed weekends | Station: Schloss Nymphenburg (Tram and Bus).

Previous Chapter | Beginning of Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Side Trips from Munich

Previous Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Starnberger See | Ammersee | Dachau | Landshut

Munich’s excellent suburban railway network, the S-bahn, brings several quaint towns and attractive rural areas within easy reach for a day’s excursion. The two nearest lakes, Starnberger See and the Ammersee, are popular year-round. Dachau attracts overseas visitors mostly because of its concentration-camp memorial site, but it’s a picturesque and historic town in its own right. Landshut, north of Munich, is way off the tourist track, but if it were the same distance south of Munich, this jewel of a Bavarian market town would be overrun. All these destinations have a wide selection of restaurants and hotels, and you can bring a bike on any S-bahn train. German Railways, DB, often has weekend specials that allow a family or group of five to travel inexpensively. (Inquire at the main train station for a Bayern ticket, a cheap way for up to five people to travel in Bavaria for a day, and the Wochenendticket (weekend ticket), which is also at a reduced price. You can also opt for a Tageskarte (day ticket), in the ticket machines in the subway stations.

TIP Keep in mind that there are quite a few options for day trips to the famous castles built by King Ludwig, which are only a couple of hours away. Mike’s Bike Tours organizes trips, or ask at your hotel for bus-tour excursions. A train out to Füssen and Schloss Neuschwanstein takes two hours.


27 km (25 miles) southwest of Munich’s Innenstadt.

Starnberger See was one of Europe’s first pleasure grounds. Royal coaches were already trundling out from Munich to the lake’s wooded shores in the 17th century. In 1663 Elector Ferdinand Maria threw a shipboard party at which 500 guests wined and dined as 100 oarsmen propelled them around the lake. Today pleasure steamers provide a taste of such luxury for the masses. The lake is still lined with the small baroque palaces of Bavaria’s aristocracy, but their owners now share the lakeside with public parks, beaches, and boatyards. Starnberger See is one of Bavaria’s largest lakes—20 km (12 miles) long, 5 km (3 miles) wide, and 127 meters (416 feet) at its deepest point—so there’s plenty of room for swimmers, sailors, and windsurfers. The water is very clean (like most Bavarian lakes), a testimony to stringent environmental laws and the limited number of motorboats allowed.

Getting Here and Around

Starnberg and the north end of the lake are a 25-minute drive from Munich on the A-95 autobahn. Follow the signs to Garmisch and take the Starnberg exit. Country roads then skirt the west and east shores of the lake, but many are closed to the public.

The S-bahn 6 suburban line (direction Tutzing) runs from Munich’s central Marienplatz to Starnberg and three other towns on the lake’s west shore: Possenhofen, Feldafing, and Tutzing. The journey from Marienplatz to Starnberg takes 41 minutes. The east shore of the lake can be reached by bus from the town of Wolfratshausen, the end of the S-bahn 7 suburban line. A wonderful way to spend a summer day is to rent bicycles in Munich, take the S-bahn to Starnberg and ride along the eastern shore and back. Another appealing option is to take the train to Tutzing and ride up the western shore back to Starnberg.

The nicest way to visit the Starnberger See area is by boat. On Saturday evening the ship Seeshaupt has dancing and dinner.


Visitor and Tour Information

Tourismusverband Starnberger Fünf-Seen-Land.
Starnberg Five-Lake-Region Tourist Information is the place to get all the information you need to enjoy trips to the lakes, towns, villages, and countryside between Munich and the Alps. | Hauptstr. 1 | Starnberg | 08151/90600 | | Station: Starnberg.


Buchheim Museum.
The Buchheim Museum, on the western shore of the lake, has one of the finest private collections of German expressionist art in the form of paintings, drawings, watercolors, and prints. Among the artists represented are Otto Dix, Max Beckmann, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Karl Schmitt-Rotluff, and other painters of the so-called Brücke movement (1905-13). The museum is housed in an impressive modern building on the lakeside. Some areas of the museum are reserved for African cultic items and Bavarian folk art. The nicest way to get to the museum from Starnberg is by boat. | Am Hirschgarten 1, Bernried | Starnberg | 08158/99700 | | €8.50 | Apr.-Oct., Tues.-Sun. 10-6; Nov.-Mar., Tues.-Sun. 10-5 | Station: Tutzing.

Kaiserin Elisabeth Museum Possenhofen.
The castle of Possenhofen, home of Ludwig’s favorite cousin, Sissi, stands on the western shore, practically opposite Berg. Local lore says they used to send affectionate messages across the lake to each other. Sissi married the Austrian emperor Franz Joseph I, but spent more than 20 summers in the lakeside castle. The inside of the castle cannot be visited, but there is a nice park around it. The Kaiser Elisabeth Museum (Sissi-Museum) is in the historical Possenhofen railway station (yards from S-bahn Possenhofen). | Schlossberg 2, Poecking | Berg | 08157/925-932 | | From €4 | May-mid-Oct., Fri.-Sun. noon-6 | Station: Possenhofen.

König Ludwig II Votivkapelle Berg (King Ludwig II Memorial Chapel).
On the lake’s eastern shore, at the village of Berg, you’ll find the König Ludwig II Votivkapelle Berg. A well-marked path leads through thick woods to the chapel, built near the point in the lake where the drowned king’s body was found on June 13, 1886. He had been confined in nearby Berg Castle after the Bavarian government took action against his withdrawal from reality and his bankrupting castle-building fantasies. A cross in the lake marks the point where his body was recovered. | Berg | Near Berg Castle. | Station: Tutzing.

Roseninsel (Rose Island).
Just offshore is the tiny Roseninsel, where King Maximilian II built a summer villa. You can swim to its tree-fringed shores or sail across in a dinghy or on a Windsurfer (rentals are available at Possenhofen’s boatyard and at many other rental points along the lake). There is also a little ferry service ( to take you over. | Possenhofen | 08158/906-430 Ferry | | Ferry: May and mid-Sept.-mid-Oct., daily 11-6; June-mid-Sept., daily 10-6 | Station: Possenhofen.

The Starnberger See is named after its chief town, Starnberg, the largest on the lake and the nearest to Munich. Pleasure boats set off from the jetty for trips around the lake. The resort has a tree-lined lakeside promenade and some fine turn-of-the-20th-century villas, some of which are now hotels. There are abundant restaurants, taverns, and chestnut-tree-shaded beer gardens both along the shore and in town, but on warm days the whole place is packed. | Starnberg | | Station: Starnberg.


Seerestaurant Undosa.
$$$$ | EUROPEAN | This restaurant is a short walk from the Starnberg railroad station. Most tables command a view of the lake, which provides very good fish specials. This is the place to try the mild-tasting Renke, a perch-type fish. The Undosa also has jazz evenings and a large café, the Oberdeck, also overlooking the lake. | Average main: €26.62 | Seepromenade 1 | Starnberg | 08151/998-930 | | Closed 2 wks in Feb. | Station: Starnberg.

Forsthaus am See.
$$ | HOTEL | The handsome, geranium-covered Forsthaus faces the lake, and so do most of the large, pinewood-furnished rooms. The excellent restaurant has a daily changing international menu, with lake fish a specialty. The hotel has its own lake access and boat pier, with a chestnut-shaded beer garden nearby. The hotel is not in Starnberg, but rather in the village of Possenhofen. To reach this village, drive through Starnberg, heading south along the lake; you’ll see signs for the hotel after about 10 km (6 miles). Pros: welcoming, wood-paneled rooms facing the lake; secluded location; free Wi-Fi. Cons: a little remote; rooms that don’t face lake are inferior; need a car to get here. | Rooms from: €160 | Am See 1 | Possenhofen | 08157/93010 | | 21 rooms, 1 suite | All meals | Station: Possenhofen-Pöcking.

Hotel Schloss Berg.
$$ | HOTEL | King Ludwig II spent his final days in the small castle of Berg, from which this comfortable hotel gets its name. It’s on the edge of the castle park where Ludwig liked to walk and a stone’s throw from where he drowned. The century-old main building is on the lakeside, and a modern annex overlooks the lake from the woods—in either, make sure you get a room facing the lake. All rooms are spacious and elegantly furnished. The restaurant and waterside beer garden are favorite haunts of locals and weekenders. Schloss Berg is in the village of Berg, along the lake near Starnberg. From Munich, head toward Starnberg on the autobahn, but turn toward Berg at the end of the off ramp. Pros: very nice view across the lake; free Wi-Fi. Cons: the reception desk is in the annex; you need a car to get here. | Rooms from: €149 | Seestr. 17 | Berg | 08151/9630 | | 59 rooms | Breakfast | Station: Starnberg Nord, then Bus 961 or 975 to Berg/Grafstrasse stop.

Hotel Seehof.
$$ | HOTEL | This small hotel right next to the train station has several rooms with a lake view. Rooms are simply done, with light colors and flower prints on the walls. The Italian restaurant attached, Al Gallo Nero, has dishes ranging from pizzas to satisfying and pricey fish dishes. Pros: good location and restaurant; free Wi-Fi throughout. Cons: rooms facing the street are noisy; some rooms are simply furnished. | Rooms from: €130 | Bahnhofpl. 6 | Starnberg | 08151/908-500 | | 38 rooms | Some meals | Station: Starnberg.


40 km (25 miles) southwest of Munich.

Ammersee, known as “Peasants’ Lake,” is the country cousin of the better-known, more cosmopolitan Starnberger See (the “Princes’ Lake”), and, accordingly, many Bavarians (and tourists, too) like it all the more. Munich cosmopolites of centuries past thought it too distant for an excursion, not to mention too rustic, so the shores remained relatively free of villas and parks. Though some upscale holiday homes claim some stretches of the eastern shore, Ammersee still offers more open areas for bathing and boating than the larger lake to the east. Bicyclists circle the 19-km-long (12-mile-long) lake (it’s nearly 6 km [4 miles] across at its widest point) on a path that rarely loses sight of the water. Hikers can spread out the tour for two or three days, staying overnight in any of the comfortable inns along the way. Dinghy sailors and windsurfers zip across in minutes with the help of the alpine winds that swoop down from the mountains. A ferry cruises the lake at regular intervals in summer, stopping at several piers. Board it at Herrsching.

Herrsching has a delightful promenade, part of which winds through the town’s park. The 100-year-old villa that sits so comfortably there is a romantic and fanciful mixture of medieval turrets and Renaissance-style facades. It was actually built for the artist Ludwig Scheuermann in the late 19th century, and became a favorite meeting place for Bavarian artists. It’s now a municipal cultural center and the setting for chamber-music concerts on some summer weekends.

Getting Here and Around

Take A-96, follow the signs towards Lindau, and after about 20 km (12 miles) take the exit for Herrsching, the lake’s principal town.

Herrsching is also the end of S-bahn Line 8, a 53-minute ride from Munich’s Marienplatz. From the Herrsching train station, Bus No. 950 goes to Starnberg in a 40-minute journey.

Getting around by boat is the best way to visit. Each town on the lake has an Anlegestelle (pier).


Tourismusverband Starnberger Fünf-Seen-Land.
Starnberg Five-Lake-Region Tourist Information is the place to get all the information you need to enjoy trips to the lakes, towns, villages, and countryside between Munich and the Alps. The office is open May-October, weekdays 9-1 and 2-6, Saturday 9-1; November to April, weekdays 10-5. | Hauptstr. 1 | Starnberg | 08151/90600 | | Station: Starnberg.


Fodor’s Choice | Andechs Monastery.
The Benedictine monastery Andechs, one of southern Bavaria’s most famous pilgrimage sites, lies 5 km (3 miles) south of Herrsching. You can reach it on Bus 951 from the S-bahn station (the bus also connects Ammersee and Starnberger See), but you can easily walk there too, as most people do. This extraordinary ensemble, surmounted by an octagonal tower and onion dome with a pointed helmet, has a busy history going back more than 1,000 years. The church, originally built in the 15th century, was entirely redone in baroque style in the early 18th century. The Heilige Kapelle contains the remains of the old treasure of the Benedictines in Andechs, including Charlemagne’s “Victory Cross” and a monstrance containing the three sacred hosts brought back from the crusades by the original rulers of the area, the Counts of Diessen-Andechs. One of the attached chapels contains the remains of composer Carl Orff, and one of the buildings on the grounds has been refurbished as a concert stage for the performance of his works.

Admittedly, however, the crowds of pilgrims are drawn not just by the beauty of the hilltop monastery but primarily by the beer brewed here and the stunning views. The monastery makes its own cheese as well, and serves hearty Bavarian food, an excellent accompaniment to the rich, almost black beer. You can enjoy both at large wooden tables in the monastery tavern or on the terrace outside. | Bergstr. 2, 5 km (3 miles) south of Herrsching | Herrsching | 08152/3760 | | Church daily 9-7; restaurant daily 10-8.

Diessen am Ammersee.
The little town of Diessen am Ammersee at the southwest corner of the lake has one of the most magnificent religious buildings of the whole region: the Augustine abbey church of St. Mary. No lesser figure than the great Munich architect Johann Michael Fischer designed this airy, early rococo structure. François Cuvilliés the Elder, whose work can be seen all over Munich, did the sumptuous gilt-and-marble high altar. Visit in late afternoon, when the light falls sharply on its crisp gray, white, and gold facade, etching the pencil-like tower and spire against the darkening sky over the lake. Don’t leave without at least peeping into neighboring St. Stephen’s courtyard, its cloisters smothered in wild roses.

Diessen has also attracted artists and craftspeople since the early 20th century. Among the most famous who made their home here was the composer Carl Orff. | Bahnhofstr. 15 | Diessen | | Tourism Office: Mar., Apr., and Oct., Mon.-Sat. 9-noon; May-Sept., weekdays 9-noon and 3:30-6, Sat. 9-noon; Nov.-Feb., Mon., Wed., and Fri. 10-noon.

Among the most famous artists who made their home here was the composer Carl Orff, author of numerous works inspired by medieval material, including the famous Carmina Burana. His life and work—notably the pedagogical Schulwerk instruments—are exhibited in the Carl-Orff-Museum. | Hofmark 3 | Diessen | 08807/91981 | | From €3 | Weekends 2-5 | Guided tours by appointment.


Ammersee Hotel.
$$ | HOTEL | This very comfortable, modern resort hotel is located on the Ammersee. It has views from an unrivaled position on the lakeside promenade. Rooms overlooking the lake are more expensive and in demand. Steg 32 restaurant and lounge has an international menu including local fish. You can enjoy a spicy bouillabaisse or catfish from the Danube. Pros: prime location (request a room with balcony); good restaurant. Cons: rooms facing the street are noisy; limited balcony rooms. | Rooms from: €112 | Summerstr. 32 | Herrsching | 08152/96870 | | 40 rooms | All meals | Station:Herrsching.

Hotel Zur Post Garni-Andechs.
$ | B&B/INN | Not far from the Andechs Monastery, everything about this B&B is Bavarian country style, clean and functional, with solid-pine furnishings. There’s a butcher shop with local wild venison, and even a Trachten store with modern takes on traditional clothing. A delicious breakfast buffet will prepare you for a long day of touring. Pros: convenient to Andechs Monastery; free Wi-Fi. Cons: no restaurant. | Rooms from: €98 | Starnberger Str. 2 | Andechs | 08152/91820 | | 17 rooms | Breakfast.

Landhotel Piushof.
$$ | HOTEL | In a parklike garden, the family-run Piushof has elegant Bavarian guest rooms, with oak and hand-carved cupboards. The beamed and pillared restaurant has unfortunately closed, and nowadays there is a greater focus on business seminars. Pros: great views and location; great place for a business gathering. Cons: no restaurant. | Rooms from: €128 | Schönbichlstr. 18 | Herrsching | 08152/96820 | | 24 rooms | Breakfast | Station: Herrsching.

Seehof Herrsching.
$$ | HOTEL | The hotel’s long lakefront turns into a huge beer garden in summer. Guest rooms are full of light, and for a slightly higher price you can stay in one with a balcony overlooking the lake. The restaurant serves resolutely Bavarian food—tasty pretzel soup, suckling pig, dumplings with sauerkraut, and fish, fresh from the lake, of course. You’ll find peak prices during Oktoberfest. Pros: great views; food in the restaurant is good. Cons: restaurant gets packed in summer. | Rooms from: €146 | Seestr. 58 | Herrsching | 08152/9350 | | 43 rooms | Breakfast | Station: Herrsching.


20 km (12 miles) northwest of Munich.

Dachau predates Munich, with records going back to the time of Charlemagne. It’s a handsome town, too, built on a hilltop with views of Munich and the Alps, which was why it became such a favorite for numerous artists. A guided tour of the town, including the castle and palace, leaves from the Rathaus (Konrad-Adenauer-Strasse 2-6) on Saturdays at 11 am from May through October, in German, or rent an audio guide from the Tourist Information office. Dachau is infamous worldwide as the site of the “model” Nazi concentration camp, which was built just outside it. Dachau preserves the memory of the camp and the horrors perpetrated there with deep contrition while trying, with commendable discretion, to signal that the town has other points of interest.

Getting Here and Around

From Munich take the Stuttgart autobahn (A8) to the Dachau-Fürstenfeldbruck exit, or the Nuremberg autobahn (A9) to the Oberschleissheim-Dachau exit. Dachau is also on S-bahn Line 2, a 25-minute ride from Munich’s Marienplatz.


Visitor Information
Tourist Information Dachau. | Konrad-Adenauer-Str. 1 | 08131/75286 | | Station: Dachau Rathaus (Bus) from the Dachau train station.


To get a sense of the town’s history, visit the Bezirksmuseum (district museum), which displays historical artifacts, furniture, and traditional costumes from Dachau and its surroundings. | Augsburger Str. 3 | 08131/56750 | | From €5 | Tues.-Fri. 11-5, weekends 1-5 | Station: Dachau Rathaus (Bus) from Dachau train station.

Fodor’s Choice | Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site (KZ—Gedenkstätte Dachau).
The site of the infamous camp, now the KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau, is just outside town. Photographs, contemporary documents, the few cell blocks, and the grim crematorium create a somber and moving picture of the camp, where more than 41,000 of the 200,000-plus prisoners lost their lives. A documentary film in English is shown daily at 11:30, 12:30, and 3. The former camp has become more than just a grisly memorial: it’s now a place where people of all nations meet to reflect upon the past and on the present. By public transport take the S-2 from Marienplatz or Hauptbahnhof in the direction of Petershausen, and get off at Dachau. From there, take the clearly marked bus from right outside the Dachau S-bahn station (No. 726 toward Saubachsiedlung; it leaves about every 20 minutes). If you are driving from Munich, take the autobahn toward Stuttgart, get off at Dachau, and follow the signs. | Alte Römerstr. 75 | 08131/6699-7135 | | Daily 9-5 | English guided tours daily at 11 and 1 | Station:Dachau, KZ-Gedenkstätte (Bus) from Dachau train station.

An artists’ colony formed here during the 19th century, and the tradition lives on. Picturesque houses line Hermann-Stockmann-Strasse and part of Münchner Strasse, and many of them are still the homes of successful artists. The Gemäldegalerie displays the works of many of the town’s 19th-century artists. | Konrad-Adenauer-Str. 3 | 08131/56750 | | From €5 | Tues.-Fri. 11-5, weekends 1-5 | Station: Dachau Rathaus (Bus) from Dachau train station.

St. Jakob.
St. Jakob, Dachau’s parish church, was built in 1624-25 in late-Renaissance style on the foundations of a 13th-century Gothic structure. Baroque features and a characteristic onion dome were added in 1676-78. On the south wall you can admire a very fine sundial from 1699, which displays the month, the zodiac, and the time. | Pfarrstr. 7 | 08131/36380 | | Summer, daily 8-7; winter, daily 8-6 | Station: Dachau Rathaus (Bus).

Schloss Dachau.
Schloss Dachau, the hilltop castle, dominates the town. What you’ll see is the one remaining wing of a palace built by the Munich architect Josef Effner for the Wittelsbach ruler Max Emanuel in 1715. During the Napoleonic Wars the palace served as a field hospital and then was partially destroyed. King Max Joseph lacked the money to rebuild it, so all that’s left is a handsome cream-and-white building, with an elegant pillared and lantern-hung café on the ground floor and a former ballroom above. About once a month the grand Renaissance hall, with a richly decorated and carved ceiling, covered with painted panels depicting figures from ancient mythology, is used for chamber concerts. The east terrace affords panoramic views of Munich and, on fine days, the distant Alps. There’s also a 250-year-old Schlossbrauerei (castle brewery), which hosts the town’s beer and music festival each year in the first two weeks of August. The Schloss restaurant serves good Bavarian food with regional ingredients, as well as great homemade cakes. | Schlossstr. 7 | 08131/87923 | | €2 | Tues.-Sun. 10-7.


Hotel Fischer.
$$ | HOTEL | You can see this hotel across the square from the S-bahn station. The family atmosphere is welcoming, the rooms are pleasantly modern, and good traditional Bavarian meals are served in the restaurant. Order the “Weisswurst” special with a drop of Weissbier and you’ll get a good laugh at how the “drop” is served. Pros: free Wi-Fi; prime location; good restaurant. Cons: on nice evenings, noise from the patio may filter up to your room. | Rooms from: €125 | Bahnhofstr. 4 | 08131/612-200 | | 29 rooms | All meals | Station: Dachau.


64 km (40 miles) northeast of Munich.

If fortune had placed Landshut south of Munich, in the protective folds of the alpine foothills, instead of the same distance northeast, in the subdued flatlands of Lower Bavaria—of which it is the capital—the historic town would be teeming with tourists. Landshut’s geographical misfortune is the discerning visitor’s good luck, for the town is never overcrowded, with the possible exception of the three summer weeks when the Landshuter Hochzeit (Landshut Wedding) is celebrated (it takes place every four years). The festival commemorates the marriage in 1475 of Prince George of Bavaria-Landshut, son of the expressively named Ludwig the Rich, to Princess Hedwig, daughter of the king of Poland. Within its ancient walls the entire town is swept up in a colorful reconstruction of the event. The wedding procession, with the “bride” and “groom” on horseback accompanied by pipes and drums and the hurly-burly of a medieval pageant, is held on three consecutive weekends, while a medieval-style fair fills the central streets throughout the three weeks.

Landshut has two magnificent cobblestone market streets. The one in the Altstadt (Old Town) is one of the most beautiful city streets in Germany; the other is in Neustadt (New Town). The two streets run parallel to each other, tracing a course between the Isar River and the heights overlooking the town.

Getting Here and Around

Landshut is an hour’s drive northeast from the center of Munich on either the A-92 autobahn—follow the signs to Deggendorf—or the B-11 highway. A Deutsche Bahn train brings you from Munich in about 50 minutes. A round-trip costs about €30.


Visitor Information
Landshut Tourismus. | Altstadt 315 | 0871/922-050 |


Top Attractions

About halfway between Landshut and Munich, this ancient episcopal seat 40 km (25 miles) southwest of Landshut houses a cathedral and an Old Town well worth visiting. Freising is accessible from Munich (at the end of the S-bahn line 1, a 45-minute ride from central Munich). | Freising | | Station: Freising.

Rathaus (Town Hall).
Standing opposite the Stadtresidenz, this elegant, light-color building has a typical neo-Gothic roof design. It was originally a set of 13th-century burghers’ houses, taken over by the town in the late 1300s. The famous bride and groom allegedly danced in the grand ceremonial hall during their much-celebrated wedding in 1475. The frescoes here date to 1880, however. The tourist-information bureau is on the ground floor. | Altstadt 315 | 0871/922-050 | | Apr.-Oct., weekdays 9-6, Sat. 10-4; Nov.-Mar., weekdays 9-5, Sat. 10-2.

Skulpturenmuseum im Hofberg.
Built into a steep slope of the hill crowned by Burg Trausnitz is an unusual art museum, the Skulpturenmuseum im Hofberg, containing the entire collection of the Landshut sculptor Fritz Koenig. His own work forms the permanent central section of the labyrinthine gallery. | Am Prantlgarten 1 | 0871/89021 | | From €3.50 | Tues.-Sun. 10:30-1 and 2-5.

Worth Noting

Fodor’s Choice | Burg Trausnitz.
A steep path from the Altstadt takes you up to Burg Trausnitz. Trausnitz Castle was begun in 1204, and accommodated the Wittelsbach dukes of Bavaria-Landshut until 1503. | Burg Trausnitz 168 | 0871/924-110 | | €5.50, including guided tour. Combination ticket with Stadtresidenz Landshut €8 | Apr.-Sept., daily 9-6; Oct.-Mar., daily 10-4.

St. Martinskirches (St. Martin’s Church).
St. Martin’s Church, with the tallest brick church tower (428 feet) in the world, soars above the other buildings. The church, which was elevated to the rank of basilica minor in 2002, contains some magnificent late-Gothic stone and wood carvings, notably a 1516-20 Madonna by the artist Hans Leinberger. It’s surely the only church in the world to contain an image of Hitler, albeit in a devilish pose. The Führer, Goering, and Goebbels are portrayed as executioners in a 1946 stained-glass window showing the martyrdom of St. Kastulus (who was buried alive in the year 287). In the nave of the church is a clear and helpful description of its history and treasures in English. From May to November, every first Sunday of the month a tour is conducted between 11:30 am and 12:30 pm, which will take you to the Schatzkammer, the church’s treasure chamber. | Kirchg. 232 | 0871/922-1780 | | Treasury tour: from €1. | Apr.-Sept., daily 7:30-6:30; Oct.-Mar., daily 7:30-5, except during services and Mon. cleaning 11-5.

Stadtresidenz Landshut.
The Stadtresidenz in the Altstadt was the first Italian Renaissance building of its kind north of the Alps. It was built from 1536 to 1537, but was given a baroque facade at the end of the 19th century. The Wittelsbachs lived here during the 16th century. The facade of the palace forms an almost modest part of the architectural splendor and integrity of the Altstadt, where even the ubiquitous McDonald’s has to serve its hamburgers behind a baroque facade. The Stadtresidenz includes exhibitions on the history of Landshut. | Altstadt 79 | 0871/25142 | | From €3.50. Combination ticket with Burg Trausnitz €8 | Apr.-Sept., Tues.-Sun. 9-6; Oct.-Mar., Tues.-Sun. 10-4.


There are several attractive Bavarian-style restaurants in the Altstadt and Neustadt, most of them with beer gardens. Although Landshut brews a fine beer, look for a Gaststätte (tavern) offering a Weihenstephaner, from the world’s oldest brewery, in Freising. Helles (light-colored beer) is the most popular beer variety.

Hotel-Gasthof zur Insel.
$$ | HOTEL | This “Island Hotel” is right on the river and only a two-minute walk from the center of town. The restaurant serves good Bavarian food. If on summer evenings you hear singing coming from the beer garden under your window, remember the old saying, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” Pros: nice location; good Bavarian restaurant; free Wi-Fi. Cons: no elevator; beer garden can be noisy. | Rooms from: €100 | Badstr. 16 | 0871/923-160 | | 15 rooms | All meals.

Hotel Goldene Sonne.
$ | HOTEL | The steeply gabled Renaissance exterior of the “Golden Sun” fronts a hotel of great charm and comfort. It stands in the center of town, near all the sights. Its dining options are a paneled, beamed restaurant; a vaulted cellar; and a courtyard beer garden, where the service is friendly and helpful. The menu follows the seasons and toes the “quintessential Bavarian” line, with pork roast, steamed or smoked trout with horseradish, white asparagus in spring (usually accompanied by potatoes and ham), and venison in the fall. Pros: spacious reception; comfortable rooms; good restaurant; breakfast is included. Cons: street-facing rooms are sometimes noisy; Wi-Fi isn’t free. | Rooms from: €99.90 | Neustadt 520 | 0871/92530 | | 60 rooms | Breakfast.

Michel Hotel Landshut.
$ | HOTEL | The green Isar River rolls outside the bedroom windows of Landshut’s most distinctive hotel. Its steep red roof and white facade blend harmoniously with the waterside panorama. The Herzog Ludwig restaurant serves sumptuous but reasonably priced seasonal dishes and is an elegant place for dinner. The hotel offers special weekend rates on request. Pros: central location, a few minutes from the city center; free Wi-Fi; fitness and sauna area. Cons: 20 minutes to train station on foot. | Rooms from: €99 | Papiererstr. 2 | 0871/430-990 | | Arrangements with Golfclub Landshut can be made. | 147 rooms | All meals.

Romantik Hotel Fürstenhof.
$$ | HOTEL | This handsome Landshut city mansion, a few minutes on foot from the center of town, had no difficulty qualifying for inclusion in the Romantik group of hotels—it just breathes romance, from its plush gourmet restaurant supplied by regional small producers, to the cozy bedrooms. A vine-covered terrace shadowed by a chestnut tree adds charm. Price includes breakfast buffet and sauna use. For a medieval theme, book the “Der Tuchhändler” room, based on a detective novel set in Landshut in 1475 (just before the Landshut Wedding). Pros: nice restaurant; pleasant rooms; all rooms are air-conditioned; free Wi-Fi; free sauna. Cons: no elevator; restaurant closed Sunday. | Rooms from: €125 | Stethaimerstr. 3 | 0871/92550 | | Restaurant closed Sun. | 22 rooms | All meals.