Downtown-Southern District
Image by Mattes under Creative Commons License.

Germany, Munich Guide (A): Downtown-Southern District

Munich is a large, sprawling city with beautiful sights to see around every corner. The city is too spread out to see in just one tour, so this tour will walk you through the southern part of the famous downtown area, pointing out and describing the most astonishing attractions.
This article is featured in the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" on iTunes App Store and Google Play. You can download the app to your mobile device to read the article offline and create a self-guided walking tour to visit the attractions featured in this article. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Walk Route

Guide Name: Downtown-Southern District
Guide Location: Germany » Munich
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (A))
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 2.0 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 km
Author: Stefan Siewert
Author Bio: Dana Newman has a bachelor’s degree from the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida. After receiving her degree she followed her dreams to Europe to live an adventure and collect experiences, which she now writes candidly about from her present home in Munich, Germany. She considers it an honor to be able to live the life she’s imagined.
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Viktualienmarkt
  • Munich Stadtmuseum
  • Asamkirche
  • Sendlinger Tor
  • St. Anna Damenstiftskirche
  • Michaelskirche
  • Karlsplatz
  • Alter Botanischer Garten and Beer Garden
1
Viktualienmarkt

1) Viktualienmarkt

The Viktualienmarkt began as a farmer’s market in 1807 by the formal decree of King Maximilian I. The area was cleared of previously standing buildings expressly for the purpose of building this market. The market has grown in both size and stature over the years and the area on which it’s located has been expanded several times. The Viktualienmarkt is now the largest market in Munich, a place to find both exotic and traditional foods of all variations.
Image by Mattes under Creative Commons License.
2
Munich Stadtmuseum

2) Munich Stadtmuseum

The Munich Stadtmuseum is an interesting place to visit even if you don’t want to go inside and look around. The buildings that now house the museum were built in 1888, and one of them was used as the city’s armory and the other was a horse stall. If you are interested in visiting the museum exhibits, the museum is open every day except Monday from 10am to 6pm. Inside you will find an assortment of permanent exhibits ranging from Munich’s intriguing cultural history from the very beginning to present and information on Munich’s role in the Nazi movement, to music, puppet, photography and film exhibits. Temporary exhibits also come and go throughout the year.
Image by Rufus46 under Creative Commons License.
3
Asamkirche

3) Asamkirche

The Asamkirche is a beautifully ornate church, both inside and out, that has quite an interesting story of how it came to be. In the early 1700s there were two brothers with the last name of Asam. One was an architect and stucco-worker and the other an architect and painter. Together they built the Asamkirche as a dedication to St. John Nepomuk; the building’s decorated front describes some of the positive things he did throughout his life. The Asam brothers paid for this church out of their own pocket and, therefore, wanted to keep it private and closed to the public. The public, however, did not like this very much and they were eventually forced to open it up to the masses. The inside of the church is as impressive as the outside. It’s open from 9am-5pm daily and I highly suggest taking a peek!
Image by BBKurt under Creative Commons License.
4
Sendlinger Tor

4) Sendlinger Tor

In the 12th century a small wall was built around the city of Munich. But, Munich quickly outgrew this area and in the years between 1285 and 1347 a second wall was built farther out. And, of course, when you build a wall you need to build entrances! Four gates were built into the wall and Sendlinger Tor was the gate on the southern side. When originally built in 1318, this gate had three arches, rather than just the one you see today; in 1906 the arches were altered, presumably so that cars could pass underneath. The pedestrian arches in the two towers on either side of the gate were added in as well.
Image by BLueFiSH.as under Creative Commons License.
5
St. Anna Damenstiftskirche

5) St. Anna Damenstiftskirche

Building of the St. Anna Damenstiftskirche, which translated into English means, “woman’s collegiate church” began in 1732 by Karl Albrecht, who is more commonly known by the title Emperor Charles VII. However, much of the original church architecture was destroyed during World War II and what you see today is a rebuild from the 1950s. It is definitely worth taking at least a quick peek inside of this church. When you look up at the ceiling you’ll see it is in black and white, which is quite unusual for a church. This is because the people who rebuilt the church only had access to black and white photos of the original. They didn’t want to risking painting in the wrong shades, so they just used black and white.
Image by TKX under Creative Commons License.
6
Michaelskirche

6) Michaelskirche

The towering Michaelskirche, or Michael’s church, was erected between 1579 and 1597 by William V, Duke of Bavaria. He was intent on having this church in its present location and at its present size, even if it meant tearing down 87 pre-existing houses that were in its way. As far as the church’s size goes, William would be happy to know that even to this day Michaelskirche is the largest Renaissance church north of the Alps. The front of the church is decorated with many impressive statues including some of Duke William himself and earlier rulers from the Wittelsbach dynasty. And, if you haven’t gotten enough of this family from the building’s façade, you can go inside and see a few of their tombs, William V included.
Image by Diliff under Creative Commons License.
7
Karlsplatz

7) Karlsplatz

At Sendlinger Tor you got a glimpse of the old city’s southernmost gate. Well, here at Karlsplatz you can see Karlstor, or Karl’s Gate, which was the city wall’s westernmost gate. Before the Karlsplatz square was erected a pub stood in its location. The pub was called Beim Stachus. In 1797 the square received its official name of Karlsplatz, named after the much disliked Karl Theodor, but to this day most of the locals refer to it as Stachus.

And, if you’re hungry, on one side of the Karl’s Gate is the most visited McDonald’s in all of Europe! But if you’re interested in trying something new I would suggest getting a bite to eat at one of the many “Döner” restaurants scattered around. At these hole-in-the-wall spots you can get deliciously fresh Turkish pitas with sharp spices and flavors.
8
Alter Botanischer Garten and Beer Garden

8) Alter Botanischer Garten and Beer Garden

The Old Botanical Garden was designed from 1804-1814 by Frederick Louis Sckell but the Classical entrance gate was created in 1812 by Joseph Emanuel d'Herigoyen. The original function of this garden was to showcase exotic trees, and many are still there today. Of course this garden wasn’t always called the Old Botanical Garden, but in 1914 when a second, newer garden was built the word “old” was attached to this first garden’s name.

In the middle of the Old Botanical Garden is the tranquil Neptune Fountain and on the outskirts is a memorial plaque remembering the first direct electric current that went from Miesbach to Munich in 1882. In the warmer months of the year there is also a peaceful beer garden where you can relax and sip one of Munich’s famous beers, Löwenbräu.
Image by Rufus46 under Creative Commons License.

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Top 10 Cafes and Restaurants in Munich

Top 10 Cafes and Restaurants in Munich

While there are many restaurants and cafes in downtown Munich for a visitor to choose from, by far not all of them are truly worth visiting. Here's the solid list of quality cafes and restaurants that will add greatly to your Munich experience. Each restaurant and cafe featured here offers...
12 German-Made Things to Buy in Munich

12 German-Made Things to Buy in Munich

The Bavarian capital Munich, much as the whole state of Bavaria, form an inseparable part of the German image, although a very unique part in its difference to the rest of the country, including the language. Bavarian beer occupies an important place in German heritage, from the infamous 1920s Beer...