Marienplatz Area Sights Walking Tour (Self Guided), Munich

Marienplatz is a prominent public square located in the heart of Munich's old town. In the past, the square served as a salt and grain market, but today it is a magnet for visitors who gather here from all over the world to admire the Gothic facade of the town hall and other nearby attractions.
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Marienplatz Area Sights Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Marienplatz Area Sights Walking Tour
Guide Location: Germany » Munich (See other walking tours in Munich)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.8 km
Author: clare
1
Marienplatz

1) Marienplatz (must see)

The Marienplatz is a square that marks the heart of the city of Munich. It has been the main square of the city from the year 1158.

The Square was first known as the Schrannen. It got the name Marienplatz after citizens prayed to the Holy mother for deliverance from a cholera epidemic. The large column with the gilded figure of Mother Mary on the top was erected in 1638 as part of the celebrations marking the end of the Swedish occupation of the city. It was the main square where events, tournaments and public executions took place in Munich.

The New City Hall dominates Marienplatz today. The Flemish Gothic style building was constructed between 1867 and 1909 and was designed by the architect, Georg Joseph Hauberrisser. The internationally famous Carillon in the tower has figures depicting the history of the city. The lower part has figures performing the Schäfflertanz or Cooper’s dance that was arranged in 1517 as part of the celebrations of the end of a plague epidemic that swept through the city. Visitors can view the dance daily at 11am and 12 and 5pm. The Old City Hall was not demolished to make way for the New City Hall and still stands on the eastern side of Marienplatz.

Why You Should Visit:
Perfect first spot to discover Munich. Historic, architecturally attractive and vibrant, filled with locals and tourists alike, it never lacks for excitement throughout the day. And, like the rest of Munich, it's spotlessly clean.

Tip:
Many walking tours start here in the mornings and afternoons. Join one and learn more about Munich's history and legends.
A tip for eating out is to walk a block or two away as the prices drop dramatically. Besides, the local food market is right outside the gate with many restaurants serving food from all over the world.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall)

2) Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall) (must see)

The New Town Hall was built in the 19th century at a time when the city of Munich enjoyed great economic prosperity. The Old Town Hall was found to be too small to function as the office of the local government and a new building was constructed nearby.

The site for the New Town hall was chosen near the Old Town Hall on Marienplatz in Munich. Twelve buildings were demolished to make space for the new structure. It was designed by young architect, Georg Hauberrisser who was 24 years old at the time. The building was constructed between 1867 and 1908.

The New Town Hall building has a Gothic Revivalist architectural style. It has 400 rooms and covers an area of over 9000 square meters. It faces the Marienplatz and there is a small garden at the back called the Marienhof. The Ratskeller restaurant occupies the basement and the first floor has a balcony from where visitors can view events like football matches and concerts taking place on Marienplatz. The 85 meter main tower is accessible using elevators. One of the main attractions of the New Town Hall is the mechanical Glockenspiel or Carillon with two levels. The upper level has dolls reenacting the wedding of Duke William V and Renate of Lorraine and the lower level has dolls performing the Schäfferltanz, a dance arranged as a celebration to mark the end of a plague epidemic.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Galerie Kaufhof

3) Galerie Kaufhof

What to buy here: Lebkuchenherzen- Directly translated into English, Lebkuchenherzen are “gingerbread hearts,” but unlike gingerbread cookies or cakes, Lebkuchenherzen are not really meant to be eaten. Decorated with hard, crunchy sugar frosting, the Lebkuchenherzen are baked with a hole in the top, wrapped in plastic, and hung from a colorful ribbon. Used as decorative ornaments around the house, Lebkuchenherzen can be found at public festivals and seasonal fairs in Munich, including Oktoberfest and both the spring and winter Tollwood festivals. They can also often be found year-round at the Viktualienmarkt downtown. Prices vary by size, with the smaller hearts costing around 4 Euros and the larger up to 15 or 20 Euros. Normal lebkuchen that people eat, as opposed to lebkuchenherzen for decoration, are very popular in Germany as well, especially during Christmas time. Also known as Pfefferkuchen, Gewürzkuchen, or Honigkuchen, German gingerbread is typically circular cookies available for purchase from the Galerie Kaufhof in downtown Munich in packages of 5 or 6. Some are coated in chocolate, while others in almonds and powdered sugar, or just plain.

Operation Hours: Monday - Saturday: 9 am - 8 pm;
4
Almenrausch

4) Almenrausch

What to buy here: Traditional “Tracht” Clothing and Accessories- Tracht is the general name for all of the traditional clothing pieces and accessories associated with German speaking counties, although now-a-days, it typically refers mainly to the traditional clothing worn in Austria and Bavaria. The Tracht style employs the use of loden (a traditional form of felt) and linen fabrics, and often incorporates detailed stitching or embroidery into the piece. During the three weeks of Oktoberfest in the fall, Tracht is worn all over the city by both locals and foreigners alike, but during the rest of the year, it is generally worn only by Bavarians or when going to a beer festival, beer garden, or local pub. The outfit worn by men is called a “Lederhosen,” which directly translates into leather pants, and women wear a dress and apron set called a “Dirndl.” These, as well as Tracht-style bags, hats, necklaces and other accessories, can be purchased at Almenrausch year round. However, in the weeks leading up to and during Oktoberfest, you can find Tracht and Tracht accessories almost everywhere in the city, including the large department stores in the Marienplatz square in downtown Munich. The prices can vary greatly depending on where and what you purchase. A full dirndl or lederhosen outfit can be up to 150 or 200 Euros, but a bag or a hat would be less, at about 30 to 50 Euros. Other smaller accessories can be purchased for less than 30 Euros.
5
Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)

5) Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) (must see)

The Old Town Hall was the seat of the Municipality of Munich until the construction of the Neues Rathaus in 1874. It stands on the eastern side of Marienplatz and was left untouched, unlike many other buildings that were demolished to make way for the New Town Hall.

The Old Town Hall was built between 1470 and 1480 based on a design by architect, Jörg von Halsbach. The renowned architect also designed the Frauenkirche in Munich. It had a late Gothic style at the time of its construction. It was remodeled several times and was altered to a neo-Gothic style between the years 1861 and 1864. Two tunnels were built through the building to make way for traffic between 1877 and 1934. It was the venue of the famous speech of Joseph Goebbels that led to the attack on German Jews called Kristallnacht and marked the beginning of the Holocaust. The Altes Rathaus was severely damaged during the World War II bombings and was extensively restored based on its 15th-century design.

The Altes Rathaus, today, hosts the offices of the city council, some administrative offices and a Toy Museum set in four rooms in its tower. There is a souvenir & gift shop on the first floor that sells unique souvenir items – in particular replicas of the wooden sculptures called The Morris Dancers by Munich sculptor, Erasmus Grasser.

Why You Should Visit:
One of the finest historical buildings to see at Marienplatz. Just as with the other ('new') town hall, you can go up the stairs to the top. The inside on the ground floor is absolutely gorgeous too, looking exactly how many expect German buildings to look.

Tip:
The Altes Rathaus tower now serves as a Toy Museum (Spielzugmuseum) and providing yet another bit of fun is the Juliet Capulet Statue, located on the side of the building. This was a gift from the city of Verona to Munich in the 1970s.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-5pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Spielzeugmuseum (Toy Museum)

6) Spielzeugmuseum (Toy Museum)

This unique Toy Museum occupies four floors of the tower of the Old Town Hall of Munich. Dolls and toys from around the world are on display.

The Toy Museum houses the collection of Czech writer, cartoonist and film maker, Ivan Steiger and his wife Eva. He opened the museum to the public in 1983. Mechanical toys are displayed in such a manner that visitors can see the intricate mechanism that goes into their creation. A spiral stone staircase leads visitors to the museum where dolls are arranged according to type on different floors.

Collections at the Toy Museum include the earliest teddy bears, made by renowned doll maker Margaret Steiff, and the pretty china doll creations of another well known doll maker, Käthe Kruse. Most of the dolls are second-hand and were the precious belongings of a child at some time in the past. One can view X rays of the inside of the doll to see how it was put together. Other floors have displays of mechanical cars, trains and merry go rounds. A notable mechanical toy is the antique French laufpuppe that dates back to 1855. One can view the complex mechanism that enables the toy to move its arms and legs and talk. The Toy museum also has an impressive collection of each and every outfit made to clothe Barbie dolls from the date of the creation of this iconic doll.

Operation Hours: Monday - Sunday: 10 am - 5.30 pm;
7
Peterskirche (St. Peter's Church)

7) Peterskirche (St. Peter's Church) (must see)

Affectionately called Old Peter by the locals, Peterskirche is said to be the site around which the city of Munich developed. It dates back to the 12th century and occupies the site of an older 8th-century monastery and church.

The Peterskirche stands on the site of a former pre-Merovingian Church. The monks who lived in the monastery called the hill, Petersbergl or Peter’s Hill. The city is named after these monks. Munchen is from the German word Monch meaning monk. A Bavarian Romanesque structure was first built in 1180. It burned down in 1327. The present church dates back to 1368. The Steeple topped spire and Baroque choir were added in the 17th century. The building was severely damaged during World War II but carefully restored later to resemble the original structure.

The interior of the Peterskirche has Erasmus Grasser’s sculpture from the 15th century and paintings by Johann Baptist Zimmerman. A popular attraction among visitors is the gilded skeleton of St. Mundita that is adorned with precious stones. Visitors can climb 306 steps to reach the upper platform of the steeple to get breathtaking views across Munich and as far as the Alps on a clear day. Color-coded circles at the lower platform give an indication about the view from the top. A white circle tells visitors that the climb is worthwhile and that the Alps are visible from the upper platform.

Tip:
Be sure to pay a few euros to climb to the tower top for a 360° view of Munich. The climb is not easy and the view is not for those afraid of heights – but for the adventurous, it's well worth-while.
If you can, try to head up for just before 11am or 12 noon, as then you can get a brilliant view of the glockenspiel clock in action in Marienplatz, without having to jostle with fellow tourists.
The are also two viewing binoculars that let you soak in all the colored rooftops that you see; however, note that it can get really windy and cold up there.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 9am-5:30pm; Sat-Sun: 10am-5:30pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
Beer Garden at Viktualienmarkt

8) Beer Garden at Viktualienmarkt

One of the best beer gardens in Munich, this is located in the heart of the city’s old town. Situated in the heart of the Viktualienmarkt, this is a nice place to take a break among the shaded chestnut trees. The place can sit a1000 people and offers sumptuous Bavarian specialties like the potato salad, pork roast and homemade cheese. Good Bavarian beer is served here. The place is open from 9am to 10pm in the summer and from 9am to 6pm in the winter and stays closed on Sundays and holidays.
9
Viktualienmarkt

9) Viktualienmarkt (must see)

The Viktualienmarkt is located a few meters away from Marienplatz in Munich. It is a daily open air farmers market that consists of stalls selling flowers, vegetables, fruit and meat.

The first central market of Munich was in Marienplatz. As the city prospered, the square became too small for the growing number of shops. King Maximilian of Bavaria decided to demolish the nearby Heiliggeist charitable hospital to provide a larger space for the market. At the time the square was called Marktplatz. The name was later changed to Viktualienmarkt. Viktuel is the Latin word for food. Halls were added as the city grew richer and separate pavilions for fish, fowl, meat and bakery items were installed. The bombs of World War II almost completely destroyed the market. It was rebuilt after the war by the city authorities, and fountains and other decorative elements were added to make it more attractive. Today, Viktualienmarkt has over 140 shops selling gourmet food, exotic fruit cheeses, pastries, sausages and venison. There are beer gardens within the market, too. Folk events, like dances, music performances, Brewer’s Day, Gardener’s Day celebrations, a special event marking the opening of the asparagus season, a summer festival and the Shrove Tuesday dance of the Market women, take place here throughout the year. From 1975, it has been a pedestrian zone and a popular meeting place for locals and visitors.
Sight description based on wikipedia

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