Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!

Munich Introduction Walk (Self Guided), Munich

Bavarian capital Munich boasts an eclectic mix of historic and modern architecture owing to the careful reconstruction of centuries-old buildings and new landmarks built after World War II. In the Altstadt (Old Town), central Marienplatz square carries landmarks, such as Neo-Gothic Neues Rathaus (town hall). To find these and other historic attractions of Munich, follow this orientation walk.
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Munich Introduction Walk Map

Guide Name: Munich Introduction Walk
Guide Location: Germany » Munich (See other walking tours in Munich)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 12
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Author: alexei
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Marienplatz
  • Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall)
  • Peterskirche (St. Peter's Church)
  • Viktualienmarkt
  • Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)
  • Hofbrauhaus Beer Hall
  • Maximilianstrasse
  • Residenz Royal Palace
  • Feldherrnhalle
  • Theatine Church
  • Hofgarten and War Memorial
  • English Garden
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. Part of the second construction phase of the New Town Hall, it dates from 1908. Every day at 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. (as well as 5 p.m. in the summer) it chimes and re-enacts two stories from the 16th century to the amusement of mass crowds of tourists and locals. It consists of 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures. The top half of the Glockenspiel tells the story of the marriage of the local Duke Wilhelm V (who also founded the noted Hofbräuhaus) to Renata of Lorraine. In honor of the happy couple there is a joust with life-sized knights on horseback representing Bavaria (in white and blue) and Lothringen (in red and white). The Bavarian knight wins every time, of course.

This is then followed by the bottom half and second story: Schäfflertanz (the coopers' dance). According to myth, 1517 was a year of plague in Munich. The coopers are said to have danced through the streets to "bring fresh vitality to fearful dispositions." The coopers remained loyal to the duke, and their dance came to symbolize perseverance and loyalty to authority through difficult times. By tradition, the dance is performed in Munich every seven years. This was described in 1700 as "an age-old custom", but the current dance was defined only in 1871. The dance can be seen during Fasching (German Carnival): the next one is in 2019.

The whole show lasts somewhere between 12 and 15 minutes long depending on which tune it plays that day. At the very end of the show, a very small golden rooster at the top of the Glockenspiel chirps quietly three times, marking the end of the spectacle.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Peterskirche (St. Peter's Church)

3) 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
4
Viktualienmarkt

4) 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. 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.

Situated in the heart of the Viktualienmarkt, the Beer Graden 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.
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)

5) Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)

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. 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.

***Third Reich Wak***
The impressive buildings in the center of the city and it also played an important role in the Nazi’s seizure of power. This is the place where Joseph Goebbels gave the speech that inspired Kristallnacht on November 9, 1938. A pogrom against Jews throughout Germany, Kristallnacht led to the destruction of many Jewish-owned businesses and the arrest of thousands of Jewish citizens. Kristallnacht, or “the night of broken glass,” is generally considered the start of the Final Solution and the Holocaust.
***PH***

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
Hofbrauhaus Beer Hall

6) Hofbrauhaus Beer Hall (must see)

The Beer Hall is probably the best-known beer hall in Munich. Date all the way back to 1589, the famous Hofbräuhaus in Munich was founded by the Duke of Bavaria, Wilhelm V. Originally, the Hofbräuhaus building was not open to the public, but in 1828—lucky for both tourists and locals alike!—the building opened its doors to the masses. Today, it is a warm place, thick with traditional atmosphere and friendly vibes, where you can come to eat typical Bavarian food, listen to the Oompah band play loudly on stage, and gulp down the rich Hofbräuhaus beer in large, one-liter steins, which the Germans call a Mass.

In 1516, the “Bavarian Beer Purity Law” was passed, which states that only natural ingredients can be used to brew the beers. To this day, the beers of Munich, Hofbräuhaus beer included, are held to that high, delicious standard of beer manufacturing.

Available in the gift shop of the Hofbräuhaus am Platzl in downtown Munich, you can bring home one of the large, traditional glass Hofbräuhaus beer steins. Just don’t tell any Germans that you will probably be filling it with something other than the pure, golden Hofbräuhaus beer. Cost: around 10 to 15 Euros.

Opening Hours: daily 9:30 - 23:30

***Third Reich Walk***
Massive in size, the beer hall is steeped in history and on 24 February 1920, Adolf Hitler organized one of his first propaganda events here.
7
Maximilianstrasse

7) Maximilianstrasse

The western portion of Maximilianstrasse is a shopping street in the city centre of Munich. The place is well known for luxury boutiques, jewelry stores and designer shops. Famous brands like Gucci, Bulgari, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Chanel, Versace and other big names have their presence here.
8
Residenz Royal Palace

8) Residenz Royal Palace (must see)

The Residenz Royal Palace (or Munich Residenz) in Munich was the seat of the Bavarian Government and the building where the Dukes, Electors and Kings belonging to the Wittelsbach family who ruled Bavaria lived between 1508 and 1918. Today, it houses a museum with the finest room decorations in Europe.

Maximilian I of Bavaria commissioned the construction of the Residenz Royal Palace. At the time, it was a small castle located in the northeastern corner of Munich. Ludwig I commissioned architect, Leo von Klenze to expand the structure to its present proportions. The building was severely damaged by the World War II bombardments and was completely reconstructed only in the 1980s.

The Residenz today consists of a museum, a concert hall, the Residenz Treasury and the Cuvilliés Theater. The Antiquarium of the palace is Europe’s largest Renaissance hall. The complex has 10 courtyards and 130 richly decorated rooms. The treasury preserves the jewelry and objects made of precious stones and metals belonging to the Wittelsbach family. The world’s most extensive coin collection of King Albert V consisting of 300,000 coins from the ancient world to the early 20th century is also on display. The palace is surrounded by a French-style garden with a fountain and a circular temple with the replica of the statue of Bavaria on top.

Why You Should Visit:
Versailles-like in its gilded opulence and glory, including the amazing courtyards.
This is a huge complex, and even more so now that several rooms and corridors have been renovated and opened to the public after many years.
There are an 'old' and a 'new' area to explore and a very good audio guide included with the ticket price.
The oldest part of the Residenz is the Antiquarium – a magnificent hall with statues from antiquity.

Tip:
You can buy combined tickets with the Theatre and the Treasury for the complete experience.
The audio guide allows you to access more information about the artwork/rooms/historical event, or skip forward to other parts of the tour if you've lost your interest.
A full tour takes several hours, so you may want to break your stay into separate sections with a trip away from the building for coffee & snacks.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-6pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
Feldherrnhalle

9) Feldherrnhalle

The Feldherrnhalle or Field Marshall’s Hall is a large loggia built to commemorate two brave Bavarian military leaders and the soldiers who laid down their lives during the Franco Prussian War. It is best remembered for the skirmish between the Bavarian Police and Hitler’s followers in 1923, called the Beer Hall Putsch.

The Feldherrnhalle was commissioned by King Ludwig I of Bavaria and designed by Friedrich von Gartner. It was built between 1841 and 1844 on the site of one of the old city gates, the Schwabinger Tor. The design was modeled along the lines of the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence. It is located at the southern end of Ludwigstrasse, near the Palais Preysing.

The Feldherrnhalle has large bronze statues of two revered Bavarian military heroes, Johann Tilly and Karl hilipp von Wrede, created by sculptor Ludwig Schwanthaler. In 1882, another sculpture to pay tribute to the Bavarian army’s exploits in the Franco Prussian war was created by Ferdinand von Miller Jr. and placed at the center. The steps leading up to the monument has two lions sculpted by Wilhelm Ruemann in 1906. The growling lion sculpture faces the Residenz Royal Palace while the other lion, with its mouth closed, faces the church. It was at this spot that Hitler and his followers were arrested by the Bavarian police after the Beer House Putsch.
Sight description based on wikipedia
10
Theatine Church

10) Theatine Church

The Theatine Church of St Cajetan is a Rococo structure that was the first Baroque style religious building in Munich. It was originally built for the order of Theatines from Italy.

The Theatine church was commissioned in 1662, by the elector, Ferdinand, and his consort, Henriette Adelaide of Savoy to give thanks for the birth of their long-awaited son and heir Max Emanuel. It was designed by the Italian architect, Agostino Barelli on the lines of the Sant'Andrea della Valle Church in Rome. The church is clad almost entirely in white stucco giving it a bright, airy Mediterranean appearance.

The design of the Theatine Church later influenced the architecture of many churches in Southern Germany. The original architect, Agostino Barelli was succeeded by another Italian, Enrico Zucalli, who designed the 71-meter high dome and two 70 meter high towers. The rococo façade was designed by François de Cuvilliers and his son in 1738. The interior stucco decorations were by the Italian sculptor Nicolo Petri and the statues were made by Germany’s Wolfgang Leutner. The great black altar was designed by Andreas Faistenberger. The crypt of the Theatine Church holds the graves of Max Emanuel and his parents and a small chapel within the church holds the graves of King Maximilian II and his consort.

Why You Should Visit:
There are a number of churches with fascinating interiors in Munich, and this one stands out among the others - the white interior.
The white marble with beautiful ornate work is very beautiful in natural light, while the exterior is famous for its yellow color and rococo style.
Free to enter and nicely air-conditioned – a great spot for a break on a hot summer day.

Tip:
You can conveniently visit this church before or after spending time at Residenz nearby.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 6:30am-7:30pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
11
Hofgarten and War Memorial

11) Hofgarten and War Memorial

The Hofgarten is a peaceful green oasis in the center of Munich. It is located between the Residenz Royal Palace and the English Garden.

The Hofgarten was commissioned by the elector Maximilian I and laid in Italian Renaissance style between 1613 and 1617. It is landscaped around two central paths that intersect at a pavilion called the Temple of Diana. The Pavilion was designed by Heinrich Schön the elder in 1615. Originally a sculpture of Bavaria created in 1623 by Hubert Gerhard was placed on its roof. Today, only a replica tops the temple of Diana and the original is preserved in the Residenz Royal Palace. The Hofgarten was destroyed during the Second World War and rebuilt based on the original landscape plans.

The Hofgarten, today preserves its original 17th century ambiance. The lawns and flower gardens are beautifully laid out. The original waterworks were restored and the fountains are once again fully functional. On the northeast corner of the garden is a square black granite monument. It is a memorial to the White Rose group consisting of philosophy students who were executed after a sham trial for conducting a non violent struggle against the Nazi regime. The Hofgarten is mentioned in T.S.Eliot’s poem, ‘The Wasteland’, as a symbol of the dying royal families of Europe and the emptiness of aristocratic life.

The Kriegerdenkmal ("warrior memorial") in the Hofgarten in Munich was built for commemorating those killed in action in World War I from Munich. It is located on the eastern end of the Hofgarten, in front of the Bayerische Staatskanzlei. In the middle of a rectangular pit an open crypt is located, containing the statue of a fallen soldier. The memorial was designed by sculptor Karl Knappe and the architects Thomas Wechs and Eberhard Finsterwalder. Bernhard Bleeker created the monument of the fallen soldier and its base of red marble. The original marble statue was replaced by a bronze cast in 1972, made by Thomas Wimmer, and is now exhibited in the Bavarian Army museum in Ingolstadt.

Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria, the son of the last Bavarian King, inaugurated the memorial site in 1924. However, it was only entirely finished in 1928. It is now a cultural heritage.
Sight description based on wikipedia
12
English Garden

12) English Garden (must see)

The largest publicly owned park in Europe is Munich’s English Garden. Located in the heart of the city, it covers an area of 900 acres and is larger than New York’s Central Park. Four well-known beer gardens are located within the garden.

The English Garden was commissioned by Archduke and Elector, Carl Theodore. It was designed by American born British physicist, Benjamin Thompson who later became Count Rumford. The site chosen was once the hunting grounds of the Wittelsbach Royal family. It was opened to the public in 1792 as a three-mile long park along the Isar River. It gets its name from its design that was on the lines of informal gardens popular in the United Kingdom in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The English Garden is a popular place where the locals come to relax and play soccer. It is also a place where nude sunbathing is allowed. Attractions within the park include a monument to honor Count Rumford, a Japanese Garden created for the Munich Olympics, the Monopteros Apollo Temple and an amphitheater located at the north of the garden. The four well-known beer gardens of Munich’s English Garden are the Chinese Tower, the Seehaus, Osterwald Garten and the Hirschau.

Why You Should Visit:
A large and sociable area with various routes to chose from and nice scenery, many places to eat, listen to music and swim or just dip your feet into the river water.
In it, among other things, you will find the popular 'Eisbach surfer' surfing there all time of the year on an artificial wave outside.
In the summer it is also possible to visit the beer gardens at the Chinese Tower, where you can nowadays listen to traditional old-fashioned Bavarian music while sipping on a draft beer.

Tip:
Go there on a Sunday if you dare... there's not much else to do on Sunday in Munich so all the locals put on their walking shoes and off they go.
If you enjoy swimming or would like to make use of the artificial wave system, be sure to bring a swim kit.
Many people ride bikes through the park so keep your eyes out for speeding cyclists!
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Munich, Germany

Create Your Own Walk in Munich

Create Your Own Walk in Munich

Creating your own self-guided walk in Munich is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Art District Museums & Galleries

Art District Museums & Galleries

Kunstareal is known as the art district of the city. This small district is home to some of the best museums and galleries in the world. Each of these museums portrays art forms from distinctly different eras. Located just north of the main train station, the artistic treasures here rivals the best in the world.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
Palaces Tour

Palaces Tour

Munich city is a conglomerate of palaces that reflects a variety of styles. The enormous palaces have a long history and some of them have been added to and rebuilt over the centuries. While some were built to be royal residences, others were used as hunting lodges, temporary residences or castles. The palaces reflect a wonderful mix of renaissance, baroque and rococo styles of architecture.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles
Shopping Tour

Shopping Tour

Munich city is a shopper’s delight with departmental stores, large international brands and local boutique shops jostling for space. The main shopping areas are the Neuhauserstrasse and Kaufingerstrasse. The best part about shopping in the city is the bargains that you can get. German style competition ensures that the prices are reasonable. Pick up your favorites from traditional garments, beer...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Old Town Walking Tour

Old Town Walking Tour

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.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Old Town Souvenir Shops

Old Town Souvenir Shops

It would be a pity to leave Munich without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Munich, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit. You find them in the shops located in Munich Altstadt, all within a pleasant walking distance.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles
Kreuzviertel Walking Tour

Kreuzviertel Walking Tour

Kreuzviertel is one of the four quarters of Munich Alstadt. Historically here was located the centre of the clergy as there was a particularly high number of monasteries. Take this tour to admire the beautiful palaces and churches located in this area, and explore interesting shopping spots and museums.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


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