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Munich Introduction Walk II (Self Guided), Munich

Bavarian capital Munich is a home to numerous historic sights and museums. The most notable of them are the Deutsches Theatermuseum (German Theater Museum), Bayerisches Nationalmuseum (Bavarian National Museum), Pinakothek der Moderne, and Neue Pinakothek. To see what else Munich has to offer, follow this orientation walk and enjoy.
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Munich Introduction Walk II Map

Guide Name: Munich Introduction Walk II
Guide Location: Germany » Munich (See other walking tours in Munich)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 13
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles
Author: alexei
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Maximilianstrasse
  • Bayerische Staatsoper
  • Residenz Royal Palace
  • Residenz Strasse
  • Palais Preysing
  • Feldherrnhalle
  • Theatine Church
  • Hofgarten and War Memorial
  • Deutsches Theatermuseum (German Theater Museum)
  • Pinakothek der Moderne
  • Prinz Carl Palais
  • English Garden
  • Bayerisches Nationalmuseum (Bavarian National Museum)

1) 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.
Bayerische Staatsoper

2) Bayerische Staatsoper (must see)

The Bayerische Staatsoper is the largest theater in Munich. It is located at Max Joseph Platz in the center of the city.

The Bayerische Staatsoper or Bavarian National Theater was designed by architect Karl von Fischer on the lines of the Odeon in Paris. It was commissioned by the Bavarian King, Maximilian I. The theater opened in 1818 with the performance of Ferdinand Fränzl’s, ‘Die Weihe.’ A fire damaged the structure in 1823 and a later reconstruction of 1825 was destroyed during the World War II bombings. The present theater opened its doors in 1963 with the performance of ‘Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg’ by Richard Wagner.

The present Bayerische Staatsoper is a large 21000 seat theater. Five rows of seats and a Royal box overlook a circular stage. Ballets, operas and operettas take place here every day. The annual Munich Opera Festival is hosted by the theater every summer. It has its own orchestra called the Bayerisches Staatsorchester and is also the home of the Bavarian State Opera and the Bavarian State Ballet. Visitors can take a conducted tour that lasts for an hour around the building and backstage at 2pm on most afternoons. The dates of the tour are published on the website of the Bayerische Staatsoper.

Why You Should Visit:
The 'Staatsoper' always has the top notch stars. Tickets are quite expensive but the overall experience is worth it.
There's a sense of occasion here that you don't always get at the opera or ballet. It's a perfect chocolate box theatre with helpful staff and comfortable seats. The interval refreshments are served quickly and are tasty.

Opera or show at this place is a proper affair, so you should aim to make this a proper night out. People will be dressed up in suits and dresses.
Book your tickets early. If you also want a seat that has a view of the whole theatre setup, consider getting one near the front on the side and balcony, rather than front facing but at the back.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Residenz Royal Palace

3) Residenz Royal Palace (must see)

The Residenz Royal Palace 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.

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
Residenz Strasse

4) Residenz Strasse

What to buy here: “Brotzeit” Marzipan Arrangement- “Brotzeit” literally translates into bread time, but when used in Germany (and Bavaria especially) this term is referring to a small meal that is usually made up of “down to earth” Bavarian specialties like weisswursts and other sausages; cheeses and cured meats; radishes and beets; dense, thick, dark bread; and several rich, creamy spreads. All of this is typically served on a thin slab of wood and eaten in “cozy” places, like a local pub or beer garden. While you may not be able to bring home an actual Brotzeit meal to your friends or coworkers, you can certainly bring them the essence of the idea; available at many of the tea shops along the Residenz Strasse, across from the Bavarian State Opera House in downtown Munich, you can find small Brotzeit meals crafted out of rich marzipan, considered a delicacy and favorite to Germans, on a circular wooden stump. Easy to pack in your luggage, this marzipan treat will bring home the essence of Bavarian Brotzeit for around 15 Euros.
Palais Preysing

5) Palais Preysing

The Palais Preysing was Munich’s first Rococo Style Palace. It served as the residence of the Counts of Preysing and is located opposite the Residenz Royal Palace.

The Palais Preysing was designed and built by architect, Joseph Heffner between 1723 and 1728 for Count Johann Maximilian of Preysing. The Preysing family built another palace nearby called the Palais Neuhaus-Preysing. Locals distinguished between the two residences by calling the older one, the Elder Palais Preysing. The Palace Preysing was almost destroyed by the bombardment during World War II. It was restored in the 1950s and houses high end shops and boutiques today.

The Palais Preysing has a richly decorated stucco facade. The interiors are also embellished with stucco decorations. A notable feature is a magnificent staircase flanked by female statues. Visitors are allowed to view the staircase. The little alley behind the Palais Preysing called the Viscardigasse that connects the Residezplatz with the Theatinerplatz is better known to locals as Drueckebergergasse. Hitler ordered that those who pass the beer hall near the Preysing Place called the Feldherrnhalle should give the Nazi salute in honor of Nazi sympathizers who were killed at the spot during a skirmish with the Bavarian Police called the Beer House Putsch. As a sign of resistance, locals used the Viscardigasse to avoid saluting. Drueckeberger, is a slang word in German for those who do not perform their duty.
Sight description based on wikipedia

6) 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
Theatine Church

7) Theatine Church (must see)

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.

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
Hofgarten and War Memorial

8) 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 Munich War Memorial is located adjacent to the Hofgarten. The memorial inscription that was added after WWII remember the 22000 dead, 11000 missing Munich soldiers and 6600 victims of the Allied bombing attacks.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Deutsches Theatermuseum (German Theater Museum)

9) Deutsches Theatermuseum (German Theater Museum) (must see)

The German Theater Museum is dedicated to the history of theater in Germany with a special focus on Bavaria and Munich. The Museum’s collection is displayed through themed exhibitions that keep changing periodically. The first permanent exhibits of the German Theater Museum were the private collection of actress Clara Ziegler. The museum opened in her villa near the English Garden in 1910, one year after her death. The building was badly damaged during the World War II bombardments. The collection was moved for safekeeping and survived the ravages of war. In 1953, a new Museum was opened in the Old Electoral Gallery that dates back to 1781.

Exhibits at the German Theater Museum include portraits of well known German actors and actresses, stage props, costumes, photographs, and theater masks. It also has an impressive document collection consisting of blueprints of theater building plans, stage set sketches, costume designs, manuscripts, production scripts, reviews, sound recordings and letters. The library has over 80,000 documents including music scores, librettos, theater journals and works of secondary literature. The Münchner Spielplan or Munich Repertoire is a unique service offered by the museum. It provides information on performances currently taking place in all the theaters in the city.

Why You Should Visit:
Always interesting changing exhibitions on German and Munich theater history and the Hofgarten park just next to the museum is a marvelous place.

On the odd occasion, they play live music on the grounds in the dome where everyone joins in to dance. There are also restaurants and locals playing games, etc... The atmosphere is contagious.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 10am-4pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Pinakothek der Moderne

10) Pinakothek der Moderne (must see)

The Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich unifies four art disciplines, paintings, graphics, architecture and design. It is one of the most visited contemporary art museums in Europe.

Stephan Braunfels, a Munich educated German architect designed the spacious building that houses the Pinakothek der Moderne. It was built between the years 1995 and 2002. The building is a rectangular structure with large windows. A vast canopied roof with a 25-meter glass dome is supported by white and grey columns. The building covers an area of 12,000 square meters.

The collection of modern paintings represents the 20th and 21st century with works by German and international artists on display. Video, photo and new media works are also displayed here. The graphics collection at the museum range from works collected by the Wittelsbach Royal family to contemporary 21st-century works. There are about 400,000 graphic sheets including old German and Dutch sketches, 19th century and contemporary works. The architecture museum hosts temporary exhibitions displaying blueprints, drawings, photographs, models and computer animations. The design collection has objects relating to industrial design, motor vehicle design, graphic design, and computer-generated models. In 2004, the Danner Foundation opened a special jewelry exhibition in the ground floor of the museum where creations of over a hundred international goldsmiths are on display.

Why You Should Visit:
The building is great, the gift shop is great, and the temporary exhibitions are always interesting.
Additionally, the design department is nothing short of superb featuring design evolution with beautiful iconic exhibits.

Free audioguide with picture ID – worthwhile especially to get an understanding of why the building is designed as it is.
You can also purchase a multi-museum day pass for Alte/Neue/der Moderne Pinakothek.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Wed, Fri-Sun: 10am-6pm; Thu: 10am-8pm; Monday - closed.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Prinz Carl Palais

11) Prinz Carl Palais

The Prinz Carl Palais is a building in neo classical style located in a park north of the Hofgarten in Munich. It is named after one of its owners, Prince Carl, the brother of King Ludwig I who lived here between 1825 and 1875.

The Prinz Carl Palais went by the names Palais Salabert and Palais Royal after previous owners of the building. It was commissioned by King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria as a residence for a retired priest, Abbe Pierre de Salabert. The Abbe was a former teacher of the King. It was built between 1804 and 1806. The king acquired the building after the death of the Abbe in 1807. Ludwig I who succeeded Maximilian I Joseph as King gave the palace to his brother Carl. It is served as the seat of the diplomatic mission of Austria Hungary after the death of Prince Carl and later as the residence of the Bavarian Prime Ministers. Today it serves as a venue for official receptions by the Bavarian State Governments.

The Neoclassical structure was designed by Karl von Fischer and the interiors were decorated by Jean-Baptiste Métevier and Anton Schwanthaler. The facade of the building is regarded as one of the finest examples of classical proportion with a portico that has a high pediment standing before a series of Ionic pilasters. Visitors get a glimpse of the opulence of German palaces in the 19th century while viewing the Prinz Carl Palais.
Sight description based on wikipedia
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.

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
Bayerisches Nationalmuseum (Bavarian National Museum)

13) Bayerisches Nationalmuseum (Bavarian National Museum) (must see)

The Bavarian National Museum (Bayerisches Nationalmuseum) in Munich is one of the most important museums of decorative arts in Europe and one of the largest art museums in Germany. Since the beginning, the collection has been divided into two main groups: the art historical collection and the folklore collection.

The museum was founded by King Maximilian II of Bavaria in 1855. It houses a large collection of European artifacts from the late antiquity until the early 20th century with particular strengths in the medieval through early modern periods. The building, erected in the style of historicism by Gabriel von Seidl 1894-1900, is one of the most original and significant museum buildings of its time. It is situated in the Prinzregentenstraße, one of the city's four royal avenues.

The main building of the Bavarian National Museum includes on three floors exhibition rooms with in total about 13,000 square meters. The core of the collection dates from the art collection of the Wittelsbach family. This gives the National Museum an importance far beyond the local area. Diversity and breadth of the collections, however, were particularly motivated by the new additions to the subsequent period. A new building behind the museum houses as addition the Bavarian State Archaeological Collection (Archäologische Staatssammlung) from the first settlement in the Paleolithic Ages through the Celtic civilization and the Roman period right up to the early Middle Ages.

The art collection displays artworks in a tour through more than forty rooms from the hall for late antiquity and Romanesque art via the rooms for Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo art to the exhibits of Neoclassicism and Art Nouveau. The western side wing of the museum houses The Bollert Collection with late medieval sculptures.

The museum is especially noted for its collections of carved ivory, goldsmith works, textiles, glass painting, tapestries and shrines. It is also famous for its collections of courtly culture, musical instruments, furniture, oil paintings, sketches, clocks, stoneware, majolica, miniatures, porcelain and faience, and its statues. It has probably the world's best collection of the Nymphenburg porcelain figures of Franz Anton Bustelli (1723–63). The folklore collection houses, for example, traditional Bavarian furniture, rural pottery, crockery and religious folklore including an outstanding collection of Neapolitan, Sicilian, Tyrolian and Bavarian wood carvings including street scenes and Nativity Scenes.

Why You Should Visit:
Extensive and eclectic high-quality collections wherein everyday life and trade, commerce and industry are well-represented.

€1 admission on Sundays (normally €7 for adults).
Most captions are not in English so take the audio guide.

Opening Hours:
Fri-Wed: 10am-5pm; Thu: 10am-8pm
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.
Third Reich Munich Walking Tour

Third Reich Munich Walking Tour

It was in Munich that Hitler had made his first attempts at grabbing power. The walking tour explores the places and events that are related to the Nazi movement. It traces the events from the first mass meetings at the Hofbräuhaus to the failed attempt to seize power at the Felderrnhalle.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles
Kreuzviertel Attractions Walking Tour

Kreuzviertel Attractions 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 traditional pubs.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Lehel Attractions Walking Tour

Lehel Attractions Walking Tour

The Lehel is regarded as "the oldest suburb" of Munich. It is home to The State Museum of Ethnology, the second largest collection in Germany of artifacts and objects from outside Europe, the Bavarian National Museum and the adjoining State Archeological Collection, the Schackgalerie - an important gallery of German 19th-century paintings and the Englisn Garden.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Hofgarten Area Walking Tour

Hofgarten Area Walking Tour

The Hofgarten (Court Garden) is a garden in the heart of Munich, found between the Residenz and Englischer Garten. In the middle of the garden stands a pavilion of goddess Diana. Facing it to the east is the Bavarian State Chancellery, housed in the former Army Museum. Surrounding the garden are a number of attractions, including the Stat Museum of Egyptian Art, the Palais Preysing, Theatine...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
Maxvorstadt Sights Walking Tour

Maxvorstadt Sights Walking Tour

Maxvorstadt is a central borough of Munich, located north-west of the Old City. The area is home to a number of educational institutions, including Germany's top two universities - LMU and TUM, hence the area's nickname - the "Brain of Munich". Several museums and art galleries are found here as well, along with a number of historic personalities who marked the area with their...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 Km or 2.9 Miles
Graggenauviertel Attractions Walking Tour

Graggenauviertel Attractions Walking Tour

Graggenauviertel is one of the four quarters of Munich Alstadt. The gentry preferred to reside here, probably because of the proximity to the Alten Hof. Take this tour to admire the beautiful landmarks and famous cultural venues, explore the specialty shops and relax in a bar.

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

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

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Top 10 Cafes and Restaurants in Munich

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