Museums in the Bavarian Capital (Self Guided), Munich

The city of Munich has several museums that are a veritable treasure trove of information ranging from empires, the animal kingdom, plants and paleontology to the arts, crafts and the music. The city’s museums attract millions of visitors every year. Whether you are an art aficionado or want to experience Bavarian culture through the ages, there is something for everyone in the several museums around the city.
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Museums in the Bavarian Capital Map

Guide Name: Museums in the Bavarian Capital
Guide Location: Germany » Munich (See other walking tours in Munich)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.8 Km or 3 Miles
Author: clare
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Jüdisches Museum (Jewish Museum)
  • Münchner Stadtmuseum (City Museum of Munich)
  • Spielzeugmuseum (Toy Museum)
  • Beer and Oktoberfest Museum
  • Deutsches Museum
  • Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde (State Museum of Ethnology )
  • Bayerisches Nationalmuseum (Bavarian National Museum)
  • Deutsches Theatermuseum (German Theater Museum)
Jüdisches Museum (Jewish Museum)

1) Jüdisches Museum (Jewish Museum)

The Jewish Museum Munich provides an overview of Munich’s Jewish history and is part of the city's new Jewish Center located at Sankt-Jakobs-Platz in Munich. It is situated between the main synagogue Ohel Jakob and the Jewish Community Center which is home to the Jewish Community of Munich and Upper Bavaria and houses a public elementary school, a kindergarten, a youth center as well as a community auditorium and a kosher restaurant. The museum was built from 2004 until its inauguration on March 22, 2007 and is run by the city of Munich. The Jewish Museum is part of Jewish Community Center that serves the 9,200 Jews living in the city.

The idea of a Jewish Museum in Munich was conceived in the 1920s by Hans Lamm, head of the Jewish community at that time. He started the project but could not realize his dream. A small private museum was opened by Richard Grimm on Maximilianstrasse. It ran at the venue for 10 years but was closed for financial reasons. The present Jewish Museum opened its doors in 2007.

Rena Wandel-Hoefer and Wolfgang Lorch designed the building, that houses the Jewish Museum, after winning a competition held in 2001. It is designed as a free standing cube with a glass walled ground floor entrance. Exhibits relating to Jewish life and culture, festivals celebrated by the Jews, their rites of passage, like marriages and funerals, are arranged in the three exhibition halls. Temporary exhibitions, relating to subjects like the holocaust, are also held from time to time.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 10 am - 6 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Münchner Stadtmuseum (City Museum of Munich)

2) Münchner Stadtmuseum (City Museum of Munich)

The Munich Stadtmuseum ("Münchner Stadtmuseum") is the city museum of Munich. It was founded in 1888 by Ernst von Destouches and is located in the former municipal arsenal and stables, both buildings of the late Gothic period. It provides visitors with an overview of Munich's history and its citizens' lifestyle. Regular exhibitions are held on the popular arts and traditions of the region. A wooden model of Munich city as it was in 1572 is one of the interesting exhibits. An exhibition on Morris dancers forms the main display on the ground floor. The second floor houses an exhibition on the camera and the fourth floor has an extensive collection of musical instruments.

Operation Hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 10 am - 6 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Spielzeugmuseum (Toy Museum)

3) 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.
Beer and Oktoberfest Museum

4) Beer and Oktoberfest Museum

The Beer and Oktoberfest Museum is dedicated to Bavaria’s rich beer culture and the history of Munich’s Oktoberfest. It is a privately owned museum run by the Edith-Haberland-Wagner Foundation. The foundation now owns the beer brand called Augustiner Bräu, once the specialty of monks of the Augustinian order.

The Beer and Oktoberfest Museum is housed in Munich’s oldest residence. The six stored building dates back to 1340 and was built soon after the great fire of 1327 that razed large parts of the city to the ground. The facade paintings have been restored and the original wooden beams have been salvaged. The building consists of 12 apartments and a steep central, ’Heaven’s Stairs’, a typical feature of medieval houses in Munich takes visitors to the upper floors.

The exhibits at the museum take visitors through the history of beer brewing around the world. One can view exhibits about beer brewing in ancient Egypt to the purity laws when it was brewed by Bavarian monks. The history of Munich’s six breweries is also displayed through the exhibits. A wooden box called the brewer’s ark that was used in the Munich Brewer’s initiation ceremony is a treasured object in the museum. The upper floor is dedicated to the history and evolution of the Oktoberfest that began as the wedding celebration of King Ludwig I in 1810 and grew to be the largest beer festival in the world.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Deutsches Museum

5) Deutsches Museum (must see)

The Deutsches Museum is the largest science and technology museum in the world. It has over 28,000 exhibits, some of them interactive, from 50 disciplines of science and technology.

The Deutsches Museum is located on an island of the Isar River called Museumsinsel (Museum Island). In the medieval era, the island was used for rafting wood. A barracks was built in the year 1775. Efforts were made by the Association of German Engineers under the initiative of electrical engineer, Oskar von Miller to set up a science and technology museum. The city decided to donate the island as the site for the museum in 1903. The building was severely damaged and many exhibits destroyed during the World War II bombardment of the city and carefully restored after the war.

Exhibits at the Deutsches Museum cover German technological innovations from the printing press to the airplane. Notable exhibits are the Gutenberg printing press, the first Siemens Dynamo engine, the bench that saw the first splitting of the atom and an 1886 model of the Mercedes Benz. Among the interactive exhibits for children are electricity displays that produce real lightning. English speaking guides are employed by the museum to take visitors around and explain the exhibits.

Why You Should Visit:
If you have any interest in science, nature, technology or why Germans are so good at engineering, this is the place to be.
Many many different things to see – some are getting dated, but there is still some plenty for everyone.
The mining section in the basement is worth the admission price alone.
The building itself is beautiful, the surroundings great to walk...
Rooftop view is another bonus looking over Munich's major architectures.

Don't wait in the long queue for tickets, buy them online and walk straight in.
If time is limited, plan well in advance your visit and the areas you are interested in – in the spot you may just be overwhelmed.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-5pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde (State Museum of Ethnology )

6) Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde (State Museum of Ethnology )

The Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde (State Museum of Ethnology) located on Maximilianstrasse in Munich displays non European folk art from around the world. It is the second largest museum in Germany.

The Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde is housed in a building that was originally intended for the Bavarian National Museum. It was designed by Eduard Riedel in the Perpendicular English Gothic architectural style and built between the years 1859 and 1865. The first exhibits were those collected by the Wittelsbach Royal family who ruled Bavaria for over 600 years. King Ludwig I purchased a large collection of objects from India and Oceania in 1830. From 1868, the exhibits were placed in the museum’s present facility. It covers an area of 12,000 square meters and the collection of over 200,000 objects is displayed in halls covering 4,500 square meters.

The first floor of the Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde has objects of cultural value and artifacts from the Islamic world, India, East Asia and Oceania. The vast collection of objects from Africa and the Americas are displayed in the 2nd floor. The oldest surviving North American kayaks are on display here. The museum also has its own restoration workshops, conference facilities and a popular museum cafe.

Operation Hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 9.30 am - 5.30 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Bayerisches Nationalmuseum (Bavarian National Museum)

7) 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
Deutsches Theatermuseum (German Theater Museum)

8) 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

Walking Tours in Munich, Germany

Create Your Own Walk in Munich

Create Your Own Walk in Munich

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 Km or 2.9 Miles
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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
Munich Introduction Walk II

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles
Altstadt Souvenir Shops

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles
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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

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