Shopping Tour (Self Guided), Munich

It is fair to say that Munich is a shopper’s delight with no shortage of department 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 Munich is the bargains you can get. German-style competition ensures that the prices are always reasonable. Take this self-guided walk for a chance to pick up your favorites from traditional German garments, beer mugs or local handicrafts as mementos from your visit to Munich.
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Shopping Tour Map

Guide Name: Shopping Tour
Guide Location: Germany » Munich (See other walking tours in Munich)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 4
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Author: clare
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Kaufingerstrasse/Neuhauserstrasse
  • Sendlinger Strasse
  • Viktualienmarkt
  • Maximilianstrasse

1) Kaufingerstrasse/Neuhauserstrasse (must see)

Bordering Marienplatz on the west is one of the oldest streets in Munich, the Kaufingerstraße. Its name is also considered to be the oldest street name in the city, and was probably taken after the patrician Chunradius Choufringer who owned a stately house in the area which was historically mentioned for the first time in a document dated 28 May 1239.

Kaufingerstraße is part of the large west-east axis of Munich's Old Town. At some point, it transforms into Neuhauser Straße, thus forming one huge thoroughfare. The latter is the first and the largest pedestrian zone in the historic part of Munich, and was established in 1972. It also is the top-selling shopping street in entire Germany.

The Neuhauser Straße itself has been in existence since at least 1293 (first documentary mention) and, from 1815 to 1828, was known as Karlstraße, and then renamed Neuhausergasse. The street was rebuilt in 1972 from a main traffic connection with two tram-rails into a pedestrian zone; the reason for that was the 1972 Summer Olympic Games expected to bring a huge influx of additional traffic. The name “Neuhauser” derives from the former village and today's Neuhausen district, where the road leads out of town.

During the Second World War, the fabric of Kaufingerstraße was largely destroyed. During the 1990s and the following years, all the 1950s' and 1960s' constructions were replaced with postmodern architecture.

Today, the Kaufingerstraße/Neuhauser Straße is home to many shops and restaurants. Top international retailers, such as Zara, H&M, C&A, Mango, Karstadt, Kaufhof, Zero and others, have set up their presence here to keep company for the numerous streetside vendors who sell flowers, fruits, vegetables, roasted nuts, and souvenirs. Also adding to the area's appeal are the multiple outdoor cafes offering comfortable respite from a shopping spree with a chance to sit, drink or have a bite, or just to watch people or admire the surrounding architectural splendor.

If you're in the city center but want to shop away from the mainstream stores, consider Sendlinger Straße as a good alternative.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Sendlinger Strasse

2) Sendlinger Strasse

Clearly one of the most typical, as well as one of the oldest and most important shopping districts of Munich, the small street of Sendlinger extends from Marienplatz to the medieval Sendlinger Tor city gate in the south of Aldstat (The Old Town). The street was named after its original destination, Sendling, the first place in the 14th century, after the Sendlinger Gate, outside of Munich's city walls, to which it had led.

In the post-war period, the Munich red light milieu, which had already migrated a while back, was found here. Over the years the sidewalks of Sendlinger Strasse have increasingly widened and the roadway for vehicles correspondingly narrowed. In 2009, the city council of Munich decided to make a section of about 120 meters between Hackenstrasse and Färbergraben a pedestrian zone.

As more and more of Sendlinger Street is being converted to pedestrian zone, it becomes more of a shopping pleasure, abundant in small stores selling antiques, handicrafts, books and jewelry – an ideal place to go if you are looking for an unusual gift or arty poster. Most of these shops are family-run businesses that have survived for generations. In order to expand the range of shops, courtyards have been developed, such as the "Asam Hof" next to the Asamkirche or the "Hofstatt" on the former site of the Süddeutscher Verlag.

Adding to the ample shopping opportunities in Sendlinger are plentiful little cafés and restaurants where you can sit down, relax, and enjoy the evening.
Sight description based on wikipedia

3) Viktualienmarkt (must see)

Lying just a few meters away from Marienplatz, Viktualienmarkt is an open-air daily farmers' market.

The very first centralized marketplace in Munich was Marienplatz. As the city grew richer and expanded, the square proved too small for the growing shopping demand. In the early 19th century, King Maximilian of Bavaria decided to demolish the nearby Heiliggeist charitable hospital to clear space for the market. At that time the square was called Marktplatz. The name was later changed to Viktualienmarkt, with “Viktuel” being the Latin word for food. With this came new halls and separate pavilions for fish, fowl, meat and bakery items.

The World War II bombings almost completely destroyed the market. Rebuilt after the war, it had the fountains and decorative elements added to make it more attractive. Presently, Viktualienmarkt comprises 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. As of 1975, it has been a pedestrian zone and a popular gathering spot for locals and visitors.

The Beer Garden in the center of the market is a nice place for a break under the shade of chestnut trees. The place can sit up to a 1,000 people at a time and offers sumptuous Bavarian specialties, like the potato salad, pork roast and homemade cheese in abundance, in addition to good Bavarian beer, of course. The place is open from 9am to 10pm in the summer, and from 9am to 6pm in the winter, staying closed on Sundays and holidays.
Sight description based on wikipedia

4) Maximilianstrasse

Maximilianstraße is one of Munich's four royal avenues, along with Brienner Straße, Ludwigstraße and Prinzregentenstraße. It starts at Max-Joseph-Platz, home to the Residenz and the National Theatre, and runs east-west.

The street was planned and begun in 1850 by King Maximilian II of Bavaria, after whom it takes the name and whose statue, the Maxmonument, sculpted by Kaspar von Zumbusch in 1875, is found in the the eastern part of the avenue. Another “Maximilian” thing is the Maximiliansbridge with the statue of Pallas Athene, built in 1857-1863, as an extension of Maximilianstraße to the Maximilianeum.

With this project, the king aimed at "inventing" a new architectural style which would combine the best features of historical models with the then latest construction technologies. The avenue is framed by mostly Neo-Gothic buildings influenced by the English Perpendicular style.

In line with the concept, north facade of the Old Mint Yard, facing the National Theatre, got its Neo-Gothic appearance. Other notable sites along the street include the Schauspielhaus (1901), the Upper Bavaria district administration (1856–1864), the Museum Fünf Kontinente (Museum of Ethnology, 1858–1865), and the Wilhelmsgymnasium (1875–1877).

The western portion of Maximilianstraße is devoted to shopping and high living, packed to the brim with galleries, designer shops, luxury boutiques, jewellery stores, and one of Munich's foremost five-star hotels, the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten (Kempinski, built by Rudolf Gottgetreu, 1856–1858). Famous brands like Gucci, Bulgari, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Chanel, Versace and other big names have established their presence here, increasingly ousting the traditional shops, art galleries and restaurants. Today, Maximilianstraße has the distinction of the highest retail rents in Germany.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Munich, Germany

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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.
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Old Town Souvenir Shops

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Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles
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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles

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