Marienplatz square is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful squares in Germany. It provides a setting for a number of major events and is the ideal starting point to explore the city. The square is dominated by the neo-Gothic New Town Hall with its magnificent facade and the sound of the charming carillon in the town hall tower.
Close by are some of Munich’s most fashionable shopping streets, markets and beer gardens, as well as the trio of famous city gates – Isartor, Sendlinger Tor and Karlstor.
Munich Art Quarter is a must for any art lover. It unites the three Pinakotheken galleries (Alte Pinakothek, Neue Pinakothek, Pinakothek der Moderne), together with the Brandhorst Museum, the Antiquities Collections, the Glyptothek museum of Greek and Roman sculptures and the Municipal Gallery in the Lenbachhaus.
The Alte Pinakothek is one of the world’s biggest and most important museums for art from the Middle Ages to the mid-18th century. The Neue Pinakothek features works from the 19th and early 20th centuries, while the Pinakothek der Moderne features collections of contemporary art of various genres.
Viktualienmarkt is the city’s famous food market with stalls for all the senses, from traditional Bavarian specialties to exotic delicacies.
The Hofbräuhaus beer hall
Originally a brewery, today Hofbräuhaus is an internationally acclaimed beer temple located in the old quarter of the city. Locals dressed in traditional costumes, drinking beer from the famous Mass, a one-litre tankard, and enjoying traditional hearty specialties, provide a truly unforgettable Bavarian experience. Hofbräuhaus is probably the largest beer hall in the world attending to some 30,000 guests daily.
Munich’s beer gardens, called Keller (cellars), are welcoming oases for people of all ages to gather and enjoy Germany’s fairly celebrated brews in summer.
In the early 19th century Bavarians were allowed to brew beer in winter only. To keep the beverage cool for sale in summer they used to store it in the cellars along the River Isar, in the shade of the chestnut and linden trees. These spots soon became popular among those who wanted to sample the drink before taking it home. In 1812 the Bavarian beer garden decree was passed, setting the tradition of selling beer and serving food from these places.
Today beer gardens offer a massive variety of hearty German food, while you still can bring your own picnic. Take a chance to savour a mug of delicious German beer to the cheerful sounds of the local oompah brass bands, or to the jeers of the football fans watching a match broadcast.
Some of the finest beer gardens in Munich include the Chinesischer Turm, Augustiner Keller, Hacker-Pschorr Bräuhaus, Paulaner am Nockherberg, and Löwenbräukeller.
The English Garden
Spreading over the territory of more than four square kilometres on the western banks of the river Isar, the English Garden is the city’s leisure retreat and one of the largest inner-city parks in the world. This delightful park holds a spellbinding appeal in summer, but is also charming in winter.
The whole of Munich meets here for walks and strolls or for a beer at the Chinese Tower, which is the main attraction of the park. You can also enjoy surfing on the Eisbach rapids or see a classical play at the little amphitheatre as well.
If you are a football fan, do not miss the chance to soak up the atmosphere at the awe-inspiring Allianz Arena. Whether it’s a Bundesliga thriller, Champions League battle or an international game, any match held in this masterpiece by Swiss architects Herzog and De Meuron is sure to be a memorable experience.
It is a perfect place to enjoy the deafening chants and goosebumps along with 69,900 other spectators. Guided tours offer a behind-the-scenes insight into one of Europe’s most modern and beautiful stadiums.