Munich, Germany

München Altstadt (Old Town Munich) is only 1.25 square miles, making it easy to explore on foot. This Munich travel guide begins at Marienplatz in front of the New Town Hall. From this epicenter, you can meander in any direction and remain enchanted. But following this walking tour ensures you see most of the city’s highlights.

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Accolades for Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

1 Accolades for Munich, Germany

München is typically named among the top five most livable cities in Europe and the world. The 1.5 million residents can recite endless reasons for this distinction. Among the accolades are the quality of education, culture, business, employment, sports, technology, entertainment and beer. Tourists are equally thrilled while visiting Bavaria’s capital city, especially in Old Town (Altstadt). Start your exploration by admiring New Town Hall at St. Mary’s Square. Along the 328 foot, Gothic façade are statues of almost every Bavarian ruler from the House of Wittelsbach since the dynasty began in the 11th century. Wunderbar!

Marienplatz 8, 80331 München, Germany
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New Town Hall Tower in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

2 New Town Hall Tower in Munich, Germany

New Town Hall is a great example of architectural pageantry. The offices for the city council, mayor and municipal agencies began in 1867. Construction of Neues Rathaus was not finished until 1906. The standout feature is Rathausturm. Inside of the 279 foot clock tower are 43 bells, the largest carillon in Germany. At 9:00 p.m. every night, they play Johannes Brahms’ Opus 49, Number 4, better known as “Lullaby.” Don’t miss the opportunity to take an elevator to the observation platform for panoramic views of Old Town.

Marienplatz 8, 80331 München, Germany
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New Town Hall Glockenspiel in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

3 New Town Hall Glockenspiel in Munich, Germany

The year is 1568. You are invited to the wedding of William V, Duke of Bavaria, and Renata of Lorraine. Join the crowd of tourists who gather below the New Town Hall tower twice a day (three times daily in the summer). As music rings out from the belfry, 32 life-size figures begin encircling the newlyweds. Among the celebrators are jousting knights, trumpeters, jesters and members of the royal court. The second act of the glockenspiel portrays barrel makers (schäefflers) performing the shepherd’s dance (schäfflertanz). In 1517, these guild members danced to signal the end of the plague. The must-see show lasts about 12 minutes.

Marienplatz 8, 80331 München, Germany
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Ratskeller below New Town Hall in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

4 Ratskeller below New Town Hall in Munich, Germany

The word ratskeller means a bar in the cellar of a town hall (rathaus). The oldest was established in 1405 at Bremen, Germany. In contrast, Ratskeller München opened in the basement of New Town Hall in 1874. In addition to wine, spirits and of course beer, there is a menu filled with Bavarian dishes. While eating and drinking, admire the wall paintings of Heinrich Schlitt. They include a humorous depiction of beer and wine in battle.

Marienplatz 8, 80331 München, Germany
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State Court inside New Town Hall in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

5 State Court inside New Town Hall in Munich, Germany

There are six courtyards inside of New Town Hall. The largest is Der Prunkhof. The State Court is an ideal place for lunch, dinner or just a beer especially during a warm sunny day. Service is provided by Ratskeller München. In the winter, this is the scene of the Bavarian Christmas Nativity. The 33 figures and 28 animals were carved by Reinhold Zellner in 1954. Even more impressive is the 100 foot Christmas tree towering over 150 holiday vendors at Christkindlmarkt (Christmas Market) in front of New Town Hall.

Marienplatz 8, 80331 München, Germany
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6 Spiral Staircase inside New Town Hall in Munich, Germany

The architectural highlight of New Town Hall’s State Court (Prunkhof) is this ornate Gothic tower. The spiral staircase is called Treppe der Lebensalter (Stairs of the Ages). The sculptures portray the aging of both a man and a woman from childhood to old age. You will also admire the amusing faces of the gargoyles protruding from every level.

Marienplatz 8, 80331 München, Germany
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Mary’s Column at Marienplatz in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

7 Mary’s Column at Marienplatz in Munich, Germany

New Town Hall visually monopolizes Marienplatz. St. Mary’s Square has been the center of Munich since the mid-12th century. The large plaza is named after Mariensäule. The Marian column was erected in 1638 to celebrate Munich being spared during the Thirty Years’ War. The gilded statue of the Virgin Mary was sculpted by Hubert Gerhard in 1593. Maria stands on a crescent moon with a scepter in one hand and the Baby Jesus in the other. She is called Patrona Bavariae, meaning the Patroness of Bavaria. This recognition was confirmed by Pope Benedict XV in 1916.

Marienplatz 22, 80331 München, Germany
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8 Base of Mary’s Column at Marienplatz in Munich, Germany

The base of Mary’s Column at Marienplatz is equally interesting. In each corner is an armed and winged putto (cherub). Each one is battling a different beast. The creatures represent severe hardships overcome during Munich’s history. The mythological basilisk in the foreground represents pestilence, especially the bubonic plague. In back is a lion symbolizing war. Not shown are a dragon (famine) and a serpent (heresy). Are you ready to start exploring Old Town? Lace up your walking shoes and let’s head north.

Marienplatz 22, 80331 München, Germany
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Lesmueller Haus Bas-relief in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

9 Lesmueller Haus Bas-relief in Munich, Germany

Johann Gregor Lesmüller opened the Engel pharmacy in 1818. The business remained in the family until sold in 1917 by his son, Max Lesmüller. The Lesmueller Haus building still displays the original gilded bas-relief of an angel holding the Rod of Asclepius. The staff with a single, intertwined serpent was carried by the Greek god of healing and medicine. Engel Apotheke is still operational.

Theatinerstraße 45, 80333 München, Germany
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National Theatre in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

10 National Theatre in Munich, Germany

The National Theatre is always named among the best opera houses in Europe. The 27,000 square foot stage ranks as the third largest in the world. This is home to three performing arts companies: the Bavarian State Opera, Orchestra and Ballet. The first rendition of Nationaltheater was commissioned by Maximilian I Joseph in 1810. A statue of the former king of Bavaria is on the left. After destroyed by fire in 1823, a replacement was built in 1825 yet demolished in an air raid in 1943. The current Bavarian State Opera opened in 1963.

Max-Joseph-Platz 2, 80539 München, Germany
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King Maximilian I Joseph Monument in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

11 King Maximilian I Joseph Monument in Munich, Germany

The centerpiece of Max-Joseph-Platz is a large bronze sculpture of the square’s namesake: Maximilian I Joseph. The former king of Bavaria (reign 1806 to 1825) is portrayed waving to a crowd while sitting on a throne holding a scepter. Equally impressive are the bas-reliefs decorating the monument’s pedestal. Four of the panels are allegories for astronomy, law plus agriculture, the constitution and Christianity. Below them are four giant lions. In the center of this pair is a female figure named Felicitas Publica. The monument was created by Christian Rauch and Leo von Klenze. It was erected in 1835, a decade after the king’s death.

Max-Joseph-Platz, 80539 München, Germany
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12 Upscale Shopping District in Munich, Germany

Defining two edges of Max-Joseph-Platz are streets named Residenzstraße and Maximilianstraße. This is the epicenter for upscale shopping including designer boutiques, jewelry stores and worldwide luxury brands. A block away is the pedestrian-only Theatinerstraße filled with more retailers of every description, especially clothing stores.

Residenzstraße 14-15, 80333 München, Germany
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Preysing Palais in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

13 Preysing Palais in Munich, Germany

Preysing Palais was built in 1728 for Johann Maximilian, a Count of Preysing. The Preysing family lived here and another nearby palace for generations. The Counts of Preysing had a huge impact on Munich’s social and political culture. The former mansion’s facade displays a Rococo design characterized by elaborate ornamentation crafted from stucco. This late-Baroque style was soon imitated by numerous structures in Old Town Munich. Preysing Place is equally impressive inside, especially the grand staircase supported by caryatids (columns resembling women).

Residenzstraße 27, 80333 München, Germany
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14 Feldherrnhalle in Munich, Germany

Attached to Preysing Palais is Feldherrnhalle. This tribute to the Bavarian Army was built in 1844 and paid for by Ludwig I, the king of Bavaria (reign 1825 to 1848). The loggia (covered corridor) is supported by five grand arches. The handsome structure resembles Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence. In the middle is a statuary remembering German’s victory in the Franco-Prussian War (1870 – 1871). Flanking the sides are two additional bronze sculptures. Shown here is Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly, a field marshal in the Thirty Years’ War (1618 – 1648). The other portrays Karl Philipp von Wrede. During his military career (1793 – 1838), the general initially led troops in alliance with Napoleon then switch sides while commanding Bavarian armies. Field Marshals’ Hall faces Odeonsplatz. Since the early 19th century, this large square has been a popular scene of parades and civil gatherings.

Residenzstraße 1, 80333 München, Germany
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Hitler’s Attempted Coup at Odeonsplatz in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

15 Hitler’s Attempted Coup at Odeonsplatz in Munich, Germany

On the left is one of two lions sculpted from marble by Wilhelm von Rümann at the front of Feldherrnhalle. In the background is Theatine Church of St. Cajetan. This spot has historic significance. On November 9, 1923, Adolf Hitler (then 34 years old) led nearly 3,000 members of the embryonic Nazi Party in an attempted coup against the Bavarian state. Hermann Göring was wounded and Hitler was arrested for high treason. The event became known as the Beer Hall Putsch. A decade later, when the pair became the most powerful men in Germany, Hitler required anyone walking by Odeonsplatz to give a Nazi salute (Deutsche Gruß). SS guards relentlessly enforced the policy.

Residenzstraße 1, 80333 München, Germany
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Theatine Church of St. Cajetan in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

16 Theatine Church of St. Cajetan in Munich, Germany

Mustered yellow is an unusual color for a church. Yet, it creates a stunning effect on the Rococo façade of the Theatine Church of St. Cajetan. Saint Cajetan was an Italian Catholic priest (1480 – 1547). In 1524, he co-founded the Theatines, a religious order devoted to the practice of virtue. Construction of the Roman Catholic church began in 1663. The project was not finished until 1768. The twin towers stand a majestic 233 feet.

Salvatorplatz 2A, 80333 München, Germany
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Internal Dome of Theatine Church in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

17 Internal Dome of Theatine Church in Munich, Germany

The dome atop Theatine Church of St. Cajetan measures 58 feet in diameter. It is difficult to see when standing in Odeonsplatz. The best way to appreciate this architectural work of art is by stepping inside Theatinerkirche St. Kajetan. Among the famous people interred at Theatine Church are King Maximilian I Joseph plus Maximilian II and III, Holy Roman Emperor Charles VII, and several Bavarian princes, princesses and duchesses.

Salvatorplatz 2A, 80333 München, Germany
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18 Residenz Royal Palace in Munich, Germany

The House of Wittelsbachhe was a dynasty that ruled Bavaria (plus occasionally other European countries) from the 11th century until 1918 when Ludwig III was deposed as the king of Bavaria at the end of World War I. The first building on this site was built in 1385. The complex evolved through the mid-19th century. At the peak, the Residenz Royal Palace contained 130 rooms within several wings plus ten courtyards. This 820 foot structure is Festsaalbau (Banqueting Hall). It was commissioned by King Ludwig I and finished in 1842. Inside were the throne room, reception halls, a concert venue and an elaborate theatre. Today, Munich Residenz functions as a museum. Highlights of your tour will be the royal apartments, the Cuvilliés Theatre and the Treasury containing centuries of family jewels and collectables.

Residenzstraße 1, 80333 München, Germany
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Hofgarten at Residenz Royal Palace in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

19 Hofgarten at Residenz Royal Palace in Munich, Germany

On the north side of the Residenz Royal Palace facing Festsaalbau is Hofgarten. Court Garden was commissioned by Maximilian I, the Elector of Bavaria from 1597 until 1623. The octagonal pavilion was designed by Heinrich Schön the Elder and constructed in 1615. It is dedicated to Diana, the Roman virgin goddess of hunting, fertility and protector of childbirth. On top is a replica of the Tellus Bavaria statue. The allegory represents Bavaria. The original bronze was sculpted in 1594 by Hubert Gerhard. Hofgarten is a superb place to relax among blooming flowers.

Hofgartenstraße 6, 80538 München, Germany
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Bavarian State Chancellery Building in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

20 Bavarian State Chancellery Building in Munich, Germany

Defining the western edge of Hofgarten is the Bavarian State Chancellery Building. Inside of Bayerische Staatskanzlei are the agencies and the chancellery staff serving the Minister-President of the Free State of Bavaria. The High Renaissance design by architect Ludwig Mellinger features a 171 foot copper dome. The two glass wings resemble greenhouses. The equestrian statue is a memorial to Otto I, Duke of Bavaria. Redhead established the House of Wittelsbach in the 11th century. This family dynasty of Bavarian rulers lasted over 850 years.

Franz-Josef-Strauß-Ring 1, 80539 München, Germany
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21 Eisbach Waterfall in English Garden in Munich, Germany

English Garden is a long, rectangular park measuring 910 acres. It was Europe’s first public garden when established in 1789 and ranks as one of biggest urban parks in the world. Attractions include a Japanese teahouse, urban surfing, nude sunbathing, about 50 miles of paths, 50 species of birds and a beer garden capable of seating seven thousand suds sippers. The Schwabinger Bach stream meanders through Englischer Garten. This tranquil scene is the manmade Eisbach Waterfall.

Schwabinger Bach, Englischer Garten, 80538 München, Germany
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Bavarian National Museum in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

22 Bavarian National Museum in Munich, Germany

40 rooms are required inside of the Bavarian National Museum to display an extensive collection of decorative arts dating back two thousand years. The major genres represented include Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo and Art Nouveau. Among the eclectic items are sculptures, jewelry, tapestries, textiles, musical instruments, paintings, porcelain, furniture and Nativity figures. Many of the pieces exhibited by Bayerischen Nationalmuseum were owned by family dynasties such as the Houses of Wittelsbach (Bavaria) and Medici (Italy).

Prinzregentenstraße, 80538 München, Germany
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23 Upper Bavarian Government Building in Munich, Germany

King Maximilian II of Bavaria (reign 1848 to 1864) commissioned Friedrich Burklein to design a sophisticated structure to house the Upper Bavarian government. Gebäude Regierung von Oberbayern was completed in 1864. It was rebuilt after sustaining considerable damage during World War II. The terracotta clad building stretches 180 feet along Maximilianstraße. This is one of four royal avenues in Munich. You will admire several other buildings on this street with the impressive Perpendicular (English Gothic) architectural design.

Maximilianstraße 39, 80538 München, Germany
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Five Continents Museum in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

24 Five Continents Museum in Munich, Germany

If the evolution of cultures and societies fascinate you, then you will want to visit Museum Fünf Kontinente. The 200,000 item collection at the Five Continents Museum contains artifacts and photos portraying people from Europe, Oceania, Asia, Africa and the Americas. The ethnological museum displays the cultural diversity of the past as a window to linking the world in the future.

Maximilianstraße 42, 80538 München, Germany
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Maximilian Bridge in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

25 Maximilian Bridge in Munich, Germany

Continue walking west on Maximilianstraße for a couple of blocks until reaching Maximilian Bridge, named after Bavarian king Maximilian II. It is one of several bridges spanning the Isar River. Maximiliansbrücke also provides access to the narrow Prater Island (Praterinsel). Fans of Greek mythology will enjoy the Athena Pallas statue by Franz Drexler. The goddess of wisdom and war is depicted wearing a helmet with a Gorgoneion on her chest. She is holding Nike, the goddess of victory.

Maximiliansbrücke, 81675 München, Germany
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26 St. Luke’s Church in Munich, Germany

The profile of St. Luke’s Church on the east bank of the Isar River is spectacular. The Protestant church was finished in 1896. Most impressive is the pair of towers complimenting the 210 foot high dome. Below Lukaskirche in this photo is the 558 foot long Wehrsteg on Prater Island (Praterinsel). The footbridge crosses a weir used to regulate water flow between two river channels, the Great and Small Isar River.

Mariannenplatz 3, 80538 München, Germany
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27 Indoor Public Bathhouse in Munich, Germany

During the summer, many locals sunbath on beaches along the Isar River and go for a quick dip (often a skinny dip) to cool off. An attractive alternative is below this Art Nouveau clock tower. Müllersche Volksbad is a public bathhouse. The primary features beneath a vaulted ceiling are a 100 foot pool and a smaller one, Finnish saunas, a fitness center and a Roman steam bath. They are encircled by Baroque ornamentation including murals and statues.

Rosenheimer Str. 1, 81667 München, Germany
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German Museum in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

28 German Museum in Munich, Germany

Join the 1.5 million annual visitors who are thrilled and educated while touring the largest science and technology museum in the world. The German Museum processes over 100,000 items representing 50 scientific specialties. About 28,000 objects are on display. There is also an extensive library containing 850,000 books and documents. The Deutsches Museum complex is located on Museum Island (Museumsinsel). During the Middle Ages, this stretch of river gravel was called Coal Island. The 21.25 acre wedge is flanked by two river flows, the Great Isar and the Kleine Isar.

Museumsinsel 1, 80538 München, Germany
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29 Isar Gate in Munich, Germany

During the Middle Ages, European cities were commonly encircled by high walls. Munich was no exception. The first wall was constructed in 1175 by Henry the Lion, Duke of Bavaria (1156 to 1180). When the defense became inadequate, new walls were built from 1285 through 1347. They were significantly fortified during the early 17th century. By the 18th century, the walls had outlived their value and were torn down. Fortunately, three of the original eight tors (German for gates) were spared. One of them is Isar, named after the river. Isartor was built in 1337 and has been restored a couple of times. The orange glow on the central tower of Isartor is curtesy of the setting sun.

Tal 50, 80331 München, Germany
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Old Town Hall in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

30 Old Town Hall in Munich, Germany

A version of Munich’s Town Hall has anchored the east corner of Marienplatz since the early 14th century. This was also the site of a 184 foot city gate tower named Talburgtor. They were destroyed twice: once by lightening in 1460 and again during World War II. This reconstruction of Altes Rathaus dates from 1972. In the background is the 1730 clock tower of Heiliggeistkirche. Let’s take a closer look at the Church of the Holy Spirit.

Marienplatz 15, 80331 München, Germany
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Church of the Holy Spirit in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

31 Church of the Holy Spirit in Munich, Germany

You are standing near the site of a 13th century Heiliggeist hospital and pilgrim’s hospice (they were torn down in 1806). The original attached church was replaced in the 1392, then significantly refurbished in the 1720s and repaired after WWII. The Church of the Holy Spirit is still impressive 300 years later. If you like the Neo-Baroque façade of Heiliggeistkirche, you will be engrossed with the Gothic interior. Especially interesting is the early 18th century high altar and the Rococo frescos accenting the nave ceiling. They were painted in 1720 by the Asam brothers.

Prälat-Miller-Weg 1, 80331 München, Germany
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St. Peter’s Church in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

32 St. Peter’s Church in Munich, Germany

Across from the Church of the Holy Spirit is another stunning clock tower you can’t miss seeing. The spire of St. Peter’s Church rises nearly 300 feet. Near the top is a great observation deck. Old Pete was consecrated in 1368. This qualifies Peterskirche as Munich’s oldest church. An earlier church occupied this site in 1158 constructed by Benedictine monks. They were granted permission to live here by Henry III. Henry the Lion was duke of Bavaria from 1156 – 1180. The monastery evolved into today’s Munich.

Rindermarkt 1, 80331 München, Germany
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33 Viktualienmarkt in Munich, Germany

Between the historic churches (St. Peter’s is on the left) and in the shadows of Old Town Hall (center) is Viktualienmarkt. Since the food market was established in 1897, Victuals Market has swelled to 2.3 acres. This is where locals come to purchase their fresh produce, fish, meat, bakery items and flowers. There are also many gourmet items to tempt your tastebuds. Your mouth will water as you inspect the offerings at over 140 stalls. This is paradise for foodies.

Viktualienmarkt 4, 80331 München, Germany
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Oompah Band Playing at Hofbräuhaus in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

34 Oompah Band Playing at Hofbräuhaus in Munich, Germany

William V, Duke of Bavaria (1579 – 1597) loved beer but hated the options in Munich. So, he commissioned a royal brewery in 1589. This was the founding of Hofbräu München. HB is now a state-owned brewery. The former brewery site is Hofbräuhaus am Platzl, the city’s most popular beer hall. This is an iconic German experience. The food is great, the beer is cold and the oompah band playing Bavarian tunes will keep your toes tapping and hands clapping.

Platzl 9, 80331 München, Germany
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Old Court in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

35 Old Court in Munich, Germany

Earlier you toured Munich Residenz. That palatial estate was initially called Neuveste (New Fortress) because it was designed to replace Alter Hof (Old Court) shown here. This was the imperial palace of the House of Wittelsbach lineage from the mid-13th century until the 15th century. Their 15th century coat of arms is on the left. One of the most famous residents was Holy Roman Emperor Louis IV (reign 1328-1347). After the Dukes of Bavaria moved to Munich Residenz in the 16th century, Alter Hof became government offices. The tower is the Burgstock Wing.

Alter Hof 2, 80331 München, Germany
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Outdoor Cafes on Frauenplatz in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

36 Outdoor Cafes on Frauenplatz in Munich, Germany

A charming aspect of Munich during warm days are the abundance of cafes, restaurants and bars offering sidewalk seating. The food and drinks are as delightful as the ambiance. These folks are socializing on Frauenplatz, a narrow street named after the late-15th century landmark in the background. Frauenkirche is the Catholic cathedral for the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising. The twin brick towers rise an impressive 325 feet. Inside each belfry are ten bells. The largest in the north tower was cast in 1490. Susanna weighs over 8.8 tons. After your lunch and beer, make time to walk inside the Cathedral of Our Dear Lady.

Frauenplatz 12, 80331 München, Germany
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Pedestrian Shopping on Kaufingerstrasse in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

37 Pedestrian Shopping on Kaufingerstrasse in Munich, Germany

A few steps from Frauenkirche is Kaufingerstrasse, a pedestrian-only shopping street. With foot traffic of over 13,000 people per hour, it is among the busiest retail districts in Germany. Meandering through the crowd while window shopping can be challenging. But take a moment to look up at Hirmer façade to admire the sculptures by Julius Seidler. The men’s apparel conglomerate headquarters are inside this 1914 building named Zum Schönen Turm. The Beautiful Tower refers to Munich’s oldest gate tower built here in 1157 and torn down 650 years later.

Kaufingerstraße 28, 80331 München, Germany
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Stachus Square in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

38 Stachus Square in Munich, Germany

Officially, you are standing in Karlsplatz but everyone calls this pedestrian square Stachus. From 1301 until 1791, Neuhauser Tor was the western entrance into the walled-in city. Only a fraction of Karlstor gate remains today. It is located around the corner from Gloria Palast seen here. This historic cinema house was founded by Ilse “Kuba” Kubaschewski. From 1949 through 1974, she was a German movie mogul. Among her cinema credits was The Trapp Family in 1956, the same year Gloria-Palast am Stachus opened.

Karlspl. 5, 80335 München, Germany
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39 Palace of Justice in Munich, Germany

On the west side of Stachus Square is the Palace of Justice. The magnificent structure is 453 feet long and crowned with a glass dome rising 200 feet. The Neo-Baroque design by architect Friedrich von Thiersch opened in 1897. The interior of Justizpalast is equally impressive, especially the grand staircase. Admission is free.

Prielmayerstraße 7, 80335 München, Germany
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40 Former Stock Exchange Building in Munich, Germany

The plaque above the doorway of this Wilhelminism Era building hints of the past. This was a branch of Deutsche Bank – one of today’s top twenty banks in the world – when it opened in 1898. From 1963 until 2007, the property became home to Munich’s stock exchange. Börse München was established in 1830.

Lenbachpl. 2, 80333 München, Germany
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41 Künstlerhaus in Munich, Germany

During the second half of the 19th century, Munich’s population swelled five times – from 100,000 to a half million people – while the city’s reputation as a cultural center grew across Europe. This boom in architecture, music, literature and the arts sparked the idea to create a center devoted to artists. Münchner Künstlerhaus opened in 1900. The ballroom became the venue for elaborate social events while the library and meeting rooms catered to gatherings, performances and exhibits among artists of every genre. The success of Künstlerhaus ebbed and flowed for the next century. In 2001, a foundation took control with the goal of reestablishing the original mission. They routinely sponsor concerts, readings, performances and art exhibits. Above the entrance is a centaur statue. The half-man, half-horse creature is from Greek mythology.

Lenbachpl. 8, 80333 München, Germany
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Bernheimer Palace in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

42 Bernheimer Palace in Munich, Germany

Earlier you admired the Palace of Justice. Another handsome design of prolific architect Friedrich von Thiersch is located at Lenbachplatz. Bernheimer-Haus was commissioned toward the end of the 19th century by Lehmann Bernheimer. He was a prominent merchant of high-end textiles, tapestries, carpets and antiques plus a regular supplier to the House of Wittelsbach rulers. Except for during World War II, the family business continued to operate inside Bernheimer Palace until 1987. The cultural heritage building now has commercial and residential space.

Lenbachpl. 3, 80333 München, Germany
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Wittelsbacher Fountain in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

43 Wittelsbacher Fountain in Munich, Germany

The east end of Lenbachplatz is defined by Wittelsbacher Fountain. Wittelsbacherbrunnen was created in 1895 by sculptors Adolf von Hildebrand and Erwin Kurz. Of particular interest are the two allegorical marble statues. On the left is a man riding a horse with a fish tail. The rock he is about to throw represents the damaging power of water. On the right is an Amazon riding a sea bull. She represents the positive attributes of water. The trees in the background mark the beginning of Maximilian Square. The rectangular park offers a respite during an active day of sightseeing.

Lenbachpl., 80333 München, Germany
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Neuhaus-Preysing Palace in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

44 Neuhaus-Preysing Palace in Munich, Germany

If the Rococo style façade of this bank seems similar to Preysing Palace you visited earlier, you have a keen eye for architecture. Preysing Palace attached to Feldherrnhalle was built in 1728. This Neuhaus-Preysing Palace was constructed in 1740. The former aristocratic residence of the Von Neuhaus family was slated to become a hotel by 2023.

Prannerstraße 2, 80333 München, Germany
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Kardinal Faulhaber-Strasse in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

45 Kardinal Faulhaber-Strasse in Munich, Germany

Kardinal Faulhaber-Strasse is only 600 feet long. Yet, in the 17th and 18th centuries, this street was lined with palaces (grandiose mansions) of counts and countesses. During the 19th century, major banks were added. This is the façade of the former Bayerische Hypotheken- und Wechselbank. Hypobank was the Bavarian central bank. Admire the sculptures of Hugo Kaufmann. Between the Wittelsbach shield above the door is a caryatid (left) and an atlas (right). Perched above the pediment wearing winged shoes and a winged hat is Mercury, the Roman god of financial gain. Presumably, beside him is Ceres, the goddess of agriculture.

Kardinal-Faulhaber-Straße 10, 80333 München, Germany
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BMW Welt in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

46 BMW Welt in Munich, Germany

Karl Rapp founded Rapp Motorenwerke GmbH in 1912 to produce aircraft. The company became Bayerische Motoren Werke (Bavarian Motor Works) in 1922. A year later, they created their first motorcycle. The initial car was manufactured in 1928. Since then, BMW has evolved into an international brand for luxury vehicles. BMW is headquartered in Munich and is the city’s largest employer with 35,500 people. Adjacent to their office building and factory is the BMW Welt. This futuristic showroom exhibits all current BMW models plus Rolls-Royces and Minis. The BMW Welt attracts about three million visitors a year.

Am Olympiapark 1, 80809 München, Germany
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BMW Museum in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

47 BMW Museum in Munich, Germany

Admission to BMW Welt is free yet there is a fee for the BMW Museum. The tour is worth the price regardless of your auto preference. The reimagined museum contains nearly 54,000 square feet of exciting exhibition space within a stylized building the locals call the Salad Bowl. The 120 displays showcase the history of BMW’s superior engineering. Exhibited are gleaming and often classic cars, motorcycles and aircraft.

Am Olympiapark 2, 80809 München, Germany
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Tierpark Hellabrunn Zoo in Munich, Germany - Encircle Photos

48 Tierpark Hellabrunn Zoo in Munich, Germany

Tierpark Hellabrunn is one of Europe’s foremost zoos. There are approximately 19,000 animals representing 775 species on the 99 acre property. Unlike typical zoos, most of the animals are not caged. They roam on natural habitat arranged by their native geography across seven continents (called a Geo-zoo). The Asian elephants are especially popular. The Elephant House (Elefantenhaus) was constructed in 1914, three years after the zoo opened. Hellabrunn also has active conservation and breeding programs, especially among endangered species.

Tierparkstraße 30, 81543 München, Germany
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