5 Hot Spots You Must Check Out In Munich
May 27, 2017
Munich is the capital of the German state of Bavaria, and the third largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg. This city is home to many national and international authorities, major universities, majestic museums, and grand theatres. Its numerous architectural attractions, exhibitions, and annual Oktoberfest attract tourists from all over the world. Here are my top 5 recommendations if you are not sure what to do or see when you’re visiting Munich.
Rathaus-Glockenspiel at Marienplatz
Marienplatz, located at the heart of Munich, has been the city’s main square since 1158. It was named after the Mariensäule, a Marian column erected in its centre in 1638 to celebrate the end of Swedish occupation. Now, Marienplatz is dominated by the New City Hall (Neues Rathaus) on the North side, and the Rathaus-Glockenspiel in the tower of the new city hall draws large crowds of tourists every year.
Featuring 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures, the Rathaus-Glockenspiel chimes and re-enacts two stories from the 16th century at 11am and 12noon everyday. The top half of the Rathaus-Glockenspiel tells the story of the marriage of local Duke Wilhelm V to Renata of Lorraine. In honour of the happy couple, there is a joust with life-sized knights on horseback representing Bavaria (in white and blue) and Lothringen (in red and white).
The bottom half illustrates another story, titled, “Schäfflertanz (the Coopers’ dance)”. According to myth, 1517 was a year of plague in Munich. The Coopers are said to have danced through the streets to “bring fresh vitality to fearful dispositions”. They remained loyal to the Duke, and their dance came to symbolise perseverance and loyalty to authority through difficult times.
The entire show lasts around 12 to 15 minutes, depending on which tune is played on that particular day. A very small golden rooster at the top of the Rathaus-Glockenspiel chirps quietly three times, marking the end of the show. After witnessing this, you can eat and shop along the pedestrian zone between Karlsplatz and Marienplatz. This area is easily accessible by both S-Bahn and U-Bahn.
This 78 kilometres long network of paths is one of the largest urban parks in the world. It all began in 1789 when Elector Carl Theodor ordered that a public park be established along the Isar River. He put the project in the hands of Sir Benjamin Thompson, who worked for the Bavarian Army at that point of time. The park was given the name Englische Garten because it was laid out in the style of an English country park.
A Japanese teahouse was opened in 1972 on the Southern end of the park on an artificial island in the Schwabinger Bach (stream). Watch Japanese tea ceremonies being performed before enjoying a cup of tea on a relaxing afternoon. There are also many leisure time activities you can do here today.
Home to FC Bayern München, Allianz Arena is one of the finest football arena in the world. You’ll have to join the tour to get a behind-the-scenes insight into the stadium. You’ll also get to experience the atmosphere of the Allianz Arena from the perspective of a professional footballer in the players’ areas. After the tour, remember to visit the interactive FC Bayern Erlebniswelt at the Allianz Arena, and immerse yourselves in the fascinating history of FC Bayern München. At more than 3,000 square metres, it is Germany’s biggest club museum. Check out their website for more information on ticketing and opening hours.
Visiting this museum which features masterpieces of science and technology is a perfect wet-weather plan. Do set aside 3 to 4 hours as the museum possesses over 100 000 objects from the fields of science and technology, which extend from the Stone Age to the present time. The highlight of my visit was the planetarium.
The heart of the presentation is the true-to-nature projection of the night sky accompanied by interesting insights on astronomy. It is complemented by simulation software that permits real-time simulation of free movement through space: a flight from Earth to the outer boundaries of the observable universe. The digital projection on the dome will give visitors the sense of taking the journey themselves. Unfortunately, the shows are only in German language, and strictly no photography is allowed, so I’m unable to share much information with you.
Details on Deutsches Museum
Address: Museumsinsel 1, 80538 Munich, Germany
Contact: +49 (0)89 / 2179-333
Opening hours: 9am to 5pm daily
Pricing: Adults €11, Family €23 (up to 2 adults with their own children up to 15 years), Free Admission for children under 6 years old.
Königsplatz (King’s Square)
The Königsplatz, located in the Maxvorstadt, was commissioned by Ludwig I and connects the Munich Residence with the Nymphenburg Palace. It has been through a number of transitions since the idea for the square was devised in 1812. The Königsplatz was designed by Karl von Fischer in the style of classicism. The Acropolis of Athens is considered a model for the spatial concept of the Königsplatz.
The basic concept of the Königsplatz was later widely developed by Leo von Klenze. The architect designed the present Glytothek, whose collection of Greek and Roman sculptures remains faithful to the example of the ancient world. In addition, Leo von Klenze designed the Propylan that imitates the temple entrance to the Acropolis. Today, the Propylan is considered Munich’s last preserved building in the purely classical style. The buildings house collections of ancient Greek, Roman, and Etruscan statues, mosaics, and reliefs, as well as jewels and ceramics that trace back to the Wittelsbachs’ collection of antiquities.
If you are staying in Munich for a longer period of time, you can also consider visiting Castle Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castle, as well as, take a day trip to Garmisch-Partenkirchen for picturesque views of the snowy white mountains. Hope this article helps in planning your trip!