Munich Walking Tour
Being born and raised in Munich might make me a little biased, but I love this city and (for me) it’s the most beautiful place in the world. That being said, I thought I’d share my favorite spots in the center that you can explore via walking or using public transportation. Friendly warning: if you are into big skyscrapers you might be disappointed; with 109 m the “Frauenkirche” is the highest building in Munich’s center. Many people might ask why, since Munich is a modern city; the reason is a law, that doesn’t allow new buildings being built higher than 100m in the inner city. This gives Munich its characteristic skyline, which can’t be compared to other big Metropolises.
This following walking tour is a suggestion, the different spots can also be visited in another order or you can skip one and do another. We will start the tour in the heart of Munich, the Marienplatz. You can reach Marienplatz via all trains (plus U-Bahn U3 and 6) and it’s only two stops from Central Station. The moment you step outside the train station you will find yourself in the middle of the big square, which has been the main square since 1158. There are several touristic spots right here, first up are the old and the new townhall. The old townhall was used for governmental purposes until 1874 until the new townhall in the middle of the square was opened. Nowadays it is mainly used for official and private events. If you are traveling with kids, you might be interested in going to the toy museum located in the old townhall. The new townhall was finished in 1909 and is home to the city council as well as the mayor of Munich. The most famous thing about the new townhall is the “Glockenspiel”: every day at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. it chimes and shows the “Schäfflertanz” (cooper’s dance). If you want to see it, make sure to be there early, since the square is always crowded with locals and tourist during these times, especially during the summer month.
The next stop will be the St. Peter’s church, or how locals call it “Alter Peter” (old Peter), you can just turn around the corner from the square (next to Hugendubel/Rindermarkt street). St. Peter is the oldest church in the district and you can walk up to the top of the tower for the most amazing view over the center. You will have to pay a 3 € fee and it takes 306 steps to the top. It is demanding BUT the view makes up for it. You will be able to walk a 360-degree platform and on good days, you will not only see the city center but also the alps.
After climbing down again, you can go around the church and will end up in the biggest food market in Munich, the famous Viktualienmarkt. The market dates back to 1807 and offers a variety of local and exotic food in over 140 stalls. If you are already thirsty, you can sit down in the beer garden and have a beer – they will serve a different Munich beer every day of the week. If you leave Viktualienmarkt towards Rosental street and turn left on Sendlinger street (after passing Konen store) you will walk towards Sendlinger Tor, which is one of the three remaining city gates (Isartor and Karlstor). Before you reach the gate, you will pass the Asam church St. Johann Nepomuk on your right-hand site. It might not seem much from the outside, but the inside is impressive. It is a baroque church dating back to 1746. Even though it is super small (22 by 8 m), the interior is well worth seeing.
You can either walk back to Marienplatz passing Rindermarkt (check out the fountain) or take the underground (U3 or 6). The next stop will be the famous “Frauenkirche” (official name is “Dom zu Unserer Lieben Frau” / “Cathedral of our dear lady”), which dates back to the 12th century. The best way to get there is to walk down Kaufinger street (towards Stachus) and turn right into Liebfrauen street. The two towers are a famous landmark in the Munich skyline. Normally you can climb up the south tower and get an amazing view over the center, but due to renovations it is closed as of now. Main parts of the church were destroyed during World War II, but a myth survived: the devil’ footstep. There are a few versions of the story, but they all come down to the fact, that if you stand where the devil stood, you can’t see any windows in the church. He was so furious about this, that he stamped his foot down and left. After the reconstructions there is a window above the alter – but the legend remains.
If you want to do some luxury shopping you can go left on Löwengrube and turn right on Hartmann street. On your way you will pass the Michael Jackson memorial at Promenadeplatz as well as on of the famous luxury hotels in Munich, the “Bayrischer Hof”. You can enter the shopping mall “Fünf Höfe” from there – if you want to get a healthy snack, I can recommend Dean & David. Fun Fact: the architectures that constructed the “Fünf Höfe”, also built the Allianz Arena. You can continue your luxury shopping tour outside of the “Fünf Höfe” on Theatiner street where you will find shops like Michael Kors, Burberry and GUESS. At the end of the shopping mile you will reach Odeonsplatz.
My favorite church, the Theatinerkirche is located right on that corner. The church was built in 1690 in honor of the birth of Max Emanuel, the heir to the Bavarian crown. The Italian high-baroque style makes the church unique. After major damage during the end of WW II it was soon rebuilt after 1945. The inside of the church is mainly white with many adornments. It is also the last resting place for several members of the Bavarian Royal Family. The famous Feldherrenhalle and the Munich Residence can also be found at Odeonsplatz. The Munich Residence was home of the Wittelsbacher monarchs and is the biggest city palace in Germany. If you have time, you can go inside and explore it. If you are overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle, just go across the square and into the “Hofgarten”, which dates back to 1617.
The last stop is probably the most famous restaurant in Munch: the Hofbräuhaus. I know, this is super touristic, but locals will also go there. The beer and the food are delicious, and the prices are reasonable. If you don’t want to sit with all the tourists, I suggest checking out the second floor or the beer garden during the summer. Also make sure to take a look at the “beer mug safe”: 616 regulars at the Hofbräuhaus have their own private mug, which they use whenever they are there. It is the greatest honor to own one of these spots – there are currently over 3.500 people waiting to get in.
If you haven’t had enough walking, or you’re in Munich the last weeks of September/first week of October, you might want to check out Theresienwiese. It’s where the Oktoberfest takes place – world’s biggest and most famous Volksfest. Locals call it “Wiesn”. If you are planning on visiting the Oktoberfest, make sure to check out my tips and tricks here. The Bavaria sand statue overlooks the whole square and is well worth a visit, even if you are there during the other months. Even though the Oktoberfest isn’t until mid of September, the built-up for the big beer houses starts mid of July. The following pictures will show you the progress end of August.
Of course, this tour will only show you a small part of Munich, but it covers most spots in the city center. I will upload another blog post about other places you need to see in Munich (e.g. Englischer Garten, Flaucher, Olympiapark, BMW Museum, etc.) – so stay tuned 😊 If you want to see, what awesome day trips are possible while staying in Munich, check out my blog post about Bavaria.
If you have any questions or feedback please comment down below or contact me, I’m always looking forward to hearing other people’s experiences or answer questions. If you want to see more pictures, please check out my Instagram Account as well.