Munich is one of the country’s sixteen federal states and the capital city of Bavaria. Situated on the banks of River Isar in southern Germany, it is home to about 1.5 million people.
It has been said that “to live well” means living close to Munich because there are many cultural landmarks here, including museums, libraries, and theaters which make for an interesting place to live or visit.
The landmarks may be categorized as follows: castles, churches and monasteries, public buildings, historical sites, parks and gardens, bridges and canals, memorials, and cemeteries.
These landmarks all have cultural, architectural, and historical significance. But which are the most prominent ones? Which ones are a must-visit when you are in Munich?
Historical Landmarks in Munich, Germany
1. Nymphenburg Palace
Address: Schloss Nymphenburg 1, 80638 Munich, Germany
Nymphenburg Palace is a Baroque palace that was once a summer residence of the kings from Bavaria. It’s main purpose was to serve as a hunting lodge and pleasure palace. It sits on an area of 20 hectares in the northern part of Munich, which originally housed a hunting box for Elector Maximilian I of Bavaria.
The palace has been restructured throughout history to include more rooms. For instance, it saw some major extensions during Elector Ferdinand Maria’s reign. The ruler was in love with Italian culture.
Nymphenburg Palace is known for its abundance of white statues, fountains, cascades, and footbridges, which are landmarks in their own right. And while it was badly damaged during World War II, you can still see it in all its beauty today. It has added attractions, including a museum, galleries, and facilities for children.
The palace was built on different levels that represent life during the early years of the 18th century. These were not only about hunting but also about developing new types of gardens to surprise guests.
It has been a landmark representing Bavarian history, culture, and art, making it a must-see for visitors and travelers alike. It also has one of the best parks in Munich to visit and an excellent palace. As for the after-park visit, you can book a room at the Flatista Homes – Hirschgarten for a relaxing evening.
See Related: Things Not to Do in Germany
Address: Wies 8, 86989 Steingaden, Germany
Wieskirche, meaning Church in the Meadow, is a Baroque pilgrimage church near Steingaden. The church was built from 1745 to 1754 by the brothers Dominikus and Johann Baptist Zimmermann. And it’s certainly among the most prominent landmarks near Munich, Germany.
It is a popular tourist attraction with around one million visitors each year. Visitors to the place come to see its famous acoustics, pilgrimage, and Baroque architecture.
The church was once “the most beautiful pilgrimage church in Germany.” It was even included on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1983 as one of Germany’s significant historical sites.
It is a stone church with three naves and Baroque domes. The domes were built to represent the suffering of the mid-17th century during the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648) when it was under Habsburg rule.
See Related: Christmas in Germany
3. Bavarian National Museum
Address: Prinzregentenstraße 3, 80538 Munich, Germany
The Bavarian National Museum, also known as the Bavarian State Archaeological Collection, is one of the oldest and best-known museums in Munich. It exhibits an extensive collection of antiquities from all over Europe. And it has been lauded for its quality and comprehensiveness that you will not find anywhere else.
The museum started as a royal art collection by King Maximilian II in the mid-19th century. However, it grew to become a general museum of cultural history.
The Bavarian National Museum contains many landmarks. These include the prehistoric “animal style” jewelry, Neolithic pots from Troy (Turkey), and stone axes from the Bronze Age (2500-500 BC). Besides its rich collections, it’s known as one of the notable Munich landmarks, which have been instrumental in cultural development.
See Related: Best Hotels in Munich, Germany
4. St Peter’s Church
Address: Rindermarkt 1, 80331 Munich, Germany
St Peter’s Church, or Peterskirche, sits on a hill overlooking the River Isar in Munich. And it’s one of the oldest churches in the city, dating back to 823 AD.
The church was originally a monastery for Benedictine monks from Ireland and England who taught Christian beliefs. It is a popular tourist site, with the best view of the city from the “Alter Peter” tower.
Peterskirche has been around since 823 AD and got its name after Saint Peter, a Bishop of Regensburg. The church has undergone several architectural changes, meaning it does not follow one particular style.
But despite the changes, Peterskirche stands as a Gothic church with Romanesque foundations and landmarks. These include its four towers, which were added during the mid-18th century. Also, the bronze door of St Peter’s was made in 1460, and its crypts date back to medieval times. Book a guided tour to St Peter’s Church and learn more about the place than you can imagine.
See Related: Germany Travel Tips
5. Munich Zoo
Address: Tierpark Strasse 30, 81543 Munich, Germany
The Munich Zoo was founded in 1911 and is also called the Hellabrunn Zoo. The zoo spans 40 hectares and houses around 1,500 animals from all over the world. It holds the title as the world’s first “geo-zoo”, because it was the first zoo to exhibit animals by continent.
The artistic design of the zoo allows the animals to stay close to nature. Instead of cages, most animals are kept in their exhibits using moat systems. It is visited by about 1.2 million visitors a year.
The Munich Zoo is open from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm. And if you are looking for famous landmarks in Munich to visit, this one is an excellent pick.
See Related: Best Mountains in Germany
6. Augustiner Beer Garden
Address: Arnulfstrasse 52, 80335 Munich, Germany
The Augustiner beer garden is in the green area Au-Haidhausen. It was founded in 1807 and spans just under five acres. On warm summer days, about 30,000 people come here to enjoy the sun, the food, and, of course, the good beer.
When visiting Munich, this is one place that you should really be looking forward to touring. For starters, it’s among the most beautiful landmarks in Munich. It’s also the oldest beer garden in Munich.
It offers the best environment to recharge and relax as you sip some of Germany’s top-crafted beers. For example, it has over 100 chestnut trees where you can sit, sip your beer, and enjoy the best of a lovely Bavarian day.
The place is certainly a historical marvel admired by every visitor who sets foot here. Plus, it’s open to everyone, whether students, celebrities, normal folks, and even kids. With a 5,000 seating capacity, you will never lack a nice spot to sit and enjoy a beer or two.
The best way to enjoy some of the top-crafted German beers is by booking the Oktoberfest Tour with Reserved Beer-Tent Table or the Oktoberfest Guided Tour. Any of these tours guarantee an experience of a lifetime.
See Related: Best Breweries in Munich, Germany
7. King Ludwig I Statue
Adress: Odeonsplatz, 80539 Munich, Germany
The 18-meter-high copper-plated bronze figure shows King Ludwig I on his horse. The monument was made in honor of the 30th anniversary of his reign – it was built from a fund founded for this purpose.
The statue was cast at the Royal Foundry in Munich and stood originally on a double-stepped plinth. Its unveiling was on October 18, 1840, in the presence of King Ludwig I.
King Ludwig I, who succeeded Maximilian I (his father), ruled from 1825 until 1848. His successor was his son, Maximilian II, but he remained an important figure in Bavaria, especially due to his love for art.
He largely sponsored arts even when this caused conflicts with his successor. And for this reason, this monument undoubtedly must be featured among the most important Munich monuments.
See Related: Best Zip Lines in Germany
8. Bavaria Film Studios
Address: Bavaria Film Square 7, 82031 Gruenwald, Germany
Located at a 15-minute drive from the Munich city center, this film studio was founded in Geiselgasteig in 1919. It has hosted thousands of productions over the years. Today, visitors can enjoy guided tours of film sets and stunt shows.
It is well known for its highly acclaimed comedies and will make your nightlife in Munich quite enjoyable. The studios are among the oldest in the area, as it was built shortly after World War I. They are rich in history that you’ll undoubtedly want to hear about.
During its early days, Bavarian Film Studios offered a provincial rival to major Berlin studios, including the UFA conglomerate. During the Nazi era, it had risen to be among Germany’s four major film companies. If you are in Munich, make a point of visiting this outstanding Munich landmark.
See Related: Best Things to Do in Munster, Germany
9. Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site
Address: Alte Romerstrasse 75, 85221 Dachau, Germany
As a nazi concentration camp, This was certainly one of the most terrible places during the Nazi era. But, today is undoubtedly an important landmark in Germany. It serves to commemorate the thousands who suffered during this era.
The memorial site was the first concentration camp of World War II. It was built in March of 1933 by the Nazis and served as mass imprisonment for political opponents.
In October 1933, Theodor Eicke, Camp Commandant, imposed severe camp regulations, which were quite brutal for the prisoners. But on April 29, 1945, the American forces came to the prisoners’ rescue when they liberated the camp.
Today, people from all over Germany and internationally come here to pay respect and commemorate those who suffered here. Though not in Munich, the memorial site is 40 minutes from the city center, and many people make the trip out there to pay tribute to those who lost their lives. The site also has a museum that documents the camp’s history and would be a great place to learn about World War II and its aftermath.
See Related: Things to Do in Dachau, Germany
10. Pasinger Marienplatz
Address: Gleichmannstrasse 1, 81241 Munich, Germany
This square is one of Munich’s best landmarks to visit any day. It is surrounded by many beautiful half-timbered houses, which give it a unique Bavarian atmosphere.
The Pasinger Marienplatz was originally built in October 1880, and by that time, it had a slender pillar made of cast iron and a Madonna statue. The statue is still present today. However, the plaza has seen serious renovations when the tram lines were built underneath it, and it became a major stop.
It was once dismantled in 1908, but its reconstruction began again in 1977. The new design involved a new triangular traffic island, with the Mariensäule situated in the middle. Finally, there is the square pillar on the rectangular pedestal where the Madonna statue sits.
On the northern side, the Kopfmiller-Haus and the Gasthof zu Post border the square. On the southern side, you will find the Institute of the English Miss. It’s also pretty close to the Old Town Hall if you want to take a quick tour.
Even better, there are several restaurants and shops in a makeshift building, where you can dine or shop for some antiques. This place comes alive in the summer with many locals and tourists enjoying the sun and good times.
If you plan to visit in the winter, don’t despair! Marienplatz hosts an amazing Christmas market that is sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Either way, I highly suggest making it a point to tour the area when you visit Munich.
See Related: Best Books to Learn German
Address: Marienplatz 8, 80331 Munich, Germany
The Glockenspiel is one of Munich’s most beloved landmarks. It is a must-see for any visitor to the city. It’s located in the central square of Marienplatz, so you can’t miss it.
The clock was built in 1908 by Franz Anton Ziller and is located on the second floor of the New Town Hall (Rathaus). The figures on the clock represent Bavarian history and folklore.
This clock plays every day at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 5:00 pm. It contains 43 bells and 32 figures. As for the design, the clock has three different parts. The first part is called “Cooper’s Dance,” and it features 32 figures that dance around a maypole.
The second part, called “Knight’s Tournament,” features knights on horses who joust with each other. The third part is called “Schäfflertanz,” and it features the Schäffler, which are traditional Bavarian dancers.
Usually, a dance is performed here every seven years, as it’s the tradition. This dance goes as far back as the 1700s, with the last dance being performed in 2019.
The Glockenspiel is a beautiful and intricate piece of art that is certain to satisfy your love for art. It is also a great spot to take photographs. Book a guided tour to enjoy all that this beautiful place has to offer.
See Related: Easy German Travel Phrase Guide
12. The Hofbrauhaus
Address: Platzl 9, 80331 Munich, Germany
This is one of the landmarks most known around the world. The three-story beer hall was built in 1589, and its charm and beauty remain unchanged since 1920 – when it began hosting political events.
The Hofbräuhaus is one of the few breweries with an original recipe for brewing beer that has passed down through generations. Different beers are brewed here, and you can order a sampler if you can’t decide which one to have. The food here is also noteworthy, as it is traditional Bavarian cuisine.
The beers are brewed according to the Duke of Bavaria’s (Wilhelm V) original recipes. Some of the great products here include Weissbier, Helles, Dunkel, Maibock, and Oktoberfest lagers. So, you’ll certainly have more variety than you can exhaust.
This is the perfect place to come and enjoy a beer and some good food while watching and listening to live music. It’s also a great place to buy souvenirs, as they have a gift shop on site.
Make sure to add the Hofbräuhaus to your list of places to visit when you’re in Munich.
See Related: Best Attractions in Mainz, Germany
13. The Munich Residenz
Address: Residenzstrasse 1, 80333 Munich, Germany
This was the former royal palace of Bavaria, and it is situated in the city center. Construction took place under the reign of Duke Wilhelm Vin between 1550–1579. The original plans were made by Giulio Parigi in 1553. However, most of the palace that stands today dates back to the 18th century.
Being Germany’s largest city palace, the Munich Residenz is undoubtedly a sight you don’t want to miss – it has so much to offer. One of the key landmarks here is the Cuvilliés Theatre. The theatre was built in the 1750s by François de Cuvilliés and has around 4,400 square feet of space that are open to the public.
The first floor is home to the Antiquarium, which is a grand hall that was once used for banquets. Today, it serves as an exhibition space for the palace’s magnificent art collection.
The second floor contains several rooms that have been restored to their original 18th-century appearance. These rooms were meant to host minor court festivities, and they still hold their original charm.
The rooms are divided into several sections, including the lounge, dance hall, reception saloon, king’s private rooms, and flower hall. While they still preserve their originality, they are now used to house the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts. This is among the most amazing places to visit in Munich.
A guided Residenz Palace, Museum, and Treasury tour would ensure you get the best experience.
See Related: Most Famous Historical Landmarks in Germany
14. Deutsches Museum
Address: Museumsinsel 1, 80538 Munich, Germany
The Deutsches Museum, located on an island in the Isar River, is one of the world’s largest museums of science and technology. The museum’s collection includes over 28,000 objects and is definitely one of Munich’s most prominent landmarks.
The museum was founded in 1903 by Oskar von Miller, who was its first director. Today, it has several branches in Munich and beyond, with different departments that focus on topics like medicine, aeronautics, maritime history, mining, and music.
The Deutsches Museum is also home to the world’s first long-distance radio broadcast, which was made in 1895 by Guglielmo Marconi. In addition to the many exhibitions, the museum also offers a variety of events and educational programs. So, there’s something for everyone here.
15. St. Michael’s Church
Address: Neuhauser Str. 6, 80333 Munich, Germany
St. Michael’s Church is a Roman Catholic church located in the city center of Munich. It is the largest Renaissance church north of the Bavarian Alps and one of the most important landmarks in the region.
The construction of St. Michael’s Church began in 1583 under William V, Duke of Bavaria, but it was not completed until 1597. The main facade consists of a Gothic style, while the interior is Baroque.
The facade is quite impressive, with Duke Wilhelm and other earlier Bavarian rulers’ statues standing tall along with their family tree. There is also a huge bronze statue by Hubert Gerhard between the church’s two entrances, depicting a fight between the Archangel Michael as he fights a demon for the faith.
The church is famous for its many works of art, including the statue of St. Michael by Georg Raphael Donner and the high altar by Johann Baptist Zimmermann. On the inside, the design and decoration are a beautiful representation of the Catholic church’s triumph during its Counter-Reformation in Bavaria.
See Related: The Ultimate Black Forest Itinerary
What are some of Munich’s most famous landmarks?
Some of Munich’s most famous landmarks include the Deutsches Museum, Marienplatz, and St. Michael’s Church. Any of these places give an immeasurable experience, whether you want history or to enjoy beautiful architecture.
What is the Deutsches Museum?
The Deutsches Museum is one of the world’s largest science and technology museums. It is located on an island in the Isar River and has multiple branches with different departments that focus on topics like aeronautics, medicine, mining, and maritime history.
What is there to do in Munich?
Munich offers a variety of activities for tourists and locals alike. If you’re interested in culture, visiting the Deutsches Museum or St. Michael’s Church is a must. On the other hand, the Munich Zoo offers excellent opportunities to enjoy wildlife and nature’s beauty. You can also try visiting one of Munich’s many parks, going on a bike tour, or trying out some incredible local cuisines.