Munich Travel Destinations
MARIENPLATZ. The Mariensaule, an ornate 17th-century monument to the Virgin Mary, was built to commemorate the city’s survival of the Thirty Years’ War. At the neo-Gothic Neues Rathaus, the Glockenspiel chimes with a display of jousting knights and dancing coopers. (Daily 11am and noon; in summer also 5pm.) At 9pm, a mechanical watchman marches out and the Guardian Angel escorts the Munch-ner Kindi (Munich Child) to bed. Be careful; this is a likely spot for pickpocketing. The Neues Rathaus tower offers a sweeping view. (Tower open M-F9am-7pm, Sa-Su 10am-7pm. ‚1.50.) On the face of the Altes Rathaus tower, to the right of the Neues Rathaus, are all but one of Munich’s coats of arms the local government refused to include the swastika-bearing arms from the Nazi era.
PETERSKIRCHE AND FRAUENKIRCHE. Across from the Neues Rathaus is the 12th-century Peterskirche, the city’s oldest parish church. More than 300 steps scale the tower to a spectacular view of Munich. (Open daily 10am-7pm. ‚1.50, students ‚1.) From the Marienpl. take Kaufmgerstr. one block toward the Hauptbahnhof to the onion-domed towers of the 15th-century Frauenkirche one of Munich’s most notable landmarks and now the symbol of the city. (Towers open Apr.-Oct. M-Sa 10am-5pm. ‚3, students ‚1.50.)
RESIDENZ. Down the pedestrian zone from Odeonspl. the richly decorated rooms of the Residenz (Palace), built from the 14th to 19th centuries, form the material vestiges of the Wittelsbach dynasty. Behind the Residenz, the beautifully landscaped Hofgarten shelters the lovely temple of Diana. The Schatzkammer (treasury) contains jeweled baubles, crowns, swords, china, ivory work, and other trinkets. (Open Apr. to mid-Oct. daily 9am-6pm; mid-Oct. to Mar. 10am-4pm. ‚4, students ‚3.) The Residenzmuseum comprises the former Wittelsbach apartments and State Rooms, a collection of European porcelain, and a 17th-century court chapel. The 120 portraits in the Ahnengalerie trace the royal lineage in an unusual manner back to Charlemagne. (Max-Joseph-pl. 3. U3-6 to Odeonspl. Residenz museum open same hours as Schatzkammer. ‚4, students ‚3. Combination ticket ‚7, students ‚5.50.)
ENGLISCHER GARTEN. Extending from the city center is the vast Englischer Garten (English Garden), Europe’s largest metropolitan public park. On sunny days, all of Munich turns out to bike, play badminton, ride horseback, or swim in the Eis-bach. The garden includes a Japanese tea house, a Chinese pagoda, a Greek temple, and good old German beer gardens. Nude sunbathing areas are designated FKK (Frei-Korper-Kultur) on signs and park maps. Daring Muncheners surf the rapids of the Eisbach, which flows artificially through the park.
SCHLOfi NYMPHENBURG. After 10 years of trying for an heir, Ludwig I celebrated the birth of his son in 1662 by erecting an elaborate summer playground. Schlofi Nymphenburg, in the northwest of town, hides a number of treasures. Check out Ludwig’s Gallery of Beauties; whenever a woman caught his fancy, he would have her portrait painted a scandalous hobby considering many of the women were commoners. Four manors and a few lakes also inhabit the grounds. Finally, learn about the means of 17th-century royal travel in the Marstallimuseum. (Streetcar #17 to SchloB Nymphenburg. All attractions open Apr. to mid-Oct. daily 9am-6pm; late Oct. to Mar. 10am-4pm. Museum and SchloB open Su and Tu-Sa 9am-noon and l-5pm. SchloB ‚3.50, students ‚2.50. Each manor‚32. Museum ‚2.50 2. Entire complex ‚7.506.)
OLYMPIAPARK. Built for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, the Olympiapark contains the architecturally daring, tent-like Olympia-Zentrum and the Olympia Turm (tower), the highest building in Munich at 290m. Two tours in English are available: The Adventure Tour of the entire park (Apr.-Oct. daily 2pm, ‚7) or a tour of just the soccer stadium (Mar.-Oct. daily 11am, ‚5). The Olympiapark also hosts various events all summer, ranging from concerts to flea markets to bungee jumping. (U3 to Oympiazentrum. Tower open daily 9am-midnight. ‚3, students ‚2. Info Pavilion (Besucherservice) open M-F 10am-6pm, Sa 10am-3pm.)