View from Marienplatz, Munich

City Overview

Munich is north of the Bavarian Alps on the Isar and combines proud provincialism with international glamour.

The old town is the heart of Munich. It is the center of cultural life, rich in sights and a political center for Munich and Bavaria. Not only Munich’s landmark, the Frauenkirche, stands here, but also many other monumental buildings such as churches, the former royal residence, the old courtyard, the old and new town hall, the Feldherrnhalle and the gates of the former city fortifications.

The Isarvorstadt district is popular as a residential district with well-earning singles and is also the center of the pub and local scene in Munich, which reflects the district and the prevailing attitude to life: colorful and multicultural, tolerant and lively.

For residents and tourists alike, Schwabing is synonymous with art and culture, nightlife and a multitude of bars. Haidhausen is the “second Schwabing” of Munich: scene and entertainment district.

Maxvorstadt has everything to offer: this district is the Munich Museum Quarter, the center of art and the center of science. In addition, Maxvorstadt offers urbanistic highlights of classicism: Königsplatz with Propylaea, Siegestor and Odeonsplatz with Ludwigstraße.

Nymphenburg Palace is located in the Nymphenburg district of the same name. The entire district is as noble as the ornate castle: Infinite green spaces with the castle park, botanical garden and deer garden and beautiful, noble streets.

The newest district is in Schwabing in the north of Munich. Parkstadt Schwabing was realized on a disused industrial and commercial area. The urban planning concept follows the Munich settlement perspective “compact-urban-green”. The heart of the district at Munich Gate is the Central Park with various themed gardens. There are numerous residential, office and administrative buildings all around.

The people of Munich are cosmopolitan and cultivated, but also show a real passion for the many traditions of the region. Crowds of tourists visit the city for the world-famous Oktoberfest to take part in this beer orgy and the exuberant celebrations.

With its extensive art collections and excellent shopping, the city has no doubt more than just beer.

The museums and attractions worth seeing include the MVG Museum of the Munich Transport Company, the Jewish Museum and BMW Welt. The Museum of the Brandhorst Collection, designed by the German-British team of architects Matthias Sauerbruch and Louisa Hutton, is in the immediate vicinity of the Pinakothek der Moderne. The collection focuses on selected works of classical modernism as well as artists who significantly shaped the second half of 20th century art.

Important facts

Area code: +49 (Germany) 89 (Munich)

Population: 1,538,302

Latitude: 48.139668

Longitude: 11.575787

City History of Munich

The city got its name (Munich: settlement of the monks) from the first monastery that was founded here in the eighth century. Since then, monasteries have played an important role in the history of the city, not least because they go back to the tradition of the brewery for which Munich is known worldwide. The Bavarian rulers saw this as a profitable source of tax revenue and supported the brewery, which also promised good income and satisfied the population.

The beer quality is still based on the purity law ,  which was launched by the Bavarian Duke Wilhelm IV in 1516 and only allows the use of three basic ingredients for the brewing process: barley, hops and water. Enjoying a measure with a foam crown in one of the city’s beer cellars or gardens is a must when visiting Munich.

The city, founded in 1158 by Henry the Lion, Duke of Bavaria, became the seat of the Wittelsbach dynasty within a century, which ruled the Duchy, the Electorate and the Kingdom of Bavaria until the end of the First World War. Their influence is evident in the large number of imposing Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neo-Gothic buildings that adorn Munich’s streets.

Even more important was the promotion of the arts by the Wittelsbachers and the extensive art collections they compiled, which formed the basis for the first-class museums and galleries in Munich.

The period between the two world wars is the lowest point in Munich’s city history and is often discreetly concealed in the tourist brochures. However, there is now a city tour devoted to the topic “Munich at the time of National Socialism”. After the First World War, the city was the cradle of the National Socialist movement and the place where Hitler first tried to take power by force – with the notorious “beer hall coup” on November 8, 1923.

In addition, the treaty of Germany, Great Britain, France and Italy was signed in Munich in 1938, which subjugated a large part of what was then Czechoslovakia to the Nazis. This was the culmination of the fateful appeasement policy against Hitler, the failure of which soon led Europe to the Second World War.

The city was badly damaged by the bombs during the Allied air raids. The economic success of the post-war period, however, enabled a comprehensive reconstruction and restoration program that made the city one of the most popular tourist destinations in Germany.

View from Marienplatz, Munich