Perhaps surprisingly for some, there’s far more to Munich than its famed beer culture. Read on to discover all about Munich’s best museums and get insightful tips and advice before visiting them.
While Munich is most renowned among travellers for its beer halls (and therefore the huge event that is Oktoberfest), there is another side to this beautiful city. Its many museums and galleries offer a slice of history, and with a little know-how you can see them all for just a few euros.
Read on to discover travel expert Hannah Blackiston’s guide to Munich’s best museums, complete with top tips and invaluable advice.
OVERVIEW OF KUNSTAREAL — THE ART DISTRICT
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The Kunstareal is home to a large number of Munich’s galleries and museums. Located in the city centre, it is incredibly easy to find and a great way to while away a day. All interests can be catered to, from ancient history to modern art. See what’s on offer here directly below.
- The Glyptothek and the Staatliche Antikensammlung are home to a stunning collection of ancient Greek and Roman art.
- The Museum für Abgüsse klassischer Bildwerke boasts a huge collection of plaster casts from famous Greek and Roman statues.
- The Staatliche Sammlung für Ägyptische Kunst houses the city’s ancient Egyptian artefacts, as well as those from Babylon and Assyria, all housed in a beautifully modern building.
- For art buffs, the Alte Pinakothek hosts a collection of work from European masters between the 14th and 18th centuries, including a comprehensive collection of Rubens and the only Leonardo da Vinci painting in a German gallery.
- The Neue Pinakothek is well known for its collection of impressionist art, including pieces by van Gogh and Monet.
- The Pinakothek der Moderne also contains work by van Gogh and Monet, as well as pieces by Michelangelo and Rembrandt.
- The Paläontologisches Museum München, a natural history museum, has a large collection of fossils of both animals and plants, while Geologisches Museum München provides information on rocks and minerals.
Not only does the Kunstareal offer all these options within walking distance of each other, the buildings themselves are architectural marvels, and you can spend an hour just wandering between them and marvelling at their beauty. Try and visit on a sunny day and take a picnic lunch to be enjoyed in one of the rolling green spaces.
DISCOVER THE WORLD’S LARGEST SCIENCE MUSEUM
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If art or history isn’t your thing, maybe you’d rather take a look inside Deutsches Museum, the world’s largest science and technology museum which boasts over 25,000 exhibited objects.
The museum has exhibits on chemistry, astronomy, astronautics, energy technology and physics, among many others, and is home to several interactive exhibits. It was founded in 1903 and heavily renovated in 2015 to modernise its look.
UNCOVER ONE OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST ART COLLECTIONS
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Founded in 1855, the Bavarian National Museum is considered to have one of the most important collections of art in Europe. It carries work all the way from medieval times to early modern periods, with a particular focus on European artefacts.
The museum also houses an extensive collection of Bavarian folklore pieces, as well as items from around Europe. In particular it has a large collection of wood carvings from around the continent.
CAR ENTHUSIASTS HEAD FOR BMW MUSEUM
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Located slightly out of the city centre near the Olympia Park (which itself is well worth a visit), the BMW Museum is a must for any rev-head. Nestled between the BMW Factory and the BMW Welt, the museum showcases the technical development of the brand’s various vehicles.
With exhibitions dedicated to its most famous models, but also a variety of technological and scientific exhibits, the BMW Museum is a popular option in Munich, and somewhere you can lose a few hours among the motors and fuel injectors.
TIPS AND TRICKS FOR MUNICH MUSEUMS
There are far too many museums in Munich for the average traveller to conquer them all in one visit, but there are some ways to maximise your visit.
Pay less: While some of the museums are free, many of them charge an entry fee and if you’re trying to see a few in one day this can really add up. But on Sundays, many of the bigger museums offer a one euro entry fee, which won’t only help your travel budget, it also makes you feel better if you’re just popping in to see your favourite exhibits. Also, book online to save money if you’re travelling in a large group and/or looking to book an English speaking tour.
Research before you visit: It pays to do your research; some of the museums have events which can really benefit time-poor travellers. For example, the Glyptothek hosts a “Lange Nacht der Museen” twice a year, when the museum stays open until 2 a.m., perfect when you want to pack a little more history into your trip.
Consider if you actually need a guide: While most museums do offer guided tours, or audio tours, for a fee, you’ll find a lot of them also offer plenty of information for free. Keep your eye open for brochures or folders of information you can carry around the museum with you; a lot of these are printed in both German and English and are either free to take or free to carry around the museum. Just remember to return them at the door on exit.
Keep your eyes open for more info: Munich has an amazing history in itself, and the museums are no different. Other than the exhibitions they hold, there is also a lot of information available about the buildings and the collections — how they came to be and how they survived world events like WWII. Many of the museums have brochures or plaques describing these stories if you keep your eyes open when entering or exiting.
Originally published at www.travioor.com.