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Munich Museums

From: Munich Travel Guide


ABOVE: The Glyptothek, Munich's oldest museum, has collections of Greek and Roman antiquities.


Munich has several dozen museums, ranging from world-renowned institutions to specialized exhibits such as the Kartoffelmuseum (potatoes) and the Deutches Jagd- und Fishereimuseum (weapons, dead animals, and art objects with hunting themes).

Pinakothek der ModerneThe city's leading art museums are in the Maxvorstadt district, to the northwest (and within reasonable walking distance) of the city center.

Here, amid lawns and overlooked by the Propyläen monument on Königsplatz, you'll find museums such as the Glyptothek (photo above; Greek and Roman antiquities), and the Pinakotheken, including the Alte Pinakothek (European paintings from the Middle Ages through the Rococo), the Neue Pinakothek (late 18th to early 20th Century art), and the Pinakothek der Moderne (inset photo), which houses four collections, including architecture, design and applied arts, contemporary paintings and sculpture, and the Bavarian state graphics collection.

Another important museum in the same neighborhood, the Lenbachhaus, has works by Klee, Kandinsky, and other artists from the "Blauer Reiter" (Blue Rider) group along with examples of "Munich School" paintings and more recent modern art.

To the southeast of the main art-museum district, next to the Residenz and the Bavarian State Opera's Nationaltheater, the Staatliches Museum ägyptischer Kunst has an extensive collection of Egyptian Art.

The Bayerisches National Museum is toward the Isar River, just east of yet another Munich art museum, the Haus der Kunst. The city tourist office calls the Bavarian National Museum "one of the largest museum of cultural history in Europe, with a rich collection relating to art, crafts, and folklore."

Slightly east of the city center, near the Viktualienmarkt, are several museums that are easy to reach on foot from the pedestrian zone:

Munich StadtmuseumThe Münchner Stadtmuseum on St-Jakobs-Platz traces the city's history from its days as a royal residence to modern times. The Filmmuseum next door has programs for movie buffs. Nearby, the Spielzeugmuseum in the tower of the Old Town Hall has a large collection of European and American dolls, toys, stuffed animals, etc.

Munich Synagogue and Jewish MuseumMunich's new Jüdisches Museum, next to the modern synagogue, has received a lot of press; if your tastes are more secular, head for the Bier und Oktoberfest Museum in Sterneckerstrasse, where you can buy a voucher for a beer and Bavarian snack along with your admission ticket. (The museum has its own pub.)

In 2015, the NS-Dokumentationszentrum (a.k.a. the Munich Documentation Center for the History of National Socialism) opened near Königsplatz, just outside the Altstadt on the way to the Glyptothek. The new government-funded center, which was built at a cost of €28.2 million, has a permanent exhibition that addresses questions such as "Why Munich?" and "What does this have to do with us today?" Be sure to download the smartphone app or borrow a free audioguide during your visit.

Deutsches MuseumAcross the Isar and within walking distance of the city center, the Deutsches Museum--Germany's national technology and science museum--has everything from industrial tools to 19th Century steam engines and antique musical instruments. Don't miss the underground mine, which alone is worth the price of admission.

Deutsches Museum VerkehrzentrumThe Deutsches Museum has two satellite collections that are worth visiting: the Verkehrszentrum or transportation center on Theresienhöhe (overlooking the Theresienwiese, or Oktoberfest grounds) and the Flugwerft aviation museum at Oberschleissheim Airfield, which you can reach on the S-Bahn's S1 line.

BMW MuseumIn the northern part of the city, near the Olympic Park,is  the new BMW Museum. (You can combine a museum visit with a BMW factory tour.) The museum and factory are next to BMW's headquarters and are part of the BMW Welt complex, which includes a vehicle-delivery center.

For more museum information, pick up a copy of the free Munich City Guide at the tourist office (see page 10 of this article for locations).

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Top photo copyright © Oliver Raupach.
3rd and 4th inset
photos copyright © Deutsches Museum.