Leisure activities in Munich
The Bavarian capital features a number of cultural highlights. Discover art, music, architecture and technology. Our tips of the most important sights will help you make your stay in Munich interesting and pleasant, even when you are not at the fair.
Bavarian National Museum
The Bavarian National Museum is one of the largest art and cultural-history museums in Europe. Walking through its rooms furnished in appropriate styles is like taking a journey through the art epochs of western civilization: You will see goldsmith art of the late Renaissance, gothic sculptures, valuable wall hangings and precious baroque and rococo objects.
The extensive baroque complex in western Munich was built as the summer residence of the Bavarian prince electors. Its impressive facilities are also home to a number of significant collections including the legendary beauty gallery of King Ludwig I. The coronation coach of Kaiser Karl VII and the fantastic royal carriage of Ludwig II are on display in the Marstall Museum. The expansive castle park with its watercourses and pavilions is enchanting.
Sailboats, atomic models, windmills, space probes, industrial robots, organs and much more: An unbelievable wealth of technological achievements can be seen in the German Museum. Machines whir, lightning flashes through the air, and telescopes zoom in on galaxies. This museum of superlatives and its understand-by-doing concept enthrall some 1.3 million visitors every year. And with some 50,000 square meters of space, it is one of the largest science and technology museums in the world.
Mobility combined with sportiness, elegance, dynamism and passion—that is what the BMW Museum has stood for since it opened in 1973. After a four-year phase of redesign, the museum re-opened in June 2008 with even more exhibition space. A unique overall exhibit showcases over 125 of the Bavarian automotive brand's most important and attractive original exhibits.
The Munich neighborhood "Maxvorstadt" is a favorite among art enthusiasts. The Alte Pinakothek was built in 1863. Today it is home to the Bavarian State Painting Collections with pieces from the Middle Ages to the mid-18th Century. The Neue Pinakothek presents works of art from the 19th and early 20th century. The Pinakothek der Moderne is devoted to works from classic modernism and contemporary art.
City Gallery in Lenbachhaus and Kunstbau
The Lenbachhaus is famous for the world's largest collection of works by the artists of the “Blaue Reiter”. Experience a number of works from Franz Marc, Wassily Kandinsky, August Macke, Paul Klee and Gabriele Münter. The City Gallery also houses the latest temporary exhibitions. Since re-opening in May 2013, the former residence and studio of painter and prince Franz von Lenbach shines in a new luster. The grounds of the complex are captivating in the summer.
Bavarian State Opera
The Bavarian State Opera takes on esthetic challenges: It features dazzling performances of Mozart, Verdi and Wagner starring world-class soloists. In the 1990s, the theater achieved new dimensions with exciting new performances of baroque operas by Handel and Monteverdi. World-renowned conductors have led the skilled musicians of the Bavarian State Opera. Kirill Petrenko has been the new General Music Director since the beginning of the 2013/14 season. He follows Kent Nagano, who conducted the orchestra from 2006 to 2013.
The Munich Philharmonic is one of the most well-known, successful orchestras in Germany. The Philharmonic provides its audiences very special listening enjoyment, from chamber and orchestra concerts to youth and children’s chamber concerts and special performances and final rehearsals that are open to the public. Christian Tielemann, General Music Director, is its current conductor.
The German Theater is unique among theaters in Germany. With 1,600 seats and approx. 300 performances annually, it is the largest and most famous theater for guest performances with a full stage in Germany. The German Theater means international show business at the highest level including lavishly designed top shows, enthralling stories and pulsating live music.
Besides well-known comedy stars and cabaret performer such as Michael Mittermeier, Willy Astor and Ingo Appelt, the Lustspielhaus also has concerts with a great variety of pop, jazz and world music on the agenda on a regular basis. It also specializes in "Alpine rock," a unique combination of traditional folk-music elements and international rock.