Munich is filled with dozens of museums, and you could likely spend weeks just trying to explore them all. The depth and range of museums in Munich also won’t let you down as it has art museums spanning the realm of Ancient Egypt all the way through to modern day to history museums on Bavaria or the history of National Socialism, and more light hearted adventures into science at the Deutsches Museum or the beloved local football team FC Bayern. Munich even has a whole district of the city dedicated to art museums called the Kunstareal Here are just a few of the best museums in Munich:
Best Museums in Munich
The Deutsches Museum is overwhelmingly large and expansive with a focus on science, innovation and discovery. If you’re traveling with science or tech geeks, this is a must see. Be prepared to spend at least one whole day in the museum though, as its simply massive with exhibits on everything from boats and airplanes to the Altamira caves and architecture.
Munich Documentation Center
A newer museum in Munich, the Documentation Center reveals the toll that National Socialism (Nazism) took on the city of Munich and the way it forever altered the city, it’s people and history. The museum isn’t for everyone as it focuses on audio guides and there are few interactives, but it offers a critical review of the rise of Hitler and Nazi political ideology. Both somber and sobering, the museum gives visitors the chance to reflect on this dark history.
Part of the museum quarter in Munich, the “Old” Art Museum in Munich houses a collection of the old masters. The museum features paintings from the 14th through the 18th centuries including some of the most famous artists in history including Leonardo da Vinci and Boticelli. It’s a must visit for fans of the arts.
Just across the way from the Alte Pinakothek, the “New” Art Museum picks up where the Alte Pinakothek left off at the end of the 18th century. Like many of the museums in Munich, the Neue Pinakothek was bombed to rubble during WWII and rebuilt in the 1980s. The museum contains a number of recognizable names including Monet, Degas and Renoir.
The Glyptothek holds a collection of Greek and Italian sculptures originally assembled by King Ludwig I of Bavaria. Heavily bombed during WWII, the museum was rebuilt after the end of the war. The museum’s collection stretches from 700BC to 550AD, and features some of the most beautiful sculptures in the world.
Archäologische Staatssammlung – Bavarian State Archaeological Collection
Founded by an anthropologist in 1885 this museum gives an overview from the Paleolithic to the Early Middle Ages. The founding collection was merged with Royal Ethnographic Collection and features ethnographic and archaeological materials. While the primary focus of the collection is the Bavaria, a number of collections from outside the state are on exhibit as well.
Originally the sprawling summer home of the royal family, Nymphenburg Palace now features an extensive royal museum and gardens as well as additional exhibit space for the Museum of Man and Nature. With swans floating about in the garden ponds and the ornate details of building glinting under the sun, the palace transports visitors back to a place long before the hustle and bustle of cars or modern technology. The sheer scale of the buildings is jaw dropping, and while not all rooms are open to visitors there is still plenty to do to fill the day. If you have time, definitely take a stroll through the gardens for some beautiful photos, and stop in the Museum of Man and Nature to learn more about a time before kings.
The Residenz was the primary residence of the royal family of Bavaria, but today is preserved as a museum. The Antiquarium (shown above) is one of the most iconic images of Munich. A large palace, the Residenz contains a number of interesting rooms from portrait galleries to rooms full of crown jewels. It provides perspective on the Wittelsbach dynasty that provided famous kings like Ludwig II.
BMW Welt & Museum
Whether you own a BMW (more formally known as Bayerische Motor Werks) or have dreamed of it, the BMW museum is the perfect place to visit. Any car enthusiast will love seeing the development of the design and function of the BMW brand over decades of innovation and technological feats. Even the non-enthusiast can get a kick out of the vintage vehicles.
FC Bayern Museum
FC Bayern is a beloved local team as well as the top team in the Bundesliga and a contender in the Champion’s League. With fans around the world, many come to Munich just to see a game at Allianz Arena (a must do to get a good taste for Munich culture if you have the chance). Those that can’t, line up for tours around the stadium during its off hours and to visit the FC Bayern Museum. With a history that dates back to 1900 and world famous players like Klose, Schweinsteiger and Lahm amongst its ranks, it’s a good stop for any football (or soccer) fan.
Museum Brandhorst is one of the newest museums in Munich, having opened in 2009. The museum contains a broad collection of modern art featuring everyone from Andy Warhol to Damien Hirst.
Bavarian National Museum
People that live in Bavaria have long considered themselves Bavarians first and Germans second. The Bavarian National Museum was created in the mid-19th century By King Maximilian II to preserve Bavarian history. It features a wide array of artifacts from Bavarian history and gives insight into southern Germany’s culture and unique past. The Best Museums in Munich