Art and culture in Munich
The Bavarian capital has a number of cultural attractions, from art and music to design and architecture. Our tips of the most important sights and cultural highlights will help make your stay in Munich interesting and pleasant, even outside your fair-related activities.
City Guide Munich App
This app is the ideal companion for visitors attending events at Messe München, the ICM—Internationales Congress Center München and the MOC Veranstaltungscenter München. It comes with picture galleries of our venues, arrival information, venue maps and contact information.
The city guide features information about a number of hotels and restaurants that are suitable for trade-fair visitors and that can be sorted by price range, distance from the fair and other criteria. Some special tips from the Cool Cities series are also included.
Bavarian National Museum
The Bavarian National Museum is one of the largest art and cultural history museums in Europe. In a walk through its rooms, which are furnished in appropriate styles, Western art epochs from late antiquity to art nouveau come alive: goldsmith art of the late Renaissance, gothic sculptures, valuable wall hangings and precious baroque and rococo articles.
The expansive baroque complex in western Munich was built as the summer residence of the Bavarian prince electors. In addition to the spacious castle buildings, the impressive whole of baroque royalty contains a number of significant collections. The legendary beauty gallery of King Ludwig I adorns the south wing, for example. The treasures of the Marstall Museum in the former royal stables include the coronation state coach of Kaiser Karl VII and the fantastic royal carriage of Ludwig II. The expansive castle park with its watercourses and pavilions is enchanting.
Sailboats, atomic models, windmills, space probes, industry robots, organs, sea rescue boats, etc.: You can find this unbelievable range of technological achievements and lots more in the German Museum. It is a museum of superlatives. It is not only the first science-technology museum in the world, but also one of the most visited and biggest with approximately 50,000 square meters. Machines whir, lightning flashes through the air, and telescopes zoom in on stars. Understand by doing—the concept fills approx. 1.3 million people with enthusiasm every year.
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 brands most important and attractive original exhibits.
The Munich neighborhood of “Maxvorstadt” has been a favorite among art enthusiasts since 1836. That is when the Alte Pinakothek was built. Today it is home to the Bavarian State Painting Collections, which include pieces from the Middle Ages to the mid-18th Century. The collections at the Neue Pinakothek and the Pinakothek der Moderne cover the historical epochs that followed: The Neue Pinakothek presents works of art from the 19th and early 20th century. The Pinakothek der Moderne contains 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” such as Franz Marc, Wassily Kandinsky, August Macke, Paul Klee and Gabriele Münter. The City Gallery, which includes the Kunstbau in the Königsplatz subway station, is home to works by Munich painters of the 19th century and current 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.
Bavarian State Opera
The Bavarian National Opera takes on esthetic challenges: After all, Mozart, Verdi and Wagner aren’t the only conductors to have cultivated world-class soloists with their brilliance. 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 musical skill of the Bavarian National 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, currently conducted by Christian Tielemann as General Music Director, is one of the most well known and 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.
The German Theater is unique among German theaters. After the Opera, it is the second largest theater in Munich with 1,600 seats and approx. 300 performances annually, and it is the largest and most famous theater for guest performances with a full stage in Germany. German Theater means international show business at the highest level, lavishly designed top shows, enthralling stories and pulsating live music.
Detailed information about the cultural highlights mentioned here and other interesting tips are available here:
Our day-trip tip
Built by King Ludwig II, Neuschwanstein Castle has some 1.4 million visitors from around the world each year, making it one of the most visited castles in Europe. The palace is open all year and enchants visitors with its romantic architecture and picturesque surroundings. Carriage rides, guided tours, the Schloss Café and a boat tour on nearby Forggensee will round out your visit and make it an unforgettable experience.