The huge Residenz (Max-Joseph-Platz 3) housed Bavarian rulers from 1385 to 1918 and features more than 500 years of architectural history. Apart from the palace itself, the Residenzmuseum has an extraordinary array of 100 rooms containing no end of treasures and artworks. In the same building, the Schatzkammer (separate admission but same details as Residenzmuseum) exhibits jewels, crowns and ornate gold.
A veritable treasure house of European masters from the 14th to 18th centuries, the Alte Pinakothek, a stroll northeast of the city, includes highlights such as Dürer’s Christ-like Self Portrait and his Four Apostles, Rogier van der Weyden’s Adoration of the Magi and Botticelli’s Pietà.
Immediately north of the Alte Pinakothek, the Neue Pinakothek contains mainly 19th-century works, including Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, and sculpture.
One block east of the Alte Pinakothek, the Pinakothek der Moderne displays four collections of modern art and architecture in one suitably arresting building.
An enormous science and technology museum, Deutches Museum celebrates the many achievements of Germans and humans in general. Kids become gleeful as they interact with the exhibits; so do adults. Take the S-Bahn to Isartor.
Tracing the lives of local Jews before, during and after the Holocaust, the Jüdisches Museum offers insight into Jewish history, life and culture in Munich. The Nazi era is dealt with, but the focus of this recently opened museum is clearly on contemporary Jewish culture.
North of the city, auto-fetishists can thrill to the newly expanded BMW Welt, adjacent to the BMW headquarters. Take the U3 to Olympiazentrum.
One of the largest city parks in Europe, the Englischer Garten, west of the city centre, is a great place for strolling, especially along the Schwabinger Bach. In summer, nude sunbathing is the rule rather than the exception. It’s not unusual for hundreds of naked people to be in the park during a normal business day, with their clothing stacked primly on the grass. If they’re not doing this, they’re probably drinking merrily at one of the park’s beer gardens.
The Marienplatz is a good starting point for historic buildings. Dominating the square is the towering neo-Gothic Neues Rathaus, with its ever-dancing Glockenspiel (carillon), which performs at 11am and noon daily (also at 5pm from March to October), bringing the square to an expectant standstill (note the fate of the Austrian knight…).