Free museums in Munich

© Wilfried Petzi, München

What to do on a rainy day in Munich – for free!

Munich’s an expensive city, for residents and visitors alike. Rents are high, hotels aren’t cheap, and sometimes we want to while away our time without spending a fortune. Here’s my list of what there is to do in Munich when it’s wet outside – and it doesn’t cost a penny (cent).

Haus der Kunst (Free 1st Thursday)
On the first Thursday of every month, the Haus der Kunst allows free access to its exhibitions between 6pm-10pm. Meaning that you can check out an exhibition after work (and combine it with a drink at the Goldene Bar) for free.

Sammlung Goetz
This requires some forward-planning. The Sammlung Goetz is amazing – but visitors have to register online in advance to ensure entrance. It’s located on the eastern side of the Englischer Garten (in Oberföhring) in a spectacular museum designed by Herzog & de Meuron.

BMW Welt
The BMW Welt is BMW’s Olympiapark showroom, and is entirely free to stroll around. The nearby museum (entry 10 € per person) is more comprehensive, with large exhibitions and way more information about the history of the company, but if you want to catch a glimpse of a range of BMW models, the Welt is a lovely alternative.

The Amerikahaus has so many good exhibitions. They’re small, but from internationally acclaimed artists, and they are always good. Check out exhibition information here. Note that the building at Karolinenplatz is currently being renovated, but the Amerikahaus exhibitions can be found just around the corner, in Barerstraße.

Lothringer 13
Open from Tuesday through to Sunday, this location exhibits contemporary art. It’s a brilliant location with young, enthusiastic staff and a great little cafe.

Mercedes Benz
The Mercedes Benz showroom is often overlooked, but it’s as impressive as the BMW Welt. It’s also super family friendly, with a cafe and a play area inside the showroom. You can easily spend a couple of hours car-spotting here.

This small space in the middle of the city is dedicated to contemporary local art. Work is predominately modern/post-modern.

This underground space is an unusual spot for a gallery. It’s overgrown and wild, and functions as an underpass for those passing through the city. But stop for a while, if you have the time, for the exhibitions are often very cool.

Check out a concert at Gasteig
The Gasteig is a multifaceted cultural building. It’s home to the philharmonic orchestra, it’s where Munich’s library HQ is based, I took my German citizenship test there and it plays host to the lauded Film Festival every year. They often have free concerts or exhibitions – check out their regularly updated web page for more info.

Paleontological Museum
Located right by the Lenbachhaus, the Paleontological Museum has a terribly dull website but the museum itself is brilliant. It’s centrepiece is an early version of an elephant, but they have lots of other skeletons and fossils. It’s great for kids and almost always quiet.

While not quite free, the following museums just cost 1 EUR on a Sunday:
The three Pinakotheken
Museum Brandhorst
Galerie Schack
Museum Fünf Kontinente
Museum Mensch & Natur (the natural history museum)
Egyptian Museum
Bavaria’s archaeological collection
Glyptothek (currently closed for renovation).

For more indoor activities, check out my post from a couple of years ago here.

Categories Munich's Best


I'm Rachel, the author behind Arts in Munich. I moved to Munich in the summer of 2008, and work as an editor in the city. I also do freelance work for the BBC, MONOCLE, Singapore Airlines and Kaltblut, among others, and previously wrote for the Huffington Post and Electronic Beats.

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