Munich’s Best: Museums

Here’s a definitive guide to the very best museums in Munich – with something for everyone, from science and tech to art and history.

Museum Brandhorst (art)
The Brandhorst is a modern art gallery that opened in May 2009. Avid art collector Udo Fritz-Hermann donated a collection of 700 works after his wife, Annette Brandhorst, died in 1999, providing that the state of Bavaria build a house for the extensive collection. The modern construction houses over a hundred works from Andy Warhol, including his famous “Marilyn” portrait. Additionally, you can view works from modern artists such as Joseph Beuys, Damien Hirst, Gerhard Richter and Sigmar Polke.  Temporary exhibitions have included over a hundred illustrated books from Pablo Picasso, also donated by Fritz-Hermann and Brandhorst, who were passionate about literature, and photos from the American Cy Twombly.

Opening hours: daily 10-6, Thursday 10-8, closed Mondays.
Admission: 7 € adults, 5 € commission and best of all, 1 € on Sundays.

© Felibrilu, Flickr

Pinakotheke (art)
The three Pinakotheke in Munich’s Kunstareal (art district) are full of internationally acclaimed art. If you’re into the classics, the Alte Pinakothek is the place to head to. The Alte Pinakothek, established in 1836, is one of the oldest galleries in the world, and it’s as impressive a building as the art it houses. For more contemporary, art nouveau works, head over to the Neue Pinakothek. And for modern works from Beuys and the likes, the Pinakothek der Moderne is an airy, minimalistic museum.

Opening hours: daily 10-6, Thursday 10-8, closed Mondays
Admission: 10 € adults, 7 € commission, Sundays 1 €

Haus der Kunst (art)
The Haus der Kunst is my favourite gallery in Munich. The exhibitions are always so varied, and I love to spend an hour drinking tea in their beautiful Goldene Bar afterwards (or a ginger beer on their terrace is the weather’s good). If you can, check out works from the Goetz collection shown in the basement of the Haus der Kunst – this was once used as a bunker, and even if the exhibition’s not for you, wandering around the bunker will be – it’s eerie.

Opening hours: daily 10-8, Thursday 10-10
Admission: varies, depending on exhibition

Lenbachhaus (art)
The Lenbachhaus is a beautiful sunflower-yellow Florentine villa, built in the late nineteenth century. In 1929, it was opened as an art musuem, and houses a variety of works – ranging from Blaue Reiter artists, to 19th century Munich painters and fun pieces by Erwin Wurm.

Opening hours: Tuesday 10am-8pm, Wednesday-Sunday 10am-6pm, closed Mondays
Admission: 10 € adults, 5 € commission

Bavaria Film Studios (film)
One of Europe’s biggest film studios, the Bavaria Film Studios in the upmarket Grünwald district of Munich is a super fun day out. You can check out sets and props from various films and TV shows, including Das Boot. Take tram 25 down to Grünwald, Bavariafilmplatz and it’s just a two minute walk from there.

Opening hours: daily 10-5
Admission: 27.50 € adults, 21.50 € commission, including a 4D movie and guided tour.


BMW Welt & Museum (automobiles)
The BMW Welt is a fun place to stop by when you’re in the Olympic Park. Entrance is free, and it’s a chance for BMW to showcase brand new technology. There’s a cafe on the ground floor, so if the weather takes a turn for the worse, you can drink coffee and car watch. The Michelin-starred EssZimmer is located on the third floor. The museum is a few hundred metres further away, and provides a comprehensive tale of BMW’s journey from past to present.

Opening hours: daily 10-6, closed Mondays
Admission: entrance to the BMW Welt is free. For the museum: 9 € adults, 6 € commission.

Bavarian National Museum (history)
Founded in 1855 by King Maximilian II, the museum covers three floors, focusing on the art and culture of Bavaria from the Middle Ages to the art nouveau period. It’s also right next door to the Haus der Kunst, so you can get in some art, history and then head through the English Gardens for a stroll afterwards. The architecture of the building is magnificent, and the artefacts inside are regally impressive, even if it’s all a little dark inside.

Opening hours: daily 10-5, Thursday 10-8, closed Mondays
Admission: 7 € adults, 6 € commission

Münchner Stadtmuseum (history)
The Münchner Stadtmuseum is like a smaller version of the National Museum. Located in the city centre, it’s full of old Munich relics, and they have a rather frightening puppet exhibition. Every now and then, they have some really cool exhibitions on – currently, a sound lab, focusing on Munich-based musicians. Pop into the Stadtcafe for restorative coffee and cake afterwards.

Opening hours: daily 10-6, closed Monday
Admission: 6 € adults, 3 € commission

Jüdisches Museum (history)
The Jewish museum opened in 2007 next to the Stadtmuseum, and is one of the city’s most striking buildings. It’s situated next to the synagogue, and the Jewish Centre houses a kosher restaurant, a kindergarten, a youth centre and a community auditorium. The permanent exhibition focuses on Jewish history and aspects of the Jewish faith – bar and bat mitzvah, circumcision, marriage and death.

Opening hours: daily 10-6, closed Monday
Admission: 6 € adults, 3 € commission

© digital cat, Flickr
© digital cat, Flickr

Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism (history)
Munich’s newest museum is focused on the city’s Nazi past. It was opened on May 1, 2015 and was set up to remember the atrocities that the Nazis committed. Their permanent exhibition provided info in both German and English, and they offer a brief guide to the exhibition in various languages.

Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-7pm
Admission: 5 € adults, 2.50 € commission

Deutsches Museum (science & technology)
The world’s largest science and tech museum is perfect for wet weekend afternoons. From mines, to old ships and aeroplanes and floors dedicated to astronomy, it would take you weeks to see everything. A lot of information is still just in German, but with renovations, that’s slowly changing. It’s a great spot for inquisitive kids, and you can pop over to True & 12 for an ice cream afterwards.

Opening hours: daily 9-5
Admission: 8.50 € adults, 3 € commission


7 comments on “Munich’s Best: Museums

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