There are a lot of things to see, taste, smell and experience in Munich. But if you have one day, at least you should do the following route. You will do it all by walk so get your comfy shoes on!
1. Karlsplatz (Stachus)
Start from Karlsplatz (Stachus). Pass through the city gate Karlstor. Walk along Neuhauser Strasse. This is a pedestrian street with a lot of shops.
Take the Augustiner Strasse on the left to arrive to Frauenkirche.
Frauenkirche is the symbol of the city with its towers and it is an important building for Christianity as it is the seat of Archbishop of Munich and Freising. If the towers are not under construction ( it was since years) you can go up and enjoy wonderful views of Munich and Alps.
Frauenkirche has an interesting story. It has the devils’ footprint!
Legend is that the architect made a deal with devil. Devil would provide funds for the construction under the condition that the church would have no windows. Upon the completion of the church, devil paid a visit to inspect the church. Where he was standing, he could see no windows because the architect arranged it in such a way that from that point no windows were visible. When he discovered that he was tricked, he stomped his foot on the ground with anger and left the footprint.
Walk back to Neuhauser Strasse/ Kaufinger Strasse where you were before and continue walking to reach Marienplatz.
When you finish the street turn left and you are in Marienplatz. There you can see the new Rathaus (Rathaus means town hall), Mary’s Column with a golden statue of virgin Mary giving the name to the square, the Fish Fountain and old Rathaus.
One attraction of Rathaus is Glockenspiel. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rathaus-Glockenspiel You will see at certain times people gathering and looking up to Rathaus. They are waiting for the Glockenspiel, the dance of the figurines. It is not that special to tell the truth. If you are there at the right time you can have a look. The times of the glockenspiel is 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m. (the 5:00 p.m. show is omitted from November through February).
You can also have a nice breakfast at Glockenspiel Café with the view of Glockenspiel as the name tells.
Fish Fountain, which is a popular meeting place at the Marienplatz also has a funny tradition. It is believed that washing your wallet on Ash Wednesday would bring fortune and you would never see your wallet empty. Even the mayor washes city purse every year 🙂
4. Asam Kirche
Turn your back towards Marienplatz, take Galeria Kaufhof on your right and walk first along Rosenstrasse, then continue on Sendlinger Strasse. You will also pass by a lot of shops such as Abercrombie & Fitch (you know about the shopping assistants there, right? Can be also a nice attraction to visit:) ), Adidas etc and you will reach Asamkirche on your right on number 32.
This is a Baroch church built as probate chapel by Asam brothers who were sculptor and painter. It is a beautiful beautiful church, exaggerated in beauty.
5. Peter’s Church
From there walk back to Marienplatz. This time before arriving to Marienplatz take the right to Rindermakt, walk towards the Marienplatz and turn right to Petersplatz where you will find the Peter’s Church. This is Munich oldest church, dating back to 1150. But what makes here most attractive is the tower. Climbing 306 steps will bring you to a beautiful 360 degree view of Munich.
If you follow Petersplatz downwards after exiting the Peter’s church you will arrive to Viktualienmarkt. This is the daily fresh market of Munich. The prices can be higher compared to other markets and supermarkets but the products are usually very good in quality. As you might be tired from climbing the stairs of the tower you might relax here in the beer garden of Viktulienmarkt. A very good thing about beer gardens in Munich is that you can bring your own food, you just should buy your drinks there. Therefore maybe you would like to buy some cheese, sausages to eat with beer. Or you might get something from the fish restaurant Norse that is just behind the beer garden. If you are not into fish or meat, you might get a falafel sandwich from Sababa, that is very close to Viktualienmarkt.
7. Hofbräu Haus
This is the tourist haven of Munich. And it has right to be so. It is one of the oldest beer halls in Munich (founded in 1589), it has a place in the world history (national socialists held their first meeting here), it has beautiful interiors, good beer like everywhere else in Munich and live Bavarian music. A lot of travellers would omit touristic places when they visit a city but you have to know that this place is also dear to the locals. I have met many local Bavarians there. You can see on some of the tables the sign “Stammtisch” which means the table is reserved to a certain regular meeting. The regulars also leave their beer mugs there. There are brass band playing music usually during some weekdays (Monday-Thursday-Friday usually) after 18:30 and every weekend between 12:00- 16:30 and 18:30-23:30. Just have a beer there and socialise with other tourists or locals if you like and continue your tour.
After exiting the Hofbrau, turn right and then turn left to Pfister Strasse. Then continue walking till you arrive to the square with a park that is just behind marienplatz. Turn right and you will reach to Max-Josephs-Platz and the Bavarian State Opera.
Just next to Opera you will see Residenz, the royal palace of the Bavarian monarchs. If you like to visit, plan about two hours. The interiors are amazing.
When you walk past the Residenz towards Odeonsplatz, you will see lion statues. And you will realise that the noses of lions are golden while the rest is dark grey. Because the locals believe that rubbing the nose of the lions bring luck. So you should also do it! While waste your chance?
This is a possible story I heard, why it is believed to bring luck. In the old times it was very disgraceful to have misteresses. But King Ludwig 1 was not caring much about that. One young student got angry about it and posted a protest letter on the wall of Residenz. The king ordered the “people” who did this to be found and put also an a monetary award for the finder. The student got angry as he was thought to be “people” where in reality he was one person so he wanted to wrote about that and wanted to post it again to the wall. He was caught by guards while doing it. He was brought to the king but the king was impressed by his courage so he excused him and also gave him the money. The student ran home with great happiness and touched the noses of lions. So now the lions are believed to bring luck!
10. Drückeborgergasse (Shirker’s alley)
Today the street’s official name is Viscardigasse. But it was known as Drückeborgergasse, the shirker’s gasse. The street has become famous as a landmark for a little daily civil protest against Nazi regime. There was a Nazi Memorial in the Residenzstrasse where there are the lions statues with the golden noses are today. And everybody passing there was obliged to give Hitler Salute. The guards were making sure that everybody did that. The people that were against this were walking on this street to avoid the requirement. Today the way that locals went through is marked by a golden line.
Odeonsplatz is an important square in Munich. It hosts many activities of the city.
The most important sight in Odeonsplatz is Feldherrnhalle (Field Marshal’s Hall). This was built with an inspiration of the gallery in Florence. There are two statues of two military leaders: Johann Tilly who led Bavarians in the Thirty Years War and Karl Phillip von Wrede who led the fight against Napoleon. The statue group behind is representing the victory over French and the unification of Germany.
The lions that are on each site of this hall have also meanings. The one that has a closed mouth represents the bavarian, the one that has an open mouth represents the prussian heritage. This is a humourful expression of chitchatterness of the north-germans:)
I heard also another legend about the lions which was funny. The one with the closed mouth is standing by the church and means that you should shut your mouth to the church/ religion/ god. The one with the open mouth is standing by the palace of the king, meaning you can protest/ argue with the government of the country.
You can also have a look in Theatine Church, which is also in the odeonsplatz.
Now take the Feldherrnhalle behind you and walk towards right. Enter through the gates and you are in the Hofgarten, the garden of Residenz.
This is a beautiful garden, especially in the summer when the fountain works and there are musicians playing in the Diana Temple.
If you are there on a Sunday night in Summer, you can join the free salsa party in the Diana Temple.
From Hofgarten you can also see the bavarian state chancellery and war memorial. The main building in the middle of the chancellery was originally built in 1905 but the wings were demolished by the bombs in world war 2. They built the wings from windows to show that there is transparency in the government.
The war memorial (Kriegerdenkmal) was built to commemorate the lives lost in World War 1. Later on they added also the names of people that were killed in the air bombings of Munich in world war 2.
13. Surfers in the English Garden
When you pass by the war memorial, you will see the passage to the English Garden.
English Garden is one of the biggest parks in Europe, larger than New York’s Central Park.
An interesting and entertaining sight in English garden is the Surfers. Yep people surf in the little stream that passes through English Garden. There is a pumping mechanism that creates big waves though.
14. Chinese Tower
Chinese Tower is an important landmark of Munich. Make sure to take a photo in front of it.
In the weekends a brass band plays Bavarian Music. Please buy yourself a Mass beer, half chicken, Obazda if you are vegetarian and a big breeze. And enjoy the Gemutlickeit of Bavaria! It is wonderful to be there!
This concludes our one day trip!