From medieval monuments and prestigious art museums to leafy urban parks and chic riverside bars, Munich’s neighborhoods have something for everyone. Discover the many faces of the Bavarian capital with this guide to Munich’s most interesting districts.
Old Town (Altstadt)
Munich’s historic center—home to the highest concentration of medieval landmarks—is generally the first port of call for travelers. Explore on a walking tour, stopping to admire sights such as the Munich Residence (Residenz München), the Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus), and St. Peter's Church (Peterskirche); browse the stalls at the open-air market, Viktualienmarkt; and then tuck into Bavarian food and beer at the famous Hofbräuhaus brewery.
North of the Old Town, bohemian Schwabing is Munich’s artistic quarter; the streets are lined with chic cafés, independent boutiques, and contemporary art galleries. Most visitors come to enjoy the greenery of the English Garden (Englischer Garten), one of the largest urban parks in Europe, but it’s worth sticking around for dinner and drinks after sunset—the district boasts a vibrant nightlife scene.
Stretching northwest of downtown, Maxvorstadt is a cultural quarter home to some of Munich’s best museums. Hop off the U-Bahn at Universität and walk to the landmark Siegestor triumphal arch; visit the three Pinakothek art museums; and check out Konigsplatz, where you’ll find the Glyptothek Museum. Home to two universities, Maxvorstadt is also frequented by students and it’s numerous bars and restaurants are a great option for budget travelers.
Bordering the English Garden on the left bank of the Isar River, Bogenhausen offers a relaxing break from the busy urban hub of downtown. An affluent and largely residential area, Bogenhausen—with its historic buildings and leafy parks—is undeniably picturesque. Head to Prinzregentenstrasse to shop at designer boutiques; people watch at one of the terrace cafés; visit the Villa Stuck museum; and admire the Angel of Peace monument.
South of Bogenhausen, Au-Haidhausen is one of Munich’s oldest districts and a great place for visitors to get a feel for local life. It’s most atmospheric in the evening—join locals for a drinks at a riverside bar; attend a concert at the Gasteig cultural centre, home to the Munich Philharmonic orchestra; or opt for beer tasting at the legendary Paulaner Brewery.