MUNICH’S MOST BEAUTIFUL VANTAGE POINTS
Munich offers not only a variety of recreational opportunities, major events, and varied shopping and dining options, it also offers some impressive views from the above. So that you can enjoy these wonderful views of the Bavarian capital, we have put together a list of the best vantage points in Munich.
The Olympic Tower (Der Olympiaturm)
In addition to its original function as a television tower, the Olympic Tower has also become a symbol of the city and the Olympic Park. It is the second-tallest structure in Bavaria (after the Nuremberg TV tower) and one of the highest towers in Europe. The Olympic Tower features an observation deck at a height of 190 metres, two restaurants and the highest rock music museum in the world at 200 metres. Since opening on 22/02/1968, a lift has brought more than 39.2 million visitors to the top at a speed of 7 metres per second. In the Michelin-starred restaurant “181” you can indulge in a sumptuous meal while enjoying a 360° view every 53 minutes of Munich and its environs and, in good weather, all the way to the Alps from the Salzkammergut to the Allgäu. The ground floor is home to the “Olympiasee” restaurant where from 11 am to 9 pm you can enjoy dishes such as pasta, regional specialities and home-made desserts. A special highlight is the opportunity to experience the New Year fireworks over Munich from the tower’s viewing platform. More information is available on the official Munich Olympic Park website.
picture source: flickr (digital cat)
- Height: 291.78 metres
- Opening times: Daily 9 am – Midnight (last ride up at 11:30 pm)
- Admission: Adults €5.50, Family ticket (2 adults and children) €15.00, Children under 6 years free, free admission for birthday children
- Directions: U3 direction Moosach to Olympiazentrum; Tram lines 20 and 21 to Olympiapark West stop; city bus line line 173, Olympia Eisstadion stop.
St. Peter’s Church (Der alte Peter)
The parish church of St. Peter, popularly known as “Alter Peter” (Old Peter), is both Munich’s oldest parish church and one of its most famous landmarks. It is located on Petersbergl, a hill between Marienplatz and Rindermarkt. The history of the church dates back to the 12th century. After its destruction in World War II, Old Peter underwent restoration from 1946 to 1954 and is now 91 metres high. From the viewing platform at 56 metres you have a wonderful view of the Frauenkirche, the roofs of Munich’s old town, and, in good weather, a view of up to 100 kilometres distance to the Alps. To enjoy this, you will have to climb 306 steps past the belfry housing the oldest bell in Munich—but the effort is rewarded with a fantastic view.
picture source: flickr (Rob124)
- Height: 91 metres
- Opening times: Summer Mondays-Fridays 9 am – 6:30 pm; Weekends and holidays 10 am – 6:30 pm. Opening times: Winter Mondays-Fridays 9 am – 5:30 pm; Weekends and holidays 10 am – 5:30 pm.
- Admission: Adults €1.50, children under 6 free
- Directions: 5 minutes’ walk from Marienplatz or 10 minutes’ walk from the Platzl Hotel
The Angel of Peace (Der Friedensengel)
Another notable vantage point in the city is the Friedensengel on Prinzregentenstrasse overlooking the Isar. It stands as a monument to the 25 years of peace after the Franco-Prussian War and was built from 1896-1899 and restored in 1983. The statue is part of the Maximilian Park (Maximiliansanlage) and is located in the Munich district of Bogenhausen. Stairs will take you up to viewing terrace from which you can enjoy a beautiful view of Munich’s old town. The top of this pillar is adorned with a six-metre-high, gilded bronze statue of the Angel of Peace, casting its protective eye over the city. An especially nice time to view the statue is at night when the fountain in front is illuminated. There is also the annual 3-4 day Friedensengelfest with live bands and food including grilled meats, waffles and crepes, as well as cocktails and beer on offer.
picture source: flickr (bjbrake)
- Height: 44 metres
- Opening times: Daily, no closing times
- Admission: Free
- Directions: Take bus 100 or tram 17 and get off at Friedensengel
The New City Hall (Das neue Rathaus)
The Munich City Hall is not only where the mayor and the city council have their offices, it is also one of the most famous buildings in the city. It was built from 1867 to 1909 in the Gothic Revival style and, with its location on the Marienplatz, a popular tourist attraction. This is mainly because of its famous carillon (Glockenspiel) with 43 bells that plays daily at 11 am and 12 noon, which is always a draw for young and old. But the outside of the building is not the only part worth taking a look. It’s also worth going up the 85-metre high city hall tower (Rathausturm) with a viewing deck just below the spire and over the carillon. And the good news is that it can be accessed easily with a lift. Perched above the city, looking south you can see the Alps, St. Peter’s (Alter Peter), the Church of the Holy Spirit (Heilig Geist Kirche), Marienplatz, the Old Town Hall (das alte Rathaus) and the Talburgtor. Looking north, you can see the Theatinerkirche and the Olympic Tower; and to the west is the Frauenkirche and St. Paul’s.
picture source: flickr (Oberau-Online)
- Height: 85 metres
- Opening times: from November to April: Mon – Fri 10:00 am – 5:00 pm; closed on weekends and holidays; from May to October: open daily from 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
- Admission: Adults €2.50, children to 18 €1.00, free for children under 6 years
- Directions: From the Platzl Hotel you can reach Marienplatz in just five minutes by foot.
The Theresienwiese is not only known for the annual popular Oktoberfest, but a small hill at its west end also houses a bronze statue of personifying Bavaria which has watched over the state capital since being erected in 1850 by order of King Ludwig I. The Bavaria is a 18.62-metre-high bronze statue depicting Bavaria as a woman. A spiral staircase inside the statue leads vistors to the observation deck. There are two benches and four portholes through which you have a view over the entire festival grounds and the adjacent neighbourhoods.
picture source: flickr (Ivan)
- Height: 18.62 metres
- Opening times: from April to mid-October daily from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm; during Oktoberfest through 8 pm; closed from 16 October to 31 March.
- Admission: €3.50 per person
- Directions: Take subway line U4 or U5 to the Theresienwiese or Schwanthalerhöhe stations.
Officially “St. Mary’s Cathedral” (Der Dom zu Unserer Lieben Frau), the Frauenkirche is a distinctive landmark in Munich’s old town. It serves as the cathedral of the Archbishop of Munich and Freising and is located in the center of Munich between Marienplatz, Karlsplatz and Odeonsplatz. It was built in 1494 in the Gothic style and has north and south towers. The north tower with a height of 98.57 metres is not publicly accessible. The south tower is 98.45 metres high and has an observation deck with a beautiful view over the rooftops of Munich to the Alps. Due to maintenance work, however, the tower will be closed from 2012 through mid-2013.
picture source: flickr (thomaswanhoff)
- Height: North Tower: 98.57 metres south tower: 98.45 metres
- Opening times: April to October Mon – Sat 10 am – 5 pm
- Admission: €2 per person
- Directions: From the Platzl Hotel you can reach Marienplatz in just a few minutes by foot