Art and Museums
Bavarias kings have transformed Munich into Germany's art capital in the 1800s and it is still home to world class collections and museums. The Kunstareal in Maxvorstadt includes 16 museums, 40 galleries and 7 art schools. The most famous of these museums are
Glyptothek — Antique Grecian sculpture collection housed in an impressive classical Inonic building at Königsplatz.
Lenbach Haus — reopened recently after renovation. It's most famous works of the "Blauer Reiter" school are loaned out to changing cities. The nearby "Kunstbau" within the Königsplatz subway station is part of the Lenbach Haus and contains changing exhibitions.
Museum Brandhorst — Most recent addition to Munich's museum district; a collection of modern and contemporary art (paintings, sculptures and installations) by Udo and Anette Brandhorst.
Pinakotheken — These are three very impressive art museums. The Alte Pinakothek features 15-18th century religious paintings, the Neue Pinakothek 19-20th century Impressionist and Expressionist art and the Pinakothek der Moderne has 20th century paintings, modern art, design and architecture sections.
Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer Kunst (State Museum for Egyptian Art) — A museum for the Bavarian state's antique collections of Egyptian art just north of Karolinenplatz. Other items of the collection can be found at another location in the Residenz.
Staatliche Antikensammlungen (State Collections of Antiques) — A museum for the Bavarian state's antique collections of Greek, Etruscan and Roman art housed in a Corinthian building at Königsplatz just across from the Glyptothek.
In addition, other great museums devoted to art and culture can be found throughout the city of Munich. These include the following examples:
City Museum of Munich — Offers a fascinating insight into the diverse history of Munich. Houses eye-opening displays of war torn Munich as well as an excellent musical instruments museum and puppetry museum (both of which stand as exemplary collections on their own!). Seasonal exhibitions are also usually worthwhile.
German Theatre Museum — Founded around 100 years ago, the German Theatre Museum is full of memorabilia and offers an insight into the development of German Theatre.
Haus der Kunst — An exhibition hall that flaunts its National Socialist architectural design, presents ever-changing graphic arts exhibitions.
Jewish Museum — Newly opened museum at St. Jakobsplatz with one permanent exhibition which illuminates aspects of Jewish history and culture in Munich, and a range of changing exhibitions.
National Bavarian Museum — One of the most important cultural history museums in Europe, housing a large collection of European artifacts from the Middle Ages until early 20th century. There's a wide range of important antiques here, from medieval armor to pottery, from furniture to porcelain, and seasonally displaying the world's largest collection of nativity scene sets.
National Museum of Egyptian Art — A museum for the Bavarian state's antique collections of Egyptian art in the Residenz. Other items of the collection can be found at another location at the Kunstareal.
Schack Gallery — A private collection of 19th Century, Late Romantic art. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 10AM to 6PM, and until 8PM on the first and third Weds. of the month. Entrance is €4 for adults, €3 reduced, and just €1 on Sunday.
Treasury in the Munich Residenz — A stunning collection of Bavarian Royal jewels, furniture and art.
Villa Stuck — A collection of Jugendstil art primarily by Franz von Stuck. Interesting seasonal exhibitions as well, all located in a well maintained historical mansion once owned by the artist including period furniture.
Munich is also a global center of research and engineering. Therefore, it is not surprising that the city hosts several museums presenting vast science and technology-related exhibitions:
BMW Museum — For a BMW enthusiast, this museum is a must see on your itinerary. Exhibitions highlight the history of the famous car maker while the adjecent BMW Welt presents its current products.
Deutsches Museum - located in Haidhausen. The Deutsches Museum is probably the largest technical museum in the world. It has a hands-on, interactive section for natural science, engineering, construction, etc. as well as an impressive collection of full-scale aerospace vehicles and cars. Plan lots of time if you want to try and see everything, even the full eight open hours of the day is barely enough to even get around to all the exhibits, much less spend a significant amount of time in them. There is also a major transportation exhibition branch located near Theresienhöhe (above the Oktoberfest grounds), and another one housing the extensive airplane collection in Oberschleißheim near Schloss Schleißheim.
Siemens Forum - It presents the history of electrical engineering and electronics giant Siemens AG at a location designed by New York architect Richard Meier. It also houses the Siemens archives. The museum is currently closed for re-construction.
Most of the Munich museums are closed on Mondays. The Nyphemburg Castle and gardens as well as the Deutsche Museum are the only places open on Mondays. BMW Welt, a state of the art BMW showroom is open for public visit, although the museum itself is closed. Hence, the best way to plan your intinerary is to visit the museums on days other than Monday and use Monday to explore the city. For many museums, Sunday will be the best day to visit since admission is only 1 Euro. This includes the Pinakotheken, Museum Brandhorst, the National Bavarian Museum and the Glyptothek as well as the Staatliche Antikensammlungen. The Neue Pinakotheke, however, is open on Mondays and closed on Tuesdays.