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8 Can't-Miss Museums in Munich, Germany to Visit This Year

Munich Museums
by Suzie Dundas Apr 19, 2023

It seems like with many countries in Europe, there’s one main city everyone always wants to go to: London in England, Paris in France, Barcelona in Spain, and so on.

However, that’s not the case with Germany. While Berlin may attract visitors for historical sites like Checkpoint Charlie and its energetic, unique nightlife scene, Munich is equally popular — and not just because of Oktoberfest (which isn’t the only great festival in the city, by the way).

Visitors flock to Munich to begin their Bavarian hiking trips, to browse world-famous Christmas markets, and to learn about history (Bavaria was its own country until 1871). But you could argue that the museums in Munich are the best in the country, and attractions like the Residence Museum or quirky Marstallmuseum (carriage museum) are some of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.

If you’re interested in learning about medieval history, the science of studying crystals, how to wrap a mummy, or how beer played a role in shaping Munich’s unique culture, you’ll definitely need to visit a museum or two in the city. These are the eight best museums in Munich for first-time and return visitors alike.

The best museums in Munich

If you’re planning to visit several of the museums in Munich below as well as other attractions, you may want to buy a Munich card. Depending on which version of it you buy, you’ll get free or discounted access to the city’s state-run museums and steep discounts at private museums and other attractions across Munich.

You have two options for buying a card: you can buy the Munich Card, which is cheaper and includes 70 percent off or so at many museums and attractions, or the full Munich City Pass, which is more expensive, but includes more free attractions and even better discounts.

Deutsches Museum

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The Deutsches Museum is the largest museum of science and technology in the world and showcases advancements in both fields, from early man to current day. The enormous facility has more than 28,000 artifacts covering all areas of scientific and technological developments. Exhibition themes run the gamut, from musical instruments and optical research to robotics, space travel, agriculture, train travel, energy, and space travel, to name just a few. There’s also a kids section that’s bigger than some museums.

This is one of those museums in Munich that can fill a whole day, so try not to plan too much else for the day when you visit. Even if you aren’t a museum person, you’ll probably end up spending more time there than you planned. Exhibits are in German and English and there’s a free and very extensive downloadable audio guide available in more than a dozen languages.

  • Address: Museumsinsel 1, 80538 München, Germany
  • Hours: Daily, 9 AM – 5 PM
  • Cost: Adults are 15 Euro (about $17) or €12.50 (about $14.50) with a Munich card

The Munich Residence Museum

museums in munich germany - residence

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The Munich Residenz (Residence Museum) is a palace complex that served as the residence of the Bavarian monarchs from 1508 to 1918. Today, it’s one of the biggest museums in Munich and showcases the grandeur of the royal house of Bavaria. It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in Munich.

The Munich Residenz Museum houses an incredible collection of furniture, art, and artifacts from the heyday of Bavarian monarchy. Visitors can walk through more than100 rooms, including opulent living quarters, grand ceremonial halls, chapels, and massive halls covered in paintings and gilded art from floor to ceiling. The museum also has one of the most significant collections of Renaissance and Baroque art in Germany, with masterpieces from artists like Peter Paul Rubens, Diego Velázquez, and others.

One of the highlights of the museum is the Antiquarium. It’s more than 250 feet long and filled with sculptures, ancient artifacts, and other treasures. Visitors can also explore the Treasury (for an extra fee), which showcases an impressive collection of jewels, crowns, and other royal regalia. You can only buy tickets at the in-person window, so try to get there early if you’re visiting during a busy time of year (especially during Oktoberfest).

  • Address: Residenzstraße 1, 80333 München, Germany
  • Hours: October – March: 10 AM – 5 PM. April – September: 9 AM – 6 PM
  • Cost: Adults are €9 (about $10) for the Residence or Treasury, or €17 (about $19) for both

The Marstallmuseum

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The Marstallmuseum (often referred to as the carriage museum) is in the old royal stables of Schloss Nymphenburg. The museum focuses on the equestrian and carriage-driving traditions of the Bavarian monarchs from the 18th to the early 20th century. The big draw to the museum is the collection of carriages, sleighs, and other vehicles, many of which were used by the Bavarian royal family for various occasions such as parades, weddings, coronations, and hunting parties.

It also has exhibits on topics tangentially related to horses, like saddles, stirrups, and historic uniforms for drivers and horses alike. It has more than 40 carriages, some of which are quite ornate, so it’s actually one of the most interesting museums in Munich, even if it may not sound like it on paper. You can buy a ticket just for this museum or a combined ticket that also includes the Nymphenburg Palace Museum.

  • Address: Schloß Nymphenburg 208, 80638 München, Germany (at Nymphenburg Castle)
  • Hours: April – mid-October: 9 AM – 6 PM. Mid-October – March: 10 AM – 4 PM
  • Cost: Adults are €6 (about $5)

The BMW Museum

BMW museums in munich - old cars

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BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke) was founded in Munich, so it’s only fitting that one of the most popular museums in Munich is devoted to the brand. Even non-car enthusiasts will probably find the BMW museums interesting.

BMW Welt (which is free to visit) is the company’s HQ in Munich. It translates to “BMW World,” and has exhibits on the latest cars, technologies, and innovations. Many displays in the modern and impressive building are interactive, with hands-on activities like driving simulators.

At the BMW Museum, just across the street from BMW Welt, displays celebrate the history and success of BMW. It traces the brand’s history, from the first motorcycle in 1923 to its current lineup of luxury vehicles. In addition to classic vehicles, the museum also has a large collection of BMW memorabilia, including historic items like old posters, advertisements and books.

For a deeper dive, take a guided tour. You can tour BMW Welt, the BMW museum, or even take a tour of the BMW production facility and learn about the process of assembling the luxury cars. If you register for a tour in advance, your entry fee is included in the cost.

  • Address: Am Olympiapark 2, 80809 München, Germany
  • Hours: BMW Welt: 9 AM (7:30 AM midweek) – midnight. BMW Museum: 10 AM – 6 PM (closed Mondays)
  • Cost: Adults are €10 (about $11.50). BMW Welt is free.

The Munich Museum of Egyptian Art

museums in munich - egypt funerary mask

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The Munich Museum of Egyptian Art, or, in German, the “Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer Kunst,” is one of the coolest history museums in Munich and probably all of Germany. As you can probably guess from the name, the museum specializes in ancient Egyptian art, with a collection of around 50,000 exhibits spanning 4,000 years of Egyptian history.

Artifacts include sculptures, reliefs, pottery, jewelry, tombs, and art, and while it may not be the largest collection in Europe, it’s very well done. Exhibits aren’t just focused on the pharaohs, though they did rule Egypt for an astonishing long 3,000 years. There are also high-tech exhibits on Egyptian history, mythology, art, building, and the everyday lives of ancient Egyptians.

One of the highlights of the museum for adults and kids is the collection of mummies and mummy-related artifacts, including papyri and pieces of “The Book of the Dead:” an ancient funerary text with instructions and rituals to help the departed find their way to the afterlife. You can buy tickets in advance or just get them when you arrive.

  • Address: Gabelsbergerstraße 35, 80333 München, Germany
  • Hours: Tuesdays, 10 AM – 8 PM; Wednesday – Sunday, 10 AM – 6 PM (closed Mondays)
  • Cost: Adults are €7 (about $8), including an audio guide (or just €1 on Sundays)

The Beer and Oktoberfest Museum Munich

munich museums -- beer museum

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This is the best museum in Munich if you’re visiting for Oktoberfest as it celebrates everything about one of the city’s oldest industries: brewing. Visitors can learn about the historical brewing processes, explore traditional drinking vessels, and learn about the important role beer played in Bavaria’s culture and the development of Munich.

The permanent exhibition includes the collection of of metal, wooden, and ceramic steins, and an exhibit on the history of Oktoberfest from humble beginnings to today’s international festival. There’s also a cool exhibit with traditional German pub signs from around Bavaria depicting motifs such as animals and local folk heroes. The museum is small, but pretty interesting and — surprise! — there’s a pub on the first floor. It’s also in a building from 1327, which is pretty rad on its own.

  • Address: Sterneckerstraße 2, 80331 München, Germany
  • Hours: Tuesdays – Saturday, 1 PM – 5 PM (the pub is open later)
  • Cost: Adults are €4 (about $4.50)

The Museum Reich der Kristalle

crystal museum munich germany

The Museum Reich der Kristalle (Crystal Museum) is a cool little museum just a few blocks from the Residence Museum in the center of Munich. It’s devoted to the study and science of crystals, minerals, and fossils from around the world. There are interactive exhibits on how crystals form and a huge collection of various rare finds. It’s not a big museum and won’t take much time to see, but the information on display is great (and the on-site gift shop is pretty cool, too).

  • Address: Theresienstr. 41, 80333 Munich, Germany
  • Hours: Tuesdays – Saturday, 1 PM – 5 PM (closed Mondays)
  • Cost: Adults are €5 (about $6)

Bavarian National Museum

The Bavarian National Museum (Bayerisches Nationalmuseum) is one of the most renowned museums in Munich. Founded in 1855, it houses one of Europe’s most comprehensive collections of European decorative arts from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. The collection of more than 400,000 objects including furniture, tapestries, weapons, sculptures, paintings, and coins makes it one of the largest museums in Germany.

The museum also has rotating exhibits. As of April 2023, you can learn about the history and art of hats as well as a photography exhibit exploring the concept of “the metamorphosis.” Though the entry fee is already pretty reasonable, it’s free if you have a Munich card and only one Euro for everyone on Sundays. However, if you use the Munich card or take advantage of the Sunday pricing, you’ll have to pay €2 for the audio guide. It’s free if you pay the standard admission rate.

  • Address: Prinzregentenstraße 3, 80538 München, Germany
  • Hours: 10 AM – 5 PM (8 PM on Thursdays.) Closed Mondays.
  • Cost: Adults are €7 (about $8) or €1 on Sundays.  Free for Munich card holders and anyone under 18.

Where to stay in Munich

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Assuming you don’t mind some walks in the 20-minute range, you’ll be able to stroll to most of the museums in Munich above if you stay anywhere near Munich’s Central Train Station. You can also stay near Marienplatz, the city’s historical center, though it’s a popular area and hotels will likely cost a bit more. Staying near the train station also makes it easier to get in and out of the city as it’s a quick 30-minute ride from the train station to the airport.

We hope you love the spaces and stays we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.

Beyond by Geisel


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Taking a couples trip to Munich? Then you may want to stay at this adults-only hotel steps from Marienplatz (and many of the city’s December Christmas markets). Rooms have rich colors and comfortable furniture, and you can book cool experiences like wine walks or overnight packages that include Munich tours. Of course, the coolest thing is probably the private, glass-roof train car you can book for romantic dinners, sightseeing tours, or anything else you want. Rooms start at $420 a night.

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The Louis Hotel


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The Louis Hotel is a stylish boutique hotel just a short walk from the central station. It’s about a 15-minute walk to attractions like Marienplatz, Viktualienmarkt, and the Residence Museum. Rooms are sophisticated and comfortable with Nespresso coffee machines and fast Wi-Fi. There’s also a cute rooftop terrace in the summer. Rooms start around $300 a night.

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Hotel Bayerischer Hof

Hotel Bayerischer Hof is close to Marienplatz and one of the oldest hotels in Munich, opened in the 1840s. It’s a luxury hotel for sure, and rooms are spacious with high-end fixtures. But what’s probably the coolest thing about this hotel are the bars. It has an ice bar, a piano bar and nightclub, a South Pacific-themed cocktail bar, and a high-end bar in a purple-hued house of mirrors. It’s a very cool place to stay. Rooms start around $407 per night.

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