Travel Germany. Top picks of Munich’s Museums

Munich, with its many museums and art galleries, enjoys a fantastic reputation in the art lovers’ world. After making my way through most of Munich's museums, I curated a list of ten museums that shows you which museum’s special exhibitions are always impressive, superbly presented and worth a visit. I learned which museum teaches about history so that we can better understand the present, and, where to find art of the 19th century, and the 14th to the 18th century. Read on to see where you can look at gold decorated rooms and miniature paintings, and which museum has lots of pieces by Andy Warhol. You wonder where to best go to in Munich to look at modern and contemporary art? Come, I’m so excited to show you what I found.

Travel Germany. Top picks of Munich’s Museums

Munich City Museum

How was life in Munich 300 years ago? And how changed National Socialism and WW2 this town? The Munich City Museum tells you everything you need to know about Munich. Permanent exhibitions show furniture, fashion and everyday items. There is a whole floor that tells the history of puppet-theatres. At the film museum you can watch an ever changing program from classics to contemporary films. There is a great café with a lovely beer garden in the courtyard plus another one in the front of the café where you can eat cake, Paninis and salads. (Stadtcafe im Stadtmuseum. Hours: 10am to 12am). The souvenir shop is best to be described as fantastic.

Infos: Munich City Museum. St.-Jakobs-Platz 1, 80331 Munich. Hours: Tuesday to Sunday and on bank holidays: 10am to 6pm. Tickets EUR 7. Free up to the age of 18.

Kunsthalle Muenchen

The Kunsthalle does not have its own collection but organizes three to four exhibitions per year. The program includes various eras and art styles of painting, photography and design o international artists. The exhibitions are always impressive, superbly presented and worth a visit. You can also visit the stylish café for coffee and cake and drinks.

Info: Kunsthalle Muenchen. Hours: Monday to Sunday 10am to 8pm. On every third Wednesday of the month, the exhibition is open until 10pm. Tickets EUR 12, on Mondays tickets are sold for half the price (not when it is a bank holiday). 

National Socialism Documentation Centre

This place is not a theme park where you can play fancy dress with original crisp steel helmets and Nazi costumes, and it is not a place where you can pet the descendants of Hitler's German shepherd. There are not even action films explaining things. It is a place where you are given the opportunity to understand how things really are.

Hitler developed enemy images, he called the press and politicians liars, and he created this experience of belonging to a nation … (sounds familiar?) The building is designed by Berlin architects Georg Scheel Wetzel. It is strong enough to minimize possible injuries to visitor’s souls. It is like a silent and supportive friend, who is there before you fall. It is trendy, sleek, modern.

Visit this permanent exhibition space to learn from history to understand the present. Listen to what the museum has to tell you.Read all about it here: Travel Germany. The Best Museum in Munich - National Socialism Documentation Centre.

Infos: National Socialism Documentation Centre - NS Dokumentationszentrum. Brienner Strasse 34, 80333 Munich. Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 7pm. Closed 24th December. Open on all bank holidays (except on 24.12.). Tickets: EUR 5. Free up the age of 18.


The Lenbachhaus collects and shows the art of the nineteenth century, the Blue Rider, the New Objectivity, as well as international contemporary art. Around 1891 painter Franz von Lenbach built a villa plus an Italian Renaissance garden, which can also be visited. You won't believe you are in the middle of Munich.

The breakfast at Ella, the restaurant named after Gabriele Münter, a painter that was part of the expressionist Blue Rider Group, is a delicious place for breakfast and the perfect place to go to before you visit the museum. The interior design of the restaurant as well as the modern extension of the museum Lenbachhaus were designed by British architect Sir Norman Foster.

Infos: Lenbachhaus. Hours: Tuesday 10am to 8pm. Wednesday to Sunday 10am to 6pm. Closed on Monday. Closed 24th December. Tickets EUR 10. Opening hours ELLA Restaurant & Café: Tuesday to Saturday 9am to 1am; Sunday 9am - 9pm. Free up the age of 18.

Museum Brandhorst

The stunning building by Berlin based architects Sauerbruch Hutton is the home of the Brandhorst Museum. There are 1,000 works from the 20th and 21st century. With over 100 works by Andy Warhol this is probably the biggest collection of its kind in Europe. I bought a red jumper that states "Tomato Soup" on the front. I wear it to have my very own Andy Warhol moment. 

Infos: Museum Brandhorst. Theresienstrasse 35a, 80333 Munich. Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 8pm. Closed on Monday.  Closed: Shrove Tuesday; Labour Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve. Tickets: EUR 7. Free up the age of 18.

Alte Pinakothek

Commissioned by King Ludwig I of Bavaria, The Alte Pinakothek was designed by the 52 year old German court architect Leo von Klenze and opened in 1836. His design style had an impact on other museums, and soon after this project he even designed parts of the public museum at the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg in Russia. Visit to look at 700 European paintings from the 14th to the 18th century.

There is also a stylish café, Victorian House, which offers cakes and drinks. Hours: Tuesday 10am to 8pm, Wedensday to Sunday 10am to 6pm.

Infos: Alte Pinakothek. Barer Strasse 27, 80333 Munich. Hours: Tuesday 10am to 8pm. Wednesday to Sunday 10am to 6pm. Closed on Monday. Closed: Shrove Tuesday; Labour Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve. Tickets: EUR 4. Sunday EUR 1. Free up the age of 18.

Neue Pinakothek

Infos: Neue Pinakothek. Barer Straße 29, 80333 München, Germany. Tram 27, stop Pinakothek. Hours: Monday (closed Tuesday) to Sunday 10am to 6pm, Wednesday 10am to 8pm. Closed Shrove Tuesday. Assumption Day. Labour Day. Christmas Eve. Christmas Day. New Year's Eve. Tickets: EUR 7. Sunday EUR 1. Free up the age of 18.

Pinakothek der Moderne

At this place, you get four museums under one roof. Modern art of the Bavarian State Collection, the Collection of the Munich design museum, and the Graphic Collection of the Architectural Museum of the Technical University of Munich. The starting point for your visit is the impressive rotunda with its 25-meter-high glass dome.

Infos: Pinakothek der Moderne. Hours: Daily except Monday 10am to 6pm, Thursday 10am to 8pm. Closed Shrove Tuesday. Assumption Day. Labour Day. Christmas Eve. Christmas Day. New Year's Eve. Tickets: EUR 10. Sunday EUR 1. Free up the age of 18.


The residence, a former palace built for Bavarian Royals is directly at Odeonsplatz, a square in the centre of town. There are 130 (!) lavishly gold decorated rooms, packed to the rafters with paintings, miniature paintings, mirrors, tapestries, furniture, cutlery and china. One of the highlights is the Renaissance Hall of Antiquities built between 1568 and 1571. It is one of the oldest Renaissance Halls in Europe. To be all alone in here feels pretty special ... I had only a brief moment and in came a guided tour. 

Infos: Hours: Residence. April to 15th October: 9 am - 6 pm (last admission 5pm). 16th October till March: 10am to 5pm (last admission 4pm). Closed 1. January, Shrove Tuesday, 24th, 25th 31st December. Tickets: EUR 7.

Haus der Kunst

Haus der Kunst. In the summer of 1932 more than a third of Germans vote for the National Socialist German Workers' Party (today colloquially referred to as Nazi party) in a democratic election. Hitler has been elected democratically. Too few people stood up against him. For a few months there were faces of members of the anti-fascist movement “Red Orchestra” are on the south facade of House of Art/Haus der Kunst. A network of 150 women and men who independently organized resistance groups. I can only begin to imagine how hopeless life must have felt for opponents at a time in which they were pulled into a vortex of hate against their will.

This was one of the exhibitions, and you will find more like these and many more in the Haus der Kunst. The Haus der Kunst near the English Garden is one of the most important museums in Munich. It does not have its own collection; it shows retrospectives of modern, contemporary artists or themed exhibitions. It is exhilarating to walk through the huge, meter-high rooms.

Adolf Hitler opened the building in 1937 as a "House of German Art". During the Nazi era the exhibitions showed propaganda and kitsch art, all modern art was banished. You can learn about its past in a free exhibition in the entrance area. There is also a stunning bar, the Goldene Bar you have to visit.

Infos: Haus der Kunst. Prinzregentenstrasse 1, 80538 Munich. Hours: Daily 10am - 8pm, Thursday 10am - 10pm. Closed 24th December, 31st January. Tickets: EUR 14. 

Put the Museum Brandhorst, the Haus der Kunst, the Lenbachhaus, and the Kunsthalle Muenchen together with the special exhibitions and collections of the Old, New and Modern Pinakothek on your list of must-visit-museums of Munich. At the Munich City Museum, the National Socialism Documentation Centre and at the Residence the focus lies foremost in history, and all three are just as equally fascinating to visit and should really be added to that list.

Please note: All information provided was accurate at the time of publishing, please check the websites of the museums before your visit.
From Berlin with love