In the Marienplatz, Munichs most famous site centrally (don't say the Olympia Stadium is, I have said Centrally) and you will hear just about tongue from around the world. Quite spectacular and definitely easy to see.
This is the old town center and empties into the pedestrian concourse consisting of Kaufingerstrasse which connects east to Neubauer and east to the Tal. On the east side of the square is a great department store. The activity in the square is greatest at 11AM, 5PM and 11PM (and noon in tourist season) when the carillon and automated figures perform on the face of the Neue Rathaus (Town Hall) Tower looking out on the square. Before the tower is the Mariensaule, a column of Thanksgiving, and to the east the Alte Rathaus. Before and after the show various street performers attract money from the crowd as they wait. Before Christmas there is a Christkindlmarkt and stalls are placed in the square and walking streets. (These features are covered in separate Tips).
I loved very much this pedestrian area full of life in the very heart of Munich. However, the Glockenspiel dissapointed me a bit, since I expected more from the 'performance' and I found it not so worthwhile.
The view from the top of the 'Rathaus' is very nice. Ticket 2€.
Marienplatz has got a great atmosphere at night. You can sit down at any of the cafes outside and listen to a musician or if your like me and you prefer a pint you can head to one of the beer halls in the area although it can get quite smoky in the hall. And make sure to go on a Friday or Saturday night .
Shown in the picture is Marienplatz. I love Bayern, lived a year there, and visited munich three times. Once, in dreary winter weather, but i was so excited i still went, second, to see the Neuschwanstein castle nearby, third to see the Deutsche Technische Museum. Every time it was mandatory to make a visit to marienplatz. Walk down this amazing street and see the weatlh of bavaria, nice people, until you reach the Town hall (Das Rathaus) Es ist wunderbar!
Get yourself a german glass boot like i did, see whats going on in the square next to the edifying town hall, as long as there are not dominatrix and gays/lesbians gathering for a parade like when i went ARGGGH!, and see the Frauenkirche as well, which you can take an elevator to the top (Yes, there is an elevator!!)
Do some shopping, talk to the locals (germans are amazing people i think youll find), and why not go into a bierhall for your first Mass of beer!!
this was the reason we were here and it was exactly what i hoped for and more
its the atmosphere , it seems very local orientated people buying their xmas trees, drinking the gluwein , mulled wine to u and me
eating the roasted chestnuts or mandels
buying the decorations for the tree,
it is a lovely area there were loads of stalls and to be honest u could not buy everything u saw
good things are the gingerbread treats which range from 2.50 euros up to 10 euros depending on size
decorations varied from 50 cent upwards as dear as u can go however u'd have to consider how u would fit them in to the suitcases afterwards
when u are at the new townhall and go right - u keep walking downtowards karlplatz and there was an out door ice rink ,greatif u can skate otherwise expect bruises
Marienplatz is one of Munich's central squares - a pedestrian zone with shops, restaurants, churches, a market, street performers, etc. You can easily spend a couple of hours here wandering around, shopping, stopping in at the churches, having a beer at an outdoor cafe.
One of the big attractions of Marienplatz is the Glockenspiel. There are performances at 11, 12, and 5. Hordes of people will form in front of the Rathaus. Carved wood figures a story high will joust and dance - revolving to the music. It's very touristy and even a little boring, but it's world famous and you will go and watch anyway!
At the city centre is the Marienplatz, Munich's central square. Here, you can see the the Old and New Town Hall, with a Marien Column in the centre of the square. This is also a popular meeting place for tourists and locals alike. It is easy to get to and equally easy to find.
The Marien tower contains the Rathaus-Glockenspiel, an ornate clock with almost life-sized moving figures that show scenes from a medieval jousting tournament as well as a performance of the famous "Schäfflertanz" (translated "Barrel-makers' dance"). At 11am and 12 noon every day, people gather in front of the New Town Hall to witness 10 minutes of animated show. I found it to be quite interesting.
Also, one of the prettiest Christmas markets in Germany is held here in the Marienplatz. If you have a chance to visit Munich in December, go and see the Christmas markets in and around Marienplatz.
Like many European cities, Munich is a wanderer's paradise. It is flat and very easy to walk (remember that to walk on cobblestone streets, you will need thick-soled walking shoes). Also, it is a wonderful city to tour with a bicycle. If that is not your thing, make sure you stay out of bicycle lanes and watch behind you on your left and right.
The area around Marianplatz is filled with places to see. There are shops to stick your head into, gasthauses with every kind of Bavarian beer, wonderful restaurants for all palates, churches and cathedrals, department stores, and even a museum or two, all within a block of Marianplatz. One can climb to the towers of the Neues Rathaus (New City Hall), the Frauenkirche, and Peterskirch for birds eye views of Munich or just wander around for a ground level view.
The Virgin Mary has been regarded as the patroness of Bavaria for over 400 years. During the 1630's Munich faced not only advancing Swedish armies bent on destruction but also the plague in which a third of the populace died. The Swedish were bribed to save the city and the plague resolved. In thanks, Elector Maximilian took the gilded oversized figure from the Frauenkirche and had constructied a column on the main square. It has remained the central site of devotion for Bavarian Catholics. Do note at the base four angels battling the four great enemies -- war, hunger, disease, and most important to the Wittelsbach the ultimate devil Martin Luther.
The square was named Marienplatz in 1854. It is also the central site for measuring highway distances, point zero, in Bavaria.
It has served as a focal point for important events since its construction. There have been many papal visits since Pope Pius VI in 1782 including John Paul II in 1980. Current Pope Benedict XVI made his last official act as cardinal of Munich 1982 a prayer at this site before leaving to serve in Rome as well as his first act upon returning as Pope in 2006. The armies which left to fight the Ottoman Empire in the late 17th Century left from this symbol of Bavarian Catholicism.
The Nazis intrusion into the life of German citizens included a ban on public Catholic prayer. Silent prayer passing the Mariensaule was a token protest. During the war, the column was removed to safety and replaced amidst the ruins in 1945 by Cardinal Michael Faulhaber. It's currrent site reflects placement after removal for construction of the subway in 1970. The Column of Mary is and remains the focal point for the Bavarian veneration of the Virgin today.
Marienplatz is Munichs bustling and historic central square. We were there during November when the Christmas Fair was going on. Very festive but very cold... Easy to get to with public transportation and everything is right there within walking distance. Shops, restaurants, historic buildings, statues. It is anchored by the Neues Rathaus or New Town Hall. You'll find it safe, interesting and lots of people, including families. We ate at the Rathskeller several times and really enjoyed the food and atmosphere (could be romantic if you weren't with kids ). In the middle of Marienplatx is the golden statue of the Virgin....
We've stayed in hotel which was 10 minutes away (by foot) from the Old city . Marienplatz is the core of the old part of Munich and it is always full of people. The name of the square comes from Mary's Colum - a pillar erecter at the order of Maximilian 1. The thing what I learned here is that the four figures at the base of the column symbolise War,Plague, Heresy and Famine!
Ah yes, a rubber necker's delight this one. 11.00, 12.00 and 17.00 are the times to view the full routine of the figures, shown here via my telephoto lens which gives you a slightly better idea of proportion.
It's at the top of the tower of the Neues Rathaus (new town hall) and you'd have to be blind to miss it.
The Marienplatz is one place you will wind up as a tourist since it represents the hub of the town and it's also where one of the main information centres is.
The Marienplatz is dominated by the city hall, the ornate Neues Rathaus.
The Marienplatz is the heart of the city of Munich. In the Middle Ages, the square used to be a market place as well as the place where tournaments and festivities took place. The market was moved during the 19th century, but it still functions as the central place in Munich.
The square is dominated by the New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus). The monumental, 79 meters high town hall was built between 1867 and 1909 by Georg Joseph Hauberrisser in Flemish Gothic style to alleviate the overcrowded Alten Rathaus nearby.
To get your bearings in Munich, head first of all to the Marienplatz - the town hall square.
Firstly, Marienplatz is very pretty. Most imposing of all is the Neues Rathaus building (New Town Hall) as shown in the picture, featuring the famous 'Glockenspiel' on its tower high up above the square. This is not a musical instrument but a mechanical clock with 43 bells and 32 life-sized automaton figures. The Glockenspiel chimes at 11 a.m. every day (as well as 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. in summer) and plays one of four tunes whilst the figures re-enact two Bavarian stories from the 16th century - usually iwitnessed by a mass gathering of tourists. The Town Hall also has a vast and highly recommended resturant in it's cellar (the 'Ratskellar') serving some delicious Bavarian dishes (see my 'Resturants' tips).
But more importantly, the square is the hub of the city. Most of the U-Bahn and S-Bahn lines converge on the Marienplatz so it is the perfect starting point for exploring the city.
On foot you can head west along Kaufinger/Neuhauser Strasse towards the fountains of Karlsplatz - a 10 minute walk. Both streets are lined with posh department stores and al fresco drinking/dining opportunities.
Alternatively, venturing north takes you along Theatiner and Ludwig Strasse with their classical architecture - notably the Theatinerkirche and Residenz. This part of the city is a 5 or 10 minute walk and it is where you may start to feel geographically a lot further south than you really are. Further on is the start of the Englischer Garden park, which straddles the River Isar.
Eastwards takes you towards the legendary Hofbrauhaus (another 'must-do' for Munich visitors) and the Deutsches Museum.
To the south-west of the square (2 minutes walk) is the Peterskirche, which overlooks the wonderful Viktualienmarkt (Food & Drink Market). The church tower is a great place to get a view of the city.
So as you can see, Marienplatz is the definitive place to begin exploring the city - and that's why it's my number one tip!