Large Painting at the Lenbachhaus in Munich

Walk into any one of the many museums in Munich and prepare to be amazed.

Munich has a rich cultural heritage catering to a broad range of interests.

You will be blown away by the arts and culture scene in Munich. I had never heard of the massive treasure trove of galleries and exhibits that we have right here in Munich. Of course that is due to my own ignorance! Even after 10 years I continue to be pleasantly surprised every time I visit museums in Munich.

Hats off to the foundations that dedicate themselves to preserving and conserving our cultural heritage.

Here are a few museums in Munich to keep you and your family entertained:

Alte Pinakothek

All of these four museums, the Alte, Neue, Moderne & Brandhorst are all located in the Kunstareal or Museum Quarter in Munich, close to the old town.

Tip: The entrance fee to each of the four museums on Sunday is €1.

The Alte Pinakothek was erected to display the collections of King Ludwig I and the Wittelsbach family. It houses the “Old Masters” from the 14th – 18th Century. When built, It was the largest museum in the world. The museum was partially destroyed in WWII, but reconstructed to its original architecture in 1957.

Neue Pinakothek

The Neue houses collections from the 19th Century. This one is my favorite, because of the Impressionist era paintings that I’m more familiar with. The building was destroyed in WWII and reconstructed in a more modern style.

Tip: Their café has an outdoor courtyard with a water fountain. Perfect for meeting friends.

Pinakothek der Moderne

Built in 2002, the “Dritte”, as the locals call it, it is one of the largest modern art museums in the world.

Tip: Some of the Rooms were closed due to renovation the last time I checked. Check the website for info.

Museum Brandhorst

This museum opened in 2009. Since then, the Brandhorst has established itself as one of the central venues for contemporary art in Germany. Masterpieces from the 1960s to the present are on display. Some highlights include many of Cy Twombly’s works and is known to have the largest holdings of Andy Warhol’s artwork in Europe.

Tip: Just the building is worth seeing and the café has some tasty bites.

Kunsthalle München

There are three exhibitions annually, and they never disappoint. The museum is located in Old Town Munich. If you are looking for a smaller exhibit, this one is your best bet.

Deutsches Museum

This museum is enormous with a focus on Science and Technology. You’ll find airplanes, submarines, a replica of a mineshaft and the star show in the planetarium. 30 + exhibitions! 

Tip: Get the annual pass. One visit is not enough.


Originally built as a villa for the painter, Franz von Lenbach, in 1891, it was later acquired by the city of Munich. They completed its transition into a museum in 1929. This contemporary art museum has stunning collections, including many favorites from the Blue Rider Movement: Gabriele Münter, Kandinsky, Klee, etc.

Tip: Their restaurant/café Ella has great lunch/dinner specials as well as a great assortment of cakes.

Haus der Kunst

Also housing temporary exhibits of contemporary art, this building is worth visiting just for its history and links to Social Nationalism. Hitler’s master architect, Paul Ludwig Troost, built the Haus der Kunst between 1933 – 1937. It was the first monumental structure to represent Nazi Architecture. It’s primary purpose was to exhibit, what the Nazi party considered, Germany’s finest artists.

Tip: The museum is located on the southern-most edge of the English Garden. Combine your trip with a visit to this large and wonderful park. Start with the surfers riding the Eisbach.

Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism

The entire focus of the museum is to highlight the rise of the Nazi Party and the role Munich played in the Social Nationalist movement.

Tip: Get the audio guide & start on the top floor.

BMW Welt

This building is free to visit and contains many of BMW’s newer cars and motorcycles, with a few older models on display. It is an interactive space that is fun to visit with the whole family.

BMW Museum

Across from the BMW Welt, this museum is a must for car lovers.

BMW Factory Tour

Group tours are available in English – book in advance.

For more info on cafe’s and places to eat while on your Museum visit, read: Best Munich Museum Eats

I have been to the above museums and can recommend them all. What are some of your favorites?