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Get to know Munich: 6 beautiful squares in the city

Gärtnerplatz im Herbst, Foto: muenchen.de/Leonie Liebich
Foto: muenchen.de/Leonie Liebich

These squares in Munich are a must-see

If you are new to Munich, or would like to get to know the city as a guest, these squares are a must. We will show you where you can best chill out, learn, have a coffee or delve into your favourite book - experience Munich in all its facets!

Gärtnerplatz: roundabout with cosy charm

Who do you meet? From the stylish hipster to the office lunch breaker to the wild partygoer, everyone comes together here.

When is the most beautiful time here? For a lunch picnic, a beer at sunset or to stop off at one of the cute cafés after a long shopping spree. Especially on warm summer evenings, many young people cavort on the roundabout. Because of its perfect location in the district Glockenbachviertel, the Gärtnerplatz is the ideal meeting point for starting the weekend in bars and clubs.

What else is there to see? Away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, the Gärtnerplatz is surrounded by small, cool shops such as the boutique Phasenreich, the skateshop SHRN and the shop Kauf Dich Glücklich, joined by cosy coffee shops for breakfast and restaurants with alpine flair and curry sausage records.

Fun Facts: The Gärtnerplatztheater, located directly on the square, is a must for all those who are culturally interested. It is famous for its beautiful halls, breathtaking music and fantastic stage design.

Odeonsplatz: Where Munich chic meets top events

Der Odeonsplatz mit Feldherrnhalle und Theatinerkirche

Who do you meet? A colourful mix: Louis Vuitton-wearing ladies, young girls with coffee cups, smartly dressed theatregoers, tourist groups and activists at demonstrations come together here.

When is the most beautiful time here? The steps of the pompous Feldherrnhalle are the perfect place to have an ice cream in summer - with a view of a baroque jewel: the Theatinerkirche. At the end of the year, you will find a wonderful Christmas market in the Kaiserhof (imperial courtyard) of the Residenz. And the medieval christmas market at Wittelsbacherplatz is only a few steps away.

What else is there to see? At Café Tambosi, Munich's citizens enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city centre and a walk in the Hofgarten is an experience at any time of the year. But there's no shortage of great events either: classical music at Odeonsplatz and the Streetlife Festival with its bands, discussions, food trucks and sports are absolute highlights on the open-air calendar.

Fun Facts: A bronze track on Viscardigasse behind the Feldherrnhalle (Field Marshal's Hall) reminds visitors of Munich's eventful history: After the National Socialists seized power, an SS guard stood in front of the erected memorial, expecting passers-by to greet those who had fallen in the Hitler coup. Not all wanted to pay that tribute - so they walked through Viscardigasse instead, which is why it was soon called "Drückebergergasse" - a term that can be loosely translated as "Coward street".

Marienplatz: The heart of Munich

Impressionen vom Münchner Marienplatz, Foto: muenchen.de/Leonie Liebich
Foto: muenchen.de/Leonie Liebich

Who do you meet? Tourists, of course - but also people from Munich, making their way through the city centre from Marienplatz. You will also meet cheering football fans here - when the FC Bayern team celebrates their championship party, which happened quite often in recent years. In contrast, on Christopher Street Day you will see drag queens taking over the city's most famous square.

When is the most beautiful time here? In the morning, when city life in Munich slowly awakens. Generally speaking, if you like seeing lots of people, you will always feel comfortable here. Why not arrange to meet for a mulled wine at the Christmas market? One thing is for sure: those who go on a shopping tour in Kaufingerstraße will sooner or later get stranded here.

What else is there to see? The famous "Glockenspiel" (carillon) in the tower of the New City Hall shows scenes from Munich's eventful city history - please admire it with enthusiastic "Ahs" and "Ohs". Furthermore, the turquoise blue "Fischbrunnen" (fish fountain) is still the perfect meeting place in the city centre. And last, but not least the church tower of St. Peter, commonly known in Munich as "Alter Peter" (Old Peter), with its 306 steps. What is currently going on at Marienplatz? You can see it in our Live Webcam!

Fun Facts: At the age of only 25, the architect Georg von Hauberrisser planned the building that probably attracts the most attention on Marienplatz: the New City Hall. And did you know that the neo-Gothic building is not as old as we thought? It was only completed in 1905.

Weißenburger Platz: pure romance in Haidhausen

Sommer am Weißenburgerplatz, Foto: muenchen.de/Leonie Liebich
Foto: muenchen.de/Leonie Liebich

Who do you meet? Mothers with children, whose greatest wish would be to splash around in the fountain in the middle of the square. Business people taking a break, eating their sandwiches. And senior citizens from the neighbourhood playing skat.

When is the most beautiful time here? Any time of the year, actually. Springtime is when the tulips sprout. In summer, residents and their friends open up tables and chairs to enjoy a romantic round of food, drink and life. Autumn colours the trees on Weißenburger Platz in shades of gold and red and in winter there is Christmas beer on the beautiful Haidhausen Christmas market.

What else is there to see? The idyllic Franzosenviertel (French Quarter) in Haidhausen invites you to a pleasureable stroll. If you don't fall in love with Munich here, you probably never will. Beer gardens, corner shops, small hostel houses and market stalls with fresh fruit and vegetables - what more could you want?

Fun Facts: Weißenburger Platz is also known as the little brother of Gärtnerplatz - except that it's just a little bit cozier here. So if you like less hustle and bustle, you should visit the square in Haidhausen.

Viktualienmarkt: The gourmet paradise

Viktualienmarkt, Foto: muenchen.de/Leonie Liebich
Foto: muenchen.de/Leonie Liebich

Who do you meet? Aspiring gourmet chefs  - in search of the most unusual specialities. The granny next door who cooks lunch for her grandchildren using fresh ingredients - and also young couples whose love of organic products is particularly great.

When is the most beautiful time here? During the week, Viktualienmarkt is less crowded. The paths between the stalls are easy to walk and the nice saleswomen can tell you all about alpine farming and that incredibly delicious mountain cheese from Austria.

What else is there to see? Everything your heart desires! Culinary treats, handmade goods, loads of flowers plus a chestnut-lined beer garden and the Schrannenhalle, where you will find even more delicacies.

Fun Facts: If you take a closer look in the Heilig-Geist church - right next to the Viktualienmarkt - you will discover a small, very amusing detail in the ceiling decoration: it is... a pretzel! Going back to the so-called Breznreiter, who rode through Munich once a year in the 13th century and gave poor citizens pretzels.

Königsplatz: The Bavarian Isar-Athens

Propyläen am Königsplatz, Foto: muenchen.de/Michael Hofmann
Foto: muenchen.de/Michael Hofmann

Who do you meet? Instagrammers in search of the perfect photo background. Art enthusiasts who have always wanted to examine Etruscan gold jewellery. Celebrating party people and, of course, travel groups that follow a flag in a row of two, draped with cameras.

When is it most beautiful here? Clearly: In the summertime, on a large picnic blanket with all friends and a bottle of wine. But it's also nice to just watch the people passing by, read and drink coffee in the ambience of the breathtaking architecture. Although the steps of the Glyptothek, a popular place to sit in the sun, have disappeared behind a building fence until the end of 2020, you can just as well relax on the newly-erected wooden steps in front of the Glyptothek.

What else is there to see? A beautiful villa with a romantic garden and the largest collection of works of the "Blauer Reiter" art collective - the Lenbachhaus. A startling contrast to this is the NS Documentation Centre. On four floors you will be introduced to the era of National Socialism in the context of Munich's history.

Fun Facts: Between the Glyptothek, the Propylaen and the State Collection of Classical Antiquities, you will have the feeling of standing in the middle of Athens. Did you know that the classicist buildings date back to the Bavarian King Ludwig I, who had a great enthusiasm for Greece? Learning never stops.

Text: Marie-Lyce Plaschka

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