Marienplatz is a central square in Munich's city centre. From almost every side road around it, you can easily get to the square. It is the ideal starting point for a walk through Munich, and to experience Bavarian culture. Many sights, such as Frauenkirche church, Viktualienmarkt, or Sendlinger Tor are located closeby.
Altes Rathaus (Old City Hall)
The old city hall is where Marienplatz ends in the east. It is around 400 years old, and used to be part of the city fortifications. After World War Two, it was rebuilt with the Gothic original from the 15th century in mind. Today, it is mainly used for representative purposes.
Neues Rathaus (New City Hall)
The new city hall is also located on Marienplatz. It was built in neo-gothic style around 1900, and is the seat of the mayor as well as the city administration and council. Several of the rooms can be visited. For a small fee, you get to climb the town hall tower, from where yuo get a unique view of Munich's city centre.
The so-called 'Münchner Kindl' is the charge of the Bavarian capital, and located on top of the tower of the new city hall. The monk is facing towards the right, wearing a black frock and red shoes. He is holding a red oath book in his left hand, his right hand is raised. Over the years, the charge has been more and more infantilzed, and turned from a man into a girl, which is nowadays known as 'Münchner Kindl' (Munich's child). It can often be seen on trams or post cards, beer jugs or bottles.
If you are interested in old railways, tin toys, or dolls, you should visit the toy museum by the city hall. On four storeys, toys from Europe and America are exhibited, dating back as far as to the year of 1800.
Ever since 1908, numerous tourists come to Marienplatz several times a day to hear the bell chime. The chime is made up of 43 bells. Two important events of Munich's history are showcased by 32 figures: the wedding of William V, Duke of Bavaria to Renate von Lothringen in 1568, and the Schäfflertanz dance.
Mariensäule is a marian column probably dating back to 1593. It is located amidst Marienplatz square, and is used to worship Mary as Patrona Bavariae (patroness of Bavaria). It has been on Marienplatz since during the Second World War.
Christkindlmarkt (Christmas Market)
Every year, the oldest Christmas market in Munich takes place on Marienplatz square. Numerous locals and tourists flock to the square to enjoy the festive atmosphere with mulled wine, gingerbread, and music. Furthermore, you can purchase christmas decorations as well as arts and crafts.
For many centuries, Marienplatz was Munich's market square. Merchants offered their goods here, and the villages of Schwabing and Sendling were connected through the square. Furthermore, monchs settled on Petersbergl, giving Munich its name.
It wasn't until 1854 that the market moved to another streat, and the square got its current name Marienplatz (Mary's square). During the economic boom, it was known as Munich's junction. Pedestrians, cyclists, cars, buses, and trams - everyone had to share the narrow square. Only when the city was restructured in the 70s, the square got today's shape and atmosphere.
How to get there
Munich is well connected to the motorway network of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. You can get to the city on motorways A8, A9, A94, A95, A96 and A99. Numerous fee-based car parks are available at the city centre. From there, you can walk to Marienplatz, or take a tram.
Several coach lines stop at the Bavarian capital. From 'Hackerbrücke' coach station, you walk to the main train station via Arnulfstraße. From there, you can walk to Marienplatz, or take a tram.
Munich Airport is located outside of the city. Tram lines S1 and S8 go between the main railway station and the airport on a regular basis. Furthermore, the train station is connected to many surrounding towns and cities.
From the main railway station, you can take tram lines S1, S2, S3, S4, S6, S7, S8, or subway lines U3 and U6 to the stop 'Marienplatz'.