From museums and shopping to beer and festivals, Munich is a beautiful fun and accessible Barbarian city with something for everyone
There’s a charm to Munich one doesn’t expect to find in a cosmopolitan city.
Perhaps it’s the friendliness of the people, the time-honored Bavarian traditions or the walkable city center filled with world-class sights that make Munich a popular destination.
Located in southern Germany just 30 miles from the Bavarian Alps, Munich was founded more than 850 years ago. The city of almost 1.5 million people lies on the
banks of the River Isar and much of it is wheelchair accessible.
The busiest tourist months are June and August. Finding a hotel room can also become more difficult during major annual events such as Oktoberfest.
What To See
Munich has a diverse culinary scene
Marienplatz (St. Mary’s Square)
Begin with a visit to Marienplatz in the heart of Munich.
In the 12th century, the square was home to medieval markets, tournaments and festivals. The Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall) is a neo-Gothic, 300-foot long building dominating the northern side of the square. Every day at 11 a.m., noon and 5 p.m. (the 5 p.m. performance is omitted November through February), life-size figurines depicting stories from Munich’s history twirl to the sound of 43 chiming bells.
The Glockenspiel (carillon) performance lasts 12 to 15 minutes depending upon which songs are selected. An elevator takes visitors to the top of the Rathaus’ 225-foot tower and an observation deck.
Frauenkirche (Cathedral of Our
The double onion domes of Frauenkirche, a Gothic cathedral originally built in 1468, is one of Munich’s most recognized landmarks. No other building is allowed to be taller.
Severely damaged during World War II, the church was rebuilt. A footprint at the church entrance is rumored to be the devil’s.
Take in a bird’s-eye view of Munich from the 330-meter high tower.
Visitors ride an elevator to the top and explore an observation deck. Open 9 a.m. to midnight, the ride is less than 5 euros (about $5.35 U.S.).
BMW Welt & BMW Museum
Using a pedestrian bridge that crosses the autobahn, you can roll from the Olympic Park to the BMW Welt and BMW Museum.
Housed in a futuristic silver building with a glass roof that appears to be a floating cloud, the wheelchair-accessible building has several shops and restaurants. More than 100,000 BMW owners have picked up their new vehicles inside the company’s corporate headquarters. The museum features nine decades of automotive history.
A sprawling 900-acre public park with ponds, streams and winding gravel paths beside lush meadows.
In the southern edge of the park, there’s a river where surfers ride the waves.
Art lovers could spend days in Munich’s museums.
Classic pieces can be found at Alte Pinakothek, contemporary at Neue Pinakothek, and modern at Pinakothek der Moderne.
The museums are wheelchair accessible, and audio guides are available. Expect crowds on Sundays when admission is 1 euro (about $1.08 U.S.).
The Fünf Höfe (Five Courtyards) is a stunning upscale shopping center with retail stores and restaurants and was designed by the same architects who created the Olympic stadium in Beijing.
Don’t miss the sparkling “ice tunnel,” or the 30-year-old Kunsthalle München, a wonderful, wheelchair-accessible art gallery with changing exhibits.
For high-end shopping visit Maximilianstrasse — a street planned by King Ludwig I. Need a German soccer shirt? The Münzinger store is the place for sporting apparel and shoes. Munich’s oldest store is located in the historic Marienplatz.
For more information on planning an accessible trip, visit germany.travel/en/index.html.
Jim and Barbara Twardowski cover the travel industry writing about baby boomer and accessible travel, accommodations, culinary/cultural offerings and destinations.
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