Munich is a city that just keeps on entertaining. Home to a plethora of cultural institutions; days, weeks, months could practically fly by and you’d still be visiting a different one every weekend. And it’s no wonder. As early as the 19th Century, Munich has hosted the prestigious Kunstakademie (Academy of Art) with artists from around the globe coming to live and work in the city.
Journey to Maxvorstadt, a district right in the heart of Munich, and you’ll find the Kunstareal area – a area literally packed full with museums! So, to help get you started, we’ve compiled an essential list of the top 10 museums and art spaces to keep under your radar, with some extra tips for your inner (and outer) fashionista, of course.
The Fashionista’s Guide to Museums in Munich
1. Pinakotheken (Alte, Neue, der Moderne)
All three Pinakotheken are ranked among the most credible museums in the world. Located within walking distance from one another, it’s easy to say that the Pinakotheken are a MUST for any museum aficionado. Here you can travel your way through space and time, finding all the masters from Sandro Botticelli to Rembrandt on show in the Alte Pinakothek to Pablo Picasso sitting proudly in Pinakothek der Moderne. And if that wasn’t persuasive enough, visits on any Sunday costs no more than 1€. Perfect.
Barerstraße, 27, 28 & 40
Sundays: 1€ reduced entry
2. Museum Brandhorst
It’s hard not to be pulled in by the distinctive design of the Museum Brandhorst’s exterior. This multi-coloured cube acts as neighbour to the Pinakothek der Moderne and holds a permanent contemporary art collection as well as temporary. Opened since 2009, in 2012 the Brandhorst welcomed the Richard Avedon exhibition, exploring the lesser known works of the famous fashion photographer. And in 2015, the museum hosted an immensely popular exhibition featuring Andy Warhol, the mastermind behind what’s hip and what’s happening in New York and beyond.
Sundays: 1€ reduced entry (but might change according to the exhibition scheduled)
The Glyptothek’s main purpose is to exhibit and hold ancient sculpture. Located in a majestic location, Königsplatz, the equally majestic building sits in front of the Staatliche Antikensammlungen, a museum also housing ancient art. During summer the front stairs and garden are an ideal spot to sit back and take in the view with a friend. And here’s the fashion highlight; the Glyptothek hosts an impressive number of Roman female head sculptures, showcasing a unique array of beautifully elaborate ancient hairstyles. C’mon guys, who needs Youtube tutorials when you’ve got all the vintage beauty inspiration right here!
Sundays: 1€ reduced entry
4. Villa Stuck
If you’ve got a taste for the beautifully decadent and the exotic – this place is right up your street! A former residence of the Munich artist Franz von Stuck; mosaics, threatening femmes fatales portraits and draperies can all be admired from within a setting of semi-darkness at the Villa. Topping that, the Villa holds rotating contemporary art exhibitions that make this place a great reference for the arts in Munich. The garden, featuring various sculptures and climbing plants, is the little hidden gem that’s not to be missed, especially if you’ve got time to sip a coffee at the coffee shop. And guess what, every first Friday of the month is also know as ‘Late Friday! The Villa Stuck opens until 10PM and entrance is totally free from 6PM. How’s that for a sweet start into the weekend?
First Friday of the month, from 6 P.M: free entry
5. Lenbachhaus & Kunstbau
The Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus hosts a permanent exhibition focusing specially on German expressionism. Here you can admire works by the famous Munich-based art group ‘Der Blaue Reiter’ (the Blue Knight) including Vasilij Kandinskij, Franz Marc and Paul Klee. The private 19th Century villa hosting the art gallery, also boasts a beyond beautiful garden. After visiting, it’s the perfect (and very quiet) spot to take a break and just relax.
Alternatively, Kunstbau, located underground, plays host to major a number of temporary exhibitions. In the modern wing of the building you’ll find ‘Ella’, a restaurant perfect for grabbing a pretty tasty bite, from breakfast right through until dinner.
6. Haus der Kunst
This impressive building, situated on the southern edge of Munich’s Englischer Garten, plays host to a rotation of contemporary art exhibitions. In the past the space has featured acclaimed international and national artists (make that Louise Bourgeois, Matthew Barney & Georg Baselitz, just to name drop a few) along with the occasional screening and performance. Behind the building, The Golden Bar, with its many mosaics decorating the walls, is more of an upmarket venue complete with its own terrace overlooking the beautiful park. A guaranteed treat for when the German weather is on top form. At the same address you can find the infamous P1 club. The go-to for the local football team (Bayern Munich anyone?) and one of the most famous clubs in Germany. (We’ll admit many a Stylight party has taken place there). But if it’s arts and photography books you’re looking for, don’t skip on the bookstore located inside the Haus der Kunst, there you’ll find a selection of music, art, fashion and lifestyle books that are coffee table worthy.
The ‘Museum of the City’ has many different sections but is the ideal way to discover more about the story behind Munich. If it’s a surreal experience you’re looking for… head straight to the collection of puppets and marionettes which are permanently on display in the museum. The Stadtmuseum also holds a dedicated collection of fashion, textiles and costumes, that showcase periodically within temporary exhibitions.
Our favourites? ‘Flirty Fans’ – All About Coded Communication (2011,) ‘A MATTER OF TASTE’ – Fashion from the 1970s (2013) and ‘Gretchen wants to be chic too’ – Women’s fashion in the 1930s, which is currently on display. Enter from Sankt-Jakobs-Platz and be sure to take a moment to enjoy the peaceful and visually pleasing courtyard.
A huge art space in the heart of the city centre, what could be better? When it comes to exhibitions, the Kunsthalle prefers to host large scale and important productions, and in 2015 the space welcomed the ever popular travelling exhibition ‘Jean Paul Gaultier from the sidewalk to the catwalk’. Featuring all of the most influential and flamboyant creations from the French designer, for any fashionista worthy of their credentials this exhibition is an absolute must-see! The Kunsthalle also organizes ‘after-work’ events on a monthly basis as well as special initiatives such as »Re–Act!« – A collaboration with one of Munich’s trendy nightclubs, Harry Klein. Shake it!
Mondays: reduced entry -50%
This stunning turn of the century building hosts smaller exhibitions in comparison to its bigger scale counterparts, including that of watercolors, graphic design and illustration.
Once you’ve taken in all that the Kunstlerhaus has on offer, it’s recommended that you take a trip to the adjoining restaurant L’Osteria, where you can sink your teeth into one of their gigantic and delicious pizzas. It should also be noted that the venue (including the ballroom) can be rented for private events.
In Maximilianstraße well within the city’s luxury shopping district, you’ll find this small, cutting-edge art space. Located within an underpass; from the outside you could be forgiven for mistaking the place for a subway station. Just walk down the stairs, following the plants that have since overgrown on what was an escalator, and enjoy exhibitions, art installations and avant-garde performances. Remember to check beforehand what exactly is planned and when as there isn’t always something on display.
|By Giuliana Catalano – Senior Content Marketing Manager|