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Munich: the Bavarian capital and center of every traveler’s wildest Oktoberfest dreams. However, there is so much more to this great city than just polka and pilsner. Munich has something to offer to everyone, from community parks and grand market squares, to art galleries and royal gardens. There’s even an urban wave pool for surfing — a photographer’s dream. Here are even more equally photogenic places you can’t miss when in Munich.
The gem of Englischer Garten (English Garden) is Monopterus, an open pillar pavilion and the perfect spot to catch a sunset or simply appreciate the artwork that adorns its gorgeous dome ceiling. You may even be lucky enough to catch a concert; live music is a common occurrence near Monopterus. There’s a restaurant and beer garden at the Chinese Tower across the river, so you can head there first and then over to the pavilion. If you prefer to BYOB, grab a brew at a store within walking distance of the park, either Biervana or Getränke Oase. And don’t forget your camera!
Friedensengel, which translates “Angel of Peace,” was unveiled in 1899 as a monument dedicated to the 25 years of peace after the Franco-Prussian War. Designed by Jacob Möhl, Friedensengel was modeled after a statue of the Greek goddess of victory, discovered by German archaeologists nearly two decades before. Today, she stands above the city atop a 25-meter Corinthian column; a perfect focal point for a photo.
Pinakotheken is a suite of art galleries in Munich named for the ancient picture galleries in Greece and Rome. Visitors enjoy access to artwork from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Baroque and Rococo periods from all over Western Europe. However, the internal works and exhibits are not the only photo-worthy pieces; the buildings themselves are unique and worth a snap. Make sure you explore the grounds as well as the interior when you visit.
Named for the Marian column erected to celebrate the end of Swedish occupation in 1638, Marienplatz is now a center of commerce and business in Munich. The square is home to the Old Town Hall as well as the New Town Hall, plus numerous cafés and shops. The Gothic architecture begs for a photo on any day, but the Christmas market at Marienplatz is truly spectacular. If you are there during the Christmas season, grab a glass of Glühwein (mulled wine) and enjoy the festivities.
Who’d have thought you could surf in Munich? The man-made river Eisbach (which translates to “ice brook”) is home to an urban wave which is somewhat of a mecca for skilled surfers. These surfers occasionally “hack” the river, adding subsurface ropes and planks which shape the wave for optimal surfing. Since many accidents have occurred at Eisbachwelle, the wave was almost closed due to safety concerns; however, after a series of protests by locals, the wave remains open. Unless you are an experienced surfer, have fun observing and taking action shots from the shore rather than trying your luck on the wave.
For a welcome reprieve from busy city squares, find yourself a patch of sand on the shores of the river Isar in Flaucher. This wooded area is also home to a biergarten on the banks of the river, making it the ideal spot to relax outdoors with a cold drink in-hand. This region used to be a private hunting domain for the ruling Wittelsbach clan, but today it is open for visitors to take a load off and catch some sunshine. Feel free to snap some pictures but be respectful of your fellow sunbathers; this spot is popular with nudists in the warmer months.
Hofgarten used to be the royal court garden of the Residenz palace complex built between the 16th and 17th centuries. Today, it serves as a peaceful oasis in the midst of the bustling city. The crown jewel of Hofgarten is the Temple of Diana, a pavilion designed in 1615 that’s located right in the center of the garden grounds. However, the garden itself is surrounded by stunning buildings and filled with beautiful orchards — perfect for seasonal photography.
The star of the north end of Marienplatz, the New Town Hall was built due to a lack of space in the Old Town Hall and currently hosts the city government. The outer facade is built in the neo-Gothic style and is reminiscent of Brussels’ Town Hall, so we don’t blame you if you feel like you’ve seen this building before. Behind the facade, the spectacular interior is designed with sweeping stone archways and spiral staircases for visitors to explore. Get creative and snap some photos from multiple angles inside this gorgeous building.
This Baroque palace used to be the summer residence of Bavarian monarchs throughout history. Today, though, it is available to the public gaze and is a sight that should not be missed. This palace is also one of the places that inspired the interior design of the castle in Beauty and the Beast. Make sure you take a tour of the grand interior; your followers will be just as impressed as you will.
Featured Image by Peter Unger / Getty Images
What are your favorite places in Munich? Let us know in the comments below
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