KLM Travel Guide

The heart of Munich

Marienplatz has been the heart of Munich since the Middle Ages. Barrel-makers used to dance between the city hall and the market. Over the years, the market has moved slightly and the barrel-makers have been reduced to miniature figures that dance in the carillon of the new city hall, but the Marienplatz is still the city’s main square.

Arts & Culture
The city hall carillon

The city hall carillon

Guardian Angel Mary

Munich’s main square was called 'Schrannen', until a cholera epidemic castigated the city. By changing the name to Marienplatz (Maria square) in 1854, residents hoped to invoke the protection of the Virgin Mary. The square also played an important role during the plague epidemic of 1517: according to legend, barrel-makers danced around the square to entice residents to come out onto the streets. They still dance today: every 7 years on the actual square, and several times a day in miniature at the carillon of the New City Hall.

The view from the St. Peter’s Church

The view from the St. Peter’s Church

The best view of the city

Many visitors take the lift to the top of the tower in the New City Hall to enjoy the fabulous city views. However, you won’t be able to admire the building’s own Neo-Gothic gable and carillon. To view those, you need to visit the Saint Peter’s Church which is situated on the other side of the square. Unfortunately this church does not offer a lift and visitors must climb 306 steps to reach the highest lookout in the city centre. On clear days you can even distinguish the peaks of the Alps on the horizon.

The classic Bayerischer Hof hotel

The classic Bayerischer Hof hotel

Music in the city

Marienplatz is framed by 2 large department stores: Galeria Kaufhof and Backs Kaufhof. Music fans should pay a visit to the 5th floor of Backs, because it is entirely dedicated to music. Here you will find an incredible collection of CDs and you can listen to a great selection of less mainstream music for free. Occasionally, the department store also hosts live performances. There are musical performances every night at the Night Club inside the classy and elegant Hotel Bayerischer Hof, just outside of Marienplatz.

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