The Marienplatz in Munich, Germany     Germany  


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   Munich - The Marienplatz

The Neues Rathaus and its Glockenspiel on the Marienplatz

  Munich's Marienplatz offers a number of enticing attractions.  The square is named for a statue of the Virgin Mary in its center.  The impressive Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall - parts are 20th century) and its Glockenspiel, an animated musical clock, is a favorite attraction.  The Marienplatz is one of the most popular areas of Munich!.    

Read our guide below for more details and a video of the Glockenspiel.






From the Frauen-kirche, continue back to the Kaufingerstraße and head east until you reach Marienplatz, the most famous square in Munich. The center of the Marienplatz is dominated by its namesake statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary atop a granite column, surrounded by four cherubs in varying degrees of battle with serpents.

The main attraction here, however, is the Glockenspiel  or carillon of the Neues Rathaus (the New Town Hall), which dates from the late 19th and early 20th century). The Glockenspiel animates daily at 11:00 and also at 12:00 and 17:00 from May through October. If this square looks slightly familiar to those of you who have toured Brussels and its Grand Place, the building-style of Munich's Rathaus is Neogothic, while the Grand Place is in a similar Flanders-Gothic style..


The Glockenspiel houses two displays of animated, almost life-sized figures. On the bottom is the "Shäfflertanz"( Coopers’ Dance),  a dance by the coopers (barrel makers) celebrating the end of a plague in the 16th century. On the top is a recreation of a tournament celebrating a princely wedding, also in the 16th century. At the end of the cycle, one of the knights will knock the other back.  When the  joust is finally settled, the glockenspiel winds down.


The attractive buildings, impressive statue of Mary, and the  animated Glockenspiel attract a large number of tourists and the Marienplatz is one of the most popular areas in Munich. Plenty of good-quality restaurants and outdoor cafes  can be found on the Marienplatz and lining the adjacent streets. We suggest you snag a seat at one of the outdoor cafes on Weinstraße where you can enjoy a beer,  the sun and the soak up the festive atmosphere at the Marienplatz.

If you are not in the mood for sitting, just yet, consider heading a couple of blocks to the southeast of the Marienplatz where you will find the Viktualienmarkt, purported to be Munich's oldest market.  With a wide range of local produce and delicacies from around the world, this is a popular outdoor, gourmet food market.  It isn't large, but it is fun to stroll.

If you have a lot of energy, to the southeast of the Marienplatz, but several blocks away, are the Asamhaus and Asamkirche.  The Asam Church is one of the Baroque glories of Munich and we highly recommend a visit.  We  cover the Asamkirche here.

If you decide to make either of the side-trips described above, return to the Marienplatz for more sightseeing.

When you are ready to depart the Marienplatz area, head up the Weinstraße away from the Marienplatz for elegant shopping. 

Keep an eye out for streets entering from the left and you will soon see another view of the twin towers adorned with onion domes atop the famous Frauen-kirche. Continue north towards the Odeonplatz

Before you reach this junction the street changes name to Theaterinerstraße.  There is quite a bit of  luxury shopping along this stretch and outdoor cafes, complete with enticing aromas, will compete for your business. In a few minutes (unless you stop to shop) you will be  at the Odeonplatz with a choice of the several interesting attractions, which we describe on the next page of our Munich Guide.

       Sampling the food and the beer in Munich is a must-do.

When you tire of touring, have a seat at one of the outdoor cafes near the Marienplatz and enjoy a little Bavarian lager .... and maybe some brats (try the white sausage, if you are OK with eating veal).

                                 A close-up of the glockenspiel dancers and jousters.

The photo above shows the exquisite detail of the Glockenspiel in the Neues Rathaus on the Marienplatz.


Continue to the next page in our Munich Guide - The Residenz

Explore the Arts Quarter and the Nymphenburg Palace

Return to Introduction to Munich's "Old Town
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to Visit in GermanyThe Statue of the Blessed Virgin gave its name to the Marienplatz

The Marienplatz and the Old City Hall


The Viktualienmarkt is a popular outdoor food market.


Bavarian Meals

Bavarian favorites include roast pork with dumplings (either bread or potato), knuckle of pork, veal, and sauerbraten (spicy beef).

Be sure to try the potato salad and radishes. Don’t forget to sample to sausages (especially the white sausage). Finally, who can resist the city's famous, large, doughy pretzels?

Many tourists head for the famous Hofbräuhaus (at 9 Platzl - east of the Marientplatz) for its beer and entertainment, although many feel that there are better (and less expensive) places to eat.

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The flowers hanging from the buildings on the Marienplatz are stunning

In autumn the accent geraniums explode in color.








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