A local’s list of the top Instagram and photo locations in Munich.
They say a picture says more than a thousand words, and if that was true you could fill tomes in my home town. Bavaria’s capital is just so beautiful and there just so many amazing tourist attractions in Munich. But what are the best places to take pictures? Where are the best Instagram spots in Munich?
I have been living here 20+ years now and I love exploring the city. In this guide, I’m going to share my favorite spots in Munich. I tried to find a good balance between popular highlights and hidden gems.
Please keep in mind, that you will need quite a lot of time to explore them all, which is why I generally recommend staying 3 days in Munich or more. You can stay shorter (here’s a one day itinerary) but then you’ll obviously only have time to visit a fraction of these Instagram locations.
So, let’s get started!
1. Alter Peter
Munich’s oldest church is also the best viewpoint. You’ll find the so-called Alter Peter (“old pete”) bell tower right behind the central square and then you have to climb 300 stairs to get to the viewing platform. From here, you can shoot a wonderful panorama of Munich’s famous city hall and the major churches.
Definitely make sure to snap a picture of the roof of St. Pete as well. In the background, you’ll be able to see Munich’s old town hall, the Heiliggeistkirche, the old city gate (Isartor) and even the famous Hofbräuhaus from above.
The view is quite magical at night as well. The clock tower closes at 6 p.m., so it is sadly only possible to see Munich from above at night in December, January, and early February.
- How to get there: Take subway U3/U6 or any suburban train to Marienplatz. The entrance to the tower is behind the church (not inside)
- Best time to be here: Early in the morning towards noon – though the light is acceptable throughout the day as the best view is towards the North.
- opening hours: 9:00 am until 6:00 pm (Sundays from 10:00 am)
2. Rathaus & Marienplatz
Munich really doesn’t have an old town. It was all bombed away during World War II. But the neo-gothic New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus) on the central square makes up for it! Here’s a detailed guide to Marienplatz.
Make sure to explore the inner courtyard as well. The magnificent spiral staircases and the mighty clock tower form a beautiful backdrop for your pictures!
You can also climb the clock tower. As there is an escalator here, it’s probably the better choice for people who are not as sure-footed. The view is not as beautiful as from Alter Peter (as you can obviously not see the town hall itself) but it’s interesting nonetheless.
If you just want to take a picture of the Frauenkirche (“Church of our Lady”) then this spot is a bit better, though. You’ll also find the famous Munich Glockenspiel here.
- How to get there: Take subway U3/U6 or any suburban train to Marienplatz. The entrance to the tower is through the door to the left as you pass the gate into the central courtyard. You need to buy the tickets in the tourist information on the square.
- Best time to be here: Early morning is probably the best time.
- opening hours: 10 am – 7 pm (Sundays only until 5 pm)
The mighty Residence Palace was once the seat of the Bavarian Kings, prince-electors, and dukes. It has quite a history and it’s actually one of the largest city palaces in the world. If you want to see it all, it will take well over 4 hours to tour all the staterooms, festival halls, galleries, and treasure rooms. There is a fast tour that gets you to the main highlights, though. One of them is certainly the fantastic Antiquarium, where ancient roman busts are on display. Even today it is sometimes used for state banquets.
The other beautiful Instagram spot would be the Ahnengalerie (“gallery of the ancestors”). Here, you’ll find portraits of all the Bavarian heads of state from the house Wittelsbacher. It’s quite fascinating to see how different rulers portrayed themselves throughout the ages.
Make sure to also tour the adjacent Cuvilliés Theater. There’s a combination ticket and it’s really worth it! The ancient rococo theater is one of a kind and one of my favorite photo spots in Munich.
- How to get there: You can walk from either Marienplatz (U3/U6 & suburban trains) or Odeonsplatz (U3/U6/U4/U2; Bus 100)
- Best time to be here: Early morning and late afternoon is usually less crowded. But in terms of light, it doesn’t matter
- opening hours: 9 am – 6 pm (last admission at 5 pm; in winter the museum is only open between 10 am and 5 pm)
4. Englischer Garten & Chinesischer Turm
Munich is quite a green city and you’ll find many parks and gardens throughout the city. The English Garden is probably the most popular one and it might just be the most beautiful one on top of that. Abutting an artificial hill, you’ll find the Monopteros.
Besides being pretty, you can actually enjoy a beautiful view of Munich from the greek-style temple that was added to the garden in the first half of the 19th century. Kids love to go tobogganing there in winter!
If you walk further onwards, you’ll come to the Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm) where you’ll find a very lively beer garden. The perfect break after a long morning exploring the city. They serve traditional Bavarian beer and food here. You’ll love it! (the beer garden is closed in winter; there is a Christmas market here in December, tho)
- How to get there: I actually recommend you to walk from Odeonsplatz. But bus #54 will get you right to the Chinese tower (departs at either Münchner Freiheit, Prinzregentenplatz, Ostbahnhof, etc). You can also walk from the subway stations Universität and Giselastraße.
- Best time to be here: For the city panorama, morning is ideal, for Monopteros and Chinese Tower, the afternoon is perfect.
The Justizpalast (“Palace of Justice”) is one of Munich’s hidden gems. Not even a lot of locals know just how pretty the mighty palace is from within. It’s one gigantic courtyard crowned by a magnificent cupola and stairs reminding you of the Harry Potter movies.
There is no entrance fee or anything, but you will have to pass a security check before you are allowed to enter. Please also keep in mind that it is the highest state court in Bavaria, so act accordingly. Here is my detailed guide with more pictures of the Justizpalast.
- How to get there: Take subway U4/U2 or any suburban train to Karlsplatz/Stachus. There’s a separate subway exist and the huge building is hard to miss.
- Best time to be here: It’s virtually empty all day long, so it doesn’t matter. If you want to shoot a nice picture from outside, the morning is best.
- opening hours: 8:00 am until 3:00 pm (closed on weekends; Fridays only until 2 pm)
6. Theatinerkirche & Odeonsplatz
The prettiest church in Munich? I believe it is the Theatinerkirche. The iconic yellow facade was renovated only recently and it now has this surreal shine to it. You can bring the adjacent Feldherrenhalle (“hall of the generals”) into the frame to make the picture even more interesting.
The church is quite beautiful from inside as well. Even though it’s a high baroque church, there’s not a lot of gold inside. But I feel the stark white stucco makes it even more impressive!
- How to get there: Subway lines U3/U6/U4/U2 all stop at Odeonplatz where the church is located.
- Best time to be here: The sun only shines on the facade in the morning.
- opening hours: 7 am – 8 pm
Right after (or before) your visit of the Theatinerkirche, you should definitely also walk through the Hofgarten (“Garden of the Court”). There’s a beautiful temple-like structure in the middle that will make your Instagram feed pop.
Early in the morning, you can take a beautiful picture with the Theatinerkirche in the back. It looks extra pretty in winter, don’t you think?
Don’t discount the endless colonnade around the garden either. In summer, you will see many people playing boule here. So, if you are more for street-photography, then this will be the perfect occasion to shoot some locals in their natural habitat.
- How to get there: Again, it sits right on Odeonsplatz (so subway lines U3/U6/U4/U2)
- Best time to be here: You can shoot pictures here all day, but if you want the Theatinerkirche as a backdrop, then you have to be here early in the morning.
8. Art Nouveaux houses & Müller’sches Volksbad
Did you know there are well over a hundred beautiful art nouveau houses in Munich? Probably not! My hometown should be famous for it, but hardly any tourist guides even mention it. Well, all the better for you, as you got it all to yourself. Ainmillerstrasse #22 is probably the most beautiful spot, though I also love Römerstrasse 11.
Munich also has a beautiful Art Nouveau / Jugendstil public bath. So, if you feel like a swim, you should visit the Müller’sche Volksbad. It will quite a unique experience.
- Best time to be here: 7:30 am – 11:00 pm for the bath
9. Alte Pinakothek
There are quite a lot of beautiful museums in Munich. But thinking in terms of photo locations, one clearly sticks out: The Alte Pinakothek. It’s a very traditional museum for old masters and looks like it through and through. As it’s one of the top art museums in the world, you should definitely visit.
The building was bombed during World War II so the grand staircase was rebuilt in a modern style. An excellent Instagram spot for architecture lovers in my opinion!
- How to get there: Take subway U2 to Königsplatz and walk the last 300 meters. Bus 100 stops right in front of it, and so does tram line 27/28
- Best time to be here: Admission is only 1€ on Sundays, but it will be a bit more crowded then.
- opening hours: 10 am – 6 pm (Tuesdays & Wednesdays till 8:30 pm)
Schloss Nymphenburg is one of quite a couple of castles near Munich. You’ll find it in the Northwest of the city and the huge landscape park around it is nothing short of stunning. There are actually quite a couple of smaller palaces hidden behind the trees and water channels of Nymphenburg.
My favorite location is the temple of Apollo at the far back of the park. It’s also the best spot to observe the fall colors in Munich. I always feel like bringing a book and just sitting down and enjoying the amazing atmosphere here.
- How to get there: Tram line 17 will get you right to the entrance of the park from the central station.
- Best time to be here: Morning or afternoon will be best. But morning has the better light for most places in the park
There is a very famous surfing spot right in the heart of the city. It’s called Eisbachwelle (“ice creek wave”) and you will find surfers there almost all year round (yes, even in winter). It’s a very popular spot to end your walk through Englische Garten.
- How to get there: Bus #100 and tram line 16 will stop right in front of it.
- Best time to be here: Can be enjoyed all day long; big trees cast shades on the wave.
Paris, Milan, Berlin, Rome – almost every European city has a big victory arch and Munich is no exception. The mighty Siegestor stands at the end of a beautiful grand boulevard lined by historic city palaces. Munich’s University (LMU) is right behind it creating a very imposing panorama.
- How to get there: You can either walk from subway stop Universität or Giselastraße on the U3 or U6 lines. You’ll see the gate as you exit the station and then you just have to walk down the Leopoldstraße
- Best time to be here: Lighting can be quite difficult as only the north-facing side is pretty, so be there very early in the morning. Alternatively, you can try for some backlight shots in the afternoon.
13. Juristische Bibliothek
Bavaria’s capital is a very popular spot among students. We have two world-renowned public universities and quite a couple of private ones on top of that. As a result, there are many lovely libraries in Munich. The most instagramable one is probably the Juristische Bibliothek in the old town hall.
Now, here comes the difficult part. You can only visit the library with a guided tour through the town hall. Which is only possible every Saturday from 1:30 pm.
- How to get there: You can buy tickets for the town hall tour at the tourist info point on Marienplatz
If you are a fan of architecture and art, then you should definitely consider visiting the so-called Umschreibung. It’s an endless staircase sculpture in an office complex in the west of Munich. “Umschreibung” is best translated as circumlocution and it’s quite apparent what the artist Olafur Eliasson tried to achieve with it.
- How to get there: The correct address is Ganghoferstraße 29A. You can easily walk there from the subway station Schwanthalerhöhe
- Best time to be here: Doesn’t really matter. But be there too early or too late and it will be a bit too dark.
15. Subway stations Marienplatz & Westfriedhof
Subway stations, everyone seems to love subway stations these days. As a local, I actually find this trend a bit peculiar, because usually, subway stations are places you want to leave as quickly as possible. Still, a couple of them are quite beautiful. Marienplatz and Westfriedhof are the most impressive ones.
I do have to warn you though. I personally believe these stations look super pretty on pictures but they are somewhat underwhelming in person. So, I don’t think it makes sense to visit if you don’t plan to take pictures. Here’s a detailed guide to the most beautiful subway stations in Munich.
- How to get there: Westfriedhof is on line U1 and Marienplatz on U3/U6
- Best time to be here: Try to avoid rush-hours. For Marienplatz, this means late at night during the week, because the station is super busy all day long.
16. BMW Welt
Germany is famous for its cars. Many of them are produced in Bavaria and BMW even has its headquarters in the city. There is also the fabulous BMW World (basically a permanent car show) and the BMW museum.
Together, they form a beautiful ensemble that rightfully belongs on any list of the best photography spots in Munich. There is no entrance fee for the BMW world but the place is most beautiful from outside.
- How to get there: Take subway line U3 to Olympiazentrum (attention: not OlypimiaEINKAUFSzentrum) and you’ll see it right from the exit.
- Best time to be here: If you want to shoot the BMW world, it’s early in the morning. For the museum & headquarters, the afternoon is better.
- opening hours: 7:30 am-midnight (on Sundays starting from 9:00 am)
There are two grand boulevards in Munich. I already mentioned the Leopoldstraße with the victory arch, but there is another one: The Prinzrentenstraße (“prince regent street”). At the far end, you’ll find the Friedensengel (“angle of peace”) – a mighty memorial column surrounded by a little park.
I live quite close to it and hardly a single day passes by when I don’t see a photographer or two shooting there (mostly fashion and wedding). It’s particularly beautiful at night.
- How to get there: Take bus #100 from Odeonsplatz and get out at Reitmorstraße. You’ll see it from there.
- Best time to be here: Late afternoon is the most beautiful time; It’s also the best place to watch the sunset in Munich.
There are more squares and parks in Munich than you can count (or visit). But you absolutely need to stop at Königsplatz (“King’s square”). The neo-classical temples around the square are home to two important art collections (mostly ancient greek and roman statues and vases). I love it but certainly not everyone’s cup of tea.
- How to get there: Take subway line U2 from and get out at Königsplatz or walk from central station (10 minutes)
- Best time to be here: The square is beautiful from both sides, so it doesn’t matter if you visit in the morning or the afternoon. Morning is probably a bit better.
19. Schleissheim palace
Another true hidden gem in Munich is Schloss Schleißheim. The baroque palace and its huge park are just beyond beautiful. The best part: hardly any international tourists come here. They all visit Nymphenburg and Neuschwanstein Castle (who could fault them!) and then there’s not enough to explore Schleissheim.
Which is a mistake, in a way, as the interiors are just as stunning. There’s an art gallery with baroque masterworks and even one of the finest porcelain museums in the world.
- How to get there: Suburban train S1 will get you to Oberschleißheim in 30 minutes. From there it’s a short walk to the castle (just follow the signs)
- Best time to be here: Morning is better as the palace is facing to the east. In the afternoon, the facade will be in the shadows.
20. Botanical Garden
The Botanischer Garten München is one of my personal favorite spots in Munich. I especially love it in early spring when all the spring flowers are blooming but the big greenhouses will be beautiful even in winter. You’ll find the botanical garden right next to Nymphenburg Palace so you can easily combine visiting the two.
- How to get there: Tram line 17 from the central station stops right in front of the
- Best time to be here: I don’t think it matters a lot, but I’m inclined to say that the afternoon is best for taking pictures.
- opening hours: 9 am – 5 pm
[Bonus Instagram spot in Munich] Ferries Wheel at Oktoberfest
And here is one more Instagram spot in Munich for you. If you happen to visit during Oktoberfest (so last two weeks of September) then make sure to take a ride on the ferries wheel close after sunset. The view from the top is breathtaking. It’s also quite beautiful during the day, but I actually love the way the colorful lights illuminate the big crowds at night a bit more.
Other Munich photo locations
I spend half of my life in Munich and I am still discovering new spots every day. It would be impossible (nor feasible) to list them all. The Bavarian National Museum looks quite pretty and the Bavaria Statue above the Oktoberfest festival ground is also a wonderful spot.
Munich also has a very lovely zoo that could be an option to try out your telephoto lens. I actually like it a lot. Most of the cages are very big and green, so you can actually achieve pictures that look like straight from Africa.
Best camera gear for Photography in Munich
My go-to lens for Munich is a 16-35 mm wide-angle lens. 95% of all shots in this thread were taken using that lens. I feel it’s the most versatile range. Narrow streets, confined interiors, and lots of overhead contact wires often force you to get quite close to your subject. A telephoto lens is not really needed in my opinion as there is little to zoom onto.
The only exception would be if you’d like a close-up of the onion-shaped domes of the Frauenkirche. While pretty, I think you’ll survive it if you have to crop your picture a bit.
Please be aware that you need a special permit if you want to operate a drone. This is why I did not include any drone shots of Munich in this guide at all.
Using tripods in the subway is also not allowed without a permit either and some places don’t allow you to take commercial pictures. So, make sure to check before you visit!