Pinakothek means “painting gallery,” and the nearly 800 paintings on display in this enormous building represent the greatest European artists of the 14th through 18th centuries. The museum is so immense that you can easily spend several days exploring the two floors of exhibits. To make the most of your time here, pick up a museum guide at the information desk, decide which paintings you particularly want to see, and then spend at least 2 to 3 hours. A free audio tour in English is available in the lobby. Important highlights include ten paintings by Albrecht Dürer, including the haunting “Self Portrait With Fur-Trimmed Robe,” painted in 1500 when he was 29; it’s the first self-portrait ever painted by an artist. The Italian school is well represented with canvases by Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli. The red-walled Rubenssaal displays 17 large-scale canvases by the Dutch master Rembrandt is also well-represented; take a look at his “Self Portrait,” painted in 1629 when he was 23.
Francois Boucher's loving portrait of Madame de Pompadour (1756) is a highlight from the French school. Pieter Bruegel the Elder's Bosch-like “Land of Cockaigne” (1567) and “Harbor Scene with Christ Preaching” (1598) are also worth seeking out.
Important Note: The museum is being extensively renovated through the end of 2018, so some sections may be closed when you visit (hence the reduced admission prices). Check the website before going.