Munich sprawls in all directions outward from the city center, or Innenstadt, which lies west of the Isar River. This is the area of most interest to visitors. Within the Innenstadt, the city’s historic medieval core, or Altstadt, is now a pedestrian-only district. At its heart is the famous Marienplatz square. From Marienplatz, a pedestrianized shopping corridor—Kaufingerstrasse and then Neuhauserstrasse—leads west to Karlsplatz, nicknamed “Stachus,” where one of the ancient city gates once stood, and continues via Schützenstrasse to the Hauptbahnhof, the main train station.
North of Marienplatz, Dienerstrasse leads to the former royal palace, the Residenz, with a sprawling complex that fronts onto two major squares, Max-Joseph-Platz and Odeonsplatz. Radiating out from here are four major boulevards, built in the 19th century by the Bavarian kings to create a “new” Munich north of the medieval core. From Max-Joseph-Platz, the fashionable dining and shopping street Maximilianstrasse runs east to the River Insel; parallel to it, Prinzregentenstrasse begins just north of the palace gardens (the Hofgarten) and also runs east to the Insel. From Odeonsplatz, Briennerstrasse rolls grandly west to Königsplatz and the Museum Quarter; it eventually turns into Nymphenburger Strasse, which continues west to the Bavarian royals’ summer palace, Schloss Nymphenburg. Leading north from Odeonsplatz, Ludwigstrasse passes through the university area and the once-Bohemian district Schwabing, which is bordered on the east by an extensive public park, the Englischer Garten.
South and west of Marienplatz, Sendlinger Tor and Gärtnerplatz are major intersections in the district known as Glockenbachviertel, a popular area for dining and nightlife. Theresienwiese, where Oktoberfest is held, is located southwest of the Altstadt.
Main Arteries & Streets
The best-known street in Munich is Maximilianstrasse, the most fashionable shopping avenue and one of the city's busiest east-west arteries. Other major east-west thoroughfares include Kaufingerstrasse and Neuhauserstrasse. Both are major shopping avenues in the core of the Altstadt's pedestrian zone. Two of Munich's great 19th-century avenues, Ludwigstrasse and Brienner Strasse, stretch toward the district of Schwabing. Ludwigstrasse was designed to display the greatness of the kingdom of Ludwig I and is bordered on both sides by impressive neoclassical and neo-Romanesque buildings.
Odeonsplatz, on the southern end of Ludwigstrasse, was established to celebrate the Bavarian kingdom. Leopoldstrasse begins on the northern side of Ludwigstrasse and continues through Schwabing. The last of the 19th-century boulevards to be constructed was Prinzregentenstrasse, lying between Prinz-Carl-Palais and Vogelweide-platz. Along the Prinzregentstrasse at no. 7 is the residence of the prime minister of Bavaria.
Finding an Address/Streets
Locating an address is relatively easy in Munich, because even numbers run up one side of a street and odd numbers down the other. In the Altstadt, "hidden" squares may make finding an address difficult; therefore, you may need a detailed street map, not the more general maps handed out free by the tourist office and many hotels. The best ones (containing a detailed street index) are published by Falk, and they're available at nearly all bookstores and at many newsstands. These pocket-size maps are easy to carry, with a detailed street index.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.