St Peter’s Church
A famous Munich landmark itself, this church tower sits above the city on a hill between Rindermarkt and Marienplatz, making it a perfect spot for an incredible view. From the 56-metre-high (184-foot) viewing platform, you’re looking right down onto the rooftops of Aldstadt, with a great view of Frauenkirche – the symbol of Munich. On a clear day, you can see over 100 kilometres (62 miles), all the way to the Alps! Such a great view takes some legwork: there’s a winding spiral staircase with 306 steps to the top.
St Peter’s Church, Rindermarkt 1, 80331 Munich, Germany, +49 89 210237760
Most tourists stay in Marienplatz, craning their necks to see the famous Neues Rathaus cuckoo clock. Instead, head to the building directly opposite the clock, and on the top floor, you’ll find the Glockenspiel Cafe. With a direct view of the clock, make sure to time your visit for 11 am, 12 pm, or 5 pm when the dancing cuckoo clock figures make an appearance. To avoid the crowds, try going for a mid-morning coffee, or put their extensive breakfast menu to the test.
Glockenspiel Cafe, Marienplatz 28, 80331 Munich, Germany, +49 89 264256
Munich’s answer to the Statue of Liberty stands guard over Oktoberfest each year. The 18-metre-high (59-foot) statue, erected in 1850 by King Ludwig I, personifies the Bavarian region. Cast entirely in bronze, it’s so big that it had to be produced in several parts and weighs almost 90 tonnes. The best part is that hidden inside the statue is a spiral staircase that takes you up to an observation deck. Through four slits in her helmet, you can see across the entire Oktoberfest area and downtown Munich.
If you have a real head for heights, be sure to visit Olympiapark. As well as the main stadium, its crowning jewel is a 291-metre (955-foot) tower built for the 1972 Olympic Games. To really take it all in, make a reservation at Restaurant 181. About two-thirds of the way up, a full rotation will take 53 minutes – plenty of time to see everything before dessert! This unique view of the city doesn’t come cheap; expect to spend around 70–80 euros per person for a gourmet menu that focuses more on quality than quantity.
Restaurant 181, Spiridon-Louis-Ring 7, 80809 Munich, Germany, +49 89 35 09 48 18 1
The Monopteros, Englisch Garten
While the garden is better known for river surfing and naked sunbathing than it is for its views, there’s also a Greek-style bandstand called the Monopteros hidden in this sprawling 900-acre park. As a pretty flat city, after King Ludwig I decided a Greek temple was just what his Englisch Garten needed, the 15-metre-high (49.2-foot) hill was constructed from bricks and then covered with earth. Today, it gives views back down to central Munich, including the distinctive onion domes of Frauenkirche.
TUM café in Vorhoelzer Forum
Get off the U-Bahn at Universität to enjoy one of the best value rooftops in Munich. In the heart of Maxvorstadt, the city’s university and museum quarter, you can admire the view while grabbing a coffee and croissant in the morning or a light meal and cocktails as the day goes on. It can get busy in the evenings, so try and get there early to avoid the crowds and grab one of the coveted seats around the edge of the roof.