At 11am and 5pm every day, and additionally at 12 noon in summer, everybody in the cheery Marienplatz square of Munich looks up at the Glockenspiel for a wonderful spectacle. A total of 32 dolls, accompanied by the music of 43 bells, tell the story of the 1568 wedding between the local Duke Wilhelm and Renata of Lorraine. Visitors are usually entranced by the knights, sword-fights and horses and can’t tear their eyes away. This performance is followed by the equally amusing Schäfflertanz (‘the coopers’ dance’), until a golden rooster crows to mark the end of the show. This attraction is free of charge.
Marienplatz 8, 80331 München, Germany, +49 8923300155
The English Garden in Munich is one of the largest parks in Europe, and provides endless opportunities to relax, jog, stroll, bike, play and engage in active activities. The park is crisscrossed by streams, meadows and tree-shaded pathways, and has playgrounds for the little ones. Children, as well as adults, always get a kick out of seeing surfers in action at Eisbach (an artificial river) on one edge of the garden. Visitors can also take a boat out on the Kleinhesseloher See, a lake within the park, and check out its tiny islands.
Bavaria Filmstadt is one of the biggest and most popular movie studios in Europe and promises a full day of fun for the whole family. A guided tour walks visitors through fascinating movie sets and shares a wealth of interesting information on filmmaking. The 4D motion-simulation cinema and a stunt show are the most exciting parts of the tour. Computer-enhanced videos of families flying on the magic carpet, on the back of a magic creature or on a hot-air balloon, invariably delight small children.
Bavariafilmpl. 7, 82031 Grünwald, Germany, +49 8964992000
The Toy Museum has an unbeatable collection of vintage toys, including dolls, teddy bears, animals, vehicles, carousels, robots and rockets – the list is practically endless. The toys that have found their home here are made from a wide variety of materials, including plastic, porcelain, lead, wax, wood, tin and paper. They have been collected from all over the world and originate from various periods in time. Adorable little scenes with dolls have been set up in several displays, which invite the little visitors to squash their tiny noses against the glass panes and peer inside.
Marienplatz 15, 80331 Munchen, Germany, +49 89294001
Older children and adults who are fascinated by all things on wheels could never get enough of the swanky BMW Museum. The museum houses 125 glittering BMW automobiles, motorcycles and engines that are a feast for the eyes. The guided tours provided by the museum offer a host of interesting information on every aspect of BMW, from the construction of the museum building to the manufacturing process and recycling of automobile parts. There is a special hands-on, illustrative tour aimed at teenagers.
Am Olympiapark 2, 80809 Munchen, Germany, +49 89125016001
For super-sporty children and adults, there is no better place in Munich than the magnificent Olympic Park, constructed for the 1972 Summer Olympics. The park offers a wide range of sports opportunities for visitors, including ice skating, soccer, water sports, tennis, mini golf, inline skating, biking, Nordic walking, ice hockey, fitness exercises and boating. The park also offers a number of guided tours, and hosts concerts and exhibitions on a regular basis.
Spiridon-Louis-Ring 21, 80809 Munchen, Germany, +49 8930670
Sea Life Munich is an incredible place for children to spend a few hours and make some new aquatic friends. From the tiniest fish to massive sharks, hundreds of fascinating, exotic and rare water creatures call Sea Life Munich their home. Children can even get up close to some of the creatures at the interactive touching pool and watch the feeding of sharks, green sea turtles, sting rays and sturgeons.
Willi-Daume-Platz 1, 80809 Munich, Germany, +49 0180666690101