Perfect Rainy Day Activity: An Afternoon at the Munich Residenz
Do you love architecture? What about history? What about expansive homes? What about anything that will get you away from the freezing cold of Munich in the winter? If you answered yes to any of these you’ll love the Munich Residenz. There’s a little bit of something for everyone. From lengthy symmetrical hallways to ornate gold door frames to a seashell inspired room – you’re bound to find something you like! Plus, if you decide you don’t like it just have fun taking selfies in the hundreds of mirrors in this home (more on that later). Read on to learn more about why this is the perfect place to spend an afternoon on a “bad-weather” day in Munich (or even a sunny day!).
Picture this: A late-twenties frizzy/curly-haired woman fighting her way through whipping wind, rain, sleet, and snow with absolutely no vision due to rain speckled glasses (why have they not made wind-shield wipers for glasses?!?) stumbling along ice covered cobblestone and literally wiping out and lying on the ground for a good 60 seconds trying to figure out what the hell just happened. I don’t have a picture of this sight (thank God), but this definitely happened to me. I was so proud of myself that I didn’t cry at this point (I’m a terrible solo traveler by the way). Instead, I took a “mad” selfie, Instagram storied it, and moved on. Solo travel win!
Pro Tip: Bring shoes with really good grip in the winter. Cobblestone + snow/ice do not mix well.
Entrance to the Residenz
Want to know the entire reason I fell on my butt? Because I got SUPER lost and while I took some beautiful photos of the exterior it was FREEZING and I was practically speed-walking to find the entrance (hence the accident). Whatever you do, do NOT enter “Munich Residenz” into Google Maps if you are looking for the entrance to the Residenz. Instead enter “The Cash Desk of the Munich Residenz”. Leave it to the Germans (I’m German so I’m allowed to say this) to be literal about EVERYTHING.
Cost + Time Commitment
Cheap date alert: For only €7 you can take your love on a 2+ hour date! This admission fee gives you entry into the Residenz museum, and for only €4 more you can get access to the treasury. I did the €7 option and spent around 3.5 hours roaming through all of the different rooms/hallways. This place is MASSIVE. You can choose to do the “shorter” option, but this is not presented until about an hour into the gig. I took the “longer” option and loved it. In short: Allot an entire afternoon (or morning) to the Residenz and you’ll be good to go.
Munich Residenz Exterior (+ a history lesson)
I read a lot of travel blogs that say “Munich is special, because it wasn’t even bombed in World War II!”. Spoiler alert: Munich was reduced to basically nothing in World War II. In fact, Hitler was very aware that cities like Munich and Nuremberg were susceptible to heavy Allied bombings. Unfortunately, Hitler also knew that the art pieces couldn’t just be stripped from the city center overnight to save them because then people would lose hope in his regime. Instead, the Nazis had pictures taken from all different angles of the city centers of cities like Munich and Nuremberg. Once World War II was over the cities voted on how they would rebuild – modern or back to the way it was before. The people of Munich decided to rebuild it’s old town as it was before hence why the city still looks “old” and typical “German.”
The exterior of the Residenz is gorgeous and worth a wander around even if it’s freezing cold. If you didn’t read my “Logistics” section you’ll probably get lost and forced to see the exterior. Lucky for you – it’s quite the sight to see!
Munich Residenz Interior
Full disclosure: Two reasons I wanted to visit the Residenz:
- It was freezing and I couldn’t stand walking around the city in the cold rain/sleet/snow.
- I saw this picture on Instagram. And had to see it for myself.
Wer hingegen nicht die Lust verspürt hinaus zu fahren, dem sei gesagt, auch in München gibt es tolle Dinge zu erkunden! Ein ganz besonderes Schmankerl ist die Münchner Residenz. Bereits von aussen ist es ein imposanter Anblick, wenn man sich von der Dienerstraße aus auf den Max-Joseph-Platz begibt und die mächtige Fassade der Residenz vor einem aufragt. Ein ungewöhnlicher Anblick, mitten in einer Großstadt. Die Münchner Residenz ist das größte Innenstadtschloss Deutschlands. Hier zu sehen ist das Antiquarium, eines der ältesten Renaissance-Gewölbe Europas. Aber die Residenz hat noch einiges mehr zu erzählen… Photo Credit @daddy_g #ig_bayern #igersmunich #instamunich #ig_exquisite #igersgermany #insidemunich #munich #muenchen #munichgermany #muenchnerecken #visit_munich #Dezember #Deinbayern #echteinladend #exploretocreate #diewocheaufinstagram #openmyworld #featurepalette #forgeyourownpath #communityfirst #urbanexploration #royalsnappingartists #infamous_family #igersgermany #diewocheaufinstagram
When I walked in and saw there was the option for “Museum + Treasury” or just the Museum I showed the cashier the above picture and asked if the Museum included this room. He said yes and I was sold on the Museum ticket without the Treasury. Looking back, maybe I should have visited the Treasury, but fortunately the interior has multiple types of architecture and I got my fill of cool rooms/hallways/seashells to last for quite some time. The next sections will be a walk-through of my favorite parts of the museum and hopefully it will convince you this beautiful home is worth a visit.
The Seashell Room
The first room you enter in the Museum is a room literally covered in seashells. Remember when I told you about the bombing of Munich? This room was completely destroyed after World War II and after the people decided to rebuild the old city they had no money to help with the restoration. But, they could collect seashells. All of the seashells seen in this room were donated by small-town Bavarians who wanted to help out in some way with the restoration.
I was floored by the intricate details of this room and stood in here for a long time just admiring the time and patience that it must have taken to build (and rebuild!) this room.
I didn’t have to wait long for the picture that drove me to the Residenz to begin with. The second room in the Museum lead you right into this massive room. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The pictures don’t really do this place justice. You’ll just have to see it with your own eyes when you visit.
The lengthy hallways
Leave it to the Germans to create one of the most symmetrical places in the world. Every single hallway was perfectly designed with “leading lines” drawing visitors down each of the hallways with ease.
Mirrors, Mirrors, Everywhere!
There’s one section towards the end of the “long tour” that is filled with mirrors. It was hard to capture with a camera since no matter where I stood there was a mirror distorting my picture, but trust me when I tell you they were EVERYWHERE. Whichever Duke decided to put all of these in was a tad bit obsessed with themselves.
Doors, Doors, and MORE doors!
The doors of this house are probably the best showcase of the uniqueness of all of the different rooms. Each door was different. Some were covered in ornate gold structures. Others were decorated with marble. And one was covered in seashells (you guessed it! In the seashell room!). The doors might have been my favorite part of the whole Museum (although I’m terrible at taking photos of them).
The Munich Residenz really is the perfect place to spend a half-day in Munich. It might be the most beautiful and unique museum I have ever visited!