Located in the heart of Munich, this historic square has been a major hub for centuries and continues to be an important part of Bavarian culture today.
Marienplatz was first established as a marketplace in 1158 by Duke Henry the Lion. The name comes from the nearby Marian Column, which was erected in 1638 to commemorate Swedish troops who defeated Catholic forces during the Thirty Years War. Over time, it became an essential centre for commerce and politics, hosting festivals, fairs and other events throughout its history.
Today, Marienplatz is still home to many cultural activities, including markets on Saturdays where visitors can purchase handmade goods such as jewellery or antiques. On Sundays, there are often free concerts held here that attract locals and tourists alike with their lively performances featuring traditional German music as well as more contemporary tunes.
The main attraction at Marienplatz however is its two famous towers: The New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus) built between 1867–1909 stands tall over the square, while opposite it lies St Peter’s Church (Altes Rathaus). Both buildings have served various purposes throughout history but remain standing today, providing a spectacular backdrop for any visit here. Of particular note is the Glockenspiel clock tower located on top of Neues Rathaus which chimes twice daily at 11am and 12pm, drawing crowds eager to witness its animated performance involving 43 bells playing 32 different songs.
Visitors should also not miss out on exploring some of Marienplatz’s hidden gems such as Hofbräuhaus am Platzl – one of Munich’s oldest breweries – or Frauenkirche – a magnificent Gothic church dating back to 1488 whose twin spires dominate Munich’s skyline when viewed from afar.