A Quick Tourist Guide to Marienplatz, Munich
Marienplatz is the central square in Munich, Germany. Originally used as a grain market during the Middle Ages, it has since evolved to serve a more modern purpose. It’s a blend of old and new, with gothic halls and glass-fronted restaurants and has become the symbol of Munich’s tourism. Explore the square in five minutes or less with this quick tourist guide to Marienplatz, Munich.
One of the oldest city squares in Europe, Marienplatz can be dated back to 1158. It was named after a Marian column, built in the early 1600s to celebrate Munich’s freedom from the Swedes. It’s a large square usually bustling with tourists trying to catch a glimpse of the Glockenspiel or Mary’s Column. It also plays host to a Christkindlmarkt, a traditional Christmas market, during December every year.
New Town Hall
The ‘Neues Rathaus’ replaced the Old Town Hall in 1874 and has been the location of the city government ever since. Despite the fact it was built in the late 19th century, the architects designed it using a neo-gothic design in order to separate its appearance from that of the royal buildings. Covering over 9000-square-meters, it’s facade depicts multiple German dynasties as well as the first four Bavarian kings. It’s best known for its large clock face, which depicts a 16th-century story every day at 11 am and 12 pm.
The fountain is at the very heart of Munich, and the centre of Marienplatz square. Originally built during the Middle Ages, it has since been added to multiple times. As a result, the fountain today is a mixture of gothic, neo-gothic, and romanesque architecture. Names ‘Fischbrunnen’ after it’s bronze fish statues, it has been a symbol of the city since the 1300s and is one of the most popular meeting places in all of Munich.
Old Town Hall
First documented in 1310, the ‘Altes Rathaus’ served as the town hall until the 1870s. Today, it serves as a representative building for Munich’s city council. Similar to the Fish’s Fountain, this gothic building has been added to over the years, resulting in a unique blend of architectural styles. During World War II, the building was badly damaged and many sections had to be rebuild during the 1970s.
Map & Directions
Terrain: Flat, with paved walkways. Marienplatz is also accessible by both the U-Bahn and the S-Bahn train stations.
Bathrooms: Available in restaurants and department store.
Restaurants: Multiple cafés and restaurants avaliable.
Shopping: Multiple stores line the square, ranging from clothes to food to household appliances.
- Marienplatz: Daily, Open 24-hours
- Fish’s Fountain: Daily, Open 24-hours
- Old Town Hall: Daily, 10am-5.30pm
- New Town Hall: Mon-Sat, 9am-6pm
*as listed Sep, 2020