The Squares of Munich: Marienplatz Diliff CC BY-SA 3.0

The Squares of Munich: Marienplatz

By  Sunday, 8.11.2015, 16:48    Tourist Sites

If you are looking for the heartbeat of Munich, look no further than its central square and key focal point since the city's foundingin 1158 - Marienplatz (Mary's Square). Probably the most popular meeting point in the city (by the fountain is a popular spot), many of the city's walking tours start here, and as a place to start your Munich journey, it has perhaps no equal; to the west, the pedestrian shopping zone all the way to Karlsplatz and the main train station; to the south the delightful Viktualienmarkt; to the east Tal and Isartor; and to the north, Odeonsplatz, the Hofbräuhaus, opera house and luxury shopping heaven that is Maximilianstrasse.

Some of the busiest times of the day are 11:00 and 12:00, as well as 17:00 from March to October, when the famous Glockenspiel strikes up in front of hundreds of tourists in the tower of the New Town Hall, a 15-minute show, depicting scenes from former times in Munich, including a royal wedding, jousting and ritual dancing. Can't make it to Marienplatz at the right time? Check it out in the video below.

Used over the centuries as a trading centre, the square takes its name from Mariensäule, the Marian column erected in its centre to mark the end of Swedish occupation in 1638. The new Town Hall is the most dominant buiding in Marienplatz these days, but spare a thought for the old town hall on its eastern side, (Altes Rathaus), complete with reconstructed Gothic ballroom, council hall and tower. 

Of course if you come in winter, the atmosphere will be completely different, as more than 3 million people visit the famous Christkindlmarkt, a cosy way to enter the Christmas spirit, with plenty of stalls, treats, and of course, glühwein. Check out the atmosphere in the video below.

 Marienplatz can be reached by U3 and U6 and by S-Bahn.

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Paul Bradbury

After 12 years living on the most gorgeous island in the world, Hvar in Dalmatia, I have begun to wonder if there is still life beyond its shores. Prior to discovering Paradise in 2002, I was a world traveller, living and working in Japan, Georgia, Somalia, Rwanda, Russia... and Munich.

After 95 countries and some 25 years have passed, the memories of my year in the hotel industry in the Bavarian capital (fired by the Sheraton for losing our pet snake, the first male chambermaid at Hotel Arabella, and a truly eye-watering introduction to five-star living in  my days as a bellboy in luxury Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten) are strong, and the call of Munich has been a constant theme over the last quarter century. 

And so here I am, answering the call some 25 years later. Twelve years of island living have changed me for sure, but also left me curious about life in a big city, and whether or not I could adapt to it after such an insular decade. 

I was surprised to see that for such a magnificent multi-cultural city, English-language blogs and regularly updated information are not that available. Static tourism information, such as that provided by the excellent tourist board website yes, but accounts of daily life delivered daily? Hard to find.

And so I have decided to take a break from my idyllic island and see if I could live in a city again. And what better way to try than to discover modern Munich in all its facets after so many years. It is a journey of discovery which I am relishing, and I hope the site proves to be of interest for Munich residents and its numerous visitors.

About Paul Bradbury

Author of Lebanese Nuns Don't Ski, Lavender, Dormice and a Donkey Named Mercedes and Hvar's first comprehensive guidebook, Hvar: An Insider's Guide to Croatia's Premier Island, as well as co-author of Split: An Insider's Guide with Mila Hvilshoj, I have lived in Dalmatia full time since 2003. In addition to running Total Munich, I also run Total Split (www.croatia-split.com), Total Hvar (www.total-hvar.com) and Total Inland Dalmatia (www.total-inland-dalmatia.com), as well as being an accredited Google News journalist for Digital Journal in Canada.

I also have various blogging clients, including the Central Dalmatia Tourist Board, European Coastal Airlines, Touristar TV and Andro Tomic Wines, and print clients include Qatar Airways inflight magazine, Out! magazine from New York, and Croatian Hotspots. 

In December 2014 I was delighted to receive the Marko Polo 2014 Award from FIJET Croatia (Federation of International Travel Writers and Journalists)  at a ceremony for the Croatian Journalists Society for the best international tourism promotion of Croatia. More here.

Ongoing writing projects:

A History of Hajduk Split, co-author with Frane Grgurevic - in 2015

Around the World in 80 Disasters - out in 2015

Total Hvar in the Media:

Interview of the Month, Croatian Embassy in Washington (May 2013)

Special Feature in Globus Magazine (May 2013)

Featured on Croatian TV show, More (2012) - watch the report here

Interviews in Slobodna Dalmacija, Dalmacijanews, Radio Split

I am available for writing services. Please contact me on info@total-munich.com or visit my main writing website, www.bossandblogger.com 

Website: total-hvar.com Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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