Sandwiched between the main train station and Marienplatz is Karlsplatz Stachus, or just Stachus if you a local, an expansive square with picturesque fountain in the summer, the biggest ice-skating rink in central Munich in winter. Like many locations in the city, Stachus has its differing seasonal appeals, and with the fountain and entrance to the pedestrian zone through the historic gothic gate known as Karlstor on its eastern side, it is a popular meeting point. Check out the video below.
The square owes its dual name to two entirely different factors. It was officially named Karlsplatz in 1797 after the unpopular Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria, but locals never took to him or the name, preferring to call it Stachus, after the pub Beim Stachus, which was located there until construction work on Karlsplatz began.
The neo-Baroque Palace of Justice is on the western side of the square, and for interested shoppers, Stachus has plenty to offer, from the extensive underground shopping and stores on the pedestrian zone to Kaufhof, the first giant department store in the city, built in 1950.
Winter sees the atmosphere change completely, and Stachus turns into a hive of social activity, as a large skating rink lands on the square for the weeks around Christmas, complete with wooden hospitality buildings, allowing families to skate or relax over a glühwein while watching the kids skating below. Check out this Stachus skating video here.
Stachus is also one of the busiest transport hubs in the centre. In addition to the U4, U5 and S-Bahn, there is a taxi rank, bus stops and four tram lines, making it one of the most accessible points of the centre.