You've seen the Lenbachhaus and want to discover more of Munich? We've compiled an overview of nearby highlights as well as several perennial favorites and hidden gems. Art lovers will find opportunities to delve deeper into the history of the Blue Rider and Expressionism. A tour of Kunstareal München will take them all the way from antiquity to modernism. We've included culinary delights and tips for a walk through the neighborhood that will let you see familiar sights from unexpected angles. We're sure you’ll have a good time!
Around the Corner
Located in the heart of the city, Kunstareal München beckons with a singular synthesis of art, culture, and knowledge. Museums, universities, galleries, and other scenes of creative activity showcase five thousand years of cultural history. Or take a short stroll and sample some of the restaurants and cafés offering a rich selection of cuisines and the many charming small stores. Feel free to relax on the lawns outside the Pinakothek or in the Lenbachhaus's own garden.
Minna Thiel, the cultural project space (photo) in front of the HFF Munich University of Television and Film, is a perfect place for a break between exhibitions.
The Königsplatz ensemble was planned under King Ludwig I, who hoped to turn Munich into "Athens on the Isar," with the Propylaea as a representative city gate. Locals and tourists alike now flock to it to meet and hang out amid the magnificent buildings. Special tip: come late in the afternoon to catch the sun's last rays on the warm steps outside the Propylaea or the Collection of Antiquities.
The Museum of Plaster Casts of Classical Sculptures is located in the House of Cultural Institutes right at the Königsplatz. There you can see casts of Greek and Roman sculptures from 700 BC to 500 AD.
Just one street away, on the first floor of the Palaeontological Museum in the Richard-Wagner-Straße, you can see the skeleton of the largest Bavarian dinosaur. The museum is open weekdays from 8 am, the admission is free.
Hungry for more Blue Rider art?
Fans of the Blue Rider who have taken in the outstanding collection of works by the group’s artists at the Lenbachhaus and want more are encouraged to foray deeper into the history of Expressionism by taking daytrips to the institutions united under the label "MuSeenlandschaft Expressionismus." The Buchheim Museum in Bernried, the Franz Marc Museum in Kochel am See, the Schlossmuseum Murnau, and the Stadtmuseum Penzberg all combine significant collections of Expressionist art with distinctive accents.
The Münter-Haus in Murnau is one of the best-preserved scenes of the Blue Rider story. Gabriele Münter and Wassily Kandinsky spent many a month here, lovingly designing the house's interior and exterior and the garden in keeping with their creative ideas. They also invited their artist friends for work retreats, and it was here that they devised a novel expressive style of painting in vibrant colors. The Blue Rider Almanac, too, was created in Murnau. Münter and Kandinsky's country home remains in its original condition; the rooms convey a vivid sense of how the artists lived over a century ago and are used for regularly scheduled thematic exhibitions.
Closer to home, many traces of the Blue Rider artists' lives await discovery on a tour of Munich's Schwabing and Maxvorstadt neighborhoods. One highlight is a visit to the Academy of Fine Arts, where Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee were students. The creations of today's young artists are sure to be inspiring.
The circle's hangout was on Ainmillerstraße, where Kandinsky and Gabriele Münter also lived almost door to door with Paul Klee and his family. Yet the Blue Rider would never have happened without the "Pink Salon" that their friends and fellow artists Marianne von Werefkin and Alexej von Jawlensky hosted at Giselastraße 25 (note that today’s street numbers don’t match the historic numbering scheme).
The Schelling-Salon is one of Munich's most storied pubs. Kandinsky, Rilke, Pongratz, Lenin, and many others ate and drank here. Come for the hearty food and relaxed atmosphere and stay for a round—or two or three—of billiards or ping-pong.