Dispersed over six buildings, the Munich City Museum is a vast network of somewhat independent displays that view themselves as one. It is centrally located, just to the west of the Viktualienmarkt with a single ticket providing access to the entire complex.
The main focus of the museum is a permanent exhibition entitled “Typically Munich,” a series of six sections that chronologically divide and tell the history of the city using a wide variety of objects. The sections start with the founding of the city (Old Munich) and continue to the modern day (Metropolis Munich). Between these bookends are an enormous array of objects, from ceremonial goblets to suits of armor to a beer casket. Both an audio guide and small booklet are available for use, and although they don’t cover every object they do describe enough of them for one to get a decent idea of each time period. After spending several hours here I visited the exhibit on the rise of National Socialism in the city, again using the audio guide as a reference. In addition to these two sections there are a number of additional exhibits, most memorably the puppetry and carnival permanent exhibits and an additional one that displays confiscated Jewish silverware from the 1930s. There is an above average gift shop (with an adjoining antique store!) and small indoor café to complete the experience. I spent an entire day here, most of it in the initial exhibit.
This museum was overall an above-average experience. It is challenging to tell almost 900 years of history under one roof especially with an object-driven (i.e. minimal text) display method but they did an adequate job. As other reviewers have noted, the majority of objects displayed did not have English explanations (or audio guide stops) but there are enough that do to make the experience worthwhile. Things were a bit discursive at times and it was occasionally tough to match up the audio guide to the item but there were more hits than misses. The exhibit on National Socialism was probably the best I saw on the trip. The other sections (puppetry, carnivals, etc.) were simply too much to take in on a single visit and had no English signage but do deserve a quick walk-through. A recommended visit, especially in the first few days in the city as it will put things into context for the rest of your trip.
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