There is much to do in Munich beyond the museums and galleries (the Oktoberfest for one). However, for those wishing to experience contemporary art in its most effortless opulence, I would strongly recommend a long weekend in this elegant Bavarian capital.

Pinakothek der Moderne

Visit time: 1 hour


The scale and grandeur of the building are hard to fathom and need to be experienced. It is one of the world’s largest museums of contemporary art designed by German architect Stephan Braunfels. The walls and corridors dance around you as you admire the Bavarian state collection of 20th and 21st Century art, design and architecture. The temporary exhibitions are world class and interdisciplinary looking at contemporary practice in all creative fields. If you go on a Sunday you will only pay 1€ to enter (normally 10€, 7€ concessions).

Museum Brandhorst

Visit time: 40 minutes


The dense colourful facade is a striking contrast to the airy freshness inside this latest addition to the city (the museum opened in 2009). Now part of the state collection, it was donated by Udo and Anette Brandhorst after Anette’s death. The one caveat to the donation (over 1000 works) was that it would be housed in its own building. The architect selected was Berlin-based Sauerburcher Hutton who created the space with 9m high ceilings, white walls and light oak floors throughout. The display focuses on individual artists, the climax of which is the polygonal room designed especially for Cy Twombly’s Lepanto canvasses. It is exemplary of ‘architect working with artist’ to create an immersive experience. Expect to see works by Warhol, Damien Hirst, Mike Kelly, Robert Gober, as well as temporary exhibitions inspired by the collection.

Haus der Kunst

Visit time: 1.30 hour (2 hours with lunch)


This austere building was opened in 1030 under the Third-Reich to boast how modern Germany was as part of the Nazi propaganda (it was originally called Haus der Deutschen Kuns). It is a collection-free space with high quality and thought-provoking temporary contemporary exhibitions. It is vast so can house two or three large-scale exhibitions, all of which tend to be edgy and political, effectively using the history of the space. There is a lot to see and the guards are incredibly well informed and eager to explain. If you want a bit more, go for one of the free guided tours. The bookshop is very interesting and you can pick up something to read before going for lunch, tea or a cocktail in the Golden Bar (a must!).

Local Pilgrimages:

Pilgrimage No.5