Built in 1664 as a summer residence for the Wittelsbach family, Schloss Nymphenburg is a striking lavishly-decorated Baroque-style palace sprawling over large, elegant gardens in the west of Munich.
Stroll through the Schloss
Inside Nymphenburg Palace, the exquisite decoration and furnishings of the era have been well preserved, and visitors can admire a Rococo-style ballroom; the Queen's Bedroom complete with original sleigh bed on which Ludwig II was born; and the Schönheitengalerie, home to a collection of portraits of beautiful women admired by Ludwig I.
One of the world's most important museums for court carriages, the Marstallmuseum, or "museum in the former royal stables", is home to an extensive exhibition of extravagant royal coaches. Upstairs on the first floor, there's also the world's largest collection of porcelain.
Gardens & park palaces
The enormous garden surrounding the Palace, which spreads over 200 hectares (490 acres), has been laid out in different design according to fashions over the years. These days - since the early 19th century - it has followed the English style, and is home to long green lawns, water features, a lake and a canal.
The gardens are also home to a number of pavilions, or mini palaces, which are worth a visit:
- Amalienburg: this Rococo-style hunting lodge may be small, but it is by no means lacking in decoration; check out the spectacular gilt and crystal details in the rooms.
- Badenburg: the sauna and bathing house still has its original heating system, as well as a banquet hall.
- Pagodenburg: built in the early 18th century in the style of a Chinese teahouse, the two-storey pagoda was designed as a place to relax after playing "mailspiel", a golf-like game popular at the time.
- Magdalenenklause: designed in faux-ruin style, this mock hermitage was a place of meditation and escape from court life.
An excellent representation of the extravagance of the Bavarian rulers, Nymphenburg Palace and gardens are well worth a visit. There's a lot to see, so you'll want at least half a day to see the palace interiors and take a stroll through the park. It does get busy during the day, but you're bound to find a quiet spot to enjoy the peace that the royal summer residence was intended to provide.
April to mid-October: daily from 9 am to 6 pm.
Mid-October to March: daily from 10 am to 4 pm.
April to mid-October: €11.50.
Mid-October to March: €8.50.
Children and students with valid ID go free.
Tram: Schloss Nymphenburg, lines 12, 16 and 17.
Bus: line 51.