Odeonsplatz#12 in Best Things To Do in Munich
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Despite its location in the heart of Bavaria, Munich has been called "Italy's most northerly city" because of its architecture and laid-back atmosphere. Its Italian influence is most apparent in Odeonsplatz – a historic square near the city center designed by a king who had an affinity for the Mediterranean country.
The Feldherrnhalle (Field Marshalls' Hall) – a three-arch monument built in the 1840s – stands at the south end of the Odeonsplatz square and is almost identical to Florence's Loggia dei Lanzi. Deeply embedded in pre-World War II history, many know the monument as the place where Hitler and his followers were once arrested. Nowadays, the Feldherrnhalle's steps provide an ideal spot for Munich residents and visitors to lounge.
The area above the Feldherrnhalle steps is also used as a stage for Odeonsplatz's many outdoor concerts. One of its most popular annual concerts is Klassik Am Odeonsplatz, an open-air classical music festival. Be sure to buy a ticket if you're visiting Munich in July and want to enjoy live music in the famed square.
Next to the Feldherrnhalle is the Theatine Church, a 17th-century Roman Catholic Church that nods to Italy with its architecture and bright yellow exterior. But don't just admire it from the outside – recent visitors said the church's pure white interior is just as impressive as the exterior. It's free to enter and although it's not an especially large church, travelers recommend giving yourself plenty of time to soak in the intricate details and art.
Odeonsplatz is also bordered by Hofgarten – a large, well-groomed park filled with flowers that helps provide a serene escape from city life. The area – originally created as part of Residenz Palace – was modeled off a traditional Italian garden, and a temple dedicated to the Roman goddess Diana sits at its center. Visitors enjoy strolling up and down the gravel pathways and enjoying the musical performers who occasionally play on the grounds.
The picturesque Odeonsplatz is a hub of activity but also a place of leisure. Just a few blocks away from the busy Marienplatz, Odeonsplatz marks the edge of Munich's Old Town. Because of Odeonsplatz's central location, it's an easy walk from many other attractions in the city, or if you're arriving via public transportation, exit the U-Bahn at Odeonsplatz station.
More Best Things To Do in Munich
#1 English Garden (Englischer Garten)
This large public park, which reaches from the city center to the northeastern city limits, is one of Munich's must-dos. Named for the informal English style of rolling hills and open landscaping, the Englischer Garten contains several popular biergartens, a handful of eclectic monuments and a boating lake, among lots of jogging and biking paths.
Recent travelers mightily enjoyed their time here and recommend renting a bike or a rowboat to explore it. Many also commented on what a retreat it was from an otherwise city vacation. To spend a sunny day in the English Garden, hop off Tram 18 at one of the parkside stops. Admission is free.
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