The main reason for our stay in Munich was the visit the large Christmas Market located at Marienplatz just outside of Neues Rathaus. Since we were tourists, we decided to do some touristy things while we were there. That included getting to the plaza in the afternoon to see the Glockenspiel.
While doing a search to see what time we needed to be there, I ran across some articles about how to get an aerial view of the city from an observation deck. One of the best-known views is from St. Peter’s Church (Peterskirche). From there, you have a great view of the Neues Rathaus and Frauenkirche for the small admission price of € 1,50. However, the only way to the viewing platform is to climb 300 steps. If you’ve got any type of health problem (asthma, mobility issues, etc.), this presents a huge obstacle.
Luckily, there’s another viewing platform nearby that doesn’t involve any steps.
Neues Rathaus Elevator
One of the lesser-known tourist facts is that there is an elevator to a viewing platform at the top of the Neues Rathaus. The main downside of this view is you’ll miss getting a picture of the Neues Rathaus, but you still get a great view of Munich.
I do need to say that there are a few steps required to get to the elevator entrance, so it is not 100% accessible, but it’s still much better than climbing 300 stairs.
Let me first apologize because there’s very little information available online about the elevator. Based on something I read on a post, we purchased tickets for the elevator from the Visitor Center located on the Marienplatz. It’s located on the ground floor of the Neues Rathaus to the right of the entrance to the courtyard when looking at the building.
I thought we paid € 2 for our tickets, but I’ve seen prices of € 2,50 and € 3 also mentioned online. After getting our tickets, we were directed to an elevator. If you were walking through the entrance to the courtyard, the entrance is located in the archway. This isn’t the main elevator, it just takes you up a few floors. You exit and walk down the hall to another room where there’s a ticket booth. I’ve read it’s possible just to buy your tickets from here, but I’m not positive about that.
There’s a queue set up here for the tower elevator. The elevator is small and the observation deck isn’t very large, so I’d imagine access is limited when it’s busier.
It was empty when we arrived, so we handed our tickets and were directed to the elevator.
The Viewing Deck
The elevator lets you out into a small room with a door to the outside. From there, you’re on the deck. There’s no glass panes, just a metal framework around the windows, so it’s easy to get unobstructed photos. Just be sure to hold on tight to your camera or phone as it’s a long way down.
We visited after dusk so we could see the lights of the Christmas Market in the plaza below. The view did not disappoint.
We could see the Marienplatz with the Christmas Market and tree.
A great view of the Altes Rathaus
From the other side of the platform is a view of Frauenkirche
It’s also a great way to get a sense of how large the market is as it continues for blocks and blocks from the plaza.
On a clear day, you’re supposedly able to see the Alps from the deck, but there was no chance of that at night.
Munich has set a height limit for buildings in the old town at 100 meters (the height of the domes of the Frauenkirche), so getting a view from high up lets you see far across the city.
No matter which viewing platform you choose, you’re always going to miss out on seeing one building (the one your in). If you’re looking for a view and aren’t looking to get in your exercise for the day, taking the elevator to the top of the Neues Rathaus is well worth the 2 or 3 Euros.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary