One of the top attractions in Munich is the futuristic BMW headquarters. They comprise the BMW Museum and the BMW Welt showroom. The BMW Museum showcases the story of the German car manufacturer’s impact on mobility and pop culture, with a large area dedicated to future green technology. On the other hand, in the showroom, you can explore the latest car and motorbike models or relish frankfurters and beer in a spectacularly designed building.
Table of Contents
BMW and Munich: a Bavaria’s love affair
Founded in 1916, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, or BMW, has etched its name as a premier luxury and performance vehicle manufacturer in the annals of automotive history. The journey began in Munich, Germany, where the company’s headquarters stands as a testament to its enduring legacy.
PLAN YOUR TRIP TO MUNICH
Get ready to make the most of your Munich trip with the Munich Official City Card to enjoy free public transportation throughout the city and exclusive discounts on admission prices to some of the most popular tourist attractions, such as the Deutsche Museum, Pinakothek der Moderne, and the Nymphenburg Palace.
Keep you connected throughout your journey in Munich with an Airalo eSim, saving money on data coverage while in Germany.
The Munich complex is not just an automotive hub. Its blend of heritage and contemporary design encapsulates the essence of BMW’s commitment to excellence, innovation, and a forward-thinking automotive culture.
The BMW office, museum, and showroom stand not just as a showcase for the brand’s iconic vehicles but also as a living testament to BMW’s unwavering dedication to pushing the boundaries of engineering, design, and driving pleasure.
The bowl-shaped building showcases architectural brilliance transcending time. Designed in 1973 by the Viennese architect Karl Schwanzer shortly after the Olympic Games, the BMW Museum was renovated in 2004 during the construction of the BMW Welt, directly opposite. Inside, the museum offers a comprehensive chronicle of the brand’s evolution.
Adjacent to the iconic bowl-shaped structure that houses the BMW Museum stands the office skyscraper ingeniously shaped like a four-cylinder engine. This architectural marvel pays homage to BMW’s roots in engine manufacturing, a subtle yet powerful nod to the brand’s core identity.
Adding to the architectural ensemble is the futuristic mirrored building that houses the BMW Welt, situated across the street and seamlessly connected by an elevated walkway. The BMW Welt serves as a multifunctional customer experience and exhibition facility, offering visitors a dynamic encounter with the brand’s latest innovations and a glimpse into its future direction.
BMW Museum: permanent and temporary exhibitions
The BMW Museum in Munich is a highly recommended attraction among the city’s museums. The museum’s exhibits are carefully designed, much like the vehicles produced by the manufacturer.
The museum’s interior is a steel and glass spiral that showcases the history of BMW production. Visitors can view unique prototypes and other models that have significantly impacted motor racing history.
You don’t have to be a car enthusiast to enjoy the BMW Museum in Munich. It is one of the most famous museums in the city because its permanent and temporary exhibitions tell the story of how the automotive industry has shaped a part of history.
BMW cars and motorbikes on display
The BMW Museum occupies five thousand square metres in which more than 120 of the company’s most iconic car and motorbike models are on display, organised in seven permanent themed exhibitions:
- House of Design shows the inspirations and creative processes behind the design of the various models.
- House of the Company is a journey through the history of the BMW brand, from its founding as an aircraft engine manufacturer in 1916 to the present day.
- House of the Motorcycle showcases the most successful motorbikes produced by the brand.
- House of Technology explains the efficiency of BMW technology and the importance of lightness and aerodynamics in designing vehicles.
- House of Motor Sport recounts the successes of the BMW brand in Formula 1.
- House of Brand explains how BMW has advertised its products for over a century.
- House of the Series recounts the development of a series from a specific model.
Inside the BMW Museum, you can also find temporary or themed exhibitions, such as the one celebrating the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall that I had the chance to see. In this space, you can discover the role played by the small BMW Isetta on the flight from East Berlin. Or find out what the future of the car holds in the BMW space dedicated to green mobility and the search for new environmentally friendly fuels.
BMW Welt: what to see in the BMW showroom
A short distance from the BMW Museum is the BMW Welt, literally translated ‘BMW World’. It is a multifunctional centre for conferences, events and showrooms, and a delivery centre, with restaurants and cafes. An elevated footbridge connects the two buildings, or you can cross the street.
Inside BMW Welt, you can see the latest models of BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, BMW Motorrad cars, and motorbikes. Admission is free, and you can also just come in for a drink or a bite to eat in the bars and restaurants inside.
You can also find the official merchandising shop at BMW Welt if you are a brand fan. However, you should check the opening hours. When I went last time, the shop had closed before the museum, whereas the BMW Welt complex generally has extended opening hours.
BMW Museum and BMW Welt with and without children
I have visited the BMW Museum and BMW Welt many times: with an ex-boyfriend on a pilgrimage to his favourite manufacturer, friends, and my son. Each time, I had very positive experiences.
The BMW Museum is, in fact, not just for car enthusiasts. For example, the exhibition on the future of mobility interests anyone curious about electric transport or sustainable urban mobility projects.
With children, the BMW Museum offer a lot of fun. The little ones love to stop in front of each model. If you are travelling with children, I suggest you arrive at the opening and spend several hours there. My son was so enthusiastic about car models and interactive stations that we stayed until closing.
Practical information for visiting the BMW Museum and BMW Welt in Munich
The BMW Museum is a large and fascinating museum that offers great exhibits to explore. No matter how often you visit, there’s always something new, whether it’s a special exhibition or a temporary display.
Located just outside the centre of Munich, near the Olympiapark, the BMW Museum and BMW Welt are easily accessible by metro. Take the U3 line and get off at the Olympiazentrum stop. The museum is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm.
Admission tickets for the BMW Museum cost €10, while entry to the BMW Welt is free. You can book your ticket to the BMW Museum, but cash payment is currently not possible due to a system change.
BWM Museum and BMW Welt
Am Olympiapark, 2
Where to stay in Munich
In Munich, like in any big city, there are many options for accommodation. My favourite hotel is the Hilton Munich City, which boasts a fantastic restaurant, parking facilities, and a bar serving unique signature cocktails.
Another great option is Hotel MIO by AMANO, conveniently located close to popular points of interest in Munich. Alternatively, the Hotel Blauer Bock offers a breakfast buffet in the hotel’s elegant restaurant, serving regional specialities throughout the day and evening.
The BMW Museum in Munich is one of the most beautiful automobile museums in Europe. Feel free to comment if you already know this car museum or if you decided to visit it after reading my post.