A complete guide to the most famous Third Reich sites in Munich (including the beer hall where the Nazi Party was founded and the exact location of Hitler’s apartment).
Munich, the capital of Bavaria, is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany. Nowadays, the city is best known for its popular beer festival, Oktoberfest. Almost nothing reminds of its Nazi past and the events that happened here 90 years ago.
Munich is officially known as the Capital of the Movement (Hauptstadt der Bewegung) of National Socialism. It’s the place where Adolf Hitler founded the Nazi Party and where the famous Beer Hall Putsch took place. The place where it all started.
During the war, the Allied forces bombed Munich 66 times. About 60% of the Old Town was heavily damaged or completely destroyed. During the following years, the city was completely reconstructed and much of its former beauty was restored.
A number of important historical sites connected to the Third Reich survived the destruction. You can still see them today, standing as a grim reminder of the city’s dark past.
Third Reich sites in Munich
The charming Old Town of Munich witnessed some of the most infamous events in German history – the Beer Hall Putsch, the terror of the SA, the destruction of synagogues. You can still see the place where the official Nazi Headquarters used to be and the beer halls where Hitler made his speeches.
In addition to this, you’ll also find one of the earliest concentration camps that opened all over Germany in 1933. It’s located in Dachau, only 40min away from Munich by train.
Most famous Third Reich sites in Munich
- Hofbräuhaus Beer Hall
- Hitler’s apartment
- NS-Dokumentationszentrum Munich
- Führer’s building
- Old Town Hall
- White Rose Memorial
- Dachau concentration camp
Best Third Reich tours in Munich
Munich Third Reich Tour – this is the most popular (and the best rated) Third Reich walking tour. Led by an expert guide, you’ll visit infamous locations, such as the Hofbräuhaus (where the Nazi Party was formed) and Führerbau (site of the Munich Agreement).
Dachau Memorial Site Tour – this half-day tour from Munich will take to one of the first concentration camps, the one in Dachau. During the tour, you’ll discover the camp’s dark history and visit the gas chambers with an expert guide.
Hofbräuhaus Beer Hall
The Munich beer halls were a common place for Bavarians to gather for political meetings. In fact, this is where Hitler started his political career as a speaker. Although Bürgerbräukeller, where the Beer Hall Putsch started, doesn’t exist anymore, you can still visit the Hofbräuhaus.
This is where the National Socialists held their first meetings. The place, where Hitler presented the Nazi Party’s 25-point program on February 25, 1920. Also, Hofbräuhaus was the birthplace of the party’s paramilitary wing Sturmabteilung (SA in short).
Feldherrnhalle is a beautiful logia located at Odeonsplatz, next to Munich Residence. Originally, it was built in 1844 to commemorate the fallen soldiers during the Franco-Prussian War.
During the Nazi time, it became a place of worship and the square in front of it was used for SS parades. Also, Feldherrnhalle was the place where the famous Beer Hall Putsch from 1923 was put to an end.
The Beer Hall Putsch started at the Bürgerbräukeller beer hall on the evening of 8 November 1923. On the next day, determined to seize the power, Hitler and about 2000 Nazis marched through the city (see the full Beer Hall Putsch route here).
They were stopped by the Bavarian police on Residenzstraße, just before reaching Feldherrnhalle. Shots were fired, leading to the death of 14 Nazis and 4 policemen.
In 1933, after Hitler came to power, Feldherrnhalle turned into a place of worship for the fallen Nazis in the Beer Hall Putsch. Citizens had to make a Nazi salute when passing the building. The only way to bypass this was to use the nearby side street, Viscardigasse. Subsequently, the alley was named Drückebergergasse, which means shirkers’ alley.
Hitler moved to Germany and settled in Munich in 1913. He lived in Munich until 1933 when he was appointed German Chancellor. In the period 1913-1933 Hitler lived in several apartments.
The building at Prinzregentenplatz 16 was his last and the most famous residence. Hitler moved into an apartment on the second floor of the building in 1929. Later the whole building became his property until 1945.
This apartment was Adolf’s primary residence up to January 1933, when he became chancellor. After 1933, Hitler spent most of his time in Berlin and in his mountain residence in Berchtesgaden.
The apartment at Prinzregentenplatz 16 was the place, where Hitler’s half-niece Geli Raubal committed suicide on September 19, 1931.
Today, the whole building is a property of the Bavarian state and it is used by the Munich Police. Hitler’s apartment is not open to visitors.
Today, the beautiful Königsplatz with its neoclassical buildings is home to the city’s museums and galleries. However, in the past, things looked quite different.
Königsplatz was a square for the Nazi Party’s mass rallies from 1933 until the war years. It was used mainly for parades and memorial events. This was also the place, where on 10 May 1933 right-wing radical students burned un-German books.
During the Nazi regime, two Temples of Honour were built on the site. They housed the remains of the 16 Nazis killed during the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923. The temples were destroyed in the post-war years.
NS-Dokumentationszentrum is located next to the historic Königsplatz. It was built on the site of the Nazi Party headquarters, that was destroyed by Allied bombing raids during the war.
The Nazi Party headquarters was also known under the name of the Brown House (Braunes Haus). It’s named after the colour of the uniforms that the early party members wore.
The National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP) made the Brown House its headquarters in 1930. And it remained its main headquarters till 1937 when the party moved to the newly constructed Führerbau (Führer building) on Arcisstraße.
The Documentation Centre, that occupies the site today, is focused on the history and consequences of the Nazi regime. It traces the origins of the Nazism and tries to explain how Hitler came into power. The exhibit features documents, photographs, and media installations.
The entrance, as well as the audio guide, are free for all visitors.
The Führerbau served as the main headquarters of the Nazi Party since 1937 onward. It replaced the smaller Brown House, which remained an important site of National Socialist propaganda.
Führerbau was the place, where Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler signed the Munich Agreement in 1938. According to the agreement, Czechoslovakia had to cede Sudetenland to the German Reich, without saying anything on the matter.
Unlike the Brown House, the Führerbau still stands today. However, a visit is not possible, as the building houses the University of Music and Performing Arts.
Old Town Hall
Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus) was the palace, where Joseph Goebbels gave his infamous speech that led to Kristallnacht.
During November 9 and 10, 1938, SA (Sturmabteilung) carried out a pogrom against the Jews. Thousands of Jewish homes, shops and synagogues were ransacked and destroyed throughout Germany and Austria. In addition to this, SA arrested and sent to concentration camps more than 30,000 Jews.
Kristallnacht (Crystal Night) is also known as the night of broken glass, because of the shards of broken glass left on the streets after the looting.
White Rose Memorial
White Rose Memorial is dedicated to one of the few anti-Nazi movements in Germany.
White Rose (Weiße Rose) was a group of student rebels from the Munich University. Led by Hans and Sophie Scholl, the movement practised non-violent resistance by distributing inflammatory leaflets.
On February 18, 1943, Gestapo arrested Hans and Sophie, while distributing their sixth leaflet inside the university. They were interrogated and executed by beheading on February 22.
Today, you can find a memorial dedicated to the White Rose movement in front of the university building. It looks like pieces of paper scattered on the ground.
Third Reich sites near Munich
Dachau concentration camp
Opened in 1933, Dachau was one of the first concentration camps built after the Nazi Party came into power. It was located on the grounds of a former factory for gunpowder and ammunition, near the small town of Dachau.
Originally, the camp was destined for political prisoners. Yet, over the years other groups were also interned at Dachau such as Jews, homosexuals and gipsies.
Dachau concentration camp remained operational during the entire Third Reich. More than 200,000 people were imprisoned here.
Entrance is free, but you have to pay if you want an audio guide.
How to get to Dachau concentration camp
- the easiest way is to take this Dachau Memorial Site Tour from Munich. During this 5-hour tour, you’ll discover the camp’s dark history and visit the gas chambers with an expert guide.
- to visit the camp on your own, take S-Bahn line 2 from München Hbf to Dachau Bahnhof (towards Petershausen or Altomünster). Once there, take bus 726 (towards Saubachsiedlung) and get off at KZ-Gedenkstätte stop (buses every 20min). You’ll need a ticket for zone Munich XXL (it covers the S-Bahn and the bus in Dachau).
Located only 1 hour away by train from Munich, Nuremberg is a must for every WW2 history buff. The city not only played a key role during the Nazi reign but this is where the war criminals were put on trial after the end of WWII.
Nuremberg hosted the famous Nazi Party Rallies, attended by hundreds of thousands of party supporters. Also, the city is infamous for the Nuremberg Laws from 1935 and the Nuremberg Trials from 1945-1946.
Zeppelin Field (Zeppelinfeld) was the place where the Nazi Party Rallies took place. They were held regularly every year, until the beginning of the Second World War in 1939.
The first party rally, after Hitler seized power, was named Rally of Victory. It was documented in the movie Der Sieg des Glaubens by Leni Riefenstahl, the second in – Triumph des Willens.
Today, some parts of the massive grandstand that served as a backdrop of the rallies still stand. You can even see the rostrum from where the German dictator made his speeches. However, the swastika that decorated the top of the grandstand and the characteristic colonnades are gone.
Zeppelin Field is open to the public and free to visit. In fact, the field is often used for sports events and music festivals.
Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds
A 15min walk from the Zeppelin Field, you’ll find the Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds. The museum is set in the north wing of the Nazi Party’s Congress Hall. Its exhibition gives a detailed picture of the National Socialist dictatorship and the history of the party rallies.
The entrance fee includes an audio guide for the permanent exhibition. And for an additional €3, you can turn your ticket into a day ticket. This will allow you to visit the Memorium Nuremberg Trials for free using the same ticket. Note that both sites have to be visited on the same day.
Zeppelin Field and the Documentation Centre are located out of the city centre. To get there you have to take the tram (line 6 or 8 in direction Doku-Zentrum stop) – about a 20min journey.
Memorium Nuremberg Trials
After the end of WWII, the Allies chose Nuremberg as a location of the trials for the surviving German war criminals. The choice was not only symbolic but also pragmatic.
The city that once hosted the infamous party rallies, now it would witness the fall of the Nazis. Also, the Nuremberg Palace of Justice was spared from the bombings and it was big enough to accommodate trials of this size. The trials took place in courtroom number 600, situated in the eastern wing.
Nowadays, you can visit the actual courtroom, where the famous trials took place. Keep in mind that the courtroom is still in use. Thus, you may not be allowed to enter if there is a trial at the moment, which is usually Monday through Thursday. In this case, you’ll be able to see the courtroom through a glass window.
On the top floor of the Palace of Justice, you’ll find the Memorium Nuremberg Trials. The museum provides insights about the defendants and their crimes, including the trials of 1945-46.
If you’re visiting the memorial after the Documentation centre, you have to take the tram (line 6 or 8) and then change to metro line U1.
Munich Third Reich sites map
To help you navigate, I made this map with all Third Reich sites in Munich.
The sites you can visit are marked in dark pink, the one you can see only outside – in pink. You can use the map during your trip, you only need internet access.
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