BMW Museum Munich

BMW Museum

BMW Welt, photo by BertBeckers

I’m a little excited about the arrival of springtime: the prospect of breezy bike rides, nice weekend getaways and most importantly,  road trips with the windows down. Car-loving visitors of Germany can go on just a kind of road trip, destination Bavaria, the home of the one and only BMW Museum Munich.

BMW, short for Bayerische Motorenwerke, reveals plenty about the geographical identity of one of the world’s leading car manufacturers. Headquartered in the Bavarian capital of Munich, BMW is Bavaria’s answer to Baden-Württemberg’s Mercedes Benz, and celebrates a rich history that dates back to 1916.

BMW Museum Munich, along with the nearby BMW Welt and BMW Plant,  aim to present exactly this, as visitors are taken through a fascinating tour of the company, brand and product history in both German and English. Located near the Olympiapark in Munich, the BMW Museum was founded in 1973 and was later reopened in 2008, following its redesign and the construction of the BMW Welt directly across from it.

Around 125 of BMW’s most valuable and attractive automobiles, motorcycles and engines occupy the museum’s expansive 5000 m² showroom. The museum chronicles  BMW’s technical development over time: from engines and turbines to aircrafts and vehicles. The BMW Museum also provides an insight into the brand’s future, with both actual and futuristic-looking models on display, and even conceptual studies from the past 20 years.

Note to architecture fans – the BMW Museum’s emphasis on modernity is well-complemented by its architecturally-unique design that might look like a salad bowl to a novice’s eye. The  silver futuristic building consists of four “islands” inside the building where exhibits are displayed. Visitors “loop” the actual exhibition to finally reach the upper floor, where more  individual exhibits, a small cinema hall and several interactive exhibits can be found.

Visited by about 250,000 guests each year, the BMW Museum is certainly one of the best things to do in Munich. Need a bigger BMW fix? Easily cross the street to the BMW Welt, another world waiting to be discovered.

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