Exploring a new city isn’t just about visiting the usual museums, palaces, gardens, lakes, and historic monuments. While these popular attractions have their charm, the more unusual and unique spots often offer a deeper, more intriguing insight into the city’s culture.

Munich exemplifies this blend of the familiar and the extraordinary. Alongside renowned spots like the Rathaus-Glockenspiel, the Eisbachwelle, and the English Garden, Munich also hosts a range of lesser-known yet truly fascinating sites. 

For those eager to venture beyond the conventional tourist paths, the strangest attractions in Munich await! This guide will introduce you to these hidden gems, perfect for anyone seeking a distinctive experience in Munich. 

Jewelled Skeleton of Saint Munditia

As far as odd attractions go, the bejewelled skeleton (featured image) in St. Peter’s Church is one of the strangest attractions in Munich. The church, known as the oldest in the city, is home to a glass coffin where the skeleton of Saint Munditia lies. 

The skeleton is covered by a gem-studded, transparent bodystocking fitted with gold and various jewels, with glass fitted in her skull in place of her eyes giving her a (literally) glassy stare. Often referred to as the patron saint of spinsters, her hand holds a glass filled with dried blood, adding a level of eeriness to the macabre display. 

Image credit: Aleister Crowley / Public Domain

The Devil’s Footprint

Also known as Der Teufelstritt, the Devil’s Footprint (or the Devil’s Kick) is ironically located inside the Frauenkirche (Munich Cathedral). Its history is part of a fascinating legend going back to 1468. The story goes that an architect named Jorg von Halspach made a deal with the Devil to get money for a new cathedral in the city. According to the terms of their deal, the Devil would provide the funds needed as long as the cathedral would be a celebration of darkness and not have any windows to let light in. When the building was completed and the Devil realised that he’d been duped during a tour of the finished construction, he angrily stomped his foot and left a permanent black footprint in the building — supposedly, anyway! Although there are lots of obvious plot holes in the legend, it still makes an intriguing story and counts as one of the strangest attractions in Munich.

Image credit: Oliver Raupach / Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.5

Endless Staircase (Umschreibung)

At first glance, the Umschreibung looks like nothing more than a staircase, albeit a uniquely shaped one. However, the staircase, nestled within the courtyard of the KPMG office building in the Schwanthalerhohe district, is actually a sculpture by Olafur Eliasson. It doesn’t lead anywhere and was designed to highlight “movement without destination,” according to the artist. The double-helix shaped steel structure standing over 30 feet tall is marvellous to behold despite the futility of climbing the stairs.

The Relics of Munich Residenz

The Munich Residenz, once the grand palace of Bavarian dukes, electors, and kings, now serves as a museum showcasing a blend of royal artefacts and some of the strangest attractions in Munich. This historical gem is not only a testament to centuries of regal splendour but also houses an eclectic collection of curiosities.

Prominently displayed among the myriad treasures is a richly adorned skull, reputed to be that of John the Baptist. Intriguingly, there are three additional skulls alleged to belong to John, each housed in different locations globally. Furthermore, the Residenz is home to another extraordinary relic — a skull believed to be that of Pope Eleuterus, adding to the palace’s fascinating assortment of oddities. 

Image credit: Thilo Parg / Wikimedia Commons (License: CC BY-SA 3.0)

Georg Elser Plaque

An unconventional memorial in the form of a plaque is set among the paving stones of a beer hall pillar at Burgerbraukeller in Munich. This plaque commemorates Georg Elser’s attempt to assassinate Hitler in 1939.

Elser’s plan involved constructing a time bomb and hiding it within one of the beer hall pillars where Hitler was scheduled to give a speech. Unfortunately, on the day in question, Hitler’s speech was shorter than usual and he left the building before the bomb exploded. Elser was later arrested and executed by the Nazis. His valiant effort to single-handedly end the Second World War is now commemorated by the plaque, as well as a bust depicting his likeness set up near the Interior Ministry in Berlin. 

The People’s Observatory

Snuggled away in a hidden part of Munich is the Volkssternwarte (People’s Observatory) with a planetarium, telescopes, and a collection of meteors. Like many observatories, this one is unique in design and offers an unmatched experience through a detailed virtual tour of the galaxy. It’s an interactive and entertaining experience where you can learn about the stars, planets, meteorites, the galaxy and so much more. You can even observe the sky through telescopes set up on the roof, targeting specific sights.

Smokey Joe’s

Smokey Joe’s follows the setup of a food truck…or in this case, a “food plane”! Made out of retro aeroplane parts, Smokey Joe’s is a popular food place set between two terminals in Munich Airport. Affectionately known as “the sausage plane”, it offers red and white curry sausages served in a style of your choice from the options: Munich, Berlin, or Ruhr style. Whether you like your sauce classical, medium hot, or hot, you can choose how best to enjoy this special delicacy. Enjoy your banger with soft drinks, or take your pick of Bavarian beers on offer.

Bier-und Oktoberfest Museum

Oktoberfest is a beloved festival in Munich where Bavarian culture and traditional beer are widely celebrated. Even though the festival only takes place once a year, the Bier-und OktoberfestMuseum that’s open all year is another way to experience Munich’s culture.

This fascinating museum is divided into two parts. The first is all about beer; from brewing methods to stories about beer barons, and a trip back in time to the history of beer in Bavaria. The other part gives insight into Oktoberfest through old posters, clothing, and art from the inaugural celebration.

Image credit: Martin Falbisoner / Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0


The Sacred Heart Church in Munich is unlike any other, with a modern design that makes it stand out above the rest. Besides its unique architecture, the place of worship is also known for having the largest church doors in the world.

The large gate-like structure stretches across the front of the church. The layers of blue glass making up the gates have contrasting shades in such a way that, in a certain light, you can see a cross on them. The gates also have white nails on them, arranged by an artist named Alexander Beleschenko, said to depict the Passion story as it is told according to the gospel of John.

Image credit: Hellerhoff / Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0

Bruno the Bear

Also known as the Problem Bear, Bruno was famously known for his exploits in Germany, killing livestock and other animals. With time, the bear started wandering closer to humans until he was killed during an attempt to humanely capture him. 

Since then, Bruno has been part of the exhibitions at the Nymphenburg Castle Museum of Man and Nature. In addition to his stuffed body, the exhibit also has articles and reports relating the wild adventures of the Problem Bear.

Final Word

The strangest attractions in Munich highlight a fascinating and peculiar side of the city that’s mostly known for its history and culture. Awe-inspiring discoveries, unique architecture, and odd mementos offer an enticing trip into the unusual that are a must-see whenever you visit Munich. 

From the Devil’s footprint to the stairway to nowhere, there are plenty of oddities for a curious mind to explore. If you’re visiting Munich, be sure to stop by any of these and embrace the weird and wonderful while you’re there!


Now read: Avoid The Crowds And Discover A Very Alternative Munich

Featured image credit: Andrew Bossi / Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.5

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