Munich Residenz

in Altstadt & Residenz

Generations of Bavarian rulers expanded a medieval fortress into this vast and palatial compound that served as their primary residence and seat of government from 1508 to 1918. Today it’s an Aladdin’s cave of fanciful rooms and collections through the ages, which can be seen on an audio-guided tour of what is called the Residenzmuseum. Allow at least two hours to see everything at a gallop.

Highlights include the fresco-smothered Antiquarium banqueting hall and the exuberantly rococo Reiche Zimmer (Ornate Rooms). The Schatzkammer (Treasure Chamber) displays a veritable banker’s bonus worth of jewel-encrusted bling of yesteryear, from golden toothpicks to finely crafted swords, from miniatures in ivory to gold-entombed cosmetics trunks.