Alte Pinakothek Munich from the front.

Alte Pinakothek Munich: Where Historical Art Comes Alive

There are a huge selection of art galleries, and museums in Munich, but if you’re an art lover, particularly a classical art lover, then the Alte Pinakothek Munich should definitely be number one on your list of Munich Museums to visit.

Providing an enjoyable afternoon among beautiful paintings, the Alte Pinakothek in Munich is a world-famous art gallery with a collection of Classical Art that is favoured among tourists and locals alike.

In this article, we outline what secrets the Alte Pinakothek holds for you as a visitor, as well as detail its location, ticketing, and how to get there. This is a Munich Art Museum you simply won’t want to miss.

What is the Alte Pinakothek Munich?

The Alte Pinakothek is an Art Museum in central Munich housing paintings of incredible worth, and it is one of the oldest and most magnificent painting collections in all of Europe.

The Alte Pinakothek is specifically noted for its paintings by 14th- to 18th-century European masters, and is part of a number of art galleries located throughout Munich and Bavaria and administered by Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen (Bavarian State Painting Collections).

Known locally as the Die Pinakotheken, many of the pieces showcased within the Alte Pinakothek originate from the Wittelsbach family collection of art in a showcase of masterful paintings that grew so large, they had to purpose-build a museum for the collection. On show at any one time, there will only ever be 800 or so paintings, although the collection itself is vastly larger and reported to be in the many thousands.

Who Built the Alte Pinakothek in Munich?

It was in the year 1826 that King Ludwig I of Bavaria commissioned his court architect, Leo Von Kleeze, to design and oversee construction of the Alte Pinakothek as part of Munich’s first “group of “official” Art Galleries centred around Königsplatz.

Completed in 1836, the Alte Pinakothek Munich was among the first of Munich’s many art galleries!

Leo Von Kleeze had previously been personally involved with excavations of ancient buildings in Greece and had actually submitted his own proposals for the restoration of the Acropolis. He shared and encouraged the vision of King Ludwig I to create an “Athens on the Isar”.

Von Kleeze was actually a neoclassicist architect, painter and writer, and was much favoured by the court due to his artistic talents. He was also instrumental in designing other museums and monuments in Munich such as the Glyptothek, which is Munich’s oldest public museum and the very well known Bavaria Statue and Ruhmeshalle (“hall of fame”) that stands behind Lady Bavaria.

What Does Alte Pinakothek Mean in English?

Pinakothek basically translates to a place that houses old pictures, statues, and other works of art. The word ALTE is German and simply means old. So together the meaning is transcribed as a “place that house old works of art”.

Pinakothek is the German version of an ancient Greek word that evolved into a Latin variant of the same. So the historically famous, and world renowned Pinacotheca Gallerias of Ancient Rome and Greece (art galleries) became the Pinakothek in German.

What Can You See at the Alte Pinakothek?

Originally built to be the largest art gallery in the world, there is no shortage of stunning paintings to see at the Alte Pinakothek. The Munich art museum is home to many hundreds of paintings, spanning a huge range of styles. The artwork of the Old Masters is a must see when visiting this collection of art in Munich, but you’ll also come across many famous works by 18th century artists from across Europe.

You can take a guided tour of this Munich art gallery, or make your own way through the paintings, which include works by Peter Paul Reubens, Raphael, and Leonardo Da Vinci to name only a few. Notable paintings on display at the Alte Pinakothek Munich include Da Vinci’s ‘Virgin and Child’, and Rembrandt’s first self portrait.

If you have any interest in classical historical painting, then this museum is a MUST visit for you!

Where is the Alte Pinakothek?

The Alte Pinakothek Munich can be found in the Kunstareal, also known as the art district, or museum quarter. If you’re looking to make a day of art in Munich, this is very handy, as here there are 18 museums in close proximity.

How To Get To the Alte Pinakothek?

With very little parking around the Kunstareal, it’s recommended that you take public transport. This won’t be a problem, as there are a range of handy public transport links to the Alte Pinakothek Munich.

If you’re arriving by tram, simply hop on the No 27 to Pinakotheken.

If you’re taking the U-Bahn to the Alte Pinakothek Munich, either take the U2 to Königsplatz or Theresienstrasse and enjoy a 10 minute walk. Or the U3, U4, U5, and U6 to Odeonsplatz will bring you within a 15 minute walk of the Munich art gallery. 

If you’d like to take the bus to the Alte Pinakotheken Munich, the easiest option is the dedicated Museum Line bus, the No 100 bus, to Pinakotheken.

Alte Pinakothek Munich Information and Admission?

In 2022, taking into account current Covid-19 measures in the State of Bavaria, visiting museums of the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen is possible according to the 3G-rule (Vaccinated Recovered Tested). Please show your certificate at the entrance. 

How Much Does Alte Pinakothek Munich Cost?

Admission for the permanent exhibition of art in Munich at the Alte Pinakothek is 8,80€. If you’re over the age of 65, or a student in Germany, you can take advantage of reduced admission rates, for 6,60€. For young people (under the age of 18) admission to the Alte Pinakothek Munich is completely free.

A handy tip is to visit the Alte Pinakothek Munich on a Sunday, as admission is only 1€!

Alte Pinakothek Munich Tickets Information

Alte pinakothek tickets are readily available to purchase at the museum front desk. However, to avoid waiting in crowded lines it’s recommended by this particular münchen museum to book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. This can easily be done online through the Pinakothek site.

alte pinakothek munich opening hours

The Alte Pinakothek opens at 10 am daily, and on Wednesdays and Thursdays is open past the usual closing time of 6pm, until 8.30pm. And dont forget, the Alte Pinakothek is closed on Mondays.

What To Do Nearby The Alte Pinakothek in Munich

As we mentioned earlier this is the Kunstareal of Munich so there are a plethora of other Munich Museums in the area as well as a number of Munich Monuments and open spaces and gardens.

You can easily spend a couple of days in this compact area of Munich alone and visit some incredible and historical sights that we’ve listed below for you.

KönigsplatzPinakothek der ModerneGlyptothek
Residenz MünchenMunich Museum of Egyptian ArtSiegestor
Karlsplatz (Stachus)Alter Botanischer GartenHofgarten
FinanzgartenMaximilian SquareWittelsbacherplatz
St. Boniface’s AbbeyStaatliche AntikensammlungenLenbachhaus

Visit To The Alte Pinakothek in Munich

We hope you enjoyed our write up on Munich’s fantastic Alte Pinakothek Museum and that you’re inspired to visit this wonderfully preserved collection of artworks.

We’ve visited ourselves many times, and because of their art rotation policy, there is always something new to inspire us and we’re sure there will be for you also. Indeed, you’ll often see budding artists sketching the glorious and ancient artworks contained within the museum.

This is a place that showcases Bavarian State History perfectly, and we guarantee you that as art museums in Munich go, this is one of the very best that can be found in all of Europe!

Take care, enjoy the art and have a great day!