The Rookie Road Tripper Visits The BMW Museum and BMW World in München

When you get up in the morning, stretch your little legs, and take a moment to consider what you can do in order to get ready for a hard task. Maybe you are going to drink a cup of coffee first. Coffee is not only a vital part of most people's morning but also in road tripping. This year I had road trips planned in which I would eat up over 1000 kilometers within two days, so I also decided to start my "morning" slowly and look a bit closer to home before taking on the bigger trip that lie ahead.

Thus, I turned towards my trusty map and searched the area nearby. In March it was still too cold to look at any alpine passes or fun side roads. Half of Austria had still been knee deep in snow, and thus, I had to turn my eye towards cities. After labeling a few ones as too "meh" to do on my own, München caught my eye and one minute before it would have been labelled with "meh" I remembered that it is the home of the ultimate driving machine: BMW.

BMW i8 rear lights
A few weeks later, I sat in the car rolling on the Austrian A1 heading towards München and the BMW Museum.

Getting to the BMW Museum

When you take your journey by car it doesn't matter if you come from the North or South as you need to reach the "mittlerer Ring" (2R). The name already suggests that it goes around the whole city. Then follow the signs towards "Olympiapark / BMW Welt." On a rather confusing looking crossing, you need to drive onto the Lerchenauer Straße. To your left, you are going to find BMW's own parking garage - which costs 2€ with an added 2€ for each new hour. The daily maximum is 15€.

Some suggest that you should use the city's P+R garage, which is the first left after the BMW World,  because it is cheaper  ...  but not really. Unless you are going to use public transport, it is going to depend on how much time you want to spend there. The first two hours cost 4€ as standard and each following hour is 1€ but the daily maximum is 20€. In the end, it depends on your own math ability.

However, the cheapest and more comfortable option is using public transport, since the BMW World is situated right next to the U3 and U2 station Olympiazentrum. Both of those lines also drive through München Hauptbahnhof.

No matter how you got there, you are going to have to answer an important question: BMW World or BMW Museum?

The Difference between BMW World and BMW Museum 

BMW Towers München
BMW World is one of its kind: it functions as a big show room for all the cars and motorbikes that BMW has on offer in that moment. The best part is, that you can get close to your dream car without having to hassle with a salesman.

Meanwhile, the BMW Museum is what you know from other car manufactures: the place to display their pride and heritage. To show what made and broke the company. In the case of BMW this extends further than just cars. While motorbikes are somewhere in the back of my mind, I keep forgetting that they also fiddled with airplane engines alongside boat engines.

Exploring The BMW World 

Entry to the BMW World is free, so whenever it is open, you can go explore every motoring vehicle that is currently on offer.

Entry to the BMW World in München | BMW Welt
The ground floor is used for all four-wheel vehicles, and split into different categories. This way you have a corner meant for the M-powered cars, and another for the luxury versions. Further back, you are going to find SUVs and, for my own enjoyment, the i section filled with their two EVs.

While the i3 is hardly a looker - sorry - they also show the dream car that a teenager would hang up posters of. Such as the i8:

BMW i8 Coupé
BMW i8 Coupé
BMW i8 Coupé
 Famously forgotten by me, is that BMW also owns Mini. These little cars also have a corner dedicated to them.

Furthermore, if you have the time, you can arrange for a test drive. However, nobody can promise that this is going to happen today and the minimum waiting time is about two hours. Still, if your dream had always been to ride a M-powered car, this is as close as you're going to get without having to lie about your bank balance.

Despite this feature, unlike in clothes stores, no salesman is going to walk up to you and ask "can I help you?" while displaying gooey eyes. And you won't have to make an awkward excuse that you're just browsing. Still, in each section, there is one BMW person who is willing to answer each of your nerdy and stupid questions.

If you fancy spending a little less money, the BMW shop is also situated in the BMW World. This means that you can get everything from a stuffed teddy bear to a cup and a t-shirt in one go.

Snooping Around the BMW Museum 

Less than 100 meters and a pedestrian crossing to the South, lies the BMW Museum with its famous three towers.

BMW Towers Munich
The museums has a 10€ entry free. The one thing that surprises and embarrasses me a bit, is that I keep forgetting that BMW has done so much more than building cars.

Instead they still have their fingers in the motorbike pie, and they built airplane engines alongside boat engines. Furthermore, BMW has a big motorsport heritages. Today, BMW meddles in smaller motorsport series like DTM and the rising star Formula E.

There is a stark reminder of their many pies as soon as you turn the first corner, due to the big display of old motorbikes and the first ever BMW car that had been built:

BMW Museum
BMW Museum
 Overall there are seven different "houses" which intend to bring a topic closer, alongside a special exhibition. The houses are:

  • House of Design 
  • House of Company 
  • House of Motorcycle
  • House of Technology 
  • House of Motor Sport 
  • House of Brand
  • House of the Series 

In almost all cases, you could choose yourself in which house you wanted to look. Thus, you are not forced to walk through an exhibition that you consider boring. 

I spent the most time in the House of Motorsport - not a big surprise -, House of Technology, and House of Series. The latter has a whole display of M-powered cars and you can see the how they changed the design over decades while still preserving the iconic front. 

M-powered BMW in the BMW Museum in Munich
The special exhibition had been "BMW I - Visionary Mobility" when I had visited. It takes a look at e-mobility and what BMW tries to achieve by working in that direction. It showed the idea of DriveNow, alongside different concepts of the BMW i8. One of them had been a hydrogen version used in the Bond films, and personally I dubbed with "very sexy."

Hydrogen Fuel Cell BMW i8
Furthermore, BMW is a company that has the right twist on e-mobility. They don't try to shame their costumer into buying a worse car. Instead they work on creating a product that someone might want to buy regardless if it's electric or not, alongside reducing the emissions produced during production.

BMW Museum in Munich
There is a lot of space and no room ever felt cramped, even if there had been a lot of people in it. The interactive parts and the explanatory texts are offered in German and English. You can spend a lot of time walking through the different houses and just soaking up bits of information. The museum touches on every topic that connects to the BMW brand, however, the mayor focus still lies on the cars.

Having visited the Porsche and Audi museum already, BMW beats them for size. I also dare say for information. Especially because BMW had its fingers in so many pies, it's hard to take all of that in and it might take more than one visit to cover everything thoroughly. That's not too bad because it is worth going back to.

More About My München Road Trip 


  1. This looks amazing! By boyfriend would absolutely love to go here - he's looking at getting a Z4 for his next car. I've never been a fan of the i8 but I love that colour.


    1. how dare you not be a fan of the i8 😱

  2. I was not know that BMS has a museum. That looks awesome indeed.

    1. It was great fun. I can only recommend it :)


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