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Monday, January 09, 2012

BMW Museum - Munich, Germany

During our last full day in Munich we decided to check out the BMW Museum. I could really care less about going there, but Brian was super excited and I had heard good things so decided to I tag along. We thought that we would spend a couple of hours there in the morning and then head back to the markets in the afternoon. WRONG. We ended up spending almost a full day there - there was so much to do and see!

As I said, I am not really a cars and motorcycle person. Yes, I appreciate nice cars and someday hope to own something nice myself. But to see a whole museum? Meh. However, once we arrived at the museum and walked inside I was blown away. This place was no joke.

*most photos in this post were taken by Brian - he did a great job!*

The BMW campus is comprised of three main parts - the museum, the plant and the welt. You enter through the Welt, which has demonstrations,  new car models and is where people who have ordered a new BMW car pick up their new ride. We checked to see if there were any plant tours available and we managed to secure the last two spots on the last English tour of 2011! (Though if you plan on going I would try and book a tour before getting there - apparently they book up and sell out really fast!) We had some time before the plant tour and the first thing we were able to see was a motorcycle demonstration where a guy rode around INSIDE the Welt on a BMW bike. Since Brian has owned a few BMW bikes in his time he was super excited to see this. 

After the demo we headed over to the museum, which is in a separate building on the same campus. I have to admit, I was blown away. The museum is incredibly sleek and sophisticated. It is impeccably designed and contains what must be hundreds of cars and motorcycles from over the decades. There is so much information and history all over the museum, it can get a little overwhelming. When you first walk in there is an installation of steel balls that move and flow to form different shapes (including a car) whilst you read an intro to the BMW museum. From there you move on to the beginning of the BMW history.

It started with an airplane engine. From planes it moved on to a motorcycles. And from motorcycles on to cars.

The first BMW motorcycle
You have to admit, that is pretty sexy.
This is *almost* like the vintage bike Brian has now!
From there the museum goes through the entire history of the company and all of their developments. You can learn all about their engine developments and raw material developments (from steel to carbon fiber), and in each room there are more and more perfectly preserved cars and bikes. True, some if it I found a little boring, but honestly for the most part I found it completely fascinating - I was shocked!

History of the BMW 3 Series
They had everything from racing cars and bikes to luxury vehicles of all types. You could also check out some of their innovative cars - from the past and present. BMW has always been on the cutting edge of development and there is ample proof of this in the museum. They even have a whole room dedicated to past and present advertisements and another room dedicated strictly to the design process.

Once we were done with the museum we had to rush back to the Welt to take our plant tour. The tour lasts over two hours and you get a guided tour through the entire BMW plant. You get to see the cars being made from start to finish. From door panels being stamped and cut out to the hundreds and hundreds of robots welding the cars together. From the first coat of paint down to the final testing area - you get to see almost all of it.

Since we were there on the last day before they were closing for the Christmas and New Years holiday the plant wasn't at full capacity, which was kind of a shame (but understandable). We still got to see a lot - and unfortunately cameras weren't allowed - and personally I learned a ton. Sure, you can watch something like this on TV, but to see it in person is an amazing experience.

Unfortunately for Brian, now I have a few favorites picked out for the future... :)


  1. Super Cool! How about tours of the Porsche and Ferrari factories next...

  2. Yeah, who would ever forget that motorcycle demo in the BMW museum? It was mind-blowing! These are cool photos you have here. They actually make me want to book a flight to Germany this very minute. Hehe

  3. Every bit of BMW is in this museum. Coming there is like giving your eyes an awesome treat. Those floating steel balls can't be found anywhere else. Ahh, such are the delights of visiting Germany.

  4. Definitely amazing! BMW has made their way to be known as one of the top car manufacturers in the world. All who are obsessed with this brand, this Museum can provide all the details you wanted to know about BMW’s history. By visiting here, you will come to realize how successful the company has become through the years. It’s one of the must-see places here on earth, particularly with car lovers.

  5. Wow, very fascinating! BMW’s Museum can present all kinds of information we wanted to know about vehicles and its history. Providing good services to their customers is one of the many reasons why BMW Company is still on top of the list among car manufacturers in the world. When going to Germany, do not miss to visit this Museum.

  6. Next month, I’ll be going to Munich with my mom, and the BMW Museum will be the very first destination I’ll ever go! I’m really excited to see all these blazing, awesome rides firsthand. Can’t wait! :D

  7. BMW Museum, known as “The Bowl," is one of the most remarkable auto museums in the world. I love the futuristic architectural concept! What sets it apart from other museums is that it focuses further on technology than on timelines while still unfolding the great history of BMW cars. =)