Munich: BMW Museum and BMW Welt

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Joaquin’s Holiday Wish

Day 2.  I stared at my email in utter disbelief.  It was the last email from BMW and they were apologizing because they had to close their manufacturing plant a week before the scheduled year-end plant holiday.  Oh no!  I panicked.  The tour to the BMW Plant was THE reason that we decided on traveling to Munich in the first place.  It was Joaquin’s holiday wish.

I had been corresponding with BMW two months before our trip and I was as certain as I could be that our family will, for the first time, be able to witness one of the most advanced car factories in Europe.  Our entire itinerary was predicated on the expectation that we would be joining the plant tour on our 2nd day in Munich.  All our hotel and train bookings were planned around this day.

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The boy who triggered our holiday in Munich

It wasn’t meant to be, but it turned out alright.  In fact, Joaquin and his brother still had a marvellous time at the BMW complex.  We visited the BMW Museum and BMW Welt instead.  The complex is less than 7 km away from central Munich and we reached it conveniently via the U-Bahn train.

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The flat-roofed, bowl-shaped building is the BMW Museum. Beside it is BMW’s main admin building called Vierzylinder or Four Cylinder Building.

The museum not only showcases the brand’s remarkable history and most famous cars but also gives insight to its design inspirations.  Joaquin and his brother were most excited to see the electric and futuristic concept cars while my husband was delighted by the racing champions.  As for me, I found the art cars most interesting.  In fact, I immediately recognised the flamboyant BMW 3.0 CSL with racing number 93, which we first saw at the Petersen Automobile Museum in 2015 in California.

Here’s a short video clip I prepared to document my boys’ priceless experience at BMW.

—  Disclaimer: If you’re a car enthusiast, do read on and enjoy the rest of the pictures.  I’m not an automobile history expert, not close, but my kids think they could be 🙂 so they agreed to help me choose the pictures that I’d share in this blog and video.  

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The astonishing BMW 3.0 CSL painted by Americal sculptor, Alexander Calder, in 1975.  The first time we saw this car was in 2015 when was it was on loan to the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.
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This room shows the evolution of the 3 Series – the brand’s icon and heart of BMW.
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Several motorcycles were displayed on the walls.  Here, the boys were on the 2nd floor and looking down at the bikes on the lower floor. 
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The legendary BMW 328 Mille Miglia Touring Coupe, from the 1930s.  It remains to this day an important icon as it encapsulates BMW’s design, technical and sporting genius.
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Here is what Joaquin refers to as the electrifying BMW M3 GT2 painted by US artist John Koon in 2010. This car participated in the 24-hour Le Mans race and bears the racing number 79.

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The staggering beauty of the i8, which was then a concept car, can now be seen on the roads of Singapore as well
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The BMW 2002 TI during the 60s and 70s was the most famous representative of the BMW series. But I only have a photo of the back hood.  The front bit is the same recognisable and consistent BMW styling – the kidney-shaped two-part radiator grille.
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The clay model of the 3 Series on display fascinated the boys as well
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And here are the precursors of BMW’s luxury 5 and 7 Series
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This is the BMW Welt, the building just opposite the museum.  It provides events and exhibition space and houses all the new and future models of all BMW Group brands (including Mini and Rolls Royce).   New cars purchased can also be collected here.  I remember when we first collected our BM in Singapore, it wasn’t in a state-of-the-art building like the BMW Welt, but the experience was still quite special.
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Inside the BMW Welt.  I was still on the second level when I saw Joaquin running about on the ground floor, going crazy about the concept cars and latest releases. 

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Now check this saloon concept car out!
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Our last stop at the BMW Welt before we headed back to the Altstadt.  Benjamin recalled that especially liked the M6, M8, Z4M and the i8 Roadster.
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Here is our car-genius once again, this time asking me to take a photo of him with this car whose paintwork matches the color of his shoes.  Ah, boys – their cars and their shoes…

Tips for BMW fans:

  1. The BMW Plant could close earlier than what was announced, so make alternative plans.  The other car factories near Munich ( about 3 hrs away) are Mercedes and Porsche.
  2. The BMW Museum is worth a visit, so do go even without the plant tour.
  3. If you’re not able to join the group museum tour, install their app on your mobile phone and follow the app guide
  4. Book the group museum tour well in advance.  Email BMW ahead.  I didn’t do this because I thought we would be joining the plant tour, and so we planned on doing the museum tour on our own.  There are other tours in the complex actually.  Check them out on this website: https://www.bmw-welt.com/en/experience/guided_tours.html
  5. If you are pressed for time, choose the BMW Museum over BMW Welt.  We have the whole day for both because my boys are fascinated with BMW and car histories.
  6. The complex is just a few metres away from the train station, so take the train.
  7. There are a number of kid-friendly restaurants especially in BMW Welt, so don’t stress if you forgot your kid’s lunch box. 🙂

— xoxo–

Here are the other blog posts on our Bavarian and Austrian holiday:

  1. Bavarian Cars and Beers, Tyrolean Alps, and Viennese Waltz
  2. Munich: Viktualienmarkt Biergarten
  3. Munich: Theatine Church
  4. Munich: Traditional Christmas Markets

 

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8 comments

    1. Oh definitely your boys will enjoy! The factory is just in the vicinity. That was our intention but it wasn’t meant to be. Lorelle, if you’re doing the plant tour as well, do take lots of pictures and share with us! My boys would drool over them. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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