Academic journal

Maxvorstadt is a hub for art lovers and academics


Maxvorstadt is known both as the artistic and university district of Munich. Just north of the historic city center, the district is often referred to as the “Brain of Munich” because of its “extraordinarily high” number of artistic and educational institutions, said Michael Reiss, managing partner of Munich Sotheby’s International Realty.

A few steps from the old town of Munich, Maxvorstadt was one of the city’s first extensions and was designed in the early 19th century after Bavaria was declared a kingdom and Munich as an administrative center, according to Mr. Reiss. It was named in honor of King Maximilian I Joseph.

Construction began in 1825, in a classical style, Mr. Reiss said. It can still be seen in some streets.

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Today, the more than 100,000 students of Maxvorstadt are the lifeblood of the district, which is full of shops, restaurants, cafes and bookstores. Many young professionals also work in finance and technology.

Another great attraction of the area is its “Museum Mile”, which is home to more than a dozen world-class galleries and museums.

“If you want to be at the heart of it all, Maxvorstadt is the place to be,” said Mr Reiss.

“The reason why Maxvorstadt is such a desirable area is the proximity to the heart of the city, with a perfect infrastructure, with a great cultural offer,” said Beatrix Eikel, Sales Manager at Engel & Völkers Munich.

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The Maxvorstadt area is roughly bounded by the English Garden to the east, Georgenstrasse to the north, Lothstrasse to the west, and the main railway lines and Altstadtring to the south.

It adjoins the bohemian district of Schwabing, known for being home to artists, writers and other designers.

What makes it unique

Maxvorstadt is home to seven universities, including the two best in Germany: Technische Universität München, specializing in engineering, technology, medicine and science, and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.

Due to the high number of students, the neighborhood population quadrupled during the school day.

Nestled with higher education institutions are a number of world-class museums, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Brandhorst; the Glyptothek, which houses Greek and Roman sculptures; and the Staatliche Antikensammlungen antiques museum.

Also in the Kunstareal (“art district”) are the three art galleries known as Pinakotheken, including the Pinakothek der Moderne, in the former army barracks; the Alte Pinakothek, founded in 1836 and housing a range of classics, from Rembrandt to Raphaels; and the Neue Pinakothek, founded in 1853 and rebuilt in 1981, which houses works by Manet, Monet, van Gogh, Gauguin and Cézanne.

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“Maxvorstadt is a cultural center of Munich,” Ms. Eikel said.

At the western end of the district is the Spaten Brewery. The neighboring site of the historic Löwenbräu brewery, which began brewing in 1826, has been partially transformed into a luxury residential complex.

“It is an urban and progressive district” and a “very cultivated and dynamic district,” said Robert Hoffmann, chief strategy officer for Munich residential developer Adeon Group. “Other neighborhoods have a more Bavarian culture – quieter, with fewer restaurants and more houses instead of apartment buildings – but Maxvorstadt is very different from other parts of Munich.

He added that it is “the perfect place to live without a car if you are young and interested in many cultures”.

Maxvorstadt is home to seven universities

David Kostner / Wikipedia

Housing stock

The Maxvorstadt residential building stock is a mix of new constructions, historic buildings from the 19th century and a few townhouses.

“You have parts of Maxvorstadt on the border with Schwabing where you have neighborhoods with very nice Art Nouveau houses and other types of houses – neo-renaissance houses,” Ms. Eikel said.

These can be found on Türkenstrasse, Adalbertstrasse, Tengstrasse and Georgenstrasse, she said.

The most upscale properties are new projects such as Barer Höfe and Max Höfe on Barer Strasse and Türkenstrasse, respectively.

A modern residential building in Maxvorstadt.

imageBROKER / Manfred Bail / Getty Images

Price range

Residential properties can range from 300,000 to 6.9 million euros (338,600 to 7.79 million dollars), with a price per square meter of between 7,300 and 17,000 €, Mr. Reiss said.

In terms of new apartments, prices range from € 15,000 or € 17,000 per square meter for apartments in the Lenbacher Höfe or Nymphenburger Höfe projects, up to € 27,500 per square meter for an attic apartment in the Barer development Höfe, or € 29,000 per square meter at Max Palais, according to Ms. Eikel.

Hoffman said that for an apartment near universities, those “lucky” to find one will pay between US $ 13,000 and US $ 18,000 per square meter.

For more historic properties, prices can range from € 13,000 to € 17,000 per square meter.

A few townhouses can be found, including on Augustenstrasse. Prices for these also tend to range from $ 13,000 to $ 17,000 per square meter.

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Who lives here

Maxvorstadt is one of Munich’s largest and most diverse neighborhoods, according to agents and developers. But the most important demographics are students and young professionals in their 20s and 30s. While some live as a couple, there are few families.

“The many tourists, academics and students make Maxvorstadt a culturally diverse, tolerant and lively neighborhood that can be felt around every corner,” said Ms. Eikel.

In addition to universities, many banks, insurance companies and consulting firms have offices in the neighborhood. Google and Apple are also setting up offices and are expected to recruit hundreds of new employees.

Notable residents

Today, Maxvorstadt’s high-end new builds tend to pique the interest of “bank managers” and “famous footballers,” according to agents, who declined to reveal specific names.

Historically speaking, the district was home to the German playwright and poet Bertholt Brecht; Russian painter and art theorist Wassily Kandinsky; the German novelist Thomas Mann; the German painter Franz Marc; Austrian physicist Wolfgang Pauli; former Pope Benedict XVI; Georg Elser, who has made history for his assassination attempt against Hitler; and Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, Mr. Reiss said.

Luxury amenities

A number of shops and galleries line the streets around Maxvorstadt’s universities, along with countless cafes, restaurants and pubs.

Indeed, Maxvorstadt has a bubbling scene of bars and restaurants, including La Refuge, a French restaurant serving Bouillabaisse and other Provençal and pan-Mediterranean dishes in a bright space; and Sparkling Bistro, an elegant and minimalist space with a terrace serving refined dishes made with seasonal products.

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The area borders the Old Town, where other luxury restaurants can be found within a short walk, such as Pageou, which offers world-inspired high-end dining; Atelier im Bayerischen Hof, a hotel restaurant with an industrial-chic spirit, which offers French cuisine with Asian accents; and Les Deux, an elegant setting for modern French cuisine and an extensive wine list.

Luxury shopping is not far either. Prada, Chanel, Escada, Moncler, Fendi and many more are just a short walk from Maxvorstadt on Maximilianstrasse in the city center.

Market outlook

The few new apartments under construction in Maxvorstadt are almost exclusively luxury properties, Mr Reiss said. He said prices had increased due to the pandemic.

Several agents and developers pointed to a supply shortage supporting prices. They said construction is limited due to lack of free space. Mr Hoffmann added that it is difficult to demolish older buildings due to the density of many streets, leaving renovating old buildings the best option for many developers.

“There is little new construction because it’s totally full, so you can’t build something,” Hoffmann said. “If you can buy now, you should keep it, because prices go up and up every year – there’s no reason the price range should go down next year, it’s just going up.”

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