Kultur- und Kreativwirtschaft


Munich’s Creative Scene

The cultural and creative industry, comprising eleven sub-sectors, is an important part of Munich’s economy. Alongside the most profitable subsectors film, literature, software/games, and advertising, Munich also ranks highly both nationally and internationally when it comes to design and the music industry.

Munich ranked second in Europe

In 2019, the European Commission’s Cultural & Creative Cities Monitor ranked Munich number one in Germany and second in Europe, behind Paris and ahead of London.*

How is the industry doing now? Current figures for Bavaria paint an optimistic picture, even if the sectors that are mainly event-focused, in particular the performing arts, music and film, suffered greatly during the pandemic.** However, the sector is broad and diverse in Munich and therefore is once again showing positive development.

Munich’s cultural and creative companies and professionals have proven to be very resilient, and their services are invaluable to numerous other sectors, whose products and services they help to optimize and market.

*Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor, EU-Kommission, 2019
**Bavarian Industry Association (vbw): Kultur- und Kreativwirtschaft Bayern – Standortbe­stimmung und Vision (as of: December 2021), p. 2 (in German)

Munich’s creative industries

Olympia and future landmarks

According to the industry experts BauNetz, there are currently 544 architectural companies in Munich. It’s difficult to pick out individual companies, even if many local companies have designed new buildings in Munich in recent years and decades. From Behnisch & Partner, whose Fritz Auer and Frei Otto were key minds behind the Olympiastadion, to major figures such as Stephan Braunfels and Gunter Henn, Nickl & Partner, Andreas Meck and Peter Haimerl, Munich’s post-war generation already made a big impact. This illustrious tradition is continued by numerous current companies whose services are in high demand, including allmannwappler, bogevischs buero, Burger Rudacs Architekten, HENN, Hild und K, N-V-O Nuyken von Oefele Architekten (Werk 12), and steidle Architekten (Munich Urban Colab).

Olympiastadion Eingang

Landscape architects such as Regine Keller and Büro Rainer Schmidt Landschaftsarchitekten ensure that Munich also has a strong reputation when it comes to shaping green and open spaces.

From collections to art dealers

Munich’s many museums and galleries can hold their own against other European capitals, and create an excellent environment for visual artists.

Munich’s Akademie der Bildenden Künste trains many major artists and enjoys great renown. Auction houses and international trade fairs such as ARTMUC and TrendSet FineArts contribute to a lively art market.

Eine rauhe, alt anmutende Wand, die mit hellen Farben künstlerisch bemalt ist und mit dem schwarzen Farbabdruck einer Hand verziert ist.

Major publishers, effective marketing

Munich’s publishing scene has a long and illustrious history.

The scene is home to major publishers such as Piper, dtv, the Penguin Random House group, Droemer Knaur, Gräfe und Unzer, C.H.Beck, Carl Hanser as well as many smaller general and specialist publishers.

Munich is also home to well-known literary agencies, booksellers such as Hugendubel, and literary event organizations including the Münchner Literaturhaus and Monacencia. The German Publishers and Booksellers Association has been co-organising the Literaturfest with the Literaturhaus and the Department of Arts and Culture since 2010. The event attracts a large audience and is also home to the Münchner Bücherschau.

Random House, Neumarkter Straße

Random House, Neumarkter Straße

Germany’s design capital

Munich’s designers develop products for global companies and create objects that obtain iconic status, even if insiders are often the only ones who know about it. The annual Munich Creative Business Week (MCBW) has been seeking to remedy this situation since 2012: at around 60 creative hotspots in Munich city, major international players from the design sector meet once a year for exhibitions, conferences, and workshops, and also offer the public insights into their work.

Renowned artists such as Konstantin Grcic, Peter Naumann, Thorsten Franck, Clemens Weisshaar and Stefan Diez, companies like Factor Product München, the communications designer Mirko Borsche and his team all have offices and studios in the city on the Isar.

In addition, the Pinakothek der Moderne art museum is home to the Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum, the oldest stand-alone design collection in the world.

More than just great cinema

Munich’s film and TV production scene is highly profitable and ranked number one in Germany. Munich is also booming as a filming location. The Bavaria-Filmstudios and the TV channels Bayerischer Rundfunk, Pro SiebenSat1 Media, RTLII and Kabeleins are all part of the region’s strong TV sector. Munich is also home to well-known film companies such as Constantin Film AG for production and distribution, and Paramount Home Entertainment Germany GmbH. Other major players include Janus TV, Tresor TV, megaherz, Production Service GmbH (PSG) and the neue deutsche Filmgesellschaft ndF.

The Munich University of Television and Film (HFF) is also known throughout Germany as an excellent film school.


The Filmfest München, held each year at the end of June, is Germany’s most important summer film festival. 

Musicland Munich!

Munich’s vibrant music scene is home to artists in every genre from classical to contemporary and at every stage of development from trainee to seasoned professional. The industry comprises event managers, publicly funded orchestras, music publishers, major and small labels, promoters, recording studios, and the head office of GEMA, the society for musical performing and mechanical reproduction rights.

Munich’s Fachstelle Pop is a special unit that serves as a contact point for support, networking, and lobbying for the pop-music scene as well as numerous networks created by industry stakeholders that aim to strengthen Munich’s music industry.

Blick aus dem Publikum auf die Bühne bei einem Konzert

The city also has many organizations offering musical education and training, such as the Music Support Group.

Vibrant scene, fresh talent

Munich also boasts a vibrant fashion scene, including young designers such as Ayzit Bostan, the internationally renowned duo Talbot Runhof, Natascha Muellerschoen, the young group A Kind of Guise and Patrick Mohr, whose designs push the boundaries of fashion. Fashion labels representing a fresh, young Munich also include Oska and Mykke Hofmann, the puristic men’s label Hannibal and Angelika Paschbeck.

The city also supports young fashion professionals with its Munich Fashion Award, presented every two years since 2016 to particularly talented young fashion graduates in Munich.   

Outfits von Hanny Kainzbauer, nominiert für den Münchner Modepreis 2020, bei der Show auf der Bühne

Theater, musical theater, dance and cabaret

You can find all these art forms on Munich’s stages!

Alongside the city-owned theaters Münchner Kammerspiele, Deutsches Theater, Münchner Volkstheater and the Schauburg, there are also many independent theaters including Tams Theater, Fraunhofer Theater, Metropoltheater and many more, offering exciting productions to a broad audience.

The Müncher Lach- & Schießgesellschaft is one of Germany’s most famous venues for cabaret. Dance is also well represented in Munich, via associations such as Tanztendenz e.V., Tanzimpulse and in venues such as “Schwere-Reiter”.

eine Schauspielerin und zwei Schauspieler auf der Bühne im Münchner Volkstheater

Nationally renowned institutes in Munich that train performing artists include the Otto Falckenberg Schule and Theaterakademie August Everding.

From politics to lifestyle journalism

Successful newspapers and publishers are holding their own in the digital era, with examples in Munich including the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany’s leading transregional daily paper. The Münchner Merkur newspaper is also in good health and is the market leader in Bavaria.

Munich is also one of the main locations of the Hubert Burda Media group. Burda Style Group publications including the fashion and entertainment magazines Bunte, InStyle, Elle, Freundin and Harper’s Bazaar, as well as their online communities, are created here.


The German head offices of the publishing group Condé Nast and Condé Nast Digital Germany GmbH are also based in Munich and produce the magazines Vogue, Glamour, the men’s lifestyle magazines GQ and GQ Style and the magazine for living and design AD (Architectural Digest).  

Tri-media and diverse

Munich is home to both private and public radio stations, including Antenne Bayern, Bayerischer Rundfunk and numerous local stations such as Radio Gong, Charivari and Radio Energy.

Bayerischer Rundfunk, with around 3,500 permanent employees, has completed its comprehensive transition to tri-media working structures over the last decade. It has been operating under the cross-media information brand BR24 since July 2021, and via BR24 Radio, BR24 Rundschau and BR24 Digital reaches one in four Bavarian adults daily. The BR24 #faktenfuchs format reaches an impressive audience with its daily fact checks on br24.de.


There are also numerous new companies and agencies in the booming podcast sector, which has grown relentlessly since 2020.

The BLM – Bayerische Landeszentrale für neue Medien, is also influential in Munich. As the Bavarian regulatory authority for new media, it monitors private operators in the field, as well as supporting new companies and a diverse range of media.  

The BLM’s subsidiary Medien.Bayern GmbH runs the industry congress Medientage München and the Lokalrundfunktage conference for local radio and TV, as well as numerous initiatives to give Munich and Bavaria additional clout in the media sector.


Globally connected

Munich is one of Germany’s four main games industry regions and is home to numerous renowned games developers, including international players such as Activision/Blizzard, Take 2 Interactive and Koch Media. Many well-known local companies also play an important role in the scene, such as Travian Games, Kalypso and Youngster, MegaZebra GmbH and Mimimi Productions.

Every two years – the next time in 2024 – the Deutsche Computerspielpreis (DCP) (German Video Game Awards), a joint initiative of the industry and the German Parliament, are held in Munich.  

Grafische Darstellung von Software im Alltag

Leading agencies

Munich is very popular among advertising agencies. For example, Europe’s largest owner-run agency, Serviceplan Gruppe SE & Co. KG, has its head office here. International networks are also strongly represented in the region, including the Heye Group as part of the DDB Worldwide Communications Group (the world’s largest agency network). The German Association for the Digital Economy (BVDW) ranked the Munich group Plan.Net second in its “Internet Agency Ranking” for the entire country in 2018. The ten largest full-service digital agencies ranked by turnover also include the Munich agencies Reply - Digital Experience and SinnerSchrader.

Podium für Panel-Teilnehmer beim Branchentreffen

The journal W&V (Werben & Verkaufen, or Advertising & Sales) presents the German Media Award in Munich each year. The industry’s most prestigious German award, it honors the media personality of the year, the most effective media strategy, the most creative media ideas, and the most gifted youngsters among Germany’s media agencies.

City partnerships and focus areas

Munich Fashion Award

The Munich Fashion Award (Münchner Modepreis) is a City of Munich initiative that highlights creative talent, industry training, and personalities from Munich.

Münchner Modepreis


The MUNICH CREATIVE BUSINESS WEEK (MCBW) is Germany’s biggest design event. The MCBW 2024 takes place from May 11 to 19. Companies still have the chance to become partners!

mcbw 2024

Interim use

News about space available for interim use through the Team of Excellence for the Cultural and Creative Industries.

Logo Munich Creative Heartbeat


The Team of Excellence for the Cultural and Creative Industries, in short #kreativmuenchen, is the first point of contact for all creative and cultural practitioners in Munich.

2 Personen im Beratungsgespräch beim Kompetenzteam für die Kultur- und Kreativwirtschaft