Munich is a beautiful city located in southern Germany. It is the capital of Bavaria and is home to many different historical landmarks and attractions. Visitors to Munich can explore the city’s fascinating history, visit world-class museums, or enjoy the vibrant nightlife. There are also plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities, such as hiking in the Bavarian Alps or cycling along the Isar River. And of course, no visit to Munich would be complete without taking in a Bavarian beer garden or two. No matter what your interests are, you’re sure to find lots of entertaining things to do in Munich, Germany.
Things to Do in Munich, Germany
Munich is home to many attractions such as the English Garden, beer houses, and Marienplatz. Germany is also known for its delicious food. There are many restaurants in Munich that serve traditional German cuisine. Those who are looking for a more adventurous trip can go hiking in the Bavarian Alps or visit one of the many castles in Germany. Below, we’ll explore 13 popular things, including day trips, to do in Munich, Germany!
Dating back to 1791, the Hirschgarten was originally a hunting lodge for German princes. Eventually, it was turned into a restaurant. Today, the Hirschgarten, meaning “Deer Garden,” is Munich’s most extensive beer garden, seating around 8,000 people! The restaurant can seat 500 people and has six different beautifully decorated dining rooms. It’s a great place to visit for traditional Bavarian cuisine, too. If you’re looking for a taste of Munich, the Hirschgarten is the perfect place to start.
Marienplatz (St. Mary’s Square) has been Munich’s main square since 1158. The square was used initially for markets and tournaments in the Middle Ages. Today, Marienplatz houses Munich’s new and old city halls, which reside on opposite sides of the square. The Glockenspiel, located at the top of the new city hall, was inspired by these tournaments and is a popular tourist attraction. You can also enjoy a bit of shopping or find a place for lunch in the area.
Founded in 1589 by Duke Wilhelm V as the brewery for his palace, it soon became one of Munich’s most popular beer halls. Today, Hofbrauhaus is a must-visit for any traveling to Munich. The hall is enormous, with a capacity of over 3,000 people, and the atmosphere is electric. The beer is excellent, and the food is hearty and filling. If you’re looking for a true Munich experience, Hofbrauhaus won’t disappoint.
The Viktualienmarkt is a food market filled with fruits, vegetables, cheeses, sausages, truffles, and so much more. The market has been running since 1807 and is open daily except for Sundays and holidays. Take a stroll through the market and sample gourmet cheeses or stop by a cafe and enjoy a meal. On a nice day, you may even get to listen to a band play and sing traditional German folk songs.
5. St. Peter’s Church
St. Peter’s Church is the oldest Roman Catholic parish church in Munich. Opened in 1294, St. Peter’s Church is of baroque and gothic architecture. You can climb the 260 steps up to the tower for a small fee. Although quite a workout, reaching the tower is worth it for the magnificent views of the city. It’s quite the sight, and you’ll end up taking lots of photos! And, you may also be lucky enough to see the church bells in action on your way up!
After a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19, Oktoberfest is back! Munich’s Oktoberfest is held annually in late September and early October and features a wide range of traditional Bavarian music, food, and drink. You can enjoy everything from lederhosen and dirndls to hearty sausages and pretzels, washed down with a stein of beer. There is also a large carnival with rides for all ages. Oktoberfest is an excellent opportunity to experience Bavarian culture at its best. Be sure to take a ride on the Ferris wheel for gorgeous views of the event and the city!
7. Englischer Garten
One of Munich’s most beloved attractions is the English Garden, a sprawling public park that covers over 900 acres. Initially designed in 1789 as a private garden for the royal family, it was opened to the public in 1810 and has been enjoyed by Munich residents and visitors ever since. The park features manicured gardens, tranquil ponds, and plenty of green space for picnicking, sunbathing, and playing games. You can also grab a bite to eat or drink at the Chinesischen Turm which is located on the grounds.
8. Chinesischen Turm
Featuring a Chinese-style pagoda, the tower was built in 1789 and is one of Munich’s most popular tourist destinations. Visitors can climb to the top of the tower for views of the parkland or enjoy a meal or drink at the beer garden at its base. The Chinesischen Turm is a beloved Munich landmark and a beautiful example of Chinese architecture.
9. Nymphenberg Palace
Munich’s Nymphenburg Palace is a Baroque masterpiece. Built in the 17th century as a summer residence for the Bavarian Wittelsbachs, the palace complex includes several gardens, fountains, and museums. You can explore the lavish staterooms, which are filled with art and antiquities, or stroll through the beautifully landscaped gardens. Munich residents often come to the palace to relax on weekends, and it’s not unusual to see people picnicking or playing games of frisbee. With its stunning architecture and idyllic setting, Nymphenburg Palace is a must-see for anyone visiting Munich.
The Frauenkirche is a church located on the northern side of Marienplatz, and was designed by Munich native Jorg von Halsbach. Construction of the church began in 1468 and was completed in 1494. The Frauenkirche is considered one of Munich’s most iconic landmarks. The church is notable for its two distinctive onion-shaped domes, which are visible from all over the city. The Frauenkirche is also home to a statue of the Virgin Mary, which is said to date back to the 12th century.
11. Day Trip to Neuschwanstein Castle
Germany is home to some of the most beautiful castles in the world, and Neuschwanstein Castle is no exception. It is about a 2 hour drive from Munich. Built in the late 19th century by King Ludwig II, this fairytale castle was intended to be a retreat from the outside world. Today, it is one of Germany’s most popular tourist destinations. Nestled in the Bavarian Alps, the castle offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Inside, visitors can explore opulent rooms decorated with grandiose murals and intricate details. Neuschwanstein Castle is a truly magical place.
12. Day Trip to Salzburg, Austria
Salzburg is one of the most beautiful cities in Austria and is only an hour and a half train ride from Munich. Situated on the banks of the River Salzach, it is surrounded by towering mountains and lush green meadows. The city is home to a number of historic landmarks, including the Hohensalzburg Fortress (a must-visit) and the Mirabell Palace where parts of the Sounds of Music was filmed. It is also a renowned cultural center, with a thriving music scene and a number of museums and art galleries. You will find plenty to see and do, from exploring its rich history to enjoying its many shops, restaurants, and cafes.
13. Day Trip to Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Rothhenburg ob der Tauber is located in the heart of Bavaria and a 3-hour bus ride from Munich. It was founded in the 12th century and has since been well-preserved, making it a popular tourist destination. The city is home to numerous historical landmarks, including the castle of Kaiser Karl der Große, the Gothic cathedral of St. Jakob, and the medieval town hall. In addition, Rothhenberg is also known for its traditional Christmas market, which draws visitors from all over Germany and beyond. Be sure to take a walk along the wall that barricades the village! You’ll get delightful photos of this gorgeous German village.
Germany is a country with a rich history and culture, and Munich is one of its most vibrant and beautiful cities. From the towering spires of its medieval churches to the stately columns of its Baroque palaces, Munich is a city that showcases the best of Germany’s architectural heritage. And no visit to Munich would be complete without exploring its world-famous museums, which house an impressive collection of art and artifacts from across Europe. But Munich is also a city with a modern sensibility, boasting a lively nightlife scene and a variety of shops and restaurants to suit every taste.
Alexandrea Sumuel is a travel writer and the founder of Wander With Alex, where she provides vacationers and travel enthusiasts with trip ideas, travel guides, news, and itineraries. She travels to experience, eat, and explore-- and, on occasion, escape! Alex’s mission is to help people travel a little easier.