30 Best Things to Do in Munich, Germany
Munich being the third largest city of Germany and the capital of Bavaria, is home to a unique German culture and to the Bavarian kingdom. Located at the banks of the river Isar, this city is famous for its beautiful atmosphere, architecture and its people. Munich is also home to the Oktoberfest annual beer celebration. The beautiful boulevards and the beer gardens make this city stand out! One can easily take a bicycle and rome around the city and can feel it as your own.
Take a peaceful stroll down the English Garden
The English garden or as the Germans call it, the “Englischer Garten”, this garden is spread over an area of 3.7 kilometre square, making it one amongst the world’s largest urban public parks. Created in the year 1789 by Sir Benjamin Thompson, this park is full of different sights and attractions. One of the things that make the English Garden famous are the artificial streams that flow through the garden making a standing wave, which makes it a good place for surfing. The English Garden is also home to a Japanese teahouse that holds a traditional tea ceremony regularly. One can also walk their dogs, have a picnic with their families or just play football at this beautiful park.
Shop your heart away at the Viktualienmarkt Market
Situated in the heart of the city’s old town, this market was originally a farmers market. Now, the market is extremely famous for its gourmet goods, exotic ingredients that are not found anywhere else in the city. The market sells everything from vegetables, fish, meat, flowers, plants, sausages, wine, spices, tea and much more.
Explore history at the Neuschwanstein Castle
Around 110 kilometres south of the city of Munich near the border of Germany with Austria, the Neuschwanstein Castle is located. The castle was built by the king of Bavaria since 1864, Lugwig II in honour of Richard Wagner, whom he greatly admired. The young Ludwig was mesmerised by the romantic mountain sceneries and wanted to make his castle overlooking it. The castle today draws in a lot of visitors owing to its spellbinding location, it's fairytale like architecture and the fact that Cinderella's castle was modelled after this castle.
Walk along the streets of Bogenhausen
Situated on the east of the English Garden, this is the 13th borough of Munich. Known to be the oldest part of Munich, this part of the city used to be a farming village back in the 1800s. Now it is one of the upscale districts of Munich as this district is lined with bars, cafes, boutiques and jewellers. It is situated along the Isar river and beholds one of the best examples of Wilhelminian-style buildings. This district is also home to many beautiful locations like the Villa Stuck and the Angel of Peace monument. The district is also lined with several museums, theatres and cinemas.
Drink your life away at Hofbrauhaus
Owned by the Bavarian state government, this is a brewery in Munich beholds the history of the royal brewery in the Kingdom of Bavaria. Frequented by locals a lot, Hofbrauhaus lets people keep their personal steins stored here. Everything about this beer garden is Bavarian including the music that plays in the background. The beers are exquisite and the atmosphere of this place along with its beholding history that dates back to the year 1589, makes this place one of the most important places to visit on a trip to Munich.
Rekindle the hopeless romantic inside you with a drive on the Romantic Road
Devised in the 1950s by travel agents who wanted to seek promotion, this road is a themed route that is around 350 kilometres long and connects the cities of Würzburg and Füssen. The route is known to be quintessentially German and attracts a lot of tourists who want to visit the German countryside. Moreover, you also pass the famous Neuschwanstein Castle on the way. Also, on the same route you pass the famous city of Nördlingen which is famous to have a 15 million year old meteorite impact point spanning around a kilometre.
Catch a game at the Allianz Arena
Take a tour of the home ground of the most famous football club in German history
Opened in 2005, Allianz Arena is purely a stadium dedicated to football and its fans. FC Bayern Munich is credited to have won a record of 29 national titles and 19 national cups and holds its home ground here. The Allianz Arena is also has a full colour changing exterior, making it one of its own in the whole world. One can get a 60 minute tour of the football ground with the perks of getting to look into the press conference area and the dressing room used by FC Bayern Munich.
Breathe some fresh air into your soul at the Hofgarten
The Hofgarten literally translates to the Royal garden and everything about it says so. The garden was built in the year 1617 as an Italian style Renaissance garden. The garden is a symmetrical piece of art and is adorned by the beautifully built Hofgarten temple right in the middle of it. The garden is lined with benches and fountains that welcomes people to stay and breathe in the fresh whiff of air right in the midst of a city.
Pay your respects at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial
The Dachau Concentration Camp was the first of the Nazi concentration camps that opened in the year 1933 intending to hold political prisoners and grew on to include nearly 100 sub-camps. The Dachau concentration camp is said to have had 32,000 documented deaths. The camp was handed over to the Bavarian government officials between 1945 and 1948 and many war criminals were housed at this camp. Today, the tourists can roam around this camp and feel the pain of all the people who lost their lives here. Walking around the camp one can take a look at the gas chambers, the barracks and the mass graves and execution spots in the garden that will make you very uncomfortable but gives you a proper insight into the minds of the Nazis.
Drink, eat and swoon in happiness at the Hopfenhacker
This pub is every German’s delight as the food, atmosphere and the beers are just mind-blowing. The beers are mostly self brewed and are of more than 100 different types. The brewery is small and usually tough to find in the city but once you know, one cannot regret being there. It is one of the best places to end the week at.
Live like a king at the Royal Bavarian Hotel
The hotel which was once an old telegraph station is now themed to Royal Bavarians. The hotel has a beautiful library with plush lounge chairs and each room in this hotel is architectured in an absolutely differently style. The hotel has two fantastic restaurants and provides free bike tours of the city. One of the two restaurants in the hotel is the Neni Munich where one can dine with a combination of Israeli, Romanian and Spanish cuisines.
Take a day’s trip to hike at Partnachklamm
Situated a 19 minute ride from Munich to Garmisch-Partenkirchen by buying the Bayern-ticket from the Munich Central Station one can easily get to this place for a one day outing from Munich. Partnachklamm loosely translates as the Partnach Gorge in English. The gorge is about 702 metres long and 80 metres deep and is incised by the mountain stream called the Partnach. The hike is full of roaring waterfalls and views of the breathtaking Bavarian Alps. One can enjoy a picnic with the beautiful view that this hike offers to travellers.
Witness the magic of history at the Linderhof Palace
The palace was also built by King Ludwig 2 of Bavaria but he did live to see this wholly constructed unlike the 2 other palaces of his. This palace is situated around 97 kilometres from Munich and is worth every minute of the long drive. It gives us a vibe of a mini Versailles and is usually missed by the tourists who only plan to visit Neuschwanstein Castle. The park surrounding the Linderhof palace is inspired by the king’s flights of fancy is filled with many gems like the Blue Grotto and the Moorish Kiosk. The palace is also free for kids below the age of 18.
Enhance your fascination with cars at the BMW Welt
While most of the people do not know, BMW stands for Bavarian Motor Works roughly in english. The BMW is headquartered in Munich and offers a beautiful tour of this Welt. One can understand the history and tradition that goes beyond its name. The tour explains the people the transition phases the company had gone through to achieve such heights today. The tourists are also shown through the various areas of production the assembly, press plant, the paint shop and the body shop. The tourists are also told about the architectural beauty of the Welt. One can have a look at BMW’s classic collection too.
Take a stroll at Munich’s Schwabing district
This districts adds up to the chic that Munich already is. The district is full of gourmet eateries, boutiques, art galleries, drinking establishments but it is not famous for these things, exactly. Famous poets, writers and painters found this district their home in the early 19th century and hence this district rose to fame. You can shop, eat and laze around at some cafe here and can also visit the Englishcher Garten which is a part of this district.
Sightseeing on the Hop-on-Hop-off bus
No, it isn’t as good as the tourist buses in London but these double decker buses have their own endearing charm. The bus starts from Olympic Park to Nymphenburg palace and one can look at splendid views on their way. One can choose to get off the bus at any time one likes. The buses are wheelchair accessible and have their roof open in good weather. One can buy a 24 hour and 48 hour bus ticket depending on their city-viewing needs.
Laze at the Paulaner Nockherberg
One of the best beer gardens in the city, Paulaner Nockherberg is a local favourite. The garden looks gorgeous at any time of the day and offers great food. This place is famous for holding events including corporate ones. The restaurant inside is well-made and extremely vibey for people who want to be lazy and talk while having beer. This beer garden also holds an annual beer fest. The place is a beautiful amalgamation of tradition with modernity. One can easily say that after eating here, you take the taste of Germany along with you to your country.
Pray your worries away at St. Peter's Church
Situated in Rindermarkt area of Munich, this church is a Roman Catholic church. The church has beautiful interiors with its high arches, stained glasses and different symbolic statues. One can also pay to go on the top of the tower that leads through really narrow stairs. The view from the top of the tower is fantastic as it gives a panoramic view of the city. Even if one is not religious, one should not forget to get a beautiful look at the cityscape from the top of the bell tower.
Play with your taste buds at Wolf's Farmacy Soda Bar
Situated in Klenzestraße area in Munich, this place is a fresh whiff of air from all the beer gardens that Munich offers. This place offers a rather tiny bar so one cannot go in large groups but it is worth visiting alone. This place offers amazing and innovative coffee, sodas and floats. But, the place offers alcohol too with its choicest whiskeys and really good cocktails. The bar has an oldish charm and offers good music too.
Gaze at the beauty of the Rathaus Glockenspiel
The Glockenspiel is a part of the new town hall that dates from 1908. The glockenspiel celebrates the wedding of the 16th century Duke Wilhelm V, every day on the huge mechanical clock tower at 11 am and 12 pm and goes on for 12-15 minutes. In summers, it chimes at 5 pm too. The clock tower tells two stories to the crowd standing beneath by chiming and reenacting. The same duke is accredited to have founded the world famous Hofbrauhaus. The building has amazingly escaped the World Wars which had left other famous buildings and monuments roofless. Around 9pm at night, an angel and a nightwatchman appear below the clock face.
Walk the halls of the Alte Pinakothek
An art museum situated in the Kunstreal area of Munich, this museum was built by King Ludwig I of Bavaria who wanted to create the largest museum in the world with exteriors that make it appear like a castle. The museum houses art pieces from the 14th to the 18th century from Spain, Germany and the Netherlands. The museum houses the famous painting of Leonardo Da Vinci, the Virgin and Child. The museum is also home to paintings of Raphael, Peter Paul Rubens and Albrecht Durer.
Visit the Olympic Stadium in Munich
The stadium opened to the public in the year 1972, the year the summer Olympics were held in Munich. The stadium has an original capacity of 80,000 and has housed the biggest and greatest sporting events in Germany. It was also the home ground of Bayern Munich till 2005, when the Allianz Arena opened to the public. The stadium has seen the concerts of Guns N Roses, Pink Floyd, AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi and Micheal Jackson amongst other famous bands and performers. The roof of the stadium resembles the Bavarian Alps and one can walk on it today with a minimum fee for accessing it.
Take on some adventure at Legoland Deutschland Resort
About a 125 kilometre drive on the east of Munich city, this park is located in Gunzburg in Southern Germany. The park starts with recreations of various European cities like Venice, Frankfurt and Berlin built of 25 million Lego bricks. There are recreations of several Star Wars models and the legoland’s own observation tower. The Legoland also home to amazing adventure rides for all ages. The Legoland is well-organised with water fountains on almost every corner and is extremely neat and clean.
Enjoy your beer at the Chinese Tower Beer Garden
Sitting right amidst the Englischer Garten is the Chinese tower which was destroyed in a bombing from Allied forces during World War II. This beer garden mostly attracts the young crowd as it is in a close distance to the university. The beer garden is the second largest in the whole city and can house around 7000 guests at once and offers grilled fish and roasted chicken along with the beers.
Look back in time at the Nymphenburg Palace
Constructed as a summer palace for the rulers of Bavaria, this palace is a great example of Baroque style of architecture. The palace and its garden is one of the most popular sights in the whole of Munich city. The park was constructed by the same architect who designed the English Garden in Munich. The main building attracts around 300,000 visitors each year, which is much less than Neuschwanstein but still would be considered a lot.
Gape at the beauty of the Munich Residenz
Right in the middle of Munich is located the Residenz which used to be the royal palace of the Wittelsbach monarchs of Bavaria. It is considered to be the largest city palace in Germany which is open to the public for its awestrucking architecture. The most breathtaking part of the Residenz is the Hall of Antiquities which is a long-corridor that holds an amazing collection of antiquities. One can also look at the Knight’s armoury and the crown jewels along with the bejewelled room decorations.
Take a walk on Maxvorstadt
Munich’s university district, Maxvorstadt is a part of the western end of the old city and the English Garden sits on its eastern border. It is famous as the art and university district of Munich which earned it the name of “Brain of Munich”. The area has 7 universities, 2 of which are Germany;s top universities. The district has been home to several famous and infamous people like Adolf Hitler, Georg Elser and Bertholt Brecht. This district is easily accessible through the subway, trams, buses and bicycles.
Pray your sins away at the Frauenkirche
Situated on Frauenplatz area of Munich, this church is one of the most prolific churches in Germany and is a classic Gothic style church. Together with the Town Hall, this church adds up to Munich’s beautiful skyline. It is considered the epicentre of the city and all the distances are hence calculated from it. The two towers of the church were modelled on the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. The church was heavily bombed in World War II but was rebuilt and restored after the war again and was only opened to the public again in 1994.
Imagine a different world at the Cuvilliés Theater
Situated on the east end of Residenz, this theatre was built in 1755 as a court theatre for the Residenz. This theatre was also destroyed during the World War and was restored around in 1958. The theatre is home to amazing wooden carvings and has a unique setting for opera. The theatre is recognised as a jewel of Rococo design. A ceiling painting by Johann Baptist Zimmermann used to be a part of it but nothing remains of it anymore.
Have a gastronomical delight at the Restaurant Bavarie
This restaurant is home to the finest traditional Bavarian food along with a French brasserie. Famous for its whole cooked local fish and Kafer classics, this restaurant is located exactly opposite to the BMW Welt. The restaurant serves amazing desserts and beautifully made salads that will make your tummy leap in delight. Every Friday evening one can also enjoy the “Chef’s special”.