Munich is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany that’s sure to impress you with its scenery and landscapes. Nestled between the Alps and crystal-clear lakes and rivers, Munich is a city that is full of history, culture, and tradition. There’s plenty to do in the capital of Bavaria, whether you’re looking for a pilgrimage or simply want to have some fun. Here are 15 things you won’t want to miss while in the city.
I recommend spending at least three to four days in Munich to explore it to its full potential. The abundance of wonderful accommodations and the great selection of restaurants (including amazing vegan restaurants) make it easy to settle in and feel right at home. For nature lovers and those wanting to go a little further afield and explore the surrounding nature and mountains on a day trip or two, then I would suggest staying even longer, maybe a full week.
Getting around within Bavaria’s capital by public transport is a breeze. The U-Bahn (underground metro) and S-Bahn (above-ground commuter trains) are both quick, efficient, and cover the entire city. You can purchase a day or week ticket that is valid for all forms of transport — definitely the best way to get around.
No matter how long you decide to stay in Munich, make sure to check out these great attractions and activities which I think are the best places to see and the best things to do if you’re here for the first time.
If you’re only here for a day, might be a good idea to look into walking tours to wizz your way through some of these top picks. Here are some great walking guided tour options, as well as some bike tour options. A bike ride around Munich is super fun!
15 Fun and Interesting Things to Do in Munich
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Visit the Englischer Garten
This beautiful park is perfect for a relaxing day out, and you can enjoy plenty of activities such as biking, walking, and fishing, and if you dare, river surfing! Or just watch from the shore if you’re anything like me haha. Surfing in Munich is surprisingly a common activity and the locals are often seen enjoying this popular sport on a static wave — I had not seen that before and it was kinda mesmerizing to me. Munich’s English Garden is absolutely lush and lovely, kinda like a smaller New York’s Central Park right here in Germany. Best enjoyed in Summer, but great all year round.
Grab a drink at Alte Utting
Alte Utting is a funky multi-level bar in a decommissioned boat perched on a bridge. It’s a great spot to relax and enjoy some of Munich’s finest beers while admiring the view at dusk and… just being on a decommissioned boat perched on a bridge. I mean, who wouldn’t want to grab a drink there? It’s super fun. There are many beer halls and beer garden options in Munich, but in my book, this trumps them all.
Visit the Viktualienmarkt
This weekly open-air market is the right place to do some shopping and enjoy local Bavarian cuisine, and you can even bring your furry friend along since it’s pet-friendly. Prices are a bit high, but I still think it’s worth a visit, and if you have self-catering in your accommodation, a good place to grab great fresh produce for cooking. I incidentally had never seen such large walnuts in my own damn life (that’s what she said).
Nothing really says “Munich” like celebrating at one of its famous events, so why not try it? Not really my gig personally, but I know it’s a must for some, so grab yer’ ole dirndl, and what the hell, go for it, kiddo! Oktoberfest needs no introduction.
This historic square is home to some of Munich’s most famous landmarks, including the Glockenspiel and the Old and New Town Halls. It’s pretty much the heart of Munich, so if you wanna get a good feel for the city then this is where to go!
This central square is always bustling with activity, and it’s home to some of Munich’s most famous landmarks such as the Rathaus-Glockenspiel, Frauenkirche, and New Town Hall. You’ll also find a number of shops, cafes, and restaurants surrounding the square to keep you busy. And during the winter months, it is home to a great Christmas Market.
Visit the BMW Museum
BMW Welt might be on the pricey side, but it might just make your day! Go check out how cars are manufactured and conditioned here at one of Germany’s largest car museums. Only about an hour away from Munich by train or bus, I’d recommend checking it out before leaving town if you’re into cars!
Visit the Munich Residenz
This palace is the former home of the Bavarian monarchs, and you can’t miss it with its famous golden dome! I thoroughly enjoyed walking through the lush rooms and imagining what life could have been like back then. You can also check out the Monument to King Ludwig I while you’re around there.
Check Out The Olympic Stadium Park Area
Even though these games were hosted way back in 1972 (shout out to all y’all reading that weren’t even alive yet, I think it’s safe to assume that’s all of you), there are still some sights left around here worth seeing Olympia Tower and other landmarks at Olympic Park.
Head Underground at The Deutsches Museum
If you’re interested in learning about German history and culture (or just want an excuse to geek out), this museum is a must-visit. They have everything from ancient relics to interactive exhibits that will keep you entertained for hours.
See The Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady)
This church is one of the most iconic landmarks in Munich, and it’s also home to two famous organs that are played often. Frauenkirche was rebuilt in the 1990s after it was destroyed during World War II.
Watch The Rathaus-Glockenspiel Perform
The famous clock tower has been entertaining visitors since 1908 with its daily show that features 32 life-sized figures. It’s definitely worth sticking around for (especially if you get there early enough to snag a seat)!
Visit Nymphenburg Palace
A visit to Nymphenburg Palace is a “must-do” when in Munich. The palace was commissioned by Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria in 1664 and took over 100 years to build. It’s now open to visitors so be sure to include it on your list!
Visit St. peter’s Church
St Peter’s Church is the oldest church in the Bavarian capital. It has a unique design that uses brick instead of stone or wood to construct itself, which makes for some beautiful pictures! Walk up to the top of the tower for a few euros to admire the view, it’s totally worth the hike, if a lil’ sketchy-feeling on the way up.
Check out the Hofbrauhaus
This is one of Munich’s most famous and iconic landmarks, and in my opinion, it looks like something straight out of Disneyland a bit. It has all the charm without any of that pesky mouse ears getting in your way. The beer hall can seat over 1000 people at once so it’s very large but also very fun if you don’t mind crowds. Be sure to pick up some Bavarian souvenirs while you’re here too because they’ll make for great gifts back home.
Visit Alte Pinakothek
The Alte Pinakothek is one of Munich’s most popular art museums and also one of the oldest. It was founded in 1801 and is home to a large collection of European art from the 14th to the 18th century. If you’re into art, this is definitely one museum you’ll want to check out. It features several paintings from some old-timey artists, including Raphael, Jan Brueghel, Leonardo da Vinci, and Albrecht Dürer.
… And Pinakothek der Moderne too!
While checking the old Pinakothek is a must, I think visiting the old ones too! Pinakothek der Moderne is a newer museum, founded in 2002. It showcases art from the 20th and 21st centuries. If you’re more into modern art than classical, this is the place for you. They have a wide variety of pieces from different artists, so it’s definitely worth a visit if that’s your thing.
… Well, and Neue Pinakothek too
Neue Pinakothek is, you guessed it, the new Pinakothek. It was founded in 1853 and is home to a large collection of 19th-century art. If you’re interested in learning about the development of art throughout that period, this museum is for you!
I hope you enjoyed this quick guide to the best popular tourist attractions to do in Munich.