Munich is probably one of everybody’s favourite German cities (and one of mine, too!). With all the stereotypical Bavarian traditions and plenty of good beer (heard of Oktoberfest?!), it is easily one of Germany’s most-visited cities and it’s easy to spend a few days or a week there enjoying different Munich attractions. This collation of Europe a la Carte’s best tips for things to do in Munich will help both persuade you to add Munich to your must-visit list and give you ideas for planning your trip once you’re there.
Munich’s famous Glockenspiel by Amanda Kendle
Podcast on Things to Do in Munich
Beer and Oktoberfest in Munich
Munich is certainly well known amongst beer lovers and is synonymous with the excitement of Oktoberfest. Fortunately, if your visit doesn’t coincide with late September and early October for Oktoberfest, you can visit the Hofbrauhaus all year round. It’s an enormous pub in the centre of Munich with plenty of character and, of course, plenty of beer!
Beer at the Hofbrauhaus in Munich by Jeremy Branham
If you are able to time your visit for the Oktoberfest fun, be prepared for Munich to be pretty crowded but for your trip to be memorable (well, depending upon how much beer you consume!). Located on the Theresienwiese, all the major beer companies set up their tents and it’s advisable to get a seat in a tent as early in the day as possible – in many tents you’ll only get served beer if you’ve got a seat. Then sit back and enjoy the traditional costumes, music and good German beer.
Museums in Munich
Munich is particularly rich in interesting museums and their themes are truly many and varied. Perhaps one for the men (or, at least one I’m not particularly intrigued by!) is the BMW Car Museum. However, the museum does sound particularly well put together with interesting and interactive displays on the development of BMWs over the years and just the building it’s housed in is worth a look in itself.
The BMW Museum by arwa
For something totally different, you can try the Munich Toy Museum, located in one of the towers of the Rathaus (Town Hall). There are toys of all kinds from Europe and America from the past two centuries and even an impressive Barbie doll collection.
One of my favourite museums in Munich (or perhaps the world) is the Deutsches Museum. It’s an enormous science and technology museum with excellent interactive displays and exhibitions on a huge range of topics from art to computers to toys – you should certainly allow yourself a good few hours to have a look around.
An old computer in the Deutsches Museum by Amanda Kendle
Landmarks in Munich
It’s not just beer and museums that will keep you busy in Munich. The Tierpark Hellabrunn is the main Munich zoo and it has plenty of natural habitats for its large variety of animals. I’m a bit fussy about zoos but really enjoyed this one!
Zebras in Munich Zoo by Amanda Kendle
You can get right on top of Munich, literally, by climbing the St Peter’s Church Tower near Marienplatz, the heart of Munich. The view really is impressive and it makes the climb up the claustrophobically narrow staircase well worth the effort.
View from St Peter’s by Heather Cowper
Sports fans and lovers of green open space alike will be keen to visit the Munich Olympia Park, constructed for the 1972 Olympic Games. You can go up in the Olympic Tower for more great views over Munich, enter the Olympic Stadium, and look around the park areas too.
View from the Olympic Tower in Munich by arwa
And finally, if you are in Munich in late November or December, you won’t be able to miss the Christmas markets, spread from Marienplatz through to other smaller squares in the town centre. As you’d expect from a German Christmas market, there is Gluhwein and other drinks to warm you up, plenty of traditional gift ideas and some snacks for sustenance as you browse.
Christmas markets in Munich by Heather Cowper
Day Trips from Munich
Inka recommends a day trip to Prien am Chiemsee where you ride on the old steam tramway and visit the Heimatmuseum Folklore Museum, before taking a ferry over to HerrinInsel to visit Schloss Herrenchiemsee, the most lavish castle built for of King Ludwig the 1st of Bavaria.
Schloss Herrenchiemsee by Inka Piegsa-Quischotte
A heavier going but interesting Munich day trip option is Berchtesgaden, where you’ll find the Institute of Contemporary History Muncih-Berlin, home to a permanent exhibition documenting all many aspects of the Nazi period in Germany.
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