The capital of Bavaria, Munich is home to two palaces, numerous museums and beautiful architecture. The city is also known for its annual Oktoberfest celebration and its world famous beer halls. Munich also makes for a great base to side or day trip to other cities and places, including Neuschwanstein, a must see castle in Germany. This post covers the top 9 things to do in Munich.
The Hofbräuhaus Brewery is perhaps Munich’s most popular beer hall and one of the most famous beer halls in the world! Hofbräuhaus is the place to be if you visit Munich during Octoberfest! In addition to beer, you can also find solid German food here. The atmosphere is electric any time of day! Sit down at a table (even share one with strangers) and enjoy a pint or two with some good food and great music!
I always love European city centers and Marienplatz is probably one of the best I have seen! This square has been Munich’s main square since 1158. Marienplatz has a few architectural features that are worth noting. First is the Marian column which is a column erected to celebrate the end of Swedish occupation during the Thirty Year War. The second is the old and new town halls on the East and North sides and lastly the Glockenspiel. The Glockenspiel chimes twice a day (three times in the Summer) and re-enacts two stories from the 16th century much to the delight of the crowds watching below.
Viktualienmarkt is a market place in the center of Munich. This market has been held daily since 1807. Today, you can find lots of really good German food in addition to traditional market fare like fresh produce. Definitely a great stop for a snack or even lunch. The market is closed on Sundays and public holidays.
4. Nymphenburg Palace
This baroque palace built between 1664 and 1675 and was the main summer residence of the House of Wittelsbach in Bavaria. The gardens are extensive and free to visit.
See HERE for more on tickets and hours.
5. St. Peter’s Church
St. Peter’s church is the oldest parish church in Germany. Its 91-metre tower is commonly known as “Alter Peter” or Old Peter and is a famous landmark in the heart of the city center. The church was heavily damaged during WWII but has since been restored.
Located in the heart of Munich, the Residenz is the largest city palace in Germany and was the former royal palace of the Wittelsbachs. Visitors can tour many of the lavish rooms and the treasury. The palace has expanded over the years and is a mix of many different styles of architecture including Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassicism.
Click HERE for more!
7. English Garden
The English Garden is a large public park and green space in the center of Munich. It was created in 1789 and gathers large crowds even to date. The park is considered to be one of the largest city parks in the world. People come here to relax, have a beer or two from the beer garden or surf! Yes, surf! The waves on the Eisbach river at the entrance to the garden draw surfers daily.
8. BMW Museum
If you love cars, especially BMWs, visit the BMW museum for a fascinating history of the company. The museum was established in 1973, right after the Munich Summer Olympics. In addition to the contents of the museum, the building itself is considered to be an iconic landmark of the city.
Click HERE for more!
9. Day Trip to Neuschwanstein Castle
Although not exactly in Munich, this may be my favorite thing on this top 9 things to do in Munich list. Neuschwanstein Castle is one of my favorite castles that I have visited so far and is a easy day trip from Munich. It is said that Neuschwanstein was the inspiration for Walt Disney’s castles. Neuschwanstein is an easy and popular day trip from Munich and I highly recommend a visit to this fairytale like castle.
1. By Car – It’s about a 1.5 hour drive. Park at the P4 lot.
2. By Train – It’s a 2 hour train ride to Füssen. Once in Füssen, hop on bus #73 or #78 to get to the village. The ride is only 10 minutes but the buses run every 30 minutes or so.
Click HERE or below for a more detailed post on how to visit Neuschwanstein!
How Long to Spend in Munich?
You can easily cover the sites in Munich itself in one day or one and a half days. If you have only a day and need to cut out a site or two, my recommendation is to pick between Nympenburg and the Residenz. However, don’t miss out on the day trip to Neuschwanstein!
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