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Munich is known for its epic beer gardens, spellbinding Christmas markets and the biggest beer festival in the world. But there is so much more to this Bavarian capital than beer and Oktoberfest. A short stroll around this city will reveal extraordinary architecture and a ‘Gemütlichkeit’ way of life that’s pretty infectious.
While Munich is extremely visitor-friendly and easily explored on foot, bike or public transport, the city can be confusing for first-time visitors. That’s why we’ve put together a guide to the best things to do in Munich you won’t need a car to get to.
So don your Lederhosen and Dirndls and enjoy a festive getaway to this exciting German city. No trip is complete without ticking off the best things to do in Munich:
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From city-wide treasure hunts to Bavarian beer tastings, there are loads of fun things to do in Munich if you know where to look. Here are our favourite activities:
This Bavarian capital is world-renowned for its excellent quality beers, and a taste of its liquid gold is a great way to get a real taste of the city no matter what time of year you visit. Soak up the laidback ‘Gemütlichkeit’ way of life at a beer garden and get an insider peek into how typical Munchen bier is produced.
On this fun-filled three-hour city tour, you’ll stop at one of the Munich’s many traditional breweries and have a chance to chat with a master brewer about the centuries-old tradition of beer-making. And the best part? You’ll get to sample some ice-cold local beer paired with a typical German snack – we couldn’t think of a better way to spend a day in Munich!
You’ll see a different side of Munich as you venture off on this exciting five-hour scavenger hunt through the city’s historic Old Town. Known for its fascinating history and culture, Munich is filled with age-old landmarks and this scavenger hunt makes learning all about it fun and accessible to all ages.
The aim of the game is to solve the puzzles and follow hidden clues that will lead you to different landmarks in the city. Along the way, you’ll have a chance to admire the Karlstor, the Viktualienmarkt, Marienplatz, Kirche St. Michael, the Frauenkirche and many more.
Perfect for families with kids of all ages, the hunt begins at the main station and includes a city game box with directions, puzzles and information cards. Good luck, it’s game on!
Live your own fairy tale as you explore the magical Neuschwanstein Castle on a full day tour from Munich. Journey into the Bavarian alpine countryside and swap the city for some incredible scenery and captivating tales of local legend and mystery.
Believed to be the inspiration behind Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Neuschwanstein Castle’s beauty has to be seen to be believed. Perched on the dramatic slopes of the Alps, it is one of the most visited castles in Germany!
It was once the home of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, also known as the Fairytale King, and as you climb up to the Marienbrucke you’ll hear all about this famous monarch and his mysterious death as well as the infamous story of how the castle was built.
Whether you choose to take the 45-minute tour of the castle’s interior is completely up to you. Inside you will find many rooms inspired by the characters of the world-renowned composer, Richard Wagner, who the king was a huge fan of. Don’t miss the third floor and the Singers Hall on the fourth floor which both reflect Wagner’s operas.
With spellbinding markets, memory-making activities, and a plethora of experiences made for two, the list of romantic things to do in Munich is seemingly endless. Here are our recommended activities if you’re visiting this Bavarian capital as a couple:
When winter descends and the city is blanketed by snow and filled with fairy lights, it becomes a city seemingly built for romance. Munich’s Christmas markets are something out of a storybook and spending an evening drinking hot chocolate is one of the most romantic things to do in Munich. In fact, the wintertime Christmas markets are pretty much a rite of passage for couples in Germany!
Get into the festive spirit as you explore the Christmas market on Marienplatz, the glittering Christmas village at the Rezidenz, the Christmas Crib Market, and the Medieval Market in Munich’s Old Town when they are transformed into their own winter wonderlands.
Warm up from the inside out with a steaming cup of Gluhwein (mulled wine), pick up some handcrafted Christmas decorations to put up on your own tree, and nibble on some famous Lebkuchen gingerbread cake. Bliss!
Who said romance didn’t have to include adventure? Making memories with your significant other as you take to the virtual skies with a one of a kind indoor skydiving experience is definitely something to write home about!
Learn the art of body flying and free-flying techniques on an exhilarating two-minute flight experience. You’ll reach speeds of up to 285 kilometres an hour inside a 15-metre tall flight chamber and wind tunnel. Eek!
As nobody is likely to have any actual flying experience, no previous training is required. This package for two includes a pre-flight training session from a professional flight instructor as well as all the gear you need. You just need to show up!
It doesn’t get much more romantic than strolling along Munich’s ‘Path of Love’ – a romantic take on a tour of the Old Town. Hear stories of centuries-old romance and sordid love affairs that transcend all class and creed, from commoners to kings. You’ll discover the famous landmarks of Munich’s picturesque Old Town and learn the secrets of luck in love.
This love-themed walking tour is perfect for couples. As you stroll through the city, you’ll hear tales of love from the marriage of Duke Wilheim V and Renata von Lothringen, to the love affair between Konig Ludwig I and Lola Montez.
Hear about Liesl Karlstadt and the Finessensepperl (the love letter messenger) and discover the love story behind the construction of the Theatine Church. This tour is one of the best things to do in Munich for hen parties and stag dos!
From Disney castles to enchanting play parks, there are so many things to do in Munich with kids from toddlers to teens. Here are our top family-friendly activities:
Spending a day at the Toy Museum in the tower of the Old Town Hall at Marienplatz is one of the best things to do in Munich with kids – especially on a rainy day!
The tower rooms of this enormous doll’s house are filled with an incredible collection of vintage toys, from model trains and teddy bears to dolls and tin toys from all over the world, dating back more than 200 years.
Stroll through the various exhibits across four floors that were once part of the old archives of the former German toy manufacturer, Elastolin Hausser, who pioneered many modern toys such as LEGO. Don’t miss the 100 Barbie dolls on the third floor, including the very first Barbie that dates back to 1959!
The Englischer Garten is Munich’s equivalent to Central Park with meandering pathways, trickling streams, beer gardens, and open fields for kids to run wild and free.
Pack a picnic to enjoy on the open lawns or bring some ball games for kids to enjoy on the grass. The little ones will love feeding the ducks on the river Eisbach!
When you’re all picnicked out, head to the beer gardens by the Japanese tea house or the Chinese Tower for a refreshing drink. Hanging out here is completely free of charge and you can even bring your picnic along.
Don’t miss the Seehaus in the centre of the park where you’ll find a children’s playground as well as paddle boat and bike rentals nearby – perfect for a family fun day out.
Take the little ones to explore Freizeitpark Marchenwald (the Fairytale Forest) in the Isar Valley. Home to more than 20 different fairy tales and over 260 moving characters from German folklore, it’s the perfect place for families with young kids in Munich.
There are all sorts of rides and attractions to discover in this amusement park, from scenic train rides to thrilling roller coasters. Kids will love the playgrounds, merry-go-rounds and the magic village as well as seeing the characters of many German classics such as Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, and Little Red Riding Hood!
From evening concerts to ghost tours, there are so things to do in Munich at night. Here are the most popular attractions and activities to enjoy after dark:
Uncover the dark side of Munich on this spooky night tour of the city centre. Walking through the eerie alleyways, you’ll meet witches, criminals, whores, and hangmen and discover the dark secrets of the city that date all the way back to the Middle Ages.
This 1.5-hour Witches, Criminals, and Executioners walking tour through the southern region of the Old Town reveals interesting facts and tales about Munich’s sordid past. It’s the perfect chance to see the famous Viktualienmarkt when it’s beautifully lit up at night as you stroll through the Angers quarter. This tour is recommended for visitors 12 years and older.
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One of the best things to do in Munich at night is spending the evening at Jazzclub Unterfahrt at Einsteinstraße 42. This underground club cum jazz bar was once an incomplete subway station and now hosts nightly jazz shows that feature both local and international jazz artists.
Get here early to have dinner before the show at the club’s restaurant and bar and grab a seat as the venue fills up quickly. In fact, for the big names, you will have to book a few weeks in advance! Various artists perform here each night of the week so be sure to check the schedule to see what’s on over the dates you’re traveling in Munich. You don’t want to miss out!
When night falls, make your way to Nymphenburg Palace in Munich for a popular night-time classical concert. Held in the Hubertus Hall, there are year-round performances by resident solo artists as well as members of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra in an exquisite setting.
The Nymphenburg Palace, also known as the Castle of the Nymph, is a Baroque palace that was the main summer residence of the former rulers of Bavaria of the House of Wittelsbach.
It was also famously the birthplace of King Ludwig II and where he spent most of his childhood so get here early to take a look around. Don’t forget to take a peek at the spot where Mozart performed with his sister when he was just seven years old!
Not everything in Munich has to cost an arm and a leg; there are many things you can do without spending anything at all. Here are the best free things to do in Munich:
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One of the city’s most popular hotspots, Olympiapark is a great way to spend a day without having to spend any money. Built for the 1972 Olympic Games, the park is buzzing in the summer months when you can explore and even enjoy a free concert.
The Theatron Festival held at the amphitheatre here throughout the month of August has a host of interesting performances. You can catch anything from hip hop to Gospel performances. Bring a blanket and a picnic and take in a free concert from the top of the Olympiaberg hill.
A firm favourite of just about any visitor to Munich – particularly those with young kids – the Glockenspiel is one of the best free things to do in Munich. Located within the Rathaus (Munich’s City Hall) on Marienplatz, this 16th-century Bavarian clock chimes twice a day (three times in summer) and entertains the crowds with a 15-minute show.
The Glockenspiel has been a popular attraction in Munich for over a century and includes 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures including a golden bird that marks the end of each show.
The main story portrays the marriage of Duke Wilhelm V and the second story shows Coopers Dance which was performed in the streets in 1517 to cheer people up when the city was hit by the plague.
If you’d like to see the show, make sure you’re standing in front of the City Hall well before 11h00 and 12h00 all year round as well as 17h00 in summer. If you miss these times, an angle and a night watchman will make an appearance at 21h00.
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If you’re looking to experience a typical Bavarian beer garden, here’s your chance.
The largest outdoor beer garden in the world, Hirschgarten offers plenty of tables, two different beers, and affordable food if you’re feeling peckish. Don’t forget – it’s tradition to wash your own beer glasses here. Large screens are set out to broadcast major sports events and the vibe is very festive.
Just next door is an enormous park of the same name. Hirschgarten, which means deer park, offers a great day out for the whole family. Let the little ones loose to enjoy the play areas, stroll along the nature pathways and feed the deer.
As you’ve just read, there are a plethora of exciting things to see and do in this Bavarian city, and you could easily spend a few weeks here to explore it all.
If you have just a short time here then in our opinion the best thing to do in Munich is to experience the magic of a Christmas market, but there are loads of exciting activities and attractions at any other time of the year too.
Whether you’re visiting with kids or traveling as a couple, there are countless ways to experience the fun and romance of this Bavarian capital. We hope you’ll find something to suit you from our list of the best things to do in Munich.
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Gin lover. Coffee addict. Nicola has traveled the world for 7 years and is a staff writer for Hotel Jules. Born in London, Nicola first got the taste of travel studying abroad in Barcelona. Since then she's been hooked - traveling the world non-stop. Passionate about green travel and vegan lifestyle, Nicola spends more of her free time staring at maps wondering where she will head to next!