Munich, Germany is a world class city with much to see and do. It can be daunting to nail down an itinerary especially if you’re short on time. To help make the most of your trip if you’re heading to Bavaria’s capital city, here’s a quick guide to visiting Munich.
STAY IN THE CITY CENTER
The first tip for making the most of a short trip is booking a room that’s centrally located so you don’t waste time in transit getting to the main sites. My Russian and I booked a room last minute, as in while we were boarding our flight, and managed to snag a room at the InterCity Hotel. It was right by the train station and within walking distance to many of Munich’s main attractions. It also included a delicious breakfast and complimentary public transportation passes, which was an added perk. Staying in this general area will allow you to easily explore on foot and quickly access the subway to reach further locales.
Karlsplatz is a historic square in the heart of the city. It also serves as the entrance to one of Munich’s shopping districts that runs along Neuhauser Street. This pedestrian street is filled with name brand stores as well as local boutiques and plenty of sidewalk cafes and vendors to grab a snack or drink as you explore.
At the end of Neuhauser Street lies Marienplatz, Munich’s main square (map it!). It is also home to the famous Rathaus-Glokenspiel, part of the New Town Hall where the city council, city government and the mayors offices are housed. Get there by 11am, 12pm or 5pm when the bells toll and the painted figurines come to life for a 12 minute show at the top of the clock tower.
After snapping pictures down below, head up to the 9th floor observation deck in one of the structure’s spires. For €2,50 per person you can enjoy some truly stunning panoramic views of the city. Not to be missed!
PERUSE THE VIKTUALIENMARKT
One of the best ways to get a feel for a city is to visit a local farmers market. The Viktualienmarkt is open daily and features numerous stalls offering fresh produce, olive oils, jams, potpourri, souvenirs, spices, fresh flowers and more (map it!). Live like a local and sample some of Munich’s many delicacies!
TAKE IN THE VIEWS AT RISCHART CAFE
Across the from Viktualienmarkt you’ll find the Rischart Cafe & Market. Head up to the 2nd story outdoor terrace and enjoy a cold beer and a quick bite while watching the hustle and bustle below.
TOUR ALLIANZ ARENA
Sports enthusiasts may want to add Allianz Arena, home of the FC Bayern football club, to their itinerary (map it!). Just take the 6 train on the Ubahn line to the Fröttmaning stop. Even when there’s not a match going on, you can still grab lunch at the cafe located on the 2nd floor, visit the fan store or take a stadium tour offered daily from 10am to 6pm for €19 per person. It’s the only way to actually get a good glimpse of the field other than on game day. For more information on booking a tour click here.
VISIT THE BMW MUSEUM
Car lovers won’t want to miss the Mercedes Benz Museum (map it!). Visitors can experience the past, present and future of this iconic brand. Tickets are €10 per person and the museum is open from 7:30am to midnight Monday-Saturday and 9am to midnight on Sunday. If you’re short on time, head across the street to the BMW Welt dealership. Test drive one of the latest models on their indoor track, peruse the pristine showroom or enjoy one of its many dining options – the biker lodge, two cafes, a garden restaurant and even a club located on the top floor and open until midnight. Click here for more info on planning your visit.
STROLL THROUGH THE ENGLISH GARDEN
Munich’s English Garden is a 1.4 square mile green-space in the heart of the city (map it!). One of its most notable features is the Chinesischer Turm, or Chinese tower, a wooden pagoda nestled in a clearing surrounded by trees. It’s the perfect place to grab a quick bite and a cold beer on a sunny day. It closes at 6pm, so go early if you want to dine and drink there.
VISIT THE DACHAU CONCENTRATION CAMP
One of the most moving experiences I’ve had was the morning we spent at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site. Dachau was the first Nazi concentration camp and it served as a model for others built throughout Germany and Eastern Europe. Visitors can spend time in the museum which details the camp’s history then walk the hollowed grounds. It makes for an emotional day, but also something that I believe anyone venturing to Munich should experience.
Dachau is located just 30 minutes outside of Munich and easy to get to. Take the Sbahn 2 train to the Dachau stop then catch the 736 bus and hop off at the last stop.
Have you visited Munich? What other sites would you add to the list? Never been? What do you most wish to see? Share your comments below!