While there's much to see and do in Munich, the attractions outside the city limits can be equally alluring. From pristine Alpine lakes and fairy-tale castles to quaint mountain villages and sobering concentration camp sites, here are our top must-do day trips from Munich.
Neuschwanstein Castle — about 75 miles (120 kilometers) away
Built in the late 19th century by Bavaria’s “Mad" King Ludwig II, this castle is famous for its audacious Disney-esque architecture. Most day tours to the castle from Munich include round-trip transportation and skip-the-line access, while some incorporate trips to other royal residences in Bavaria, such as the nearby Hohenschwangau Castle, Ludwig II’s childhood home, and Linderhof Palace.
Salzburg — about 93 miles (150 kilometers) away
Less than two hours from Munich by train, the picturesque city of Salzburg sits just across the Austrian border. Most tours from Munich include train tickets, a guided walking tour, and free time to explore on your own. Wander the Old Town (Aldstadt), visit the mighty Salzburg Fortress (Festung Hohensalzburg), and check out prominent Sound of Music filming locales such as Mirabell Palace and Garden.
Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site — about 19 miles (30 kilometers) away
The troubling legacy of the Third Reich is remembered at Dachau, where Hitler set up his first concentration camp in 1933, mere weeks after coming into power. Dachau’s proximity to Munich makes it possible to visit the memorial site and take a World War II tour of Munich in the same day.
Lake District — distances vary
Munich is an ideal jumping-off point from which to explore the Bavarian lakes and the Austrian Lake District (Salzkammergut). Enjoy relaxed cruises on Lake Wolfgang (Wolfgangsee), King’s Lake (Konigssee), or Lake Hallstatt (Hallstätter See), which are encircled by soaring Alpine peaks and lush valleys.