With vast green spaces, nature on its doorstep, and plenty of sunny beer gardens and cozy beer halls, Munich is an ideal spot for a laid-back city break. And while the Bavarian capital can get crowded, there are also peaceful pockets for escape—provided you know where to look. Here’s how to beat the crowds in Munich.
Go to green spaces.
When you need some time away from the urban bustle, head to a Munich park. The English Garden (Englischer Garten) is bigger than Central Park, with plenty of room to stretch out without bumping elbows. Or walk or picnic on the banks of the tranquil Isar River.
Book tickets in advance.
While you can’t avoid crowds at top attractions, you can minimize wait times by purchasing tickets in advance. Prebook tickets for Neuschwanstein Castle to avoid lengthy lines (and potentially getting turned away) at the ticket office. Make an Oktoberfest reservation well in advance to avoid wading through the crowds and searching for a seat.
Time your visits carefully.
Choosing when to visit Munich is as important as where to visit. Nighttime sightseeing tours are a great way to see top sights when many other travelers are off the streets. If you want to experience Oktoberfest without the biggest crowds, avoid opening and closing weekends. Better yet, try going early on a midweek morning when most locals are at work.
Escape to mountains and lakes.
Give city crowds the slip on day trips out to the Bavarian countryside and the Austrian Lake District (Salzkammergut). Lakes such as Chiemsee and Wolfgangsee make serene day-trip getaways, while Herrenchiemsee Castle is a crowd-free alternative to the popular Neuschwanstein Castle.
Munich is busiest for Oktoberfest when more than 6 million visitors pour into the city. The crowds, noise, and buzz are all part of the Oktoberfest fun, but it’s not for everyone. If you want to explore the city without big crowds, it’s best to visit at another time of year.
Explore by bike.
Public transport is often busy at rush hour, as are roads. It’s often quicker and less stressful to explore Munich by bike. Bikes allow you to explore more of the city in less time, and there are lots of well-kept bike routes to follow. Opt for a stress-free bike tour for a seamless experience.