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Things to do in Munich

Things to do in  Munich

Welcome to Munich

Munich, the capital of Bavaria, is home to many of the country's most quintessentially German traditions—every September, the famed Oktoberfest comes to the city. But the festivals, lederhosen, and beer halls are only a small part of the city and region’s story. Munich’s architecture shines in palaces such as the Nymphenburg and castles like Residenz, and there are plenty of similarly intriguing buildings scattered across Munich. On Marienplatz, the city’s central square, old and new town halls compete for attention. The Church of St. Peter (Peterskirche), a Romanesque structure, was built even before the city's foundation in 1158. Get a sense for the city’s layout, top attractions, and historical context on a guided tour, with everything from walking to biking to Segway to hop-on hop-off bus tours available. Visitors can also enjoy the English Garden, an enormous park with “urban naked zones” (yes, expect some voyeurs in the buff) and a lakeside beer garden. Of course, you'll also probably want to explore Bavaria's offerings outside of Munich. Sightseeing tours to the royal castles of Neuschwanstein—inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle—and Linderhof are especially popular, and guides provide historical tidbits you might not otherwise hear. Half-day trips to the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial take visitors to the first Nazi concentration camp in Germany, and can be combined with a Munich Third Reich tour. Just across the border in Austria, the delights of Mozart's native Salzburg await.

Top 10 attractions in Munich

#1

Neuschwanstein Castle

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Neuschwanstein Castle was commissioned as the private refuge for Ludwig II of Bavaria, but opened to the public immediately after his death in 1886. Now recognizable as the inspiration for Disney's Sleeping Beauty Castle, Neuschwanstein is one of the most popular castles in Europe. The fairytale charm of Neuschwanstein Castle is also felt from the idyllic scenery of the Bavarian Alps. During the winter, some of the best views of the snow-capped mountains can be seen from the palace grounds. The picture cycles in the castle were inspired by the operas of Richard Wagner, to whom the king dedicated the castle, and the corresponding medieval legends from his works. The throne room is magnificently decorated with frescos of angels, ironically the king died before the actual throne was built. Despite the medieval motif of the decor, the castle was actually outfitted with latest technology of the time with running water and central heating.More
#2

Odeonsplatz

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Located at the western entrance to the exquisite Hofgarten gardens, the Odeonsplatz is one of central Munich’s largest public squares, notable for its distinct Italian-style architecture. Taking its name from the 19th century Odeon Concert Hall that once stood at the head of the square (the remains of the building now form part of a government office block), the space still retains its creative streak, hosting a number of annual concerts, parades and city celebrations. At the top of the list is the Odeonsplatz Classical Evening, a grand open-air event held each July and drawing crowds of over 16,000 to watch performances by the prestigious Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and other world renowned classical acts. Even if you don’t catch the square at its most atmospheric, the Odeonsplatz still offers a dramatic starting point to city walking tours.More
#3

Victuals Market (Viktualienmarkt)

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Where can you find the best gourmet Bavarian delights? Munich's Victuals Market, Viktualienmarkt in German, is the place to find exotic fruits, fresh vegetables, artisan cheeses, delicious hams, honey, and truffles. Many of the market stalls in the Viktualienmarkt have been family-run for generations, and although the gourmet food featured here also means gourmet prices, you would be hard pressed to find better quality culinary delicacies. While in Munich, the Viktualienmarkt is the best place to shop for delicious Bavarian food to make for a picnic lunch at a nearby park.More
#4

Marienplatz

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Marienplatz serves as Munich's city center with a variety of historic town hall structures and shopping markets. At the center of the square, the Mariensaule, the column of St. Mary, exhibits a statue of the Virgin Mary and the "four putti" symbolizing the city's triumph over war, pestilence, famine, and heresy. Visitors flock to Marienplatz at 11 am, 12 noon, and 5 pm each day to watch the famous animated Glockenspiel (carillon) in the New Town Hall made of 43 bells and 32 figures. The best views of the show can be found on the top floor of the Hugendubel bookstore and the Cafe Glockenspeil.More
#5

Linderhof Castle

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Ludwig II had a habit of designing palaces after his idols. In the case of Linderhof Palace, the inspiration was the Sun-King Louis XIV and Versailles as he built up the "King's Cottage". Sun decor, hall of mirrors, and a smaller scale version of Versailles Ambassador's staircase are testament to the king's admirations. As far as royal palaces go, Linderhof Palace has a private atmosphere with only four rooms that actually served a purpose. The gardens surrounding Linderhof Palace are considered some of the most beautiful in the world, combining the formal elements of Baroque style and Italian Renaissance gardens with landscaped sections in the English style. There are also a few unique structures apart of the palace park including the Venus grotto, Hunding's Hut, Gurnemanz Hermitage, and the Moroccan House.More
#6

Munich Residence (Residenz München)

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The former royal palace of the Bavarian monarch, the Munich Residenz is the largest city palace in Germany and is open to visitors to see its spectacularly adorned rooms and royal collections. The complex of buildings in the Munich Residenz contains 10 courtyards and the museum displays 130 rooms. The three main parts of the Residenz are the Königsbau, the Alte Residenz, and the Festsaalbau, which is also home to the Cuvillies Theatre. Get a feel for palace life in the Residenz museum which features the collections of porcelain, silver, paintings, and classical antiquities amassed by the Wittelsbach monarchs. The Antiquarium's Renaissance collections is especially breath-taking. Step outside the elaborately decorated rooms to the beautiful Court Garden or check out the Treasury (Schatzkammer) for a display of the royal jewels, gold objects, and ivory.More
#7

English Garden (Englischer Garten)

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The Englischer Garten, German for "English Garden", is one of the world's largest urban parks - even larger than New York's Central Park. Named for the English style of landscape gardening, the park is popular with locals and visitors alike who come to lounge on the meadow grass, cycle the winding paths, or even surf the man-made waterfall created by a bridge over the Eisbach stream on Prinzregent Strasse. The English weren't the only ones to have an influence in Munich's park, the Japanese Teahouse and Chinese Tower are also popular attractions in the Englischer Garten. Have a bratwurst and a beer at the Biergarten at the foot of the Chinese Tower while listening to traditional German music played by men in Liederhosen. There is another Biergarten located in the park, Seehaus, where you can also rent a paddle boat and take a spin around the lake on warmer days.More
#8

King's Square (Königsplatz)

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Königsplatz was initially built to serve the urban notions of King Ludwig I, who wished to integrate culture, administration, Christianity and Bavarian military in one massive green space. The king opted for a European Neoclassic style based on the Acropolis in Athens. He even had two museums built in the same style; first was the Glyptothek, where he could house his sprawling collection of Greek and Roman sculptures, and second, the Bavarian State Collection of Antiques, which contains Greek, Etruscan and Roman artifacts. King Ludwig I also commissioned the Propylaea, an imposing and austere gate which served as a memorial to his son, the Bavarian prince Otto of Greece. Despite this architectural and urban prowess, the square is now infamous for being the place where the Nazi party held marches and mass rallies during the Holocaust. In fact, the national headquarters of the Nazi party, the Brown House, was located on Brienner Straße just off the square.More
#9

St. Peter's Church (Peterskirche)

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The oldest church in Munich, St. Peter's Church, or Peterskirche, is a Roman Catholic establishment built in the 12th century in the Bavarian Romanesque style. The interior of the church features the magnificent Mariahilf-Altar, Gothic paintings & sculptures, and a ceiling fresco. But even these beautiful works of art can't top the bizarre gem-studded skeleton of St. Mundita, who stares at visitors with false eyes and jewelled teeth. From the spire of "Old Peter", as the church is known to the locals, are spectacular views of the oldest part of Munich. Remember to check the colored rings at the bottom, a white ring means the Alps are visible, making the hike to the top even more worthwhile. Although the spire was almost completely destroyed during World War II, it was fully restored with the traditional architecture.More
#10

Cathedral of Our Blessed Lady (Frauenkirche)

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Which landmark particularly stands out in Munich's skyline? That would be the Cathedral of Our Blessed Lady or Frauenkirche, the church featuring two onion-shaped domes on top of twin towers that reach 99 meters (325 feet). But it's not just the church's architecture that makes it stand out, by law no other tower can be taller or obstruct the view of this symbolic Bavarian building. Near the entrance of the catherdal is the famous "devil's footprint". According to legend, the devil stomped his foot at this spot when he thought the architect had forgotten to put any windows in the church, before realizing the illusion. Enjoy panoramic views from the south tower and the art of Erasmus Grasser, Jan Polack, and Hans Krumpper that decorate the interior of Frauenkirche.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Munich

How to Spend 2 Days in Munich

Top activities in Munich

Recent reviews from experiences in Munich

star-4
Good
Lezlie_D, Oct 2020
Munich City Hop-on Hop-off Tour
It was a great way to see highlights of Munich!
star-5
Great way to learn about Munich
Morten_V, Aug 2020
Munich Old Town Small-Group Walking Tour
Our walking tour was changed to a bicycle tour which in hindsight we should have chosen since we got to see more things.
star-5
Fun tour!
Madison_S, Jul 2020
Bavarian Beer and Food Evening Tour in Munich
Hope to see you again next time I’m in Munich!
star-5
Pleasantly Surprised, Could Use More English
YAK, Mar 2020
Munich City Hop-on Hop-off Tour
Best way to see Munich, might have to do the 48hr one though because the Nymphburg Palace itself could take 2 or more hours.
star-5
Must see destination
jophysherin, Jan 2020
Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace Day Tour from Munich
An extremely beautiful Castle with a feel of the disney world and so much to see inside.
star-5
Excellent Overview
KatharineM123, Dec 2019
Munich Old Town Small-Group Walking Tour
Excellent English-speaking guide.
star-5
Loved it
l0ls123, Dec 2019
Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace Day Tour from Munich
Visited the two castles on a day trip from munich, we really enjoyed the whole day, bus was very comfortable and our guide was lovely and spoke perfect english.
star-5
Rainy but our tour guide was awesome
ChiTownJakeH, Oct 2019
Munich's Highlights 3-hour Segway Tour
Great Tour but keep in mind that due to new regulations in Munich they do not allow electrical scooters in the English Gardens!
star-5
Must Do for first timers at Oktoberfest
Dennis A, Oct 2019
Munich Oktoberfest 2021 Tickets and Tour
Learned a bit about Munich and the history of Oktoberfest from a native that spoke perfect English.
star-5
Excellent experience
gmartig2019, Sep 2019
Munich Sightseeing Bike Tour
Also the English Garden with the Biergarten was a great experience.
star-5
Munich Tour😍🤩
rubelyn0311, Sep 2019
Panoramic Hop-On Hop-Off Tour of Munich by Double-Decker Bus
I want to visit again Munich and explore more
star-5
Great tour of an amazing place
TrailBlazer775714, Sep 2019
Neuschwanstein Castle Small-Group Day Tour from Munich
Native English speakers both, they kept us informed and entertained.
star-5
Great Tour of Munich
cruisebandit, Aug 2019
Private Airport Round-Trip Transfer: Munich Airport to Munich Hotel
Alexandra provided a very comprehensive tour of Munich, highlighting the historical significance of the attractions and the cultural charm of the city.
star-5
Excellent
rileyusa, Aug 2019
Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site Tour from Munich by Train
The tour guide was very knowledgeable and there was plenty of time to see everything except the museum.
star-5
Excellent time!
caitlinlouise94, Jul 2019
Munich Small-Group Bike Tour
It's a great way to see the sights of Munich along with being informative and humorous.
star-5
Best tour we’ve had this vacation.
CSW135, Sep 2018
Munich Small-Group Bike Tour
We were able to see areas of Munich we wouldn’t have gone to on foot.
star-5
Superb!
varyachka, Dec 2018
Neuschwanstein Castle Small-Group Day Tour from Munich
She even managed to provide us with other interesting things to do in Munich.
star-4
Hop on Hop off
, Aug 2018
Panoramic Hop-On Hop-Off Tour of Munich by Double-Decker Bus
Should book it for 48 hrs to be able to see all of Munich's attractions.
star-5
Great tour
CaliJay1, Oct 2019
Munich Old Town Small-Group Walking Tour
This tour is a great way to see the historic buildings when you have little time in Munich.
star-5
Salzburg
Cat C, Jul 2018
Salzburg Small-Group Day Tour from Munich
This was a lovely way to travel from Munich to see Salzburg.

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