Munich is located in southern Germany and is the capital of Bavaria. Munich is your stereotypical German destination overflowing with beer halls, churches, markets and castles. The beer-drinking, pork eating Bavarians are a friendly and welcoming bunch, not something typically associated with Germany.
Are there many things to do in Munich? Munich is a city rich in great history and fiercely proud of its monuments, bursting with museums, green spaces, palaces, castles and of course the world-famous Oktoberfest yearly.
You will see the image of King Ludwig everywhere around the city. King Ludwig was responsible for some of the greatest castles in the world. Neuschwanstein is his gift to Bavaria and the world.
The Munich Residenz
The Residenz in central Munich is the former royal palace of the Wittelsbach monarchs of Bavaria. The Residenz is the largest city palace in Germany. The Residenz is one of the top places to visit in Munich. There are actually two sections to the building The Treasury and The Royal Residence. The Munich treasury is considered one of the most important in the world as it spans over 1000 years and has so many different types of pieces in it.
The Munich Residenz now has 10 courtyards and 130 display rooms. Unfortunately during World War II much of the Munich Residenz was destroyed with other parts suffering severe damage. Reconstruction of the rooms started in the 1980s with some being fully restored and some in a simpler version of what they were.
Munich attractions not to miss – Schloss Nymphenburg
Let us start our Munich sightseeing at Schloss Nymphenburg. Nymphenburg Palace is located in the outer suburbs of Munich. I often call it the forgotten attraction of Munich. Construction started on Nymphenburg Palace in 1664 and by 1679, the original Palace was completed.
In 1715 further construction and design of the Palace was started once again and continued on and off for most of the 17th century under different Bavarian Royal families. The gardens that surround Nymphenburg Palace are 490 acres in size.
I must say I have never really explored the gardens in length as they cover such a large area but I image they would be fantastic on a beautiful sunny Munich day. You can tour the inside of the palace at your own pace with an audio guide. The inside of the palace is very opulent as one would expect. There is also a horse carriage museum.
This house’s the amazing ornate carriages that the Royals used to ride in during their times. If you visit during the winter the lake may be frozen over and ice skating may be an option for you. Bavaria’s most famous King, King Ludwig spent time living in Nymphenburg with his family.
Family travel tip: take some bread with you and you will be able to feed the swans and the ducks that live on the lake. Out the front on the street is the best ice cream in Munich. make sure you get the spaghetti ice cream it is amazing. This is one of our top things to do in Munich with kids
Beer in Munich
In Munich Germany, they make the best beer in Germany. Remember the names Paulaner, Franziskaner, Hasker Pshorr, Augustiner and Lowenbrau. These are the original Munich beer makers. Steady yourself for a diet of beer accompanied by Pork knuckles, schnitzel, sausages, chicken and potato salad.
Beer in Munich and Germany is made according the German Purity law of 1516. The purity law requires that ‘nothing other than barley, hops and water be used’ to produce beer. Yeat was later added to law after it’s importance to the beer was discovered.
Some of the best beers in Munich to try are
- Paulaner HefeWeisn
- Franziskaner Dunkel
- Spatenbrau Lager
Many of the large breweries also have their own beer halls and restaurants located all across the city. The most famous is Hofbrauhaus (we go into detail about this venue later), Schneider Weißbräuhaus and Augustiner-Keller.
Munich points of interest – Deutsches Museum
This is one of the top Germanys and Munich tourist attractions. The Deutsches Museum is the world’s largest science and technology museum. This museum which occupies a building six floors in height has over 28,000 exhibited objects from 50 fields of science and technology.
There are 2 other branches of the Deutsches Museum a hangar at Schleißheim airfield, and in the Deutsches Museum Bonn. The museum has a large number of original world-famous artefacts on display for you to see.
Some of these original items include the first motorized aircraft built by the Wright brothers, the U1 submarine, the first program-controlled computer (Conrad Zuse’s Z3), and Diesel’s original engine on the island, the first motorcar by Karl Benz in the transport museum, the Douglas DC3 at Schleißheim; and the first Fischer wall plug, in Bonn. We spent half a day at the Museum and did not even scratch the surface.
Family travel tip: There are a large number of interactive displays at the museum that your kids will love. There are specialized kids programs available at the museum for children to participate in. Add this to your schedule in downtown Munich.
Visit Dachau Concentration Camp
The Dachau Memorial Concentration camp was established by Aldof Hitler in 1933 to house political prisoners. Throughout the lifespan of the Dachau Concentration Camp, it housed prisoners from all walks of life. Today there is a new multi-million dollar visitors information centre for you before you enter the camo.
These included homosexuals, immigrants, Jehovah witnesses and jews. Today at Dachau you will find a handful of the original building that remains and the foundations of many more. You will find permanent exhibitions that focus on the fate of the prisoners.
You will follow the Dachau prisoners through there incarceration, time in the concentrations camp and their fate to death or liberation. From time to time there will be special exhibitions on display.
We totally recommend that you do a guided tour of the Dachau Memorial Site. The guides will tell you so much more about the site and enrich your experience at Dachau. There are Munich walking tours that leave from The city ( don’t worry you get a train to the site then walk ).
You can also book a tour once at Dachau. It is a site not to be missed. Dachau is located 30 kilometres by car from Munich or you can take the S2 train from Munich in the direction of Dachau/Petershausen until you reach the Dachau station. Check here for a range of visit Dachau Memorial camp tours
What to do in Munich – Hofbrau House
The most iconic beer house in the world is how I would describe Hofbrauhaus Munich. Hofbrauhaus is only second to Oktoberfest as an attraction in Munich. Founded in1589 by the Duke of Bavaria. It was originally founded as a brewery to the royal family.
In 1828, King Ludwig 1 opened the beer hall to the public. Today Hofbrauhaus can hold 3,500 beer drinkers and diners simultaneously. These patrons are serviced by 100 waiters and waitresses serving up to 30,000 guests a day at peak times.
Hofbrauhaus can be enjoyed by all. Music can be found playing at different times throughout the day. If the beer hall atmosphere is too busy for you there is a more personal experience waiting for you on the second floor in the smaller Bräustube.
Hofbrau’s popular wurst sausage is made fresh every morning at 4 am to be ready for famous beer and sausage breakfast that is served every day. I can personally say this something not is missed.
Family travel tip: Hofbrau is very kid friendly. You will find families and children in the venue at all hours of the day. The kids were very interested in how the waitresses could carry so many beers at once and the traditional ompha music.
Oktoberfest in Munich is consifered the worlds biggest paty. The Oktoberfest is held annually in Munich. The party lasts for around 16- to 18 days. Depoending on the year it runs from mid- or late September to the first Sunday in October. Today more than six million people from around the world attending the event every year.
The festival has its traditionsbased more on celebrations than beer drinking. The festival originated on October 12, 1810, in celebration of the marriage of the crown prince of Bavaria, to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen
As mentioned earlier Munich is at its heart and sole a beer town. Many people visit Munich especially just for the beer, Beer halls and beer Gardens, No article on Munich is complete without introducing you to the major players in the Munich Beer Market.
To be a part of Oktoberfest every year and have your beer featured and sold you must be a Munich brewery, Only 6 breweries have this privilege. The big Munich Breweries are as follows
- Paulaner – Paulaner was founded in 1634 in Munich by the Minim friars of the Neudeck ob der Au cloister. Paulaner ranks number six among Germany’s best selling beers. The Paulaner Hefe Weissbier is AMAZING!
- Lowenbrau – Löwenbräu is alleged to have been founded around 1383. Löwenbräu beer has been served at every Oktoberfest in Munich since 1810.
- Augustinerbrau – Augustiner-Bräu was founded in 1328, it is Munich’s oldest independent brewery. Augustine’s. most popular beer is Augustiner Helles.
- Spaten – First mentioned in 1397. Its most popular beer is the Munchner Hell. It’s one of my favourite Munich pale ales.
- Franziskaner – Makes wheat beer and the best wheat beer at that. There Dunkel, dark wheat beer is a must.
- Hacker Pschorr – formed in 1972 out of the merger of two breweries. Hacker brewery was first mentioned in 1417.
- Hofbrau – is owned by the Bavarian government. Founded in 1589 by the Duke of Bavaria, Wilhelm V to serve as the royal brewer. Today its most popular through its Hofbrauhaus premises worldwide.
Munich Sightseeing – Marienplatz, Munich City Centre, Town Gates.
Munich city centre is a great place to stroll around in the summer. There is plenty of cafe’s, restaurants and bars. Beer is a big thing in Munich and it is available everywhere.
There are a plethora of amazing churches to be viewed. If you are a fan of the Swan King Ludwig you will find his tomb in one of these such churches. Neuhauser Straube runs from Munich Karlsplatz to Marienplatz.
It is the main pedestrian mall and filled with shops of all design. The world-famous glockenspiel at Munich Rathaus re-enacts two stories from the 16th century to the mass of tourists waiting patiently for the show.
It consists of 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures. Every day at 11 a.m. (as well as 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. in summer) it can be viewed. Munich has three original town gates left Karlstor, Sendlinger Tor and Isartor.
All three town gates can be viewed within the city centre region of Munich. These town gates were built during the 13th century as part of a defensive wall to protect the city. I love Karlstor
I love Isartor with its painted images of Louis the Bavarian (Ludwig IV) after this victory over the Austrians at the battle of Ampfing in 1322. I love Sendlinger Tor because of its simplicity and how one would imagine a town gate from the middle ages would look.
Places to visit in Munich – BMW Welt
BMW Welt is a burst of narcism from this German auto giant. It is everything the BMW group creates, constructs and sells all in the one place. BMW welt would cause heart palpitations among car lovers and even arouse a sense of recognition among us all.
BMW WELT displays all the BMW models, a world that pays homage to the Mini and even the iconic Rolls Royce that BMW now builds. You can hire a BMW for a cruise or just sit in the many models and dream. You can tour the factory or buy entry to the museum.
Motorbike’s, BMW merchandise and concept cars abound. I am not a car lover but BMW started my engine. We spent over 2.5 hours here looking, sitting, photography the cars. Best of all this attraction is free to visit, yes free.
Family travel tip: BMW has a junior campus for kids to learn key concepts. There is a cafe’s and a restaurant. Free wifi and comfy couches to have a rest between sitting in cars and climbing on Motorbikes.
What to eat in Munch:
Bavarian cuisine includes many meat dishes such as Pork, Chicken and sausage. You will often find this accompanied by dumpling, potato and sourkraut. Some traditional dishes you try on your visit to Munich include
Käsespätzle – Alpian cheese noodles with fried onions
Weisswurst – White veal sausage you will find everywhere. They even serve it for breakfast.
Leberkässemmel – Basically a meatloaf sandwich served warm with mustard.
Schnitzel and potato salad – a Crumbed piece of meat with warm potato salad
Schweinshaxe and Knödel – Our favourite Roasted Pork knuckle with Potato dumplings
Any of these dishes will be found throughout Munch and Bavaria. The Bavarian cuisine is hearty and filling. Great Munich food will be found all through the city.
Bonus Attraction: Wildpark Poing
There is over 4 km of track through the park where you can observe the Bavarian animals in their natural habitat at Wildpark Poing. The animals are penned in big and natural enclosures. We are not talking
I these enclosures they can roam and have some resemblance of what their life in nature would look like Wildpark Poing is a great way to spend an afternoon outside of Munich.
I hope you can find something interesting to visit in our article. I did not list Oktoberfest as it only happens for 2 weeks every year. By all means, if you can attend it amazing and highly recommended with or without kids in tow. You can read about out Oktoberfest experience here. Make sure you put Munich on your list of cities to visit you won’t be disappointed.
Great family activities in Munich
- Skip the line at Sealife Munich
- The English Garden
- Ride the Munich Hop on Hop off Bus and see the city
- Reserve your amazing Day trip to Neuschwanstein
- Oktoberfest (If it is on when you visit )
- Visit Allianz Arena Tour for all football lovers
- A Segway tour is fun for the whole family
- book a Bike tour or rent Bikes
Where to Eat In Munch:
You will be most rewarded if you get a little out of the city centre. I must say we always love visiting the beer halls and beer gardens while in Munch. They are a must do in Munich.
The further out of downtown Munich you go the more authentic it will be. If you find a place and you can hear most people talking German you know you are in a good place to eat. Three Munich place to eat we recommend are
Taxis Beer Garten – Taxisstraße 12, 80637 München, Germany. Beer garden with canteen-style traditional Bavarian dishes. Great beer and food
Hackerhaus – Sendlinger Str. 14, 80331 München, Germany. A traditional Bavarian restaurant of the historic Hasker-Pschorr brewery, with wood-panelled decor & classic dishes.
Augustiner Bräustuben – Landsberger Str. 19, 80339 München, Germany. The Bavarian restaurant of the venerable brewery, with wood-panelling, classic dishes & draught beer.
We have personally eaten at all these venues and would highly recommend a visit and a meal for a more authentic Munch food experience.
Getting to Munich
Munich is the second biggest city in Germany.
Flughafen München Franz Josef Strauß is 28.5 kilometres from the city centre.
Munich is serviced by many international airlines and budget carriers. For cheap flights from with Europe check Veuling, EasyJet and Eurowings. You can check the prices of international flights to Germany with cheapOair. Domestic flights can be booked with Expedia
By February of 2017 Flughafen München, Franz Josef Strauß features flights to 248 destinations, making it the airport with the fifth-most destinations worldwide.
The S1 and S8 S-Bahn lines connect the airport with the centre of Munich, with departures every 10 minutes. The airport is also easy and convenient to reach by bus from the Munich city centre
Many international and domestic trains and bus service’s Munich terminating at Munich’s Central Station (Hauptbahnhof)
You can book an airport transfer with Suntransfers who we have personally used on many occasions.
You can book a rental car with AutoEurope and have it waiting for you at Munich Airport.
Getting around Munich:
Munich has an extensive public transportation system. It consists of a network of underground (U-Bahn), suburban trains (S-Bahn), trams and buses. … Tickets can be purchased at the blue vending machines, found at U- and S-Bahn-stations, at many tram and bus stops and newspaper kiosks.
There are different types of tickets: Single Tickets (called “Einzelfahrkarte”), Stripe Tickets (called “Streifenkarte”) and Day Tickets (called “Tageskarte”).
Before first embarking, the ticket must be validated – insert the ticket into the small stamping machines posted at the entrances to U- and S-Bahn tracks or on trams and buses. It’s a € 60 fine if you are caught riding without a valid ticket.
The Munich City Tour Card allows free use of public transport, plus discount and free admission to some of the best Munich sights. More information and booking click here
Another alternative for tourists is to buy a pass for the Munich Hop on hop off bus which takes you to all the sites in the city. Click here for further information and prices.
The best places to stay in Munich:
Munich has accommodation options for every budget from Hostels, to apartments and hotels rooms.
Hostels in Munich can start from as little as 20 euro’s a night for a shared dorm room.
You can search Airbnb for their Munich accommodation offerings. If you have never used Airbnb before get yourself $50 credit by signing and booking a stay right HERE.
Hotels in Munich generally start from around $100 a night for a double room and increase incrementally as the luxury rating rises towards 5 stars. Google states that 3-star averaging $144, 5-star averaging $469 for a night stay.
You can compare and book the best places to stay in Munich on TRIP ADVISOR