There are those cities that you go to that just deliver the goods everytime you go there. For us, Munich, Germany is that city. We have been there 5 times now and every time we go we find something new to see or do. We have even been lucky enough to see the same things a couple of times in different seasons and we have been blown away by how different it is. It is just that one city that gives more and more whether you have one day in Munich or a week.
On our last trip to Munich with kids, we were staying for a little less time than on the previous trips so we decided to stay in the city and explore more around there. We looked up the top things to do in Munich in winter and although we had already done some of the things on the list The Royal Residence Munich or as some will know it, Munich Residenz was the one we had not gone to even though it was on every list of things to do in Munich in winter. In all honesty, we had not even considered it on our last trips and that, we would learn, had been a huge mistake.
Is Munich Residenz one of the best things to do in Munich in winter?
Our day started out with our hop on hop off bus tour (if you only have one day in Munich this is a perfect way to see as much as you can, it is also an easy way to see Munich with kids) and it was freezing. None of us was keen to get off the nice warm bus and walk the short way to the ticket office at the Munich Residenz. It turns out we walked around the wrong side of the building and ended up doing an entire lap of a block. The girls were freezing by this stage and I think some serious death stares were being thrown in our direction from them. Munich in winter is absolutely freezing even when you are walking! Once we got inside though we let them sit down and had a drink and a snack in the little foyer.
Where do we stay in Munich?
Are you looking for a warm, comfortable and most importantly affordable accommodation in Munich? When we stayed in Munich we choose to stay at the Meininger City Centre. Meininger featured family rooms, games room, bar, chill out area with free wifi. Meininger was close to a train connection to the airport. The city centre was a 10-minute walk away. The breakfast at Meininger was amazing, one of the best in Europe
Book your stay at Meininger HERE.
I think the man standing there felt sorry for the crazy Australians that were looking very worse for wear in the freezing Munich in winter conditions. As we went over to buy our tickets we spoke to the guides and asked them the best way to go about getting the most from our visit. There are actually two sections to the building The Treasury and The Royal Residence. We decided to do the treasury first and then go into the Residenz later on. We had to go down and check our bags, and heavy coats as we had warmed up by this stage and we were becoming warmer as we wandered. Most places you will visit in Munich in winter are really warm inside and you will find your self quite warm after being in there for a little bit.
As you walk in the Treasury is to the right of the ticket booth within the Munich Residenz. The collection was started by Duke Albert V and it houses many of the Wittelsbach Dynasty jewels. If you have not been this should be number one on your things to do in Munich in winter. It 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. When we purchased our tickets we asked where we should start and the people there told us to head in there first! We set off into the Treasury through a huge set of the strongest set of doors I have ever seen. The first room is full of crowns! They are so beautifully displayed so you can see every one of the brilliant stones that are in them.
I straight away saw my favourite and both the girls were picking theirs. They sparkled under the light and I thought it could not get any better than this. WAS I WRONG! We went from room to room of exquisite jewellery made with the most stunning precious stones that it was hard to believe that they were real. Each piece was displayed so well that you could see every tiny detail that made them so magnificent. There were rooms of elaborate dinnerware and even some religious artefacts as well. We had the audioguides with us and they helped us to get even more information on the pieces, how old they were, what they were used for and where they originated from (Some pieces were dowries from other nations, some were gifts and some were gained through war)
The rooms are easy to navigate but there is just so much in every single one of them. We spent about 1.5 hours just wandering around in there looking at as much as we could be we must have missed so much but we all agreed it was one of the best things to do in Munich in winter!
Family Travel Tip: You can use a pram easily in here. There is no drinking or eating in the rooms so be careful with your little ones.
There are chairs in some rooms for you to sit and rest for a little bit. Our kids really liked these as they could see some of the art from there and it gave their legs a rest.
By this stage, the girls had had enough and they were getting a little bored so we decided to have a quick look at the rest of the rooms and go into the Palace. There is just so much to see that it may be a bit of an overload for everybody but it has to be one of the best museums in Munich.
We made our way back into the foyer. It was here that we had already checked our coats and the bag that I had. Again there was no drinks or food allowed in the Residenz. It was actually nice to have to give over all the bags and the heavy coats so I didn’t have to carry them! As we were waiting to go through the doors there was a hall to the left of us. It was so lavishly decorated with gold trim and there was no one in there!
I asked the lady guarding it if I could take a picture (It was guarded as people were trying to walk in there before going through the first set of doors) And she said I could take a picture. I was so lucky to get at least 5 pictures before anyone walked into the hall. If I may say so myself the picture is amazing! We then had our entry time and we walked through the first set of doors. We had been told to keep the kids warm as there were some parts that were outside and some rooms were not as warm as usual. The rooms were amazing and they were all so different. My two favourites were:
The Ancestral Gallery
This was the hallway I was talking about above. The sunlight that comes in through the windows bounces off the gold detailing like nothing I have ever seen before…it gives it a glow that is beyond describing. We also visited in the winter months so there wasn’t a lot of sun about on the day we were there. As we walked slowly down the hall it was just stunning with the details and with the artwork that was hanging on the walls. It is a place I am glad that we had a few minutes in with just the four of us. I can only imagine how busy it would be in the summer.
Great family activities in Munich that you can book here.
Just click the highlighted text!
- Ride the Munich Hop on Hop off Bus and see the city without the hassle of navigating public transport
- Get a Munich city tour card HERE for discounts all across the city, everything from museums to meals.
- Reserve your amazing Day trip to Neuschwanstein
- Oktoberfest (If it is on when you visit ) It is not just for beer drinkers and adults, its the biggest carnival in Europe
- Visit Allianz Arena Tour for all football lovers. Tour the home of the German champions FC Bayern
- A Segway tour is fun for the whole family. No better way to see the sights than on two motorized wheels
- Book a Bike tour or rent Bikes. Explore the Bavarian capital at your own pace.
The Antiquarium or the Hall of Antiquities
We had just walked through a beautiful room decorated with seashells leading off a snow-covered courtyard towards a very plain looking wooden door. (Because the courtyard was only separated by some plastic sheeting I was guessing that this was the section that they thought we would get cold in and had been worried for the girls being out there in the cold.) Most of the time it is odd to see such a plain door in such a lavish place so I thought maybe we would find a small room with not much in it. Boy, was I wrong! As the door opened you couldn’t see much but walk just a few steps inside changed it all.
The Antiquarium is a dome-shaped room with the most beautiful paintings from floor to ceiling. They are still so vivid, with so much colour used in them. As you stand on the balcony you can see nearly all of the paintings but it is once you get down onto the floor and start looking up that you see so much more of what has been painted. It was once a hall to house antiques for Duke Albert V but it has also been a library, a banquet hall and it is also the largest Renaissance hall north of the Alps.
Family Travel Tip:
Take a minute to stand on the small balconies at either end of the hall. It is a view you will not forget in a hurry.
Walking around this Palace was one of the best things to do in Munich in winter and I was amazed by every room. The Munich Residenz is huge but it is one of the best things to do in Munich in winter, actually in any season. It has been used for so many different things since the first buildings were started in 1385. Originally it was built as a Royal Palace for the Wittelsbach family and then with each new King or family more was added by them to what it is today.
Check out another of Bavaria’s best attractions with a trip to Neuschwanstein Castle
The Munich Residenz now has 10 courtyards and 130 display rooms. Unfortunately, in World War II much of the Munich Residenz was destroyed with other parts suffering severe damage. Reconstruction of the rooms started in the 1980’s with some being fully restored and some in a simpler version of what they were.
We visited on an extremely cold day in Munich and it was a great way to stay warm. Much of the Palace was closed for renovations so we did miss out on some of the more popular rooms to visit such as the Throne Room and the Theatre. We were also not able to go into any of the courtyards but this does not stop us from recommending it as one of the most amazing things to do in Munich in winter.
To be honest, it was so big and every room was as fascinating as the last, we really don’t think that we missed out (But then again it took us 5 trips to get here so maybe our judgement is not that great) The girls did struggle towards the end as there was a lot of walking between the rooms so we decided to take a shorter route that cut off a few of the rooms as well. It was getting dark early and we were leaving the next day so we decided that we would head home.
For us, this was one of the best things to do in Munich in winter and I can’t tell you how much we all enjoyed it.
Top Tips for the Munich Residenz for kids:
- If you have little ones take a pram. There is a lot of walking and those little legs can get tired.
- There are guards in most rooms so if you need help they are always happy to help you out.
- There is no eating or drinking in the Treasury or in the Palace.
- Your bags and coats must be checked so take out everything you will need before.
- The toilet is upstairs on the bottom floor and I don’t know if there is another along the way.
- Set yourself a lot of time to see everything!
Residenz Munich hours of opening.
The Munich Residence is open daily.
Public holidays: all the buildings are closed on 1 January, Shrove Tuesday and 24, 25 and 31 December.
April-15 October: daily 9 am-6 pm (last entry: 5 pm)
16 October-March: daily 10 am-5 pm (last entry: 4 pm)
April-15 October: daily 9 am-6 pm (last entry: 5 pm)
16 October-March: daily 10 am-5 pm (last entry: 4 pm)
Getting to Munich:
- Munich is the second biggest city in Germany and there are so many things to do in Munich in winter.
- 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 trains and buses service 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 and getting around Munich with kids is very easy. 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.
Where 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 your stay on Agoda, Hotels.com, and Priceline
(All coloured text in the Getting to Munich, Getting around Munich and Where to stay in Munich links to the pages mentioned for your information and booking convenience. We at Wyld Family Travel will make a small commission from any bookings you make. This money goes into maintaining our website)
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