Things to do in Munich

This charming Bavarian city is a popular tourist destination and a quaint combination of old world allure and modern flair. The city boasts numerous attractions, including some wonderful museums such as the BMW Museum, Deutsches Museum, Museum Brandhorst, the City Museum of Munich and the National Bavarian Museum, to name but a few.

Head to Marienplatz to see gaze upon historic buildings and marvel at the uniquely German architecture. Visit Olympia Park and eat lunch in the revolving restaurant in the tower across the street, enjoying gorgeous views over the city. Head to the Englischer Garten in Schwabing to relax and unwind in the picturesque gardens, visiting Munich's second biggest beer garden at Chinesischer Turm in the process. Those thirsty travellers coming in autumn can look forward to the world famous Oktoberfest. For the more adventurous, Munich is also the gateway to the Bavarian Alps and sport enthusiasts from all over the world flock to its slopes for the pristine runs and excellent powder.

Visitors planning on doing lots of sightseeing should consider purchasing the CityTourCard, entitling the bearer to free public transport in Munich and a discount on as many as 70 tourist attractions. Several versions of the card are available.

Marienplatz photo

Marienplatz

The Marienplatz is the heart of Munich and the site of its most important historic buildings. The square is dominated by the Gothic Revival Town Hall featuring its famous glockensp…

Marienplatz

The Marienplatz is the heart of Munich and the site of its most important historic buildings. The square is dominated by the Gothic Revival Town Hall featuring its famous glockenspiel, both built in the 19th century. The glockenspiel delights visitors when its 43 bells chime daily at 11am, 12pm and 5pm, accompanied by moving figures displaying vignettes from Munich's history. The centre of the square features a statue of the Virgin Mary, while visitors can also explore a toy museum and the Frauenkirche, Munich's cathedral dating from the 15th century. The square is full of great shops and pleasant outdoor eating areas to relax and refuel.

Olympiapark photo

Olympiapark

Munich's massive Olympiapark was constructed for the 1972 Olympic Games but remains a marvel of modern engineering. Its main stadium is crowned with one of the largest roofs in the…

Olympiapark

Munich's massive Olympiapark was constructed for the 1972 Olympic Games but remains a marvel of modern engineering. Its main stadium is crowned with one of the largest roofs in the world, extending 720,000 square feet (66,890 sq metres) and made of tinted acrylic glass. It's designed to collect rainwater used to fill the adjacent Olympic lake. Visitors to the site can enjoy a spectacular view from the revolving restaurant and observation terrace topping the 950-foot (290m) high Olympic Tower. Near the tower is the BMW Museum, which displays the history of Germany's famous automobile manufacturer, while Olympiapark often hosts concerts, sports events and exhibitions.

Address Spiridon-Louis-Ring 21

Website www.olympiapark-muenchen.de

Nymphenburg Palace photo

Nymphenburg Palace

Originally a summer home for Munich aristocracy, Schloss Nymphenburg lies five miles (8km) from the city centre. The palace has been expanded, altered and fitted with various eccen…

Nymphenburg Palace

Originally a summer home for Munich aristocracy, Schloss Nymphenburg lies five miles (8km) from the city centre. The palace has been expanded, altered and fitted with various eccentricities over the centuries since its construction in 1664. There's a collection of royal coaches on display, a porcelain museum and an arcaded gallery, featuring a collection of 36 provocative paintings ordered by King Ludwig I showing the most beautiful women of his day. The surrounding park has some surprises too, with some interesting pavilions hidden among the English-style gardens. There is information provided in the palace on its history but there are also audio guides available which greatly enrich the experience.

Address Eingang 19

Website www.schloesser.bayern.de/englisch/palace/objects/ny_schl.htm

Alte Pinakothek photo

Alte Pinakothek

One of the oldest galleries on the planet, the Alte Pinakothek houses two of the most important collections in Europe. Roughly 700 paintings are on display, featuring the work of m…

Alte Pinakothek

One of the oldest galleries on the planet, the Alte Pinakothek houses two of the most important collections in Europe. Roughly 700 paintings are on display, featuring the work of many Old Masters from the 14th to the 18th centuries. Highlights include works by Dutch and Flemish masters, as well as Italian giants such as Botticelli, Raphael and Titian. Famous masterpieces in the permanent collection include Rembrandt's Self-Portrait (1629), Raphael's The Canigiani Holy Family (1505), Guido Reni's The Assumption of the Virgin (1642) and François Boucher's Portrait of the Marquise de Pompadour (1756). There are actually three art museums in this beautiful neoclassical building and discounted rates are available to see all three in one day.

Address Barerstrasse 27

Website www.pinakothek.de

Transport

Tram - No 27 to Pinakotheken; U-Bahn - U2: to Königsplatz or Theresienstrasse; Bus - No 154 to Schellingstraße

Opens 10am-6pm daily; 10am-8pm on Tuesdays; closed on Mondays

Admission

€7 regular entry. Free for children under 18.

Berchtesgaden photo

Berchtesgaden

A popular excursion from Munich, Berchtesgaden is perhaps best known for the Eagle's Nest (Kehlsteinhaus), the mountaintop fortress commissioned as a 50th birthday present for Adol…

Berchtesgaden

A popular excursion from Munich, Berchtesgaden is perhaps best known for the Eagle's Nest (Kehlsteinhaus), the mountaintop fortress commissioned as a 50th birthday present for Adolf Hitler. It's now an excellent Bavarian eatery, offering breathtaking mountain views. The town itself is a delightful alpine village of winding streets, medieval markets and 16-century architecture. There are a couple of woodcarving museums, with one housed in an old Augustinian monastery. Visitors are enticed to the nearby salt mines of 1517, where they ride on wagons, explore on foot or enjoy the salt lake ferry trip. Berchtesgarten also boasts a world-class ice-skating rink sought after by winter sports enthusiasts, along with plenty of skiing opportunities in the surrounding areas.

Website www.berchtesgaden.com

Dachau Memorial Site photo

Dachau Memorial Site

Dachau is the site of the first notorious Nazi death camp, where thousands were imprisoned, starved and killed between 1933 and 1945. The camp has now been turned into a museum, co…

Dachau Memorial Site

Dachau is the site of the first notorious Nazi death camp, where thousands were imprisoned, starved and killed between 1933 and 1945. The camp has now been turned into a museum, containing three memorial chapels. The main camp road still exists, lined with poplar trees. But only two of the original 32 barracks remain, having been rebuilt to illustrate the horrific conditions. The original kitchen, laundry and shower block now contains exhibits, photographs and documents depicting the persecution of Jews and other enemies of the Third Reich. The exhibitions are often personal and include the accounts and stories of prisoners. The memorial is a sobering, sombre experience and may not be suitable for young children.

Address Alte Römerstraße 75, Dachau

Website www.kz-gedenkstaette-dachau.de

Transport

From Dachau train station take bus 726 to the main entrance of the Memorial Site. S2 train from Munich

Opens Memorial/Museum open daily 9am-5pm; Library and Archive available by appointment only between 9am-5pm Tuesday to Friday.

Admission

Free. Small charges apply for audio guides and guided tours.

Chiemsee photo

Chiemsee

One of the most beautiful lakes in the Bavarian Alps, Chiemsee boasts two islands and is lined with resorts. A popular weekend excursion in Germany, it can be reached by train from…

Chiemsee

One of the most beautiful lakes in the Bavarian Alps, Chiemsee boasts two islands and is lined with resorts. A popular weekend excursion in Germany, it can be reached by train from Munich in an hour, or by road via the A8 Autobahn. Visitors can take a steamer cruise around the lake from Prien on the west shore to explore the islands in the lake. The scenery is breathtaking and in summer there is great swimming and sailing to enjoy. Frauenchiemsee is the smaller island and the site of a quaint fishing village with some colourful traditional customs, and a Benedictine nunnery known for its liqueur. The larger island, Herrenchiemsee, bears one of King Ludwig's famous fairytale castles intended to replicate the Palace of Versailles. The centre of the palace still stands, complete with a splendid hall of mirrors and surrounded by gardens and woodland.

Website www.chiemsee.de

The Romantic Road photo

The Romantic Road

A popular route for holidays in Germany, the Romantic Road is a modern concept encapsulating the region's typically Bavarian atmosphere and culture. Guided by multilingual signpost…

The Romantic Road

A popular route for holidays in Germany, the Romantic Road is a modern concept encapsulating the region's typically Bavarian atmosphere and culture. Guided by multilingual signposts, it's an ideal route for seeing fairytale castles and charming German villages, with the route so popular that the best sites tend to be overrun with tourists in peak summer months. It starts in Wurzburg, a town famous for its wineries and gourmet restaurants. Visitors should be sure to see the Residence Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From there, the road goes to Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Dinkelsbühl, two of the best-preserved medieval towns in Germany, and the 1,000-year-old Castle Hotel Colmberg. The 2,000-year-old town of Augsburg features beautiful buildings and traditional Bavarian eateries. Pfaffenwinkel and Neuschwanstein are key stops on the route, famous for their churches, castles and pretty rolling countryside.


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Garmisch-Partenkirchen photo

Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Germany's top winter sports destination, Garmisch-Partenkirchen retains the charm of the older Partenkirchen. The pride of the city is the still-running Olympic Ice Stadium and the…

Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Germany's top winter sports destination, Garmisch-Partenkirchen retains the charm of the older Partenkirchen. The pride of the city is the still-running Olympic Ice Stadium and the larger Olympic Ski Stadium. Picturesque and scenic, it's also popular in warmer seasons for hiking and mountain climbing.

There are more than 450 shops in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, including trendy boutiques, sports equipment outlets and craft stores while restaurants and bars found among charming German architecture gives an old-world atmosphere.

Apart from the majesty and beauty of some of Germany's highest mountain peaks, Garmisch-Partenkirchen is also very near to the Partnach Gorge, where the Partnach River surges through a narrow gap between high limestone cliffs, and The King's House, with its alpine botanical garden.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen is not the best for novices, but intermediate and advanced skiers will find plenty to enjoy with both classic and glacial runs in the area. There are about four black pistes, 25 red pistes, 10 blue pistes and three green pistes, as well as a few ski runs above 2,500 metres, meaning snow is assured throughout the season.


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Deutsches Museum photo

Deutsches Museum

The Deutsches Museum sits on a small island in the Isar River and is the world's largest technology and science museum, perfect for families exploring Munich. There are some 28,000…

Deutsches Museum

The Deutsches Museum sits on a small island in the Isar River and is the world's largest technology and science museum, perfect for families exploring Munich. There are some 28,000 artefacts on display, with exhibitions dedicated to themes such as energy, transport, natural sciences communications, music instruments and technology, as well as astronomy, chemistry, electricity, hydraulic engineering and astronautics. There is also a section dedicated to children aged three to eight called Kids Kingdom, featuring hundreds of fun, interactive activities such as a playable giant guitar, enormous building blocks and a fire department. The museum is designed to be accessible and entertaining, even for those who aren't necessarily interested in technology and science.

Address Museumsinsel 1, Munich

Website www.deutsches-museum.de

Transport

U-Bahn - Line 1 +2, Fraunhoferstrasse; Bus - Line 132, Boschbrücke

Opens 9am-5pm daily.

Admission

€14 adults; €4.50 students and children

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