Munich is best known for its biergartens and the world-renowned Oktoberfest. But beyond the brimming steins of beer, the city amazes travelers with a medley of opulent churches, Baroque architecture, magnificent museums, enchanting palaces, and awe-inspiring art galleries.
Located in the landlocked state of Bavaria, in southeast Germany, Munich is a big city – third largest in Germany – sans the typical metropolitan rush and exudes a cozy small-town vibe. It is a place where modern and traditional exist in perfect harmony and offer a unique insight into a completely different aspect of German culture.
If you are planning to visit Munich, we’ve put together the ultimate list of 28 things to do in Munich to make the most of your trip. Come and experience this charming Bavarian capital like never before!
Wittelsbach royal family’s former palatial residence, the Munich Residenz, is a much-loved tourist attraction in München. The gates of the Residenz were opened for the public in 1920, and since then the palace has served as a vast museum complex that houses the Crown Jewels, a chapel, the State Collection of Egyptian Art, sublime courtyards, and several other exhibits that pay homage to the prosperous history of Bavaria.
It is nearly impossible to explore this 14th-century Schloss in its entirety in a single visit. Few absolutely unmissable things inside the Residenz would be the Italian Renaissance Grotto Courtyard, Cuvilles Theatre, the Antiquarium, and the Herkulessaal concert hall.
Address: Residenz Strasse 1, 80333 Munich, Germany | Timing: The timings may have changed owing to the pandemic, please check the website https://www.residenz-muenchen.de/englisch/tourist/opening.htm for the latest timings. | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/eocXuHzZcRvEURNu8 | Phone: +4989290671
Widely regarded as one of the best art galleries in the world, Alte Pinakothek (Picture Gallery) is easily one of the top things to do in Munich. Literally translated, Alte means Old, and the exquisite collection of paintings dating back from the thirteenth century to the nineteenth century, do complete justice to the name.
Commissioned by King Ludwig I, the museum boasts of a Neo-Renaissance design that later inspired many art galleries in several other European countries.
Alte Picture Gallery houses over 800 paintings by some of the most prestigious artists of all times such as Peter Paul Rubens, van Dyck, Albrecht Dürer, Titian, Rembrandt, and Leonardo da Vinci to name a few.
Address: Barer Str. 27, 80333 Munich, Germany | Timing: Tuesday – Wednesday: 10:00 am to 08:30 pm, Thursday – Friday: 10:00 am to 06:00 pm, Saturday – Monday: Closed | Google Map Location: https://g.page/alte-pinakothek?share | Phone: +498923805216
English Garden | Englischer Garten
The Englischer Garten is a gargantuan 18th-century urban park and recreation center spread across an area of 370 hectares. Its expansive landscape – bigger than Central Park, New York – consists of rolling hills, impeccably manicured lawns, mangroves of trees, several waterways, and biking trails, and not to mention, many famous biergartens of the city.
Englischer Garten is also home to the famous Chinese Tower, Munich’s second-biggest Biergarten, and a Japanese teahouse. Spend a relaxed day at the park, sipping on your drink or, explore the garden and everything it has to offer by renting a bike or maybe even a rowboat!
Address: Munich, Germany | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/RdL5KJaNyQU8db7Z7 | Phone: +498938666390
New Town Hall | Neues Rathaus
The Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall), is an impressive monument situated at the Marienplatz that is worthy of your time. Built in the famous Neo-Gothic style of the late 19th century, Neues Rathaus offers stunning views of the city and its grand Bavarian landscape from its high tower.
It also serves as the city hall with over 600 employees working in its 400 rooms, many of which are open for the public. It is recommended however to time your visit to the Neues Rathaus so that you can hear the famous Glockenspiel chime and witness the elaborate carousel of dancing automatons enacting historic events from the 17th century.
Address: Marienplatz 8, 80331 Munich, Germany | Timing: 10:00 am to 07:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/YF8EeU7emZL1izB76 | Phone: +498923300
The Marienplatz square, situated in the heart of the Alstadt, is one of the must-see Munich attractions that finds itself on many Munich souvenirs and memorabilia.
Marienplatz is as alive and kicking as it was during the 12th Century when it was home to spectator events and medieval markets. Today, it is bustling with spectacular street performers and several famous eateries. It is also home to the famous Christkindlmarkt where vendors sell all kinds of quirky holiday trinkets during Christmas time.
Its distinct Gothic Revival style of architecture draws millions of visitors every year and it remains the transport hub for the city with many other tourist attractions within walking distance from the square.
Address: Marienplatz, 80331 Munich, Germany | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/N1zLLP7TmY7BYGiJ9
Neue Pinakothek | Neue Pinakothek
King Ludwig I was a connoisseur and an avid collector of the 19th century contemporary arts and paintings and if you too, like him, are an admirer, the Neue Picture Gallery should top your Munich itinerary!
This art gallery is home to around 400 paintings from the nineteenth century including masterpieces from the French Impressionism and German Romanticism movements and features artists such as Friedrich Overbeck, Böcklin, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Courbet, Delacroix, Goya, Van Gogh, and Picasso to name a few.
You can fully immerse yourself in the experience by participating in guided tours, exhibitions, educational sessions, and other special events organized by Neue Picture Gallery regularly.
Address: Barer Str. 29, 80799 Munich, Germany | Timing: The timings may have changed owing to the pandemic, please check the website https://www.pinakothek.de/besuch/neue-pinakothek for the latest timings. | Google Map Location: https://g.page/neue-pinakothek?share | Phone: +498923805195
If you have one day at your disposal and you are wondering about what to do in Munich, the Deutsches Museum is the answer. The Deutsches Museum is dedicated to the awe-inspiring technological growth and development of Germany. The sheer number of exhibits about everything from aerospace to mining, and from nanotechnology to transportation are enough to keep you engrossed for an entire day.
Make sure you spend some time exploring the expansive planetarium or take your little ones to the Kinderrich for fun and interactive lessons in science and technology. The Deutsches Museum has something for everyone!
Address: Museumsinsel 1, 80538 Munich, Germany | Timing: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/uY3V2msqsbLtMP2dA | Phone: +49892179333
St. Peter’s Church | Peterskirche
St. Peter’s is the oldest church in Munich and has witnessed several landmark events in the city’s history. After being destroyed by fire in the mid-14th century, St. Peter’s was reconstructed in a Gothic style. Over the next few centuries, several Baroque and Renaissance elements were added to St. Peter’s architecture.
Inside St. Peter’s, there is a high altar with a golden figure of St. Peter by Erasmus Grasser and a glass coffin with bejeweled remains of St. Munditia. The high tower of St. Peter’s church affords a panoramic view of the city and (on a clear day) the Bavarian Alps in the distance. However, for the breathtaking view from the top of St. Peter’s, you will have to climb 306 steps up a spiral staircase!
Address: Rindermarkt 1, 80331 Munich, Germany | Timing: The timings may have changed owing to the pandemic, please check the website https://alterpeter.de/ for the latest timings. | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/UGte4fFu4AwBsCHy9 | Phone: +4989210237760
The Lenbachhaus museum of contemporary and modern arts is brimming with paintings by legendary expressionists such as Franz Marc, August Macke, Gabriele Münter, and Kandinsky.
Commissioned by and named after Franz von Lenbach, the famous portrait painter, Lenbachhaus boasts of an incredible collection of paintings from the early 20th century. It also features paintings by several Munich-based luminaries including Jan Polack, Georg Desmarées, Carl Anton Joseph Rottmann, and Carl Spitzweg.
Lenbachhaus frequently organizes exhibitions, contemporary arts and dance performances, and other special events throughout the year. They are also involved in a lot of research and art conservation programs.
Address: Luisen Strasse 33, 80333 Munich, Germany | Timing: Tuesday – Sunday: 10:00 am to 06:00 pm, Monday: Closed | Google Map Location: https://g.page/Lenbachhaus-Kunstbau?share | Phone: +498923396933
Pinakothek der Moderne
After the Old and New Picture Galleries, it was only fitting that a third, Pinakothek der Moderne, showcases exhibits relating to the modern art, design, and architecture that developed through the previous century.
The sleek, glass exteriors of the museum actually house four different collections under one roof. The Modern Art Collection features art and artists of the previous century such as Braque, Picasso, and Boccioni, among others. The State Graphic Collection features prints, graphics, and paintings by artists like van Gogh, Dürer, Picasso, Michelangelo, and others.
The Museum of Architecture presents several exhibits related to architecture through the ages and the New Collection focuses on industrial design, graphic design, and applied arts.
Address: Barer Str. 40, 80333 Munich, Germany | Timing: Monday: Closed, Tuesday – Wednesday, Friday – Sunday: 10:00 am to 06:00 pm, Thursday: 10:00 am to 08:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/YvDwqBBAJSExkgJm8 | Phone: +498923805360
The Eisbach River | Eisbachwelle
One of the things you never expect to witness in a landlocked city like Munich is surfers lining up to catch some waves. At the Eisbach river flowing through the English Garden, you will see exactly that!
Eisbachwelle is a one of its kind urban surfing spot that gained popularity during the 1970s when an effort to break the river’s flow resulted in large waves, that are perfect for surfboarding, giving rise to the concept of river surfing.
Watching skilled surfers tackle the standing waves at Eisbachwelle is strangely mesmerizing and hands down, one of the craziest things to see in Munich.
Address: Prinzregenten Strasse, 80538 Munich, Germany | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/8ne2VpKF992eZ5fY7
Asam Church | Asamkirche
While strolling across the Sendlingerstrasse, you will come across an inconspicuous masterpiece wedged between the towering neighboring buildings.
A visit to the Asam Church will instantly send you back in time to the mid-18th century. Name after its designers, the Asam brothers, this tiny church was originally constructed to be a private chapel. The attention to detail in the ceiling frescos and the ornate marble statues in this extravagant Late Baroque architectural marvel is simply mind-blowing.
Address: Sendlinger Str. 32, 80331 Munich, Germany | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/oH6WLws91JQn1apF9 | Phone: +498923687989
Chinese Tower | Biergarten am Chinesischer Turm
When the question is about what to do in Munich, the answer invariably involves multiple steins of beer!
Located in the Englischer Garten, the Chinesischer Turm is one of the city’s most beloved Biergartens. The pagoda-style Chinese Tower is a five-storied wooden structure, which nowadays, is closed for visitors, but on the weekends, live performances by brass bands are held on the first floor.
There are around 7500 odd seats in the form of benches arranged around the tower where you can sit back, relax, and relish your drink in the company of other patrons. You can also indulge in some mouthwatering local and Austrian cuisine at the adjoining restaurant or enjoy traditional Biergarten food offered by the food stalls.
Address: Englischer Garten 3 80538, 80538 Munich, Germany | Timing: The Chinese Tower Biergarten is closed for winter. Visit https://www.chinaturm.de/ for the latest timing. | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/fzs2FpW2PV1xNTXk8 | Phone: +49893838730
Theatine Church | Theatinerkirche
The Theatine church continues to mesmerize the visitors with its distinctive bright yellow façade and elaborately embellished interiors. Commissioned by the royal family in the 17th century, the church was a token of gratitude for the birth of an heir to the throne.
Designed by Agostino Barelli in a High Baroque style, that draws inspiration from the Roman church of Sant’ Andrea della Valle, the church is often called a ‘piece of Italy in Munich’.
In addition to being the resting place for several members of the royal Wittelsbach family, the Theatine church also served as the place of worship for Theatine monks.
Address: Salvatorplatz 2A, 80333 Munich, Germany | Timing: 07:00 am to 08:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/1NQBwC6pwirAXQAX6 | Phone: +49892106960
It is impossible to think of Munich without thinking about the city’s glorious high-tech car industry and what better way to explore that than by visiting the BMW Welt?
BMW Welt (BMW World) is the world’s most iconic car dealership showroom and arguably one of the best Munich Attractions. The building’s extraordinarily futuristic exterior is matched by the sleek glass elevator inside, delivering the BMWs bought by the new owners.
You also get a chance to witness BMW’s latest technological advancements, concept cars, and motorcycles here. After exploring the BMW’s present, head over to the BMW Museum for a lesson in BMW’s exemplary history.
Address: Am Olympiapark 1, 80809 Munich, Germany | Timing: The timings may have changed owing to the pandemic, please check the website https://www.bmw-welt.com/en.html for the latest timings. | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/Lh66BikvWgYM3k7N6 | Phone: +498912501600
Much less crowded than its larger counterpart, English Garden, the West Park is an outdoor recreation center replete with scenic jogging and biking trails and is a fav among the locals.
West Park also features a Thai Temple, a Japanese Garden, and lake Westsee surrounded by rolling meadows and an outdoor amphitheater. During the pleasant summer months, several events such as movie screenings and concerts are held here.
Spend a leisurely day at the park whilst enjoying a BBQ by the lake and of course, downing a few steins at the Biergarten located inside the park!
Address: 81373 Munich, Germany | Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/oz323wtKdGRwAdpS8
Specially built for the Summer Olympics of 1972, the Olympiapark is now on the list of popular Munich attractions. A gigantic recreation center, the Olympiapark is filled with mini golf courses, tennis courts, and skating rings and offers a plethora of activities such as watersports, skiing (during the winters), and ziplining across the Olympic Stadium.
You can choose to explore the stadium on your own or go on a guided tour around the Olympiapark and gain an insight into the workings of the arena, while also experiencing the VIP seating area and an opportunity to play some football yourself and test your goal-scoring skills!
Address: Spiridon-Louis-Ring 21, 80809 Munich, Germany | Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/Pehjscz6MwqTg4G28 | Phone: +498930670
The Neoclassical building of Glyptothek was envisioned to be a “German Athens” by Kind Ludwig I, who among other galleries, commissioned this museum for his extensive collection of Greek and Roman antiquities.
The exhibits at display here span a period of over 1000 years and include sculptures from the Archaic and Classical Greek eras as well as the Hellenistic period and Roman empire.
Built in 1830, Glyptothek is Munich’s oldest museum. The collection here is displayed in an open, laid-back manner rather than in glass vaults, which allows the visitors to get an up-close and personal look at the exhibits.
Address: Königsplatz 3, 80333 Munich, Germany | Timing: The timings may have changed owing to the pandemic, please check the website https://www.antike-am-koenigsplatz.mwn.de/index.php/de/glyptothek for the latest timings. | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/uY6oqjZgLLBJUrPC7 | Phone: +4989286100
Bavarian State Opera | Bayerische Staatsoper Opera House
Attending a live opera is a thrilling experience that you must add to your bucket list!
The Bayerische Staatsoper Opera House holds within its walls over 350 years of opera history and national heritage. Bavarian State Opera showcases more than 30 operas and over 20 ballets every season and the daily schedule of programs also features many recitals and concerts.
And if you are interested in getting a behind-the-scenes glimpse, several tours are also organized every week throughout the whole season.
Address: Max-Joseph-Platz 2, 80539 Munich, Germany | Timing: The timings may have changed owing to the pandemic, please check the website https://www.staatsoper.de/en/index.html for the latest timings and schedule. | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/8SWtszCqhbxdrZvM6 | Phone: +4989218501
Allianz Arena: Home of FC Bayern Munich
No matter if you are a football fan or not, if you are in the city, visiting the Allianz Arena, home of the Bayern Munich football club should be up there on your list of things to do!
It is a massive 75,000-seater state-of-the-art stadium with an illuminating exterior that lights up in the colors of FC Bayern on match days.
But even on non-match-days, the Allianz Arena is worth your while. In an hour-long tour of the stadium, you get access to the player dressing rooms and other parts of the stadium that are otherwise off-limits for the public. After the tour, you can head over to the FC Bayern Museum and learn all about the club’s fascinating and successful history. Definitely, one of the best things to do in Munich.
Address: Werner-Heisenberg-Allee 25, 80939 Munich, Germany | Timing: The timings may have changed owing to the pandemic, please check the website https://allianz-arena.com/en for the latest timings. | Google Map Location: https://g.page/FCBAllianzArena?share | Phone: +498969931222
A trip to Munich without experiencing a state-run beer hall is a trip wasted! It is one of those things that you have to do here.
For a quintessentially German, traditional beer hall experience, head over to Hofbräuhaus. The cradle of tavern culture, Hofbräuhaus is a national treasure that has been serving tourists and regulars for over 500 years now. Personal steins of hundreds of regulars are displayed on the famous walls of Schwemme, which was once the center for brewing.
Fun Fact: At Hofbräuhaus, you pay for beer using their famous tokens – think of it as a currency that is not affected by any fluctuations! How cool is that?
Address: Platzl 9, 80331 Munich, Germany | Timing: 09:30 am to 11:30 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/XAGQMbHbLhqJp9h56 | Phone: +4989290136100
Swim at Müllersches Volksbad
Spending time at a public swimming pool might not sound fun but trust us, you don’t want to miss out on a chance to swim at the historic indoor swimming pool Müllersches Volksbad.
The elaborate baroque elements of design such as classic motifs, fancy lamp holders, and intricate banisters decorating the staircase, walls, the pools themselves, and the sauna make for a very stylish and regal experience. No wonder it is considered a ‘jewel of Art Nouveau architecture’ and has one of the famous Munich attractions since it opened for the public at the dawn of the 20th century.
And if all the swimming makes you hungry, head to the art nouveau café-restaurant owned by Müllersches Volksbad and indulge in some excellent gourmet delicacies.
Address: Rosenheimer Str. 1, 81667 Munich, Germany | Timing: The timings may have changed owing to the pandemic, please check the website https://www.swm.de/baeder/schwimmen-sauna/muellersches-volksbad for the latest timings | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/F6uB2KHAAw1NJ1JV6 | Phone: +498923615050
Drink Beer at Augustiner-Keller
It is pretty evident by now that most fun things to do in Munich have one thing in common – Biergartens!
Augustiner-Keller, München, is an iconic traditional Biergarten, serving indulgent and refreshing beer to its patrons since the better part of the nineteenth century. They also specialize in local German cuisine and serve some of the most lip-smacking food in the city.
If you are visiting during summers, find yourself a cozy seat under a shady tree outside and you’re all set for an evening of merrymaking involving amazing food and even better beer!
(P.S. Beer here is slightly on the pricier side but hey, you cannot put a price tag on epic, right?)
Address: Arnulf Strasse 52, 80335 Munich, Germany | Timing: 10:00 am to 12:00 am | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/XYunguuRWhWj4XU56 | Phone: +4989594393
Victuals Market | Viktualienmarkt
Viktualienmarkt is the city’s oldest and the most favorite farmer’s market. It is a wonderful sensory feast with over 140 booths selling everything from fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers to meat, spices, artisanal bread, cheese, and wine.
Spend a lazy afternoon strolling through the market, sampling, and buying from the abundance of goods at the display, and end your day with a stein (or two!) at the Viktualienmarkt Biergarten.
And if all that strolling around the market works up your appetite, you can indulge in some fresh pretzels and wurst from one of the many food stalls offering a tantalizing variety of delicacies.
Address: Viktualienmarkt 3, 80331 Munich, Germany | Google Maps Location: https://goo.gl/maps/GfVMLFKn334FoCou9 | Phone: +498989068205
Ask any traveler about the best thing to do in Munich, and you will get a unanimous answer – Oktoberfest!
Did you know that approximately, 7.3 million liters of beer were consumed during the Oktoberfest, 2019? No, we’re not making that up, these are the official numbers!
Every autumn, before the bitter winter months take over, more than six million people visit Theresienwiese for a two-week-long festival of merriment with beer on tap and traditional Biergarten food.
Other than the obvious, at the Oktoberfest, you can also enjoy traditional dances and musical performances, attend festive parades and experience thrilling funfair rides (before chugging all those steins, of course).
Address: 80336 Munich, Germany | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/n9UBpASrwNyMZMKbA
One of the Munich attractions that is synonymous with the city’s identity, the 18.5-meter tall, bronze sand-cast figure of Bavaria, the patroness of Bavarian state personifies the glory of Bavaria and presides over the city from Theresienwiese. The bearskin, wielding a sword and oak wreath with a lion by her side, Bavaria is as distinctly German as can be.
Erected in the nineteenth century and made out of bronze entirely, the statue was an engineering marvel of its time. However, King Ludwig I, the commissioner of the statue was not the kind anymore when the statue was finally inaugurated.
Address: Theresienhöhe 16, 80339 Munich, Germany | Timing: The timings may have changed owing to the pandemic, please check the website https://www.muenchen.de/sehenswuerdigkeiten/orte/120453.html for the latest timings. | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/Gi5xTkUNyaZCda949 | Phone: +4989290671
The NS-Dokumentationzentrum is a grim reminder of a dark time in Germany’s history. It documents the history of the Nazi dictatorship and the blatant rise of antisemitism and racism that lead to one of the most horrific genocides in human history.
The museum aims at addressing and acknowledging the ramifications of the past and its manifestation in the present. The several Nazi documents on display here serve to educate the visitors about how it is still relevant and affects our world in more ways than we can comprehend.
(P.S. Prepare to spend a lot more than the intended time here!)
Address: Max-Mannheimer-Platz 1, 80333 Munich, Germany | Timing: Tuesday – Sunday: 10:00 am to 07:00 pm, Monday: Closed | Google Map Location: https://g.page/nsdoku?share | Phone: +498923367000
Nymphenburg Schloss, a national pride, is the summer home to the Wittelsbach royal family. The breathtaking grounds span over 500 acres and are a vision during the full bloom of the summer and spring seasons.
The royal splendor of the lavishly decorated place and several little castles, water canals, and bridges on the palace grounds make for an interesting day excursion.
Inside, the Stone Hall and the Beauty Gallery of King Ludwig I are particularly beautiful and definitely worth your time. While here, don’t miss out on visiting the Marstall, the Erwin von Kreibig and the Porcelain Museum for a peek into the remarkable history of Bavaria’s royalty.
Address: Schloss Nymphenburg 1, 80638 Munich, Germany | Timing: The timings may have changed owing to the pandemic, please check the website https://www.schloss-nymphenburg.de/englisch/tourist/index.htm for the latest timings | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/UaHUhGpbUPoB61Jy9 | Phone: +4989179080
The city epitomizes Bavaria’s heritage and continues to serve as Germany’s cultural capital. Munich is a sophisticated metropolitan that is home to automobile giants such as BMW and at the same time, a relaxed rural town with community beath houses and biergartens. It has an easy charm that makes everybody feel at home.