Hello pretty Munich! It’s hard to believe it took this long until we finally saw you with our own eyes. But when we did, we did it properly. We explored Munich for five days from morning until evening and we can already reveal: This supposedly exclusively chic city surprised us by presenting itself as relaxing and cosy.
In this travel guide we let you in on our personal tips for your city trip to Munich (Germany). How should I spend the perfect weekend in Munich? Which sights and attractions do I need to see? Where is the best viewpoint of Munich? Where should I eat and drink? We have collected together all of our travel tips for you so that you can perfectly prepare for your trip. Let’s go!
1. Munich Travel Guide: Overview of initial travel tips & info
Posh, expensive & boring? Munich is not exactly met with the best clichés. But quite honestly: Apart from the (admittedly) high prices, we experienced Munich to be quite different from this.
Munich is a modern cosmopolitan city and Bavarian village in one. You can sip champagne cocktails on the city’s rooftop bars, and in the first pint is already poured by lunchtime in the beer garden next door. That is the nice thing about Munich: You can have both.
Munich is an astoundingly well-presented city and we felt great here right from the first moment. Some streets remind us very much of Vienna, while other corners exude an almost Italian flair. In short: Munich’s old town is a really enjoyable mix of decorative alleyways and impressive buildings. The centre is so nicely straightforward that you automatically pass by many of the attractions several times.
And it shouldn’t go unmentioned that there is a lot of green space in Munich. For example, at the Olympic Park – in our opinion one of the most beautiful places to watch the sunset. Or the beautiful English Garden. If we lived in Munich, you would definitely find us there quite often.
How many days should I allow for a city trip to Munich?
The good news: Munich is not a large city and the centre is comparatively quite easy to navigate. In one weekend you can see many (but of course not nearly all) of the sights. Two nights (3 days) are enough to experience the main highlights in Munich.
Even so, in our opinion it’s always better to have more time. So, if you want to experience the city in a relaxed manner, then we recommend staying 3 to 4 nights in Munich. Then you can also plan one or two day trips (e.g. to Nymphenburg Palace) and soak in the city even more.
What is the best way to get from A to B in Munich?
On foot: The sights in Munich’s old town, especially, are located so close together that you can easily reach them on foot. We ended up covering most distances on foot.
By bicycle: Munich is a bike city. When the weather is good, half of Munich will jump on their bike. There are many places in the city where you can hire a bicycle. The cost for a day is around 15 euros.
Via public transport: Some destinations (e.g. Nymphenburg Palace or Olympic Park) are located outside of the city, so you’ll need to use public transport. There are numerous subway, tram and bus lines. You can quite easily purchase a ticket from a machine at most of the larger stations. Our tip: We downloaded the app “Münchner-Verkehrsgesellschaft” (MVG) before our trip, which made it easy to navigate from A to B.
2. Sights and Attractions in Munich: Best Things to Do and See
Marienplatz & New Town Hall
The best place to start your stay in Munich is in the heart of the city at Marienplatz (Mary’s Square). Marienplatz is the central square in downtown Munich. There is no way to get around it, so to speak.
Marienplatz features one of the most imposing buildings in Munich, the New Town Hall (the “Neue Rathaus” in German). This magnificent new-gothic building is truly an eye-catcher. The famous glockenspiel can be heard daily at 11am, 12 noon and from March until October at 5pm. Then 32 life-size figures begin to rotate up on the tower of the town hall.
Undoubtedly the best view of the New Town Hall can be enjoyed from “Old Peter”, as the St. Peter’s church is affectionately named. The viewpoint is one of the most well known in all of Munich.
Our tip: Not as spectacular, but definitely an insider tip, is the view from the fourth floor of the department store Ludwig Beck. Here you will find Café Monaco. If you sit at a table at the front, you can enjoy a fantastic view of the town hall.
Hello foodie-dream! This market is one of our favourite spots in Munich. It can be found just a stone’s throw away from Marienplatz and is an absolute paradise for food connoisseurs and gourmet lovers.
At Munich’s Viktualienmarkt you can find fruit, vegetables, cheese, freshly squeezed juices and many regional delicacies. The Viktualienmarkt is open daily, apart from Sundays, from 8am until 10pm at the latest. We recommend stopping by before noon.
Our tips for the Viktualienmarkt stalls
Kaffeerösterei Viktualienmarkt: Caffeine junkie? Then get yourself to the coffee roastery, Kaffeerösterei Viktualienmarkt. The coffee here tastes incredible and can also be made with oat milk if you like.
Caspar Plautz: You can find delicious, and sometimes somewhat extravagant baked potatoes here at Caspar Plautz. The perfect place for a midday snack!
Karnoll: Here they make what are supposedly the best pretzels in all of Munich. We cannot verify this, but they were definitely very tasty.
Would you like a decent portion of posh and pomp? Then you can’t go past the Munich Residenz (residence). From the outside it is hard to imagine the wonderfully imposing rooms that are contained inside the Residenz.
The Residenz is divided into multiple areas, which can be viewed separately from one another. First of all, there is the Munich Residence Museum where you can wander through the approximately 130 living rooms, bedrooms, and banquet rooms of the Bavarian rulers of the time.
The oldest preserved room in the Munich Residenz is also one of the most impressive: the so-called Antiquarium. This magnificent renaissance hall awaits you right at the start of your tour.
Aside from the Residence Museum, the Residenz also houses the treasury (with around 1,500 exhibits) and the Cuvilliés Theater. We ourselves decided to ‘only’ visit the Residence Museum and found that to be more than enough in terms of time. We would recommend you allow at least two hours. Audio guides are provided free of charge.
Directly behind the Munich Residenz you come to the adjoining Hofgarten (court garden). In case you want to take a break from sightseeing after visiting the Residenz: The Hofgarten is the place for you! You should definitely take a stroll through this baroque park on your visit to Munich.
The photogenic Hofgarten Temple is throned in the centre of the garden, also called the Dianatemple (Diana Temple) in the traditional language. But we also really liked the beautifully landscaped flower beds. Our conclusion: A wonderful, green oasis which is pleasantly calm and contemplative.
Munich or Italy? When leaving the Hofgarten through the west entrance, you will reach the large square, Odeonsplatz. And believe us: Thanks to the roman-inspired architecture, you could almost believe you’ve landed in bella Italia.
The first thing that stands out at Odeonsplatz is the Feldherrnhalle (Field Marshal’s Hall) with its iconic three round arches and two lions. Directly beside it is the Theatinerkirche, a church in Italian late baroque style, which is also worth seeing from inside. You can experience the “dolce vita” very comfortably from the gardens of the many cafés and restaurants at Odeonsplatz. Almost like in Italy – we say yes.
Wow, what an oasis! The English Garden is the pinnacle of all the green spaces in the centre of Munich, so to speak. It is remarkably large – or more precisely, one of the largest city parks in the world. When the weather is good, half of Munich gathers in the English Garden.
One of the most well-known spots in the English Garden (and also one of our favourite spots) is the so-called Monopteros, a Greek-style temple. From here you have a beautiful panorama view and can also see the peaks of some buildings in Munich’s old town rising up in the distance. It is especially beautiful here late in the afternoon when the sinking sun slowly bathes the greenery in a magical light.
The Chinese Tower is another popular destination. It is not so much the tower that attracts people here but more so the beer garden right beside it. The beer garden next to the Chinese Tower is the largest in the English Garden and the second largest in all of Munich.
A surf wave in the middle of Munich? Sounds strange, but it’s true. The Eisbach wave at the southern end of the English Garden is surfed year-round. We can promise you one thing: When you start watching the surfers on the Eisbach wave, it’s hard to stop. What a spectacle!
If you want to stop by, then we recommend taking a visit to Fräulein Grüneis near the Eisbach wave. This converted toilet block is one of the most popular meeting points in all of Munich. At lunchtime they serve various dishes of the day, with snacks and cake in between times. Highly recommend!
Once the summer residence of the Bavarian rulers – today it is probably Munich’s most beautiful palace outside of the city centre. What Schönbrunn Palace is in Vienna, the Nymphenburg Palace is in Munich. Or to put it another way: Anyone who wants to see the classic sights of Munich should definitely pay a visit to Nymphenburg Palace.
Nymphenburg Palace is located west of Munich about half an hour away from the city centre via public transport. It is surrounded by a gigantic, beautifully landscaped palace park. Water canals, romantic pathways, smaller hidden castles in the park – you almost need to spend an entire day here just to admire the palace park in all its magnificence.
You can also take a tour of the palace itself – we ourselves ‘only’ explored the palace park due to time. Our tip: It is particularly beautiful here at sunset when the setting sun bathes the palace in a beautiful light.
Hip, urban and somewhat different – welcome to Werksviertel-Mitte. Nearby Munich’s eastern train station you will find what is probably the most exciting urban development project in all of Munich.
Here in this precinct where Pfanni potato dumplings were once produced, you will now find an interesting mix of loft offices, studios, apartments, restaurants, bars and loads of street art. Quite strangely: The Werksviertel also has a flock of sheep that graze on the rooftop of plant no. 3. You can catch sight of the sheep when you take a ride on the ferris wheel (called “Umadum”).
The Olympic Park & Olympiaberg
In the Olympic Park you can find one of the (in our opinion) most beautiful sunset-spots, more precisely at the ‘peak’ of Olympiaberg. In case you are now thinking about the Olympic games, then you are spot on. It is here where the Olympic games took place in 1972.
The highest point in the Olympic Park is Olympiaberg. From up here you have one of the loveliest panorama views over the Olympic village with Lake Olympia in the foreground. When the weather is good, many Munich locals gather up here in the late afternoon to admire the sunset. Add a drink and a picnic blanket that you brought with you – there is hardly a more relaxed day to round off a day in Munich.
You can walk to Olympiaberg in around 20 minutes from the nearest underground station, Olympiazentrum. Don’t worry: The walk up is not so significant.
Our tip: If you are already in the area, then we recommend you also visit the Olympic Tower beforehand. From this viewing platform you can enjoy a fabulous 360-degree view. We let you know more about this viewpoint further down in this travel guide.
Munich beer garden
What was that, a beer garden as an attraction? Let’s put it this way: There is hardly any city other than Munich where we would let that be so. However, the Munich’s beer garden is world famous. If you’re a guest in Munich, you aren’t allowed to leave without having visited the beer garden. Unwritten rule.
There are more beer gardens Munich than you could ever visit. And it feels as though every Munich local has her or his favourite. Therefore, we have put together an overview of the most talked about recommendations and tips for you:
Augustiner-Keller on Arnulfstraße: Just a stone’s throw away from the Hauptbahnhof (the main train station) you will come to this large beer garden. Here you are comfortably seated at a large wooden table under chestnut trees. There is a table service and a self-service area. We really enjoyed the food here!
Hofbräukeller at Wiener Platz: This beer garden is part of the legendary Hofbräuhaus, but is located a little outside of the old town at Wiener Platz. You also sit under chestnut trees here. Just as highly recommended!
Biergarten at the Chinese Tower: This beer garden is the second largest in Munich. It draws in many tourists, but the locals also spend their lunchtimes here or come by after work.
3. Munich from above: Tips for lovely Viewpoints
Here we go with a superlative. The Olympic Tower is by far the highest building in Munich. It stretches almost 300 metres into the sky. An elevator brings you up to the top within 30 seconds. Anyone who wants to view Munich from the birds-eye-view is in the right place here.
Small downside: The TV Tower is located in the Olympic Park, so it’s outside of the city centre. Therefore, downtown Munich and its iconic buildings are only viewable from a distance. However, you do have a distant view of the alps. We can imagine that you could capture fantastic images with the appropriate lens.
The most beautiful and easily most spectacular viewing platform is also the highest at 192 metres. Here they don’t have an annoying fence or glass window, so you can enjoy the view completely uninterrupted – wow! The trip up currently costs (in March 2022) 11 euros per person.
Rooftop Bar in Mandarin Oriental
WOW! We aren’t lying when we say that the view of Munich from the rooftop of Mandarin Oriental went above and beyond our expectations. If you are searching for the perfect sunset spot in downtown Munich: it’s here!
The rooftop bar called “Mahjong Roof Garden” is located up in the air on the rooftop terrace of the luxury hotel, Mandarin Oriental. From up here you can enjoy a sensational view out in all directions.
The ambience is stylish but less posh than thought. The cocktails taste double as goof between the palms, lounge chairs and the rooftop pool. However, the prices are (as you would expect) high (a cocktails costs a good 15 euros), but you can happily lay a little more money down for such a great experience.
Our tip: We definitely recommend making a reservation. The bar is particularly popular at sunset (and rightfully so).
Rooftop Bar in Hotel Bayerischer Hof
Would you like to have a drink with a spectacular view of the Frauenkirche? Then perhaps the rooftop bar “Blue Spa” on the roof of the luxury hotel, the Bayerischer Hof, is something for you.
The ambience is exclusive – definitely not something for ever day but you can let yourself indulge in the luxury of a drink. The service is very courteous. Even though we didn’t have a reservation, with some luck we still managed to get a nice spot. But it is best to book at table in advance.
Café in the Vorhölzer Forum on the TU roof
Easily the most relaxing rooftop bar on our list is located on the roof of the Technical University, more precisely in the so-called Vorhölzer Forum. The adjoining café is quite an insider tip. Most of the people there are students who spend their study breaks here.
The view is not as spectacular as the other rooftop bars (the inner city is quite far away) but the ambience is very casual and relaxing. Ideal for a relaxing beer at the end of the day!
Our tip: The café is rather hidden and the way there is hardly signposted. It is best to take the elevator to the top floor and ask around when you get there.
Additional great viewpoints in Munich
Two very famous viewpoints in Munich were unfortunately closed when we visited. But because they belong on the Munich list, we don’t want to leave them unmentioned. We’ll be saving them for next time!
Old Peter: From St. Peter’s church tower – affectionately called “Old Peter” by the locals – you can enjoy a fabulous view of the New Town Hall and the Frauenkirche. There is barely any other view in Munich that is more iconic than this one.
Town Hall Tower: The view from the town hall tower is said to be just as magnificent. Here you get a view out in all directions from a height of 85 metres.
4. Eating & drinking: Tips for cafés and restaurants in Munich
Vegan & sustainable in Munich
Emmi’s Kitchen: What a likeable eatery! In Emmi’s Kitchen they serve various breakfast and lunch foods such as bowls, burgers and cakes – all vegan and all delicious! They now have two branches: We visited the eatery in the Glockenbach district. The beautiful green inner courtyard is an oasis – highly recommend!
Soy Vegan: Vietnamese and also vegan? You don’t need to tell us twice. The fried glass noodles were outstanding. Romeo’s curry could have done with a little more seasoning. But altogether definitely worth a visit. We also loved their stylish ambience.
Max Pett: Probably the most well-known vegan restaurant in all of Munich didn’t have us completely convinced, personally. (In our opinion, we could have got a lot more out of both of our dishes.) Nevertheless, we can recommend it. It’s very nice to sit in the garden in front of the restaurant. The atmosphere inside was not for us.
Über den Tellerrand: Very highly recommend! This hidden gem is jointly run by refugees and locals. The menu includes three prices: a low one for those in need, a middle price that covers costs and a generous one that includes a donation. Aside from us finding that to be a brilliant concept, we also found their food to be excellent.
Traditional Bavarian food in Munich
Xaver’s: Looking for a creative tavern with a rustic-modern atmosphere? Then we can highly recommend Xaver’s to you. They serve fantastic käsespätzle here. They also have vegan meals on request. Add a good beer and extremely courteous staff on top of that – what more could you want?
Augustiner-Keller: There are just as many beer gardens in Munich as there is sand on the beach. One of the most popular is Augustiner-Keller, close to the main train station. Here you are seated under the chestnut trees. Highly recommend!
Hip cafés & bars in Munich
Man versus Machine: Caffeine junkie? Then you should swing by one of the two branches of the hipster café, Man Versus Machine. Here they serve fantastic coffee specials – also with oat milk when you wish. Yummy!
Gans Woanders: It looks like an enchanted witch’s house, but it’s one of the most hip and greatest spots in all of Munich. In Gans Woanders families meet for an afternoon coffee, couples meet on dates and friends meet for catch-ups. The atmosphere is casual, relaxed and cosy – almost like home.
Alte Utting: A bar located on a ship on an old railway bridge? Sounds strange, but it’s true. The Alte Utting is one of the most popular meeting points for locals. An unusual location on the outskirts of downtown.
5. Our Hotel Tip for Munich
Are you searching for suitable accommodation for your city trip to Munich? Then we have a special tip for you. We stayed at a lovely 25hours hotel The Royal Bavarian, which we can highly recommend.
This hip boutique hotel is easily one of the hippest in all of Munich. The design is youthful, creative and rather quirky – just out taste! Our room (category “extra-large”) was relaxingly large and extremely comfortably furnished. The beds are a dream: so relaxing!
The breakfast is fantastic! It is served within the restaurant NENI, which belongs to the hotel and is also definitely worth a visit in the evening. No wish is left unfulfilled at breakfast. We really celebrated every morning.
The only downfall in our opinion is also a positive at the same time: The hotel is located within walking distance of the main train station – perfect for anyone arriving by train. Because of this, the hotel is situated at a large intersection and the traffic (especially the trams) can be softly heard in some rooms. It didn’t bother us personally. It also means that you have great public transport connections and you can reach the city centre (Marianplatz) on foot in around 15 minutes.
Our conclusion: Great atmosphere, comfortable rooms and exceptional design – simply a great feeling! Not to mention, the staff are extremely accommodating. We wouldn’t hesitate for a second and stay here again anytime.
You can book the hotel here: 25hours hotel The Royal Bavarian
Disclaimer: Advertisement & Affiliate Links
This travel guide was created in cooperation with the German National Tourism Board, Munich Tourism and Woman Magazine. Many thanks for the great trip to Munich! This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we receive a small commission. This does not change the price for you at all. A million thanks from the both of us!
Now tell us: Have you already been to Munich? How did you like the city? Do you have some more recommendations you would like to share? We look forward to hearing your recommendations and additional tips!