So you’ve made it to Munich, and you have just a couple of days to see it all. Here are my top suggestions of things to do:
Like many cities, Munich is much more exciting when the weather is nice, so most of my suggestions are weather dependent. But if you are looking for things to do in rainy or cold weather, here are some suggestions.
But let’s just assume the weather is good 🙂
- English Garden (Englischer Garten)- is not so much a “garden” as a park, one that is bigger than Central Park and very beautiful. There are several nice biergartens, including a fairly famous one at the Chinese Tour (Chinischer Tur bus stop). The beer is a little pricier here, but if it’s sunny I highly suggest enjoying a half liter or two in the garden. If you feel up to it, you can rent bikes from a place like Mike’s Bikes and bike through the garden. Make sure to stop by the Eisbach to see the surfers, who are pretty much always there (even when it snows).
- Sandemans free walking tour- I’ve done this tour twice and both times I learned a lot of interesting things about the city. They take you on a nice walk through the highlights of downtown and cover a lot of history. The tour runs twice a day from the city center.
- Neues Rathaus /Glockenspiel- one of the most overrated tourist attractions in the world, BUT the building that housing the glockenspiel is beautiful and right in the center of town, so you can’t miss it.
- Viktaulienmarkt– a 5 minute walk from the Glockenspiel is the beautiful little market complete with a small biergarten. Sample some fresh pretzels, grab a sausage (wurst), and a radler. A radler is a mixture of helles (a light bier) and lemonade. It sounds strange, but it’s delicious and refreshing. While there, I also suggest this small chocolate shop- they have the best hot chocolate– you can either buy it there to put in hot milk or bring home blocks of it to make yourself next time cold weather strikes.
- Local bierhalls- I would suggest the Augustiner Keller, Lowenbrau Keller or Weisses-brauhaus. Augustiner Keller has a nice outdoor area, as does Lowenbrau. Lowenbrau also has an impressive 2-story indoor hall. Weisses is good because it has a very large bier menu and is right downtown next to Marienplatz, but it is not a (total) tourist trap like some of the other places around.
- The Isar- is the river that runs through Munich. If you rent a bike you can easily bike along it for miles, or just get off a the Sbahn stop “Isator” and walk alongside it in either direction. Drinking in public is allowed in Munich, so stop along the way and grab a cold bier or a radler to enjoy.
- Gärtnerplatz– is a beautiful area located near Viktaulienmarkt. There are some great restaurants and cafes nearby, and the platz is normally covered in flowers.
- Schloss Nymphenburg– is a palace located a 15-20 minute tram ride from downtown (tram 16 or 17). There are paid tours of the inside, but I would suggest just walking around the beautiful gardens and photographing the impressive exterior. There are several cafes and gelato shops close by where you can grab a snack to bring with you on the grounds.
- Hirschgarten– if you’re already heading to or from Schloss Nymphenberg then you are close to Hirschgarten, which is said to be the world’s largest biergarten. The garden itself is nice, though nothing mind-blowing. However, the biergarten part is fairly impressive and you’re sure to get the local experience- not many tourists venture out there, even though it isn’t far from downtown. If you really want to look like a local stop at a local grocery store or café and grab some snacks. In Bavaria you’re allowed to bring your own food to biergartens as long as you buy the drinks there.
- Olympiapark– home of the 1972 Sumer Olympics, it is a beautiful area to wander around. You can take a look at the funky painted bungalows (I used to live in one) or make your way up to the top of the Olympic Tower for a great view of Munich or even a delicious meal, if you want to shell out the money (it’s a Michelin star restaurant).
- For places to eat (besides the bier halles mentioned), check out my posts on Munich restaurants.
P.S. Even if it is warm and sunny, bring a light jacket or umbrella with you because there is always a good chance the weather will change quickly.