28 Best things to do in Munich, Germany

Munich is the capital and largest city of the state of Bavaria in Germany, situated along the River Isar, 50 km from Bavarian Alps, in southern Germany. Munich is also Germany’s third largest city, after Berlin and Hamburg.  

Some of the best things to do in Munich is attending the annual Oktoberfest, visiting the city’s famous tourist landmarks such as Frauenkirche and Nymphenburg Palace, trying local food and beer, and enjoying the outdoor activities in the surrounding Bavarian Alps.

Munich is best known for its world-famous Oktoberfest celebration, a large beer festival that takes place every year. You can also enjoy its thriving beer culture at the city’s many beer gardens & halls including Hofbräuhaus and Augustiner Keller.

Munich is also famous for its historic and cultural attractions such as the Church of Our Lady, Pinakothek art museums, Nymphenburg Palace, BMW Museum, National Theater, and Bavarian State Opera.

You can try traditional Bavarian cuisine such as roast pork with dumplings and sauerkraut, and Bavarian pretzels at the Viktualienmarkt or local restaurants.

Munich is home to FC Bayern Munich and TSV 1860 Munich, which are the two of most successful football clubs in Germany. The city has a strong football culture and is home to the Allianz Arena, one of the largest and most modern football stadiums in Europe.

Due to its proximity to the Bavarian Alps, Munich also offers good outdoor activities. In the winter, the city also offers opportunities for skiing and ice skating.

Munich is the major European air hub, with many international and national flights. The city is also very accessible by rail with rail lines and six autobahns.

Map of Best Areas & Neighborhoods in Munich
Map of Best Areas & Neighborhoods in Munich

28 Best things to do in Munich, Germany

1. Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is one of the best things to do in Munich because it is the world’s largest beer festival with millions of people attending each year. 

This beer festival celebrates Bavarian culture with traditional German food, beer, and entertainment such as live music, carnival rides, and games.

Oktoberfest  has been held annually since 1810, from late September to early October, and lasts for 16 days.  The festival originally started as a royal wedding celebration for the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen. 

The festivities have horse races, which have been a part of the event ever since. In the following years, the festival grew in size and popularity, eventually becoming the massive event it is today.

Oktoberfest is held in Theresienwiese, on the largest fairground in Munich, which is also the location of the Spring Festival or the Winter Tollwood. Theresienwiese is located very close to Hauptbahnhof, the central railway station of Munich.

During the festival, you can find beer halls and tents, where you can try numerous beers including the famous Munich Oktoberfest beer, which is only brewed for the festival.

There are traditional Bavarian clothes to buy and wear, as well as traditional dishes to try such as sausages, roast chicken, roast pork, and pretzels. 

See more: Where to stay in Munich for Oktoberfest

2. Alte Pinakothek 

Alte Pinakothek is one of the best things to do and see in Munich because it is one of the popular art museums of Munich. 

Situated in the Kunstareal area, Alte (Old) Pinakothek has a collection of European paintings from the  fourteenth to the eighteenth century by famous artists such as Jan van Eyck, Leonardo Da Vinci, Albrecht Dürer,  Rembrandt, and Botticelli. 

Alte Pinakothe was built in 1826 in the order of King Ludwig I of Bavaria. It was closed during World War II. The Alte Pinakothek building was fixed by Hans Döllgast after damage from the World War II bombings.

In addition to the permanent exhibitions, the museum also hosts numerous temporary exhibitions of art throughout the year. 

You can explore the museum by yourself or take a guided tour of this Munich art gallery.

3. Munich Residenz

The Munich Residenz (Residence) is the largest city palace in Germany. It was the official residence and government seat of the Wittelsbach family, the ruler of Bavaria, from 1508 to 1918.

Munich Residenz was built in 1385 as a fortress, and was extended by the monarchs over the years. Munich Residence has several buildings, including the Alte Residenz, Neue Residenz, and the Feast Saalbau, that host a Treasury, an Antiquarium, and a Cuvilliés Theatre.

Much of the building was reconstructed after the damage in World War II. 

The Residenz is open as a museum showcasing the history of Bavaria and the Wittelsbach family. You can view sculptures and fountains, antiques collections, and its interiors.

4.  New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus)

Neues Rathaus is one the best things to see in Munich because it is one of the most impressive buildings located on the Marienplatz, in the heart of Munich. 

This neo-Gothic brick and stone building was built between 1867 and 1905 because the Old Town Hall was too small for the city council.

The New Town Hall is home to the  observation tower, providing stunning views of the city from its hall tower, as well as the glockenspiel and the exterior shows the history of the city.

The hall’s large clock tower features a famous mechanical clock with 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures that perform a traditional dance at 11:00 am and 12:00 pm daily.

Neues Rathaus’ balcony is a popular place for sports teams such as FC Bayern,  TSV 1860, FCB women’s team, to celebrate winning a title, attracting thousands of fans to cheer for the team. 

5. Englischer Garten (English Garden)

The Englischer Garten is the largest park in Munich, even larger than the Central Park in New York. The park is a popular place for walking, cycling, picnicking, and surfing. 

The English Garden covers 375 hectares of land, spanning from the Old Town to the northeast along the west shore of the river Isar. The park has several beer gardens, the Monopteros, Chinese temple, and Japanese teahouse.

The park hosts several festivals and events throughout the year including the July Kocherlball and Japanfest and the December Christkindlmarkt at the Chinese Tower.

You can enjoy the panoramic view from Monopteros Greek style temple, take a look at the 18th century Chinese Tower pagoda and Rumfordschlössl, or visit the Japanese Tea House on an artificial island in the Schwabinger Bach river.  

There are numerous beer gardens in the area such as Zum Aumeister in the northern area of the English Garden, Seehaus on the banks of the Kleinhesseloher Lake, and  Hirschau with a golf course.

6. Neue Pinakothek

Neue Pinakothek is a part of the Kunstareal, or Art District, which is also home to thee Alte Pinakothek, Pinakothek der Moderne, Sammlung Schack, Schack Galerie, and Brandhorst Museum.

While the Alte Pinakothek displays the artworks from the 14th century to the 18th century, the Neue Pinakothek shows the works of the famous painters from Europe of the 18th and 19th century such as Francisco Goya, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Vincent van Gogh.

Neue (New) Pinakothek was established in 1853 by King Ludwig I of Bavaria as a home of the Royal Bavarian collection. There are European fine art paintings and sculptures with Neoclassical art, Romanticism, French Impressionism, and 19th century Realism.

The building was destroyed during World War II and moved to a new building designed by Alexander Freiherr von Branca.

7. Marienplatz Square 

Munich’s Marienplatz, or St. Mary’s Square is a famous square in Munich and a popular meeting point for locals and tourists in the heart of the old town. 

The square is named after the Mariensäule, a Marian column in its center, celebrating the Virgin Mary. 

Marienplatz was built in the 12th century by Henry the Lion, Duke of Bavaria as a home of medieval markets, celebrations, and tournaments.

Marienplatz Square is surrounded by important landmarks such as the New Town Hall,  Old Town Hall, Mariensaule, the column of St. Mary. 

The square is also surrounded by restaurants,  beer gardens, and cafes such as Ratskeller restaurant serving Bavarian classics, as well as the farmer market near Viktualienmarkt selling fresh goods.

8. Saint Peter’s Church (Peterskirche)

Saint Peter’s Church, known as Alter Peter by locals, is one of the best things to see in Munich because it is one of the oldest parish churches and important symbols of Munich. 

Peterskirche is located in the city center, between Marienplatz and Viktualienmarkt. The church has a beautiful interior, with ornate frescoes,  paintings by Johann Baptist Zimmerman, and 15th-century Erasmus Grasser’s sculpture.

You can climb up to the viewing platform of the towers and admire the sweeping views of the city, and the attractions below it.

9. Deutsche Museum (German Museum) 

The Deutsche Museum is one of  the world’s largest science and technology museums. It is located on an island in the River Isar, within a 15 minutes walk from Marienplatz in the heart of the Old Town.

It was founded in 1903 and has over 28,000 exhibits on a range of topics such as agriculture, food technology, astronomy, telecommunications, timekeeping, chemistry, photography, aerospace, and oceanography.

10. Pinakothek der Moderne

Pinakothek der Moderne is one of the best things to do in Munich for history and art lovers. While the Alte or Old Pinakothek concentrates on Old Masters, the Modern Pinakothek focuses on 20th century art with artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Max Erns.

The Pinakothek der Moderne is a massive space, covering more than 12,000 square meters, with four independent museums include:

  • The Architekturmuseum (Architecture Museum) 
  • The Sammlung Moderne Kunst (Modern Art Collection)
  • In the Graphik-Sammlung (Graphic Collection) 
  • The Neue Sammlung (New Collection)

The Pinakothek der Moderne offers guided tours, art workshops, exhibitions, and a free programs for children

11. Lenbachhaus

The Lenbachhaus is a contemporary art museum, was completed in 1891as a residence for the painter Franz von Lenbach. 

Lenbachhaus is home to the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, which shows a collection of  paintings by Blaue Reiter, the world-famous Munich artist group.

You can find works of famous artists such as Alexei Jawlensky, Wallisky Kandinsky, Gabriele Münter, Paul Klee, and  Franz Marc.

The building was designed in the Florentine style. The Lenbachhaus also hosts temporary exhibitions and special events throughout the year. 

You can find a garden with a large fountain, a cafe, benches and chairs in its surroundings. Lenbachhaus is easy to reach by public transport. It is only a short walk from the main railway station.

12. Asam Brothers’ Church (St. John Nepomuk Church)

Asam Brothers’ Church is located in Sendlinger Straße, in the middle of the pedestrian zone, in the city center.  It is a private church dedicated to St. John of Nepomuk. 

St. John Nepomuk Church was designed by the Asam brothersCosmas Damian and Egid Quirin, who were prominent German architects, sculptors, and painters. 

The church has a Rococo masterpiece outside and a Bavarian Baroque style inside with gold leaf, marble, and ornate carvings.

13. Church Of Our Lady (Frauenkirche)

The Munich Cathedral of Our Lady, also known as Frauenkirche in German,  is one of the best things to do and see in Munich because the church and its two towers are the landmarks of Munich, offering views over the city and the surrounding Alps.

The Frauenkirche was built in the 15th century in a Gothic style. It was reconstructed in the 1950s after destruction during World War II.

The most famous two towers are visible from many parts of the city. You can find the south tower, which is open to visitors to climb up, as well as the bishop’s crypt and Wittelsbach Monument.

14. Theatiner Church (St. Kajetan) 

Theatiner Church is an impressive  bright yellow color church, located on Odeonsplatz, close to Residenz and Feldherrnhalle, in the city center. 

Theatiner Church has history dating back to 1663, when the court and monastery church of St. Kajetan was built in the Italian high-Baroque style by the architect Agostino Barelli.

15. Bavarian National Museum

If you are interested in the history of Bavarian art, culture and history , you can visit the Bavarian National Museum.

The museum shows regional and European paintings, sculptures, handicrafts, weapons. The exhibition has plenty of epochs like Renaissance, Gothic, Romanesque. 

The museum is located in the Prinzregentenstrasse, close to the Englischer Garten.The entrance administration is 4-7 euro for adults and free for children.

16. BMW Museum

If you are fans of BMW, you can visit the BMW Museum to learn about its history and the Bayerische Motoren Werke, a world-renowned German automotive company.

The BMW Museum is set in an unusual circular building, close to the headquarters of the BMW Group, and has been open to the public from May 1973.

The museum has a permanent exhibition which shows the engines, turbines, automobiles of the company. In addition, there are temporary exhibitions devoted to specific themes.

You can take a private guided tour to have a deep understanding about the past, present and future of the BMW Group. BMW Museum is a must-see for car lovers.

17. BMW Welt

BMW Welt is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the Bavaria region, located within walking distance from the BMW Museum, connected to each other by a pedestrian bridge. 

BMW Welt is located in a futuristic glass-and-steel building in front of Olympiapark. BMW Welt shows the latest models of the BMW group and provides driving experiences.

It is also a great place to visit with your children as it has a Junior Campus, where kids can learn about engineering and design the car.

There are also plenty of restaurants and bars which is a great place to take a break while visiting the BMW Welt.

18. Glyptothek

Glyptothek is a museum of ancient sculpture and it is the only museum of its kind in the world. It is located in a 19th century Neoclassical building, in the Kunstareal art district.

Glyptothek was built between 1816 and 1830 as a place to keep a collection of Ancient Greek and Roman sculptures of King Ludwig I of Bavaria.

The museum has sculptures from Hellenistic period, Roman period, Archaic Greek period, Classical Greek period like Munich Kouros from Archaic Greece and the Barberini Faun.

19. Olympic Park (Olympiapark)

Olympic Park is 85 ha park, located North of Munich, in Milbertshofen-Am Hart district. The park was built for the 1972 Summer Olympic, and now the location of numerous concerts, festivals, and sporting events.

Olympic Park is a great place to relax, or to do sports with many sports facilities, such as a cycling track, a soccer stadium, and an indoor arena. The park also has gardens, restaurants, and cafes.

You can find the Olympic Stadium, which is the world-famous tent roof by architect Frei Otto. It was the  place for the 1972 Summer Olympics’ opening and closing ceremonies, as well as the venue for FC Bayern and TSV 1860 München.

You can visit the Olympic Tower and its observation deck and enjoy stunning views of the city.

20. Allianz Arena

Allianz Arena is Germany’s second-biggest arena after Westfalenstadion. It is the home stadium of two German Bundesliga clubs, Bayern Munich and TSV 1860 Munich. 

The soccer stadium was built to replace the Munich Olympics in 1972, and designed by Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron of Basel. The stadium is beautifully illuminated at night.

Allianz Arena provides a 75-minute guided tour to learn about the stadium. You can watch a film about the construction, visit the dressing rooms of players, among others.

21. Munich National Theatre

Munich National Theatre was the largest theater in Germany at the time it was built. It was rebuilt in 1823/25 after being burnt down in 1823 and the destruction in the Second World War.

There is a statue of Max Joseph I, the Opera’s builder, on the forecourt and several paintings of famous singers and conductors in its corridor.

Munich National Theatre houses the Opera, Orchestra, Ballet of Bavarian State. If you are interested in watching a performance, Munich National Theatre is a must-see.

22. Müller’sches Volksbad (Mueller City Baths)

Müller’sches Volksbad is Munich ’s oldest public indoor swimming pool. It is located in the Au-Haidhausen neighborhood, close to the Ludwig Bridge.

The bath house was designed by the architect Gabriel von Seidl, and built between 1907 and 1909.

The baroque architecture Müller’sches Volksbad has two pools, one warm and one cold. There is an Irish-Roman sweat sauna, as well as a Finnish sauna with a steam bath and cascade fountain in the bath.

23. Hofbräuhaus Brewery 

Hofbräuhaus Brewery is the most popular beer hall in Munich, famous for its Bavarian beer, with a history dating back to 1589. Hofbräuhaus Brewer attracts lots of visitors, especially during the Oktoberfest celebration.

Hofbräuhaus Brewery was founded in 1589 by Duke Wilhelm V of Bavaria. You can try traditional Bavarian food, live music, and beer at this beer restaurant.

24. Victuals Market (Viktualienmarkt)

Viktualienmarkt is a unique market located in the city center that offers fresh fruits and vegetables, and food. Visiting the Viktualienmarkt is a great easy way to experience local daily life, to see local shops and samples of local cuisine.

Viktualienmarkt  was founded in 1807 by King Maximillian, making it Munich’s oldest farmer’s market. You can find souvenirs, and see the Maypole, statues and fountains in the market. 

Viktualienmarkt is located close to the Marienplatz, and easy to reach by public transport.

25. Hellabrunn Zoo

Hellabrunn Zoo is one of the best things to do in Munich for families and children with more than 750 exotic and species from all over the world.

You can find lions, bears, gorillas, chimpanzees, elephants, and plenty of  birds, reptiles. 

Hellabrunn Zoo is known for its focus on conservation and education, with  events and programs to help visitors learn more about animals and the natural world

Hellabrunn Zoo can be reached by U-Bahn (subway) line U3 and bus no. 52.

26. Beer Garden

There are many bee gardens in Munich, which are popular attractions for both locals and tourists. It is an outdoor place with a garden setting and serves beer. 

You can enjoy a cold beer and traditional Bavarian food while soaking up the local culture.

If you are looking for the beer gardens in Munich, look into the Hofbräuhaus, the Augustiner Keller, and the Hirschgarten.

27. Nymphenburg Palace

Nymphenburg Palace, or Schloss Nymphenburg, is one of Munich’s top sights, located in the west of the city. 

It is a stunning Baroque palace which was the birthplace and childhood home of King Ludwig II of Bavaria and served as the summer residence of the Wittelsbach monarchs of Bavaria. 

The palace was built in the mid-17th century, surrounded by beautiful gardens,  with several renovations and extensions throughout centuries.

Their area has museums,  huge fountains, and you can take a gondola ride through the palace grounds in summer. You can also explore small castles and palaces, canals, bridges in its park.

You can take guided tours to explore the opulent rooms and marvel at the stunning artwork and architecture.

28. Odeonsplatz Square

Odeonsplatz is a square located in the city center, the north of Munich’s Altstadt. The square is named after the Odeon, a classical concert hall that was built there in the early 19th century. 

The square is also home to several other important buildings, such as the Feldherrnhalle, a monument that honors Bavarian military leaders, and the Theatinerkirche, a Baroque church.

The Odeon also  hosts many concerts, operas, and other cultural events.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Munich famously known for?

Munich is famously known for the Oktoberfest, the largest beer celebration in the world. It is also known for being home to the BMW automobile company, as well as many cultural attractions such as the  Frauenkirche cathedral, Nymphenburg Palace, and Alte Pinakothek. The city also offers great outdoor activities such as hiking and skiing due to its proximity to the Bavarian Alps.

Is Munich worth visiting?

Munich is well worth a visit because it has a rich cultural history, beautiful architecture, and a vibrant arts scene. It offers something for everyone, from world-class museums and galleries to lively beer halls and gardens, and outdoor activities.

Is 2 days in Munich enough?

Two days in Munich may be enough to get a taste of the city and to see some of its highlights, but it will not be enough time to fully experience everything it has to offer. It is best to stay in the city center to make the best of your stay.

Is 3 days enough for Munich?

Three days is possible to see some of the main sights in Munich, but it may not be enough time to  fully experience all the city has to offer. It is best to plan ahead and prioritize the activities and attractions that you would like to visit in order to make the most of your trip.

What are the best things to do in Munich for young adults?

The top activities to do in Munich for young adults are  trying traditional Bavarian beer at a local brewery, exploring the vibrant nightlife scene, strolling through the English Garden, visiting historic landmarks such as the Marienplatz, Frauenkirche, and Nymphenburg Palace.

What are the crazy things to do in Munich?

Some unique and exciting activities to try in Munich are trying the strong beer at the Hofbräuhaus brewery, trying your luck at the Munich Casino, experiencing the thrill of the Oktoberfest celebration, and participating in a traditional Bavarian folk dance.

What are the unique things to do in Munich?

Some unique activities to do in Munich are visiting the famous Oktoberfest beer festival, trying traditional Bavarian food at the Viktualienmarkt, trying Bavarian beer at a local brewery, attending a football match at Allianz Arena, touring the Nymphenburg Palace, exploring the Munich Residenz.

What are the best Things to do at night in Munich?

There are many great things to do at night in Munich, such as trying delicious German food at a local restaurant or bar, exploring the city’s vibrant nightlife, attending a performance at the Bavarian State Opera, visiting the Hofbräuhaus brewery, Nymphenburg Palace, and Englischer Garten park.

What are the free things to do in Munich?

There are many free things to do in Munich such as visiting the English Garden, touring the Nymphenburg Palace, and exploring the city’s numerous museums and galleries. You can also take a walk through the Marienplatz, visit the Frauenkirche, or take a stroll along the Isar River.

What are the best things to do in Munich in winter?

There are many great things to do in Munich in the winter, including visiting the famous Christmas markets, skiing in the nearby Alps, touring the Nymphenburg Palace, and trying traditional Bavarian food and beer.

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So there you have it, the best things to do in Munich, Germany for your next trip. If you enjoyed my post, please leave a comment below.

About Author: Linda Smith

I'm Linda Smith, the Hotel Expert, an experienced travel blogger who passionate about traveling. I'm here to share with you all my travel experiences and tips. I cover a wide range of travel topics, specializing in sharing information about the best areas, neighborhoods, and hotels in each city. I hope all these things will make your travel easier.

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