Where to Stay in Munich First Time: 9 Best Areas & Neighborhoods

In this post, I will be helping you to find Where to stay in Munich first time, the best areas to stay in Munich for first-timers (with a video and map), best hotels in Munich for all budgets (including the hotel where I stayed), and safest places.

Munich (München in German), is the capital city of the Bavaria region, and has incredible history and culture. Best known for its world-famous Oktoberfest celebrations, there is plenty to see and do in Munich year-round. 

Munich is a tourist-friendly city, it is one of the safest cities in of whole Germany. But as you travel to any big city, you should always use common sense and be aware of surrounding to avoid pickpockets.

You should also stick to well-lit and populated areas, especially at night. Avoid poorly lit or deserted streets, Neuperlach, and Hasenbergl at night. All of Munich neighborhood are safe including the train station area.

If you are working with a smaller budget, you are going to have to be particularly careful in Munich. Known to be the most expensive city in Germany, you will have to be smart to make the most of your money here. If you travel to Munich in the peak season in summer and Oktoberfest, be sure to book accommodations in advance!

Where to stay in Munich first time?

The best areas to stay in Munich for first-time tourists are Altstadt, Maxvorstadt, Ludwigsvorstadt, Isarvorstadt, Haidhausen, and Schwabing. These are safe and central locations, offering a wide range of attractions and amenities.

Altstadt is the best area to stay in Munich for first-timers due to its central location and proximity to major attractions such as Marienplatz. Staying here puts you close to many main sights, as well as some of the city’s finest restaurants, shops, cafes, bars, and clubs.

The main Oktoberfest festivities are held in Ludwigsvorstadt. If you want to stay right at the heart of the party, this is the best place for Oktoberfest. Alternatively, if you are not a fan of crowds, definitely avoid this area around the end of September to early October. 

It is worth noting that Munich has an excellent public transport system. The underground train network, known as the U Bahn, in particular, is extensive. No matter where you wind up staying in Munich, the public transport system will allow you to explore the rest of the city with ease. 

When it comes to exploring Munich, it’s recommended to stay for at least 3 to 4 days to experience the city’s rich history, culture, and beautiful attractions. This will allow you to visit popular landmarks, as well as enjoying the local cuisine and nightlife.

However, if you have more time, you can also explore the surrounding regions such as the Bavarian Alps, charming Bavarian towns, Neuschwanstein Castle, and Linderhof Palace.

Where did I stay in Munich?

When I first visited Munich, I stayed for 3 nights at the Platzl Hotel – Superior. It has a prime location, short walk/train ride from major attractions including Marienplatz Square and the Hofbräuhaus Brewery. Also easily accessible from the Central Station and Airport by S-Bahn train to . I had a clean spacious room and lovely gourmet breakfast buffets.

💖 Best Area for first-timers:Munich Altstadt-Lehel
💎 Best luxury hotel:Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski München
🏨 Best mid-range hotel:Hotel Torbräu
💰 Best budget hotel:Mercure Hotel München Altstadt

Map of areas and neighborhoods in Munich:

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

Best areas to stay in Munich for first-time tourists are:

1. Altstadt


Altstadt is of the best overall place to stay in Munich for first-time tourists due to its central location, full of attractions, restaurants, shops, cafes, bars, and clubs. You will be within walking distance of historic sights and will also be perfectly placed to explore the rest of the city. 

Literally meaning ‘Old City’, Altstadt Lehel is Munich’s historic city center. Right in the heart of the city, Altstadt is full of popular tourist attractions. If sightseeing is your top priority, you will have plenty to keep you busy if you choose to stay in Altstadt Lehel. 

Likewise, if you are only visiting Munich for a short break, Altstadt Lehel is perfect for maximizing your time in the city. With so many sights and attractions within easy walking distance of your hotel, you will not have to waste so much time traveling to and from everything you want to see.

As the oldest sector of the city, Altstadt Lehel is home to the most historic buildings in Munich. Altstadt is a great base to soak in the traditional Bavarian atmosphere of the city, with all of its history and culture.

During World War II, the majority of Munich’s old town was destroyed, but it was later reconstructed with a focus on preserving the significant structures of the city, while also adhering to its original historical layout.

At the heart of Altstadt Lehel borough, you will find Marienplatz, which is the city’s main square and a popular meeting place for both locals and tourists. The center of the square is the Virgin Mary Column.

Surrounded by shops and cafes, the square is a great spot to relax and take in the historic atmosphere. The Christkindlmarkt or Christmas markets are installed here in December.

The square is overlooked by several impressive buildings. The neo-Gothic style, 19th-century New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus) is particularly majestic, with its wonderful Glockenspiel clock, stone balconies, and soaring spires. At the top of the tower is an observation deck, giving an extensive view of the city.

The 14th-century Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus) stands on the eastern side of Marienplatz and is home to the Toy Museum (Spielzeugmuseum) which is a great place for kids.

On the other side of the square stands St. Peter’s Church. As the oldest church in Munich, this is a must-visit for anyone who loves historic or gothic architecture. Aside from its opulent façade and interior décor, St. Peter’s Church also houses some interesting relics. 

The almost two-thousand-year-old skeleton of Saint Munditia is on display in a glass coffin. Draped in jewels, she makes a unique, if somewhat macabre, attraction in an already historically compelling church. 

From Marienplatz, you can also see the domed towers of Frauenkirche, also known as the Cathedral of Our Lady. Originally built in the 15th century, much of the church has been reconstructed following the destruction of the two world wars. However, the infamous Devil’s Footprint stamped into one of the floor tiles still remains.

Other beautiful churches are Asamkirche – the private church of the Asam brothers, Theatinerkirche – built in the 17th century, and Michaelskirche – Germany’s largest Renaissance church.

If you want a break from all the towering stone buildings, head north to the Munich Residenz. Once home to German royalty (1508-1918), the stunning palace is now open to visitors, including its lovely, manicured gardens, The Antiquarium, The Court Chapel, and The Green Gallery.

Altstadt has numerous green spaces and parks to relax, such as:

  • The Englischer Garten, a huge public park offers miles of leafy trails, open fields, and winding rivers to explore. There is even a 19th-century Greek temple atop one of the hills for you to find. 
  • The Hofgarten (Court Garden), situated between the Residenz and Englischer Garten. It was built in the 17th century in Italian Renaissance style, and is a popular place to take a stroll and relax.

To the west of Hofgarten lies Odeonsplatz, a large square in central Munich and is surrounded by Munich’s top sights. You will find the Feldherrnhalle, Hall of the Bavarian Generals, a monumental loggia that was built from 1841 to 1844 under King Ludwig I in honor of the Bavarian Army.

Odeonsplatz is also the starting point of the famous boulevard Ludwigstraße. It is the location of traditional costume procession during the beer festival and Munich Marathon.

The Old City is surrounded by three city gates, initially part of the city defense system including Sendling Gate in the south; Karl’s Gate which leads to the lively pedestrian shopping street of Neuhauser strasse; and Izar Gate which named after the Isar river.

In addition to the popular Marienplatz square, you can also find Karlsplatz square, known as Stachus by located, located near Karlstor gate. It is the city’s major local transport hub with lines such as U-Bahn, S-Bahn, night bus, and streetcar stop here.

Karlsplatz square has a large fountain working during summer, and it has an open-air ice rink for skating in winter months. The Justizpalast is a beautiful building on the square.

Another popular square in the Old Town is the historic Sankt-Jakobs-Platz with its many cultural landmarks such as the fountain, Ohel Jakob Synagogue, Jewish Museum Munich, and Münchner Stadtmuseum. The square is also surrouned by restaurants and cafes, where you can enjoy local dishes and drinks.

In addition to historical and cultural landmarks, the Old Town offers plenty of shopping and dining options. You can easily explore Old Town on foot as many of the shopping streets are pedestrian-only.

You can shop at the sprawling open-air food market of Viktualienmarkt, and check out the the world’s most famous tavern called Hofbräuhaus (Royal Court Brew House), dating back to the 16th century.

Altstadt has a wide range of accommodation options ranging from budget to luxury. If you have a bit more money to spend, you can find some beautiful options here. The historic location makes for some stunning views. 

Best places to stay in Munich in Altstadt for first-timers:

luxury ($$$): Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski München, 5-star hotel, one of the best places to stay in Munich for first-time visitors. Centrally located in the heart of Munich, easy walk from Marienplatz Square with many Underground and S-Bahn trains. It also offers easy access to many boutique shops, galleries and museum, and the scenic Hofgarten Park.

mid-range ($$): Hotel Torbräu, 4-star family-run hotel in central Munich offers rooms with free WiFi, and a rich breakfast buffet every day. It is a short walk from Marienplatz Square and The Isartor S-Bahn Train Station, offering trains to Messe Exhibition Centre and Munich Airport.

budget ($): Mercure Hotel München Altstadt, 3-star hotel, one of the best places to stay in Munich on a budget, located in a quietly area in Munich’s Old Town, short walk from the Marienplatz City Rail Station with links to Munich Central Train Station and airport.


2. Maxvorstadt

Englischer Garten

Maxvorstadt is the more laid-back neighborhood, located just outside of Altstadt. As Munich’s university district, Maxvorstadt offers everything you might expect from an area with a high student population. 

Numerous trendy coffee shops and vintage stores line the streets. If you enjoy browsing vintage bookstores and indie boutiques, you will have plenty to keep you happy in Maxvorstadt. 

The high population of young people in the area also allows for a healthy supply of pubs and bars to head to in the evening. If you are after an area with a bustling nightlife scene, you have plenty to choose from in Maxvorstadt. 

What’s more, you will be staying within easy walking distance of the major attractions of the city center. If you want to stay close to the Old Town without having to put up with the constant crowds of tourists, Maxvorstadt offers a great alternative. 

Being very student-centered with two big universities in Europe, Ludwig Maximilian University and Technische Universität München, you will find the prices for everything from restaurants to accommodation are more reasonable than in Altstadt. 

If you are keeping to a more conservative budget, Maxvorstadt offers decent affordability without compromising on convenience or quality. 

In keeping with the academic theme of the university district, there are tons of museums and art galleries in Maxvorstadt. From the history of Munich and Ancient Egyptian relics to fascinating geology and crystals, there is a museum in Maxvorstadt to pique everyone’s curiosity. 

Amongst museums, Haus Der Kunst is one of the most prominent contemporary art museums in Munich, opened in 1937 which exhibits temporary shows.

There are also Museum Brandhorst, Museum of Egyptian art, city gallery at the Lenbach house, geological Museum, and paleontological Museum.

It is not just students who make Maxvorstadt their home though, as a thriving community of artists has set up in this corner of Munich. In amongst the hip cafes and boutiques, you will find many small galleries and studios.

There are also a number of larger art galleries in the area. Clustered around Karolinenplatz is a particularly convenient group of art museums right next to one another. Perfect if you don’t have time to waste traveling between locations. 

The three Pinakothek art museums including:

  • The Old Pinakothek Museum for art collections from the middle Ages.
  • The New Pinakothek Museum for art collections from 18th to 20th century.
  • The Pinakothek of modernity.

With each museum housing works ranging from classic paintings to modern sculptural installations, there is sure to be something to appeal to everyone’s tastes. 

Other places worth visiting include the Bavarian State Library which is one of the most important libraries in Europe; the St. Ludwig’s Church, and the Alter Botanischer Garten with its Neptune fountain.

Like Altstadt, Maxvorstadt borders the Englischer Garten. If you feel the need to escape to nature for a breath of fresh air, the Englischer Garten offers tons of space to stretch your legs.

To sample traditional Bavarian dishes and freshly tapped beer, you can check out the Löwenbräukeller beer garden in the western part of Maxvorstadt, and the famous Augustiner beer garden which has over 5,000 seats and is set hidden among some 100 chestnut trees.

Maxvorstadt neighborhood is home to several square. You can find spacious Königsplatz, also known as King’s Square, a beautiful classic square in the city. Königsplatz was destroyed in World War II and was restored to its original condition after the war.

Königsplatz is home to Propylaea historical monument, Glyptothek to view ancient Greek and Roman statue, and National Collection of Antiques. Today, the square is the location of open-air concerts, festivals, and demonstrations.

If you love French architecture, you can spend a hour at Karolinenplatz. It is a beautiful Parisian-Style square, that is mainly known for its black obelisk at the middle of the square, built as a memorial for Bavarian soldiers who died in 1812 in Napoleon’s Russian campaign.

To the southwestern part of the Maxvorstadt district, you can find the beautiful Wittelsbacherplatz. The square has a central location, and it is the venue of the popular Hamburg fish market and Christmas market.

The Wittelsbacherplatz is home to the equestrian statue by Bertel Thorvaldson, the Wittel-bascher Palace, and Wittel-bascher Fountain, which are all ideal for photographs.

Maxvorstadt is home to two royal avenues including Brienner Strasse and Ludwigstraße. The streets are packed with historical landmarks, museums, restaurants, and shops.

Between the reasonable prices, close proximity to the city center, and easy access to open space, Maxvorstadt is an excellent location to consider if you are planning to travel with your family. There is plenty to keep everyone entertained and kids will have plenty of space to work off their energy.

Best places to stay in Munich in Maxvorstadt for first-time visitors:

luxury ($$$): Rocco Forte The Charles Hotel, 5-star hotel, with views of the Old Botanical Garden, featuring an exclusive spa with indoor pool, soundproofed rooms for singles, couples, and families. It is within walking distance from Munich Central Station.

mid-range ($$): NH Collection München Bavaria, 4 star family-friendly hotel, one of the best places to stay in Munich near train station because it is situated directly next to Munich Main Station. You can easy access to Underground, tram and S-Bahn trains to Marienplatz, Munich Trade Fair and Theresienwiese site of Munich’s Oktoberfest beer festival.

budget ($): King’s Hotel Center Superior, 3-star kid-friendly hotel, a budget option and great base in Munich near Munich Main Station and Königsplatz Square. It is only 15-minute walk from Munich’s Old Town and the pedestrian shopping area.


3. Ludwigsvorstadt


Ludwigsvorstadt is the district immediately to the east of Altstadt. Close to the attractions of the city centre, as well as the museums of Maxvorstadt, Ludwigsvorstadt offers a convenient central location without the higher prices and bustling crowds of the touristy Old Town.

Ludwigsvorstadt is best known for being the center of the world-famous Oktoberfest celebrations. Despite the name, Oktoberfest takes place primarily at the end of September. For around sixteen days, the area is transformed into a heaving party, which crams more than six million people into Munich every year.

The majority of the celebrations are centered around the Theresienwiese fairgrounds, so this is where the thickest crowds will congregate. The festivities are kicked off by a parade of the bars and restaurants that will be hosting stalls in the main fair.

Whilst it is true that the area gets incredibly busy during the height of the festival, do not worry too much if you hate being in a big crowd. Munich is full of pubs and bars and Ludwigsvorstadt is no exception. During Oktoberfest, most of the bars and restaurants in the city will be hosting their own celebrations. 

I do recommend popping into the main party area for the experience, but the high energy isn’t for everyone. You will have plenty of beer gardens throughout Ludwigsvorstadt to retreat to, to continue your more laid-back celebrations. 

St Paul’s is a church close by to Theresienwieste with a viewing platform at the top of its tall spires. During Oktoberfest, the viewing platform is the perfect opportunity to get a fantastic view of the bustling festival, without having to be down in the crush yourself. 

Regardless of whether you choose to stick to the main party or head to one of the local pubs, Oktoberfest is the perfect time to sample some excellent craft beer. Don some traditional Bavarian lederhosen to really get into the festive spirit. 

Outside of Oktoberfest season, Ludwigsvorstadt is known for being one of the more affordable places to stay in Munich. It may seem surprising, considering the central location, but this is the best place to start looking for budget hotels. 

The low cost of accommodation here is likely to do with the fact that there are not a lot of tourist attractions in the area itself. Outside of Oktoberfest, the Statue of Bavaria is the top attraction in Ludwigsvorstadt. 

The Bavaria Statue is located to the west side of Theresienwieste. Installed in the 19th century, the statue is a large bronze casting of a woman representing the spirit of Bavaria. Behind her stands a grand columned building housing busts of notable Bavarians from throughout history. 

Just across Bavariapark from the Bavaria Statue is the Deutsches Museum Verkehrszentrum. Dedicated to transportation, the Verkehrszentrum is quite niche, but it is worth a visit if you are already in the area visiting the statue and Hall of Fame

Just south of the main railway station lies the area called Little Istanbul. It is a place to immerse yourself in Anatolian culture with the mixed of German and Turkish cultures.

Another benefit to staying in Ludwigsvorstadt is the proximity to the Hauptbahnhof (Central Station). The train station is located at the northern end of Ludwigsvorstadt. If you are traveling to Munich by train, Ludwigsvorstadt is a super convenient place to stay. 

With plenty of budget hotels close to the train station, you will have both convenience and affordability. Also, less time wasted getting your luggage to and from your hotel. Win-win!

Best places to stay in Munich in Ludwigsvorstadt for first-timers:

luxury ($$$): Sofitel Munich Bayerpost, 5-star hotel, one of the best hotels near Munich Main Station. It is also a short walk from the Karlsplatz/Stachus pedestrian shopping, cultural, gastronomic area and the Theresienwiese, the location of Munich’s Oktoberfest Beer Festival.

mid-range ($$): Eden Hotel Wolff, 4-star hotel, located Directly beside Munich Central Station, featuring a traditional Bavarian restaurant and family rooms. It is also one of the best places to stay for the Oktoberfest festival because it is just one underground stop from the Theresienwiese.

budget ($): Hotel MIO by AMANO, 3-star accommodation, one of the best budget-friendly hotel in central Munich, easy walk from Asamkirche, Karlsplatz (Stachus), and Sendlinger Tor.


See more:

4. Isarvorstadt

The Deutsches Museum, Munich by Steve Knight

Isarvorstadt is the area immediately south of Ludwigsvorstadt. Technically they are two halves of one large district, but they each have their own distinct atmosphere and draw. Isarvorstadt is so named for being the end of the district closest to the Isar River. 

Isarvorstadt encompasess the Museumsinsel (Museum Island), Isar bridges, and super attractive neighborhoods like Gärtnerplatzviertel, Glockenbachviertel, and Schlachthofviertel.

Isarvorstadt is best known for its vibrant nightlife scene. This is where you will find some of the best bars and clubs in the city. If you are looking for nightclubs, the area around Sonnenstraße is your best bet. 

It is also the home of Munich’s LGBT community. Gärtnerplatzviertel and Glockenbachviertel districts are party areas for gays and lesbians, particularly clustered around Müllerstraße.

If you happen to be in the area, there is a cute little nod to Isarvorstadt’s LGBT community to look out for. The pedestrian crossing at the junction between Pestalozzistraße and Mullerstraße features two same sex couples in place of the green and red stickmen on the traffic lights. 

The 200m long Hans-Sachs-Strasse is also worth take a stroll. It is lined with trendy boutiques, a theatre, and a cinema, the Neues Arena.

Foodies will love the variety of cuisines on offer in Isarvorstadt. The streets are lined with wonderful restaurants serving up everything from South African to Vietnamese or Greek. Whatever you have a craving for, you are sure to find somewhere to sate it in Isarvorstadt. 

Aside from bars and restaurants, there are also a few cultural attractions to be enjoyed in Isarvorstadt. Stretching along the Isar River, this is home to Museum Island. 

Museum Island is where you will find the Deutsches Museum. Focusing on space and technology, it offers a popular alternative to the arts and history favored by most of Munich’s other museums. 

Like Ludwigsvorstadt, Isarvorstadt is great for budget travelers. Just outside of Munich city centre, it is an excellent option for those who want to stay close to the main attractions whilst also keeping costs down. 

Between the party atmosphere, affordable accommodation, and central location, Isarvorstadt is particularly popular with backpackers. You will be within walking distance of the main attractions and have plenty of bars and clubs to keep you entertained after dark.

Best places to stay in Munich in Isarvorstadt for first-time visitors:

mid-range ($$): OneBavariaHomes, family-friendly self-catering accommodation, great base for Oktoberfest – Theresienwiese.

budget ($): Bold Hotel München Zentrum, popular hotel, located in Munich’s Ludwigsvorstadt district, just a 5-minute walk from the Theresienwiese, the Oktoberfest venue.

budget ($): Hotel GIO – ehemals Hotel Herzog München, 3-star non-smoking family-friendly hotel in central Munich, featuring Mediterranean-style rooms and Tuscan-style restaurant. It is directly on Goetheplatz Square and Goetheplatz Underground Station, easy walk from the Theresienwiese Oktoberfest Venue.


5. Haidhausen


Located east of the Isar River, Haidhausen is also known as French Quarter, as many of the roads are named after French cities. it is of the Munich’s prettiest districts. If you are looking for a laid-back neighborhood with a local Müncheners vibe, this is one of the best neighbourhoods to consider.

Dating back close to the founding of Munich, this is another wonderfully historic area to explore. More residential than the similarly old Altstadt, the history peeks through in the charming streets rather than grand structures. 

Haidhausen is the closest neighborhood to Museum Island and the Deutsches Museum. The Deutsches Museum is one of the most popular museums in Munich.

You can also find the Bavarian State Parliament, also known as Bayerischer Landtag. it is located in Maximilianeum at the end of Maximilianstrass. It is a six-storey office building designed by Berlin architects Leon Wohlhage Wernik.

Wiener Platz is the heart of Haidhausen. You can sits at one of its cafes or near the Fischerbuberl fountain, people-watching, enjoy the sun and the views of red-brown church of St. John Baptist nearby!

There are numerous of markets on the square including the daily food market of Wiener Markt, the Viktualienmarkt, the Elisabethmarkt, and the Pasinger Viktualienmarkt. You can buy fruits, vegs, fish, wine, chocolate, and flowers. You should try Weisswürste, Stockwürste, and meatballs.

To the west of the square, you can find the traditional restaurant of Hofbräukeller with a large beer garden and beach bar.

If you are looking for nightlife, head to Kultfabrik, one of the largest party zones in Europe. You can find more than 30-40 clubs, bars, Irish pubs, discos.

Kultfabrik, along with the nightlife zone of Optimolwerke are conviently located right next door to Ostbahnhof Station with S-Bahn and U-Bahn.

When you think of things you associate with Munich, beaches probably are not one of the first ideas that spring to mind. However, there is a small beach of soft white sand in Haidhausen, Isarstrand. 

Isarstrand is located towards the north of the district, on the banks of the Isar. Sheltered by the end of Museum Island, in summer this is a popular spot for locals to go swimming in the river. If you visit in the winter and still want a swim, a lovely indoor swimming pool is right next to the beach. 

Another place for swimming is Müller’sche Volksbad. This popular place for Münchners has sauna facilities and the Roman steam bath.

Quiet, relatively central, and home to several public parks, Haidhausen is one of the most family-friendly neighborhoods in Munich. You will be staying within comfortable walking distance of the city center attractions whilst still having plenty of space for your kids to let off some steam. 

There is also a fantastic range of cuisines available to try in the area. Whether you want to sample traditional Bavarian cuisine at one of the local restaurants, or just skip the drama and feed the family familiar pizza, even the fussiest of eaters will have something to satisfy them. 

A little further removed from the city center than some of the other districts on this list, prices for accommodation are typically much more reasonable. You will definitely be able to get more for your money than you would in Altstadt. 

Likewise, being across the river from the main districts makes this one of the quieter places to stay during Oktoberfest. If you know you will be visiting around late September and do not want to get stuck in crowds of tourists, Haidhausen is a great neighborhood to consider. 

Munich Old Town is within reasonable walking distance, just over any of the picturesque stone bridges spanning the Isar. Even if you can’t or don’t want to walk the distance, getting around Munich is still no problem. 

Remember, Munich has an excellent public transport network. Between the buses, trams, and the U Bahn, you will be able to explore the rest of Munich with ease. 

Best places to stay in Munich in Haidhausen for first-timers:

luxury ($$$): Hotel München Palace, luxury 5-star hotel set on the quiet upper banks of the River Isar in central Munich, near the English Garden. It is within walking distance from Max-Weber-Platz Underground Station for trains to Marienplatz and Munich Central Station.

mid-range ($$): Novotel München City, 4-star hotel features spacious soundproofed rooms for singles, couples, and families. Short walk from Deutsches Museum, and Rosenheimer Platz S-Bahn Station, offering trains to Marienplatz Square and Munich Central Station.

budget ($): Motel One München – Deutsches Museum, 3-star design hotel one of the best places to stay in Munich on a budget, located in the Au-Haidhausen district, short walk from the German Museum and München Rosenheimer Platz City Rail Station.


6. Schwabing


Schwabing is a cool and trendy neighborhood, located immediately north of Altstadt. It’s divided into two neighborhoods, Schwabing-Freimann and Schwabing-West.

As one of the most affluent neighborhoods in Munich, this is a hub of chic cafes, stylish boutiques, and excellent restaurants. There is a good shopping opputinities at Leopoldstrasse, Hohenzollernstrasse, and Karstadt which is the classic German department store.

Schwabing has fine dining scene, you can try local Bavarian cuisine to international food such as Afghani delights and Italian pizza. There is the Michelin-starred restaurant Tantris, is perfect place to grab a cocktail and modern European cuisine.

The long boulevard of Leopoldstrasse is packed with with shops , restaurants and bars. It is also home to the triple-arched Siegestor, or Victory Gate, Münchner Freiheit square, and Odeonsplat.

Munich’s Siegestor is a three-arched triumphal arch, erected in the 1800s. Atop the arch stands a bronze sculpture of the spirit of Bavaria, flanked by four lions. 

Close to the university and arts district of Maxvorstadt, the creative culture extends into fashionable Schwabing. Being a little more removed from the hustle and bustle of the city, you can enjoy the vibrant atmosphere with fewer rowdy tourists. 

One of the most prominent features of Schwabing is the sprawling Englischer Garten. Spanning over nine-hundred acres and with seventy-eight kilometres of trails, you can spend days exploring the park.

The park has an interesting number of world cultures represented in its attractions. On an island behind the Haus der Kunst museum, you will find a Japanese teashop and garden. Perfect for a slice of zen, away from the hustle and bustle of the nearby city centre. 

On a hill in the south end of the park sits a replica neo-classical Greek Temple, Monopteros. Relax in the shade of the grand columns and enjoy lovely views across the gardens. 

A little further north, set in its own plaza, is the 25m high Chinese Tower pagoda. A beer garden and café are nestled amongst the surrounding trees, from which you can enjoy views of the pagoda. In the evening, the Pagoda’s lights cast a warm glow over the beer garden, creating a cosy atmosphere. 

There are various other cafes, restaurants, and Aumeister beer garden throughout the park. No matter how far in you explore, you will never be far from somewhere to rest and enjoy a local beer or delicacy. 

There are even some art galleries and shops within the park, alongside the various monuments you will encounter along the trails. Walking Man is one of the most famous sculptures in English Gardens.

Well to the north of the Englischer Garten there is an open-air amphitheatre. During summer, various performances are hosted in this unique venue. 

You probably wouldn’t think of Munich as the place to learn to surf. However, a constant wave at the end of one of the rivers, on Eisbach is a popular spot for local surfers to practice their skills, no matter the season.

You can also find Nordfriedhof, one of the historical sites dedicated to WWII. You can visit it for free and learn more about the Germany’s WWII history.

The Elisabethmarkt is also one the top attractions in Munich. Founded in 1800s, this market today has great variety of stalls with fruits, cheeses, meats and home-made beers.

To the west of Schwabing, you will find the Olympic Park, also known as The Olympiapark. It is home to the Olympic Stadium, the Olympic Hall and the Olympic Tower.

The adjacent BMW Museum, is also worth a visit. It’s the perfect place for car lovers, along with the BMW Welt nearby.

Schwabing also hosts the Schwabing Christmas Fair, it is not to missed event if you are visiting the area around November and christmas time.

Schwabing has plenty of accommodation options for all budget travelers from luxury hotels to stylish boutique guesthouses. You may even be able to find a room with views over the Englischer Garten.

Best places to stay in Munich in Schwabing:

luxury ($$$): Andaz Munich Schwabinger Tor – a concept by Hyatt, 5-star hotel, set at the Schwabinger Tor in Munich, between the Olympic Stadium and the English Garden. Its rooftop bar offering stunning views of the city and towards the Alps.

mid-range ($$): Pullman Munich, modern hotel, near the English Garden in Schwabing, Munich’s Bohemian district. Within short walk to A shuttle bus stops to Munich Airport.

budget ($): Super 8 by Wyndham Munich City North, great hotel, located just north of Munich’s city centre, easy distance from a bus and tram stop, as well as underground station Frankfurter Ring, for trains to Marienplatz Square where the famous Christmas Market take place.


7. Nymphenburg


Leafy Nymphenburg is a wealthy residential suburb in the west of Munich city. A little removed from the main city centre, Nymphenburg is one of the best places to stay if you want a quieter area, away from the bustling crowds of tourists. 

Catering to the local residents, you will find plenty of laid-back, cozy cafes and restaurants throughout the area. There is an interesting mix of architectural styles to the houses in Nymphenburg, making just walking around the streets an adventure in itself. 

The district is centered around the vast estate of Nymphenburg Palace, also known as Schloss Nymphenburg, one of Munich’s top attractions. The palace was built as a summer residence for the Wittelsbach, the Bavarian Kings in 1664.

Within the palace, some of the highlight are the Stone Hall (Steinerner Saal), the Beauty Gallery of King Ludwig I, Queen Caroline’s bedroom or the Birth Room of King Ludwig II.

You can explore various museums in the surrounding buildings. There are:

  • The Museum Mensch und Natur (Museum of Man and Nature) in the north wing.
  • the Marstallmuseum (Carriage Museum).
  • the Porcelain Museum with more than 1000 exhibits.
  • the Erwin von Kreibig Museum that display artworks.

The sprawling grounds are home to Greek temples, smaller castles, fountains, and lakes. Some highlight are the Badenburg on the Great Lake, the Pagodenburg, Amalienburg, the Jagdschlösschen (Hunting Castle), the Magdalenenklause, and the Apollo Temple.

To the north of Nymphenburg Palace is a large Botanischer Garten (Munich Botanical Gardens). With various manicured gardens and themed greenhouses, there is plenty to discover along the winding trails. 

In summer, you can take a gondolas ride on the Nymphenburg Canal, in winter, it becomes a nice spot for ice skating and ice hockey.

Nymphenburg is also known for Hirschgarten, Munich’s largest beer garden. During Oktoberfest, this is a wonderful place to be if you want to take in the party atmosphere without venturing into the crush of the main fair. 

The large deer park in which Hirschgarten is located is a lovely place for a walk, no matter what time of year you visit. There are snack bars and playgrounds dotted around the park, so it’s a very family friendly place to spend a relaxing afternoon. 

Schloss Nymphenburg is well-connected to major motorways and easy to access from Munich central by public transport or hop-on-hop-off Munich sightseeing bus tour.

Outside of the main tourist areas, there are fewer hotels to choose from in Nymphenburg. However, what is available is a good mix of affordable and mid-range accommodation. It’s not the cheapest area, but if you have a moderate budget it should suit you fine. 

Best places to stay in Munich in Nymphenburg:

mid-range ($$): Novotel München City Arnulfpark, 4-star hotel, short distance from Central Station Munich, Oktoberfest – Theresienwiese and Karlsplatz (Stachus).

budget ($): Holiday Inn Express Munich City West, an IHG Hotel, 3-star family-friendly hotel, featuring a 24-hour front desk, and rooms for family, couples, and singles.

budget ($): Hotel Nymphenburg City – München, 3-star hotel, featuring family rooms, located in the Neuhausen district of Munich is just 2 underground stops from Munich Central Station and 4 stops from Marienplatz Square.


8. Sendling


If you are looking for a laid-back neighborhood, with a local, residential vibe, then you can’t beat Sendling. Located to the south of the city centre, Sendling is a charming suburb with lots of leafy greenspace and small pubs and cafes. 

The district of Sendling encompasses the historic area of Untersendling, Mittersendling, and the industrial area of Obersendling. You will find the most beautiful spots around Westpark and Harras.

A little away from the hustle and bustle of the main city center and tourist attractions, Sendling is ideal for those who prioritize relaxing over sightseeing. Even so, Sendling isn’t so terribly far out of the main town that you can’t easily pop in to visit whatever attractions pique your interest. 

Although quite an unassuming neighborhood, some records place Sendling as having been settled as far back as the 12th-century. As such, there are plenty of historic buildings to be spotted amongst the more modern houses. 

Once one of the more industrial areas of Munich, the old factories and repurposed warehouses lend another layer to the varied architectural landscape of Sendling. 

There are plenty of parks and open spaces throughout Sendling, including the lovely Flaucher park just across the Isar River. It was named after the Zum Flaucher restaurant which opened in 1870. The park boasts picnic and barbeque areas, as well as a leafy beer garden.

Another popular park in the neighborhood is the Westpark. It has ice skating in winter, and barbecue areas for summer. The park host the Kino, Mond und Sterne open-air cinema, Café Gans am Wasser, the Asian gardens, and Mollsee lake.

Just south of Flaucher park is where you will find the top attraction of Sendling, Munich Zoo Hellabrunn.

Hellabrunn Zoo is large enough that it has space for the animals to have enclosures designed to imitate their natural environments. There are tons of animals to observe here, with species from across the world. 

Sendling district is also home to Grossmarkt wholesale market, the third-largest food trading centre in Europe. You can grab a meal at the Frischeparadies fine foods emporium in Schlachthofviertel nearby and the Gaststätte Großmarkthalle traditional pub.

You can also find the historic Stemmerhof farmhouse, Munich’s last working farm until the early nineties. Today, it is housed many business. The adjacent Stemmerwiese meadow is a perfect spot to relax and picnic.

There is also an up-and-coming area called Harras. Sendling’s most important transport hub is the intersection of bus, U-Bahn underground rail, S-Bahn trains. You can wander along Aberlestrasse or Valleystrasse, admire the beautiful old buildings or grab a meal at one of its restaurants.

Being outside of the main city center districts, Sendling borough is one of the more affordable places to stay in Munich. If you are on a budget and don’t mind not being right on top of the main attractions, this is a fantastic neighborhood to consider.

Best places to stay in Munich in Sendling:

  • mid-range ($$): Holiday Inn Munich – Westpark, an IHG Hotel, family-friendly hotel, near Harras Underground and S-Bahn Train Station.
  • mid-range ($$): Leonardo Hotel Muenchen City West, located in the Sendling district, within a short walk from Brudermühlstraße Underground Station. Munich City Hall in Marienplatz square is a direct 10-minute journey away on the U3 line.
  • budget ($): Hotel AMENITY, 3-star hotel, featuring family rooms, in the Sendling district, easy walk from Harras Underground and City Rail Station, offering trains to Marienplatz, Munich Main Station and Allianz Arena.

9. Bogenhausen


Located on the east side of the Isar River, close to Trudering-Riem, Bogenhausen is a bit off the beaten path area in Munich. it is a residential district that is ideal for those looking for a quiet area with a local life atmosphere.

Prinzregentenstrasse is one of the most beautiful streets in the neighborhood that is lined with villas. Meanwhilem the Mauerkircher Strasse is packed with mansions. 

You can find many 19th century stuccoed townhouses in the neighborhood. Many wealthy people  have lived in Bogenhausen like Boris Becker. Bogenhausen offers easy access to the tranquil banks of the river Isar and the Englischer Garten. 

In addition to restaurants, cafes, shops, and boutiques, this quarter is also home to some of Munich’s most beautiful landmarks such as Villa Stuck, the Angel of Peace monument (Friedensengel), Prinzregententheater, and Herzogpark. 

For shopping, head to famous Maximilianstreet with high-end shops. There is also the office building of HypoVereinsbank tower at Mittlerer Ring B2R, the Arabella Park.

Bogenhausen is well-connected with the city center by metros with the final stop of U-Bahn line U4 – Arabellapark.  There are plenty of restaurants and cafes in the central parts of the district.

Best places to stay in Bogenhausen for first-time travelers:

  • mid-range ($$): Hotel Freisinger Hof, 4-star family-friendly hotel, located in a quiet area next to the Englischer Garten Park, offering free parking and a large terrace with views of the park. You can take tram to Munich city centre in 12 minutes.
  • mid-range ($$): Best Western Hotel Arabellapark Muenchen, great 3-star hotel, featuring ir-conditioned rooms with a safety deposit box, as well as daily breakfast with continental, vegetarian or vegan options.
  • mid-range ($$): Parkhotel Rothof, 4-star kid-friendly hotel, set in Bogenhausen district, just steps from the Denninger Anger park, Arabellapark district, and Richard-Strauss-Straße Underground Station.

Read more:

You can easily get to Munich by air, train. Munich is home to the second busiest airports in Germany, Munich International Airport, with many domestic and international flights. There is also direct trains to European countries like Switzerland, Hungary, Austria, and Czech Republic.

In conclusion, Altstadt, Maxvorstadt, Ludwigsvorstadt, Isarvorstadt, Haidhausen, Schwabing, and Nymphenburg are the best places to stay in Munich for tourists and first-time travelers. They offer easy access to attractions and a wide range of accommodations for all budget travelers.

Overall, I recommend Altstadt as the best area to stay in Munich for first-timers due to its prime location. If you stay here, you will located in the middle of the action, within easy access to popular tourist attractions and amenities.

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.

Leave a Comment