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3 Days in Munich: The Perfect Itinerary for Your First Visit

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Nestled beside the River Isar and nuzzling the Bavarian Alps, Munich is blessed with the perfect location for a superb European city break. The Bavarian capital also delights with its array of world-class museums and galleries, superb parks, cosmopolitan character, and of course, beer gardens. If you’ve got 3 days in Munich, we’ve got you well covered with our itinerary. Read on to discover the best things to do in Munich in 3 days.

Getting To Munich

Munich Airport (Flughafen München) is located 28.5 km (17.7 mi) northeast of Munich. The quickest and most reliable way to get from Munich Airport to the city center is by taking the suburban train.

The S1 (direction Ostbahnhof) and S8 (direction Herrsching) S-Bahn lines connect the airport to Munich city center at 10-minute intervals from about 04:00 to 01:00. The trip from Munich Airport to Munich Central Station (Munich Hauptbahnhof) takes approximately 40 minutes.

The station for the commuter rail service is situated beneath the airport. The single fare between Munich Airport and the city center costs 13 EUR. 

If you plan on using public transport later in the day in Munich, you should buy the day ticket for 14.80 EUR. Tickets can be purchased with cash or card from one of the automated ticket machines. 

Pro Tip

Before boarding, remember to validate your ticket as failure to do so will incur a fine.

The cheapest way to get from Munich Airport to Munich city center is by taking the Lufthansa Express Bus. The journey from Munich Airport to Munich North/Schwabing takes approximately 25 minutes while the journey from Munich Airport to Munich Central Station takes about 45 minutes.

Buses operate seven days a week at 15-minute intervals from 06:30 to 22:30. Tickets cost 11.50 EUR (single trip) and 18.50 EUR (roundtrip). 

Taxi fares between Munich Airport and the city center are high – around 60–70 EUR.

Is 3 Days in Munich Enough?

I think 3 to 5 days is the sweet spot for a trip to Munich. When people ask me how many days they should spend in Munich, I usually respond with a suggestion of 3 to 5 days.

While 3 to 5 days in Munich won’t be enough to see everything or have an exhaustive exploration of the city, it gives you adequate time to get to know the city and wear yourself out exploring this cosmopolitan urban oasis.

How To Get Around During Your 3 Days in Munich

Munich is a splendidly walkable city and wandering on foot remains the best way to explore Munich and discover its many treasures.

However, since Munich is a large city and some of its attractions are quite spread out, it’s probably not feasible to just walk everywhere even when you have 3 days in Munich. The best way to get around Munich is by the efficient public transportation system.

Munich’s easy-to-use public transport includes the U-Bahn (subway), the S-Bahn (trains), buses as well as trams. It’s also worth knowing that all major attractions in Munich are easily reached by public transport, and with one ticket you can seamlessly switch from one form of transport to another.

A single ticket in Munich costs 3.70 EUR. You can also opt for a Munich day ticket (valid until 06:00 the following day) which costs 8.80 EUR.

Children under 6 years of age travel for free while kids from 6 to 14 years of age get a concession on their tickets.

Public transport tickets can be purchased from ticket vending machines found in all U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations, as well as from the onboard machines on buses and trams. You can also purchase tickets online or via the “MVV” app.

You can use the very useful intermodal Journey Planner for getting around Munich with public transport.

If you are visiting Munich in the warmer months, getting around on a bicycle is also a good alternative and a fun way to see the city. With its flat terrain, Munich is tailor-made for cyclists and many streets have dedicated bike lanes. 

The easiest way to rent a bicycle in Munich is by signing up for MVG Rad, the city’s bike-sharing system which has service points all over the city. Bike rental with MVG Rad costs 9 cents per minute or 12 EUR per day.  

For more information click here (only in German) or download the MVGO app.

In case you’re interested in seeing the highlights of Munich on bike, check out this excellent Munich Bicycle Tour.

If you’re not up for a long walk or cycle around Munich, you could also get around on a segway, which can cover a larger area than a walk-around.

In case you’re interested in seeing the highlights of Munich on a segway, check out this highly-rated Munich Segway Tour.

For those craving an audio guide and extra comfort, you can also get around the city with Munich Hop-On Hop-Off Tour.

You probably won’t need to use taxis during your 24 hours in Munich as the city is so well served by public transport. 

However, should you want to use a taxi, you can hail a taxi on the street, order one online or by telephone, or pick up one at one of the numerous taxi ranks located strategically across Munich. Taxi-München eG is one of the companies you can check out if you want to call a taxi.

Is the Munich Card/Munich City Pass Worth It For 3 Days?

For sightseeing in Munich, the two most common travel passes that allow you to access the most important attractions/museums for free or at a discounted rate, as well as free access to public transportation are the Munich Card and the Munich City Pass

The Munich Card offers unlimited travel on all public transport in Munich and offers discounts at more than 80 tours, attractions, restaurants, and theaters. 

On the other hand, the Munich City Pass is more of an all-inclusive pass that offers not only unlimited travel on all public transport but also offers free admission to the most famous museums and sights in Munich.

If you have to invest in one, I would personally recommend getting the City Pass (at least for one or two days) as it is really good value for money and might certainly be worth buying for your 3 days in Munich.

Ultimately, whether the Munich Card/Munich City Pass is worth buying and truly cost-effective depends on your needs and interests and the range of sightseeing activities you have planned.

Your 3 Days in Munich Itinerary

For this ‘3 days in Munich’ itinerary, I have included the major attractions and off-beat corners in the metropolitan area I’ve divided the itinerary in such a way that it gives you a multifaceted view of the city. 

Naturally, everyone travels at a different pace so feel free to choose the destinations according to your own pace. The earlier you start your day the more time you’ll have to see the attractions. 

Below I have compiled a list of the best things to see in Munich in 3 days:

Day 1 in Munich: Central Munich

Day One of this ‘3 days in Munich’ itinerary covers the most notable points of interest in the Old Town (Altstadt) and the center of Munich, which are among the city’s most popular sights. See the sights in the chronology that suits you best.

Like many other major German cities, Munich was heavily bombed during World War II. It was struck by 71 Allied air raids and the Old Town suffered extensive damage.

After the war, unlike in some other German cities like Cologne, Frankfurt, or Hamburg, the citizens of Munich decided to meticulously rebuild and restore the Old Town rather than level it and start again.

1. Karlstor

The medieval Karlstor gate in Munich

During the Middle Ages, Munich’s historic center, the Altstadt, was protected by a defensive wall with fortified gates. In the 18th century, as Munich grew, the medieval walls were demolished, and only three gates remain standing today.

Karlstor is one of the three medieval gates in Munich and it marks the western border of the historic old town. Originally known as Neuhauser Tor, Karlstor dates to the late 13th century and was built to meet the bridge that spanned the city moat.

Karlstor has undergone several modifications over the years and today’s Neo-Gothic appearance stems from the mid-19th century. Although it lacks elaborate decoration and ornamentation, it’s still worth admiring the gate’s design, which is comprised of three lancet arches and symmetrical towers.

2. Bürgersaal

The unassuming facade of the Bürgersaal in Munich. PC: Markovskiy -

If you’re on the lookout for hidden gems in Munich, you should definitely stop by the Bürgersaal (Citizens’ Hall). This church, which was erected on a citizens’ initiative as a prayer hall in the early 18th century, has a plain exterior but a richly decorated interior.

The name of this church reflects its original purpose as the headquarters of the Marian congregation. It only became a church after the consecration of its altar in 1778.

The two-story interior of the Bürgersaal is divided into a lower church which contains the tomb of the beatified Rupert Mayer, a leader in the Catholic Resistance against the Nazis, and the upper church, which was the main meeting place of the Marians.

The almost crypt-like lower church is simple and modern in appearance. On the sides, it is decorated with beautiful statues and emanates a very serene feeling.

3 Days in Munich: The ornate interior of the upper church in the Bürgersaal.

It is unusual for two parts of the same church to look so different but the upper church is an ornate late-Baroque hall. Replete with Rococo decorations done with plenty of gold leaf it looks more like a grand reception hall in a castle than a church.

The interior also features swirling frescoes and intricate stuccowork. On the back wall is the high altar, decorated with silver busts of Joseph, John the Baptist, John the Apostle, and Joachim, father of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

The Lower Church of the Bürgersaal is open from 10:00-17:00 (Monday-Saturday) and 14:00-17:00 (Sundays & public holidays). The Upper Church of the Bürgersaal is open from 11:00-13:00 (Monday-Saturday). Free admission.

3. Neuhauser Straße/Kaufingerstraße

People strolling on Kaufinger Straße in Munich

Munich isn’t nearly the shopping paradise that Berlin or Hamburg are and visitors to the city usually come for the beer gardens or the cultural scene—not for shopping. Of course, that isn’t to say that the shopping scene in the city is dead.

The pedestrianized and interconnected streets of Neuhauser Straße and Kaufingerstraße form the core of central Munich’s main shopping district. Stretching west from the city center, this lively pedestrian pathway is lined with an array of huge department stores and multinational chains. 

Along the area’s 700-meter stretch, you’ll find many cafés and restaurants. Don’t forget to take in the ornate façades of the classical buildings along the way.

4. Church of Our Lady

The imposing red-brick facade of the Gothic Church of Our Lady in Munich

One of the absolute must-see Munich attractions is the Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche), the city’s most iconic church. This imposing triple-naved late Gothic-style church was erected in only 20 years from 1468–88 and stands on the site of an earlier Romanesque parish church.

With its two 98.5 m (323 feet) copper onion-domed towers, the church’s distinctive silhouette is Munich’s oldest and best-known symbol. Interestingly, the twin towers were not completed until 1525 and are supposedly inspired by the Dome of the Rock shrine in Jerusalem.

Although much of the Frauenkirche was destroyed during World War II, the towers survived, and the rest has been gloriously restored. The overall effect of the rebuilt Frauenkirche is strikingly simple, yet dignified.

The cavernous interior of the Church of Our Lady in Munich

The moment you step foot inside the Church of Our Lady its cavernous dimensions become apparent—it is over 100 m (330 feet) long and 41 m (132 feet) wide. The bright whitewashed walls contrast well with the church’s simple red brick exterior.

The highlights of the interior of the Frauenkirche are the winged Memminger Altar, the stained glass windows, the gold rib-vaulted ceilings, and the individual chapels dedicated to saints and apostles.

The other unmissable things to see inside the Frauenkirche are the Statue of St. Christopher, an exemplary late Gothic period carving, and the tombs of members of the Wittelsbach Royals and Munich clerics. 

The marble tomb of Emperor Ludwig IV of Bavaria inside the Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche) in Munich

The most notable tomb is that of Emperor Ludwig IV of Bavaria. The black marble sarcophagus is surrounded by the figures of four kneeling knights, personifications of War and Peace, and putti.

Make sure to step into the so-called “Devil’s Footprint” (Teufelstritt) near Frauenkirche’s entrance. According to one legend, the architect of the Frauenkirche, Jörg von Halspach, made a bargain with the devil to build a church without windows as long as the devil agreed to finance its construction.

The infamous Devil's Footprint in the Frauenkirche in Munich

Until the current High Altar was built in the 19th century, it was impossible to see the front windows of the Frauenkirche from the rear of the church. At this very spot, the devil was fooled into thinking that the church didn’t have any windows.

When he ventured further inside and realized that he had been conned and that windows had been included the devil stamped his foot in anger and left a small footprint with a small hooked tail at the heel. 

An alternative version of the legend has the devil stamping his foot in glee and laughing at the stupidity of von Halspach building a church without windows.

The Church of Our Lady is open from 08:00-20:00 (Monday-Saturday) and 08:30-20:00 (Sunday and public holidays). The entrance to the church is free.

5. Marienplatz

The bustling Marienplatz square of Munich in the morning

Marienplatz is the bustling main square of Munich and has been the heart of the city for nearly a thousand years. The epicenter of the Bavarian universe was formerly Munich’s central marketplace but today hosts major festivals and protest rallies.

Marienplatz gets its name from the Marian Column (Mariensäule) that stands in the square’s center. It was erected in 1638 at the behest of Elector Maximilian I as an act of thanksgiving for the city’s survival from the Swedish threat during the cataclysmic Thirty Years’ War.

The 11-m (33-foot) Corinthian column is topped with a gilded statue of the Virgin Mary equipped with a scepter and a crown. The column and plinth include four bronze statues of putti which represent the overcoming of hunger, war, plague, and heresy.

The fairytale-like Neo-Gothic appearance of the New Town Hall in Munich. PC: Lazar Adrian Catalin -

The north side of Marienplatz is dominated by the New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus), easily one of the best things to see in Munich. Although it looks straight out of a medieval fairytale, it was built between 1867 and 1909 in Neo-Gothic style.

Being an architecture fan, I was very impressed with the New Town Hall’s numerous ogival arches, flying buttresses, allegorical images, statues, and spires. The building is really a sight to behold and a photographer’s delight.

The glockenspiel of the New Town Hall in Munich

The New Town Hall is also famous for its glockenspiel (a chiming clock with mechanical figures). Since 1908, 32 figurines representing stories from Munich’s history twirl on two levels daily at 11:00, and 12:00 (from March to October additionally at 17:00).

The enameled copper figures reenact two events from Munich’s past: a jousting tournament held in Marienplatz in 1568 and the Schäfflertanz (Dance of the Coopers), which is performed in the streets of Munich to this day.

Marienplatz is also home to the cute Fish Fountain (Fischbrunnen), Munich’s most famous fountain. It consists of a bronze fish sculpture atop a central column surrounded by figures of three bronze butcher boys, pouring water into the basin from buckets.

The picturesque exterior of the Old Town Hall in Munich

On the square’s far-eastern end you can also see the Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus). Sadly this place often gets lost in the pomp of the New Town Hall, but it should not be overlooked.

The original Old Town Hall dates to the early 14th century but what you see today is a reconstruction of a Neo-Gothic style building that was constructed in the 1860s. 

After copping a beating in World War II, the Old Town Hall’s façade has now been beautifully restored with lovely spires and a tower with a clock face and Munich city coat of arms. It has a banqueting hall, still used for official receptions, above the open arcades. 

Trivia Tidbit

On November 9, 1938, the propaganda minister of the National Socialist government, Joseph Goebbels, called for a pogrom against the Jewish population in the ceremonial hall of the Old Town Hall of Munich. It was the starting point of the staged “Kristallnacht”, which in turn was a prelude to the Final Solution.

6. St. Peter’s Church

The famous St. Peter's Church (Peterskirche) in Munich

Dating all the way back to the 11th century, St. Peter’s Church (Peterskirche) is the oldest church in Munich. Since then, it has changed its style as much as Madonna did in her early days.

Similar to the Church of Our Lady, it was badly damaged in World War II and it was rebuilt after the war. Today, the church’s main structure is a triple-nave, 13th-century Gothic basilica but the interior is mostly Baroque.

The white-and-gray interior has a magnificent high altar, aisle pillars decorated with figures of the apostles, and trompe l’oeil medallions. While the interior of St. Peter’s Church is nice, it doesn’t really move the needle when compared to other European churches.

Panoramic view of central Munich from the roof of St. Peter's Church

The main reason why St. Peter’s Church is worth visiting is to take in the magnificent view from its 91-meter (299 ft) tower, affectionately known as “Alter Peter”—”Old Pete.” This is undoubtedly my favorite place for the best views of Munich and if the skies are clear you can see the Alps to the south. 

St. Peter’s Church is open daily from 07:30-19:00. The tower is usually open from 09:00-18:30. The entrance to the church is free while admission to the tower viewing platform costs 5 EUR.

Pro Tip

Keep in mind that the climb to the top of the tower of St. Peter’s Church is a taxing one (over 300 steps). The stairs are very narrow in certain places, so there can be a bit of waiting during peak periods. I also wouldn’t recommend the tower climb for anyone with vertigo or claustrophobia.

7. Viktualienmarkt

People checking out the numerous stalls of the Viktualienmarkt food market in Munich. PC: Brasilnut -

Located just south of Marienplatz, Munich’s Viktualienmarkt is the city’s premier open-air market and really is the beating heart of downtown Munich

It is home to a tempting array of over 100 stands that sell everything from fine meats to exotic spices, flowers to wine. 

Viktualienmarkt is a Munich must-see as it provides a first-hand glimpse into the convivial (and sometimes grumpy) nature of Münchners. It’s a spot where all kinds of people from businessmen to blue-collar workers come to grab a quick bite to eat or buy fresh produce. 

While getting a feel for old Munich, you can find local fare to eat on the spot or bring home. The market is also home to a beer garden where you can pause for some refreshments and people-watch.

Another major attraction of the Viktualienmarkt is the blue-and-white striped maypole (maibaum) in its center. 

The colorful and decorated maypole in Munich's Viktualienmarkt

Maypoles are a ubiquitous fixture in village squares across Bavaria and formerly served as a sort of medieval Yellow Pages for traveling salesmen–the various motifs signs indicate the goods and services available nearby.

The bottom of the maypole celebrates the Munich Purity Law of 1487  which stipulated that Munich beer could consist only of three ingredients: barley, hops, and water. The Munich Purity Law of 1487 was sort of a forerunner to the famous Reinheitsgebot, the purity law that has governed beer brewing in all of Germany since 1906.

Most of the market stalls at the Munich Viktualienmarkt are open Monday-Saturday from 08:00-20:00.

8. Asam Church

The alluring facade of the small Baroque-style Asam Church in Munich

The Asam Church (Asamkirche) is perhaps Munich’s most ostentatious church and also one of my favorite Munich attractions.  This church is an unexpected masterpiece as it is located between run-of-the-mill chain stores on the city’s popular shopping street Sendlinger Straße.

The church’s official name is St. Johannes Nepomuk Church but nobody refers to it as other than the Asam Church, named after the two talented Asam brothers who spent 13 years financing and designing the church themselves in the mid-18th century.

The incredibly opulent Baroque interior of the Asam Church in Munich

The Asam Church’s inconspicuous door gives little idea of the opulence and lavish detailing within the church. It is over-the-top Baroque with no square inch left undecorated, but all beautifully integrated, showing off the absolute skill of the two brothers.

Cosmas Damian specialized in frescoes while his brother Egid Quirin specialized in sculptures and stuccos. The church is tiny, but the interior is dazzling in its grandeur.

The interior has a tremendous amount of gilding, stucco figures, paintings, deep colors, and texture everywhere the eye turns. This makes the small nave and altar area feel like you are walking into a piece of art.

Fun Fact

The Asam brothers lived in the house (Asam House) next to the Asam Church and initially did not intend to open the church to the public. Instead, they intended to use the church as their own personal spiritual retreat to ensure their salvation. They even designed their living quarters in a way that they could see the high altar from their bedroom window at all times. However, due to incessant public protests against the private church, it had to be made accessible to the general population.

The Asam Church is open 09:00-19:00 (Monday-Thursday and Sunday) and 13:00–19:00 (Friday). The entrance to the church is free.

9. Residenz

The famous Residenz palace in Munich

One of Germany’s undisputed treasures, Munich’s Residenz is one of Europe’s greatest city palaces. What started in 1385 as a castle for the Wittelsbach family, who ruled Bavaria for 700 years, was transformed over the centuries into a magnificent palace complex every passing year. 

The Residenz served as the seat of government and residence of the Bavarian dukes, electors, and kings from 1508 to 1918. The Residenz was restored after its almost total destruction in World War II and is now home to the Residenz Museum, a concert hall, the Cuvilliés Theater, and the Residenz Treasury. 

The enormous Residenz Museum includes about 120 rooms of art and furnishings collected by centuries of Wittelsbachs. As you stroll through the rooms, expect to be dazzled by spectacular painted ceilings, intricate tapestries, and priceless artifacts on display throughout.

Some of the highlights of the Residenz Museum you shouldn’t miss are: 

The dazzling Grotto Court of the Munich Residenz
  • Grotto Court: The courtyard contains an artificial grotto made of volcanic tuff decorated with volcanic crystals, colorful seashells, and a gilded bronze sculpture of Mercury.
  • Ancestral Gallery: This room is designed like The Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, except that instead of mirrors, there are portraits of the Wittelsbach family, set into gilded, carved paneling 
The magnificent barrel-vaulted Antiquarium hall inside the Munich Residenz
  • Antiquarium: The magnificent barrel-vaulted Antiquarium is my favorite place in the Residenz Museum. Nearly every inch of space on its walls and ceiling is adorned with frescoes or busts of Roman emperors. 
  • Green Gallery: This long gallery is a splendid example of Rococo interiors at their finest. It is named for its green silk damask wallpaper and has 70 paintings, arranged in tiers, alternating with mirrors and gold stucco everywhere. 
The glittering colored marble and gilded reliefs of the Rich Chapel in the Munich Residenz
  • Rich Chapel: This small room is majestically decorated with colored marble and gilded reliefs. Its walls are covered with scagliola panels.

If time permits, visit the Cuvilliés Theater and the Treasury (Schatzkammer). The Treasury contains innumerable treasures of the Wittelsbach family collected over a period of almost 1000 years. 

The Treasury spans eight rooms and its rich collection includes the crown of Heinrich II, a bejeweled 16th-century Renaissance statue of St. George Slaying the Dragon, and the royal regalia of the 19th-century Wittelsbach kings. 

The ostentatious horseshoe-shaped interior of the Cuvilliés Theater of the Munich Residenz

The Cuvilliés Theater is an ostentatious horseshoe-shaped Rococo theater built in 1751-3 by Belgian-born Bavarian architect Francois Cuvilliés. Its four tiers of boxes dominated by red, white, and gold hues are dazzling enough to send you back to the days of the Wittelsbachs.

It once staged magnificent Baroque operas, including the premiere of Mozart’s Idomeneo in 1781, and is still used today for performances of all kinds.

Practical Information For Visiting the Residenz

The Munich Residence is open daily throughout the year except for January 1st, Shrove Tuesday, December 24th, 25th, and 31st.

From 1 April-16 October, the Residenz Museum and Treasury are open from 09:00-18:00 (last entry at 17:00), and from 17 October-31 March, the Residence Museum is open from 10:00-17:00 (last entry at 16:00). 

The Cuvilliés Theater operates different opening hours depending on the time of the year. It is open 1 April-31 July and 13 September-16 October from 14:00-18:00 (Monday-Saturday) and from 09:00-18:00 (Sundays and public holidays). The final entry is at 17:00.

From 1 August-12 September, the Cuvilliés Theater is open from 09:00-18:00 (Monday-Sunday). From 17 October-31 March, it is open from 14:00-17:00 (Monday-Saturday) and from 10:00-17:00 (Sundays and public holidays). The final entry is 1 hour before closing time.  

The individual entrances to the Residenz Museum and the Treasury cost 9 EUR each while the entrance to the Cuvilliés Theater costs 5 EUR. 

The combined ticket (Residence Museum + Treasury + Cuvilliés Theater) costs 17 EUR. No tour is required for your visit and you’re free to explore independently.

It’s easy to lose track of time while touring the grand rooms of the Residenz Museum and the Treasury, so try and keep your visit brief.

10. Odeonsplatz

One of my favorite points of interest in Munich is the elegant Odeonsplatz. This historic square was laid out in the early 19th century by a king (Ludwig I of Bavaria) who had an affinity for Italy. 

As you look around you’ll see Munich’s love for the Mediterranean country. 

The monumental open-air loggia of the Feldherrnhalle in Munich

The Feldherrnhalle (Field Marshalls’ Hall) stands at the south end of the Odeonsplatz square and is a virtual facsimile of Florence’s iconic Loggia dei Lanzi. 

Built in the 1840s this three-arch monument stands as a tribute to the Bavarian army. It has bronze statues of Count Johann Tserclaes Tilly (who led Catholic forces in the Thirty Years’ War) and Karl Philipp von Wrede (a hero of the Napoleonic Wars), guarded by Bavarian lions.

Like many other prominent Munich landmarks, Odeonsplatz is deeply embedded in Nazi legacy. It is the place that witnessed the final act of Hitler’s unsuccessful Beer Hall Putsch.

After Hitler’s spirited speech in the now-defunct Bürgerbräukeller, a mob of about 2,000 of Hitler’s supporters marched on the Feldhernhalle on 9 November 1923. They were confronted by a force of 100 policemen which resulted in the deaths of four policemen and 16 Nazis.

Hitler was subsequently arrested and imprisoned in Landsberg Prison where he wrote (or dictated) his infamous autobiographical manifesto, Mein Kampf

Although Hitler’s attempted putsch in Munich failed, the Feldherrnhalle later became a Nazi rallying point where the Nazis worshipped their “fallen martyrs.” During the Third Reich, all citizens passing by the monument were required to give the Nazi salute.

If you’re into history, consider taking a Third Reich & WWII Tour Walking Tour in Munich.

The bright yellow exterior of the Theatine Church of St. Cajetan (Theatinerkirche) in Munich

Next to the Feldherrnhalle is the Theatine Church of St. Cajetan (Theatinerkirche), a 17th-century Roman Catholic Church that points to Italy with its intricate details and bright yellow exterior.

Late Baroque and Rococo in style, the Theatine Church was inspired by the Sant’Andrea della Valle Basilica in Rome. Don’t forget to admire the spiral volutes on its two towers, which are based on those of the famous Basilica of Saint Mary of Health in Venice.

11. Hofgarten

The attractive tree-lined paths of the Hofgarten in Munich

The Hofgarten is a large, well-landscaped park filled with flowers that helps provide a serene escape from the bustle of inner Munich. This groomed area was originally created as part of the Residenz and is modeled on a traditional Italian Renaissance garden.

At the center of the garden is a polygonal temple (Hofgartentempel) dedicated to the Roman goddess Diana. 

You can enjoy strolling up and down the Hofgarten’s gravel pathways, partake in people-watching, listen to buskers, or enjoy watching a game of boules that is occasionally played on the grounds.

The Hofgarten is open 24/7. Free entrance.

12. Hofbräuhaus

The bustling interior of the Schwemme Hall of the Hofbräuhaus in Munich

A trip to Munich without visiting the Hofbräuhaus would be a cardinal sin. Munich’s historic beer halls are an integral part of its history and charm and the Hofbräuhaus is undoubtedly the most famous one.

The Hofbräuhaus is Munich’s number one tourist attraction and is often called the city’s most famous address. Established in 1589 by Bavarian Duke Wilhelm V, it is regarded as the epitome of Bavarian tavern culture.

The Hofbräuhaus as we see it today is housed in a lovely Neo-Renaissance building from 1897. Its hallowed halls have been patronized by legendary figures such as Mozart, Lenin, Louis Armstrong, Mikhail Gorbachev, John F. Kennedy, and George H. W. Bush.

The most iconic part of the Hofbräuhaus is the beautifully frescoed Schwemme, on the ground floor. This cavernous hall with room for about 1,000 guests is always abuzz with its oompah bands, the clinking beer mugs, and harried servers in Dirndl and Lederhosen bustling back and forth.

Needless to say, it’s a tad kitschy, but the boisterous oompah band, the singing, and the revelry contribute to the festive atmosphere.

The vaulted Festival Hall (Festsaal) of the Hofbräuhaus in Munich. PC: Pedro J Pacheco, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Don’t forget to take a peek inside the upper floors. The Coat of Arms Hall (Wappensaal) is lined with painted coats of arms of the administrative districts of Bavaria while the vaulted Festival Hall (Festsaal) has a lovely rustic feel about it.

Trivia Tidbit

On 24 February 1920, Adolf Hitler and the National Socialists held their first meeting in the Festsaal of the Hofbräuhaus (Festival Hall). During this gathering, Hitler, though not the main speaker, presented a twenty-five-point program of ideas that were to be the basis of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazi Party). The Hofbräuhaus played a such pivotal role in Hilter’s rise to power that the National Socialists would celebrate the founding of the Nazi Party here every year on its anniversary.

The Hofbräuhaus is open daily from 11:00-24:00. Even if not planning to eat or drink here, it’s still well worth visiting. The Hofbräuhaus must be experienced!

Pro Tip

While visiting Hofbräuhaus is indeed a quintessential Munich experience, it is by no means the best beer hall in Munich. The atmosphere at Hofbräuhaus is one of a kind but the beer served there is average and the food is sub-par. Plus, its legendary reputation means that tourists far outnumber the locals.

13. Dinner

Treat yourself to a traditional Bavarian dinner. Bavarian cuisine has a reputation for huge portions of hearty food. Calorie- and cholesterol-conscious might recoil at the sight of meals but the dishes are absolutely delectable.

A plate of roast pork knuckle (Schweinshaxe).

Try classics like Schweinshaxe (roast pork knuckle) and Schweinsbraten (roast pork). Vegetarians should opt for Käsespätzle, an egg noodles dish with butter and cheese.

Day 2 in Munich: Museum Hopping in Munich & More

Day Two of this ‘3 days in Munich’ itinerary covers the best museums in Munich and a little bit more. 

1. Traditional Bavarian Breakfast

German Food: A pair of Weisswurst sausages with sweet mustard and a salted pretzel on the side

One of the must-have experiences in Munich is treating yourself to a traditional Bavarian breakfast. More commonly known as “Weißwurst Frühstück,” the traditional Bavarian breakfast consists of weißwurst, a fresh pretzel, and a hearty glob of sweet whole-grain mustard.

If you’re not familiar with Teutonic cuisine, weißwurst is one of the most famous German sausages and probably the most iconic Munich food. It is a parboiled grey-white sausage made of a mixture of finely minced veal, back bacon, and spices stuffed into pork casing.

Weißwurst is traditionally only served in the morning. In Bavaria, and Munich in particular, there’s a big hullabaloo about how to eat weißwurst properly.

Correct weißwurst etiquette calls for the sausage to be eaten by hand and not to eat the casing (skin). You may either suck the meat out of the Weißwurst casing (a technique known as auszuzeln) or use a knife to make an incision along the length of the sausage and peel the skin off.

Since you are in Munich, a city so closely associated with beer, the Weißwurst Frühstück is best washed down with a freshly tapped Hefeweizen. Pouring a cloudy, golden color with a thick foamy head, the hefeweizen features banana, clove, and bubblegum aromas.

2. Munich Museums

One of the many things Munich does very well is museums. The Bavarian capital is home to a world-class lineup of museums that run the gamut of everything from history and art to science and sport.

Whatever your geekery, Munich has an outlet for it. In any case, Munich’s museums offer welcome solace on a rainy day.

The following are four of the best museums in Munich. You should choose which ones you want to visit according to your interest.

2.1 Alte Pinakothek

The famous Alte Pinakothek in Munich. PC: Wibaimages -

Hailed as Munich’s most important art museum, the Alte Pinakothek is one of Europe’s greatest art galleries. It is one of the world’s top repositories of European painters from the Middle Ages to the early 19th century. 

It is housed in a large early 19th-century Neo-Renaissance building rebuilt after World War II. The gallery’s massive collection was started by the ruling Wittelsbachs at the beginning of the 16th century and has grown over the centuries with frequent bequests. 

Man admiring the stunning artworks at the Alte Pinakothek in Munich

Being an art lover, I love the Alte Pinakothek. German, Dutch, and Flemish artists are particularly well represented but the catalog reads like a Who’s Who of European artists. 

Some of the best things to see at the Alte Pinakothek are: 

Pieter Brueghel the Elder’s The Land of Cockaigne at the Alte Pinakothek in Munich
  • Pieter Brueghel the Elder’s arcane The Land of Cockaigne (my personal favorite)
  • El Greco’s somber The Disrobing of Christ
  • Albrecht Dürer’s Self Portrait
Albrecht Altdorfer’s The Battle of Alexander at Issus at the Alte Pinakothek in Munich
  • Albrecht Altdorfer’s The Battle of Alexander at Issus
  • Peter Paul Rubens’s The Honeysuckle Bower 

An added bonus of visiting the Alte Pinakothek right now is that a selection of 18th- and 19th-century masterworks from the adjacent Neue Pinakothek are on display since the latter is currently closed for restoration.

The Alte Pinakothek is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10:00-18:00 (until 20:30 on Wednesday and Thursday). The entrance costs 7 EUR.

2.2 Deutsches Museum

The enormous Deutsches Museum in Munich

It’s not easy but if I had to pick just one, the Deutsches Museum is my favorite of all the great Munich attractions. Inaugurated in 1903, this spectacular museum today lays claim to being the largest museum of science and technology in the world.

Over 28,000 scientific and technology items are on permanent display at the Deutsches Museum. Countless mind-bending exhibits, many of which are interactive, are arranged in a minefield of galleries across six floors, and you’ll often encounter kids and adults with eyes the size of dinner plates.

People admiring the exhibits of the Deutsches Museum in Munich

Large sections are also devoted to pure science, with physical laws and chemical reactions made simple. Further exhibitions include paper- and porcelain-making, machine building, mining, metallurgy, photography, robotics, transport, electronics, agriculture, aerospace, and astronomy.

People checking out the various aviation exhibits at the Deutsches Museum in Munich

You don’t have to be a science nerd to have an incredible time at the Deutsches Museum. Highly recommended!

Since it’s impossible to see everything in detail at the Deutsches Museum, I only recommend checking out exhibits from the sections that appeal to you the most.

People checking out the various technological exhibits at the Deutsches Museum in Munich

The Deutsches Museum is open daily from 09:00-17:00. The entrance costs 15 EUR. To save time, you can also book your ticket online through the museum website. 

2.3 BMW Museum & BMW World

The BMW Museum and headquarters in Munich

There are few things more quintessentially Bavarian than Bayerischen Motoren Werken, better known by the acronym BMW.

With the company’s global headquarters in Munich, a visit to the BMW Museum & BMW World is a great way to gain insight into how this Bavarian brand became one of the world leaders in the motor industry.

Opened in 1973, the BMW Museum highlights the company’s founding and presents more than a century of BMW heritage. You can marvel at the rich tapestry of motoring history, featuring everything from the earliest cars, motorbikes, engines, and futuristic prototypes.

People checking out various BMW models over the years at the BMW Museum in Munich

You can also see exhibitions of how BMW is researching alternative forms of engine and energy resources. The exhibition is spread across five levels and I liked how the light shows, sound effects, and impressive display designs really enhance the visitor experience.

BMW model cars on display at the BMW World in Munich

Nearby is BMW World (BMW Welt), which holds the world’s largest permanent BMW exhibition. Opened in 2007, BMW World is essentially a delivery center where customers can choose to collect their new BMW fresh off the line. 

The rest of us have to be content with product exhibitions and play with interactive components such as driving simulations.

Cars aside, the cutting-edge architecture of the BMW Museum and BMW World is reason enough to visit. The BMW World building is a cloud-shaped, glass-and-steel architectural masterpiece.

Munich architecture: The modernist-style BMW World building in Munich. PC: Camille Tsang -

I was blown away by the building’s sweeping, futuristic façade which is supported by a stunning glass and steel double cone. You can also admire the adjacent BMW Headquarters building which looks as if four cylinders of 19 stories each are hanging from the support structures at the top.

Practical Information For Visiting the BMW Museum & BMW World

The BMW Museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10:00-18:00 (last admission at 17:30). The BMW World is open from 07:30-24:00 (Monday-Saturday) and 09:00-24:00 (Sundays and public holidays).

BMW World is free to visit, but the BMW Museum charges 10 EUR. No advance booking is required but you can book your ticket online through the museum website if you want to save some time. 

The BMW Museum & BMW World are located about 5 min apart from one another. Car enthusiasts will surely get a kick out of their time here but even if you have just a passing interest in cars and engines, the BMW Museum & BMW World are worth visiting.

2.4 Lenbachhaus

The excellent Lenbachhaus museum in Munich

The Lenbachhaus (Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus) has forged its reputation as an internationally important museum on its unique collection of works by the avant-garde “Blue Rider” (“Blauer Reiter”) group.

Founded in the early 20th century, the Blue Rider Art Movement heralded the beginning of lyrical abstract painting. The group became famous for their radiantly colorful and expressive paintings.

People admiring the fascinating collection of artworks of the Blue Rider group at the Lenbachhaus in Munich

On display at the Lenbachhaus are more than 80 works of the Blue Rider group by Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, Paul Klee, Alexej Jawlensky, August Macke, and Gabriele Münter. Highlights include Franz Marc’s Blue Horse, Kandinsky’s Impression III, and Macke’s Turkish Cafe

In addition to the Blue Rider collection, the Lenbachhaus complex also holds an intriguing collection of 19th-century German art, 20th-century artists’ rooms, photography, installations, and sculptures.

I wouldn’t necessarily label the Lenbachhaus a Munich must-see but if you enjoy modern art, especially expressionism, you’ll get your money’s worth. Plus, all rooms and paintings inside the well-curated museum have German and English descriptions, which makes for a pleasant visit.

The Lenbachhaus is open Tuesday-Sunday & public holidays from 10:00-18:00. On Thursdays the museum is open until 20:00. 

Admission to the Lenbachhaus costs 10 EUR. You can purchase a ticket both on-site or through the museum website if you want to avoid any waiting time.

3. Munich Metro Stations

A less documented fact about Munich is that it is home to some of the most beautiful metro (subway) stations in the world. Some of Munich’s U-Bahn stations really pack a punch and a visit to these is one of the best offbeat things to do in Munich.

Obviously, not all the 100 or so Munich metro stations are worth seeing and there are only a handful of stand-out stations. Some of the most beautiful Munich metro stations are – 

Most beautiful metro stations in the world: The spectacular Westfriedhof station in Munich
  • Westfriedhof (U1 & U7): This is undoubtedly my favorite subway station in Munich. The station has 11 huge, domed hanging lamps that bathe the unpaved walls in blue and the platform in red and yellow light. Very cool!
  • Candidplatz (U1): The walls and pillars are embellished with rainbow effects.
The beautifully colored wall panels of Moosach Metro Station in Munich
  • Moosach (U3): The beautifully decorated wall panels covered by oversized flowers bring this station to life.
  • Großhadern (U6): Features bright yellow pillars and wall paintings depicting the geological strata of the soil.
  • Münchner Freiheit (U3 & U6): The brightly lit blue columns and mirrored ceiling make it one of the liveliest stations on the Munich Metro.
The bright orange color of the Marienplatz Metro Station in Munich
  • Marienplatz (U3 & U6): This station is one of the best photo spots in Munich. Its bright orange color scheme on the mezzanine is a real eye-catcher.

4. English Garden

Ponds and trees in the serene English Garden in Munich

The English Garden (Englischer Garten) is one of the largest and most beautiful city parks in Europe. Running from the city center to the northeastern limits of Munich, this sprawling park covers a total area of about 3.7 km², making it slightly larger than NYC’s Central Park.

The English Garden was conceived in the late 18th century by Sir Benjamin Thompson, an English scientist who spent most of his life in the service of the Bavarian government. 

People chilling and sunbathing at the English Garden in Munich, PC: Zaramira -

With expansive greens, pathways, scenic streams, and a beautiful boating lake, the English Garden has always been a favorite among Münchners to unwind. In the warmer months, people flock there to picnic in the sunshine while during winter, sledding and ice skating are popular. 

Don’t be shocked if you encounter buck-naked sunbathers in the warmer months in the English Garden. Freikörperkultur (FKK), literally translated as “Free Body Culture,” has a long tradition in Germany, and being naked in some sections of the English Garden is completely legal. 

The English Garden is also home to some eclectic monuments such as the Japanese Tea House, the Rumford Memorial, and the Monopteros—a Neo-Classical Greek temple offering some of the best sunset views of Munich.

The iconic Chinese Tower and beer garden of the English Garden in Munich. PC: Frantic00 -

The most well-known landmark in the English Garden is the Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm), a distinctive five-story Chinese pagoda based on a design from 1789. One of Munich’s most famous beer gardens is laid out around it.

The English Garden is open 24/7.

5. Eisbach Wave

Surfers riding the famous Eisbach Wave during winter in Munich. PC: Zaramira -

Despite being over 300 km (190 mi) from the nearest sea, Munich has earned a reputation as one of Europe’s surfing hotspots. This is courtesy of the Eisbach Wave, a man-made wave created by strategically submerging concrete blocks in the artificial Eisbach Stream.

The wave is barely half a meter high and about 12 meters wide. However, the wave is only suitable for very experienced surfers as the forceful current means surfers have to be riding the second they hit the water.

The Eisbach Wave is surfable year-round and attracts surfers day and night. Many even brave the icy winters for a ride. 

Unsurprisingly, the Eisbach Wave has become a cult Munich attraction and you’ll encounter crowds of locals and visitors gathered on the banks of the Eisbach Stream and the bridge above cheering on the daredevils. 

Even if you’re not planning on hanging ten it’s worth heading to the Eisbach Wave just to gawk at the pros going back and forth.

Day 3 in Munich: Palaces & Historical Sites

After experiencing the charms of Munich on the first two days, you should consider making your third and final day of this ‘3 days in Munich’ itinerary a little different by seeing some charming palaces and/or historical sites. 

This involves skipping out of town and heading north or south of the city. I’ll give you five options. You can combine at least two of the first four options with one another during the day or just do the fifth on its own.

1. Nymphenburg Palace

Beautiful woman posing for a photo in front of the lake of the Nymphenburg Palace in Munich

The glorious Baroque and Rococo Nymphenburg Palace (Schloss Nymphenburg), the largest of its kind in Germany, is understandably one of the significant Munich attractions. It was erected originally from 1664 to 1674 as a small summer retreat west of the city for the ruling Wittelsbach family. 

However, the palace grew in size and scope over more than 200 years and includes a vast park comprising Baroque gardens, a system of canals, and small pavilions dotted throughout the grounds.

People admiring the ornate interiors of the Great Hall of the Nymphenburg Palace in Munich

While Nymphenburg isn’t the most ornate palace you’ll see, it does boast some worthy highlights. Most notable is the magnificent Great Hall (Steinerner Saal) which extends over two floors and is richly decorated with stucco and splendid frescoes.

The Gallery of Beauties in the Nymphenburg Palace in Munich

Several royal apartments are on display. Of special note is the Gallery of Beauties (Schönheitengalerie) – a collection of 36 paintings by Joseph Stieler of beautiful women that caught the roving eye of King Ludwig.

There are plenty more sights to discover at the Nymphenburg Palace complex aside from the main palace.

A magnificent gilded coach on display at the Marstallmuseum in Nymphenburg Palace

If ornate coronation coaches and sleighs are your thing, visit the Marstallmuseum. On display are some fascinating carriages and sleighs that once belonged to the Bavarian rulers, including the gilded state coach of Ludwig II.

The adjoining Museum of Nymphenburg Porcelain holds thousands of beautiful pieces of fine porcelain.

The stunning Rococo interior of the Amalienburg Palace inside the Nymphenburg Palace Complex in Munich

Of the numerous structures in the garden, Amalienburg is the most interesting. Originally conceived as a simple hunting lodge, its circular hall has a magnificent Rococo interior covered with exquisite stuccowork interspersed with large windows and mirrors.

The beautifully landscaped gardens of the Nymphenburg Palace in Munich

You can also take a leisurely walk through the green pastures of the delightful Nymphenburg Park which stretches for 200 hectares (494 acres). The park is regarded as a masterpiece of garden art and combines free nature with baroque stylization.

Practical Information For Visiting the Nymphenburg Palace

The Nymphenburg Palace is open throughout the year except on 1 January, Shrove Tuesday, 24-25 December, and New Year’s Eve.

The Nymphenburg Palace, Marstallmuseum, and Museum of Nymphenburg Porcelain are open daily from 09:00-18:00 (April to 15 October) and 10:00-16:00 (16 October to March).

The Nymphenburg Park Palaces (Amalienburg, Badenburg, Magdalenenklause, Pagodenburg) are open daily from 09:00-18:00 (April to 15 October). Keep in mind that the final entry to all the buildings of the Nymphenburg Palace is 30 minutes before the stated closing time.

The Nymphenburg Palace Park is open from 06:00-18:00 (November-March), 06:00-20:00 (April & October), and 06:00-21:30 (May-September). The entrance to the park is free.

The entrance to the Nymphenburg Palace costs 8 EUR and the entrance to the Marstallmuseum with Museum of Nymphenburg Porcelain costs 6 EUR. The combination ticket for the three costs 12 EUR.  You can purchase a ticket both on-site or through the museum website if you want to avoid any waiting time.

2. Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial

The infamous wrought-iron gates of the Dachau Concentration Camp

In 1933, on orders from Heinrich Himmler, the Nazis’ first concentration camp was created at Dachau on the grounds of a former ammunition factory. During its notorious history, between 1933 and 1945, more than 206,000 prisoners from 30 countries were imprisoned here.

Those incarcerated here were mostly political prisoners and it remained primarily a slave labor camp. By the time of Dachau’s liberation in 1945, more than 30,000 of the 206,000 prisoners had perished, mostly from malnutrition and disease.

The whole camp is now a memorial site (KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau) to those who died there. Several religious shrines and memorials have been built to honor the dead. 

The intriguing exhibit of the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial

In the main building is the museum containing photos and information about the disturbing atrocities that took place at the camp. Visiting Dachau is a truly moving experience and is well worth the trip from Munich.

Practical Information For Visiting the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial

The Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site is open daily from 09:00-17:00. It is closed on December 24th. The entrance to the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site is completely free and requires no advance tickets or reservations.

The frequent suburban train (S-Bahn) to Dachau is a 20-minute ride from Munich Central Station. From Dachau Station, take bus no. 726 to the camp.

If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of public transportation on your own or you want to get more out of your visit by having a guide, this small group Dachau Memorial Site Guided Tour covers transport to and from Munich.

3. Schleißheim Palace

The elegant Schleißheim Palace just outside of Munich

Prince Elector Max Emmanuel, who built large parts of Nymphenburg Palace, erected another magnificent Baroque palace 18 km (11 miles) north of Munich. 

The monumental palace complex was completed in 1719 and consists of three palaces – the Old Palace (Altes Schloss), the New Palace (Neues Schloss), and the Lustheim Palace.

The lavish interior of the Schleißheim Palace just outside of Munich

The New Schleißheim Palace was originally intended to rival the splendor of Versailles and this shows in its overpoweringly lavish interior. 

The grand staircase of the Schleißheim Palace

One of the highlights of the New Schleißheim Palace is the magnificent grand staircase, an obvious copy of the Caserta Royal Palace in Italy. Other highlights include the cavernous Large Hall and the stuccoed Sala Terrena.

As you make your way through the 50 or so rooms that are open to the public, you’ll be greeted by gilded ceilings, marble pillars, ornate stuccowork, fine frescoes, and remarkable paintings.

The dazzling interior of the Large Hall of the Schleißheim Palace in Bavaria

Don’t miss the Large Gallery, a jaw-dropping hall with red silk wall covering, period furniture, and elaborate ceiling artwork.

The wonderfully inlaid stucco marble panels of the Chamber Chapel of the Schleißheim Palace in Bavaria

The Chamber Chapel and Stuccowork Cabinet, both of which are entirely clad with inlaid stucco marble panels (scagliola) are not to be missed.

The Old Palace houses two branches of the Bavarian National Museum but is nothing special.  

The beautifully landscaped Court Garden of the Schleißheim Palace

The Schleißheim Court Garden is one of only two Baroque gardens in the world that has survived in an unaltered form. Immaculately manicured, it is characterized by canals and pathways that mark out geometrical patterns of greenery.

The breathtaking Great Hall of the Lustheim Palace in the Schleißheim Palace Complex

Lustheim Palace, which sits at the other end of the park, is a small Baroque pleasure palace that was built as a love nest for Maximilian Emanuel and his first wife. It houses an enviable Meissen porcelain collection and features an incredibly gorgeous Great Hall.

If you enjoy palaces and castles as much as I do, you should certainly visit Schleißheim Palace. In my opinion, Schleißheim is more interesting than Nymphenburg as it has better interiors and there are way more rooms open to explore. 

Plus, it seems to be off people’s radar and receives much fewer tourists (I was literally alone) than Nymphenburg.

Practical Information For Visiting the Schleißheim Palace

The Schleißheim Palace (Old Palace, New Palace, and Lustheim Palace) is open Tuesday-Sunday from 09:00-18:00 (April-September) and 10:00-16:00 (October-March). 

The Schleißheim Court Garden is open Tuesday-Sunday from 08:00-17:00 (January-February & November-December), 08:00-18:00 (March & October), 08:00-19:00 (April & September), and 08:00-20:00 (May-August). 

All of the Schleißheim Palace is closed on Mondays, 1 January, Shrove Tuesday,  24-25 December, and New Year’s Eve.

All three palaces have separate entrance fees. The entrance to the Schleißheim Old Palace costs 4 EUR, the New Palace costs 6 EUR, and the Lustheim Palace costs 5 EUR. 

The combination ticket (Old Palace + New Palace + Lustheim Palace) costs 10 EUR. Tickets are sold on-site (only cash).

Schleißheim Palace is best reached by suburban train (S-Bahn) to Oberschleißheim. It is a 15-minute walk from the station to the palace complex.

4. Schwabing

The majestic Siegestor (Victory Gate) in Munich

At the end of the 19th century, the neighborhood of Schwabing in northern Munich gained a reputation for being a bohemian district inhabited by writers and avant-garde artists. 

Today, although the days of bohemian life are long-gone, Schwabing is still the trendiest neighborhood with the most popular nightspots

and small shops. Take a stroll along Schwabing’s two main drags – Leopoldstraße and Hohenzollernstraße, to take in scenes of local life.

The quirky Walking Man Sculpture in Munich

Schwabing is also home to two of Munich’s most famous landmarks – the Victory Gate (Siegestor) and the Walking Man Sculpture. The three-arched triumphal arch was built in the middle of the 19th century and serves as a symbol of peace.

Standing 17 meters (56 feet) tall and weighing 16 tons, the quirky Walking Man Sculpture is hard to miss. This sculpture was designed by American sculptor Jonathan Borofsky in 1995 and is quite impressive for its scale.

Munich Art Nouveau: The beautifully ornamented Optik Riess building

Finally, Schwabing is the best place to see Art Nouveau architecture in Munich. Munich is the birthplace of Jugendstil – the German version of Art Nouveau. 

Art Nouveau is by far our favorite architectural style and we actively seek out buildings in cities known for their Art Nouveau architecture. Some of the best examples of this style can be seen on Ainmillerstraße, Kurfürstenstraße, and Hohenzollernstraße.

Munich Art Nouveau: Close-up of the embellished facade of a building in Schwabing

The asymmetric patterns and diverse use of materials that adorn the façades of the buildings lining these streets are fine examples of the bright and geometric embellishments that typify that style. 

5. Neuschwanstein Castle

The magical Neuschwanstein Castle in the Bavarian Alps

If you have time for visiting only one castle in all of Germany, make it Neuschwanstein Castle (Schloss Neuschwanstein). The most famous storybook castle in the world is one of the most popular day trips from Munich.

Built between 1869 and 1886, Neuschwanstein was “Mad” King Ludwig II’s most ambitious project. It was supposed to resemble a medieval knights’ castle and thus largely follows a Romanesque Revival style.

What propels Neuschwanstein Castle to bucket-list status is its magical setting, on an outcrop of rock towering over a gorge in the Bavarian Alps. With its white limestone façade and deep blue turrets, the briefest of glances explains why Neuschwanstein served as the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Only about 15 rooms of the castle interior are on view. The decorative schemes of most of the rooms are inspired by Wagner’s operas such as Tannhäuser and Lohengrin

Highlights of the interior include the cave-like grotto, the king’s bedroom, and the Byzantine-style Throne Hall.

An added bonus of visiting Neuschwanstein Castle is that you can also visit Hohenschwangau Castle, which is about 2 km (1.5 miles) away. Though not as glamorous nor as spectacular as Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau is a Neo-Gothic building with wall paintings of German sagas.

Practical Information For Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle is open daily from 09:00-18:00 (April to 15 October) and 10:00-16:00 (16 October to March). The castle is closed on 1 January, 24-25 December, and New Year’s Eve.

A visit to Neuschwanstein Castle is only possible as part of a guided tour, which lasts 35 minutes. No photos are permitted to be taken inside while on the tour itself.

Pro Tip

The best views of Neuschwanstein Castle are from the wobbly Marienbrücke, which spans the rushing waters of the Pöllat Gorge.

The entrance to Neuschwanstein Castle costs 15 EUR. Tickets can be booked online (2.50 EUR booking fee) or need to be purchased at the ticket center in the village of Hohenschwangau. 

Though Neuschwanstein Castle can be reached by public transport from Munich, the castle is best seen on a guided tour. 

Where to Eat in Munich

Munich has plenty of great dining options offering all sorts of cuisines. The following are some of our top restaurant recommendations for your 3 days in Munich: 

1. Gaststätte Großmarkthalle – reputedly the best place for eating Weißwurst in Munich.

2. Augustiner Bräustuben – hallowed beer hall serving Bavarian food classics.

3. Schneider Bräuhaus München – rustic restaurant serving excellent wheat beer with an extensive menu of classic Munich dishes.

4. Ayinger am Platzl – another great old-school Bavarian restaurant serving top-notch beer and food.

5. Schiller Bräu – a fantastic Bavarian brewpub.

6. Chopan – a great restaurant serving authentic Afghan food.

7. Cupido – delightful Italian restaurant serving classic Roman pasta dishes and pizzas.

8. Blue Nile – a cozy Ethiopian restaurant in Schwabing. 

9. Frisches Bier – one of the few good craft beer bars in Munich.

More Than 3 Days In Munich?

Must-see Germany: Beautifully half-timbered houses in the medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber

If you have more than 3 days in Munich, the city makes a great base for day-tripping in Bavaria or even parts of Austria. 

Munich is the ideal starting point for excursions to the postcard-perfect medieval old town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the historic city of Nuremberg, Germany’s highest peak – Zugspitze, or Königssee – Germany’s third deepest lake.

You could also take a day trip from Munich to Eagle’s Nest – Hitler’s mountain retreat in the Bavarian Alps above Berchtesgaden or visit Mozart’s hometown of Salzburg on a day trip from Munich.

Where To Stay in Munich

The variety of accommodation in Munich is vast, and it’s possible to find something to suit all tastes and budgets. The majority of hotels and hostels can be found on the periphery of the Old Town and in Schwabing.

If you choose a place further from the center, make sure that it has good public transport connections.

N.B. Munich is a major location for international trade fares so keep in mind that accommodation of any sort can be harder to find in Munich when trade fairs take place in the city and during Oktoberfest.

Hostel: Wombat’s City Hostel Munich Hauptbahnhof, a great choice next to Munich’s main railway station

Budget: B&B Hotel München-Olympiapark, a solid option near the Olympic Park

Mid-range: Hotel Torbräu, an excellent choice in the historic Old Town, just 400 m from Marienplatz

Splurge: Andaz Munich Schwabinger Tor – a concept by Hyatt, a sumptuous choice in the trendy Schwabing district

Further Reading For Your Munich Visit

That summarizes our definitive 3-day Munich itinerary. We reckon you’ll find the following resources useful for planning your trip to Munich!

More Information About Germany

Now, what do you think? How would you spend 3 days in Munich? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

About Mihir

Hello there, fellow globetrotters! I’m Mihir, a passionate travel blogger with an insatiable wanderlust. My journey across the world is fueled by curiosity and a hunger for unique experiences. As a travel writer, photographer, and adventurer, I’ve explored more than 35 countries, aiming to provide readers with a distinctive glimpse of our diverse world. Join me as I blend captivating storytelling with stunning visuals, guiding you through hidden gems and cultural treasures. Besides traveling, my other loves are my beloved cats, architecture, art, craft beer, classic movies, history, and Australian Rules Football (Go Dons!).

3 thoughts on “3 Days in Munich: The Perfect Itinerary for Your First Visit”

  1. Thank you for all your information on things to see, how to get around and advice. My son and I are travelling to Munich, Salzburg and Vienna later this month and plan to do several of your recommendations.

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