Any route through Bavaria would not be complete without passing through Munich, the capital and largest city in the area. Cosmopolitan and modern, it is a perfect destination for a weekend getaway or as part of an itinerary through southern Germany. Today I want to tell you what to see in Munich in 3 days and what are the best excursions to do from the city. Ready to explore?
Streets of Munich by Bahdanovich Alena / Shutterstock
🗺 What to see in Munich in 3 days + Map
The Bavarian capital is a very complete city that has a beautiful old town whose heart in the square Marienplatz. It has a lot of interesting visits to make, but my recommendation will be that you go around the center in two days, so you leave a third day to go to know the surroundings that are fantastic. An example of an excursion from Munich (and the most popular) is to go to Neuschwanstein Castle, which is like a Disney Castle.
Here I leave you a map with the main attractions of the city, so you can locate them at a glance and then break them down below. That way you can decide what you want to see and what you don’t want to see.
In this interactive map you will see in red the essential visits to visit Munich in 1 day, in yellow what to see in Munich in 2 days and finally in purple you will see alternatives for your third day in case you don’t want to do an excursion to the outskirts of the city.
▶️ What to see in Munich in 1 day
To help you with your travel planning, I will break down the visits day by day, so that you can organize yourself better according to the time you have. On the first day we will see the “crème de la crème” of the city, i.e. the essential ones.
As I told you a few lines above, the historic centre of the city revolves around its main plank called Marienplatz.
The most imposing and important buildings in the city, such as the New Town Hall and the Old Town Hall, are concentrated here. In the middle of the square you will also find the famous Fishbrunnen fountain and the Column of St. Mary (Mariensäule), which dates back to 1638.
If you plan to visit Munich in December, take the opportunity to stop by the square because the Christmas markets are held there and it’s a real treat!
Marienplatz at Shutterstock
✔️ New Munich City Hall
On Marienplatz square you will find one of the most important buildings in the city: the New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus). You’ll find it easy to identify him because he’s got an 85-meter tower with a cheek.
The New Town Hall is a neo-Gothic style building built between the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which will impact you at first sight. My recommendation is that you come in and visit him to see his lobby, the courtyard and the interior of the restaurant in the basement. Do not miss the opportunity to climb to the top of the tower from where you have a privileged view of the entire city. The best thing is that you don’t have to leave your lungs in the elevator, because there are 2 elevators that take you to the top.
If you want to see the carillon in action with its more than 30 figurines, come to the square any day at 11am, 12pm or 5pm (the latter only from March to October).
⏲ New Town Hall opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 9am to 6pm⏲ Tower opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 10am to 7pm, Sundays and public holidays from 10am to 5pm.👛 Price of access to the tower: 4€.
✔️ Old City Hall of Munich
Another of the emblematic buildings in the Marienplatz square is that of the Old Town Hall which, despite its name, is a relatively new construction (or rather, reconstruction) following the models of the town halls that were built there in the 14th and 15th centuries (hence it looks like a castle).
It is interesting to know its interior as they maintained their original Gothic appearance, with wooden beams and ceilings where you can see the ceremonial hall with vaulted ceiling and Paris with a frieze with almost 100 coats of arms dating from the fifteenth century. It was from this hall that in November 1938 the beginning of the “Night of Broken Glass” was instigated, which implied a lynching of Jews.
In addition, it has a 55-meter tower – the oldest part – which houses a complete “Toy Museum” (Spielzeugmuseum) that invites you to take a tour of the history of toys since the early 19th century including dollhouses, copper soldiers or a display on the history of Barbie.
⏲ Visiting hours: every day from 10am to 5.30pm.👛 Price: €4
Church of St. Peter by Mikhail Markovskiy / Shutterstock.
🔶 Church of San Pedro
Very close to Marienplatz is this church, the oldest Christian temple in the city that is better known by locals as “Alter Peter” (Old Peter). The first chapel located here dates from the eleventh century although since the thirteenth century underwent several reconstructions, the last being the Renaissance style after World War II.
The interior is not spectacular, although it is worth seeing the figure of St. Peter located on the high altar, the relic of Santa Munditia or the ceilings painted by Johann Baptist Zimmermann.
But one of the main attractions is to climb more than 300 steps to reach the viewpoint of the tower from where you will see the entire city, including Marienplatz Square. However, unlike the New Town Hall tower, there is no lift here and you will have to climb a narrow staircase.
⏲ Timetable: every day from 10am to 6pm👛 Price: 3€.
If we follow the route of this itinerary of what to see in Munich in 3 days we arrive at one of the most popular markets of the city: Viktualienmarkt.
This is an open-air market with almost 150 stalls where you can find fresh produce (cheese, fruit, vegetables, etc.) and flowers. It is also ideal for eating, as it has some street food stalls and there is a shaded “biergarten” area for you to enjoy in peace and quiet.
⏲ Hours: Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm and Saturday from 10am to 6pm. Closed on Sundays. Try to arrive a couple of hours before the official closing time, because many booths start closing before the official closing time. 👛 Price: free.
The best example of a Christian temple of baroque and rococo style is this spectacular church of Asam from the 18th century. It bears this name because its architects were the Asam brothers who at first it was for their personal use, but later it was opened to the general public.
The interior is wonderful, totally full of details with stuccoes and fresh. Come and see it! It’s small, so you’ll see it in a few minutes.
⏲ Hours: Saturday through Thursday from 9am to 6pm and Fridays from 1pm to 6pm. Closed on Sundays.👛 Price: free of charge.
Höfbrauhaus Brewery by Sergei Afanasev / Shutterstock
🔶 Hofbräuhaus Brewery
Whether you’re a beer fan or not, one of the must-see stops on your tour of Munich is the oldest brewery in the city called Hofbräuhaus.
This is a brewery that began its wanderings 5 centuries ago (1589) as a factory of this liquid gold to supply the Wittelsbach family and opened to the general public in 1828. Although after being destroyed during the Second World War was rebuilt following the same aesthetic of yesteryear and is beautiful!
But beyond the fact that it is a very old brewery, historical events have taken place within its walls, such as the fact that the “Soviet Republic of Bavaria” was claimed and that Lenin often attended or that Hitler gave his speeches there before creating the Nazi party.
Despite being huge (it receives more than 30,000 people a day), it is always full, especially during Oktoberfest. So if you go, be patient. By the way, if you’re interested in the history of Nazi Munich, you can sign up for the Spanish-language “Munich of the Third Reich” tour that passes through here and gives you lots of curious details, including a visit to the Dachau concentration camp.
⏲ Opening hours: every day from 9am to midnight.👛 Admission: free of charge.
💡Una excellent way to start discovering the city and its history is with a FREE TOUR IN SPANISH. In 2.5 hours you will see the most emblematic and then you can continue touring the city at your own pace. It’s free, but you must reserve your place. More information here.
🔶 Max Joseph Square
In the centre of Munich you will find this large square where the National Theatre, the Munich Opera House, is located. The neo-Greek building is beautiful.
In the northern part of the square is the Residence and in the south is the old post office. You can also see in the middle of the square the statue of the first king of Bavaria: Max Joseph, hence the name of the square.
Interior of the Royal Palace by posztos / Shutterstock
🔶 Residenz (Royal Palace)
One of the things to see on your first day in Munich is the Royal Palace, which at the end of the 14th century was a castle and years later became the residence of the Bavarian monarchy from the 16th to the 20th century. If it doesn’t tell you much on the outside, wait till you get in, you’ll love it!
During the Second World War part of the building was destroyed, so it had to be rebuilt after 1945, but following the original aesthetics. Today it is the largest museum and urban palace in the region and it houses the Museum of the Residence, the Treasure Theater Cuvilliés.
During your tour you will be able to see more than 100 rooms of the old monarchic residence, such as the “Antiquarium”, full of sculptures, the mirrors room or the art collections in the rest of the rooms that range from Renaissance to Neoclassicism. You can also access the courtyards and the beautiful garden.
If you want to complement the visit, which I recommend you, you can visit the Cuvilliés Theater of rococo style that is wonderful and the Treasure, which houses the jewels of the Wittelsbach family (yes, to the one who made beer in Hofbräuhaus) among other monarchic objects.
⏲ Museum and Treasure Hours: April to October 20: 9am to 6pm. From 21 October to March from 10am to 5pm.⏲ Cuviliés Theatre opening hours: April to 28 July Monday to Saturday from 1pm to 6pm, Sundays and public holidays from 9am to 6pm. From July 29th to September 9th from 9am to 6pm. From 10 September to 20 October Monday to Saturday from 2pm to 6pm and Sundays and public holidays from 0am to 6pm. From 21 October to March Monday to Saturday from 2pm to 5pm and Sunday and public holidays from 10am to 5pm.⏲ Garden fountain opening hours: April to October every day from 10am to 2pm.👛 Price of access to the museum: 7€👛 Price of access to the Treasure: 7€👛 Price of combined Museum + Treasure: 11€👛 Price of entry to the Cuvilliés Theatre: 3.50€👛 Price of combined Museum + Treasure + Theatre: 13€👛 Price of entry to the gardens and fountain: free.
Odeonsplatz via Shutterstock
Another must-see in Munich is this old town square which is flanked by beautiful buildings such as the Teatinos church, the beautiful “Hoftgarten” park and the “Feldherrnhalle” monument dedicated to the Bavarian army and which closely resembles the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence, Italy.
If you have enough time, I recommend that you enter Hoftgarden Park for a walk on its many paths to admire the sculptures, fountains and green areas.
✔️ Church of the Theatines
As I told you, in Odeon Square (Odeonplatz) is the great church of the Teatinos with a beautiful yellow facade dating from the seventeenth century and beautiful baroque domes.
If you have time, I advise you to go in and see the stuccoes and tombs of the Wittelsbach family as well as those of Maximilian II and Mary of Prussia. It also has paintings by artists such as Gaspar de Crayer or Carlo Cignani.
⏲ Opening hours: every day from 6.30am to 7.30pm👛 Price: free.
🔶 Nymphenburg Palace
If a few lines above recommended you visit Residenz, the residence of the monarchs, now I recommend that you also include in your route through Munich a visit to this 17th century Baroque palace that was the summer residence of the Bavarian royal family.
You can visit the interior of Nymphenburg Palace, with its many rooms decorated with frescoes and period furniture, such as the ballroom. The gardens are also beautiful, with a neoclassical temple and several pavilions such as the Pagodenburg or Amalienborg.
⏲ Hours of access to the palace: April to 15 October every day from 9am to 6pm, from 16 October to the end of March from 10am to 4pm. ⏲ Hours of entry to the chapel: April to 15 October from 9am to 6pm. Closed the rest of the year.⏲ Garden pavilion hours: April to 15 October 9am-6pm. Closed the rest of the year.⏲ Garden hours: January-March, November and December 6am-6pm, April and October 6am-8pm and May and September 6am-9.30pm. The fountains are open from Easter to mid-October from 10am to 12pm and from 2pm to 4pm.👛 Price of the palace: 6€👛 Combined ticket price: from April to 15 October 11.50€ and from 16 October to the end of March: 8.50€ (this ticket includes a visit to the palace, to the Marstallmuseum with its carriages and trineso, entrance to the porcelain museum and to the garden pavilions).
Nymphenburg Palace via Shutterstock
▶️ What to see in Munich in 2 days
After having visited the 8 most iconic sites of the city during the first day, we will take advantage of this second day to discover less well-worn -but very interesting- areas of the Bavarian capital, as well as other beautiful tourist sites.
🔶 Walk the most important central streets
Although on the first day you’ve probably been through some of them, on this second day you can recreate Kaufinger Strasse and Neuhauser Strasse.
Kaufinger Strasse is one of the most commercial in the city and it will be there where you can find restaurants and breweries to taste the local cuisine. In addition, if you walk the whole way it will take you to our next street, which is pedestrian: Neuhauser Strasse.
This pedestrian street starts at Marienplatz and takes you directly to Karlspltatz (our next aprada) and there are shopping malls and many shops, as well as the church of San Miguel (which I will tell you about later). But the best thing is that being pedestrian there are street artists and it is a delight to stroll there.
🔶 Church of San Miguel
Located at 52 Neuhuaser Street, it is one of the most beautiful Renaissance Christian temples in the city, with the second largest barrel vault in the world.
Inside this 16th century church is the crypt where the tombs of many monarchs of the Wittelsbach dynasty, including Ludwig II of Bavaria, are located. But beyond the temple itself, which is very beautiful, I recommend that you go to the time of mass because it is not “to use”, but many faithful sing songs with candles.
San Miguel Church in Shutterstock
In this 17th century square stands one of the three ancient gates of the medieval wall that protected access to the city of Munich, although it is not 100% original, but is rebuilt. This door is called Karlstor and the figures that adorn it come from an old fountain located on Marienplatz.
It is worth a visit to admire the city gate called Karlstor and see the fountain in the center.
🔶 Munich Cathedral
Also known as “Frauenkirche”, this is the largest Gothic brick church on the continent.
It dates back to the 15th century and was sent to build by the Wittelsbach royal family. It has two towers of almost 100 meters each and inside the cathedral you will find the cenotaph of Emperor Louis IV of Bavaria, beautiful stained glass windows and the altar of St. Andrew. In summer you can climb one of the towers to admire the views.
As a curiosity, inside the church is what was called “the footprint of the devil” which is said to have been left by Lucifer himself.
⏲ Visiting hours: Monday to Wednesday and weekends from 7am to 7pm. Thursdays from 7am to 8.30pm and Fridays from 7am to 6pm.⏲ Tower access hours: April to October Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm.👛 Cathedral access fee: free.
Englischer Garten vis Shutterstock
🔶 Englischer Garten
To get to this English garden you will have to be about 1 kilometre away from the historic centre, but the walk is nice and the garden is worth it.
This is an urban park near the Eisbach River and has lakes, wooded areas, sculptures, biergarten (beer garden) the Chinese tower (which is like a very nice wooden pagoda) and even a typical Japanese tea house.
⏲ Opening hours: open 24 hours a day, 356 days a week on año👛 Price: free of charge.
🔶 Isartor and Sendlinger Tor doors
As I told you before, three of the four ancient medieval gates of the city wall that protected the city are still standing. You can see the Karlstor door in Karlsplatz Square, but you can also come and see the other two.
The Isartor Gate, built in 1337, is in the Isartorplatz square and, despite having been restored, it still preserves its main tower and the frescoes representing the return of Emperor Ludwig after triumphing in the Battle of Mühldorf in 1322. It is very close to the river Isar and therefore bears that name.
The Sendlinger Tor gate is located in the square of the same name and is the oldest in the city as it dates from 1318, sent to build by Ludwig of Bavaria. Despite having been restored in the 20th century, it retains its two medieval towers.
Sendlinger Tor by serifetto / Shutterstock
🔶 BMW Welt and BMW Museum
Although you are not a fan of the motor world, the truth is that the experience they propose in BMW Welt is hilarious and something different. But let’s go by parts:
In the BMW Museum you can admire all the models of this automobile company, as well as prototypes that have never reached the streets or some of the future.
The BMW Welt is a dealership (the largest of BMWs) and in it you can see how these well-known cars are made. You can also get in the cars or play in the interactive attractions. They do guided tours, so don’t miss it. To get there ideally take the metro and get off at Olympiazentrum station (lines U2 and U3).
⏲ BMW Welt opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 7.30am to 12pm and Sundays from 9am to 12pm. ⏲ BMW Museum opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm. Closes on Mondays.👛 BMW Welt price: free.👛 BMW Museum price: €10
Since you have come close to the BMW Museum area, take the opportunity to visit the tallest building in the city, the television tower with almost 300 meters, which is in the Olympic Park and was built between 1965 and 1968.
You can take a walk through the park and then go up to the lookout tower that offers you beautiful views of the city. However, the viewpoint is not at the top, but about 180 meters and in it is the revolving restaurant. It takes almost an hour to make a full turn, so I recommend you go for a coffee or a beer and enjoy the 360º views.
In addition, in the tower is the museum “Rockmuseum Munich” where you can see tickets, photographs and newspaper articles, clothing and other curiosities of Freddie Mercury, Pink Floyd or the Rolling Stones.
As with visiting the BMW Museum, the best way to get there is to take the metro to Olympiazentrum station (lines U2 and U3).
⏲ Opening hours: every day e 9am to midnight.👛 Price to climb the tower: 9€.
Olympiapark and communications tower by Shutterstock
▶️ What to see in Munich: third day
This third day can be used to discover new things in the city or to make an excursion to nearby sites.
First I’ll tell you here what other attractions to see within the city and then I’ll tell you which are the best day trips from Munich. This way you can choose how to spend your last day in the city.
🔶 Deutsches Museum
This is an immense museum founded in the early twentieth century where you can admire various collections ranging from mining and atomic physics to textile technique, musical instruments, ceramics or physics.
This museum is divided into different areas: the main building, the aeronautical shipyards, the transport centre and the Deutsches Museum in Bonn. What does this mean? It can easily take you all day to go through it and you still won’t see the whole thing; so I recommend that when you enter you ask for a map to see the areas and choose which ones interest you the most.
Among the most important objects are the U1 submarine, the Wright brothers’ first motor plane, the Altamira cave recreation or Galileo’s workshop.
⏲ Opening hours: every day from 9am to 5pm.👛 Price to main museum: 14€👛 Price of combined ticket to all areas: 21€.
This is a totally different sculpture in the city of Munich. It is a twisted staircase almost 10 meters high made by the Danish artist Olafur Eliasson that goes nowhere… it goes up and down because it is attached to itself. This is why it is known as the “eternal ladder”.
But it is not in plain sight, you will have to enter the KPGM building located at 29 Ganghoferstrasse to see it and, if you feel like it, get on it. You’ll get a very original photo.
Umschreibung via Shutterstock
🔶 Alte Pinakothek
This museum (Old Munich Picture Gallery) has a large collection of paintings ranging from the Middle Ages to the early nineteenth century.
Exhibits more than 8,000 works by German, Italian, French, Spanish and German artists. Among his most outstanding works are the “Madonna of Preaching” by Antonello da Messina, “Adoration of the Child Jesus” by Stephan Lochner or “The Flea Hunter” by Gérard Ter Borch. You can also take a walk through its beautiful garden.
⏲ Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday from 10am to 8.30pm and Thursday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm. Closes on Mondays.👛 Price: 7€
This is the “Gate of Victory”, one of the most representative monuments in Munich and is the emblem of peace in the city.
This 21 metre high triumphal arch was built on 19th century orders following the example of the Constantine Arch of Rome. Come closer to see the bas-reliefs that are incredible.
Gateway to Victory at Shutterstock
🔰 The best excursions from Munich
As I said at the beginning of this article, Munich in a couple of days you can see it quietly, so my recommendation is that the third day you use it to do some day excursion to some of the ineresantes sites that are in the vicinity. Here are some ideas:
🔶 Excursion to Neuschwanstein Castle
Do you want to know the castle where Disney was inspired for its logo? Well, this is it! And believe me, it’s SPECTACULAR. It is perfect for a day trip from Munich, as it is only 110km from the Bavarian capital.
It was sent to build by Louis II, known as “The Mad King” and, if you like the castles and the history of this monarch, you can also choose to do the route of “The 3 castles of the Mad King” which in addition to this, includes a visit to the Palace of Linderhof and the Palace of Herrenchiemsee.
If you want to be on your own, you must take the train from Hauptbahnhof to Füssen (2 hours journey for 25€). Once you arrive at Füssen station you must take a bus to the castle (for example lines 73 or 78). Get off at the Hohenschwangau Neuschwanstein Castles stop, which is the office where you buy tickets to enter the castle.
Another option is to visit the castle with an excursion that includes train transfers from Munich and a guided tour in Spanish.
There is another tour which also gives you the opportunity to see the Linderhof Palace. For more information about this complete tour click here.
Neuschwanstein via Shutterstock
🔶 Excursion to Salzburg
Less than 2 hours from Munich you can visit the beautiful city of Salzburg, known for being the setting for the film Smiles and Tears (The Rebel Novice) and the birthplace of Mozart. If you want to know more about Slaburg, take a look at the post I wrote about “what to see in Salzburg”, so you get an idea of what’s waiting for you.
You can go by train, which takes you in an hour and a half, the price of the return ticket is around 65 €. Another option is to go by bus, which usually takes about 2 hours to make the journey. You have companies like Flexibus that, if you buy in advance can cost you about 10€ round trip.
Finally, an uncomplicated way to visit Salzburg is with a guided tour that includes train transfers, Spanish speaking guide and gives you free time to explore the city on your own. All information about the Spanish tour to Salzburg here.
Salzburg via Shutterstock
🔶 Excursion to the Dachau concentration camp
This is the first Nazi concentration camp and is really a perfect excursion to understand the dimension of the Holocaust. It houses a free museum and memorial for you to learn about this part of our recent history.
It is located 20km from Munich and can be reached by public transport. How? You must take the S2 train to Dachau from the Munich train station. It will be at this station Dachau where you must get off (it is about 20 minutes). Once there, you must take the bus 726 that goes in the direction of Saubachsiedlung that brings you to the concentration camp in about 5 minutes. If you want you can also walk, but it’s about 30 minutes walk.
Another option is to go on a guided tour from Munich that includes the transfers and the guide in Spanish. I advise you to travel through Dachau with a guide, so that you can better understand what you are seeing and know the history -and the stories- of the place.
Dachau by Ihor Serdyukov / Shutterstock
🏨 Hotels in Munich
There is a wide range of hotels in Munich, from budget hostels to multi-star hotels. My recommendation is that you stay in the historic centre, so that you can move on foot.
What hotel is good downtown? My recommendation is the Müller Inn B&B, which has large and comfortable rooms – with the option of shared bathroom for a cheaper price -, a good breakfast and is in the heart of Munich.
If you want to look for other hotels, take a look at Booking which offers hotels from 17€ per night to pure luxury accommodation.
✈️ How to get from the airport to the centre of Munich
Munich airport is 30 kilometres from the historic centre and can be reached by public transport or private transfer.
🚍 By bus: at the airport there is the “Lufthansa Airport Bus” (which you can take even if you have not flown with that airline) which for 10.50 € takes you to the central station (that price is if you buy online, otherwise you can buy it from the driver for 11 €). The journey takes 45 minutes and offers service between 6.30am and 10.30pm. The frequency is every 15 minutes.
🚉 By train: There are S-Bahn trains on lines S1 and S8 that take you to different points in the city centre. The price is 12€, they offer service every day from 4am to 1am and take 30 minutes to make the journey (although it depends on your stop). They happen approximately every 10 minutes during the day and 15-20 at night. Here you can see the timetables and routes of the S-Bahn lines.
🚖 By taxi: in the arrivals area you will find taxis that can take you to the centre for about 55€. Demands that they turn on the meter.
🚘 Private transfer: you can book it in advance and a driver will be waiting for you in the terminal with a sign with your name and will take you directly to your accommodation. The price is 90€ with capacity for 3 passengers. More information about private transfers here.
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