Munich is easily accessible from other European locations as it has a large airport (MUC). Upon arrival, it is very easy to use U-bahn to get into the city from airport. This takes about 45 minutes if you are going to the center and costs around 12 euros. Alternatively, you can take an Uber or taxi from the airport to the city center. This will take about 30 minutes and costs around 50 euros. I used the U-bahn during the day and used an Uber when arriving late at night.
If arriving or departing by train, the main train station is Hauptbahnhof. I took trains to Salzburg, Austria and to Innsbruck, Austria from Munich. These two small towns had limited flight options and were an easy train ride from Munich. The trip on the train was very scenic and an enjoyable ride that I would recommend.
U-bahn/S-bahn is the Munich metro and it is very easy to use. You can buy a variety of different options (single ride, one day, single person, multi-person, etc.)
I have been to Munich four times and used a variety of transportation options, including the metro, renting bikes, and walking around the city on foot. When in the city center, it is easy to walk around to a few of the key attractions. I would highly recommend renting bikes if you are in Munich when the weather is suitable.
If possible, stay close to the city center. Three of my four trips to Munich, I stayed at the Courtyard Marriott Munich City Center hotel (Schwanthalerstraße 37, 80336 München, Germany). The hotel is nice, but the area around it is a bit seedy. It was okay during the day, but not somewhere I would want to walk around alone at night. However, the hotel was very conveniently located as it is about a 5 minute walk from the main train station and a 15 minute walk from the city center (Marienplatz).
On my first trip, when visiting for Oktoberfest, we stayed away from the city center due to high demand for places to stay during the festival. However, this was not a problem as the public transportation is very easy to use and made traveling to the festival simple.
Market square in the city center
New Town Hall located in Marienplatz. The building is a unique and beautiful architecture
Food market located in the center of Munich not far from Marienplatz. There are little tents where people sell produce, cheese, snacks and more. There is also an outdoor beer garden here, which was even open in December as people were out and about for the Christmas markets.
Former royal palace that is now a museum. Located close to Marienplatz
A large public park in Munich. Inside the park you will find the Chinese Tower Beer Garden where you can enjoy a beer and sausage on a nice summer day. Another highlight of the park is the Eisbach, which is a small manmade river in the park that creates a wave in the river. The wave draws surfers out into the river to test their skills and always brings in a crowd to see how they hold up against the wave.
A Church located in the city center that you can climb to the top of for a wonderful view over Marienplatz. The climb is not too challenging (around 300 steps), but gets a bit tight when having people walk both directions in some locations. I would recommend climbing the tower for the view if it is a nice day.
Church located in the city center of Munich
We rented bikes from Mike’s Bike rentals for the full day at a cost of 18 euros a person. We biked to Nymphemburg Palace, Hirschgarten Olympic Park, BMW Welt and Museum, and through the English Garden.
There are signs around the city that help guide you to some of these locations if you take the recommended bike path routes. This was a great way to see more of the city and enjoy a nice day outside.
Palace in Munich’s western district
This park was added to Munich for the Olympics in the 1970s. Today it operates as a park with sports facilities and hosts different social events.
BMW museum not far from Olympic Park where you can take tours, see exhibitions, and attend special events. Tickets to visit should be booked in advance.
We did it through Mike’s Bike Tours. I would recommend this because they drive you to the Castle and provide helpful guides. Then they offer an optional bike tour (which we did and really enjoyed) or you can tour the other castle, Hohenschwangau Castle. The bike ride is very casual and easy, but nice. You first bike to get a nice view of the castle and then you bike to a lake to spend some time there or to swim. Then you head back for lunch at a local spot before going back to the castle to hike (or take the bus) up to Mary’s bridge for a beautiful view of the castle followed by a tour inside the castle
If you opt to do this trip on your own, note that tickets often sell out far in advance and sometimes the only way to get in is with a prebooked tour group. Also this restaurant was delicious (not right outside of the castle, but still nearby): Schloss Brauhaus
Beer festival at the end of September for 2.5 weeks every year. It draws locals and visitors in from all over the world and people of all ages. For families, there are carnival rides, and for the adults there are numerous beer tents where the beer starts flowing from the kegs early in the morning.
One of the main Christmas Markets in Munich is found right in the city center. There are stands in front of the Rathaus, selling mulled wine, ornaments, snacks and other homemade products. The streets leading into the plaza are also lined with spots to stop for a drink or snack. Make sure to try some mulled wine (hot, sweet red wine) while venturing through the stalls and exploring the markets. When you get a cup, usually you pay a fee for the cup. Once you return the cup, your deposit is returned. You will also find a decorated Christmas tree in Marienplatz.
The open market dresses up for Christmas as well. Not far from Marienplatz, there are more spots for snacks and the outdoor beer garden is alive around Christmas time even if the weather is a bit chillier.
Inside the Courtyard of the Residenz is another cute Christmas market. Located about a ten minute walk away from Marienplatz, this market is less busy (at least earlier in the day). The food at this Market looked the best as there was a variety of options across the different stands.
Found in Munich’s major park, the English Garden, this Christmas market is further from first three as it is at the Chinese Tower
In Bavaria, beer is always an option, and the options are endless. Munich is well-known for having tons of beer gardens spread throughout the city. Outdoor picnic tables come out of nowhere and are filled with people when the weather gets nice. A few of the larger beer gardens include:
If the weather is not suitable to enjoy beers outside, then check out one of the many Beer Halls. Below are some favorites that are worth visiting:
Healthy food option
Germany is tough on Sundays as everything tends to be closed. Restaurants and beer gardens are open, but stores are largely closed and the city feels quiet. Be sure to try bratwurst, pretzels and beer while in Bavaria.
After visiting Munich four times, it is safe to say I like the city. Each time I have visited for a particular reason. If you visit in the fall, time the trip around Oktoberfest as the city erupts and is quite a unique and fun experience. Traveling in the winter is nice, but time the trip for late November or December so you can take advantage of the Christmas markets. If visiting in the summer, you will want to enjoy the time outside. People are always out and about, spending time with friends and family throughout the town. If you are up for it, rent bikes and go beer garden hopping. A day trip to Neuschwanstein can be nice any time of the year.
Transportation and Accommodations
Things to do and see
Food and Drinks