Tourist attractions in Munich, Germany
A Tourist attractions in Munich massive list of all the most important tourist attractions in Munich, Germany.
Munich is Bavaria’s capital and one of the most diverse, most liveable cities in the world. I have been living here for almost 15 years now. Despite running a travel blog and traveling the world for more than 30 years, I never ever considered moving. Why? Because there are just so many things to do in Munich!
Paris or Rome might be older and more spectacular, but Munich managed to stay a small town at its heart. The mountains are very close, tradition is pretty much alive, and the surrounding regions are very affluent. They often call Munich the “metropolis with a heart” and maybe that’s why millions of tourists come to see it each year.
I, as a local, decided to compile a massive list of 50 amazing things to do in Munich. If you are having a hard time taking a pick, there is another guide on this blog focusing on how to spend 24 hours in Munich you might want to check out. Anyways, here we go .
1. Marienplatz Tourist attractions in Munich
Every tour of Munich should start at its heart. The central square is called Marienplatz (Our Lady’s Square) and has been the main square of Bavaria’s capital for almost a thousand years. The most famous landmark is the New Town Hall, although the rest of the square is just as lovely. It is possible to climb up the tower of the town hall. Marienplatz even has its own website.
Pro tip: Visit at 12 o’ clock to see the famous chime with 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures reenacting various ancient stories for more than 10 minutes!
2. Munich Residenz
The Munich Residenz is the ancient city castles (one of the largest in the world) of the Bavarian kings. It now houses a museum and one of the finest gem collections in the world. The whole complex is quite huge, but it’s more than worth to take your time. Plan your stay on the official website.
Pro tip: Don’t forget to walk around the Residenz to see the court garden and enjoy a cool beer in its beer garden.
3. Alter Peter Tourist attractions in Munich
Munich has many fantastic churches. But there is one, you absolutely can’t skip: St. Peter’s Church. It’s one of the favorite tourist attraction in the city because the church tower offers you the most spectacular panorama of the inner city. Here’s the website with opening hours & prices (German)
Munich and its beer are world famous. There is a continuous tradition of more than 1.000 years of brewery art you can partake. The Hofbräuhaus is probably Munich’s most famous beer hall and has been copied all over the world. It’s a tiny tack touristic, but still authentic and really should be on your list of things to do in Munich. Here’s the website.
5. Königsplatz Tourist attractions in Munich
For me, the Königsplatz (Square of the king) is the secret highlight of Munich. The square, kept in a classical Greek style, is home to two wonderful museums. But even if you don’t plan to go inside, I am sure the fantastic architecture of the square will leave its mark on you. Here’s the website of the Glyptothek, one of the two museums.
6. English Garden
If Marienplatz is the heart of Munich, the English Garden is its soul. The picturesque landscape garden is a local’s favorite (much like Central Park in New York). You will see the residents having picnics, playing sports or enjoying the beer gardens within.
Pro tip: You can rent a horse carriage to drive (or rather let you drive) around the English Garden.
Very close to the center (actually only 100 meters away from the Marienplatz) you will find a gourmet food market called Viktualienmarkt. Here, you can sample many traditional delicacies. There is also an authentic beer garden you might want to check out! I wrote a guide to Viktualienmarkt that has all the details.
The Kunstareal (art area) is located in the district “Maxvorstadt” and home to a couple of world class museums called “Pinakotheken”. There is one for each epoch: old art, modernity, and contemporary. Works from Leonardo Da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, Monet, but also Gerhard Richter, Salvador Dali, and Joseph Beuys. Here is the official website.
Pro tip: Visit on Sunday when the entry fee is just one euro for each museum (excluding special exhibitions)
9. BMW World
Everyone knows, Germans produce the best cars in the world (okay, there is some debate over that grin). If you are a fan of BMW, then you absolutely have to put the BMW World on your list of things to do in Munich. It’s a mixture between a car saloon and a museum. Above all, the building is extremely beautiful! Here’s the link to the official website.
Pro tip: There is an excellent Michelin-starred restaurant inside the BMW World you might want to check out. Book away in advance. It’s called Esszimmer.
10. Oktoberfest / Theresienwiese
Oktoberfest might be the most famous export article from Munich. These days, you will find Oktoberfests all over the world, but none as good & authentic as the original. Each year millions of tourists come to visit Munich during those two weeks at the end of September (yes, not October). Read my insider’s guide to Oktoberfest here.
But despair not. The Theresienwiese (as the festival ground is called) hosts a couple of other wonderful events throughout the year. In winter and spring, there is the Tollwood, for example.
11. Cathedral of Our Dear Lady
The Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) is the largest church (and cathedral) in Munich – it is also one of the oldest. It is probably the most iconic sight in my hometown. The insides are rather austere, but nevertheless quite impressive!
Pro tip: They are currently renovating the towers, but once that is done, it is possible to climb one of them!
12. Dachau Concentration Camp
Dachau is, strictly speaking, not located in Munich anymore. There are regular speed trains leaving the city in the North of Munich (~30min), so it’s not a far trip. Here you can see the infamous concentration camp where thousands of Jews (and political prisoners) were killed in the cruelest and inhumane way imaginable. It’s a grim place, but one you should definitely visit because of its utmost historic significance.
Looking for other day trip options from Munich? Check out my list of 20 suggestions!
13. Go on an Art Nouveau walking tour
Most people hearing the words ‘Art Nouveau’ will probably think of Paris or maybe Brussels or Vienna. Few know that Munich was one of the epicenters of the art movement and many houses from that time survive. I compiled a detailed walking tour for you here.
14. Castle Nymphenburg
One of the most beautiful castles in Germany is certainly Nymphenburg. An amazing landscape garden surrounds the sprawling palace and it’s easy to spend a whole afternoon here.
Pro tip: Nymphenburg is also home to one of the best porcelain manufactories in the world
15. Deutsche Museum
The Deutsche Museum (German Museum) is the most visited museum in Germany. Unlike other museums, it doesn’t focus on art, but rather technical history. Cars, airplanes, computers, chemistry – there are virtually thousands of rooms filled with modern and ancient gadgetry. Here is the official link.
16. Hellabrunn Zoo
Hellabrunn is an ancient zoo that doesn’t only focus on sustainability and proper animal welfare, but also on conservation & wildlife protection around the world. Animals like the Przewalki’s horse are now running around in their natural habitat again thanks to the continuous effort of this zoo. Here’s a link to the official website.
The Theatinerkirche is probably the most beautiful church in Munich. High baroque has never been seen in such a majestic way before. Unlike other churches from that time, the interiors are kept in all white, creating an almost surreal experience. Here’s the official website.
Pro tip: Attend the Sunday morning service to hear the famous church music
18. Day trip to Castle Neu Schwanstein
The most famous castle in the world? That’s an easy answer: Castle Neu Schwanstein. You will not find it in Munich, but rather near the city of Füssen. It’s quite easy to get there by train. The best thing: There are a couple of other beautiful castles nearby (like Hohenschwangau)
Pro tip: You absolutely need to buy tickets in advance if you want to see the inside during the high season.
19. Christmas Market (Christkindlmarkt)
Wondering when to visit Munich? One of the best times is certainly the holiday season. During December half of Munich is transformed into one gigantic Christmas market. The smell of mulled wine, gingerbread, and the famous German sausages are everywhere. Read my guide to the Christmas market in Munich here.
20.Watch a soccer match at Allianz Arena
The Allianz Arena is one of the most recognizable soccer arenas in the world. The FC Bayern Munich is, on top of that, also one of the best soccer clubs in the world. So, why not attend a soccer match during your stay to see both? Plan your tour on the official website.
Scared of heights? Then the Olympiaturm television tower might be something you want to skip. As the imposing tower stands right in the Olympic Park, you should go anyhow. Unlike in other cities, Munich managed to transform the stadiums for the Summer Olympics 1972 into an area for social, cultural, religious and sports events. There is even a Sea Life park. Here is the website to check out the impressive event schedule
22. Circus Krone
Munich has a very famous circus. During the winter time, you are able to attend the shows in the winter quarter. They usually got three different shows, some focusing more on animals, others on artists. Here is the website.
23. Bavarian National Museum
Bavaria has a very old and very interesting history. There is a whole museum filled with it. Sounds boring? Is anything but that! Personally speaking, it is my favorite museum in Munich! Here’s their website to get a first impression.
24. Bayerische Staatsoper
Did you know I am also writing opera critics? Well then, it might not come as a big surprise that I’ll recommend an evening at the Bayerische Staatsoper. The interior is fantastic, but so is the ensemble. It is, frankly speaking, among the top 20 operas in the world (if you ask me). So, don’t miss it! Book tickets on their official website. (And drop me a comment, if you are wondering what to see!)
The Expressionism is one the most discussed art movements in history. Names like August Macke, Franz Marc, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Paul Klee instantly come to mind. As the Expressionism was very strong in Munich, there is a whole museum filled with masterpieces from that time. Check out the Lenbachhaus here.
Odeonsplatz is another one of Munich’s beautiful squares. It sits right in between the Theatinerkirche and the Residenz and is a place of quite a historic importance. It was here Adolf Hitler attempted his first coup.
One of the most photographed highlights in Munich is probably the Friendsengel (I should know since I live very close to it). It’s pretty much just a big column topped by an angel (hence the name) surrounded by a big park. Beautiful nonetheless!
28. Villa Stuck
If you love Art Nouveau, you might want to check out the Villa Stuck. It was once the home of the famous painter Franz von Stuck. The pristine Art Nouveau villa is now a museum, but parts of the original interiors survived. Here’s the website.
29. Herrenchiemsee Palace
One of the most beautiful day trips from Munich is probably Herenchiemsee. The beautiful island is home to a spectacular castle, built by the same king who built Neu Schwanstein, and just as beautiful. Check it out here.