Home to the famous annual beer-drinking festivities, Oktoberfest, Munich is situated in the southeast part of the country, just hours away from Austria. We decided this was the appropriate detour from our Scandinavia trip as Daniel had a work-related conference in Obergurgl, and Munich was the most accessible city from Copenhagen. It was my first time in Munich but second visit to Germany. With only 2 full days to spare, these are the 4 things you cannot miss while in Munich.
#1 Do the free walking tour around Marienplatz.
This is a great way to start your trip in Munich as you visit the main attractions around the city center (The New Town Hall, Frauenkirche, Viktualienmarkt, HofBrauhaus, etc.) and learn brief history told by the very knowledgable and entertaining tour guides. You can’t beat FREE but make sure to tip. We uncovered some very interesting history that we would have otherwise missed. This tour exceeded our expectations and we even signed up for another (paid) guided tour through the same company.
#2 Go to a biergarten and have a tall glass.
When in Paris, you go to the Eiffel Tower and in Cusco, you visit Macchu Picchu. The same goes to Munich. You come here and you MUST visit a biergarten. There is no exception. The Barvarians take their beer seriously. Producing and consuming beer goes back to history and it’s part of their society. There are plenty of beer halls all around; we went to Augustiner-Keller in the district of Maxvorstadt. It’s slightly out of the city center but only a short train ride away.
#3 Stroll or bike through the English Garden.
Equivalent but bigger than Central Park in New York City, the English Garden is an urban public park in the center of Munich with 910 acres of greenery with plenty of sights and attractions. You can forgo the attractions and simply have a picnic, but you can’t miss the biergarten at The Chinese Tower. It is the second largest in Munich with seating for 7,000 people.
#4 Dedicate a full day to visit Neuschwanstein Castle.
Our biggest regret is not visiting this castle while in Munich. It came down to time and we didn’t have much of it. Neuschwanstein Castle is the source of inspiration for many Disney movies and a landmark from the late 1800s, commissioned by the King of Bavaria. It’s outside of Munich and about 3 hours away by train, faster if you have a car. The Wallet Diet wrote a helpful post about this if you plan on visiting.
Other attractions worthy of mention:
- Nymphenburg Palace
- Deutsches Museum
- Dachau Concentration Camp (outside of Munich)
- Beer halls: Hofbräukeller at the Wiener Platz, Beer Garden at the Viktualienmarkt