Are you eager to know the 20 top places to see in Munich Germany?
In this guide that I have prepared for you with love, you will learn many curiosities about one of the most interesting cities in Germany, where to eat, how to get around, the best places to see in Munich, and the best plans in the surroundings. The capital of Bavaria is an essential place in Germany and I hope that with this compilation you will enjoy the city as much as I do.
I confess: Munich is one of my favorite cities in Germany. I have been twice to the capital of Bavaria and every time I go I like it more. It is a very lively city, with a lot of atmospheres, with a lot of history, with many traditions and it is also beautiful. You can see that I like it, huh? So that you can organize your visit as well as possible, I have compiled for you the best places to see in Munich, restaurants, curiosities, and much more. I have no doubt that your trip to Munich will be a complete success.
20 places to see in Munich
We start with the heart of Munich and this square is the first place you have to see in the city. It is probably the liveliest place in Munich and is always packed with tourists. In addition to the unique buildings that are in it (which I will tell you about in detail later) in the center is the golden column of Santa María that gives its name to the square. It was built in 1638 to celebrate the victory of the Thirty Years’ War.
2. New City Hall
The most notable building on the Marienplatz is the New Town Hall building, in German Neues Rathaus. It is a neo-Gothic building with gargoyles that I don’t know about you, but it gives me an air of Brussels City Hall. What stands out most about this building is its carillon, one of the largest in Europe. Every day at 11:00 and 12:00 (also at 5:00 in the summer) he plays hard, recreating a dance scene and a wedding. Plan your visit to come here in the morning to see it.
As a curiosity, I would like to tell you that the town hall tower as well as the two vaults of the Munich Cathedral are the only two buildings in the center that remained standing after World War II. The reason is none other than that they used these tall buildings to orient themselves when bombing. Keep in mind that back then there was no GPS.
By the way, on the ground floor of the New Town Hall is the Munich Tourist Office, but after reading this article about everything you have to see in Munich, you won’t need to go there.
3. Old Town Hall
A few meters from the New Town Hall is the Old Town Hall of Munich (Altes Rathaus).
It has had to be rebuilt several times, the last one after World War II when it was completely destroyed. That is why it presents a simple, austere air and without great details.
4. Juliet Statue
Just behind the Old Town Hall is the sculpture of Juliet. And now you are still thinking, what is Julieta doing in Munich if her official site is Verona? The reason is none other than the city of Munich is twinned with the city of Romeo and Juliet. Tradition says that if you touch her breast and bring her flowers you will find true love.
We continue the walk through this church that, although it goes somewhat unnoticed, is worth a visit to see its baroque style and how beautiful it is inside. Also, you have her in front of the statue of Juliet and on the way to our next destination.
This place is full of stalls where you can eat some traditional German fast food. Formerly it was the market for farmers and ranchers. Today it is one of the most traditional markets in Munich where you can find fruits, vegetables, artisan cheeses, and much more. Come in the morning to see it in its full splendor. In addition, it is a good place to buy something and eat it in the beer garden that I am going to detail below.
One of the things I like most about Germany is the ability they have to adapt to outdoor plans. And one of my favorites is the beer garden. These are places to drink beer where you can even take food from home or consume something from a local stall on the Viktualienmarkt. The plan is to get a seat and drink the local beers of the city . As expected, the tables are shared and, therefore, you have the chance to strike up a conversation with the person next to you. Which I love. Only the tables with tablecloths are reserved for ordering food directly there.
Talking about Munich is talking about beer. One of the facts that most caught my attention is that they have 6 local beers that are the only ones you will find in the beer gardens. They are breweries that meet certain local standards, such as having their factories in Munich. In the beer gardens, they don’t have all the beers on the same day. That is to say, you go and see on the sign what beer you can order that day. When the liters of beer of that brand runs out, they change to another within those six.
The six Munich beer brands are Paulaner , Hofbräu , Spaten , Löwenbräu , Hacker-Pschorr, and Augustiner . The latter, the Augustiner, is the oldest beer in Munich and my favorite. If you are not lucky enough to find it in the beer garden, ask for it in a bar because you will only find it in the region of Bavaria. It is not exported or within Germany, so its flavor is unique and special. They only make the exception to send the former Pope Benedict XVI (Ratzinger, who was Bavarian) 365 days liters of beer a year, one for each day of the year.
By the way, don’t be scared if you see people drinking beer at 10 am in the beer garden. Welcome to Germany, friend! 🙂
8. St Peter´s Church and climb the bell tower
The Church of San Pedro is the oldest church in the city. It was built in the year 1150. Inside I recommend looking for the skeleton of Santa Munditia decorated with gold and precious stones. Tradition says that if you throw a few coins into it and take a picture you will find love.
But the best thing about the Church of San Pedro is its bell tower. More than 300 steps will take you to the best views of the city. By the way, if you doubt whether to go up or not because of the effort of the stairs, my opinion is that it is worth it. Admission costs 5 euros and you can go up until 5:00 p.m.
9. Church of Our Lady Frauenkirche
The towers of the Munich Cathedral are one of the icons of the city. No building in Munich can be taller than these towers. The history of the construction of this church is most curious. It was built in a simple way with brick between 1468 and 1488. It is Gothic in style and, like a good Gothic cathedral, it had spire towers. But due to water leaks, they were removed and replaced by the green-colored vaults that we see today. The fact is that it was going to be a temporary solution, but it stayed that way for more than five centuries.
The residence was the home of the Wittelsbachs, the royal family that ruled Bavaria from 1508 until World War I. It is the largest municipal palace in Germany. Here is also the Treasure Chamber with an incredible collection of jewelry, swords, Bavarian crowns, and more works of art that belonged to the most popular family in Germany. You can visit inside and it’s a real treat, both the building itself and the works of art it has. I recommend buying the joint ticket for the Residence Museum along with the Treasury Chamber.
11. Bavarian State Opera
Right next to the Residenz building is the Munich Opera House with more than 350 years of history. It is curious because within the pique that exists between Munich and Vienna they ordered the construction of this opera with one more seat than the Vienna Opera. Everything is to touch the noses, right?
This square is one of my favorite things to see in Munich. The royal family of Bavaria was in love with Italian culture and in this square, there is a good example of it. Here is the Feldherrnhalle building that I will talk to you about in the next point calmly and the Theatinerkirche church which is the first baroque church in Bavaria. This church was ordered to be built by Italian architects at the end of the 17th century at the request of Fernando I María and his wife to thank God for having a successor to the throne of Bavaria.
This place deserves a separate point and now you will understand why. The Feldherrnhalle monument is surely familiar to you as it is inspired by the Loggia of the Lenzi in Florence. In this place in 1923 the first failed coup d’état of the German National Socialist Party, the Nazi party, took place. In this coup d’état, 20 members of the party died. When the Nazis came to power they decided to place a statue in this building commemorating his murder.
During the time of the dictatorship, you had to give the Nazi salute when passing this commemorative plaque. So many people opposed to the regime avoided going through here and crossed through the so-called ” traitor’s alley ” that is just behind the building to go around it. Until the Nazis found out and put spies to recognize the people who always passed through this alley. You know what happened to these people who regularly passed through traitor’s alley, right? It is believed that they went to the concentration camp outside Munich. Currently, in this alley, there are some mosaics on the floor of different colors that symbolize those people who died in the concentration camp for avoiding the Nazi salute and being contrary to the regime.
14. Maximillianstrasse, the luxury shopping street
If you want to freak out with the city’s standard of living, I recommend you take a walk down this street in the center of Munich. Here are the best luxury fashion stores in the world: Prada, Tiffany’s, Chanel, Dior, and much more.
15. The English Garden and the Eisbach Wave
The English Garden is one of the largest urban parks in the world and the best thing about it is that you can catch waves in it. Well, better said “wave”, in the singular. And this place seemed to me the most curious. Here you will find people with their neoprene surfing thanks to an artificial wave that forms in the waterfall of the river. They can be seen perfectly from the bridge itself. I recommend you walk through the park because it is a delight, with trees, bike paths, Lake Keinhesseloher, and even a Chinese Tower. Right next to this Chinese Tower is another of the best-known Beer Gardens in Munich.
16. Hofbrauhaus _
We continue talking about beer and I include the Hofbräuhaus among the best things to see in Munich because more than a bar it is an essential stop even if you don’t like beer. The home of the Hofbräu brewery, one of the six Munich beers, is probably the most typical bar in Munich. Formerly this brewery only brewed beers for the court. Today you can enter freely even if it is to see it inside because it is very worth it.
The environment is assured. Both tourists and locals gather here at large tables to toast to the rhythm of “Prost!” while Bavarian music plays in the background. It’s the closest thing to the Oktoberfest atmosphere. You can also order food if you wish, although it is more normal.
By the way, during the weekend it is easy to find people in the local Bavarian costumes. It is not that they are dressed up on purpose, it is the traditional Bavarian costume that they wear to parties, on special occasions, or at events. By the way, the side where the bow of the girl’s traditional costume is tied indicates whether she is married or single. If she is on the left she is single. 😉
17. The best museums to see in Munich
I have already given you a few brushstrokes of everything the city can offer you. As you can see, a lot of atmosphere, interesting places, and history. But be careful, I haven’t finished yet, there is also the cultural part. There are many museums to see in Munich that are very interesting. In a summary, I will briefly tell you about some of the most famous museums in the city.
- Munich Municipal Museum – is located on Jakobplatz and was installed here for the city’s 850th anniversary. It is based on telling the entire evolution of the history of the city of Munich. Did you know that the name of Munich comes from the word monk?
- Jewish Museum focuses mainly on the life of the Jews in Munich, without forgetting the Holocaust, of course.
- BMW Museum: a classic in the city and essential if you are a car lover. This museum is located in the building colloquially called “the salad bowl” and there you can learn more about the evolution of the pieces of this car brand.
- The Old and the New Pinacoteca are located in the so-called Kunstareal art district with numerous works of art of different kinds.
18. Olympic Park
The symbol of the most modern Munich can be found in the Olympic Park built for the 1972 Olympic Games. Although it is located on the outskirts of Munich, it is a great place to have a modern and different vision of the city.
19. Nymphenburg Palace
This palace was the summer residence of the Bavarian kings. The palace is Baroque and is a 30-minute underground ride from central Munich. You can visit both the gardens and the inside.
I can’t talk about Munich without mentioning the most important international festival in all of Germany. In fact, it is the largest, the most visited, and the oldest in Germany. For more than two weeks the city is completely transformed, the party begins on a Saturday in mid-September and ends on the first Monday in October. More than 30 giant tents are set up, people are usually dressed in typical Bavarian costumes, there is music, and beer is drunk non-stop.
As a curiosity to comment that the beer that is drunk at Oktoberfest is a special beer that is made for the festival by the only six Munich brands. They get to drink more than 7.5 million liters. Almost nothing! And no, you can’t ask for a small beer. At Oktoberfest, beer is drunk liter by liter.
One of the things that I assure you will attract your attention most about the festival is that the waiters are capable of calmly loading more than 10-liter beers in a single draft and without spilling anything. Now that is juggling and the rest is nonsense.
Did you know that Oktoberfest has its origin in a wedding? It was in the year 1810 when the wedding of Ludwig I, heir to the crown of Bavaria, was celebrated. The wedding must have been epic and the following year they celebrated it again with plenty of beer. And this is how the most famous beer festival in the world was born.
Where to eat and drink in Munich
Beyond the beer garden and the hofbräuhaus, these are the restaurants and bars where I recommend you eat in Munich:
- Nuerbenger Bratwurts Gloeckl is Dom – This traditional Bavarian food restaurant is right next to the cathedral and has some very good food. The price is perhaps a bit more expensive than other restaurants, but it also has quite a bit of quality. It also has Augustiner beer.
- Augustiner Bräustuben is Augustiner’s own beer pub, great for trying the best beer in Munich.
- Wirtshaus in der Au is one of the most traditional Bavarian taverns in Munich with traditional food from the area.
What to see near Munich: The best excursions
As Munich is the capital of Bavaria, you have many interesting places for all tastes just a stone’s throw away. Next, I am going to briefly tell you about the best excursions to do around Munich.
This castle with an unpronounceable name is the true crown jewel of Bavaria. Not only because of the castle itself, which is obvious, which is impressive but also because of the surrounding environment between lakes and mountains. This castle was the residence of King Luis II known as the “Mad King”. See if the castle that served as inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle is pretty.
You can visit inside, although the experience inside left me a bit cold. In addition, the entrance seemed quite expensive for the half-hour guided tour that they give you. And also in a hurry. They don’t leave you free time to watch it quietly. Without a doubt, in this castle, the beauty is on the outside.
The castle is an hour and a half from Munich, a great option to get there is with an organized tour that combines Neuschwanstein Castle with Linderhof Palace. If you don’t have a car and decide to go on your own you will have to take a train to Fussen and from there take a bus to the castle.
Dachau concentration camp
It is not just any concentration camp. It is the first Nazi concentration camp. Although the entrance to the concentration camp is free, in these types of overwhelming places it is essential to visit it with a guide who will tell you about its heartbreaking history.
About 200,000 people passed through here, of whom almost a quarter died. Hit the sign at the entrance that says “Arbeit Macht Frei” work will set you free. There is no doubt that this place and its history make your hair stand on end.
Salzburg is one of the most beautiful cities in Austria and you have it less than 150 kilometers from Munich. Why not take the opportunity to visit it when it is so close? You can make the journey by train in less than two hours. It is not just any train, the landscape from here is brutal. Probably one of the train routes with the best views in Europe . In addition to the charm of the city at the foot of the Alps, Salzburg is a very interesting city because Mozart was born here.
Nuremberg is one of the most historic cities in Germany and the favorite residence of some German emperors. You find it just over an hour by train from the center of Munich. This is where the famous Nuremberg trials were held, which were responsible for judging the crimes committed during the Nazi period in Germany.
And here is this article. I hope this guide has helped you to visit the best places to see in Munich! So that you can locate yourself better, I leave you a map with all the places I talk about in this post. If you have any questions, I’ll wait for you in the comments of the post.