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When people talk about a Munich Itinerary, they almost always mention the city’s annual Oktoberfest celebration. But I’m here to tell you that there is so much more to Munich than Oktoberfest (great news for my fellow non-drinkers!). This 3 days in Munich itinerary is sure to convince you that there are a ton of amazing things to do in Munich year round!
Munich is Bavaria’s capital, and it is gorgeous. The city is filled with beautiful gardens, outstanding museums, ornate palaces, and of course delicious food. Its location makes it easy to extend your trip with a visit to Innsbruck or Vorarlberg.
There are so many options for what to do in Munich that you’ll never run out of reasons to come back.
Table of Contents
Arrival in Munich/How to Get to Munich
Getting to Munich is super easy from anywhere in the world. Bus and train travel also make it accessible if you’re in another part of Europe. Here are some of my tips for how to get to Munich:
There are a ton of flight options into Munich, making it really easy to fly there from anywhere in the world. The only real drawback to flying into Munich is that the airport is located about 45 minutes from the city center.
There are several options for getting from the Munich airport to the city center. As always, there are a number of rideshare and taxis available outside baggage claim. You also have the option of taking the Lufthansa Express Bus to Munich Central Station (no matter what airline you fly!). Be sure to pre-book it here before you arrive.
But the best option for getting to Munich from the airport is taking the train (called the S-Bahn in Munich). It’s the fastest option and a good way to get used to using public transportation for getting around Munich.
Pro Tip: If public transport to and from the airport isn’t your jam, consider pre-booking a pick-up service instead.
Getting to Munich by train is easy from just about anywhere in Europe. There are direct trains to Munich from major cities like Zurich, Austria, and Paris, plus fast, easy connections to and from many cities throughout Germany (it’s only a 4-hour ride from Berlin!).
Pro Tip: I recommend buying tickets ahead of time using Omio. They get more expensive the more you procrastinate and Omio shows you all the route options available via various rail companies.
Best Time to Visit Munich
Some would argue Oktoberfest is the best time to visit Munich, but that’s actually the time I’d avoid Munich entirely. It gets crowded and expensive and makes it hard to really appreciate all that Munich has to offer.
For me, July is the best time to go to Munich. Notoriously rainy June will have ended, leaving July a bit less wet and less cold than other months – it’s basically a southern California winter! Plus, this is when Munich comes alive.
From blooming gardens to starlit orchestral concerts to firework-filled skies, you’ll see why I picked July to spend your three days in Munich.
Is the Munich City Pass Worth It?
The Munich City Pass is absolutely worth it. I used it during my visit to Munich and it was so convenient to just pay for the card once and have access to everywhere I wanted to visit in Munich, including public transport!
So, what is the difference between the Munich City Pass and the Munich Card? Basically, the Munich Card is a discount card and the Munich City Pass is a “free ticket” to the top 45 attractions and tours in Munich with the added bonus of priority access (no waiting in line!) to some attractions. You can compare the two here.
Both cards offer a range of purchase options, from 1 to 5 days. Both also include transportation via Munich Public Transport. I love walking whenever possible, but having the option to hop on public transport at no charge can really help you get the most out of your 3-day Munich itinerary.
The Best 3 Days in Munich
There’s so much to do in Munich (and in the surrounding areas) that it’s easy to wonder how many days in Munich will be enough. A three-day Munich itinerary is enough time to get to know the city and see all the best things to do in Munich. Plus, you can always go back – and I bet you’ll want to!
3 Days in Munich Itinerary: Day 1
Breakfast at Monaco Cafe
Sausage and pretzels, believe it or not, are typical breakfast foods in Munich. But for a lighter breakfast (my preference), start the day at Monaco Café & Franzmünchinger Shop. It’s got good quality coffee, homemade cakes, and pastries, plus there’s no better way to start a trip to Munich than with a great view of the Marienplatz!
Tour the Munich Residenz
It’s so gorgeous inside the Residenz! After getting a taste of the local market, walk north to Munich Residenz. This place is just…wow. It has got ornate floors and painted ceilings and even gold walls.
There are two options, and I recommend doing the long tour. The short tour skips some of the best rooms and since they’re both self-guided, you can easily move past anything that doesn’t interest you on the long tour.
Also, if you’re interested in classical music, you can get tickets to a concert at the Residenz, specifically in the Hofkapelle, where Mozart himself used to play. How cool is that?
Stroll Through the Old Town Streets
Wandering the streets of Old Town, particularly Maximillianstrasse, is a good way to get a feel for Munich. These are mostly pedestrian shopping streets, but the window displays are fun to check out and there are some neat vintage shops tucked into small courtyards and alleys.
Watch the Glockenspiel
Be sure to return to Marienplatz with plenty of time to catch the Glockenspiel performance at 11 am or noon (there’s another one at 5 pm in spring and fall). And by plenty of time, I do mean plenty. It’s one of the top things to do in Munich Germany and the square can get crowded. Sure, the Glockenspiel is a little cheesy, but it’s fun to watch what’s basically a giant cuckoo clock, complete with music and dancing figurines.
Marienplatz is also a good place to explore before or after the Glockenspiel performance. There’s access to the S-Bahn station here, so there’s always a steady stream of people – perfect for people watching! And the Rathaus (Town Hall) is a gorgeous building with an inner courtyard that sometimes has really cool, totally Instagrammable art exhibits.
Lunch at Der Kleine Flo
For some of the best cheap eats in Munich, head to Der Kleine Flo. This restaurant specializes in sliders, so you can actually try a couple of different variations or just have a small meal if you’re still full from breakfast. They also have an excellent Caesar salad and several vegetarian options.
Marvel at the Asamkirche
The heavily rococo Asamkirche is one of the things you can’t miss in Munich. It’s not a very big place but every inch of the interior is covered with marble and frescos. I’ve seen my share of palaces and churches, and let me tell you, I’ve never seen anything quite like Asamkirche.
Right outside the church is the Sendlinger Tor. There’s not a lot to do here besides look at it, but it’s still pretty cool to see one of the remnants of the old city wall from the 1400s since you’re right there.
Climb the Tower at St. Peter’s Church
Yes, I’m about to tell you to go to another church. But don’t worry – while the 300-year-old Peterskirche is really pretty inside (you can see where they repaired damage from World War II!), what makes this a top attraction in Munich is the tower.
The staircase is 306 steps high, but every uneven, steep, and narrow step is worth it once you get to the top. It’s the best view in all of Munich – on a clear day, you can see the Alps!
After that climb, it’ll feel good to get a little rest. At the south end of the Viktualienmakt is a little cafe called Cafe Frischut that specializes in the delicious dessert called schamlznudel. Try this combination of donut and pastry with fresh orange juice and a coffee – just be aware that they only accept cash.
Stroll Through the Victuals Market (Viktualienmarkt)
A short stroll away is the 200-year-old Viktualienmarkt. It’s like a giant farmer’s market, craft fair, flower market, and souvenir stand all rolled into one. Walking through the Viktualienmarkt feels a little like going back in time.
The Viktualienmarkt is the perfect way to get a feel for Munich. Keep an eye out for the Maypole – it’s decorated with symbols of the regional trades and crafts.
Psst: this is also an excellent place to sample regional delicacies on a food tour!
Dinner at Hofbrauhaus
If Munich is known for one thing, it’s biergartens. I love the atmosphere of these places and Hofbrauhaus is one you have to visit, even if it’s super touristy. There are a few non-alcoholic drink options and a few good non-pork dishes too – sauerbraten is always a great option in Germany. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on buying a pretzel from the pretzel lady.
Hofbrauhaus has music every night and its communal tables make for fun conversation and people watching. It’s a perfect way to spend the evening!
3 Days in Munich Itinerary: Day 2
Experience the Dachau Memorial Site
A visit to the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site is something I think everyone needs to do as part of a 3 day Munich itinerary. Even if you think you know the history of Dachau, I think you’ll be surprised by what you learn here. It’s a haunting and reflective experience.
If you’re looking for an experience that includes transport and a knowledgeable guide, consider booking this highly-rated guided tour of Dachau.
Alternatively, take the S-Bahn from the central station to KZ-Gedenstätte and follow the signs to the memorial entrance. Dachau offers an exceptional audio tour through their visitor center.
Lunch at Zum Durnbraeu
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I recommend returning to Old Town for a (late) lunch. Head a few blocks east from Marienplatz and you’ll find local favorite Zum Durnbraeu. It has a wide selection of Bavarian food, and it’s a cozier version of the big beer halls you’ll see everywhere in Munich.
Ask the friendly staff for recommendations but don’t forget to order the Zwetschgenkuchen (a delicious plum cake) with your meal. It takes about a half-hour to prepare, but it’s worth the wait.
Explore the Olympiapark
The grounds of the 1972 Munich Olympics have been turned into the really excellent Olympiapark. It’s a short ride from the central station to a dedicated Olympiapark station and once there, you can explore a big green park with tons of trails and lawns.
There are plenty of activities here if you want to do more than wander. You can rent rowboats, paddleboats, or paddleboards on the lake or take in another view of Munich from the Olympic Tower. Other options include touring the park with the free audioguide app, ice skating in the indoor arena, or renting inline skates to explore outside.
For a truly unique attraction in Munich, head for the north side of the park. Here, some of the original Olympic housing has been converted into student dorms. The students have been allowed to express themselves through graffiti and the facades are now covered in art. This was one of my favorite things to see in the area – I love how creative all the murals are!
If you’re into cars and want to see another museum, the BMW Museum is right here as well. And even if you’re not into cars, one of the most fun things to do in Munich is to wander into the BMW Welt next door. It’s basically a giant car showroom, but it’s really cool to see people come to pick up their new BMW. The cars get lifted up in an elevator into a big glass hall!
Dinner at Cafe des Bellevue di Monaco
Head back to Old Town Munich for a ton of great dinner options. My recommendation would be the Cafe des Bellevue di Monaco. It’s got a great mission of helping refugees, but I wouldn’t recommend it if the food wasn’t amazing too! Go for whatever is on special that day and don’t leave without getting one of their cakes.
Catch a Movie at Cadillac & Veranda Cinema
If you’re still looking for fun things to do in Munich after dinner, Germany is known for its elaborate, ornate, and kitschy movie theaters. Head over to Cadillac & Veranda Cinema to see what’s playing. They offer a lot of English language films but there are also Bavarian releases if you feel like partaking in some German cinema.
3 Days in Munich Itinerary: Day 3
Breakfast at Botanista Cafe Club
Jump right in and start your day at Botanista Café Club. This place is light, airy, and has good coffee and brunch. They open a bit earlier during weekends and have a delicious brunch menu as well.
Soak Up Some Culture at a Museum (or 3!)
I’m a one-museum-a-day kind of girl, but Munich has so many great options that I was tempted to just spend the day touring them all! My favorite is the Pinakothek der Moderne, but you can’t go wrong picking the museum that most interests you to spend one morning of your Munich 3-day itinerary.
Pro tip: A lot of these museums in Munich offer free entry on Sundays!
Art Museums in Munich
The three premier art museums in Munich are the Alte Pinakothek, the Neue Pinakothek and the Pinakothek der Moderne.
- The Alte Pinakothek is one of the world’s largest art galleries and is the place to go if you want to see work by old masters like Rubens and Titian.
- The Neue Pinakothek is slightly smaller and displays art from the 1800s on. Here’s where you should go if you prefer Degas, Monet, or Klimt.
- At the Pinakothek der Moderne, you can check out modern art, plus there’s a focus on female and under-represented artists.
But if you prefer classical art, a visit to the Kunstareal will be right up your alley. The building itself is beautiful and inside are tons of Greek and Roman statues and pottery. It’s right next to the Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer Kunst – a pretty incredible collection of Egyptian art and artifacts.
Architecture & Design Museums in Munich
Inside the Pinakothek der Moderne is the Architekturmuseum der Tum, a museum that focuses on architecture with a series of rotating exhibits. You never know what you’re going to see here!
But if design is more your jam, the Die Neue Sammlung (accessed via the Pinakothek der Moderne) is the premier museum for design in the world. Don’t miss the exhibit focusing on Apple computers.
History Museums in Munich
Munich has had an important place in history, and for those who want to learn more about it, the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum is a great place to start. It’s more of a cultural museum than a history museum, and some of the signage is only in German, but it’s a nice place to visit and doesn’t take a ton of time to explore.
For those who are more interested in the 20th-century history of the region, the NS-Dokumentationszentrum München is the place to go. This museum explores Munich’s role in World War 2 and the aftermath. It’s a little outdated, but interesting all the same and I learned a lot about the role Munich played in the rise and demise of the Nazi party.
Lunch at Steinheil 16
Munich has great international cuisine everywhere, but I mean, why go to Bavaria without eating as much German food as you can? If you’re looking for cheap eats in Munich, you can’t go wrong with Steinheil 16. Not only do they offer soy and turkey schnitzels that are really delicious, but the vibe is also really cool with a mix of old-school Biergarten meets modern art gallery.
Explore the Englischer Garten
The English Garden is amazing and the perfect way to spend the last afternoon in Munich. It’s a must-see in Munich in 3 days. You can definitely spend the afternoon walking around it, but a really fun way to see it is by renting a bike.
I’m a bit of a nervous biker thanks to some run-ins with cars when I was in college, so I typically opt to bike with a bike tour. This one is awesome because you’ll get to explore the English Garden as well as some of Munich’s other landmarks.
If you’d prefer, you can always rent a bike from one of the many spots around the city and explore on your own. Or you can walk – it’s so easy to get lost and wander throughout the garden, especially if you’re there in the summer.
Although it’s not technically part of the English Garden, this is a good time to explore the Hofgarten, a beautiful 17th-century garden behind the Residenz. There’s a smaller sculpture park here called the Finanzgarten.
Once inside the English Garden, the scenery is gorgeous. You’ll see open fields and architectural features like replicas of Greek temples and the Chinese Tower.
Check Out the Munich Surfers
By far, the coolest thing to see in Munich is definitely the surfers. Seeing them was such an unexpected delight, especially with Germany being land-locked and all. It still blows my mind that people actually surf on the Eisbach River right in the middle of Munich! Trust me, you’ll spend way longer than you think just watching them. They’re impressive.
Dinner at The Spice Bazaar
Arguably the best dinner you can have in Munich is at The Spice Bazaar. The dishes are composed of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean-inspired elements and the staff is amazing and attentive. The interior is effortlessly elegant and it’s the perfect place to eat your final dinner in Munich.
Take in a Concert
There’s almost always an opportunity to hear great music in Munich. On Sunday evenings, the sounds of choir practice drift out onto the streets and you can usually hear them just by opening the window of your hotel room. Classical concerts are also sometimes held in the open air of the Odeonsplatz.
Another great place to hear music is the Bayerischer Hof Hotel. They have a really great jazz club here and on Friday nights, the piano bar hosts renowned pianists. The hotel is beautiful and it’s worth checking it out to see what other events are open to the public.
Lastly, you can purchase Residenz concert tickets for the opportunity to listen to classical music where Mozart used to play. No big deal. Any of these options are the perfect way to end a Munich 3-day itinerary.
Where to Stay in Munich
Old Town is the most central area to stay in, thanks to its proximity to both the Central Station and most tourist attractions in Munich. These are my top recommendations for places to stay in Munich Germany:
The bright, modern rooms at Wombat’s really make it feel more upscale than a simple hostel. Add in the location near the Central Station, secure storage for your bags, a great common area, and a glassed-in courtyard that allows you to be “outside” year-round, and we have a clear winner: Wombat’s is definitely the best of the hostels in Munich.
Hotel Opera (Budget-Friendly)
It’s a 9-minute walk from Old Town, but the Hotel Opera shines as a budget-friendly option for hotels in Munich. It looks and feels like a luxury hotel with clean, spa-like rooms and common areas that feel like they came straight from a palace. And if you are an opera fan you’re in luck – they have packages available for the opera fest.
Louis Hotel (Mid-Range)
The location of the Louis Hotel can’t be beat and design buffs will love it. The décor is a combination of mid-century modern and Arts & Crafts. It’s homey and clean and feels like a splurge with amenities like an onsite fitness center, bicycle rental, and an out-of-this-world breakfast.
Bayerischer Hof Hotel (Splurge):
Bayerischerhof Hotel is a beautiful old hotel located appropriately in Old Town. It just feels like opulent luxury with five restaurants, a cinema, a piano bar, and an exciting entertainment schedule. Of all the things I could say to recommend this place, the top has got to be the attentiveness of the staff. It’s like traveling in a time capsule to the time of palaces and fairy tales.
Munich Transportation: How to Get Around Munich
Munich is actually a really walkable city (my favorite way to sightsee!) but there are definitely times when you’ll want to use public transportation. If you get a Munich Card or City Pass with transportation, you can travel for free on the subway, bus, tram, urban rail, or regional trains. Most of the signage is in German, but it’s easy to find English speakers or directions that tell you exactly which route to take, no matter where you’re going. Plus, there’s no shortage of taxis or rideshares, and if you’re comfortable on a bike, this is a great option for getting around Munich.
What to do in Munich in 4 days and beyond
No matter how many days you have in Munich, there’s always more to do. Here are a few additional things to do in Munich if you find yourself with a little more time:
Get Your Spa On
If you’re looking for a truly unusual experience, head across the river to the Müller’sche Volksbad. This Art Nouveau building is a hidden gem with two big swimming pools (one for men and one for women) and a spa modeled on an ancient Roman bath. Here you’ll find a sauna, steam bath, and warm and cold soaking pools.
Pro tip: Be aware that some parts of this area are co-ed and some of those are clothing optional. The staff is really helpful and can help you decide where to go based on your comfort level.
Explore (More) Beautiful Gardens
A short day trip from Munich will take you to the Munich Botanical Garden. It’s a stunning classical garden with greenhouses, ponds, a gift shop, and a cafe. Combine it with the nearby Nymphenburg Palace, and you have the makings of a perfect day out from Munich. These two Munich attractions feel like you’ve entered another era.
Take a Day Trip to Berchtesgaden
Once the mountain retreat for Bavarian rulers, Berchtesgaden may be best known for Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest (though he didn’t spend much time there, being afraid of heights!). It’s a beautiful Alpine village, and if the Eagle’s Nest is closed, you can tour the salt mines that brought the area to prominence.
But of all the attractions in Berchtesgaden, I thought the Old Cemetery was the most fascinating. Many of the graves are old and clustered in family groups, and on the wall are plaques commemorating family members and school friends who lost their lives in both world wars. I recommend booking an organized tour to avoid the hassle of dealing with public transport!
Channel Your Inner Sleeping Beauty
The ultimate day trip is from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle. The palace commissioned by King Ludwig II is better known as the inspiration for inspiring Sleeping Beauty’s castle. You can catch a train from Munich to Füssen but you can also book a day trip with a tour operator that will make the travel arrangements a little easier. Whatever you choose, please don’t skip Hohenschwangau. It’s included with the Neuschwanstein Castle, and I think it’s actually the better of the two.
So there you have it: a 3-day Munich itinerary that I think will convince you to go book that trip right now. And if you’re lucky enough to add more time to your Munich itinerary, you have plenty of additional recommendations for things to do.
Tell me: How many days would you spend in Munich? What attraction sounds most appealing to you?
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