Have you just moved to Munich or have booked a holiday to the state capital of Bavaria? Or are you going to an important business meeting there? Then you should definitely read through our Mini Guide to Munich in order to be perfectly prepared for this city.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Munich is from March to May: fall’s crowds have long since departed, and summer’s peak season hasn’t yet hit. But if you’re one of the millions who want to party at Oktoberfest, you’ll need to pack a coat. Average temperatures can drift between 5 and 10 degree Celsius.
Highlights in Munich – don’t miss them! 💥
- The heartbeat of Munich: Marienplatz (St. Mary’s Square), the world-famous center of the state capital, is home to the New Town Hall. No matter the time of year, there is always something happening near the Mariensäule (Column of St. Mary) – whether it is people gathering to witness the Glockenspiel (carillion housed in the Town Hall), the Christmas market, championship celebrations for major sports teams or simply visitors from all over the world strolling through the city.
Insider-Tip 1: New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus)
At the top of the 85-meter-high tower is an observation deck which offers excellent views over the old town, even as far as the Alps in nice weather. Two lifts lead up to the viewing platform, on top of which the Münchner Kindl (symbol of the city’s coat of arms) watches over the city. Entrance fee: 4 EUR.
Insider-Tip 2: See the Glockenspiel on Marienplatz
A trip to Munich´s main square „Marienplatz“ is a must for any visitor. Here the top attraction is the „Glockenspiel“ in the tower of the New Town Hall. Every day at 11 am, and three times a day in summer, 32 life-sized figures re-enact two events from 16th century Bavarian history. By the way: it is the largest „Glockenspiel” in Germany.
- The gothic Cathedral of Our Dear Lady, known simply as Frauenkirche, is the city’s most unmistakeable landmark, with its onion domes dominating Munich’s skyline. Visitors can climb one of the cathedral’s two 100-meter towers for spectacular views over the city.
- St. Peter’s Church (“Alter Peter”), Munich’s oldest parish church, features art dating back six centuries, including ceiling frescoes and a giant gilded altar. You can climb the 299 steps for lovely views of the city from the tower. When it’s a clear day, you can see all the way to the Alps! Admission is 3 EUR.
- Viktualienmarkt is Munich’s largest market and a hub for the city’s foodies. Spread across 22,000 square meters, it features a huge range of fresh produce with much more than just fruit and vegetables: Bakers, butchers, fishmongers, delicatessens and flower stalls have turned Viktualienmarkt into a Munich landmark for more than 200 years. The best thing: entry to the market is free. It also features food stalls and a comfy beer garden, complete with an authentic Bavarian Maibaum (Maypole).
- German “Gemütlichkeit” and traditional beer drinking rituals are outstanding at the Hofbräuhaus am Platzl. The regional cuisine, music, folk dances, waiters in costume and historic atmosphere draw thousands of Munich natives and visitors from all over the world every day.
- Deutsches Museum, the largest museum of sience and technology in the world. For anyone interested in construction, engineering, aerospace, and the natural sciences, this is a great attraction. You could easily spend the entire day here; there are sailing ships, windmill, space probes, robots, lifeboats and much more.
- The Munich Residenz is the largest palace in any Germany city center and offers an impressive view with its mighty facade.
- “La dolce vita” is truly on display at Odeonsplatz: The Italian-style square is complete with a Late Baroque-style church, a building designed in the style of the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence and a great deal of hustle and bustle. It also serves as the northern boundary of the pedestrian zone and forms the starting point of Ludwigstrasse. A number of landmarks are located within a stone’s throw of Odeonsplatz, including the Residenz palace with the Hofgarten (Royal Garden), the Feldherrnhalle (Field Marshalls’ Hall), the Theatinerkirche (Theatine Church), several palaces and the sweeping Bazargebäude (Bazaar Building).
- One of the world’s most celebrated opera houses, the Bayerische Staatsoper (Bavarian State Opera) in Munich is steeped in 350 years of history. The pieces put on here are primarily composed by Mozart, Wagner, and Strauss. Seeing a show here is definitely one for the to-do list. Prices vary depending on what you see and when.
- The English Garden is a large public park in the heart of Munich. It covers nearly 400 hectares and offers many places to picnic, relax, and hike (there are nearly 50 miles of trails!). It’s especially popular in summertime, with plenty of open space for sun-bathing or sports. Don’t miss the Chinese Tower beer-garden, where you can enjoy traditional Bavarian cuisine including “Haxn” (roasted ham hock) and “Hendl” (roast chicken).
Insider-Tip 3: The Eisbach surfers’ delight
The Eisbach, or “icy stream,” is appropriately named. The water is definitely ice-cold, even during the summer months. In fact, it’s TOO cold for most people — but not the surfers. When the surfing season begins at the end of May, they’re out there in force — and they put on a great show.
- Karlsplatz, better known as Stachus, is formed by the Karlstor gate with a semicircle of rondell buildings on both sides and serves as the entryway to Munich’s largest pedestrian zone. The saying German “Da geht’s ja zu wie am Stachus” has spread beyond Munich throughout Bavaria as a way to describe a place where there’s lots going on.
- With a nature walk around the world in the Botanical Garden. Spectacular cacti right next to carnivorous jungle plants and native walnut trees.
- Art lovers will definitely want to visit the three Pinakothek museums, located in central Munich. The Alte Pinakothek features more than 700 works from the 14th to the 18th centuries — including those of Dürer, Raphael, and Rembrandt. The Neue Pinakothek is devoted to 19th century art — and a third Pinakothek offers a collection of modern artworks.
Insider-Tip 4: See the Asam Church
The Asam Church is named for its 18th-century designers: two Asam brothers, a sculptor and a painter. Its Late Baroque interior is extravagant to say the least – the stuccowork along the church’s naive as well as the colorful frescoes make for some fantastic photography. Entrance is free.
- Nymphenburg Palace: Travel back in time to the age of the Bavarian monarchy – the extensive park with its pavilions, promenades along the palace canals, enormous fountains, magnificent flower gardens and, of course, impressive palace buildings is a source of fascination for Munich natives and tourists alike.
- Olympiapark, built for the 1972 Olympic Games, is one of the most impressive and popular places in Munich. It is home to some of the state capital’s most important buildings: the Olympic Stadium, with its famous canopy top, Olympic Hall and the 290-meter Olympic Tower, featuring a 190-meter platform that affords spectacular views over the city. The park is home to numerous activities every year, including concerts, spectacular events, festivals and sporting events.
- The BMW Museum offers a fascinating presentation of the company, brand and BMW product history. About 125 of the brand’s most valuable and attractive automobiles, motorcycles and engines are displayed in this building, spanning an area of 5,000 m². BMW Welt is the company’s experience and automobile customer delivery centre. It features fascinating, futuristic architecture and hosts a wide range of exhibitions for all the BMW Group brands. Admission to BMW Welt is free.
- Allianz Arena is one of Germany’s most spectacular, state-of-the-art soccer stadiums. Home to FC Bayern München, record champion of the German Bundesliga, the stadium’s numerous air pockets light up in red at home games. The stadiums capacity is 75,000 seats, but unfortunately most of the time FC Bayern matches are sold out. If you don´t get a ticket, at least we can recommend a guided tour through the “Rubber Dinghy”, as it is called by locals.
Amazing places to stay 🤩
- Beyond by Geisel, a luxury residence in the heart of Munich! State-of-the-art in every aspect, with a view of the city from above.
- ARABest Aparthotel & Boardinghouse, great apartments at reasonable prices, close to the city center.
- Motel One München-Olympia Gate, very good value for money, and you can even feel the Olympic Spirit of 1972.
Restaurants with delicious food 🥨
There are plenty of great restaurants in Nairobi where you can find all sorts of amazing cuisine from all around the world. Some of the best restaurants are:
- Donisl, traditional Bavarian gastronomy at Marienplatz.
- Haxnbauer im Scholastikahaus. Their speciality: Delicately seasond pork knuckles and veal joints (“Haxn). They are tenderly grilled on the beech wood charcoal grill and served as a crispy unique delicacy.
- Ratskeller, a large cellar restaurant dating from the 19th century, with regional dishes and classic decor.
- Augustiner-Klosterwirt, good quality and authentic Bavarian food for a fair pricde. despite the touristic location.
- Pommes Freunde, Fast Food Restaurant with delicious burgers and fries.
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Experience the Oktoberfest 🍺
Lots of people wear lederhosen and dirndls when they go to Oktoberfest, the world’s largest beer and fair festival and called the “Wiesn” by locals. On the grounds of the Oktoberfest site, you’ll find huge tents that feature food, beverages, and music — and plenty of amusement-park rides, too. The first Oktoberfest was held in 1810. Since then, it has been copied — but never equaled — in many cities around the world.
Notice: Oktoberfest 2020 is canceled due to corona pandemic!
Photo: © Krakauer1962/pixabay
Munich’s “way of life” 💙
There are some things in life that you just can’t capture in a photograph — like the essence of Munich: a big city that still has a charming small-town feel to it. So all we can say at the end of our story is: „Minga, I mog Di!“ (“Munich, I like you!“).
Munich residents love tradition, and that includes Bavarian clothing. Any time of year, you’re likely to see men wearing lederhosen and women wearing a dirndl. At some local events, the wearing of lederhosen and dirndls is just about mandatory. Such events include the Korcherball – a large folk-dance festival that’s held every summer at the Chinese Tower.
Photo: © jackmac34/pixabay
Shop at Kaufingerstrasse 🛍
This is a shopping area that stretches for several blocks between Marienplatz and Karlsplatz, and is exclusively designated for pedestrian traffic. There is a great mix of independent boutiques and large-scale department stores to peruse. When you get tired of shopping, there is a slew of restaurants, bars, cafes, and beer gardens to enjoy. Don’t be afraid to wander down some side alleys either – you’ll come across some interesting speciality shops!
Insider-Tip 5: Dallmayr Delicatessen & Café-Bistro
The Dallmayr Delicatessen is one of the most beautiful traditional shops in the world and one of the city’s top addresses when it comes to culinary delights. The range includes Bavarian and international specialities, which are stylishly presented in the numerous delicatessen departments.
Above this famous store, the spacious Café-Bistro Dallmayr invites you to enjoy the food and drink which it has on offer.
Munich Airport (in German: Flughafen München) is the international airport of Munich. The airport is located 28.5 km (17.7 mi) northeast of Munich near the city of Freising and is named after former Bavarian minister-president Franz Josef Strauss who was born in Munich. More information about this airport you will find here: What you have to know about Munich Airport.
Euro (EUR) is the official currency. Card reader devices for EC and credit cards are available in almost all Munich shops or restaurants – and if they aren’t, you will normally be informed that they aren’t available and that you can only pay in cash. As smaller shops often only allow you to pay with a card over a certain amount, e.g. 10 euros, it is recommended that you always have cash on you. There are lots of ATMs in every district of the city from which you can withdraw cash.
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