I’ve visited Munich a couple of times now and I must say that it’s currently my favorite city in Germany! I have to admit that before moving here, I didn’t know much about it. The only thing that came to my mind when someone asked me about Munich was the Oktoberfest but in reality there is so much more to see and experience.
If you have never been to Munich before and you only have 1 day to explore it then you should keep reading. Where should you go in Munich? How can you spend a day in Munich? Is Munich really worth visiting? You’ll find all the answers in this 1-day itinerary.
Quick overview of the 7 best places in Munich:
Olympiapark Munchen & BMW Museum
Viktualienmarkt is the perfect place to start your day in Munich. Viktualienmarkt is a farmer’s market that has been running for over 200 years. It’s definitely the city’s most popular open air market and wandering through it is an interesting experience. You can stop there for a bite, shop for ingredients from the area or grab a souvenir. In terms of food, you’ll find everything from fresh fruits, vegetables to traditional Bavarian dishes, seafood, herbs and delicious cheeses.
The next stop is the famous Marienplatz, the central square of Munich’s Altstadt (Old Town). The most impressive thing is the architecture that starts with neo-Gothic New Town Hall. There you will also find the Old Town Hall which is actually younger than the New one. Old Town Hall has a fun toy museum. While you’re at Marienplatz I would also recommend climbing the Altes Rathaus tower for some really beautiful views of the city. From the central square you also have access to the best shopping streets so you can quickly check some shops before walking to the next stop.
3. Frauenkirche (Cathedral of Our Dear Lady)
From Marienplatz there is a short 3-minute walk to Frauenkirche that is one of the symbols of Munich. In every picture of Munich’s skyline you can catch a glimpse of the twin green domes of the cathedral. Frauenkirche was fully reconstructed after being heavily damaged in World War II. The south tower can be climbed and offers a beautiful view across the rooftops of Munich and on to the Alps.
Outside of the cathedral you can find a wide variety of restaurants with beer gardens where you can sit down and just enjoy the atmosphere.
Now it’s time for lunch and there is no better place for it than Hofbräuhaus, probably the world’s most famous beer hall. It was originally built in 189 and then reconstructed after World War II.
It’s very popular and that’s why the place is always super busy (apparently they serve up to 30.000 guests on busy days). Make sure to make a reservation in advance.
I’ve been to the Festival Hall (on the top floor) and in the evening they even have a folklore show which is really fun to watch. The price of the food is reasonable and everythings is delicious. You should try roast pork and apple strudel for dessert!
If you go there during summer I would recommend you to get a table in their beer garden.
After a delicious lunch break, it’s time to continue our adventure in Munich. Next stop is Hofgarten (Royal Garden). Hofgarten is a lovely park, where you will find the Residenz palace which is the largest palace in Germany and was once home to Wittelsbach monarchs of Bavaria state. It’s open to visitors and it offers displays from the former royal collections.
At the centre of the Hofgarten there is a pavilion, known also as Diana Temple and it was built in 1615.
Park has a lot of benches that are ideal places to relax and if you’re lucky you can even catch the concert in the pavilion.
6. Englischer Garten
Right next to the Hofgarten you’ll find Enlischer Garten (English Garden) which is like a Central Park of Munich. It’s huge and no trip to Munich is complete without a walk through it. English Garden is literally one of the biggest urban parks in the world. It has almost 80 kilometres of trails and a number of things you can check out while wandering the park. Inside the park you’re going to find Munich’s second largest beer garden called The Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower), surfers on the river and a Japanese Tea Garden. It’s the perfect place to chill in the afternoon.
7. Olympiapark Munchen & BMW Museum
If you still have any time left, I would recommend you to finish your day in Munich by visiting Olympiapark or BMW museum (perfect for all the car enthusiasts). Olympiapark is an Olympic Park which was constructed for the 1972 Summer Olympics and it’s now a recreation center for the entire city. Olympic Tower and the tent architecture are the city's well known landmarks. Olympic Towers offers a stunning view of the city and the mountains beyond.
BMW museum is just across the street from Olympiapark. The ticket costs 10 euros and if you have passion for cars, you should definitely check it out. Museum has a wide collection of old, concept and modern day sports cars and motorcycles. But if you’re not interested in the full BMW history, BMW Welt is a great free alternative where you can see some of the new BMW, Mini and Rolls Royce models.
Is Munich worth visiting?
Munich is definitely worth visiting, as it’s a city full of beautiful architecture, interesting culture, museums, nice people and amazing food and beer. Even if you only have a day to explore it, it’s definitely enough to see all the main sights and enjoy the special vibe this city has to offer. Another great thing about it is, that is one of the most walkable cities in Europe. If you get tired during the day, you can always take a subway (U-Bahn), suburban train (S-Bahn) or a bus. The single ticket costs €2.70, and if you’re traveling with others, a group ticket is the way to go.
I cannot wait to visit it again! Let me know if you’ve already been there.