Planning a trip to Munich? Get some inspiration on what to do while you’re there with our idea of a perfect three-day itinerary. History, culture, entertainment, restaurants… Pack it all in at a comfortable pace and don’t miss a thing!
Germany’s third largest city in terms of population, Munich embodies German excellence in economic and social innovation. And yet the city has a rich history, with so many beautiful buildings and interesting places to discover that you will not have a moment’s respite during your trip.
To begin your exploration of the city, make your way directly to Marienplatz, the central hub of Munich, in the heart of the old town. This traditional German square is lined with noteworthy buildings, including the old and the new city hall, the latter being particularly impressive with its neo-Gothic architecture and mobile clock that bursts into animated movement at 11am and 5pm.
In the centre of the square, a famous column erected here in 1638 marks the end of the Thirty Years War. It was at the Zum Licht Ewigen Inn on this square that Munich’s famous “white sausage” was first served up, now the city’s most emblematic dish. Don’t forget to sample some of this famous dish during your stay.
Only steps from Marienplatz, the Frauenkirche or Cathedral of Our Lady is probably the most famous building in the city. The very recognisable red brick cathedral has two towers, each topped with an onion-shaped roof. After visiting the cathedral, take the time to wander around the old town, where there is plenty to see, such as St. Michael's Church or the Jewish Museum.
In the late afternoon, you can turn to the Viktualienmarkt, an impressive food market that offers the largest variety of fresh foods and sweet treats in the city. Most stalls close around 6pm at which time restaurants open in their place, making this a highly recommended place for dinner.
The next day, you may want to have an early start in order to see everything. Begin at the Neue Pinakothek, which houses about 6,000 works of art dating mainly from the nineteenth century. You can find for example works by Manet, Goya, Delacroix, Gainsborough, Van Gogh, Gauguin and Cézanne.
If you wish, you can swap this visit with a trip to the nearby Alte Pinakothek, which focuses on European art from the thirteenth to the eighteenth century, and has a particularly magnificent collection in this field.
East of the art galleries, you cannot possibly miss the Englischer Garten as it is simply the biggest park in any city in Europe, larger than Hyde Park or Central Park. You can take a picnic, of course, and even rent bikes to explore the park.
Next, head to Museum Island on the Isar, and discover the Deutsches Museum, one of the largest science museums in the world. During your visit you will be amazed by German engineering – every bit as great as its reputation – as you explore some of the museum’s forty departments. The aviation section is particularly impressive.
For the evening, depending on how tired you are, you can stay in the centre for dinner or head across to Gartnerplatz, south of Marienplatz, where you will find a buzzing area with plenty of bars and clubs; a key spot for Munich nightlife.
The next morning, head to the Munich Residenz, between Marienplatz and the Englischer Garten. This palace was the residence of the kings of Bavaria. It combines different styles of architecture and furnishings that recount five centuries of royal living spaces, in some 130 rooms. In the museum, you can admire the Residenz treasure which consists of beautiful pieces made by goldsmiths and jewellers.
Don’t miss the opportunity to take Maximilianstrasse, the most luxurious road in Munich, where you can stop for a lunch at a chic restaurant. Alternatively, depending on your budget, you can dive into the side streets to find plenty of inexpensive options.
In the afternoon, take the metro to the east of the city, more precisely to the Botanical Garden which is considered to be one of the most interesting in Europe. You will find a unique variety of plants including tropical and subtropical plants that are a feast for the eyes. A pleasant and relaxing way to conclude your stay in Munich.
Revived by your visit to the Botanical Garden, you will be able to enjoy your last night in Munich to the full, in one of the city’s clubs. For a stylish, trendy atmosphere, opt for Ksar Club, near the Sedlinger Tor. To enjoy a more Latin feel, the Buena Vista is a great choice, just off Marienplatz. And if you are after a laid back, studenty atmosphere, head to the Green Room Bar, right by the Ludwig Maximilian University.
The number of interesting places in Munich is so impressive that it would be impossible to see them all during your trip. A three day stay will seem very short, but it will be enough to see the essential sights. If you have the opportunity to spend a few more days in Munich, take the opportunity to learn about the city during the Second World War, in particular through the story of The White Rose, one of the most popular Nazi-resistance movements.