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Things to do in Munich

Things to do in  Munich

Welcome to Munich

Munich, the capital of Bavaria, is home to many of the country's most quintessentially German traditions—every September, the famed Oktoberfest comes to the city. But the festivals, lederhosen, and beer halls are only a small part of the city and region’s story. Munich’s architecture shines in palaces such as the Nymphenburg and castles like Residenz, and there are plenty of similarly intriguing buildings scattered across Munich. On Marienplatz, the city’s central square, old and new town halls compete for attention. The Church of St. Peter (Peterskirche), a Romanesque structure, was built even before the city's foundation in 1158. Get a sense for the city’s layout, top attractions, and historical context on a guided tour, with everything from walking to biking to Segway to hop-on hop-off bus tours available. Visitors can also enjoy the English Garden, an enormous park with “urban naked zones” (yes, expect some voyeurs in the buff) and a lakeside beer garden. Of course, you'll also probably want to explore Bavaria's offerings outside of Munich. Sightseeing tours to the royal castles of Neuschwanstein—inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle—and Linderhof are especially popular, and guides provide historical tidbits you might not otherwise hear. Half-day trips to the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial take visitors to the first Nazi concentration camp in Germany, and can be combined with a Munich Third Reich tour. Just across the border in Austria, the delights of Mozart's native Salzburg await.

Top 15 attractions in Munich

#1
Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle

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With its snow-white limestone facade and fanciful turrets peeking out from the forested mountain tops of the Hohenschwangau valley, Neuschwanstein Castle (Schloss Neuschwanstein) could easily have been lifted from the pages of a fairy tale. In a way, it has—the German castle famously inspired Disney'sSleeping Beauty castle.More
#2
Linderhof Castle

Linderhof Castle

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Inspired by the Palace of Versailles in France, Bavaria’s 19th-century Linderhof Castle is one of the country’s most magnificent structures. The smallest in a trio of elaborate royal palaces built by King Ludwig II (also known as the “Mad King”), Linderhof was the only one he saw completed.More
#3
Marienplatz

Marienplatz

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A public plaza in the center of Munich, Marienplatz is full of history—it’s been the city’s main square and central heart of Munich’s Old Town (Altstadt) since 1158. Marienplatz is a popular gathering spot and possibly the busiest location in all of Munich, with crowds of locals and tourists visiting its landmarks, shops, and restaurants on foot from early morning until late at night.More
#4
Victuals Market (Viktualienmarkt)

Victuals Market (Viktualienmarkt)

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Munich's historic Victuals Market is the city’s main destination for gourmet Bavarian goods. Its stalls—many family-run for generations—overflow with exotic fruits, fresh vegetables, truffles, flowers, spices, sausages and hams, artisanal cheeses, honey, and much more. Snack as you go or gather items for a picnic at the nearby park.More
#5
Odeonsplatz

Odeonsplatz

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Hemmed in by Italianesque palaces, grand concert halls, and Baroque churches—Odeonsplatz is a testament to Munich’s storied past and the site of some of the city’s key historic events. At the northern end of Munich Old Town (Altstadt), the busy public square is the gateway to the Hofgarten gardens and the Munich Residenz.More
#6
Munich Residence (Residenz München)

Munich Residence (Residenz München)

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Discover elaborately adorned rooms and royal art collections during a visit to Munich Residence, the former royal palace of the Bavarian Monarch. This landmark is the largest city palace in Germany and contains museum displays spread across 130 rooms including collections of porcelain, silver, antiquities, and paintings.More
#7
St. Peter's Church (Peterskirche)

St. Peter's Church (Peterskirche)

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Explore a piece of Munich’s history with a visit to St. Peter’s Church or Peterskirche, a Roman Catholic church built in the 12th century. The building is known for its Gothic paintings, sculptures, and a ceiling fresco, plus panoramic views from its spire. Colored rings at the lower platform reveal details about the view from the spire; a white ring means the Alps are visible.More
#8
Cathedral of Our Blessed Lady (Frauenkirche)

Cathedral of Our Blessed Lady (Frauenkirche)

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A Munich landmark, the Cathedral of Our Blessed Lady (Frauenkirche) features two 325-foot (99-meter) towers topped by spherical domes. According to local ordinance, no other building in the city may be taller than this, preserving the cathedral’s central position on the skyline of Bavaria’s capital.More
#9
English Garden (Englischer Garten)

English Garden (Englischer Garten)

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One of the largest urban parks in the world, the English Garden (Englischer Garten) is Munich’s most popular green space, boasting over 48 miles (78 kilometers) of walking and cycling trails. It offers plenty to explore, including a Japanese teahouse, a boating lake, and traditional beer gardens.More
#10
Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site

Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site

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The Dachau Concentration Camp was opened by Adolf Hitler's Nazi government in 1933, and served as a model for later concentration camps. Today, the camp is a memorial to the more than 32,000 people who died and the more than 200,000 who were imprisoned during the Nazi regime. The memorial was established as a site of memory and education in 1965, 20 years after Dachau was liberated by American troops.More
#11
King's Square (Königsplatz)

King's Square (Königsplatz)

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King's Square (Königsplatz) was initially built to serve the urban notionsof King Ludwig I, who wished to integrate culture, administration, Christianity and Bavarian military in one massive green space. The king opted for a European Neoclassic style based on the Acropolis in Athens. He even had two museums built in the same style; first was the Glyptothek, where he could house his sprawling collection of Greek and Roman sculptures, and second, the Bavarian State Collection of Antiques, which contains Greek, Etruscan and Roman artifacts. King Ludwig I also commissioned the Propylaea, an imposing and austere gate which served as a memorial to his son, the Bavarian prince Otto of Greece.Despite this architectural and urban prowess, the square is now infamous for being the place where the Nazi party held marches and mass rallies during the Holocaust. In fact, the national headquarters of the Nazi party, the Brown House, was located on Brienner Straße just off the square. It was even featured in a Nazi propaganda film, The March to the Führer. Two temples were built on Königsplatz to honor the 16 Nazis killed in the failed coup attempt by Adolf Hitler to seize power in 1923 – they were later on destroyed (except for their platforms, which are still visible today) as part of Munich’s denazification by the US Army in 1947.However, not all Nazi constructions were systematically demolished; the Führerbau, for example, where the Munich Agreement was signed in 1938, still exists to this day and houses a music school.Today, Königsplatz has returned to its pre‐war appearance and remains one of Munich’s most significant attractions. It is now regarded as the center of Munich’s museum quarter, the Kunstareal.More
#12
Hofgarten

Hofgarten

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A formal court garden built by Elector Maximilian I in the 17th century, the Hofgarten is one of Munich’s favorite parks. At its center lies an octagonal pavilion, known as the Diana Temple; covered arcades skirt the edges; and the landscaped grounds host games of boules and even tango dancing during summer.More
#13
Munich Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus)

Munich Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus)

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Discover one of Munich’s architectural landmarks during a visit to the Old Town Hall, or Altes Rathaus in German. Enclosing Munich’s central square, Marienplatz, the Old Town Hall today serves as the center for city council activity. The building’s tower is now home to the Toy Museum, a childhood collection by Ivan Steiger.More
#14
Field Marshals' Hall (Feldherrnhalle)

Field Marshals' Hall (Feldherrnhalle)

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Feldherrnhalle, or Field Marshals' Hall, is a monument in Munich that was built between 1841 and 1844. It was built in an Italian style and modeled after the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence. It is located on Odeonsplatz at the former site of one of the city's main gates, Schwabinger Tor. The monument was built as a tribute to the Bavarian army that fought in the Franco-Prussian War and features bronze statues of some of the most important generals of Bavaria. In addition there are two lions on the steps. One is growling towards the Residenz Palace, the other is keeping its mouth shut towards the church.In 1923, Hitler supporters began an illegal march down Ludwigstrasse towards Feldherrnhalle to start a people's revolution against the Bavarian state. Police ordered them to stop, and when they did not, the police opened fire killing 16 marchers as well as four police officers. Hitler was arrested and served a short term in prison.More
#15
Deutsches Museum

Deutsches Museum

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Billed as the world’s largest technology museum, the Deutsches Museum is so vast that it takes over an entire island in the center of Munich. Six floors of exhibitions are devoted to topics like aviation, energy, and natural science, with hands-on displays and activities that make it fun and educational for all ages.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Munich

How to Spend 2 Days in Munich

Top activities in Munich

Salzburg Sightseeing Small-Group Day Tour from Munich by Rail
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Bavarian Beer and Food Evening Tour in Munich
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Munich City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Munich City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

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$21.39
Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site Private Tour from Munich by Train
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Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Castle Small-Group Premium All-Inc Tour from Munich
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Neuschwanstein Castle Small-Group Day Tour from Munich
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Berchtesgaden Town and Eagle's Nest Day Tour from Munich
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Exclusive SKiP-THE-CROWDS Neuschwanstein & Hohenschwangau Castle Tour fr. Munich
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Munich Small-Group Bike Tour

Munich Small-Group Bike Tour

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Things to do in Munich this...

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Recent reviews from experiences in Munich

star-4
Biking the highlights of Munich
Judith_L, Jul 2022
Munich Sightseeing Bike Tour
It was a fun and effective way to see highlights of Munich.
star-5
Thought-provoking
Thomas_B, Jun 2022
Hitler and the Third Reich Munich Walking Tour
The tour was a great way to see Munich and think about how a totalitarian regime such as the Nazis could come to power, and how we can prevent something similar.
star-5
Highly recommend! Easy to...
Giovanna_R, Jun 2022
Munich City Hop-on Hop-off Tour
Easy to find the starting point, and you can get to see the highlights of Munich!
star-4
Great experience in Munich!
Ella_K, Jun 2022
Panoramic Hop-On Hop-Off Tour of Munich by Double-Decker Bus
Three different routes allowed us to see the city in its entirety.
star-5
Great tour
Annie_A, Jun 2022
Hitler and the Third Reich Munich Walking Tour
Each stop has significance and a great way to see the city.
star-5
Local, not tourist, tour of Munich
Kathleen_G, Jun 2022
Private Custom Munich Tour with a Local, Highlights & Hidden Gems
The walk through the English Garden was probably the best part.
star-5
Great excursion
Shelly_W, Jun 2022
Munich's Highlights 3-hour Segway Tour
Great way to see the sights of Munich!
star-5
Great view of city!
Kathryn_L, Jun 2022
Munich Old Town Small-Group Walking Tour
Great way to see highlights of Munich and get the lay of the land for future exploring.
star-5
Lots of fun biking around Munich
Karen_B, Jun 2022
Munich Sightseeing Bike Tour
Great way to see a lot of Munich in an easy, fun way.
star-5
Must do
Joe_M, Jun 2022
Bavarian Beer and Food Evening Tour in Munich
Very good way to see Munich and learn about the history of beer and monks, our guide Dani was fantastic great time
star-5
Great
Scott_A, Jun 2022
Munich City Hop-on Hop-off Tour
A good way to experience all that you might want to see in Munich.
star-5
Rumble Round Munich!
SylviaSL_L, Jun 2022
Munich Segway Tour
Efficient way to see Munich’s key sights, led by a knowledgeable and friendly guide (such as Rob!
star-4
Pretty German town
Paula_T, May 2022
Romantic Road, Rothenburg, and Harburg Day Tour from Munich
Nice town to visit for shopping and restaurants.
star-5
Dream Day
Alison_C, May 2022
Comfort Mini-Van & Professional and FRiENDLY Guide: CUSTOMIZED 1-DAY TOUR from Munich
Our guide, Karl, suggested some other places to see on our way back to Munich which were also very pretty.
star-5
Loved the tour & guide...
Cheryl_G, May 2022
Munich's Highlights 3-hour Segway Tour
Would recommend to anyone wanting a unique and fun way to see Munich!
star-5
Don't skip it
Rafael_W, Feb 2022
Third Reich Walking Tour: Historic Facts and Sites in Munich
Guide was nice and informative and spoke English quite well.
star-5
A must-have experience when visiting Germany
Genevieve_N, Jan 2022
Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace Day Tour from Munich
The palaces were very beautiful and on the way there you get to see the beautiful countryside.
star-5
Best way to spend a rainy or hot day
Kathryn_C, Jul 2022
Panoramic Hop-On Hop-Off Tour of Munich by Double-Decker Bus
i wish the recording in english was recorded by a person without a foreign accent, it's kind of difficult to understand if there's other noise .
star-5
An Unforgettable Private Day Trip with our Highest Recommendation
AnnLynn_H, May 2022
MY*GUiDE EXCLUSiVE Lake Königssee, EAGLE'S NEST & 'Fuehrer Headquarters' Tour from Munich
We saw all items outlined in the tour description and Karl also showed us several extra sites in the Obersalzberg not usually known to visitors.
star-5
It was a perfect day for...
Ursula_B, May 2022
Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace Day Tour from Munich
This was my granddaughter’s first time to see these beautiful castles and she really enjoyed it.
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All about Munich

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People Also Ask

What is Munich famous for?

Munich is known for beer, and its famed Oktoberfest, which begins in mid-September, is the pinnacle. The well-known Hofbräuhaus tavern serves more than a million visitors yearly with ales, lagers, and giant German soft pretzels. Munich is also known for its architecture, with spots like the Marienplatz steeped in history.

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How many days do you need in Munich?

You’ll want at least three full days in Munich, though, to properly tour the city’s 16th-century architecture, biergartens, and world-class museums, you may want a week. Consider using the city as a Bavarian hub for day trips to spots such as Neuschwanstein Castle and Salzburg, Austria.

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What should you not miss in Munich?

Visitors have choices: Kick back with a Hofbräu Dunkel in the 16th-century Hofbräuhaus, tour the BMW Welt and Museum, take a walking tour of WWII sites including Munich Old Town Hall, and wander the English Garden, Marienplatz, and Deutsches Museum. Of course, that’s just the tip of the schnitzel.

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What is there to do in Munich in October?

The acclaimed Munich Oktoberfest ends early in the month, so autumn is about more than beer here. Explore the city’s gardens (Nymphenburg Palace Park), walking paths, and markets (the daily Victuals Market). On rainy days, head to Munich's Kunstareal arts district for your pick of incredible art museums and galleries.

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Was Munich the capital of Germany?

No. Munich has never been the capital of Germany. That title has mostly belonged to Berlin (though Bonn was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990). Munich, however, is the capital of Bavaria, a state in southeast Germany known for its beer, sausage, and lederhosen—and lake views.

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Is Munich touristy?

Yes and no. Before the pandemic, Munich had nearly nine million visitors a year—with a robust tourist scene, regardless of season. The city’s most popular hotels, museums, and attractions are geared toward global visitors, but it’s still easy to go off-the-beaten path for more authentic experiences.

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