Munich, also known as Muenchen, is like an untouched gem inside of Germany. Retaining its old feel with huge rustic churches and castles, old cobble stone roads, and the slight clinking of glasses coming from the Biergärten. We can see exactly why Munich is unlike any other city in Germany.
So, while it hosts the worlds largest beer festival - Oktoberfest, it’s beautiful and easy to get around, Munich is not necessarily the cheapest city. However, there are plenty of ways to see many sights for relatively cheap if you know how and where to look. If you’re headed out on a Sunday make sure you’ve already checked where you want to go is open! Most shops around Munich and Germany are generally closed for Sundays (especially local ones)!
You don’t need to waste your time doing much else but visiting this area of the city - especially if you are short on time. It’s a place where history can be revealed and viewed in fleeting moments. The sounds of the Rathaus - Glockenspiel chiming from overhead at 11:00, 12:00 and 17:00 since 1908 will surely transport you to old Bavaria during the 10-minute symphony it plays (be sure to watch the ending for a surprise!). The old monuments represent dedication to many people in old Bavarian history including Pope John Paul II. People watching here is a must, and eating from the local shops and cafés are quite a treat, although Oday and I really enjoy grabbing something from the Viktualienmarkt and sitting on the grass. Not only is it much more affordable, but also super delicious and the variety of good foods can't be beat! One other thing to mention - this area is crowded. So… if you don’t like to be around many people, the city center of Muenchen is not a place to be!
One of Europe’s largest parks, even larger than New York City central! A beautiful sight to see in an old city and a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. The gardens are incredible and there are plenty of things to do here from reading a book under the willows, meditating, relaxing in the sun, renting a paddle boat, or finding food and drink at the Biergärten! You can even catch people surfing on a current in the Eisbach - or surf yourself! Order a Weißbier (wheat beer) if you’d like, relax, and enjoy the day.
With Baroque architecture dominating the churches in southern Germany, this is a sight you won’t want to pass up! Easily missed from the outside, the views are breathtaking once you get inside.
Right around the corner from Marienplatz you will find a market with 140 vendors of colorful, fresh, local produce and a selection of prepared foods that you can enjoy. This market dates all the way back to the 1800's and has grown in size to accommodate many more market halls. When Oday and I visit Muenchen, this is our go to. We walk around, grab whatever we feel like eating that day and then walk over to the Marienhof to enjoy a picnic and people watch. Here there are many options if you are worried about eating healthy in Germany as well. Fresh salads, olives, bread, juices, and fruits are all available. But don’t worry meat lovers, there are plenty of dried sausages, fish sandwiches, and for the sweet tooth, sweets to divulge into as well, after all… it is Germany!
The oldest Roman Catholic Church in Muenchen. It’s impossible to miss being in the heart of the city center and right in between Marienplatz and Viktualienmarkt! Its peaceful inside and quite large with plenty of space to take pictures, pray, or just enjoy the beauty. If you climb up the tower the views of the Glockenspiel and city center are incredible and it does not cost much, by Munich standards of course!
St. Michael Kirche
Taking on Baroque architecture, St Michael Kirche is the largest Renaissance church of its kind just north of the alps lining the southern border. Consecrated in 1597 and restored after WWII, contained within this church are several monuments of early Bavarian rulers.
Right near the Viktualienmarkt, this gem is indoors (so it’s great if it’s raining!) and hosts a large community of people producing good Italian style cuisine. You can get anything from fresh focaccia bread, pizza, pasta, salad, chocolate, you name it! We love to pick up some more prepared foods here and then head over to the Viktualienmarkt where we can pick up the rest for a picnic!
The Old Town Hall. It’s worth a look for the history and its beautiful architecture. It was tunneled for traffic in 1877 to separate pedestrians from automobile traffic in which you can still walk through today while viewing the beautiful sights around Marienplatz! Connected to this is the Frauenkirche which is another must see as it holds 20,000 people and you can view Munich’s cityscape all the way to the alps.
The world’s biggest museum of technology and engineering. So large its difficult to see all the exhibits in one day! Founded in 1903 by Oskar von Miller, it sits on the banks of the Isar River running through Muenchen's city center. Highlights inside are the first automobile and the lab bench where the first atom was split (this was a big deal for Oday and I!). It’s too bad they happened to be doing construction while we were there, usually there are many trees surrounding this side of the building - however we do respect that Germany is old and needs constant updating!
The old royal palace home to the Wittelsbach Bavarian monarchs. It is the largest city palace in all of Germany equipped with 10 courtyards and 130 rooms!
Haus der Kunst
Originally built for showcasing “Germany’s finest art” in 1937, this building is now for all the art lovers out there! There are always great exhibits with many new things to be discovered at a very affordable price ~€10!
A beautiful building. Not far from the Odeonsplatz, the Bavarian State Chancellery has huge grounds great for relaxing during the summer months.
There are many more things to do in Muenchen like visiting the kino and watching a film, Neuschwanstein castle, Oktoberfest, Biergärtens, Dachau Concentration Camp, Olympiapark, Schloss Nymphenburg, and visits to Starnberger See. You may notice there’s no mention of the Hofbräuhaus… in all honesty that’s because it’s not the best place to eat or go to (at least not to us)! There are so many other hidden gems inside Muenchen to eat and drink at... as you can see.
We constantly find the best ways to fly to Munich from the closest airport to you!