Beautiful detailed photo of the Marienplatz in Munich, Germany on a spring day with blue skies and some fluffy clouds. One can see the clock tower as well as some city buildings. Also there are some orange, purple, white and yellow flowers featuring in the foreground.
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What to Do in Munich: A guide for first-time visitors

If you’re wondering what to do in Munich, you’re in luck! This Bavarian gem is a city that truly has it all. Located in the heart of Bavaria, Munich is a city that offers a rich history, cultural diversity, and a bustling modern lifestyle. It is known for its world-renowned Oktoberfest, picturesque architecture, and thriving arts and music scene.

As a first-time visitor to Munich, it can be overwhelming to know where to start and what to see. That’s where this guide comes in handy. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of the best places to visit in Munich, the best things to do, and the must-see museums in the city. With our guide, you’ll be able to experience the best that Munich has to offer and plan the ultimate Munich itinerary.

So, whether you’re a history buff, foodie, nature lover, or just looking for a fun adventure, Munich is the place to be. Let’s dive into this guide and start planning your perfect Munich trip!

Top Places to Visit in Munich (Or Around)

Marienplatz in Munich full of people during sunset on a cloudy day.

Marienplatz

Marienplatz, Munich’s vibrant heart, is a must-visit for first-timers seeking things to do in the city. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and iconic Glockenspiel, it is easy to see why this square is beloved. Whether you’re admiring the intricate designs of the New Town Hall or soaking in the vibrant energy of the crowds, Marienplatz is an experience that will stay with you long after your trip. Don’t miss the chance to see one of the best places to visit in Munich and make lasting memories.

English Garden on a sunny day with lush free trees and grass. The sun hits a circular stone monument from the right with some people contemplating it. The monument is open and features many columns all around as well as a very beautiful ornamented dome.

Englischer Garten

The Englischer Garten is a breathtaking retreat that will transport you away from the hustle and bustle of the city. With its tranquil walking paths, vibrant flower gardens, and serene lake, this park is the perfect escape for nature lovers and anyone looking for a moment of peace. Make sure to stop by the Chinese Tower beer garden for a refreshing drink and some authentic Bavarian cuisine. With so much to see and do in Munich, visiting the Englischer Garten is an experience you won’t want to miss and a great example of what to do in Munich.

A men in black T-shirt and jeans buying some cheese at the Viktualienmarkt in Munich, Germany. The cheese stall features many types of cheese.

Viktualienmarkt

Viktualienmarkt is a food lover’s dream and one of the best things to do in Munich. The vibrant colors and aromas of fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and other delicacies are sure to tempt your senses. With so much variety and quality, it’s no wonder that this open-air market has been a local favorite for over 200 years. Don’t miss the chance to sample some of the best Bavarian cuisine and experience the unique atmosphere of Viktualienmarkt. It’s a must-visit destination for any foodie and a great spot to immerse yourself in the local culture.

Panoramic water view of the Nymphenburg Palace in Munich on a sunny autumn day, One can see the main building centred in the background as it reflects on the water. On both sides there is a park area with some leafless trees and yellow grass, that indicate that these scene is in the Autumn or Winter time.

Nymphenburg Palace

Nymphenburg Palace is a true gem of Munich and a must-visit place for any history or architecture enthusiast looking for what to do in Munich. The stunning palace and its beautiful gardens offer a glimpse into Bavaria’s royal past and are sure to leave a lasting impression. Whether you’re strolling through the meticulously manicured gardens or admiring the intricate artwork and furnishings inside the palace, Nymphenburg is an unforgettable experience.

Neuschwanstein Castle

Best day trips from Munich. The Neuschwanstein Castle on a sunny but cloudy day during autumn. The castle is on the foreground surrounded by trees in fall colours with a green landscape and river on the background.

Although not situated in Munich, this place is so magnificent and enchanting that taking a day trip to it is well worth it! This fairytale castle is located about two hours from Munich and is one of the most famous landmarks in all of Germany. It was the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle and is a must-see for anyone visiting the region. You can take a guided tour of the castle’s interior and learn about its fascinating history and construction.


Looking to delve deeper into Bavaria’s charm? Then, check out our curated article highlighting the best day trips from Munich:


Best Things to Do in Munich (Or Around)

Tour the City by Bike or on Foot

Exploring Munich by bike or on foot is a fantastic way to fully immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant culture and rich history. From charming cobblestone streets to breathtaking gardens, there is so much to discover around every corner. Whether you choose to go at your own pace or join a guided tour, you’re sure to create lasting memories and gain a deeper appreciation for this amazing city. So grab a bike or lace up your walking shoes, and get ready to experience Munich like never before!

People seated at the Chinese Tower beer garden in Munich on a sunny day. The wooden tower is surrounded by lush green trees as people enjoy a fresh drink and enjoy to catch up with some family and friends.

Visit Munich’s Famous Beer Gardens

Don’t know what to do in Munich? Just chill and drink a beer! In fact, no trip to Munich is complete without visiting its famous beer gardens, where you can experience the local culture and traditions in a relaxed and festive atmosphere. With a variety of beers and delicious Bavarian dishes to try, it’s a great place to spend an afternoon or evening with friends and family. Whether you choose to visit the historic Hofbräuhaus or the charming Chinese Tower in the Englischer Garten, you’re guaranteed to have an unforgettable experience. Don’t miss out on this quintessential Munich experience, one of the best things to do in Munich.

Black and white picture of the stone and imposing building known as the Bavarian State Opera. One can see the main staircase with many people seated just having a good time together.

Attend a Concert or Opera at the Bayerische Staatsoper

Attending a concert or opera at the Bayerische Staatsoper is truly one of the best things to do in Munich. Moreover, it offers a chance to immerse yourself in the city’s rich cultural heritage. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy world-class performances of classic operas and ballets in a beautiful and historic venue.

Explore the Local Cuisine

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore the delicious local cuisine of Munich, a city known for its hearty and flavorful dishes. From white sausages to pork knuckles and soft pretzels, there are plenty of must-try dishes to tantalize your taste buds. Whether you choose to dine at traditional Bavarian restaurants or grab a bite from a street food stall, you’re sure to find something delicious that will leave you wanting more. Go and discover the flavors of Munich, you won’t regret it!

Nuremberg in Germany, a great choice for day trips from Munich. It shows a cobblestone street with someone walking by on a sunny cloudy day. The houses are picturesque in typical German style, with plants on the windows and geometric paintings.

Take a Day Trip to the Nearby Cities of Salzburg or Nuremberg

While there is plenty to see and do in Munich, there are also many beautiful and historic cities nearby that are worth a visit. Taking a day trip to Salzburg or Nuremberg is an excellent way to enhance your experience while visiting Munich. Although Salzburg is not located in Germany, it is just a short train ride away and offers a fascinating glimpse into Austrian culture and history. As the birthplace of Mozart, Salzburg is a city rich in musical heritage and boasts stunning architecture and picturesque views.

Meanwhile, Nuremberg, located just an hour from Munich, is a quintessential German city known for its well-preserved medieval architecture and world-renowned Christmas markets. With so much to see and do, these nearby cities are a must-visit while in Munich, and offer the perfect opportunity to explore even more of the unique culture and history of the region. Don’t miss out on the chance to broaden your travel horizons and create unforgettable memories in these charming destinations.

Best Museums in Munich

River views to the Deutsches Museum on a cloudy autumn day. One can contemplate some leafless trees as well as others with red and yellow leafs. Also, the museum stone tower is highlighted, with its clock and golden pointers. The blue cyan rooftops also standout to the human eye.

Deutsches Museum

The Deutsches Museum is not only the largest science and technology museum in the world but also a true paradise for science enthusiasts. With its vast collection of exhibits, ranging from historical discoveries to cutting-edge technology, the museum offers a fascinating insight into the world of science and innovation. From the Wright brothers’ airplane and the first computer to the latest advancements in artificial intelligence and robotics, the Deutsches Museum has it all. Visitors can immerse themselves in the wonders of science through interactive displays and hands-on experiments, making it a truly unforgettable experience for both adults and children. If you’re looking for a unique and educational adventure, then the Deutsches Museum should definitely be on your list of best museums in Munich.

The 1955 BMW Setta in white and pastel yellow in exhibition at the BMW Museum in Munich, Germany.

BMW Museum

The BMW Museum is one of those iconic places to visit in Munich for anyone with an interest in cars, engineering, or design. With its extensive collection of vintage and modern BMW cars, the museum provides a fascinating glimpse into the history and evolution of one of the world’s most iconic automotive brands. From the classic elegance of the BMW 327 to the cutting-edge technology of the i8 hybrid supercar, the BMW Museum showcases some of the most innovative and beautiful cars ever made. Furthermore, interactive exhibits and multimedia displays bring the story of BMW to life, allowing visitors to explore the company’s history, philosophy, and engineering prowess in engaging and immersive ways. In addition, don’t miss this chance to experience the thrill of driving a BMW and learn about the passion and dedication that goes into creating these extraordinary machines.

Inside the Pinakothek in Munich. One can observe the big windows as the light enters the building, directing the human eye for the stone interiors featuring a staircase with some people going down.

Alte Pinakothek

The Alte Pinakothek is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Munich and an art lover’s paradise, boasting an unparalleled collection of European old master paintings that will leave you in awe. From the intricate brushstrokes of Rubens to the dramatic lighting in Rembrandt’s portraits, every piece of artwork on display is a masterpiece in its own right. The museum’s interior is just as impressive as the artwork it houses, with grand halls and ornate ceilings that transport you back in time to the era of the great masters. A visit to the Alte Pinakothek is an unforgettable experience that will leave you with a deep appreciation for the art and culture of Europe.

Neue Pinakothek

The Neue Pinakothek is a must-visit destination for art lovers and enthusiasts of 19th-century painting. The museum’s impressive collection includes works by prominent German Romantic painters such as Caspar David Friedrich and Carl Spitzweg, as well as pieces by French Impressionists like Claude Monet and Post-Impressionists like Vincent van Gogh. The exhibits are thoughtfully curated and displayed in a modern, spacious setting, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the world of 19th-century art. Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or simply appreciate beautiful aesthetics, a visit to the Neue Pinakothek is an experience that should not be missed when considering what to do in Munich.

A girl riding a skate in front of the colourful Brandhorst Museum in Munich on a blue skies day.

Museum Brandhorst

This museum is a must-see destination for contemporary art enthusiasts, with a diverse collection that includes works by renowned artists such as Andy Warhol and Cy Twombly. The museum’s striking exterior, which features colorful glass panels arranged in a unique pattern, is just a hint of the visual delights that await inside. Furthermore, with its thought-provoking exhibits and modern design, the Museum Brandhorst is a standout attraction in Munich and should definitely be on your list of best places to visit in Munich.

Whether you’re interested in science, art, or automobiles, Munich’s museums have something for everyone. These five museums are just a few of the many incredible cultural institutions that make Munich a must-visit destination for any traveler.

Aerial view of the magnificent and ornamented Frauenkirche Cathedral on a blue skies cloudy day. One can also observe some colourful residential buildings in the foreground as well as the TV Tower far in the background.

Free Things to Do in Munich

Stroll Through the English Garden

A visit to the English Garden is a must-do for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. With its lush greenery, serene lakes, and blooming flowers, the park provides a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. Take a break from sightseeing and immerse yourself in the beauty of the park’s natural surroundings. You can also watch the locals engage in various activities, from sunbathing to picnicking and even playing frisbee. The cherry on top is the park’s famous beer garden, where you can sit and relax with a refreshing pint of Bavarian beer and soak up the lively atmosphere. To conclude, a stroll through the English Garden is an experience that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.

Visit the Churches of Munich

Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Munich by exploring its beautiful churches, all for free! This is just one of the many free things to do in Munich that allow visitors to experience the city without breaking the bank. Each church has its unique story and architectural style that will leave you in awe. Marvel at the impressive Gothic towers of the Frauenkirche, which has stood tall as a symbol of Munich’s resilience for over 500 years. Step inside the elaborate Baroque interiors of St. Peter’s Church, which boasts ornate frescoes and a stunning view of the city from its tower. Or explore the Asamkirche, a hidden gem known for its intricate details and ornamental beauty. These churches are not just religious landmarks but also significant cultural and historical monuments that every visitor should experience.

Explore the City’s Street Art Scene

If you’re wondering what to do in Munich, exploring the city’s street art scene should definitely be on your list! It’s a unique and exciting way to see a different side of the city and experience the creativity of its residents. Plus, it’s completely free! So grab your camera and take a walk through the vibrant and trendy Glockenbachviertel neighborhood to see some of the most impressive street art in Munich. From colorful murals to intricate graffiti art, you’ll be sure to find something that catches your eye and leaves you in awe. So why not take a break from the traditional tourist attractions and explore the colorful and dynamic world of Munich’s street art scene?

Attend a Free Concert or Event

Attending a free concert or event is one of the many free things to do in Munich that should not be missed. Munich’s cultural scene is always alive with a variety of events that can be enjoyed without spending a dime. From live music to outdoor movie screenings, there is always something going on in the city. The best part is that these events are not just limited to the summer months but can be found throughout the year. So whether you’re interested in classical music, modern art, or local cuisine, there’s an event in Munich that’s perfect for you. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience the city’s vibrant cultural scene for free.

Take a Free Walking Tour of the City

Discover the fascinating history and hidden gems of Munich by taking a free walking tour. With a knowledgeable guide leading the way, you’ll explore the city’s most iconic landmarks, such as Marienplatz and the Viktualienmarkt, while also discovering lesser-known spots that you might have missed on your own. The tours cover a range of topics, from the city’s medieval past to its modern-day culture, giving you a well-rounded understanding of what makes Munich so unique. Not only do these tours provide a great way to learn about the city’s history and culture, but they also offer an opportunity to meet other travelers and make new friends. Whether you’re a solo traveler or part of a group, a free walking tour is an excellent way to experience Munich’s charm and beauty.

Summing up, with these free activities, you can experience the best of Munich without breaking the bank. Take advantage of all that this vibrant city has to offer, and make unforgettable memories during your visit.

The Bayerische Staatskanzlei building in Munich on a cloudy blue skies day. One can observe the main ornamented stone building with its lustrous dome and ancient pillars. Also one can see the glass building that accompanies the main stone building, as well as the garden with the main statue of a men riding a horse branding a flag.

What to Do in Munich: A Guide for First-Time Visitors

Let’s quickly recap the top places to visit in Munich, things to do, and transportation options for your convenience.

To make the most of your trip to Munich, we highly recommend visiting the Marienplatz, Englischer Garten, Viktualienmarkt, Nymphenburg Palace, and Neuschwanstein Castle. These iconic attractions will give you a glimpse into Munich’s rich history and culture.

In addition to sightseeing, don’t forget to explore the city’s vibrant food and drink scene. Take a stroll through the beer gardens, indulge in the local cuisine, and attend a concert or opera at the Bayerische Staatsoper.

If you’re a museum lover, you won’t be disappointed by the world-class museums that Munich has to offer. Make sure to visit the Deutsches Museum, BMW Museum, Alte Pinakothek, Neue Pinakothek, and Museum Brandhorst.

Finally, for those on a budget, there are plenty of free things to do in Munich, such as strolling through the English Garden, exploring the city’s street art scene, and attending free concerts or events.

When it comes to transportation options, Munich has a well-connected public transportation system, including buses, trains, and trams, that will take you to all the must-see attractions. Furthermore, you can also opt for bike or walking tours to explore the city at your own pace.

In conclusion, Munich is a city that has something to offer for everyone! As a first-time visitor, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of things to see and do, but don’t worry. Take your time, prioritize what you want to see, and enjoy the experience.

Don’t forget to use our guide as a resource for planning your trip and making the most of your time in this fantastic city. Book your trip today and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Munich!

Let’s Start Planning Your First Visit to Munich Today

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