Looking for suggestions on Munich tourist attractions? From my two visits, both of which were media trips organised by Germany Tourism, here is a list of the top 8 things to see in Munich when you are there. So let’s get started…
Munich Tourist Attractions
Munich was on my bucket list for a long time, thanks to all the good things I had heard about it from fellow travellers. Though it was true that most people who adored Munich adored it for its annual beer festival, I found there are more Munich tourist attractions and things to see in Munich than just the Octoberfest.
The town is host to a beautiful historic city centre, many serene public parks (where one can even surf) vibrant beer gardens and some hearty German food — no wonder, being the third largest town in Germany and the largest in South Germany, there is no dearth of Munich tourist attractions. And what makes it better than any other town is its posher, cleaner and more well-behaving look.
If you are travelling to Munich, you may also be interested in reading this Romantic Road Germany itinerary that I covered during another blog-trip with German tourism almost 6 months later. If you are interested, you can also do a day trip from Munich to Nordlingen for an offbeat experience.
I rented a car to explore Augsburg and the Romantic Road. Read these tips for Europe car rental if you are going to drive around in Europe.
Again, if I were to suggest one big German city that every traveller must visit Munich is going to top the list. And speaking of a list of top Munich tourist attractions, here are some…
Things To See In Munich
The heart and central square of the town, Marienplatz is home to one of the favourite things about Germany and that is the Christmas markets. But if you happen to visit during another time of the year and not Christmas (as I happened to visit) you will still find Marienplatz as one of the top Munich tourist attractions.
Have a look at the Old and New Town Hall, Mary’s Column in the middle and St. Peter’s Church.
It is even possible to get a panoramic view of much of the town by climbing either the tower of the New Town Hall (elevator) or the tower of St. Peter’s (stairs only).
For a more real and old-school European feel, however, climbing the tower of St. Peter’s (nearly 300 steps) costs 3 EUR for adults. Both, St Peter’s and The New Townhall are beautiful Munich tourist attractions worth visiting.
Right behind St. Peter’s Church, you can find the Viktualienmarkt, a daily food market offering typical delicacies from across Bavaria and Germany.
Try some real pork sausages, sauerkraut, and potato salad, with Bavaria’s favourite Augustiner Helles Lager Hell. Though you may find it a bit crowded, because it’s one of the most popular Munich tourist attractions, it’s still worth visiting for beer and some quick munchies.
Another public square full of sights, Odeonplatz is popular for its Field Marshalls’ Hall and the Munich Residence that used to be the main palace for the Wittelsbach dynasty reigning Bavaria until 1918.
Another place of interest at Odeonplatz is the Theatre Church (a bright yellow-coloured church on the west side of the square).
Exploring all the highlights at Odeonplatz can take at least half a day. So if you are short on time, a quick stroll around the square and Wittelsbach can complete your Munich tourist attractions list in Odeonsplatz.
If you’re a museum person you need to visit the Deutsches Museum. Located on an island in the Isar River, the Deutsches Museum is a real treat for museum lovers with displays of everything – from history to culture to technology to science, that is related to Germany.
If you visit this museum, make sure to select some departments beforehand. Otherwise, you are going to spend all day exploring.
English Garden is the green lung of the city and one of the most visited Munich tourist attractions. It is also one of the biggest city parks in the world.
Enjoy walking one of the various trails, have a stop at one of its beer gardens and pay a visit to the surfing site of Eisbachwelle (a small creek).
There is two surfers’ point at the English Garden. If you want to see local surfers and experience the comparatively more laid-back atmosphere, visit the surfing site of Flosslaende. For a more touristic experience, however, visit the surfing site of Eisbachwelle.
If you happen to be there during the summer months of the year, do not forget to carry your swim shorts and take a short swim in the Eisbach River. It’s possible to swim across its length in English Garden, take a tram (with your wet swimsuit and naked chest) and get back to where you started from. Among all the Munich tourist attractions I visited, English Garden remained my favorite.
Established for the Summer Games in 1972, Olympic Park is still the most iconic thing to see in Munich.
Visit the Olympic Stadium, the Olympic Tower (the tallest tower in the city) and just enjoy walking across the park.
BMW World & Museum
If you have already been to other car museums in Germany, say Porche or Mercedes Benz Museum in Stuttgart, you may find some similarities here. But it still remains one of the recommended Munich tourist attractions.
It’s possible to lose the track of time in the BMW world and the museum if you haven’t already planned the number of hours you want to dedicate there, so be careful. An ideal tour, however, can take between 2-4 hours.
Please note that BMW World is free to visit, which caters mainly to tourists, displaying some of their top-of-the-line cars like the M6. They even have a section for Rolls Royce which was unexpected. BMW Museum, on the other hand, costs EUR9 for adults and shows a detailed history of the company right from its inception until today. Both remain popular Munich tourist attractions.
About half an hour away from the centre, lies one of the most popular Munich tourist attractions of the Nymphenburg Summer Palace. Other than a popular tourist attraction in Munich, Nymphenburg Summer Palace is also an important place to understand the history of Bavaria. Nymphenburg Summer Palace used to be the home to the former Royal family of Bavaria.
The palace consists of many buildings, pavilions, museums and an extensive outdoor garden. An ideal visit to Nymphenburg Summer Palace can take more than half a day.
I recommend buying the ticket that gives you access to everything on offer, although if your budget is tight or you are short on time, then I wouldn’t miss the main museum exhibits and the stable.
These are the few highlights that I covered during my 4-day stay in the town and were moreover recommended to me by German Tourism. Though I know and visited more Munich tourist attractions, these are the ones I loved the most.
If you are looking for a more detailed city guide, read this 3 Days In Munich Itinerary
Disclaimer: My trip was sponsored by Germany Tourism. Though they paid for my travels, all suggestions are solely personal. I recommend and promote only what I like and find worth appreciating.