Munich City Travel Guide

The Bavarian capital of Munich in Germany should not be missed. If you’re heading to Germany to visit the Castle of Neuschwanstein or the Eagles Nest, Munich would be an ideal base.

You might visit Munich for Oktoberfest and the Christmas Market in Munich, but make sure you stay for the real tourist attractions. Marienplatz, Nymphenburg Palace and the Vitualienmarkt to name a few. 

There are so many things to do in Munich, you could spend weeks exploring the city. Use the tabs below to start planning your trip to Munich, Germany.

Frauenkirche and the city of Munich


Just 30 miles away from the Alps and famous for its beer, München, pronounced Muhn-chen, its no wonder this city appeals to tourists from far and wide.

Munich is the capital city of Bavaria. The Isar River, a tributary river for the Danube, flows through the city. On a clear day, the northern Alps can be seen from several viewpoints in the city.

The city is an architectural marvel. Many of the city’s finest architecture is from the early 1800s. Arguably the most sophisticated city in Germany, King Ludwig I was pivotal in creating the Munich we see today. (Not the same king who commissioned the famous Neuschwanstein Castle, or Sleeping Beauty’s castle as many may know it.)


Quick Facts

München means home of the monks. The coat of arms includes the depiction of monk.

In Italian, Munich is called “Monaco di Baviera”. Literally translated as Monk of Bavaria.

First mentioned by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I in 1158

Munich’s population is 1,558,395 [source: Landeshauptstadt München, 2020]

Munich became a sovereign kingdom in 1806, after which the city became a major area of cultural importance in Europe. Munich continues to be a global center for the arts, architecture and science in the 21st century.

During World War I, Munich became a center of right-wing political unrest


What is Marienplatz in Munich?

Sightseeing in Munich

You will not be stuck for things to do in Munich. The city is packed with museums, art galleries, and historic buildings. Café culture is well and truly alive in Munich, so make sure you stop to enjoy the many cafes and bars this city has to offer.

There are many quarters of Munich to visit but we recommend sticking to the most central areas. See our quick sightseeing guide to Munich below.

We’ve also answered the most important questions. Click on the dropdowns to find out more.

There are two tourist information centers in Munich. Only one is open all year round. 

The main tourist information center is found on Marienplatz. The opening hours are Monday – Friday 10 am – 6 pm, Saturday 9 am – 5 pm and Sunday 10 am – 2 pm.

The other tourist information center is at Munich’s main train station. It is open seasonally but currently being used as a refugee service point.

There are a few different free maps available in Munich. The best place to find one is at your hotel or hostel. Ask at reception. They may also be able to highlight a few key places on the map for you.

Alternatively, visit the tourist information center in the center of Munich. Here you will be able to buy a good map for a small amount.

Start your sightseeing in Altstadt, you’ll find a lot of things to do in Munich are found in the center of the city. The Altstadt has most of the main tourist attractions. If you’ve only got 24 hours in the city, stick to the Altstadt.

Start at Marienplatz and the neo-Gothic Town Hall, from here you can walk to the a huge amount of tourist attractions and things to do, including Frauenkirche, Viktualienmarkt, Englischer Garten and the Munich Residenz.

Make sure you climb the tower of St Peter’s Church for €5 and get a view of the old town and beyond. It’s a steep climb but the views are worth it.

Munich’s Hofbräuhaus is the most central beer hall in Munich. It is a four minute walk from Marienplatz. The hall is open from 11am until midnight, every single day.

Also known as Hofbräuhaus am Platzl, it was built in 1589 as an extension of the city owned brewery. The majority of the Hofbräuhaus is made up of the restaurant. Traditional Bavarian food is served daily. It’s a great place for a bite to eat or something more substantial. There are more drinks on the menu than just beer.

After Oktoberfest, the Hofbräuhaus is considered to be the next largest tourist attraction in Munich. Later in the afternoon and evening, expect to hear traditional Bavarian Blasmusik (brass band music) played by live band. The atmosphere alone is worth the trip to this historic beer hall.

You’re spoilt for choice in Munich. There’s a few different opportunities to see this grand city from a different angle.

Climb the tower of St Peter’s Church for €5 and get a view of the old town and beyond. It’s a steep climb but the views are worth it.

If you’re not able to climb up many steps, then head over to the town hall at Marienplatz. For €6 an elevator will take you to the viewing platform in seconds. You will need to book a slot at the Tourist Information Center or online

On a clear day there’s a stunning view of Munich with a backdrop of the alps from Luitpoldhügel, a hill made up of rubble from WW2. History and views! Take the U3 from Marienplatz to get to this park, then begin the climb to the 37m summit.

Alternatively, you can experience Munich from above without leaving your home thanks to this short video shot for the Munich Tourist Board. 

Tourist Attractions in Munich

Depending on your interests there are many places to see and things to do in Munich.

We’ve split the tourist attractions into six categories.

Click on a category below to read more about the tourist attractions in Munich.

A stall selling wine in Viktualienmarkt in Munich

Rathaus in Marienplatz

The New Town Hall is the most central location of the Altstadt, a good place to start sightseeing.

Built in a neo-Gothic style to contrast with the royal buildings in and around Munich’s city center.

Finished and handed over to Munich’s city administration in 1906, inspiration was taken from Brussel’s Town Hall which was built in the 15th century.

Make sure you catch the Glockenspiel performance at 11 am and 12 noon. In the summer months you can also watch it at 5pm.

The main tower has a viewing platform open to the public. Book a timeslot online or at the tourist information center for €6. An elevator takes you to the viewing platform for a magnificent view of the city.

Frauenkirche in the Altstadt

A few minutes walk away from Marienplatz
Also known as Munich Cathedral or Cathedral of our Lady.

The cathedral domes form a distinctive feature of the Munich skyline, the two towers are topped with two onion shaped domes. The domes were a later addition to this red brick late Gothic style cathedral, added in 1524. Lack of funds meant the original tall, pointed spires were never built.

It’s undergone a series of restoration work after damage during WW2. Today it stands tall in the centre of Munich. It took just twenty years to build this brick cathedral – quite the achievement considering it was built in the 15th century.

Munich Residenz north of Altstadt

A royal palace dating back to the 14th century. Previously the Bavarian palace of the Wittelsbach monarchs. Today the palace is open for the public to enjoy the architecture, interiors and royal collections.

The sprawling palace we see today combines Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo and Neo-Classicism architecture.

For opening hours and visitor information, read about it on the Residenz website.

Alte Pinakothek, Neue Pinakothek and Pinakothek der Moderne in Maxvorstadt

Three separate museums full of art. Alte Pinakothek exhibits European art from the Middle Ages up to the Rococo period. Neue Pinakothek is for late 18th century to early 20th century art lovers.

The Pinakothek der Moderne houses contemporary paintings and art as well as architecture and applied arts.

Isarphilharmonie in Sendling

Just like the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, this new building was designed with the help of renowned acoustics expert Yasuhisa Toyota and Nagata Acoustics. The inaugural concert was held in October 2021. For info about concerts and booking tickets, check out the website. 

Deustches Museum on Museum Island

Recently modernized, there are hundreds of exhibits and 19 brand new exhibitions all under one roof.

A visit to this museum could last for days, so it’s important to plan your visit and decide which exhibitions you don’t want to miss before you start wandering around. Plan your visit on the museum’s website

Deutsches Museum

If you’re going to visit one museum in Munich, make it the Deutsches Museum. There are hundreds of exhibits and even an area called “Kids’ Kingdom” geared towards younger children aged 3 – 8 years old. This hands-on section will keep your children entertained.

Tierpark Hellabrunn

Munich’s Zoo. Found south of the city center and just 14 minute U-Bahn ride from Marienplatz. Over 1900 animals are roaming around this 89 acre zoo. This zoo feels more like a nature reserve.

Englischer Garten

Germany’s largest urban park. Right in the heart of Munich, theres over 36 kilometres of paths, a lake with paddleboats for hire, playground equipment and even a Japanese Tea House. Bring a picnic from Viktualienmarkt and enjoy an afternoon exploring the park and letting your kids run wild.

Viktualienmarkt, in the Altstadt of Munich

This is a 200 year old market slap bang in the middle of Munich. Starting out as a traditional farmers market, it is now a destination for gourmets. Over 140 stalls selling fruits, vegetables, flowers, wine, meat products, cheese and bread.

Viktualienmarkt Biergarten in the center of the market is a good place to stop for lunch when sightseeing in the Altstadt. There are plenty of light bites available.

Expect crowds. It’s a great place to people watch real life Bavarians Going about daily life.

Open on daily Monday – Saturday from 7am to 8pm, with each stall opening and closing at slightly different times.

Weekly Markets

Munich has regular produce markets in neighborhoods in and round the center of the city.

If you’re keen local produce or just love shopping or browsing, here are a few local markets open each week in Munich

– Tuesday on Josephsplatz the weekly produce market is open from 12 – 6pm

– Wednesday at Mariahilfplatz from 7 am – 1pm, this weekly market sells regional produce often directly from the producers

– Thursday on St-Anna-Platz there’s a farmers’ market held from 10:30 – 6pm

Riesen-Flohmarkt Theresienwiese

Open just once a year, but if you’re here for it, don’t miss out.

Over 2000 sellers with vintage clothing, furniture, antiques and militaria. The size of this market makes it the best flea market in Munich.

Open on the first Saturday of the Spring Festival (Frühlingsfest). In 2023 Frühlingsfest will take place from 21st April to 7th May.

If you’d like to go on a guided tour in Munich, you have plenty to choose from. There’s free walking tours, hop on and off bus tours and ghost tours.

Free Walking Tour

As in most large cities, there is often a free walking tour, where you decide how much to pay. In Munich, SANDEMANS NEW Europe offer a 2.5 hour tour with a local guide.

The tour takes you past many of the most visited tourist attractions. It’s a great way to discover the city. To book your place on the tour head to the SANDEMANS NEW Europe website. 

See Munich by Bike

If you would prefer to take in more of the city, a bike sightseeing tour is highly recommended. Mike’s Bike Tours and Rentals offer a 3.5 hour tour of the city.

You’ll cycle through part of the Englischer Garten, along the Isar River and right through the middle of Munich. The tour covers roughly 4 miles of the city. With everything but lunch provided, it’s good to book this tour in advance. 

Christmas Markets
Open from late November. The most visited Christmas market in Munich is on Marienplatz. This market dates from the 14th century. The neo-Gothic town hall adds the perfect Christmas backdrop to an already festive scene.

Christmas magic doesn’t stop there, there are many Weihnachtsmarkt all over Munich. Each one has something unique about it. Even the Viktualienmarkt gets Christmassy with carols and mulled wine.

For more information about the Christmas markets around Munich visit the Munich Tourist Board website. 

Literally translated as Spring Festival. Think Oktoberfest but on a much smaller scale.

Frühlingsfest is held on Theresienwiese, there are a couple of beer tents, fairground rides, traditional Bavarian funfair food, music and games.

In 2023 Frühlingsfest will take place from 21st April to 7th May.

Opening times are 11am to 11pm Friday to Sunday.

For more information about the Spring Festival, read all about it on Absolute Munich

The most famous tourist attraction in Munich and perhaps the whole of Germany. Every year Oktoberfest welcomes six million local, national and international visitors.

This traditional festival celebrates beer, and lots of it. During the 16-day long Volksfest, millions of liters of beer are consumed. It is an important part of Bavarian tradition and started in 1810.

Other cities, towns and villages host Volksfests around the same time of year, but none are on the same scale.

For more information about Oktoberfest, check out our section on the event.

Where to Eat in Munich

Traditional Bavarian food of pork knuckle called Schweinehaxe in German

Bavaria has strong food traditions. When you visit Munich, expect meat and potatoes or dumplings, and lots of it. This is the heart of Bavarian cuisine. When choosing a restaurant in Munich, stick to traditional restaurants. 

Here’s a few restaurants serving good food that are value for money and close to the tourist attractions:

Hofbräuhaus – it is not possible to reserve a table in the main beer hall (Schwemme) but you are able to reserve tables in other areas of the Hofbräuhaus. The pork knuckle, Schnitzel and goulash are excellent. The prices are around €15 for a main course.  

Steinheil 16 on Steinheilstrasse – Close by to the cluster of Pinakothek art galleries in Maxvorstadt you’ll find this gem of a restaurant. Again, expect the traditional Käsespätzle and Schnitzel and good portion sizes. It’s a popular place so make sure you book. 

Zum Dürnbräu, Dürnbräugasse 2 – Tucked away down a side street but just a stone’s throw away from Marienplatz. This restaurant is worth the visit for the traditional interiors alone. The menu is traditional but does have regular changing specials. It might be possible to walk in for lunch but book if you’d like to stay for dinner.

Everything you need to know about Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest - The Essential Information

Oktoberfest in Munich also known as The Wiesn is a festival on a grand scale. Over 600,000 visitors walk through the gates each day. 

Beer is the main attraction at Oktoberfest, but even non-drinkers will enjoy the festivities. There’s fairground rides, music and traditional food that shouldn’t be missed.

Oktoberfest is held at Thereisienwiese, a large fairground southwest of Munich’s city centre. It is well served by public transport.

The closest U-Bahn stations to Oktoberfest are Theresienwiese, Goetheplatz and Schwanthalerhöhe. The nearest S-Bahn station is Hackerbrücke.

When is Munich's Oktoberfest held and what are the opening hours?

Oktoberfest in Munich is celebrated at in September. The dates for 2022 are September 17th to October 3rd. The dates for 2023 are September 16th – October 3rd 2023

Oktoberfest opening hours are 10am – 11:30pm on weekdays. On Saturday and Sunday, Oktoberfest is open from 9am – 11:30pm.

How much is the entrance fee for Oktoberfest?

There is no entrance fee to visit Oktoberfest in Munich. To enter a beer tent you do not need to pay or have a ticket or reservation. A reservation is needed only if a beer tent is full.


Should I reserve a table at Oktoberfest in Munich?

There are 14 main beer tents at Oktoberfest. Nearly all of the beer tents have reservation systems for booking seats at tables apart from the Hofbrau Tent. The Hofbrau Tent at Oktoberfest is standing room only, but the maximum capacity is 1000 people. When that’s reached, security will practice one in, one out systems.

If you want to sit, drink beer and eat food in a beer tent and not worry about finding a table, you will need to book your seat in advance. If you’d like to book a reservation, you will need to choose between the lunch, afternoon and evening slots. You will want to do this months in advance.

Oktoberfest is popular with locals as well as national and international visitors, tables get booked up quickly.The place to book your space at a table at Oktoberfest in Munich is with the brewers directly. Each brewer will have their own booking system.

Find a list of all the brewers with beer tents at Oktoberfest in Munich on the official Oktoberfest website. From here you can click on the brewers’ names to find out more about their booking system. 

Visiting Oktoberfest in Munich without a reservation

Don’t let this put you off visiting Oktoberfest in Munich. The beer tents do not allow all tables to be reserved in advance.

If you don’t have a reservation at Oktoberfest, the best thing to do is just wander around a few tents and find an unreserved table. They do exist, especially if you’re visiting during the week at midday rather than at the weekend.

Where to Stay in Munich

If you’re only travelling to Munich for a few days you’ll want to know where the best place to stay in Munich is. This city is big, but a lot of the tourist attractions are in Altstadt or within walking distance of Altstadt.

If you’re using Munich as a base for day trips to Neuschwanstein Castle or the Eagles Nest, you can stay in Altstadt, it is close to the main train station.

To make sure you’re close enough to the main things to do in Munich, stay in Altstadt or the area around Altstadt.

Right in the heart of Munich. Altstadt and the surrounding area is perfect as a base in Munich with many tourist attractions on your doorstep as well bars, restaurants and cafes. The central location of Altstadt does mean higher hotel costs, here are our recommended hotels:

Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski München ($$$)

If you can afford to splash out, this hotel comes highly recommended. This five star hotel is five minutes from the Marienplatz and has a spa, pool and gym on site.

Hotel am Markt ($$)

Located in the Viktualienmarkt. Modern rooms with a great location make this affordable hotel a winner with tourists in Munich.

Should I book my hotel in Munich before arriving?

Prices of hotels in Munich fluctuate depending on what’s going on in the city. Oktoberfest sees hotel rooms booked up months in advance. If you are visiting Munich for Oktoberfest, make sure you have secured your accommodation first before booking flights.

Booking online in advance of your trip is simple. If you’re looking for a hotel, hostel or aparthotel, the best place to book is on It has the best choice, plenty of reviews and clear pricing. It is a trusted booking service.

Getting around Munich

Airports close to Munich

The best airport to fly into is Munich Airport (MUC) also known as Flughafen München Franz Josef Strauss. Munich Airport is located 20 miles north of Munich city center.

Travel from Munich Airport to Munich City Center by Taxi

To take a taxi to travel from Munich Airport to the city center, go to the nearest taxi rank. There is a taxi rank outside the airport terminal.

It is best to have cash ready for the taxi fare. The journey will take about 30 minutes depending on traffic.

Ride the train from Munich Airport to Munich City Center
Use the S1 to travel direct from Munich Airport to Munich Main Train Station (München Hauptbahnhof or Munich Hbf). It is a 40 minute journey. Follow signs in the airport terminal for the airport train station.

Buy tickets for the city center at the ticket machine located before the platforms and on the platforms. You will want to buy a ticket before boarding the train, there is no opportunity to buy a ticket on board the trains.

From Munich Hbf you can reach your accommodation by foot or take the U-Bahn. The best website to find the right connections with is It is possible to book tickets in advance using the Deutsche Bahn website.

Using the U-Bahn in Munich

The most convenient way to get around Munich is by foot, bike or public transport. U-Bahn stations are dotted around the city and S-Bahn stations cover the greater metropolitan area.

All tickets can be bought at U-Bahn stations in Munich including single fares and day tickets. Make sure you buy a ticket before boarding the train.

Shopping in Munich

Luxury shopping in Munich at Funf Hofe

The first pedestrianized zone in Germany is in Munich. A trial took place in the center of the city on Kaufingerstrasse and Neuhauser Strasse for the 1972 Olympic Games. Making it a car-free shopping zone has helped shape the important shopping destination we see today.

The pedestrianized zone, or Fußgängerzone in German, has the usual shopping chains you’d expect in a city center, as well as some more traditional stores.


Try the shopping arcades of Fünf Höfe and Schäfflerhof for luxury shops, cafes and bars.

If you like vintage clothing and want to check out Munich’s vintage clothing shops, we highly recommend Picknweight in Schwabing.

It’s good to note that shops don’t tend to open on a Sunday in most parts of Germany.

Christmas Market in Marienplatz, Munich