Munich Area Travel Guide

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclaimer policy.

Munich (München) is a must-see for many visitors to Germany. Located in Bavaria, this is the part of Germany most people in the US imagine when they think of Germany. Nearly everyone who has booked an itinerary consult wants to visit Munich! Keep reading this guide for an overview of what to do and see in the Munich area, where to stay, day trips, and more. Or go right to one of our more in-depth guides:


What to Do and See in Munich

Home of Oktoberfest, ornate Baroque churches, and legendary beer gardens, you’ll never run out of things to do in and around Munich.

Whether you’re into food, history, architecture, nature, art, or spontaneous adventures, you’ll find plenty to see, see, and experience in and around Munich! Here are a few ideas to get you started.

TIP: if you’re only in Munich in for a day or two, maximize your time by starting with the Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour. In just a couple hours you can see a lot of the city, which then leaves you time to zero in on the sights you want to explore in more depth.

READ our guide on what to do in Munich.

  • Marianplatz
  • Beer Gardens
  • English Garden
  • Nymphenburg Palace
  • St. Peter’s Church
  • University
  • BMW Museum
  • Viktualienmarkt
  • Glockenspiel
  • New Town Hall
  • Old Town Hall
  • Christmas Markets
  • Glyptothek Museum
  • Tollwood Festival
  • Oktoberfest
  • Munich Residenz
  • Neue Pinakothek
  • Alte Pinakothek

TIP: if you have our Germany Travel Planner be sure to check out the interactive planning map so you can see where the best sights are located. Seeing where these sights are on the map, along with our up-to-date photos and tips, makes planning your trip SO much easier. If you don’t yet have it, click here to get access.


Munich Accommodations Guide

You’ll find a wide variety of accommodation options in Munich, including hotels, B&Bs, and apartments. If you’re only in Munich for a couple days, I recommend a hotel near the Altstadt (Old Town) because nearly everything you want to see will be within walking distance.

READ our guide on the best places to stay in Munich.

Looking for a place to stay during Oktoberfest? READ this hotel guide.

One hotel we recommend is Hotel Am Viktualienmarkt. I chose this hotel on a short trip to Munich because the location was fantastic! The hotel was just a short walk to Marianplatz but was located on a quiet street. The rooms were comfortable and included a delicious breakfast buffet. I really enjoyed my stay there and would definitely stay there again.

If you’re looking for an apartment in Munich, do a search on Booking.com. We’ve found several great apartments there (less than what we saw on Airbnb for the same apartment) and it’s SO nice to have all hotel and apartment reservations in one place.

TIPS:

Tip: if you have our Germany Travel Planner you’ll find recommended hotels on our interactive planning map. Seeing where these hotels are in relation to the top sights makes it a lot easier to find the perfect place to stay. If you don’t yet have it, click here to get access.

Book your Munich accommodations in advance! They tend to fill quickly during peak travel times (summer, Oktoberfest, Christmas, etc) so I recommend seeing what’s open for your travel dates.


Munich Tours & Tickets

Munich has many guided tours and special tickets to make your visit extra fun. Book in advance so you don’t have to scramble once you’re in town and potentially miss out on an activity or tour you’re looking forward to.

READ our 1 Day in Munich Guide here!


Munich Day Trips

One of the best things about making Munich your home base while visiting Bavaria is that you have countless day trip options! You can plan your own day trips for maximum flexibility or book a guided tour for maximum relaxation and convenience. Here are some ideas to get your planning started.

TIP: If you have our Germany Travel Planner/Bundle look at our interactive planning map to see do-able day trips. Seeing the castles, towns, and other must-see sights on the map (along with our photos and up-to-date tips) makes it much easier to decide what to add to your itinerary. If you don’t yet have it, click here to get access.

Know Before You Go

Airport: Munich International Airport (MUC)

Currency: euro
Language: the official language of Germany is German (Deutsch)
Time zone: Centra European Time (CET / GMT+ 2 / 6 hours ahead of US EST)
Germany Visa: tourists from the US, Canada, and several other countries do not need a visa to visit Germany for under 90 days
Germany Electricity Socket: Germany uses different voltage and sockets than in North America, the UK, and other parts of the world. Read our guide to adapters and converters so you can safely use your tech in Germany.
Germany SIM card: Read our guide here to SIM cards and other ways to use your phone in Germany.
Germany Car Rentals: We find great deals on rental cars here. You can also check out our scenic Germany road trips article here.


More Munich Guides


Munich Travel FAQ

Where is Munich Located?

Munich is in southern Germany in the German Bundesland (state) of Bayern (Bavaria). It’s located just a few hours from Switzerland, Austria, and the Czech Republic and just north of the Bavarian Alps.

Map showing Munich location

Where Can I Find The Above Map?

It’s part of our Germany Travel Planner, and it’s your Germany travel planning BFF! Using our custom interactive planning map you’ll be able to quickly see the best sights, castles, hotels, day trips, and more – along with our photos and up-to-date insider tips. Seeing where these things are in relation to each other makes it much easier to plan your overall itinerary, as well as each day of your trip. If you don’t yet have it, click here to get access.

How to Get to Munich?

Munich is easy to reach via train, bus, car or plane. If arriving from the US, consider flying directly into Munich International Airport (the second busiest airport in Germany). We find flying right into or out of Munich (instead of Frankfurt) easy and stress free.

To get from the airport into the city you can take public transportation (it takes about an hour), hop in a taxi or book a private airport transfer.

Is Munich Friendly to Tourists?

Yes! Munich welcomes visitors and makes it easy to explore the city. You’ll find people who speak English (especially at tourist sites, the train station, airport, etc) and will help you find your way. We’ve always had positive experiences in Munich.

Does Munich, Germany Get Snow?

Yes! It does snow in Munich in the winter but that doesn’t mean there will be snow when you’re there. The temperature can fluctuate in the winter, which means you might encounter cold temperatures and snow on the ground or be warm enough to only need a jacket.

What’s the Best Way to Get Around Munich?

The majority of tourist sites are located in downtown Munich. If you stay in the city center, you should be able to walk to most sites. For the sites that are further away (e.g., Nymphenburg Palace, Dachau, BMW Museum) you can hop on a tram, bus, U-bahn or S-bahn.


Best Munich Travel Guides

These are our two favorite travel guides. We typically buy a Rick Steves guide whenever there’s one available. And I highly recommend the Culture Smart books – I always read one before visiting a new country because they have so much useful cultural information (I usually read it on the plane). You can get a hard copy or Kindle version.


Munich Basics

Population
1.46 million

Munich is capital of and the largest city in Bavaria, and 2nd largest in Germany.

Airport
Munich International Airport

Bundesland
Bavaria (Bayern)

Train Travel Times to Munich
Berlin ➔ Munich = 4.5 hours
Frankfurt ➔ Munich = 3 hrs 15 min
Hamburg ➔ Munich = 5 hrs 45 min
Salzburg ➔ Munich = 2 hours
Paris ➔ Munich = 7-8 hours
Rome ➔ Munich = 9.5 hours
Prague ➔ Munich = 5 hours

Fun Facts
The name Munich comes from the Old/Middle High German word Munichen, which means “by the monks.”

You can sunbathe nude in (parts of) the English Garden.

Munich Germany guide image