The capital of Bavaria, there’s plenty of historical things to do in Munich, including visiting the Marienplatz and its New Town Hall or walking through the halls of the Munich Residenz. This is also one of the top things to do in Munich in winter. As for things to do in Munich with kids, head to either the Deutsches Museum, Hellabrunn Zoo, or Olympiapark.
If you need more suggestions, according to the TripAdvisor things to do in Munich, Germany list, the city’s top attractions include the English Garden, Nymphenburg Palace, and the BMW Museum. Keep reading for even more ideas of things to do in Munich this weekend.
Marienplatz has been the city’s main square since the 12th century. Translated to St Mary’s Square in English, it’s located in the heart of the city’s Old Town. The square’s main attraction is its New Town Hall. At 300 feet long, it’s built in the Flanders Gothic style. Head there at 11 am or noon to see the Glockenspiel show, where figures reenact historic events. During the holidays, Marienplatz also hosts a magical Christmas market.
2. English Garden
Created in the late 18th century, the English Garden is one of the world’s oldest urban parks and the city’s largest park. Its name comes from the fact it’s designed to resemble an English country park. It has over 48 miles of walking and biking trails, large fields perfect for recreational games, scenic city views from the Monopteros, and a Japanese teahouse. The English Garden is also home to multiple restaurants with summertime beer gardens.
3. Nymphenburg Palace
The Nymphenburg Palace is a 17th-century baroque palace and former summer residence, with a frontal width larger than France’s famous Palace of Versailles. Together with the adjacent 490-acre Nymphenburg Palace Park – a spectacular Italian-style garden – it’s one of Europe’s premier royal palaces. Approximately 300,000 people visit Nymphenburg Palace annually, with audio tours readily available in multiple languages. In summer, visitors can also enjoy a relaxing gondola ride on the park’s middle channel.
4. Munich Residenz
Established in 1385, Munich Residenz is a former royal palace and the country’s largest city palace. The large complex features 10 courtyards and 130 rooms. Since 1920, Munich Residenz has been opened to the public as a museum and is today one of Europe’s most important palace museums. Get set to see original features and furnishings from the 16th to 19th centuries, as well as sights like the Hall of Antiquities and the Ancestral Gallery.
5. Hofbräuhaus München
The Munich Hofbräuhaus is the world’s most famous tavern. One of the city’s oldest beer halls, it was founded in 1589 by the Duke of Bavaria, Wilhelm V, and the beers are still brewed using his original recipes. When American soldiers returned home with Hofbräuhaus merchandise following World War II, the beer hall quickly became the city’s top tourist attraction. The quintessential Hofbräuhaus experience involves enjoying a beer stein while listening to traditional Bavarian music.
6. New Town Hall
As mentioned, the New Town Hall is Marienplatz’s main attraction. Featuring 400 rooms, it currently houses city council and mayoral offices. Built in the Flanders Gothic style, its facade is richly decorated with statues and ornamental features. Head here at 11 am or noon to see the world-famous Glockenspiel show, which has been running since 1908. The New Town Hall also has a public observation deck and restaurant at the top of its 225-ft tower.
As the name suggests, Olympiapark is an Olympic park that was created for the 1972 Summer Olympics. Since then, it’s been transformed and a visit is now one of the top things to do in Munich. Head up the Olympic Tower for views and to visit the Rock Museum; enjoy a guided tour of the Olympic Stadium; see the Olympic Walk of Stars (a sporty version of its Hollywood counterpart), and visit SEA Life Aquarium.
The Frauenkirche gothic cathedral is a notable city landmark located in the Old Town. Although construction began in 1468, the cathedral has since been renovated following World War II damage. Inside, there’s a large hall, a 15th-century stained glass window behind the altar, and a collection of artwork from some of the world’s most renowned artists. Featuring twin 323-ft towers, visitors can climb the Frauenkirche’s south tower for city views or do a guided tour.
9. Victuals Market
Victuals Market has been a farmers market since 1807. Located only steps from Marienplatz, the open-air market is open daily and is popular with both locals and tourists. Locals tend to visit to stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables, traditional Bavarian delicacies, seafood, and gourmet cheese from across Europe. Meanwhile, tourists can pick up the perfect German-inspired lunch, which may include bratwurst, soup during the winter months, loaded pork sandwiches, and pretzels, of course.
10. Deutsches Museum
With over 28,000 objects exhibited, the Deutsches Museum is the world’s largest science and technology museum. It also happens to be one of the world’s most-visited technological museums, as over 1.5 million people visit annually. Founded in 1903, it once hosted music concerts for renowned artists like Elton John. Today, it has exhibitions on astronomy, ceramics, music instruments, oceanography, historic aviation, and so much more. For families, there’s also the interactive Kid’s Kingdom.
11. BMW Welt
Opening in 2007, BMW Welt is Bavaria’s top tourist attraction. The large venue features exhibition and event space, a showroom, shops selling BMW merchandise and accessories, a restaurant, and a museum (but more on that below). Its showroom has the latest BMW, Mini, and Rolls-Royce cars and motorcycles on display. BMW Welt also has a dramatic delivery service, where customers in a glass-walled hall watch their new vehicle arrive from below on round elevator platforms.
The Rathaus-Glockenspiel is a tourist attraction clock connected to the New Town Hall in Marienplatz. Since 1908, the Rathaus-Glockenspiel has been the sight of a 12-minute show, which is performed at 11 am, noon, and 5 pm (during summer only). Featuring 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures, once the clock chimes two 16th-century historic events are reenacted. This includes the marriage of Duke Wilhelm V to Renata of Lorraine and the Schäfflertanz (or coopers’ dance).
13. Alte Pinakothek
Alte Pinakothek is an art museum focused on 14th to 18th-century artwork. One of the world’s oldest art galleries, Alte Pinakothek was established in 1836 and houses a significant collection of Old Master artworks. Its collection of 800 European works of art includes masterpieces by renowned artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Albrecht Duerer. Within walking distance you will also find Neue Pinakothek, focusing on 19th-century art; and Pinakothek der Moderne, a modern art museum.
14. Allianz Arena
Allianz Arena was the world’s first stadium with a color-changing exterior, made from inflated EFTE plastic panels. Opening in 2005, the football stadium is the home ground of FC Bayern Munich and can fit just over 75,000 spectators. Visitors can go on guided arena tours, including a VIP tour that takes you truly behind the scenes. Allianz Arena is also home to the FC Bayern Museum, which features trophies, timelines, and interactive kid-friendly exhibits.
Odeonsplatz is a large central square named after the Odeon, the square’s former concert hall. King Ludwig I commissioned the creation of the Italian-inspired square in the early 19th century. Its most prominent building is the Feldherrnhalle, a covered hall with three grand arches built in honor of the Bavarian army. Odeonsplatz is also home to Theatinerkirche, a church modeled after Rome’s San Andrea del Valle church. Next door is the Munich Residenz and Hofgarten.
Luitpoldpark is a serene and beautiful park is located just north of downtown Munich and features 82 acres of rolling tree-covered hills and large flat open spaces. Many large events take place in Luitpoldpark and it is a favorite park with locals to relax on sunny summer days. One interesting feature is that the park’s largest hill, the Luitpoldhügel, is actually a manmade hill that was built on top of rubble from the World War 2 bombing attacks on the city. This hill is a popular sledding spot in the wintertime. We think that Luitpoldhügel is one of the top urban parks in Munich and worth a visit.
17. St Peter’s Church
Founded in 1180, St Peter’s Church is a Roman Catholic parish church next to Marienplatz. It has been rebuilt twice since then, following a fire in 1368 and after destructive air raids during World War II. For a small entrance fee, visitors can climb the 300 stairs to the top of the church’s 300-ft tower, which is called Alter Peter by locals. From its vantage point, you can see the Alps on a clear day.
18. BMW Museum
A three-minute walk from BMW Welt is the BMW Museum, an automobile museum with displays detailing BMW’s illustrious history. Established in 1973, it was redeveloped into an interesting bowl-like shape during BMW Welt’s construction. The BMW Museum has seven permanent exhibition houses and many restored vehicles on display, include BMW Art Cars and the BMW Roadster. It is obvious that visiting these two BMW attractions is one of the top things to do in Munich.
19. Munich National Theatre
The city’s historic National Theatre is located on Max-Joseph-Platz and is home to the Bavarian State Opera, the Bavarian State Orchestra, and the Bavarian State Ballet. It’s been rebuilt three times, with the latest model unveiled in 1963. Built in the neoclassical style, it features over 2000 seats, an opulent royal box, and two large caryatids. For fans of opera, the National Theatre hosts the renowned Opera Festival annually. It also offers daily guided tours.
20. Müller’sches Volksbad
One of the most interesting things to do in Munich is to go for an invigorating swim at Müller’sches Volksbad. Opening in 1901, it’s said to be one of the world’s most beautiful swimming pools. Built in the art nouveau-style, it features both a large and small indoor swimming pool; a Roman steam bath complete with open-air courtyard; massage and hairdresser facilities; a ladies-only bathing day; and a restaurant and cafe with a beer garden.
Munich is the home of the original Oktoberfest – a 16 to 18-day folk festival running in late September/early October. Known for its overcrowded beer tents (14 in total), traditionally-dressed patrons, and carnival atmosphere, over six million people from around the world attend Oktoberfest annually. Besides drinking beer steins, other things to do at Oktoberfest include listening to traditional music, eating hearty local delicacies, and enjoying the family-friendly rides, games, and even haunted houses.
22. Hellabrunn Zoo
Hellabrunn Zoo is a 99-acre zoological garden that’s home to over 18,000 animals from around the world, including polar bears, wood bison, elephants, giraffes, and gorillas. It was the world’s first geo zoo, meaning animals are arranged by continent. Hellabrunn Zoo has several daily presentations, including sea lion training, animal walks with llamas and ponies, and a domestic animal petting area. With two million visitors annually, don’t miss a visit to this family-friendly attraction.
23. Olafur Eliasson’s ‘Umschreibung’
Danish artist Olafur Eliasson created Umschreibung, an ominous public artwork, in 2004. Made of stainless steel and wood, the 30-foot tall sculpture consists of two interlocked spiral staircases that create a continuous loop shaped like a double helix. Interestingly, there’s a small opening at the bottom so people can actually climb Umschreibung – exercise with a difference! It’s located in the interior courtyard of the KPMG building, which is adjacent to the aforementioned Deutsches Museum.
24. Eisbach Wave
The Eisbach is a small 1.2-mile manmade river that winds its way through the English Garden. A part of the bigger Isar River, it’s the waves on the Eishbach River that attract attention from locals, tourists, and even surfing competitions. The river surfing spot is located near the Haus der Kunst art museum and is suitable for experienced surfers and whitewater kayakers only. People have been taking to the Eishbach Wave year-round since 1972.
One of the best things to do in Munich in summer is to visit Hirschgarten. The restaurant is home to what is probably the world’s largest beer garden, with seating for over 8000 customers. Inside, Hirschgarten also has six separate dining areas, where you can sample traditional and seasonal Bavarian cuisine. Hirschgarten is also the name of the park in which the restaurant is located. It’s known for its deer population, playgrounds, and walking trails.
Freheizhalle is a performance venue housed in a distinctive brick building that was once a thermal power station. Located in the city’s Neuhausen district, it hosts a range of fun events every month, which could include a combination of music concerts, cabaret shows, stand-up comedy performances, readings and lectures, and themed club nights. Popular events on its regular schedule include 70s and 80s Disco Nights and Kiss the 90s – the city’s biggest 90s party.