Planning a trip to Germany’s third-largest city and want to plan out the perfect Munich itinerary?
Bavaria’s capital is synonymous with the world-famous Oktoberfest. Every year for three weeks, the city is packed with locals (and tourists) wearing lederhosen and dirndls. The hordes flock to beer halls where they drink a mass of beer and dive into a pretzel.
While making a beeline for a beer is a must in Munich, be sure to go beyond the Bavarian stereotypes. Munich is home to opulent baroque churches, clusters of art galleries and museums as well as palaces a plenty. If you want to experience more of what Bavaria has to offer, read our Munich Itinerary to plan your 2 to 3 days in Munich.
How Many Days in Munich?
In my opinion, every German city (whether you’re visiting Hamburg, Berlin or Munich) is completely unique and steeped in its own history. To this end, Munich is no different, and means you’ll want to explore every nook and cranny. Thankfully, Munich is a relatively compact city with great transport links.
So if you only have a long weekend (2 to 3 days in Munich), you’ll be able to explore the city’s main sites at a relaxing pace. 2 days in Munich will give you time to explore the city’s must-see attractions, while 3 days in Munich will allow you to squeeze In a day trip.
If you have more time, an extra day or two will give you an opportunity to go walking in the Bavarian Alps, exploring more fairytale palaces, or paying your respects at one of the nearby concentration camps.
Getting To and Around Munich
The easiest way for international travellers to arrive in Munich is via Munich’s airport, which sits around 33km north of the city. If you have landed at the airport, the best way to arrive to the city is by using the city’s S-Bahn network. These trains run every 10 minutes with a journey time of 40 minutes.
If you’re arriving from elsewhere in Europe, a train may be an easier option. As well as being well-connected to the rest of Germany, the Bavarian capital has accessible transport links to other European cities, including Salzburg, Vienna, Budapest, Zurich and Ljubljana. You can check schedules here.
Once you’ve arrived in Munich, the best way to navigate the city is with a public transport pass. Munich has both a U-Bahn and an S-Bahn as well as an extensive tram and bus network. A single ticket costs €1.70 and a day ticket costs €8.20.
If you’re going with another person, the group ticket costs €15.60 and includes travel for up to five people. If you’re short on time, these transport tickets will give you the means to hop on and off all forms of public transport and save time walking from one attraction to another.
2 to 3 Days in Munich Itinerary
Now you’ve seen how easy it is to arrive and navigate a trip around Munich, you’ll be itching to explore everything the Bavarian capital has to offer. If you’re only able to spend 2 to 3 days in Munich, you’ll need to be organised. To make the most of your 2 days in Munich, read our Munich itinerary so you can tick every bucket list item off your list.
Day 1 – Marienplatz, St Peter’s Church, the Residenz & More
Start your first day at the heart of life in Munich, the Marienplatz. This is the city’s central square. It’s where all of the important streets converge to become one.
In the summer, sun bounces off the paved streets and the square’s beautiful buildings. In the winter, it’s a different story. The square is lined with small wooden huts that are selling mulled wine and gingerbread cookies. Despite the seasonal differences, there’s plenty to enjoy all your round in Marienplatz.
The first is one of Munich’s most impressive buildings, the new town hall. Built in the Neo-gothic style, the new town hall is a striking feature of the Munich skyline. While it functions as a city hall, many parts are open to tourists.
Before you head inside, make sure to witness the magic of the Glockenspiel. One of the largest in Europe, the Glockenspiel has 43 bells and chimes three times a day at 11am, 12pm and 5pm. The tune is delightful and worth the watch if you happen to be in, or near, the square at one of those times.
For great views of the city, head up the new town hall tower. At 85 metres, you’ll get excellent views of the Old Town, and you won’t even break a sweat because it’s all elevators to the top. Entrance into the tower costs €6.
As well as climbing the tower, you can book yourself onto guided tours of the new town hall for €18. These tours provide excellent insights into Munich’s long and interesting history. On the tour, you’ll be able to see the City Hall balcony and the reading room of the law library.
St Peter’s Church
After you’ve explored everything the Marienplatz has to offer, take the short walk over to St Peter’s Church. Built in 1158, this is the oldest church in Munich, and houses a number of treasures, including the high altar.
But by far the most impressive aspect of the church is its tower. Affectionately known by the locals as Alter Peter (Old Peter), the tower costs €5 to climb.
Make your way up the 300 steps up the top of the church. As you climb the tower, you’ll be able to glimpse some of its eight bells. Once you reach the top, you’ll be out of breath but rewarded nonetheless.
The top of the tower gives panoramic views of the city, and on a clear day you’ll be able to see the Bavarian Alps.
Once you’ve made your way down the tower, take the short walk over to the Viktualiemarkt. This fruit and veg market is a feast of flavours. Not only can you buy fresh vegetables and sumptuous smoothies, but you can also purchase truffles, jams, and exotic olives.
You can easily pull together a tasty picnic and gorge on your feast in the market’s own beer garden.
It is also possible to book a guided walking tour here of Marienplatz & Viktualiemarkt.
From the market, walk 10 minutes to the Munich Residenz. If you don’t already know, the Residenz is a grand palace. Once a seat of the government, the palace now acts as a museum and art gallery.
Tickets into the museum cost €9 or €14 for a combined visit to the Treasury. While there are guided tours on offer, they can often be long-winded so we recommended nabbing an audio guide instead.
The museum is nothing short of a treasure trove. Its bronze halls are packed with sculptures, and artwork is proudly displayed on the palace walls.
One of the palace’s most magnificent rooms, and a must for anyone, is the Antiquarium – a hall packed with frescoes and designed to house a collection of antiques.
You’ll need to set aside a few hours to take in everything the Residenz has to offer. It is also possible to see an evening concert at the venue.
Loop back round to the Marienplatz to end your day where you started. But instead of gazing at the centre’s architecture, make a beeline for the Hofbrahaus. This beer hall is a must for any tourist visiting Munich. Make sure to order a mass of beer and a pretzel for a true Bavarian experience.
Day 2 – Englischer Garter, Alte Pinakothek & Deutsches Museum
Start your second day in Munich in the English Gardens. This sprawling park is one of the largest city parks in Europe. The park was first commissioned in 1789, and is a safe haven for locals and tourists. Wander through the secluded paths that are shielded by oak and maple trees. At the heart of the park lies a lovely lake (Kleinhesseloher See).
Meander around, and make a slow way to the Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm). Situated at the heart of the park’s beer garden, this is the perfect place to stop for a light refreshment while soaking in the surroundings.
If you don’t want to sit down just yet, take a gentle walk up a small hill towards the Monopteros (a small Greek temple). If you’re a bit more of a thrill seeker, why not try a spot of surfing in the park too? You can catch a wave at the Surfing in the Eisbach – or just stop and watch for a while.
If you want to visit a park but aren’t staying near the Englischer Garten, then head to the Olympic Park for a good walk. But if you want to see Munich in 2 days, you’ll need to press on.
After a long walk in the fresh air, it’ll be time to soak in some art. As well as beer halls and opulent architecture, Munich is famous for its collection of art. From the Englischer Garten, head to the Alte Pinakothek.
This art gallery houses art from the Middle Ages all the way through to the Renaissance. There are more than 700 paintings to view including a dizzying display of artwork from the Old European Masters.
Situated next to the Alte Pinakothek, is the Neue Pinakothek. Unfortunately, the Neue Pinakothek is closed to the public for renovation works. Instead, a selective collection of paintings from the Neue Pinakothek is on display in the Alte Pinakothek. Tickets for a full paying adult cost €7.
Once you’ve spent several hours wandering gazing at all the art the Alte Pinakothek has to offer, it’ll be time to move onto the next site of the day. Head over to the Deutsches Museum. It’s a 30-minute walk from the Alte Pinakothek, or a 20-minute journey on two metro lines (but it’s worth the journey).
Like with the large majority of the museums in Munich, you could easily spend a whole day exploring the Deutsches museum. The museum itself is situated on a small island in the Isar river. The grounds of the museum cover 20,000 square metres and it houses 19 permanent exhibitions.
While the museum primarily showcases artefacts rooted in the development of science and technology in Germany, there are also natural science exhibitions and interactive displays for children.
If you only have a couple of hours, focus on the museums that interest you the most. Tickets to the museum cost €15.
Day 3 – Neuschwanstein Castle
If you have 3 days in Munich, head further afield to Neuschwanstein Castle. This fairytale castle is arguably Germany’s most famous castle.
Neuschwanstein was originally commissioned by King Ludwig II, who planned to use the palace as a retreat, but construction wasn’t completed until after his death.
While the easiest way to reach Neuschwanstein is by car (you can browse options on Rentalcars.com), there are other options too. Trains to Neuschwanstein (Fussen train station) depart from Munich’s main station and take roughly 2 hours and 25 minutes each way. You can also book a guided tour here.
Before you embark on a day trip to Neuschwanstein, make sure you’ve purchased tickets online. Tickets for Neuschwanstein cost €17.50. While you can purchase tickets at the ticket office, you’ll need to get there very early to avoid disappointment.
Whether you’ve driven or jumped on the train, you’ll need to walk to the castle entrance. In order to arrive at the entrance, you’ll need to walk up a steep hill. If your feet are too tired, you can also pay a little extra to be ferried up to the entrance via a horse-drawn carriage – in true fairy tale style.
By now the outside of the castle will have left you gobsmacked, but the interior is just as stunning with no expense spared. If you’ve purchased the combination ticket (€37), you’ll be visiting Hohenschwangau Castle after your first tour has ended. While this castle isn’t as stunning, it’s still worth a visit.
After you’ve explored both of the palaces, head over to the nearby lake to stretch your legs around the public footpath. The walk around the lake is 5km in total. It provides some peace and quiet away from the hordes of tourists. This fairytale castle is the perfect way to finish exploring Munich in 3 days.
Where to Stay in Munich
Platzl Hotel – A luxury option located close to the Hofbräuhaus Brewery, they have a range of rooms and suites with guests able to enjoy the on-site gym and spa, bar and restaurant. Click here to check availability
Euro Youth Hostel – One of the top-rated hostels in Munich, they offer a large number of different dormitories as well as private rooms. There is a bar on site and breakfast is available though not included in the nightly rate. Click here to check availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in Munich!
Munich is a city that packs a punch. Our Munich itinerary is filled with art galleries, museums, fairytale locations and beer halls. There’s a little bit of something for everyone in the Bavarian capital, but it’ll always leave you wanting more. If you do have more time, take a hike in the Bavarian Alps or explore more of Munich’s museums.
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Are you planning a trip to Munich? Have any questions about this itinerary? Let us know in the comments!