Amazing Munich 3 Day Itinerary

Munich offers a unique blend of history, culture, and hospitality, making it a must-visit destination in Germany. Bavaria has a rich cultural heritage and is known for its distinct culture, which includes unique architecture, cuisine, and culture. Here’s your Munich 3 day itinerary.

This Munich 3 day itinerary includes a variety of activities and places to explore. I’ll give you options a few different times, depending on what you’re most interested in. After all, a history buff or adventure seeker will want different types of trips!

However, there are some must-see and do things that I’ll outline as well. I had the opportunity to visit during the winter and really loved the whole region of Bavaria in Southern Germany. Here’s how to spend three days in Munich! 

Table of Contents

Where to Stay in Munich

There are many great options for areas to stay in Munich. I am going to recommend a few other places based on their proximity to activities and affordability. Overall, I’d recommend checking public transit options and nearby hotels before booking!

  • Aparthotel Adagio Muenchen City: Just a few blocks from Munich Central Station and the Oktoberfest site, this aparthotel offers modern apartments with a relaxed feel. It’s pretty affordable, convenient, and comfortable. I stayed here during my trip!
  • Hotel MIO by AMANO: This boutique hotel is in Munich’s Old Town and is only a minute’s walk from historic Sendlinger Tor. Great nights are at your doorstep, while views from your room couldn’t be more ‘Munich.’ This boutique hotel offers a modern, comfortable stay.
  • Hotel Bayerischer Hof: Opened in 1841, this hotel is housed in the neoclassical Montgelas Palace in the Old Town. You’ll want to book a table at the hotel’s Atelier restaurant—it’s earned three Michelin stars—and grab a drink at Falk’s Bar in the palace’s hall of mirrors. This place would be a dream to stay at!

Tips for Visiting Munich

  1. Plan Your Visit Around Oktoberfest: If you’re not interested in attending Oktoberfest, plan your visit accordingly. The festival typically runs from late September to early October. Book accommodation well in advance as hotels fill up quickly during this time.
  2. Get a City Card: Consider purchasing a Munich City Card or Munich Card, which offers discounts on public transportation, attractions, and tours. It can save you money if you plan to explore the city extensively.
  3. Bavarian culture values politeness, punctuality, and respect for traditions. Generally, I found that people don’t often make small talk or smile at you when greeting you but are kind, especially if you ask a question or need help.
  4. Two easy German phrases are “Guten Tag” (Good day) and “Auf Wiedersehen” (Goodbye) when leaving.
  5. Consider purchasing skip-the-line tickets to popular attractions to save time. Munich can get extremely busy in the summer!
  6. Be Mindful of Opening Hours: Many shops, museums, and restaurants in Munich observe traditional closing times, especially on Sundays and public holidays. Plan your itinerary accordingly and check opening hours in advance.
I’m going to be honest and say that of the three cities I visited on my latest Europe trip (Vienna, Copenhagen, and Munich), Munich was my least favorite. However, it did include my favorite day trips. Bavaria is unique and so going to Munich is worth it.
 

Day 1: Explore the City Center

Marienplatz

Marienplatz is located in the heart of Munich’s Old Town (Altstadt), making it easily accessible from various parts of the city. It’s surrounded by historic buildings, shops, cafes, and restaurants.

The impressive New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus) dominates the square, a stunning example of Gothic architecture. The New Town Hall features intricate details, spires, and a famous Glockenspiel.

Start your day here and grab a coffee or breakfast at one of the many different cafes on the square. If you want to see this area without crowds, go early as this area is crowded even in the off peak winter months. 

Throughout the year, Marienplatz hosts various events, festivals, and markets, including the annual Christmas market (Christkindlmarkt), one of Europe’s oldest and most famous Christmas markets.

The area around Marienplatz is home to numerous shops, boutiques, and department stores, making it a popular shopping destination. Walk around, shop a little bit if you’d like, and just take in the beautiful architecture here! It’s a great way to start your trip. 

Glockenspiel Show

Make sure you head back to Marienplatz a little before 11 am because you’ll want to catch the Glockenspiel show. 

The Glockenspiel is a large mechanical clock located on the façade of the New Town Hall. The Glockenspiel performs daily at 11 am, 12 pm, and 5 pm (with an additional show at 9 pm during the summer months). The show depicts scenes from Munich’s history and the marriage of Duke Wilhelm V.

If you’ve ever seen Shrek and that scene where they sing Welcome to Duloc, that’s a glockenspiel!

Walking Food Tour

Indulge in traditional Bavarian cuisine during your visit. Bavaria is famous for its beer culture, with numerous breweries producing world-renowned Bavarian beer. There’s no better way to do this than with a food tour!

Sample classics like Weisswurst (white sausage), pretzels, schnitzel, and hearty stews. They’ll pair the food you enjoy with a refreshing Bavarian beer brewed according to centuries-old traditions.

Food tours are also a great way to orient yourself to a new city, meet fellow travelers, and learn some of the best tips from locals! You’ll discover places you haven’t heard of and probably add a few things to your itinerary. It’s a great way to start a trip. 

After being full, it’s time to take in some of the iconic views of Munich.

Here are a few tours I’d recommend:

Frauenkirch (Cathedral)

Visit the iconic cathedral of Munich, home to amazing views and some creepy legends. Climb the tower for a panoramic view of the city.

Visible from far and wide, the two towers of the Frauenkirche (cathedral) jut out against the clouds, shaping Munich’s skyline more than any other building in the city. And it will stay that way for a long time because, in 2004, Munich voted in a city referendum to stop any new buildings from exceeding the height of the Frauenkirche.

This Gothic cathedral is officially known as “Zu Unserer Lieben Frau“ (Cathedral Of Our Dear Lady). Erected by the Munich-based architect and master builder Jörg von Halsbach in the 15th century, the building was constructed using bricks to save money due to the lack of quarries in the region. Apart from the tops of the two towers, the building was completed in 1488 after just 20 years of construction.

The Frauenkirche is also the subject of a terrifying legend. The devil himself is said to have left a footprint at the entrance to the main church. As with many myths, there are several versions of how the “Teufelstritt” (literally the devil’s footprint) was created. However, you can still see the footprint on the ground right when you enter.

Getting to the top is less scary than climbing to the Church of Our Lady in Copenhagen, but you’ll still have to ascend through a spiraling staircase of 89 steps and then ride an elevator to the observation tower. The view of Munich is beautiful, and on a clear day, you’ll see the Alps in full view here.

Hours: 

  • Monday-Saturday: 10 am to 5 pm; last ascent: 4:30 pm
  • Sunday/public holiday: 11:30 am to 5 pm; last ascent: 4:30 pm

Cost: Adults 7.50  €, Children 7 – 16 5.50 €, Children under 7 free

Residenz Munich (Palace)

The Residenz is located in the heart of Munich’s Old Town (Altstadt), adjacent to the Hofgarten and near Marienplatz. Its central location makes it easily accessible from Frauenkirche.

This palace is enormous, and you can easily spend a very long time here. I would not wait til the last minute to visit or get tickets. I’d plan at least 2-3 hours here.

Explore the former royal palace of the Bavarian monarchs. Don’t miss the stunning Antiquarium and the Treasury. Originally a small castle built in the 14th century, the Residenz was gradually expanded over the centuries to become the royal palace of the Bavarian monarchs. It served as the seat of government and residence of the Wittelsbach dynasty for over 400 years until the monarchy was abolished in 1918.

I loved that this castle had parts that were original from the 14th and 15th centuries all the way to more modern times. 

One of the most impressive spaces in the Residenz is the Antiquarium, a vast hall adorned with intricate stucco decorations and frescoes. Originally built to house the Duke’s collection of antiquities, it later served as a banquet hall for state functions. This was definitely my favorite room in the palace. 

Much of the Residence was destroyed during the Second World War, and from 1945 it was gradually reconstructed. Today, with the museums of the Bavarian Palace Administration (the Residence Museum itself, the Treasury and the Cuvilliés Theatre) along with other cultural institutions, this is one of the largest museum complexes in Bavaria.

The Residenz Palace is a magnificent architectural masterpiece and a symbol of Bavaria’s royal heritage and cultural legacy. A visit to the palace provides insight into the lives of Bavaria’s rulers and offers a glimpse into the opulence of court life throughout the centuries.

Hours:

  • March 23 – October 20: 9 am-6 pm (last entry: 5 pm)
  • October 21 – March 22: 10 am-5 pm (last entry: 4 pm)

Cost:

  • Residence Museum:10 euros regular · 9 euros reduced
  • Treasury: 10 euros regular · 9 euros reduced
  • Combination ticket Residence Museum + Treasury: 15 euros regular · 13 euros reduced
  • Cuvilliés Theatre (Entrance between Fountain Courtyard and Apothecary Courtyard): 5 euros regular / 4 euros reduced
  • Combination ticket: Residence Museum + Treasury + Cuvilliés Theatre: 20 euros regular · 16 euros reduced
  • Court Garden + Fountain machinery: Admission free
  • Children under 18 are admitted free of charge.

Hofbräuhaus

Experience Bavarian beer culture at this historic beer hall. Enjoy traditional German cuisine and live music in a lively atmosphere.

According to legend, Wilhelm V, Duke of Bavaria and a member of the Wittelsbach family, found the beer in Munich so bad that he commissioned his own state brewery. The Staatliches Hofbräuhaus was thus born, and in 1589, the Hofbräuhaus that we know and love today was constructed.

After centuries of producing beer for the royals, in 1828, the Hofbräuhaus was opened to the public by King Ludwig I of Bavaria. The beer hall quickly became the center of public and political life in Munich, counting famous names such as Mozart and Lenin among its regular customers.

The brewery also played a significant role as a meeting place for political figures. In 1919, the Munich Communist Government established its headquarters in the Hofbräuhaus. In 1920, the Festsaal saw the first meeting of Hitler and the National Socialist Party (you’ll learn more about this on a tour later).

More than 35,000 people visit the brewery’s immense beer halls daily, making it one of Munich’s main tourist attractions, especially during the annual celebration of Oktoberfest. Its fascinating history, elaborate traditional decor, and—of course—diverse and delicious beers still brewed according to the Bavarian Purity Law make it a must-do experience during your trip to the city.

Beer halls are a huge part of Bavarian culture, so it’s worth it to make sure they’re part of your Munich 3 day itinerary a few times. Around Hofbrauhaus, you’ll find several other beer gardens and places to stop. If you want a beer tour or to beer hall hop, it’s easy here!

 

Day 2: Museums and Parks

Breakfast at Ralph’s Coffee

I hate to say it, but Munich does not have the best Coffee I’ve found in Europe. I looked up coffee shops and bakeries. There are a lot of Starbucks and Cafe Rischart (which I had, but the drink was SO sweet) in the touristy areas. So, I’d chose Ralph’s Coffee!

Ralph’s Coffee was started in 2014 by Ralph Lauren and has grown to be in different locations worldwide. Munich is home to one of five locations in Europe. The Munich location is very close to Marianplatz, making it very convenient if you stay close to it! Many tours also start close to here, making it a convenient location.

Ralph’s unique blends, including Ralph’s Roast, Decaf, and Espresso, feature organically grown beans from Central America, South America, and Africa. These beans are roasted and packaged in Philadelphia by La Colombe. 

World War II History Tour

Take a two-hour tour to learn the history of the Nazi Movement in Munich and explore Munich’s dark side. Munich is the birthplace of Nazism, the site of mass rallies, WWII sites, and the infamous Third Reich.

In 1919, Germany was emerging from World War I as a defeated and humiliated nation, with Munich in the grips of hyperinflation and Bavaria dominated by revolution and assassination. Out of this fertile soil of chaos rose the Nazi movement and one of history’s most powerful dictators, Adolf Hitler.

Follow the inception of Nazism, from the first mass meeting at the Hofbräuhaus to the failed attempt to seize power at the Feldherrnhalle.

One thing I appreciated about this tour was hearing about the events leading up to the beginning of WWII. We often hear about the aftermath but don’t understand the events leading up to it. I also think it’s important to ensure we never repeat atrocities and learn from the past.

The tour covers all the important facts and sites that contributed to the origin of this dark chapter, which ended with the beautiful city of Munich in ruins and the Second World War cutting deep wounds across Germany.

The tour I booked is here on Viator.

Viktualienmarkt

The Viktualienmarkt is a huge outdoor open air market just a short walk from Marienplatz. It’s a great spot to stop for lunch or even just a drink or two in the afternoon! You’ll find locals and tourists alike here every day of the week. 

Wander through this lively food market, where you can find fresh produce, local delicacies, and traditional Bavarian snacks. The market has a rich history dating back to the early 19th century when it was established as a farmers’ market outside the city walls. Over time, it has evolved into a bustling marketplace offering various fresh produce, specialty foods, flowers, and more.

One of the highlights of the Viktualienmarkt is its traditional beer garden, which offers a relaxed atmosphere and a wide selection of Bavarian beers. Visitors can enjoy a cold beer and traditional Bavarian snacks like pretzels, sausages, and roasted chicken.

While there, I had a Käsekrainer – a pork wurst with little chunks of cheese and mac and cheese. It was so good!

Afternoon: Choose your favorite

In the afternoon, choose an option depending on what type of traveler you are. You could even potentially fit in two of these activities, especially in summer when hours are later, and you’d have more daylight!

Option 1: Art Museums

Visit one (or more) of Munich’s renowned art museums. The Alte Pinakothek, Neue Pinakothek, and Pinakothek der Moderne house impressive collections spanning centuries of art.

Alte Pinakothek

The Alte Pinakothek displays outstanding works of European painting from the 14th to the 18th century. Many of the 700 or so paintings on display are among the highlights of art history. Works by Dürer, Raphael, Titian, El Greco, Rubens, Rembrandt, and Boucher are displayed. The museum also has the most extensive Max Beckmann collection outside the USA.

Neue Pinakothek

“From Goya to Manet” is the motto of the Neue Pinakothek, where you can discover paintings and sculptures from the late 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries. The museum is home to world-famous paintings and sculptures such as Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers and Claude Monet’s Water Lilies, as well as works by Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, and Auguste Rodin.

Pinakothek der Moderne

From Picasso to Warhol to Le Corbusier – the Pinakothek der Moderne is one of Europe’s largest collections of modern and contemporary art, architecture, and design. Four museums – the Sammlung Moderner Kunst, the Neue Sammlung, the Architekturmuseum and the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung – are located under the roof of the Pinakothek der Moderne. The best thing about it is that you pay once for admission to all of them.

Option 2: Science and Tech at the Deutsches Museum

Spend the afternoon exploring the world’s largest museum of science and technology, the Deutsches Museum. It presents the past, present, and future of technology and the natural sciences. 

Experience knowledge in 20 permanent exhibitions, covering topics from astronautics to classical optics, chemistry to robotics, and the Kids’ Kingdom to health. It’s an interactive experience suitable for all ages.

Hours: Open daily from 9:00 to 5:00

Cost:

  • Day ticket €15
  • Family ticket €31 (Up to two adults with their children aged up to 17)
  • Students and children 6 – 17 Day ticket €8
  • Free admission for children under 6 years old

Photo by Luis Fernando Felipe Alves on Unsplash

Option 3: Relax Outdoors at the English Garden

Take some time to relax in Munich’s green oasis. The English Garden (Englischer Garten) is one of Munich’s most beloved and expansive green spaces, offering locals and visitors alike a tranquil retreat in the heart of the city.

The English Garden was created in the late 18th century by Benjamin Thompson, an American-born British physicist, as a public park for Munich residents. Unlike many other gardens created in a French style, this one was inspired by English landscape gardens, hence the name.

Walking through the park, you inevitably come upon Kleinhesseloher See, a peaceful lake perfect for navigating a paddle boat (you can rent them) or drinking a beer beside its shores at Seehaus beer garden

Not far from here is the famous river surfing spot along the Eisbach River. Curious tourists gather near Prinzregentenstraße to watch surfers take on the heavy currents from the waterway and applaud their efforts, whether they wipe out or ride it out. Even in the colder months of the year, surfers in wet suits enjoy the waves!

Cafe Dallmayr

Alois Dallmayr, or Dallmayr for short, is one of the largest delicatessens in Europe. It has a tradition going back more than 300 years and is one of the best-known German brands of coffee.

In Marienplatz, you’ll find Cafe Dallmayr, which sells all sorts of incredible foods, pastries, coffees, teas, liquor, candy… they have it all! It’s easy to grab a healthy dinner or something quick here or sit down at the cafe upstairs and enjoy an early dinner! They also have a bar and restaurant downstairs. 

While traveling, I love finding places with a long history and something unique to offer. This place has just that!

Day 3: Day Trip or Further Exploration

If there’s one thing I’ve hoped you notice in this itinerary, it’s that Bavaria is a unique and beautiful part of Germany! On your third day, I’d recommend choosing a way to explore beyond Munich’s city center with a day trip. There’s a lot to explore in the region of Bavaria; a few ideas are below!

Option 1: Neuschwanstein Castle Day Trip

Take a day trip to one of Germany’s most famous castles, Neuschwanstein. Marvel at the fairytale architecture and enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. This castle inspired my trip to Munich, and I highly recommend it. Read all about visiting Neuschwanstein in winter here.

Tour Options:

Option 2: Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site

Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site is just thirty minutes outside Munich. Take a sobering yet important visit to this former concentration camp. Learn about the history of the Holocaust and pay your respects to the victims.

Tour Options:

Photo by Kwan Fung on Unsplash

Option 3: Munich’s Outskirts

Nymphenburg Palace is situated in the western part of Munich, approximately 6 kilometers from the city center. It is easily accessible by public transportation, including tram and bus services.

Nymphenburg Palace is a prime example of baroque architecture, with its grand façade, ornate decorations, and sprawling gardens. Visitors can explore its opulent interiors, which feature exquisite frescoes, stucco decorations, and period furnishings. 

Traditional Bavarian Dinner at Augustiner Keller

Enjoy your last evening in Munich with a hearty Bavarian meal at a cozy restaurant. Try local specialties like schnitzel, pretzels, and Weisswurst. The Augustiner Brewery is the oldest brewery in Munich and the last privately owned one. Its history begins in 1328.

While here, make sure you head to the basement, where you’ll get the chance to see the original beer cellar, now part of the beer hall’s seating. This place was so much fun, and I would highly recommend it!

Plus, if you take the train on any of these day trips above, you’ll be just two blocks away.

Munich is a lot of fun to visit and has some of the best day trips in Germany. While here, you’ll love experiencing all that Bavaria has to offer. 

Meghan

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