One day in munich. Let us be your Travel Guide!
One day in Munich is worth a week anywhere else. One day in Munich is like the highlights of a European trip packed into one city. The home town of Oktoberfest; a great royal capital adorned with palaces, plazas, grand boulevards, parks and gardens; and the home of “Gemütlichkeit” easy living. “Germany’s secret capital” has everything you could want from a European vacation. The historic town centre is compact and walkable. Here we suggest how you can spend a perfect day, and experience the most our wonderful city has to offer in the smallest amount of time.
Your Munich itinerary:
Our personal Travel Guide to “München,” the Capital of southern Germany’s great state of Bavaria. Guide yourself through our recommended Munich itinerary …
Begin with the striking Frauenkirche medieval cathedral right in the centre of town. The twin towers with their famous onion dome design are the prime symbol of the city, and the perfect orientation point from which to guide yourself on your one day itinerary.
A few minutes walk away lies Marienplatz, the historic central square of the medieval old town. The entire northern part of the plaza is dominated by the grand 19th century neo-Gothic city hall, the Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall), with its world famous Glockenspiel tower. The Glockenspiel cranks into life and commences its performance to the delight of the waiting crowds every day at 11am and again at midday (and also at 5pm May to October).
Germany’s most beautiful city is richly adorned with churches, reflecting its long history as one of the most important centres for the Catholic faith north of the Alps. One of the oldest and most beloved of these is the stately Peterskirche (St. Peter’s) located just off Marienplatz (exiting the square on the opposite side from the New Twon Hall). The magnificent baroque interior is worth your time alone, but if you are feeling more energetic you can climb the 300 steps of the tower to experience the most stunning and panoramic photo op of your visit.
Walk downhill from Peterskirche and cross the street into Viktualienmarkt, our 200 year old city food market. Here you’ll find the soul of the city – everything the world associates with southern Germany. Beer gardens, hearty Bavarian street food, and a huge variety of quality produce from the city’s rich agricultural hinterland. This is a 21st century world city with the inner life of a Bavarian village, and that is most on display in Viktualienmarkt. A perfect place to spend a lazy morning strolling around the stalls, grabbing a Bratwurst or a beer, and simply taking in the village fête atmosphere.
Exit Viktualienmarkt, cross Tal, and walk in the direction of the old city square, Platzl. Here you will find perhaps the most famous building in the city, and an unmissable highlight of your visit: the world’s most famous beer hall, the Hofbräuhaus. The Hofbräuhaus cannot be described – it can only be experienced. Try to imagine a cross between a beer festival – think of a mini Oktoberfest – a carnival, and a Viking feast hall. The beer comes by the litre, the music spans the full spectrum from oompah to poompah, and the long wooden benches are made for dancing on. You can have a quiet(ish) pitstop here for lunch, or maybe decide to save it for a more action-packed evening. Whatever you decide, if you opt for a second litre, you are probably staying.
The Hofbräuhaus is more renowned for its beer than its food. If you are looking for somewhere more sedate for lunch, there are a few nice options right beside the Hofbräuhaus. Try the authentic old time atmosphere of the Augustiner am Platz with its excellent traditional Bavarian food. Alternatively, if you fancy something more Mediterranean, try the celebrated Orlando Haus restaurant just a few seconds away across the square.
Exit Platzl and walk a few short minutes to Maximilianstrasse. You have now left the Old Town. This grand 19th century boulevard is our high end shopping street, and harks back to the days when Munich was a great royal capital. Turn left into Max-Joseph-Platz, and you’ll see this royal history in all its splendour. One side of the square is dominated by the elegant Nationaltheater Opera House, which once premiered works by Wagner among others. Just across from this is the vast royal Residenz. Built, rebuilt and added to for half a millennium, this is one of the largest royal palaces to be seen in any European city. You could easily spend an entire afternoon wandering the endless rooms and corridors and banqueting halls inside, with its celebrated attractions such as the Rococo-style Cuvillies-Theater – or alternatively, pass through some of the splendid exterior courtyards free of charge.
The Residenz building runs from Max-Joseph-Platz to Odeonsplatz. This latter is a classic grand European public square, defined by the grandiose Feldherrnhalle military monument at one end of the square – modelled on an original in Florence – and, just across from it, the glorious 17th century Theatinerkirche church. As one of the city’s great public stages, today’s picturesque tourist attraction has witnessed much local history over the decades, including the darker side of Germany’s history. It was here that Adolf Hitler’s failed Beer Hall Putsch came to a bloody end, and it later became a key Nazi parade ground. Today it is has the atmosphere of a vibrant European plaza, busy with sightseers, cyclists, and people enjoying an afternoon coffee in the sun.
Just across the square on the opposite side to the Theatinerkirche is the entrance to the Hofgarten royal gardens. Originally the enclosed private gardens of the nearby royal Residenz, this gorgeous 17th century example of Italianate Neo-Renaissance garden style is today one of our iconic public parks. Stroll through the sculpted lawns and verges, pausing to listen to the classical musicians busking in the Temple of Diana pavilion in the middle, and continue to the far end to get a perfect view of the magnificent state chancellery, home of the Bavarian state government. Turn left here and follow the path to the black marble square monument to the White Rose resistance movement – young people who gave their lives defying the Nazi regime during the Second World War.
Follow the path downhill from the White Rose memorial, and continue through the underpass into the Englischer Garten – the English Garden, Munich’s enormous city park. You could spend an entire day here. Check out the surfers on the Eisbach river beside the vast Nazi-built Haus der Kunst art gallery (or pop inside for refreshments in the sumptuous 1930s Golden Bar). Or go for a stroll through the wide green spaces dotted with sun bathers, and take in the view from the hilltop Monopteros Greek temple. Follow the path past the Monopteros, and you’ll shortly arrive at one of the great beer gardens Munich is so famed for: the Chinese Tower. This is the perfect place for an afternoon pit stop that might just turn into a longer stay if you feel in the mood for whiling away a lazy day Bavarian style. The food is great, the beer is better, and the view is perfect: a herd of happy people perched on benches gathered around a huge Chinese-style pagoda, letting time slip by in the Munich sun. It is for moments like this that people come to Munich. This is why you are here.
The Chinese Tower is an ideal place to end your one day in Munich. But if you still feel energetic and want to explore more, continue a little further north west and exit the English Garden into Schwabing, Munich’s lively university district full of lovely little cafes, bars and restaurants. Just the right part of town for an evening meal and drink.
You also have the option of jumping into the nearest U-Bahn subway station (for example, Gisela Strasse) and taking the U3 a few minutes back to Marienplatz, where your special one day in Munich started. Alternatively, travel in the opposite direction for 10 minutes or so and arrive in the Olympic Park (‘Olympiapark’). Built for the 1972 Olympic Games, this is one of the great showcase sites of modern Munich. A huge parkland surrounds the iconic Olympic Stadium and links it to the nearby BMW World, filled with walkways, hills, mini lakes, event centres, fast food, and, of course, more beer gardens. During the summer months, there is normally some kind of festival or special event running. The picture-perfect place to watch the sun go down on your unforgettable one day in Munich.
Don’t want to do it on your own? Want to see it all in the company of fellow vistors and an inspiring tour guide? Then try one of the following daily tours ….
Our daily walking tour.
Our daily 3rd Reich tour.
Our daily evening beer tour.
Our daily bike tour.
All of these and more are also available as private tours.
Planning to visit during Oktoberfest? The best way to experience Germany’s greatest party is on our tour.
Or why not rent a bike, and give yourself the freedom of one of Europe’s greatest cycling cites? Our bike rental staff will supply you with everything you need, and give your personal advice on what to see and how to get there.