In the heart of southern Germany is the bustling and beautiful capital of Bavaria: Munich. Known for it’s lively and boisterous beer drinking culture, you’ll be pleased to learn that there are actually many more things to do in Munich besides guzzling beers the size of your head. Although that’s arguably the most fun activity, besides eating giant pretzels of course!
Munich is one of the most popular cities in Germany for tourists to visit and there are plenty of awesome sites to see and fun things to do year round, not just during Oktoberfest! Munich can easily be included as a stop on your epic Germany road trip itinerary and it’s also perfect as a destination on it’s own.
If you’re wondering how long you need to spend, 2 days in Munich is a good amount of time to be able to tick off the city’s main highlights. Although if you choose to stay longer, you won’t be bored!
To help you maximize your stay, I’ve created the perfect 2 day Munich itinerary to ensure you get a good taste of what the city has to offer and don’t miss out on anything important! If you plan to spend longer than 2 days, I’ve included a few extra fun things to do around Munich that are worth checking out.
Table of Contents
The Perfect 2 Day Munich Itinerary
Munich Transportation Tickets and Tours
Munich Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tours
An excellent option during your 2 days in Munich is the Hop On, Hop Off bus pass. You can choose to purchase a 1 or 2 day pass which gives you access to get on and off the bus as many times as you like.
Included in the ticket is 3 different bus routes to choose from which stop at 13 different highlights all over the city.
For one price, the MunichCityTour Card gives you access to unlimited use of the public transportation system around the city. Instead of buying a new bus or train ticket each time, this pass provides flexibility and convenience to get around easily during your stay in Munich.
On top of that, the ticket includes a range of discounts on entrance tickets at popular attractions around Munich. A city map and information package comes with your purchase listing the attractions and partners where discounts apply.
Old Town Munich Walking Tour
To kick off your 2 day Munich itinerary, why not take the city’s most popular walking tour?
This 2 hour walking tour will guide you through the highlights and main points of interest around Munich. Stroll through the Marienplatz square to see the Glockenspiel and visit the famous Hofbräuhaus to try some traditional beer.
Wander past the Frauenkirche (cathedral of our lady), stop to admire the impressive St. Peter’s Church and explore the historic food market, Viktualienmarkt; all while learning about the city’s fascinating history and getting insider tips from your guide on awesome things to do during your stay.
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2 Days in Munich: Day 1
Cathedral of Our Lady (Frauenkirche)
Dominating Munich’s skyline with its iconic onion domes for over 500 years is the massive Gothic style church, Cathedral of Our Lady or Frauenkirche. Sadly during WWII, the cathedral was badly damaged by air strikes but has since been restored to its original structure.
It’s no surprise that Frauenkirche is not only the biggest cathedral in Munich, but one of the biggest in all of Bavaria. Pop inside to admire the 15th century stained glass windows and the incredibly high ceilings of the cathedral’s interior. While you’re there, make sure to climb up the south tower for an epic view over the city below.
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 8:30pm daily
Tickets: Free entry
Explore Marienplatz Square
At the centre of Munich’s old town is the historic Marienplatz square which has been the city’s main square since the year 1158. Surrounded by impressive historic buildings, there is a lot to take in around this bustling square.
During your 2 days in Munich, you’ll likely find yourself passing through Marienplatz a number of times. Besides the main highlights listed below, make sure to explore the many narrow streets that extend from the square discovering cafes, bars, restaurants and little shops around each corner.
Neues Rathaus– One of the first buildings to catch your eye when you enter the Marienpaltz is the dominating tower of the Neues Rathaus which means “new town hall”. Despite its medieval appearance and Gothic style architecture, the Neues Rathaus was actually built in 1874 when the old town hall became too small for its means.
Make sure to climb the 85 meter tower for a unique and beautiful view over the Marienplatz and city below. For a small price, you can take an elevator which takes you all the way up to the observation deck at the top.
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat 10am-7pm, Sundays & public holidays 10am-5pm
Glockenspiel – Munich’s famous Glockenspiel which is housed in the Neues Rathaus tower entertains thousands of people daily. Make sure to be in the square for this charming show that takes place everyday at 11am, 12pm and 5pm.
Watch as 30 life sized figures are brought to life as they tell stories from Bavaria’s colourful past to the sound of chiming bells. This popular show is free to everyone, don’t miss out on this iconic Munich experience!
Altes Rathaus – Across from the new town hall is of course, the old town hall otherwise known as Altes Rathaus. Dating back to the 15th century, this beautiful Gothic style building was designed by the same man who built the Frauenkirche.
Just like many other buildings in Munich, the Altes Rathaus suffered some pretty serious damage during WWII. Extensive restoration work was completed after the war which resulted in the building that stands today.
If you wish to enter the old town hall, you will find a toy museum inside called the “Speilzeugmuseum”. The museum showcases a large collection of historic toys from around Europe. We personally did not enter this museum but if you are travelling with children, it could be a fun option.
Opening Hours – 10am – 5pm daily
Tickets – Adults €6, Children €2
St. Peter’s Church – Another famous landmark of Munich’s old town area is St. Peter’s Church. It’s not as well known as the Frauenkirche however its interiors are more elaborately decorated and arguably more impressive.
With no shortage of epic viewpoints to choose from around Munich, it’s comes as no surprise that St. Peter’s Church has a beautiful view from the top of its massive tower. For those who may want to burn off some of those pretzel and beer calories, climb the 299 steps to the observation deck at the top for a panoramic city view.
Located in the heart of the old town, only a few steps from Marienplatz is the historic food market, Viktualienmarkt (Victuals Market in English). In previous years, Munich’s fresh food market was originally located in Marienplatz but in the 19th century the market grew so big that it was moved to it’s own designated square.
This colourful and lively market is fun to stroll around, browsing the many different food stalls. You will find fresh produce, meats and cheeses, traditional Bavarian foods, coffee stalls, and of course a large beer garden where you can relax with a stein and take in the atmosphere!
While you’re there, take note of the traditional Bavarian “Maypole” in the centre of the market. Each town in Bavaria has their own Maypole which is a large blue and white pole featuring scenes of daily village life. Munich’s Maypole features scenes from Oktoberfest with dancers, musicians and women serving beer.
Just when you thought you had seen your share of churches for the day, you just can’t miss out on a trip to the stunning Asamkirche! The church was built in the 18th century and features the most lavishly decorated Baroque style interiors.
The church may only be small but it certainly doesn’t fail to impress. Prepare to be wowed by the church’s elaborate design featuring gold leaf detailing, twisted columns and beautiful ceiling paintings. Every corner of this church is truly a work of art!
Opening Times: 9am – 5:30pm, closed during church service
Dinner at the Hofbräuhaus
After a long day of exploring Munich, head over to the oldest beer hall in the city, the Hofbräuhaus. There is really no where else in the world where you can experience true Bavarian beer drinking culture than right here!
The Hofbräuhaus has been around for a very long time, it opened in 1589 to be exact. It’s also incredibly large, with 3 floors, an outdoor beer garden and an endless amount tables that welcome tens of thousands of guests per day.
The lively and infectious atmosphere of the Hofbräuhaus will have you making new friends and saying “Prost!” as you cling your steins together while listening to the sound of the live Bavarian “Oompah” band that plays every day of the year.
It’s not just a bar, but also a restaurant serving the most authentic and delicious Bavarian cuisine you can imagine. An evening at the Hofbräuhaus is a quintessentially Bavarian experience everyone must have when visiting Munich!
Opening Hours: 9am – midnight
2 Days in Munich: Day 2
This spectacular palace dates back to the 14th century when it was initially built as a castle. Many changes took place to its appearance over the centuries resulting in the incredible palace that you see standing today. The Munich Residenz was once the seat of the Bavarian government and home to the Wittelsbach monarchs from the 16th – 20th centuries.
Residenz Museum – Be prepared to spend a few hours at the Munich Residenz, the palace is massive and there is so much to see. A visit to the ‘Residence Museum’ will take you through many lavishly decorated halls and chambers, full of well preserved art collections and original furnishings.
The Antiquarium Hall is particularly beautiful and was my personal favourite from our visit to the Residenz Museum. It’s the oldest room in the entire palace dating back to 1568 and it was used to hold festivities and banquets. The Munich Residenz is truly an impressive work of art and will be a highlight of your 2 days in Munich.
Treasury – For an extra cost you can also visit the Treasury while you’re there. This is where you’ll see a large collection of valuables that once belonged to the kings and queens of Bavaria. Crowns, jewels, gold, precious stones and other treasures are on display for visitors to admire.
Cuvilliés Theatre – Dating back to the 18th century, this beautiful theatre was built exclusively for royalty and members of the court to watch opera shows. Sadly during the war, the theatre was completely destroyed. In 1945, it was rebuilt with only a few original wood carvings that survived from the original building.
Tickets: Residenz Museum €9-adult free-children, Treasury €9-adult free-children, Cuvilliés Theatre €5-adult free-children
Combo ticket for Museum + Treasury €14
Combo ticket for Museum + Treasury + Cuvilliés Theatre €17
Opening Hours: The palace is open daily, take note of the seasonal hours.
April – Oct 18: 9am-6pm, October 19 – March: 10am-5pm
For further information regarding ticket pricing and opening hours please see the official website.
Not too far from the Residenz is the lovely and peaceful Englischer Garten or English Garden. It’s a massive park that stretches for about 5 km and it happens to be one of the largest city park’s in all of Europe! There are a ton of fun things to do in this park and it’s the perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon.
Check out the Chinese Tower where you’ll also find a beer garden, a great place to stop for lunch. Take a stroll around the park or find a spot to sun bathe, nude sun bathing is legal here for those who are keen! Make sure to go and watch the surfers riding the waves of an artificial stream in the Eisbach River that flows through the park.
There is a small Greek temple called Monopteros which makes for a nice photo opportunity. There’s also a big, man made lake in the middle of the park called ‘Kleinhesseloher See’ where you can rent boats or stop for a drink at the beer garden nearby.
Relax at a Biergarten
Another great option for a relaxed afternoon on a sunny day is heading to one of Munich’s many popular beer gardens or ‘biergartens’. Munich is full of traditional beer gardens where locals and tourists flock during the warmer months to sip their steins and eat their pretzels in the sun.
Augustiner Keller – During our 2 days in Munich we really enjoyed spending an afternoon at the Augustiner Keller beer garden. This popular beer garden is centrally located and easy to access from the city centre. It’s one of Munich’s oldest beer gardens dating back to 1812 and can seat over 5,000 people!
Try one of their freshly baked pretzels as you sip your 1L beer underneath the chestnut trees. They also have a full restaurant menu and indoor seating for those who wish to dine indoors.
Biergarten Viktualienmarkt – If you’re looking for those perfect sunny afternoon beer garden vibes right in the heart of the old city, look no further! This busy beer garden is located only steps from the Marienplatz, within the historic Viktualienmarkt food market.
Conveniently surrounded by food stalls of the Viktualienmarkt, this beer garden has everything you need for a successful afternoon of tasting traditional Bavarian beers and snacks!
Hirschgarten – This beer garden is a little further away from the city centre but you can get there in 20 mins by hopping on a train from the Munich Marienplatz Station. It’s actually quite close to the Nymphenburg Palace (as I mention below) so if you do plan to visit, then you could easily combine it with a visit to the Hirschgarten.
This huge beer garden has more of a local vibe to it and it has over 8,000 seats making it the largest beer garden in Bavaria! It’s also a restaurant serving up the finest Bavarian cuisine and large cold beers to enjoy among the lush trees.
Munich Beer Tour
If you’d prefer to have a local expert show you around Munich’s best breweries and beer halls then taking a beer tour is the perfect option for you!
Learn the history behind Munich’s beer making process while visiting some of the most iconic beer halls and breweries around the city on this 3-hour action packed beer tour led by an experienced local guide.
This tour includes samples of traditional German dishes as well as beer tastings and 2 complimentary beers at the Hofbräuhaus.
More Things to do in Munich
In addition to the sites I’ve listed in the 2 day Munich itinerary above, there are plenty more awesome things to see in Munich that you should check out if you have any extra time.
The biggest highlight for me would have to be taking a day trip to the majestic Neuschwanstein Castle but we also had a lot of fun visiting the Hellabrunn Animal Park.
Day Trip to Neuschwanstein Castle
Like a scene from a fairy tale, the spectacular Neuschwanstein Castle sits perched on a hilltop in the Bavarian countryside, surrounded by beautiful lakes and mountains. It’s arguably one of the most famous castles in the world. If you’re spending more than 2 days in Munich, taking a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle would be my first recommendation.
Neuschwanstein Castle was built by King Ludwig II in 1869 however construction wasn’t completed until 1886, the same year that he passed away. Sadly, he only lived in his masterpiece for 11 days and he died before he saw the castle completed. Shortly after his death, the castle was opened up to the public and since then has seen over 61 million visitors from all over the world!
Taking a day trip to Neuschwanstein from Munich can be done in a number of ways. You can take an organized day tour, rent a car and drive there yourself or take public transportation.
Day Trip to Neuschwanstein & Linderhof Castles Tour from Munich
Stops: Linderhof Castle, Oberammergau, Schwangau, Neuschwanstein Castle
Included: Transportation by bus, Audio Guides, note that entry to castles is not included in this tour, tickets can be purchased directly from your guide.
Duration: 10.5 hours
This highly rated day tour will take you to Kind Ludwig II’s dream castles, Linderhof and Neuschwanstein. You’ll also get a chance to take in the beauty of the Bavarian countryside, stopping in a number of lovely small towns along the way.
The full day trip departs from Munich by luxury tour bus at 8:30am. The first stop of the day will bring you to Linderhof Castle, the only castle that Ludwig II managed to complete in his lifetime.
After taking a guided tour of Linderhof Castle, the tour will continue to the picturesque little town of Oberammergau for a chance to look around, take some photos and browse a few shops.
The next stop will bring you to the village of Schwangau where you’ll take a break to have lunch and enjoy some free time to explore. The day trip ends with 4 hours to spend at the magnificent Neuschwanstein Castle. You’ll take a guided tour followed by free time to explore this spectacular castle at your own pace.
Rent a Car in Munich and Drive to Neuschwanstein Castle
Driving from Munich to the town of Hohenschwangau is much quicker and more direct than taking the train. It also gives you more flexibility to explore the surrounding countryside area and be able to stop wherever you want.
Firstly, you’ll want to head over to Rentalcars.com and browse from a selection of car rental providers. Once you’ve picked up your car, follow these driving directions to begin the 1.5 hr drive out to Neuschwanstein Castle in the town of Hohenschwangau.
More attractions to see while you’re there: Hohenschwangau Castle, Museum of Bavarian Kings, Alpsee Lake.
Neuschwanstein Castle Tickets: €13
Opening Hours: See the official website for more info regarding hours of operation and purchasing tickets.
Train from Munich to Hohenschwangau
To reach Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich, you must take the train to the nearby town Fussen and from there take a bus to Hohenschwangau. Trains to Fussen depart regularly from Munich’s main train station, Hauptbahnhof (often called HBF).
Tickets can easily be purchased at the train station before departure, there is no need to reserve in advance. It’s worth getting the ‘Regional Bavaria day ticket‘ as this will save you money and cover the entire journey including train and bus.
The 2 hour train ride through the countryside is very scenic, sit back and enjoy the views as you pass by cute little Bavarian villages, taking in epic mountain views and surrounding scenery.
Once you reach Fussen, it’s easy to find the buses that depart for Neuschwanstein Castle. Follow signs leading you out of the train station where you’ll find bus number 78 which will drop you off near the Hohenschwangau Ticket Center. Head into the ticket centre to purchase your castle entry ticket before starting the trek up the hill to Neuschwanstein Castle.
Hellabrunn Animal Park
The Hellabrunn Animal Park is easy to get to via train from Munich’s city centre and makes a fun way to spend a day in addition to the above 2 day Munich itinerary. This massive animal park is home to nearly 20,000 animals from all over the world.
It’s is considered a “geo-zoo” which means that all animals are kept in a natural setting based on their geographic distribution. They are able to roam freely around spacious enclosures, designed to resemble their natural habitats in the wild.
We really enjoyed spending a few hours strolling through this big park and stopping for a relaxing lunch break at one of the park’s restaurants. Some of our highlights were seeing polar bears, lions, tigers, giraffes, gorillas, elephants, orangutans, rhinos and SO many more amazing animals.
From Marienplatz, it only takes 10 mins via the subway to reach the Hellabrunn Animal Park (U3 / Fürstenried West).
Tickets: €15 adult, €6 children
Opening Hours: 9am-5pm daily, see official website for seasonal hours
Dachau Memorial Site
Dachau was the first Nazi concentration camp to open in 1933 just after Adolf Hitler had come into power. What started as a camp for political prisoners ended up turning into a death camp where thousands of people from all over Europe would eventually die from starvation or execution.
No, this isn’t a happy or fun place to visit but it is a significant part of this region’s history and for those who wish to learn more about what went on during these horrific times, it’s worth a visit. It makes an easy day trip from Munich and provides a fascinating insight into life during the dark times of the Holocaust.
Dachau Memorial Site Tour From Munich
If an organized tour is what you’re after, this highly rated half day tour will depart Munich at 10am. It includes a guided tour of the camp where you’ll be able to see the barracks, cells and gas chambers while listening to stories and facts from a knowledgeable guide.
The tour will also give you time to visit the Dachau Museum and see the exhibitions including prisoner’s personal stories of what life looked like in the concentration camp.
Munich to Dachau by Train
The Dachau Memorial Site can easily be reached in 40 minutes from Munich’s HBF train station. Click here to view more information about the train journey on Google maps.
Tickets: Free, option to purchase audio guide or guided tour
Opening Times: 9am – 5pm daily
Nymphenburg Palace and Gardens
This beautiful Baroque style palace and its gorgeous gardens date back to the 17th century when it served as the summer home for Bavarian royalty. The palace is now a museum which is open to the public and has a number lavishly decorated rooms and halls to explore.
Take a stroll through the beautifully designed palace gardens which consist of lush green landscapes, ponds, fountains, lakes, statues and even more smaller palaces to discover throughout the grounds. During the summer months, gondola rides are offered daily on the canals, why not experience a bit of Venice right here at Nymphenburg?
Private Tour of Nymphenburg Palace from Munich
Enjoy a 4 hr private tour of Nymphenburg Palace. Your guide will meet you at your hotel in Munich and take you to the palace via public transportation. The tour includes a fully guided tour of the palace followed by free time to explore the rooms at your own pace.
You’ll also get some time to take a walk through the stunning gardens surrounding the palace and also visit the smaller garden palaces. You will have the option to take a gondola cruise along the canals but this is not included in the price of the tour.
The tour includes hotel pick up and drop off, public transportation costs, entrance to the palace and gardens, experienced tour guide. Before returning to Munich, you have the option to relax at a nearby beer garden.
Munich to Nymphenburg Palace by Train
Located on the outskirts of Munich, it’s easy to reach the stunning Nymphenburg Palace in 25 mins by taking the train from the Hauptbahnhof Station.
Tickets: €8 adults, free children
Opening Hours: April to 15 October: 9am – 6pm
16 October to March: 10am – 4pm
For anyone who loves a museum, you definitely shouldn’t miss a visit to the Deutsches Museum! It is not only the largest museum in Munich but the largest science and technology museum in the entire world. It’s easy to spend an entire day at this incredibly huge museum!
The Deutsches Museum sees over 1.5 million visitors per year and has over 28,000 objects on display across 5 floors and covers pretty much all aspects of science and technology. You’ll see interactive exhibits, VR experiences, live experiments and so much more.
The Deutsches Museum is centrally located, only a 13 minute walk from Munich’s Marienplatz square.
Opening Hours: Daily 9:00am – 17:00pm see the official website for up to date hours
Tickets: €14 adults, free children under 6, €4.50 children 6-17
Romantic Road Tour from Munich
If you don’t plan on road tripping southern Germany, then this epic 10.5 hr day trip will be a great addition to your 2 days in Munich. Get a taste of the fairy tale villages of Bavaria on this full day tour of the Romantic Road.
The first stop of the tour will be Harburg Castle, one of the oldest and best preserved castle’s in southern Germany. You will continue to the charming and colourful village of Dinkelsbühl where you’ll have some time to explore and admire the town’s beautiful architecture.
The last stop of the day will take you to the famous village of Rothenberg ob der Tauber, the most impressive fortified medieval town I’ve ever seen! Walking through the streets of Rothenberg truly feels like a fairy tale. Enjoy free time here to soak in the magic of this special place before returning to Munich.
Bear in mind this tour includes a lot of driving, so if you can handle around 6 hours in a bus, then it’s worth it to see these magical little towns and beautiful Bavarian landscapes!
Munich Airport Transfer
Bus – Taking the Lufthansa Express Bus is the best option for those looking to save money. This bus service runs from airport to city centre and then back again every 15 mins, 7 days per week. It doesn’t matter which airline you fly with, this bus service is open to everyone.
Private Transfer – If you’re travelling with a group or just prefer the convenience of a pre-booked private transfer, this is the best option. Your driver will be awaiting your arrival at the airport, holding a sign with your name and then drop you off directly at your hotel.
Where to Stay in Munich
We recommend booking your accommodation near the city centre as it allows you to access most of Munich’s attractions by foot and also be closer to the trains and buses. Below I’ve listed some of the best hotels in Munich for each price range.
Buddy Hotel – The perfect option for the budget traveller. The Buddy Hotel is central, within walking distance to the city centre and public transportation. The rooms are very small and compact but if you’re planning to fill your days with sightseeing, this won’t be an issue.
We stayed at the Buddy Hotel while visiting Munich and had a positive experience. The rooms were clean, comfortable and have private bathrooms. Even though they don’t provide a full breakfast, there are free croissants given out to guests each morning.
Hotel Munich City – Located in the heart of Munich, this hotel features tastefully decorated rooms, private bathrooms, a garden terrace and a spa area. A full buffet breakfast is served every morning and there is also a bar and lounge area.
Hotel Munich City is a great option for those planning to visit during the Oktoberfest, it’s close to the festival grounds and a short walk from Munich’s main train station.
Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski München – This lovely luxury hotel is conveniently located only a 5 minute walk from the Marienplatz Square of Munich. It features a spa and pool with panoramic city views, beautifully decorated rooms, a gym, sauna, and a delicious breakfast served daily.
For those seeking comfort and luxury during your stay in Munich, you can’t go wrong with this 5-star hotel!
Best Time to Visit Munich
We recommend visiting Munich during the spring/summer months between April-September. There will definitely be more crowds during this time of year but the nicer weather will ensure that you can be outside and get more sightseeing in.
There’s nothing wrong with visiting Munich during the fall or winter months if you come prepared, but since Munich has a lot of outdoor sites to see it’s better to visit when there’s a higher chance of sunny days and warmer temperatures.
I hope this detailed 2 day Munich itinerary has been useful in helping you plan and book your holiday. Whether you decided to include Munich as a stop on a larger itinerary or as a weekend break, you will certainly end up falling in love with this beautiful city!
While you’re planning your Germany travels, I highly recommend checking out our one week Germany road trip itinerary. It was by far one of the best road trips we’ve ever done in Europe!
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