Top Things to Do in Munich, Germany

On the elevated plains of Upper Bavaria in southeast Germany is the city of Munich. The capital of the state of Bavaria, Munich is a captivating blend of rich history, culture, vibrancy, and modernity. I first visited Germany in 2005, and Munich is a city I’ve loved ever since. It’s such a fun city, and the top things to do in Munich are varied, vibrant, and exciting.

We’re about to explore the top 10 must-do activities in Munich. Whether you’re visiting the city for the UEFA 2024 tournament, a relaxing vacation, or something in between, Munich won’t disappoint. Prepare to be enchanted by the city’s unique Bavarian culture as we dive into the top things to do in Munich!

Explore Munich’s Old Town

The New Town Hall, Neues Rathaus, in Munich, Germany | Davidsbeenhere
Neues Rathaus is one of many architectural wonders in Munich. Photo by Natalie Gottsmann on Unsplash.

The heart of Munich’s historical legacy lies in its Old Town. There, you can marvel at the Neo-Gothic grandeur of the Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall) and its famous Glockenspiel. This delightful mechanical display brings the city’s history to life through dancing figures and chiming bells. Stroll down the charming cobblestone streets and admire the architectural wonders that line the square.

One of the top things to do in Munch is visiting the Frauenkirche cathedral. The city’s most renowned landmark, it’s famous for its distinctive twin towers. Head up to the observation deck atop the South Tower for a breathtaking 360-degree panorama of the city skyline. I love visiting observation decks, and this one gives visitors an unparalleled view of the sprawling city below.

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The Altes Rathaus, or Old Town Hall, is a delightful example of Gothic architecture that complements the grandeur of Neues Rathaus. Wander through its historic halls and explore the intricate details that adorn the building’s facade, transporting you back in time to Munich’s storied past.

Visit the English Garden

Monopteros Temple, one of the top things to do in Munich, stands atop a hill in Englischer Garten | Davidsbeenhere
Monopteros Temple is one of several attractions in Englischer Garten. Photo by Soazic Leroy on Unsplash.

One of the world’s largest urban parks, the Englischer Garten is a beautiful respite from the city’s bustling streets. I suggest going for a walk down its winding paths and admiring the picturesque landscapes. One of my favorite things to do in Munich is to check out the Chinese Tower beer garden, where you can savor a refreshing Bavarian brew while enjoying the park.

Atop a hill in Englischer Garten is the Monopteros Temple. This architectural treasure offers stunning panoramic views of the city skyline. Climb up to the observation deck and enjoy the stunning views of the garden!

Finally, I highly recommend visiting the garden’s Eisbach Wave. The Eisbach Wave is an artificial surf spot that allows visitors to experience ocean-like surf in the middle of the city! You can grab a spot along the riverbank and cheer these skilled riders on, or grab your board and join in on the fun!

Eat Traditional Bavarian Food

German sausages cooking alongside sauerkraut | Davidsbeenhere
Sausages are an integral part of Bavarian cuisine. Photo by Rich Smith on Unsplash.

Munich’s culinary scene is a blend of traditional Bavarian specialties and modern innovations. There’s so much for foodies to do. No visit is complete without visiting an iconic beer hall like the legendary Hofbräuhaus. Dig into a savory roasted pork knuckle, Bavarian-style dumplings, and the iconic Weisswurst (white sausage). Complement your meal with a refreshing Maß, a liter-sized mug of the city’s renowned German beer.

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For a true taste of Munich’s culinary diversity, head to the Viktualienmarkt, the city’s bustling open-air food market. There, you’ll meet vendors selling everything from artisanal cheeses to freshly baked breads and locally sourced produce. Check out the Poseidon fish soup stall or Caspar Plautz’s renowned baked potatoes for a taste of some Bavarian favorites.

Of course, Germany is known for its iconic beer culture, which you can also explore at a beer garden. Kick back, order a refreshing Maß, and indulge in traditional Bavarian fare like Steckerlfisch (grilled fish on a stick) or Obazda (a creamy cheese spread). The Augustiner Keller and Hirschgarten are two of the most popular beer gardens, and I personally recommend both!

Explore the Museum Quarter

The Residenz is a stunning royal palace and art museum and one of the best things to do in Munich | Davidsbeenhere
The Residenz was once a royal palace but is now an art museum. Photo by F.A. Grafie on Unsplash.

Munich’s Kunstareal, or Museum Quarter, is a treasure trove of art and culture. Neue Pinakothek, dedicated to 18th- and 19th-century European art, is closed for renovations until 2029, but other museums in the quarter are currently open to visitors. Known for its extensive collection of 14th-18th century art, Alte Pinakothek is one of Europe’s most important art museums. Pinakothek der Moderne, meanwhile, focuses on modern art.

Deutsches Museum is one of the largest science and technology museums in the world and is a delight for both adults and children. Its interactive exhibits range from aviation and space exploration to energy and transportation. Other exhibits delve into the fascinating history of scientific and technological advancements.

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Also in the Museum Quarter is The Residenz, a lavish former royal palace turned art museum. Its opulent halls, intricate frescoes, and ornate decor paint a picture of the Bavarian monarchs who once lived within its walls. Visiting is one of the best things to do in Munich for art and history buffs!

See the Grandeur of Schloss Nymphenburg

Schloss Nymphenburg is a massive Baroque Palace and one of the best things to do in Munich | Davidsbeenhere
The expansive Schloss Nymphenburg is a beautiful Baroque palace. Photo by Sandra Grünewald on Unsplash.

Speaking of palaces, the city center is home to yet another extravagant palace you must visit in Munich. There, you’ll find Schloss Nymphenburg, a magnificent Baroque palace that served as the summer residence for the Wittelsbach dynasty. Its grand interiors still contain exquisite frescoes and furnishings. On its sweeping grounds are the expansive, and extremely well-manicured, palace gardens.

Within the Schloss Nymphenburg complex you’ll also find Amalienburg Pavilion. This architectural masterpiece is an ornate, rococo-style building. It was commissioned by Elector Max Emanuel as a hunting lodge and summer retreat. It’s a stunning, almost gaudy place that reflects the Wittelsbach family’s expensive tastes and opulent lifestyle.

Elsewhere in the complex, the Magdalenenklause Hermitage offers a more serene experience. This whimsical, grotto-like structure was designed as a private retreat for the Wittelsbach ruler. Not only do its unique architecture and tranquil atmosphere make it one of the top things to do in Munich, but it also provides a respite from the bustling city.

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Attend a Football Game at Allianz Arena

The interior of Allianz Arena, home to FC Bayern, and one of my favorite things to do in Munich | Davidsbeenhere
Allianz Arena is the home stadium of the legendary FC Bayern football club. Photo by Saurav Rastogi on Unsplash.

For football (soccer) enthusiasts, a visit to Allianz Arena, the home stadium of the renowned FC Bayern Munich, is a must. Witnessing the electric atmosphere as the team takes the pitch is a feeling like no other. You can also explore the iconic club’s history and legacy at the FC Bayern Museum.

Allianz Arena is one of several German arenas selected to host games in the UEFA 2024 tournament. Securing tickets to a UEFA match, or an FC Bayern Munich match, is an unforgettable experience. There’s nothing like cheering on the team alongside other passionate fans as the team battles it out on the pitch. The energy in the arena is electrifying!

Experience Oktoberfest

A bartender pours a beer inside a busy tavern | Davidsbeenhere
Beer culture is front and center at Oktoberfest. Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash.

No visit to Munich is complete without experiencing the Oktoberfest. This world-famous festival is a celebration of Bavarian culture, German cuisine, and, of course, beer. I’ve went to Oktoberfest in my youth, and let’s just say I had a grand old time! Between the revelers donning traditional dirndls and lederhosen, and the Bavarian music and carnival rides, it’s a fantastic experience.

For a more authentic Oktoberfest experience, venture to the Oide Wiesn. This section of the festival celebrates the event’s historic roots. Here, you’ll find traditional fairground rides, vintage beer tents, and a more laid-back, nostalgic ambiance.

Alongside the endless flow of Bavarian beer, there’s also food! Foodies can enjoy everything from juicy roasted chicken to iconic Lebkuchen (gingerbread) treats. No list of the top things to do in Munich is complete without Oktoberfest!

Explore the Top Things to Do in Munich, Germany

A sprawling look at the city of Munich | Davidsbeenhere
The beautiful city of Munich, Germany. Photo by kwan fung on Unsplash.

Munich is one of my favorite cities in Germany. It has everything I crave when I travel: friendly people, unique architecture, delicious food and drink, and a vibrant history. When I visited in 2005, I felt at home the entire time, and I’m sure the locals will extend that same warmth and kindness to you. Book a trip to Germany today to experience the top things to do in Munich!

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