Home to a million-and-a-half people, Germany’s third largest city has far more to offer than just Oktoberfest. No matter if you want to watch river surfers in the English Garden or admire ancient sculptures, there’s something for everyone in Bavaria’s capital.
Whichever way you’d like to travel Munich, it’s definitely one of the best German cities you need to visit. There are so many things to do in Munich and so much fun to be had.
The central square in Munich, and home to one of my favorite things: Christmas markets (obviously, these are only open around December time). Outside of December, you will find the Old and New Town Halls as well as the Gothic tower here vying for your attention. Make sure to come to Marienplatz around 12pm to see the famous Glockenspiel.
Marienplatz square will be packed during the performance so be mindful of your belongings as it’s prime time for the pick pockets.
2. Cathedral Church of our Lady
The Cathedral Church of Our Lady dates back to 1488, and is the main church of South Bavaria. The signature feature of the church is a rogue footprint found near the door which is said to be from the devil himself.
It is located slightly off the main square and has an interesting story regarding the building of the church. Back in the day, building a church of this size would take many years. Approximately around 80 years or more. Hence, you can imagine the surprise of the people when this particular church was completed in just 20 years.
However, the legend has it that the devil himself assisted in the building of the church, giving the reason as to why it was completed so fast. The devil wanted a church to be built with no windows, so that he could enter the house of God and spread his vile teachings while being obstructed from the light of day.
Now, the builders were quite clever and constructed the back of the church without windows. When the devil would enter, he would think the church was built without windows. Much to his surprise, the day the church was finished, the devil went to the front of the church where he discovered massive windows letting in the light from the heavens.
Raging, he stamped his foot and disappeared leaving a large footprint in the back of the church.
Whether you believe the story or not, it’s worth a visit to to place your foot in the print of the devil.
3. Cuvilliés Theatre
Built in 1755, this theatre is built in the Rococo style, famous for its tiered layers and box seating.
Aside from the stunning architecture, operas are still performed here till this day so be sure to grab yourself a ticket to get ‘the full experience’.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have had enough time to do so, but it is one of the most important theatres in Germany.
4. Munich Residenz
Known for being one of the most beautiful and ornate palaces in Europe, Munich Residenz was once inhabited by Emperors, Kings, and Queens.
I can’t recommend a visit to the Munich Residenz enough, I’ve never been so overwhelmed and awed with a royal palace than at The Residenz Munich. It’s the former royal palace of the Wittelsbach monarchs of Bavaria. The Wittelsbach were a royal family who ruled over Bavaria. With 130 rooms to visit, each of which are more luxurious than the last, you definitely won’t be bored here.
5. The English Garden
Stretching over 375 hectares, the English Garden is actually the name for the largest park in the city. The park is designed in a classic British style so expect elegant rose gardens, an artificial lake and sprawling lush greenery. It’s a beautiful scenery to stroll around and enjoy the weather (and surf, if you’d like to).
6. New Town Hall & Old Town Hall
The New Town Hall in Munich is one of the most recognisable buildings in the entire city and worth checking out. Much of this is thanks to its fancy facade which is made up of ornately carved figures. Although we say ‘New’, this Gothic building is over 100 years old.
Old Town Hall
Built in the 15th century in Gothic style, this building was a completely destroyed during World War II and was later restored. It’s now home to a toy museum, still super beautiful to admire from outside.
7. St. Peter’s Church & Asam Church
Famous for being the oldest church in Munich, St Peter’s Church was built by monks and sits atop Petersburg Hill that’s a totally awesome sight to behold.
Constructed in the 1300s, the decorated altar and painted panels that are one of the best things to do in Munich whilst you’re in the city.
If you want to enjoy a view of the entire city center from the tower you must climb no less than 299 steps. Once you reach the top, the panoramic view of Munich’s center makes up for the effort. There is an entrance fee of €2 per person.
Built by the Asam brothers, Asam Church is said to be one of the prettiest churches in Munich. Packed with stunning frescoes, impressive intricate architecture and even oil paintings, this one is definitely for the camera! Make sure to arrive photo-ready.
8. Nymphenburg Palace
If you time it right, you will arrive right when the palace opens and you will have the place almost to yourself having beat the tour buses. The gardens can be visited without a ticket and are worth a stroll.
9. Hofbräuhaus am Platzerl
… because no visit to Munich would be complete without a visit to a beer hall!
Yes, it is touristy, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. We were at the Hofbräu in Berlin, but this is a totally different experience.
The Hofbräuhaus in Munich is a beer hall and Bavarian restaurant dating back to1589. During Oktoberfest, the Hofbrau tent is the largest of all, holding nearly 10,000 seats (in addition to 1,000 seats inside the beer hall). As we visited Munich for Oktoberfest, it was one of a kind. It is not only the oldest beer hall, it has an absolutely incredible atmosphere.
Hofbräuhaus am Platzl is also very popular among the locals. You can take a guided brewery tour here except for Fridays and weekends. The tours last 45 minutes to an hour (without snack) but they are by appointment only.