Munich is a lovely city that’s easy to explore by bike or on foot. It also offers many activities for everyone. Follow my tips to enjoy 4 days in Munich. This travel itinerary is perfect for those who are about to discover Munich for the first time and also for families with children. 🙂
Begin your tour focusing on the Old Town of Munich. Start from Karlsplatz. If your hotel is in the center it is not necessary to take a bus, except for special cases. Karlstor is one of the oldest gates of Monaco with the Sendlinger Tor, Isartor and Odeonsplatz.
In Neuhauser Straße there is one of the most beautiful churches in Munich, Michaelskirche,whose interior is fully white. This Renaissance church, which is my favorite one, dates back to 1538 and it was built for the Jesuits. It contains the sarcophagi of Elector Maximilian I and Bavaria’s “mad” King Ludwig II, who showed signs of mental illness and, for this reason, was deposed.
Reach the Frauenkirche, the church known for the Gothic twin towers and for the so-called mark of the devil (Teufelstritt), that you will find when you enter the church.
CURIOSITY: Legend says that the architects of the church made a bet with the devil: they would have built a church without windows. When the church was ready and the devil went to check it, the architects made him enter where he wouldn’t have seen any window. The windows were hidden by the columns. At that point the devil stamped her foot on the ground, leaving his imprint with a spur and believing to have won the bet. Then, took a step forward and saw the windows. He has been deceived, but the church had already been consacrated.
Keep walking until you reach the Marienplatz, the heart of Monaco. Here there are many bars, pubs and restaurants. At the center of the square stands the Mariensäule, the golden statue of the Virgin Mary. The famous neo-Gothic town hall Neues Rathaus (New City Hall) has, on its facade, the Glockenspiel, a mechanical clock with statues which move telling the story of Munich. The clock beeps 3 times a day (11am, 12pm, and 17pm from May to October). Try to be on time!
Take a photo to the Fischbrunnen, the Fountain of Fish. To the east of the square stands the Altes Rathaus (Old City Hall), which has been rebuilt several times, but retains its original the hall and the tower. Now it houses the Spielzeugmuseum (Toy Museum): dolls, toy cars and toy soldiers and an exhibition about Barbie. The museum is very small and the ticket is €4.
TIP: Christmas is about to come! Christkindlmarkt (Christmas market) takes place on Marienplatz. Here, you can you can buy many decorations, Bavarian glassware, hand-painted wooden statues. You can also taste German spicy sweets, Lebkuchen, and the traditional bread Stollen. If you want to make a Munich Christmas markets tour don’t miss it!
Walk up to the oldest church in Munich, Peterskirche. Behind Peterskirche there is the Gothic church, Heiliggeistkirche (Church of the Holy Spirit), which has some baroque decorative elements. Visit the open-air market Viktualienmarkt, a melting polt of flavors, colors and people. There are many tourists among the various stalls. If it is time to have lunch you can taste traditional German sausages and drink a beer (there is a little kiosk that offers many varieties of beer) sitting on the benches that are in the middle of the market. There are also many gazebos where you can buy spices, flowers, fruits and so on, and the greasy pole. The market is open from Monday to Saturday until 20 (from November to February until 18).
Reach the old gate Isartor and head to the Deutsches Museum, the Museum of Science and Technology, which is located right on a small island in the river Isor.
This museum is one of the main attractions for everyone, kids and adults. To me it’s like a real dive in the history and discoveries that have made the difference as the first electric dynamo (Siemens, 1866). The museum is divided into different areas related to electricity, nanotechnology, space travel, printing, magnetism. There are trains, ships, aircraft, the true reproduction of a mine. Everything is treated in detail. The ticket price for adults is €8.50, but if you can also buy the family ticket which costs €17. The museum is open until 17.
In the evening, go to the most famous brewery Hofbräuhaus am Platzl, in Platzl 9.
DAY 2. SENDLINGER TOR – MAXIMILIANSTRASSE – MUNICH RESIDENZ – HOFGARTEN – ODEONSPLATZ – ART DISTRICT – ENGLISCHER GARTEN
Start you walk from Sendlinger Tor. If you don’t know German don’t visit Münchener Stadtmuseum (municipal museum), which often suggested, because it appears to be fragmented and there are no translations. It wasn’t a pleasant visit. Take the Maximilianstrasse, one of the most important streets of Munich, known for the expensive shops.
Munich Residenz is the palace of the Bavarian princes and seat of government. If you decide to visit it don’t miss the Antiquarian, the roof is decorated with allegorical frescoes and grotesque scenes of Bavaria, the Cuvillies Theater, one of the most beautiful rococo theaters in Europe and, if you love to collect coins, the Coin Collection, the largest collection of world coins. The ticket price is €13. The Residenz is open every day except on the 24th, 25th and 31st of December, 1 January and Shrove Tuesday.
Visit the Court Garden Hofgarten, the entrance is free. Enjoy a nice walk through plants and flowers. You’ll come across even in the beautiful Temple of Diana (a pavilion lined with seashells). Often, artists and musicians and dancers perform under the dome.At lunch go to Brenner Grill. Quality/price ratio is very good. The specialty dish. Book a table online. Head to the Odeonsplatz with Theatinerkirche, the first example of Italian Baroque in Bavaria and the Feldherrnhalle (open-air loggia), inspired to the Loggia della Signoria in Florence.
Art lovers won’t miss to visit the Art district which includes 3 great museums of Munich: Alte Pinakothek, the Neue Pinakothek, the Pinakothek der Moderne. Nearby there are the Glyptothek and the National Collection of Antiquities. Alte Pinakothek houses many paintings like Battle of Alexander at Issus, the Pietà of Botticelli. They are my favourite ones.
TIP: It takes at least 4 hours to visit it, but my suggestion is to choose your favourite artists and spend only 2 hours in this museum.
I have only visited the Alte Pinakothek, because I chose to give priority to the Englischer garten, your next visit. They are the largest urban park in Germany. It can be divided into 2 parts:
– The north area, Hirschau, is a wooden area.
– The south area is wonderful, especially in summer. Many people lie on the grass under the sun, you can ride the bike and jogging. There are also crowded biergarten.
The Kleinhesseloher is a really nice lake, the ideal place for a boat ride, and you can even surf at the Eisbach, an artificial river, where there are surfers in summer. In winter the main sports activities you can play are: ice-skating and curling. Other attractions of the park are Japanisches Teehaus, a teahouse and a Japanese garden, where you can learn tradition of Japanese tea ceremony, Monopteros, a mock Greek temple, Schönfeldwiese a part of the park where nudism is allowed.
Dinner at Chinesischen Turm is a beer garden, which has the shape of a Chinese Pagoda. Self service food is good and abundant. Taste Hoffbrau beer, baked potatoes and pretzel. It is located in the center of the English garden and the green landscape makes it awesome.
DAY 3. SCHLOSS NYMPHENBURG – OLYMPIAPARK – BMW MUSEUM
Head to Schloss Nymphenburg. It can be reached easily by tram 17 from Karlsplatz Stachus. The journey takes about 18 minutes and you can buy the ticket on board. The palace was built as a summer residence of the Wittelsbachs to celebrate the birth of their child. Over the years, canals, statues, pavilions (Badenburg, Pagodenburg, Amalienburg, and Magdalenenklause) have been added . Don’t miss this palace if you want to take a Bavarian castles and places tour. I will write about it 😉 It is open from April 1 to October 15 (9-18); October 16th March: (10-16) and the ticket costs €11.50. My favourite area is the Gallery of Beauties, a collection of portraits of women commissioned by Ludwig I. The entrance to the gardens is free.
After lunch, go to Olympiapark, a huge park built for the Olympic Games of 1972. The park has an artificial lake. You can enjoy an incredible view from the Olympic Tower and if you’re lucky you can even see the Alps! The cost of the ticket is €5.50 for adults and it is open daily from 9 to midnight. The tower houses a restaurant that rotates 360 degrees every 49 minutes. The Olympic Skating Rink is a perfect place for ice-skating or dancing. Olympic Stadium with nearly 67,000 seats hosted Bayern football club.
Do you love cars? Focus on the BMW Museum. It is a piece of BMW history and funny for kids. 😉 The entrance ticket is €8. There is also the ticket family at the price of €16 (2 adults and up to 3 children under 18). It is open daily until midnight and on Saturday it opens at 7.30am
Have dinner at Augustiner Bräustuben to taste Bavarian food. You won’t pay more than €15 per person, beer included. Choose second courses and homemade desserts. It is located in Landsberger Strasse 19.
DAY 4. NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE
This is my favourite castle, a fairytale place for everyone you can reach by train from Munich! It takes about 2 hours and buy the Bayern Ticket to save money. I think that the background is nicer than interior. Take also a walk throught the nice town of Füssen.
What’s your favourite attraction in Munich? Leave a comment!