10 Things to Do in Munich, From Popular Attractions to Places to Visit

Top 10 Things to Do in Munich on Your Next Vacation

Beyond Oktoberfest, there’s also its history, delicatessen culture, and more!

A fizzy pint of foamy Weiss beer on a balmy midsummer night, paired with juicy, gravy-laden pork sausages, a side of crunchy yellow sauerkraut, and an aromatic sprinkling of parsley. The background of this lovely meal? No less than Baroque-style buildings that combine Italian and German design influences. This could be you in Munich, located in the state of Bavaria, Germany — well-loved by tourists and locals alike for its history, architecture, delicatessen culture, and of course, Oktoberfest!

These storied parts of Germany welcome you with open arms — and with so many things to do in Munich, you might not know where to start. Fill your Munich itinerary with culinary delights, the grand Oktoberfest, quaint bicycle rides, and so much more. These best things to do in Munich await.

Also read: Post COVID-19 Travel: An Eco-Friendly Munich Travel Guide

Top things to do in Munich

1. Visit Munich’s most popular global event

For those that love to party with a good beer, the annual two-week-long Oktoberfest is the way to go. You won’t need to pay entrance fees to get into the festival grounds, so you are free to roam and scour the area to figure out what you’d like to try first at this iconic event.

Oktoberfest is pretty popular — and seats run out pretty fast. That said, many choose to reserve a beer hall table months in advance just to be sure. You can still get a table in one of the tents if you want to walk in, but you will have to get there really early. The reservation comes with food and drinks vouchers, so it’s definitely worth the price. If you’d want to experience Oktoberfest in Munich hassle-free, securing reservations should be high up on your list of things to do.

While Oktoberfest is largely known as a beer festival, it doubles as a funfair or carnival! Some of its most popular rides include the iconic Willenborg’s Ferris Wheel, which is seen as the symbol of the festival. The Olympia Looping RollerCoaster, on the other hand, is the world’s largest transportable roller coaster, with five loops perfect for adrenaline junkies.

Attracting millions of visitors from around the world yearly, this festival is likely to not fall short of fun times for you, your friends, and your family.

2. Try this white sausage known as Weisswurst

Image credit: Alexander Fox

Germany may be well-known for its meaty sausages, but Munich has its own special kind of sausage known as the Weisswurst. It is a savoury and delicious white sausage cooked in hot water rather than fried (but not boiling hot). It’s commonly made with pork, veal, and pork fat and is seasoned with parsley, pepper, lemon, and salt.

Traditionally, Weisswurst is eaten in the morning and is paired best with a white beer called Weissbier. Note, though, that the skin of these sausages should not be eaten; it must be peeled away first, unlike a regular sausage. Many Germans, however, prefer to suck the sausage up from the skin.

3. Take a stroll in the English Garden

Image credit: Michael Siebert

One of the world’s largest urban public parks, the English Garden is a haven for park lovers; plus, it’s even bigger than New York’s Central Park! Its origins date back to the late 1700s when a certain Sir Benjamin Tompson created the park for the Duke of Bavaria, Prince Charles Theodore. It later opened to the public in 1792 and has since then ranked high up on any list of things to do in Munich.

There are many sports-related things to do here such as cycling and jogging on the long stretches of designated paths. There’s even a surfing spot at the southern end of the Eisbach. There, you’ll find a popular river surfing area, where surfing competitions are held.

Alternatively, you can also take it easy and lay out a picnic mat. There are plenty of grassy grounds to go around, for indulging in a good nap or perhaps a meal under the shade of the trees. Just make sure to get some refreshing drinks and snacks from nearby supermarkets.

4. See stuffed animals on display at the German Hunting and Fishing Museum

Image credit: High Contrast

This unique museum in the city centre features exhibitions that shed light on the history of hunting and fishing in Germany. That said, this might not be the best place to visit for animal lovers, but it does reveal a lot about the way of life in Germany — then and now. In the past, hunting was an essential aspect of one’s social life in Munich; you could say that it was a beloved pastime and sport for many.

What can you expect at the German Hunting and Fishing Museum? The first floor holds taxidermied native animals such as rabbits and wild boars, alongside educational tidbits about these hunted animals. In fact, the animals almost look alive! 

The second floor showcases an exhibit on fishing and focuses on the Isar River, which cuts through Bavaria in Germany and Tyrol in Austria. Those who love to fish can look forward to an impressive section featuring antique fishing rods as well as other fishing accessories from Munich’s past.

As the museum is located inside a former church known as the Augustine Church, expect spectacular interiors. We’re talking about domes and high ceilings perfect for those who love to admire European architecture.

Pro tip: Entrance is free for those who have a Munich City Pass.

5. Rent a bike and pedal around Munich

Image credit: nextbike

Cycling around towns is a great thing to do in Munich, and well, in most places in Europe. You get to explore hidden gems while taking the path less travelled; plus, you feel like a local. Bicycles tend to be a common and well-loved means of transportation in this region and there are many bicycle lanes paved around the city, so it’s safe and hassle-free! If you’re cycling on your own, that means you get to go around at your own pace, too.

Not only does it reduce one’s carbon footprint, but it also allows for the wind to blow in your hair as you take in the beautiful scenery and watch locals go about their daily life. In Munich, the common bike rental service is known as the ‘Call-a-Bike’ system by Deutsche Bahn. Rental fees are €9 euros (~S$13) a day, making it affordable for everyone.

Pro tip: Download Google maps and plans your path in advance using the drawing tool on your phone. Mark your starting point and your desired endpoint and trace your way using identifiable landmarks along the way. This will make your journey less stressful in a foreign city!

6. Shop at Gottseidank and dress like a German

Gottseidank is a fashion brand that prides itself on reviving traditional German clothing such as the dirndl dress. The store admirably values tradition and German history and believes in giving modern fashion a twist by incorporating traditional German elements into more updated designs. 

Prioritising comfort, the clothes at Gottseidank are usually made of jersey fabric (for the blouses) and stretchy jacquard fabric (for the dresses and men’s waistcoats). The store offers alteration for that perfect fit and even provides embroidery services so you can have a more customised look.

These time-transcending traditional clothes make for a perfect gift to your loved ones, or even as a treasured souvenir you can wear. We’re sure shopping is included on your checklist of things to do in Munich, so why not take a piece of German heritage back home while you’re at it?

Other things to do near Munich

7. Explore nature and visit the Ammergauer Alps Nature Park

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Thinking of some mountain-related things to do? By getting a train ticket at the Munich main station, you can travel out to the Ammergauer Alps near Munich for a day trip. Here, the picturesque mountains are simply astonishing and not to be missed.

The nature park is vast, spanning about 228 kilometres and is part of the state of Bavaria. For bird fanatics, there is the Waldmoos Nature Reserve, where there are multiple species of birds to spot alongside rare orchids. Hikes and mountain tours are also available in the summer. You can also ski to your heart’s content here by signing up for ski tours in the winter.

Around the area are also six peaceful municipalities: Oberammergau, Unterammergau, Ettal, Saulgrub, Bad Kohlgrub, and Bad Bayersoien. These house handicraft markets and host mountain pasture festivals. So, keep your eyes out for them in case you want to get your hands on a unique souvenir from these areas! You can also book accommodations in these municipalities for an overnight stay in the alps.

8. Visit Neuschwanstein, an actual castle on a hill 

Image credit: Vinay Chavan

Located around the periphery of Munich is Neuschwanstein, a castle on a hill with amazing limestone facades, towers, spires, and a lavish indoor garden. As if it’s straight out of a fairytale, one cannot help but recall the chorus of Ed Sheeran’s Castle on the Hill. Like the song promises, you are sure to find a spectacular view from the castle grounds and feel as if you’re in a fantasy novel.

Fun fact: Restoration efforts have been ongoing since 1869 and are expected to continue till 2024. However, you can still see all the rooms by going on the castle tour. 

Also read: 10 Dazzling German Castles That Are Straight Out Of A Storybook

9. Get some vintage finds for your home at the Auer Dult Market

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Auer Dult is a traditional annual market, which takes place thrice a year at Mariahilfplatz in the district of Au. The three fairs are Maidult, Jakobidult, and Kirchweihdult — each lasting nine days.

Auer Dault is also a folk festival featuring rides and attractions. Unlike Oktoberfest, Auer Dault is not as hyped and large-scale, and is perfect for visitors who want to veer away from the crowds; don’t worry, you’ll still get to try some Bavarian specialities! You can also shop at the various stalls selling household accessories, secondhand clothes, curio items, and books!

10. Swim in one of Munich’s lakes

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 Munich is literally surrounded by nature; and so, finding a lake for some watersports or a quick dip amidst the hot summer weather is a breeze!

Starnberger See is one of Munich’s most well-known lakes and is known as ‘Munich’s summer swimming pool.’ You can swim, bike, or just stroll along the lake — all of which offer an amazing view of the Alps in the distance.

Ammersee Lake is a great place for your golden hour IG story. If you’re not sailing or windsurfing, hike up to Andechs Monastery. Whet your appetite from the selection of food and beverage here, like the roasted pork knuckles: said to be the best in Bavaria.

Also read: Germany Travel Restrictions: What to Know Before Visiting

And fini! Now, jumpstart your vacation plans with these best things to do in Munich. It’s truly an amazing destination in Germany and one you should travel to soon.

Featured image credit: f9photos via Canva Pro 

About Author

Megan Michael
Megan Michael

With a mildly concerning addiction to Tiktoks and Kopi Peng, Megan loves talking about anything that she is raving about at the moment. Currently, the topics she loves to chat about are MBTI (Shes an ENFJ-T), K-Pop, show recommendations and her four sausage dogs. If you see a Megan with deadpan eyes, it means she hasn't had her Kopi Peng for the day and you should rush to the nearest coffee shop to resurrect her. One thing to note is she actually isn't scary, she just has a very fierce resting face! And so, she hopes to girl boss to the best of her abilities so she can return home to her dogs.