23 Best Things to do in Munich, Germany [2021 Guide]

In this article, we’ll look at the 23 best things to do in Munich according to tourists and travelers’ reviews.

Being the capital city of Bavaria in Germany, Munich (München in German) is one of the most popular travel destinations in Germany and Europe, and has many things for tourists to see or do while visiting “the gateway to the Alps”.

Fun fact: Munich is regarded by many Germans as the “Secret German Capital” due to its size, popularity, and wealth.

Although it can be considered a large city, Munich still manages to keep its historical feel intact with buildings like the Altes Rathaus, Frauenkirche, and Hofbräuhaus beer hall among others. Many of these buildings are located in the Altstadt (Old Town), but the city also provides plenty of fun for families with its many animal parks, and it’s only an hour drive away from the impressive Alps with many skiing and hiking options for the daredevils.

Without any further introduction, let’s have a look at the 23 best things to see in Munich this year!

23. Eisbachwelle

The Eisbachwelle is an artificial surfing river, and you’ll find it at the bottom of the English Garden.

Surfers may ride the waves in any weather all year round, even during the winter with proper clothing for the adrenaline kicks. International surfing celebrities such as Jack Johnson and Garret McNamara have been spotted riding the waves.

The Eisbachwelle is one of Munich’s most popular attractions and it’s easy enough to see why. The location is renowned worldwide for being an unbeatable spot for river surfing by professionals since more than 40 years ago!

22. St. Michael’s Church

Michaelskirche
Michaelskirche (Berthold Werner/Wikimedia)

The St. Michael’s Church which is also known as Michaelskirche is the largest Renaissance church in Northern Europe. It was built in the 16th century by Duke Wilhelm V for the Jesuits.

Michaelskirche became a template for many baroque churches in Germany and German-speaking countries as well as the spiritual heart of Bavaria during the Counter-Reformation.

The church is located in the city center’s busiest pedestrian zone, near the Marienplatz in the old city part.

21. Karlsplatz

Karlsplatz
Karlsplatz (Robb/Wikimedia)

Another attraction is the famous square, Karlsplatz (Charles Square) with its famous pavilion and fountain designed by Gabriel von Seidl. From here, you will find great views of Munich’s buildings which are eye-catching with their many colors and styles.

It has been the transportation hub of the city since 1873 and is known for its art nouveau architecture which was popular at that time. In 1909, an equestrian statue of King Ludwig II was erected on one side of Karlsplatz to commemorate him as king and patron saint of Bavaria. The square also boasts some lovely cafés including Café Central, which is located right next door to Karlskirche church. If you’re looking for a place with great coffee, outdoor seating, and beautiful views this may be just what you’re seeking! 

20. Asamkirche

Asamkirche
Asamkirche (Wikiolo/Wikimedia)

Another beautiful church in Munich is the Asamkirche which was built by two famous baroque brothers, Cosmas Damian and Egid Quirin Asam.

The exterior of the church is impressive enough with its Corinthian columns, but it’s also inside that you can enjoy some spectacular ceiling paintings made by Cosmas Damian himself.

Of course, there are sculptures all around the church including an enormous sculpture of St. John Nepomuk who according to legend helped a young woman from being drowned for her refusal to marry someone she did not love. The sculpture shows him holding up her wet hair which bears testament to his self-sacrifice on behalf of true love!

19. Olympiaturm

Olympiaturm

The tower is not only Munich’s tallest structure but also one of the most renowned landmarks in the world, with its overall height of almost 1,000 feet making it not only the city’s largest building but also one of the world’s best-known symbols. The viewing platform at an elevation of 190 meters above ground offers the widest and finest panoramic view of Munich and beyond.

The Olympic Tower has a revolving restaurant halfway up, and it takes just under an hour to rotate all the way around, allowing visitors to take in the 360-degree view while seated at their table.

Since 2004, the “Rockmuseum Munich,” perhaps not the largest but unquestionably the world’s tallest of its kind, has hosted the “Rockmuseum Munich.” The display consists of tickets, photographs, newspaper reports, and stage clothing and instruments from artists including Freddie Mercury, Pink Floyd, and The Rolling Stones.

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18. Munich Old Town Hall

Alte Rathaus München

The Alte Rathaus (Old Town Hall) is sometimes thought to be older than the Neue Rathaus (New Town Hall), despite the fact that it is actually older by over 400 years. The Alte Rathaus is located at the eastern end of Marienplatz and has a colorful history. It was first mentioned in town records in 1310. Struck by a lightning in 1460 and subsequently destroyed, it was swiftly rebuilt by Jörg von Halsbach, the Frauenkirche’s architect.

Fun fact: Since 1983, the town hall has housed the Munich Toy Museum.

The hall has been rebuilt several times to match the styles of different eras, and work on restoration began after it was damaged by a significant bomb in 1944. When the city’s administration relocated into the Neue Rathaus in 1874, the structure officially became the Alte Rathaus.

17. Odeonsplatz

Odeonsplatz
Odeonsplatz (Wolfgang Rieger/Wikimedia)

One of Munich’s most beautiful and magnificent squares is Odeonsplatz. Ludwigstraße, one of the city’s main streets, begins here, and many notable attractions may be observed here.

The west wing of the Residenz palace is found directly opposite the Odeonsplatz. With its imposing Hercules Hall, Treasury, and several historic rooms, it is a popular stop in the city center.

The Odeon was formerly Munich’s most famous concert hall and stood on the western side of the square, facing the Palais Leuchtenberg. The concert hall was utterly destroyed during World War II, save for its façade. Reconstruction efforts were successful in saving it; nevertheless, it had to be abandoned. The concert space is now visible from the covered courtyard of the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior, which has its headquarters here.

16. Hellabrunn Zoo

You never know what you’re going to get when it comes to a trip to the animal kingdom. At Hellabrunn Zoo, there are more than 750 species from all over including Polar areas that can be found in this conservation area on the banks of the river Isar, with some pretty impressive animals for their size!

For example, tigers prove themselves skilled at catching their prey while elephants show how tough they really are by trampling enemies underfoot or even walking through fire without getting burned one time too many times- proving yet again why these majestic animals deserve protection as endangered species

For those who prefer not being overwhelmed but still wanting an up-close encounter instead of just watching them perform tricks off-site, then private guided tours might help satisfy both needs.

15. Lenbachhaus

Lenbachhaus
Lenbachhaus (Guido Radig/Wikimedia)

The Munich art of the 19th century, the Blue Rider, and New Objectivity, as well as contemporary art from across the globe, are all on display at the Lenbachhaus. The “Blue Horse” by Franz Marc or “The Turkish Café” by August Macke are just a few of the world-famous originals on display

The museum’s architecture is also worth seeing, with the artist’s mansion, built by Gabriel von Seidl in the Tuscan style in 1887, being expanded in 2013 with a contemporary cube addition. On the ELLA museum café terrace and in the green garden, you may take a peaceful art break.

14. Frauenkirche (Munich Cathedral)

Frauenkirche
Frauenkirche (Diliff/Wikimedia)

The Frauenkirche, also known as the Cathedral Church of Our Lady, is Munich’s most notable church, with its characteristic twin towers standing out as prominent icons of the city.

The Munich Cathedral is a late Gothic church from the 15th century. Its two prominent towers are roughly 300 feet tall, and it’s available to visitors who want to experience everything it has to offer.

There are many highlights like the Wittelsbach Monument in honor of Duke Wilhelm V, Bishop’s Crypt where bones have been found belonging to medieval Bavarians, the so-called “Devil footprint” carved into stone at front steps leading up towards the main door entrance because its shape looks exactly like someone wearing upturned shoes – but no one knows who did this or why!

13. Allianz Arena

The Allianz Arena is one of the most iconic stadiums worldwide. The German soccer club, Bayern Munich, has played its home games at this stadium since 2005. It was designed by Herzog & de Meuron and opened in 2005 with a seating capacity of 66,000 spectators.

In comparison to other arenas around Germany, it is considered rather small but still offers all modern amenities such as restaurants, bars, and shops for visitors on their way into or out of the arena.

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For fans visiting who are looking for merchandise, there’s also a store near Gate 1 that features jerseys and shirts of all teams that

So if you’re in town and want a different experience, grab some tickets for a home game!

12. Hofbräuhaus am Platzl

Hofbräuhaus am Platzl
Hofbräuhaus am Platzl (Pedro J Pacheco/Wikimedia)

Care for a beer? You’ve come to the right place!

There are many traditional Bavarian beers on tap at the famous Hofbräuhaus am Platzl beer garden. This beer-serving facility is known throughout the city for its long beer hall that can seat 2,000 guests and its live band every night.

Visitors wishing to become patrons of this beer hall often have to line up outside just to be able to gain entry inside. Of course, with good reason!

The main attractions here include the huge mugs of beer poured directly from wooden barrels along with gigantic pretzels eaten by dipping them into cheese or bavarian mustard before taking a bite out of the tasty bread fresh off of the flat iron grill.

11. Oktoberfest

Speaking of beer, Oktoberfest takes place every year for 16 days during late September and early October. The Munich Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture and has been celebrated since the 19th century, first as a wedding celebration and later as a fair that was first held on the fields in front of the city gates.

Fun fact: The beer during this event is extra strong and contains no less than 6% alcohol, so drink with care!

Today, this beer festival attracts more than six million people from around the world to participate each year. There are 14 large tents and many smaller ones where visitors can find all types of food and drinks including traditional sausages such as Hendl (roast chicken), Schweinebraten (roast pork), Roastbeef, or Spanferkel (barbecued pork).

The most popular place is at the Hofbräuhaus tent, which has thousands of guests each day. In fact, many people visit this Oktoberfest event for the atmosphere and not necessarily for the beer because you will find almost all kinds of traditional Munich food here that goes great with a pint!

10. St. Peter’s Church (Peterskirche)

Peterskirche
Peterskirche (Andrew Bossi/Wikimedia)

St Peter’s Church is Munich’s oldest Catholic church, dating back to the 12th century, and one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. While a church has been established here since the 8th century, it was rebuilt after numerous fires and conflicts during the last 800 years.

While there are other interesting churches in Munich such as Frauenkirche or Michaelskirche (both of which we list below), this church stands out for two reasons, free entry and its location right next to Isartor, making it easy to visit both in one day!

9. Alte Pinakothek

Alte Pinakothek
Alte Pinakothek (Rufus46/Wikimedia)

An art lover’s must-see, the Alte Pinakothek is one of the oldest galleries in Munich.

First opened in the 1830s, it features many paintings by Bavarian and German artists from around 1200 to 1800 years ago. The collection covers seven centuries of European painting styles with exhibits including works by Botticelli, Bruegel, Durer, Van Dyck, Raphael, Rembrandt, Rubens, and more!

The old building is considered a classic example of neoclassical architecture but has numerous works of art on display including paintings by famous artists such as Piero della Francesca or Hans Memling who are not found anywhere else in Germany.

Official website: www.pinakothek.de

8. BMW Museum

BMW Museum

A must-see for car enthusiasts, the BMW Museum is located near the Olympic Park and tells the history of BMW from its early days to the present through interesting exhibits including actual cars.

There are several themes that are explored at this facility, all of which relate back to one topic: mobility. Along with exploring how this has evolved over time, themes include race cars, motorcycles, and even engines! Interactive features allow guests to design their own version of a sporty coupe or convertible as well as open doors on higher-end luxury models that have never been seen before. The museum itself was designed by famed architect Zaha Hadid… Quite impressive!

Official website: www.bmw-welt.com

7. Viktualienmarkt

Viktualienmarkt, located in the heart of Munich has been called the city’s “food paradise” where guests will find a variety of food stands with traditional Munich specialties.

You’ll also find several businesses for fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese shops, butchers, bakeries, fishmongers, cafes, and even flower stalls. If you are looking for souvenirs or memorabilia such as steins or Munich beer glasses then this is the place to be!

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6. Deutsches Museum

Deutsches Museum
Deutsches Museum (Max-k muc/Wikimedia)

The Deutsches Museum located in Munich is one the largest science and technology museums in the world.

The Deutsches Museum, which was founded over a century ago after a 23-year construction period, receives around 1.5 million visitors each year. In the main structure on Museum Island, over 30 exhibitions take place on seven levels – from the mine in the basement to the planetarium on the top floor. Visitors may get involved and have a hands-on experience with demonstrations, experiments, and media stations at the main building on Münchner Museumsinsel (Munich museum island), next to Bavariapark, and at Flugwerft Schleissheim aviation museum.

The Deutsches Museum is a fantastic museum for the entire family to enjoy. There’s something for everyone, from toddlers to teens, in this huge museum. In the Children’s Kingdom, little ones can explore a pulley, a huge guitar, and other playthings with their parents. Slightly older children aged seven and up can participate in the experimental workshop. The museum also has special programs for kids and youngsters. Children may learn much more about films, audio guides, and online information by visiting

Official website: www.deutsches-museum.de

5. Olympiapark

Olympiapark

The Olympiapark or Olympic Park in Munich is located directly next to the BMW Museum. The park, which was constructed for the Munich 1972 Olympic games is now open to Munich residents and visitors alike.

Built by Günther Behnisch and Frei Otto, the Olympic Park is an architectural masterpiece with many of its buildings having won architecture awards over the years.

4. Residenz palace

Residenz palace
Inside the antiquarium in the Residenz palace (Raphael Fetzer/Wikimedia)

The Residenz palace is one of Munich’s most important historical buildings. It was once the ruling family’s city residence, but now it is one of Munich’s top attractions where guests can look at Munich history through its exhibits.

Every part of this palace has something to offer visitors with audio guides available in 12 languages (including English) for the included guided tours. Explore the treasury which includes a collection of over 100,000 pieces including a priceless golden crown! The palace also features a treasury museum, an armory museum, and an imperial kitchen complete with an original firewood oven.

3. Schloss Nymphenburg

Nymphenburg

The Schloss Nymphenburg is another popular German castle located just outside of Munich.

This castle, which is one of the city’s most famous landmarks began as a small summer residence for the Munich Wittelsbachs back in the 17th century!

Today you can explore it with over 72 rooms including grand ceremonial halls, lavish staterooms and private apartments. Many of the rooms are open to exploring on your own. Completely restored between 1967 and 1973, this beautiful building now features an extensive collection that includes almost 1,000 paintings, sculptures, furniture pieces, and other decorative objects dating from the 17th century up to 1914.

Official website: www.schloss-nymphenburg.de

2. Englischer Garten

The Englischer Garten is a beautiful huge park in Munich. In English, it’s called the English Garden and spans over 1,300 acres which once made it one of Europe’s biggest city parks!

In fact, at its largest point, this park spans 4.5 miles from east to west and 2 miles from north to south.

Within the park, there are a staggering 25 beer gardens where Munich locals love to relax with a Munich beer garden glass stein and enjoy the natural beauty around them – including meadows, woodlands, lakes, canals, and an amphitheater. Several cafes also sit inside along with Munich museums such as the Verkehrszentrum which visitors a chance to explore Munich’s transportation history.

1. Marienplatz

Ranked #1 on our list of things to do in Munich sits Marienplatz, Munich’s main square.

It stands out because of the Mariensäule (St. Mary’s column) with an 80-foot statue on top that was erected in the early 17th century to show gratitude for the end of an outbreak of bubonic plague throughout Bavaria.

Today, this historical landmark remains one of the most important places in Munich where you’ll find several shops, cafes, and restaurants along with a few museums.