Top tips for exploring everything from its museums to Oktoberfest in Munich.
Munich’s cup flows over when it comes to tourist attractions. Germany’s third biggest city has more than 80 museums and galleries where you can learn about everything from modern art to potatoes.
The city is also world famous for its beer and traditional Bavarian cuisine. You can top your trip off with an excursion beyond the city limits to momentous sights from history like Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest.
Top things to do in Munich
Mooch around Munich’s Museums
There are rich pickings as far as museums are concerned in Munich. There are around 80 to choose from in total and some are as different as chalk and cheese.
At one end of the scale, there’s the Deutsches Museum. This science and technology museum contains 28,000 exhibits that offer an insight into everything from computers to pharmaceutics.
At the other end of the scale, there are art galleries such as the Brandhorst, which shines a light on works by artists like Damien Hirst and Andy Warhol. In between, there are sculpture, ancient history and ethnographic museums – there’s even a seven-floor potato museum.
Many city tours include a visit to at least one Munich museum. Hunt around for the one that suits you.
Explore Munich on a guided tour
If you want to do more than scratch the surface when it comes to getting to know Munich, take a guided tour.
In the city centre, you can take a guided tour in all sorts of ways. You can explore on foot or do something a little different and go round on a Segway or a bike.
Whichever option you choose, you’ll discover sights like the Royal Gardens; the former royal residence, the Residenz; and the Viktualienmarkt farmers market. Venture further afield and you can tour historical heavyweight sites like Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest and the Dachau concentration camp.
Stay up late in Munich’s beer halls and bars
The guidebooks call Munich the beer capital of the world and visiting the city’s beer halls is top of the touristy to-do list. A number of beer hall tours take place around Munich.
The experience will take you to some of Munich’s best halls and fill you in on the history of the amber nectar as you sip your way around town.
If beer’s not your thing, Munich is also home to a number of bijoux cocktails bars – from places that have 130 varieties of gin on the menu to prohibition-era-style speakeasies.
Burst a belt buckle sampling Munich’s food
Munich has a strong culinary identity. The city is the capital of Bavaria, so it’s the heartland of dishes like Bavarian sausages, which are made from veal, and regional cheeses like Bergkase, a hard mountain cheese with a nutty flavour.
Other specialities include apple strudel and sauerkraut.
Die-hard foodies can book a foodie tour of the city that will include a visit to the Viktualienmarkt, a market where there are roughly 100 different food stalls selling everything from pickles to truffles.
Every autumn, Munich hosts a 16-18 day folk and beer festival called Oktoberfest. For the celebration, huge marquee-like tents are set up at Theresienwiese on the western outskirts of the city. The tents are filled with wooden seating and bars that serve huge steins of beer.
Most years, visitors consume more than seven million litres of beer. Fairground rides and food stands are also set up for the occasion and visitors tuck into German sausages, giant pretzels and grilled oxen between sips.
The tents can get busy so it’s best to book a table inside one of them in advance.
Nose around BMW Welt
This museum is dedicated to horsepower, more specifically, BMW horsepower. Located in front of the BMW Group headquarters, the attraction showcases the history of BMW as a brand and to show off the cars that the company has been responsible for creating over the years.
You’ll get to see BMWs, Minis and Rolls Royces. You’ll also get an idea about how these cars are made on a day-to-day basis. A range of guided tours are available at the site, including one that offers an insight into how BMW recycles vehicles.
Take in Olympic Park
Set at least a morning aside to explore Olympic Park. Originally created as the home for the 1972 Olympic Games, the park features a number of attractions, including an Olympic Walk of Stars, an aquarium and a 190-metre observation tower. The tower is also home to a dinky rock museum that pays homage to rock music and features items like signed guitars and rare gig tickets.
At the Olympic stadium itself, you can do a roof climb. On clear days, you can see all the way to the Bavarian Alps from the top.