24 hours in...MUNICH

(Update March 2019)

Munich, capital of the federal state of Bavaria, stands, of course, for the famous beer and the Oktoberfest and is practically the epitome of Germany.

With about 1.5 million inhabitants, Munich is Germany's third largest city - after Berlin and Hamburg and a great gateway for trips to many idyllic lakes and mountains. But even the city center has a rather cozy feel to it - with parks and greeneries, the river Isar, many historic buildings and fantastic museums.

Mary overlooking the Marienplatz from her column. In the backdrop Munich's most iconic symbol, the Frauenkirche, Church of Our Lady - it cannot get more Bavarian.
(Photo: Nicknicknick97, M├╝nchen Marienplatz , CC BY-SA 4.0)

Since Munich also has Germany's second largest airport - after Frankfurt - chances are that you have a stopover here.

If you have a layover of at least six hours, make the most of it by taking a quick ride by commuter train into the city center. This guide will lead you to the most interesting and iconic places - whether rain or shine.

If your layover is too short to squeeze in a day trip downtown - no problem, just come back for a city break like e. g. a weekend trip. This way, you'll have enough time to explore all the points of interest listed in this mini guide to Munich.

­čĺ░   Local Currency:

Euro (EUR) / 1 EUR = 1.12 US$ (March 2019) / current rate

­čÜö    Emergency Hotline:

Police 110
Fire Department 112

­čŤź    National Airline: 


­čŤČ    Airport:

Munich Airport / IATA-Code MUC

­čŚ║    Tourist Info online and onsite:

Tourismusinformation M├╝nchen
Marienplatz 8
80331 M├╝nchen
Telephone  + 49 - 89 - 233 96 500

­čÜć    Getting Downtown and Back

Although the trip from the airport takes about an hour, getting to the city center and back is pretty easy. To the main station, you can either take the Lufthansa Express Bus that leaves every 15 minutes and costs €uro 10,50 one way, or you opt for the 'S-Bahn', a local train, that takes you there for 11,60 €uro. However, if you intend to use the public transportation more often - and that would be only once more - a day ticket for 13 €uro is recommendable, obviously; especially if you're going back to the airport the same day. For parties of two to five people, there is the even more economic group ticket for 24,30 €uro - now, if that's not a great bargain, I don't know what is.

If you have luggage, you can store it at the lockers at the main station.

­čî×    Morning Activities

bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Karlstor M├╝nchen Munich
The Karlstor - Charles Gate - opening to the shopper's
paradise Neuhauser Stra├če
Munich is one of Germany's Southernmost points and deems especially in Summer almost a bit Mediterranian: The bars and restaurants have their terraces open, people are strolling, flashing their latest, most exclusive fashion; mind you, Munich is one of Germany's wealthiest cities - and the inhabitants are not shy flashing their cash.

The train station is just minutes away from the city center and the main shopping district. Use the exit to the Bahnhofsplatz and walk down the Sch├╝tzenstra├če to the Karlsplatz, Munich's main square - that here everybody calls Stachus after the pub called Beim Stachus....that sadly doesn't exist any longer.

Walking through the Karlstor, Charles Gate, you'll get to the main shopping street Neuhauser Stra├če that has a lot to offer - besides countless stores.

bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: B├╝rgersaal M├╝nchen Munich
Munich's B├╝rgersaal, the Citizen's Hall.
Basically, you'll find all the eateries serving heavy Bavarian food on the right side of the street and the places of historic interest to the left - albeit I don't think this was actually a concept.

Passing Oberpollinger, a traditional - hence not exactly cheap - department store, you'll get to the B├╝rgersaal, Citizen's Hall, built in baroque style in the 18th century and also referred to as B├╝rgersaalkirche since it serves as the prayer and meeting room of the Marian Men Congregation "Annunciation".

bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: St Michael Kirche M├╝nchen Munich
Just a couple of steps further is the beautiful St. Michael Kirche, Saint Michael's Church. Built end of the 16th century in the transition era between Renaissance and Baroque, it was foreseen to serve as the Wittelsbach's final resting place. Although there are graves at various other churches around Munich, i. a. at the Frauenkirche, this one is the most important - there are almost 40 members buried here, i.a.  famous'n'flamboyant Ludwig II, patron of Schwanenstein castle.

Around the corner, left on Augustinerstra├če, you'll spot Munich's most iconic landmark, the Frauenkirche, Church of our Lady. Sanctified already in 1494, the two towers with the characteristic Welsh caps like towers were added only in  1525. This house of worship serves as the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising and is the Archbishop's seat.
Usually, it is possible to climb up the south tower to get a spectacular view of Munich. Unfortunately, currently, it's being renovated.

Walking back to the main street - which at this hight is named Kaufingerstra├če - you'll soon reach the Marienplatz with Mary overlooking the crowds from her column.

There's no equality in life: Even at a carillon,
there is an upper and a lower class.
(Photo: © Pierre Andr├ę, M├╝nchen Neues Rathaus
 Glockenspiel (1)
cropped to 7:5, CC BY-SA 4.0)
The square is dominated by the town hall - the new town hall, to be precise; the third and last building period was finished in 1905. It's the seat of the mayor, the city council, and the municipality, but the most alluring part is the Glockenspiel, the carillon. Every day at 11 a. m. and noon - and from March till October also at 5 p. m. - two important historic incidents are shown: The upper one depicts the wedding of Duke William V. with Renate of Lorraine, on the lower level, coopers, just recovered from the plague, are entertaining the people with their dances.

A tower full of fun and joy: On four floors of the old
town hall's tower is a great exhibition of antique toys.
(Photo: © Pierre Andr├ę, M├╝nchen, Altes Rathaus von Marienplatz (2016,
cropped to 7:5, CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next to the town hall, you'll spot Ludwig Beck, another very traditional and posh department store, and next to it is the old town hall from the late 15th century that today houses the i. a. the Toy Museum: It's packed with everything children used to love - all the way back to 1800.

Definitely not to be missed when you are visiting with kids!

Marienplatz 15
80331 M├╝nchen
Phone: + 49 -  89 - 29 40 01
Email: ivan.steiger@freenet.de

I guess you're hungry now, aren't you? Perfect: The Viktualienmarkt, Munich's famous farmers market, is right behind the old town hall.

⛈    Morning Activities

It's raining? Good for you, since Munich has not only a high number of first-rate museums, there are also churches and most of all the Residenz to be visited. And in all honesty, the hearty'n'heavy Bavarian food tastes much better as the clouds are out.

bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Residenz Museum M├╝nchen Munich
Finished in 1730, decorated in a baroque-rococo fashion
is the Ancestral Gallery - honoring 121 ancestors. 
The Residenz is the former royal palace of the Wittelsbach monarchs of Bavaria and it's the largest city palace in Germany.

It consists of several buildings whereby the most important is the one housing the Residence Museum with the adjacent Treasury and the Cuvillier Theatre.

bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Residenz Museum M├╝nchen Munich
All that glitters: Golden frames on golden wallpaper - and
from the shadow, you can certainly imagine the chandelier's
This complex is perfect for a rainy morning since there is so much to see: Entering the glamorous State Apartments after crossing the Ancestral Gallery, the vast collection of paintings at the Green Gallery.

bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Residenz Museum Antiquarium M├╝nchen Munich
The Antiquarium, a large hall built from 1568 to 1571 in
Renaissance style, is home to the antique sculptures
collected by Duke Albrecht V.
The quirky grotto and, of course, the stunning Antiquarium, not to mention the slightly creepy collection of reliquaries, sacred relics such as bones and skulls - like I said, slightly creepy.

bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Residenz Museum Treasury M├╝nchen Munich
Emperor Henry II (approx. 1270) family jewels - literally....
In the other wing is the incredible treasury, then there is the theatre to be visited.

With so much to see, it might as well rain until September, right?!

Residenzstra├če 1
80539 M├╝nchen
Phone: +49 - 89 - 17 90 83 11

The museum is open every day from 9 a. m. to 6 p. m.

For a good Bavarian lunch at the Viktualienmarkt, just hop on the subway #6 at Odeonsplatz and get off at Marienplatz.

­čŹŁ     Lunch

I know, a visit to the Viktualienmarkt is
mainly for the food. But there are really
nice things not to be missed like the
maypole showing all the different trades -
in old times very useful for the illiterate
(Photo: BeAr, Viktualienmarkt Maibaum
Nahaufnahme 1999
, cropped to 7,5:5, CC BY-SA 3.0)
The Vikutalienmarkt is not just some humble market, no, it consists of about 140 stalls and shops offering everything you need to be fresh and savory: fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, cold cuts and cheese, herbs and spices, beer and wine - and some really good eateries, international and regional alike.

There is no place as colorful, vivid, and original as the Viktualienmarkt to get in touch with the inhabitants of Munich.

No, not healthy....but so good: A Fleischk├Ąse - very fine
minced meat - roll and a beer. Viva Bavaria!
(Photo: Lupus in Saxonia, +Vesper - Fleischk├Ąs mit s├╝├čem
Senf und Br├Âtchen - Bild 002
cropped to 7,5:5, CC BY-SA 4.0)
On a Summer day, you absolutely have to visit the Biergarten:

Biergarten am Viktualienmarkt
Viktualienmarkt 9
80331 M├╝nchen
Phone: +49 - 89 - 29 16 59 93

Open Monday to Saturday 9 a. m. to 10 p. m.

If there's a nip in the air, Elisabeth Teltschick will heat you up with the best sausages and other Bavarian delicacies in town:

Wurstimbiss Teltschik
Viktualienmarkt 3V
80331 M├╝nchen
Phone: +49 - 89 - 26 52 62

Open Tuesday to Friday 9 a. m. to 5 p. m. and Saturday 8 a. m. to 3 p. m.

­čî×    Afternoon Activities

bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Englischer Garten Chinesischer Turm M├╝nchen Munich
Show this picture to anybody and they should immediately
know: That's Munich - the Chinese Tower at Englischer
I presume you ate some pretty heavy stuff that you need to walk off? Why not spend the afternoon walking: First walk East towards the river Isar. As you reach the shore, turn left and walk the trail next to the Steinsdorfstra├če up North.

At Prinzregentenstra├če - there is also a bridge, so you actually cannot miss it - turn left and you'll get to the Englischer Garten, Munich's central park and strongest suit when it comes to leisure.

It is one of the world's largest city parks and there is an incredible variety of activities: Besides the classics like hiking and cycling, people do actually surf on some of the creeks.

Who would have expected this in the center of Bavaria's
capital: Surfin fun on the park's small creeks.
(Photo: Richardelainechambers, SurfingInTheEnglishGardenMunich,
CC BY-SA 3.0)
There are creeks and lakes where all sorts of wildlife are frolicking while humans are frolicking at one of the beer gardens - the nicest one right next to the iconic Chinese Tower, built in the late 18th century after the Great Pagoda in Kew Gardens. Oh, by the way, here is why it's called Englischer Garten, English Garden: Many of the landscape architects designing this greenery were actually English.

So yes, I'm sure on a warm day, the Englischer Garten will keep you quite busy for a while.

Now it's a bit difficult to guide you back to the hotel since I don't know where you'll end up at the park.

If you are at the beer garden at the Chinese Tower, walk to the tram stop Tivolistra├če and take #36 towards Isartor and get off there. Now it's a short walk to the Hofbr├Ąuhaus where you'll have dinner.

⛈    Afternoon Activities

As already mentioned above, there are many fantastic museums in Munich with wonderful steady collections and amazing changing exhibitions.

To make it easy for the visitor, about a dozen museums are located between subway stops K├Ânigsplatz and Universit├Ąt. Even an art maniac like myself cannot see more than two in one afternoon - they are big and beautiful.

The best way to get there from the Viktualienmarkt is to take subway #3 or #6 from Marienplatz to Odenplatz and continue from there by bus #100 in the direction of Hauptbahnhof to the stop Pinakotheken.

However, I recommend you my favorite five so you can choose. If you intend to visit various of these houses, make sure to ask for the combi-tickets, this way you'll save a little money.

Oh, and one more thing: On Sundays, to public museums such as the pinacothecas entrance is 1 €uro; one!

1. Neue Pinakothek

bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Neue Pinakothek M├╝nchen Munich
One of my favorite paintings:
Friedrich Overbeck Germania und Italia
Germany and Italy being BFF.
If I had to choose, the Neue Pinakothek, the new pinacotheca, would be my number one.
It houses a truly wonderful collection from the 18th but mostly 19th century.
My favorites are the German artists who were fascinated and strongly influenced by the Italian art and culture especially after Goethe's journey to Italy.

But there are also the French Impressionist, the British Classicists, the Symbolists, and many more; it's my Art Dorado!

Neue Pinakothek
Barer Stra├če 29
80799 M├╝nchen
Phone: +49 - 89 - 23 80 51 95

The museum is open from Wednesday to Monday 10 a. m. to 6 p. m. (Wednesday to 8 p. m.)

2. Pinakothek der Moderne

bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Pinakothek der Moderne M├╝nchen Munich
Some furniture from the museum's collection. I particularly
like the vertebra-shaped seats.
Second would be the Pinakothek der Moderne, the pinacotheca of modernism. Here, you don't find only modern paintings and sculptures from the 20th and 21st century, but also a fantastic exhibition of arts and crafts and design.

At the Pinakothek der Moderne alone you could spend many hours.

Pinakothek der Moderne
Barer Stra├če 40
80333 M├╝nchen
Phone: +49 - 89 - 23 80 53 60

The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday 10 a. m. to 6 p. m. (Thursday to 8 p. m.)

3. Alte Pinakothek

bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Alte Pinakothek M├╝nchen Munich
Albrecht D├╝rer's self-portrait is one of world's
greatest masterpieces.
The old pinacotheca is beyond doubt one of Germany's most important museums. Already D├╝rer's masterpieces make a visit worth a while. But, of course, there are exhibits of German Gothic, Italian Renaissance, Spanish and Flemish Baroque - everything a grand museum needs. Definitely the most important of the venues.

Alte Pinakothek
Barer Stra├če 27
80799 M├╝nchen
Phone: +49 - 89 - 23 80 52 16

The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday 10 a. m. to 6 p. m. (Tuesday to 8 p. m.)

4. Lenbachhaus

bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Lenbachhaus M├╝nchen Munich
I like the Lenbachhaus mainly for being such an unusual venue: The villa was built in the late 19th century in a historistic style for the painter Franz von Lenbach.

Today it is an art museum showing works by the members of the Blue Rider like Paul Klee and New Objectivity like Christian Schad. The main focus, though, is on the world's largest collection of paintings by Kandinsky.
Apart from modern art, there are also contemporary artists and changing temporary exhibitions on show.

Luisenstra├če 33
80333 M├╝nchen
Phone: +49 - 89 - 23 33 20 00

The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday 10 a. m. to 6 p. m. (Tuesday to 8 p. m.)

5. Glyptothek

bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Glyptothek M├╝nchen Munich
Actually, it was in Rome that I got a thing for sculpture and statues - the musei capitolini left me no choice, the exhibits were just too beautiful.
So I also enjoy the fine choice of classical sculptures that King Ludwig I had collected.

After all this culture, let's get back to food and beer: You need to visit the Hofbr├Ąuhaus, the huge, beyond rustic restaurant with original brass music and beer glasses that you can barely hold with both hands.

K├Ânigsplatz 3
80333 M├╝nchen
Phone: +49 - 89 - 28 61 00

The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday 10 a. m. to 5 p. m. (Thursday to 8 p. m.)

Walk to the subway station Universit├Ąt and hop in subway #6 towards Klinikum Gro├čhadern. Get off at Marienplatz, from there it's less than 5 minutes to the Hofbr├Ąuhaus.

Update March 2019: The Glyptothek is currently closed for renovation. Therefore, you can go to Hofbr├Ąuhaus from the Lenbachhous. Bus #100 takes you from K├Ânigsplatz to Odeonsplatz from where it is an easy ten minutes walk through the historic center.

­čŹŁ    Dinner

bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Hofbr├Ąuhaus M├╝nchen Munich
Pork roast with dumplings and red cabbage.
The Hofbr├Ąuhaus, Munich's pride, was founded in 1589 by Duke Wilhelm V and is to this date owned by the Bavarian state government. The main dish is certainly beer - but they bring you also side dishes such as pork knuckles, pork roast, and sausages, all served with dumplings and cabbage. It's good - and the whole atmosphere is like scripted, full of Bavaria-clich├ęs; not to be missed, so to speak.

By the way, they have a gift shop where you can buy all these quirky Bavarian things with the Hofbr├Ąuhaus-Logo on it.

Hofbr├Ąuhaus M├╝nchen
Platzl 9
80331 M├╝nchen
Phone: +49 - 89 - 29 01 36 100

The Hofbr├Ąuhaus is open every day from 9 a. m. to  11.30 p. m.

­čŹŞ   Nightcap

Whether light or dark, whether big or small -
no visit to Munich would be complete without
a glass of Bavarian beer.
(Photo: Berlinuno, Munich Hofbr├Ąuhaus beer, CC BY-SA 4.0)
Since at the Hofbr├Ąuhaus you are seated at long wooden tables, I'm pretty sure by now you've made some new friends - from Tokyo, Chicago, or maybe even from Munich - so just order another beer and listen to the brass band playing songs that would put the Trapp family to shame.

­čś┤    Accommodation

Especially if you are on a layover and need to get back to the airport in the early morning, staying close to the main station is crucial. Unfortunately, as in most German cities, the neighborhood around the train station is a bit sketchy. Another fact is that lodging in Munich is pretty pricey.
However, there are two Cocoon Hotels close to the station that offer a good standard, a very trendy design, and a laid-back atmosphere for around 100 €uro per night.

Need assistance planning this or other trips? Check my service pages

Like this guide? Pin it for later - using one of these pictures, please:

bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: 24 hours in Munich / M├╝nchen

bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: 24 hours in Munich / M├╝nchen

bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: 24 hours in Munich / M├╝nchen

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  1. Look like you had a fabulous time, I loved looking at all the photos. Makes me want to plan a trip ASAP!

  2. Wow this looks like a great time! 24 hours might not be enough time for me, but it had to be an experience!

  3. Wow you really do give some amazing, in-depth information here, I am so impressed. Whenever I do travel blogs it's just about food, food, food and no emergency information... So important!!

    Loving your 24 hour example of what you could do in Munich. They also have a huge vegan scene there (just like Berlin) so I'd have to do your suggestions and then find some vegan spots haha! :)

  4. I always like "24-hours in..."-information! You never know when you have a layover or pass through a place. Love your tips for Munich, I've never been there before so super useful!

  5. Wow- I seriously can't believe you covered this much stuff in 24 hours. Absolutely amazing that you saw so much and put together such a comprehensive guide in such a short amount of time!

  6. I went to Munich when I was just a child and I don't remember much of it. I definitely need to go back and I will follow your itinerary!

  7. After this post, I'll definitely add Munich to my bucket list! I'm planning a trip to Europe for next year, so I'll write down all your tips. Thanks for all the information!

    Cheers from Argentina :)

    - Maria

  8. The market sounds lovely, and I had no idea you can do surfing in Bavaria! :) So thanks for information, it only confirms that there is so much more to explore!

  9. Dinner and drinks at Hofbr├Ąuhaus is an excellent way to round out a day in Munich. The beers are huge and the company merry. Looks like a blast. Prost!

  10. So far we have only had short layovers in Munich. All the great things you highlighted in your post make me feel like our next layover needs to be 24 hours so we can have a great time too!

  11. this plan looks so jam packed but really interesting. I would probably divide in two days but who knows that I get one day and I have finish seeing the best.

  12. I usually pick destination based on the cultural heritage offers and Munich has so many beuatiful museums and sites that I will make sure to visit it soon.

  13. Doing Munich in 24 hours is incredible. For me it's impossible.. And you did it so meticulously with all such details. It's like meditation on a fast track. Great post.

  14. I've been wanting to visit Munich or Germany. Good thing you were able to squeeze a lot of activities in 24hrs, cause that's why I usually do. I guess I need to get used to beer, if I'm visiting it.

  15. Glyptothek looks cool! Munich and beer go hand in hand too, seems a great place. How did you find flying with Lufthansa?

  16. Munich is a beautiful German city and I've spent quite a lot of time there. This is a useful guide to explore the city in a day if you are pushed for time and see some of the main features, definitely don't miss out on the beer!

  17. This is very timely. I am going to Munich soon for a couple of days. Im so excited. Your article just made more want to go soonest. hahaha.

  18. As someone living in Germany and having been countless times in Munich, this summary is quite good for folks who have a layover in this city :)

  19. Amazing post. Your pictures are just awesome. In 24 hours you covered all this stuff that was amazing. Thanks for sharing this information.

  20. It is great that you have covered a lot in Munich withing 24 hours. I missed Vikutalienmarkt as it look so appealing due to lot of market activities and would great to see that pole which shows ancient trade style. Thanks for sharing a very detailed post on what to do in Munich.

  21. Ahh I was really hoping to make it to Munich for Oktoberfest this year! maybe next year

  22. I'm usually skeptical when it comes to 24 hours in... posts but you really did a great job with this Munich post. You really covered the city's highlights that one can cover in a day. Thanks for this great itinerary.

  23. I love traveling by train. Apart from a relaxed journey and saving money, it helps sometimes to save on overnight stays and gives a wonderful view to the local culture. Good you made that choice to get these wonderful 24 hours in Munich :) And seems like you made the best of this one day!

  24. Short but very good planned trip. Thanks for sharing this, I will keep it as a guide.

  25. I love that you're taking into account the weather, and offering options for sun and rain. I tend to brave out the weather, but that's sometimes not the best idea.

    There's also another brownie point for including the nightcap <3

  26. Munich looks great. Thanks for this compact guide for people who have a short layover at Munich

  27. We have decided to plan a trip to Munich as part of a longer road trip across Bavaria. Thanks to this lovely guide of yours we have the Munich part of this future trip covered!

  28. Oh my god I did the same thing in Munich! Took a train and then left after a day to go to Croatia. But love that city! And the drunk German teenagers in the train early in the morning going home after partying the whole night are quite funny.

  29. beautiful architecture and historical city. Definitely a place to explore - So far all I've seen of Munich is the airport for a connecting flight. Definitely have to spend more time there next time!

  30. It's been over ten years since I visited Munich, and this gives me some inspiration to go back! A very beautiful city. We may be going for Oktoberfest next year so will keep hold of this guide.

  31. A beautiful city with fabulous architecture. I need to visit Germany some day soon and I'll make sure to make it to Munich. Looks like you had an amazing time!

  32. I’ll be in Germany in a few weeks this makes me so excited just looking at the food, architectural, art and the city with such excitement. I am beyond thrilled. I am so glad you enjoyed yourself!

  33. I wish I lived close enough to pop over to Munich for a long weekend! That's a little hard to do from the US :P This is such an excellent guide! I'd love to tour the Residenz, what an incredible looking building.

  34. Munich is so beautiful! I would love to visit there some day!


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