There are plenty of things to do in Munch. Here are just a few of the things you don’t want to miss while you are exploring Munich!
1. Walking Tour
Always at the top of my list of things to do in a new city, take a free walking tour! The walking tour in Munich is one of the better tours I have been on due to the rich history during World War II. You will get more acquainted with the city and see what you would like to go and visit longer and what you have seen enough of. Expect the tour to last about 2-2.5 hours and don’t forget to tip at the end. It is technically a “free tour,” but the guides work off of tips!
2. Have a Beer at the Augustiner Brewery
The Augustiner Brewery is the oldest independent brewery in Munich. It was established in 1328 by monks who provided beer to the dukes. Now there are several breweries around Munich. The Augustiner Brewery does not export far from Germany, so stop in and have one of the oldest beers of Munich while you can!
Fun fact: Edith Haberland owned 50% of the brewery and was heir to the Augustiner Brwery. In 1996 she bequeathed her share of the brewery to the foundation she created, the Edith-Haberland-Wagner Foundation, which serves to keep the Augustiner brewery a private brewery as well as helps with restoration projects and provides for youth hotels and other charities. Therefore, half of the profits of the brewery go to the fund! Learn more here.
3. Climb to the top of St Peter's Church
One of the best views you will get of Munich is at the top of the tower in St Peter’s Church. You get a full view square and can look out across the city to the Alps.
Be prepared for the 300 steep, narrow steps to the top, but know the view is worth it. Also know that it costs 2 euros to climb up.
4. Visit the year-round Surfing in the English Garden
Surfing in Munich? You bet! Take a walk through the English Garden until you come upon the Eisbach, a small channel of the Isar River that produces waves large enough for surfing. It is a sight to see even if you don’t surf yourself.
5. Watch the Glockenspiel
The Rathaus-Glockenspiel was added to the New Town Hall in 1908. It re-enacts two stories form the 16th century, one of a jousting tournament held during the marriage ceremony of a duke and one of story of the cooper’s dance in the streets during a time of plague, representing perseverance and loyalty to the duke.
You can watch daily at 11 and noon and 5 pm during the summer. No 5pm showing from November to April. The shows last from 12 to 15 minutes and are changed slightly every month.
Don’t get your hopes up on a grand performance, but if you are around the city center at noon, you might as well see one of the most famous Glockenspiels in the world.
6. Look around Marienplatz
While you are already at Marienplatz watching the Glockenspiel, continue exploring the town square. Marienplatz is home to several of the most recognized buildings in Munich, including the New Town Hall and the Old Town Hall. There are also several restaurants and shops just along the outer edges of the town square. If you would like, you can take an elevator to the top of the tower of the New Town Hall for 6 euros. This can be a good alternate to the St Peter’s Tower if you are unable to climb 300 steps.
7. Go to Hofbrauhaus
Possibly one of the most well-known locations in Munich and one of the most well-known taverns in the world is the Hofbrauhaus. Yes, it is the most touristy brewery of Munich. Yes, it has some of the higher prices for food and drinks. But, also yes, it is a historical brewery in Munich. It is a three-story brewery built in 1589 by the duke who wanted less bitter beer, but didn’t want to import it. I advise you to at least go for a a beer and to hear the traditional music playing.
Fortunately or unfortunately, with Hofbrauhaus’ fame and fortune came expansion. You can now go to a Hofbrauhaus in Las Vegas. Weird when you think about it, but I’m sure it comes with the good atmosphere that made Hofbrauhaus so popular (this is precisely what the Edith-Haberland-Wagner Foundation is trying to prevent with the Augustiner Brewery).
8. Visit the Frauenkirche or Church of Our Lady
The Frauenkirche is home to the tallest towers in Munich per a law stating no other towers can be higher than that of Frauenkirche. Within the church you will find the ‘devil’s footprint.” It is believed that due to a lack of funding, the architect made a deal with he devil to gain funding to finish the Cathedral. The deal was that there would be no windows as to not allow light in as a celebration of darkness. However, the architect attempted to trick the devil, building columns that block the view of the windows from the entrance to the church. It is said that when the devil stepped forward and into view of the windows, he stomped his foot in anger leaving his footprint in the tile.
This story was brought to us by our friendly tour guide 🙂
9. Walk around the Viktualienmarkt
The Viktualienmarkt is a market of all trades. Starting as a farmers market, it has now expanded to include a wide variety of foods and ingredients as well as coffee, beer, flowers and souvenirs.
The maypole in the center is a Bavarian tradition, representing a village and its trades. The different figures represent different trades or crafts from this part of Munich.
10. Visit the Munich Residence and the Hofgarten
The Munich Residence is the biggest palace in Germany. Pay 7 euros and take a tour of the rooms. If touring the palace isn’t your cup of tea, you can appreciate the Munich Residence and continue walking to the Hofgarten. If you plan to visit the English Garden, you can head there straight from the Hofgarten!
Time for a day trip from Munich?
Of my two trips to Munich, I have not successfully seen the Neuschwanstein Castle. It wasn’t for lack of trying on the first trip. Before you go, know that a trip to the caste takes at least half a day. It is about an hour and a half train ride from Munich and once you get there you have to make your way up to the castle. We left too late and once we got there we strolled in the dusk because the shuttle to the castle had stopped. Someone had told us the castle was “just around the corner.” Once we actually go to a point where we could see the castle it was dark. And then it was another hour and a half train ride back to Munich. Don’t make our mistake! Do your research, be prepared for a day trip, leave in the morning and enjoy the castle!
Instagram vs Reality