When you think of Munich, the first thing that probably comes to mind is the world-famous, Oktoberfest, the annual beer and folk festival, but the city has much more to offer.
With a fascinating history, splendid art and architecture, museums and castles, and some delicious food and drink, there is plenty to keep any avid visitor occupied.
But it would be difficult to experience all the city has to offer in just one day. With that in mind, here is a guide to Munich in two days.
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Two Days in Munich: Where to stay?
Hotel Excelsior: A beautiful centrally located hotel just a 10-minute walk to Marienplatz with easy access to the metro and train station. Decorated with antique Bavarian touches, the rooms are spacious and well equipped, the restaurant serving local and Italian dishes. Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.
Art Hotel Munich: Close to the central train station and the site of the Octoberfest, this contemporary styled hotel with pop art touches offers good value for money whilst at the same time providing comfortable and spacious rooms with friendly and helpful staff. Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.
H+ Hotel München: Close to the Old Town and within walking distance of the central train station, this hotel is surrounded by shops and restaurants. Rooms are modern and spacious with a light and airy feel with minimalistic décor. Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.
How to spend 2 days in Munich, A detailed Itinerary
Munich in 2 days: Day One
Built in 1903, the Deutsches Museum is one of the oldest science and technology museums in the world. And, covering some 66,000 sq ㎡, it’s one of the largest and you could easily spend more than a day wandering around the unique and interesting exhibits.
From astronomy, oceanography, and marine navigation to physics, environment, and transport, everything is well presented and informative. If you’re interested in science and technology this is a fabulous place to visit.
Museum Quarter (Kunstareal)
The Kunstareal has some of the best museums exhibiting art through the ages all in one place, but, be warned, it would be impossible to visit all in a day, so the best option is to choose what you really want to see and go from there.
There are five museums in the area; the Alte Pinakothek (€7) houses over 700 works of art from the 14th-17th centuries from master painters such as Raphael, Da Vinci, and Ruben. The Neue Pinakothek (closed for renovation) is where you’ll find stunning impressionist works by Renoir, Monet, and Van Gogh. The Pinakothek der Moderne (€10) has one of the largest collections of modern and contemporary art, architecture, and artists such as Andy Warhol.
The museum Brandhorst (€7) and the Sammlung Schack (€4). Cost €12 for a day pass and €29 for a 5-day ticket. More information on prices can be found here.
Marienplatz has been Munich’s central square since 1158 and a wander around the area’s narrow streets and courtyard is a must for the beautiful historical buildings with stunning architecture such as Neues Rathaus (New City Hall), which is the dominating feature of the square and the Gothic-style Altes Rathaus (Old City Hall).
It’s an interesting place to hang out with lots of cafes, restaurants, shops, and street artists.
Every morning at 11 am and 12 pm, the charming Glockenspiel, from high up on the New City Hall’s tower, chimes out and re-enacts stories from the 16th century, with 43 bells and 32 puppets.
Also visit nearby St Peter’s Church (Peterskirche), Munich’s oldest church, and one that is ornately decorated inside. Avoid the crowds and go early to climb the 299 steps to the tower and take in 360° sensational views of the city.
Church of Our Lady
The red Gothic-style, Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche) is a landmark of Munich, with its striking domed towers looming up into the bright blue sky. The interior is impressive with huge pillars, arches, and exquisite colorful stained glass windows. The cathedral not only holds the tombs of Louis IV but also secrets that you can uncover regarding the Devil’s footprint and why it’s always windy around the building.
Eat in Hofbrauhaus
Opened in the 16th century, the Hofbrauhaus is Munich’s oldest brewery and an evening here is an amazing experience. It’s an interesting place to eat and drink, especially in the beer hall where you can sit at tables that have been there since 1897, some of which have initials and comments carved into the wood.
The atmosphere is electric with many people, locals and tourists alike, who come to enjoy the musicians who play live music every day. It’s at the Hofbrauhaus that you’ll experience the Bavarian way of life and Gemutlichkeit or warmth, friendliness, and good cheer.
The food is mouthwatering; a selection of salads, soups, and German specialty dishes with excellent beers and wines to wash it down. It’s chaotic, it’s loud, and you might have to share a table with strangers, but rest assured they won’t be strangers for long, and you’ll be delighted that you stopped by.
Munich in 2 days: Day Two
The Englischer Garten (English Garden) is a huge park, one of the world’s largest, in the middle of Munich, and a terrific place to spend the day. There is lots to see; a Japanese tea house, a 5-level Chinese tower, Apollo’s temple, Schonfeld Meadow and Kleinhesseloher Lake, which all add to the distinct character of the park.
There are green expanses for sunbathing, nude if you like, dense forests, and many trails to explore on foot or on a bike, you can even ride the waves and surf along with one of the streams. There are plenty of cafes, restaurants, and beer gardens that serve a delicious range of food and drinks.
Nymphenburg Palace (Schloss Nymphenburg) is one of the most famous attractions in Munich and the opulent decoration is jaw-dropping.
The ceiling frescoes, depicting mythological characters, the tapestries, the portraits, and rooms, filled with furniture, are impressive and as you wander along the corridors, you can imagine what life would have been life for the kings and queens who lived there.
The grounds are equally impressive with gardens, pavilions, waterfalls, and Roman and Greek statues, it’s a wonderful way to spend a sunny day in such a spectacular environment.
In the Oberwiesenfeld area of Munich, you’ll find Olympia Park, former home of FC Bayern Munich and host of the 1972 Summer Olympic Games. Nowadays the park is used for cultural events, concerts, exhibitions, and sports.
There are many buildings in the park, like the Olympic Tower which has a revolving restaurant and observation deck where you can enjoy magnificent views over the park itself and the city.
The grounds of the park are well looked after and people flock there to enjoy recreational activities, like walking, jogging, or bicycling. There are also stalls that serve excellent food and drinks to satisfy your hunger and thirst.
More than two days in Munich? The best day trips
Perched high above the village of Hohenschwangau, near Fussen in southwest Bavaria, is Neuschwanstein Castle (New Swanstone Castle). The 19th-century palace was built as a retreat for the composer, Richard Wagner, and the eclectic mix of architectural styles, along with its location on a tree-clad hill and surrounded by the bright greens and blues of the countryside, make it one of the most picturesque attractions in Germany.
The interior is just as striking with palatial arches, columns, and marble floors. There is a guided tour available and, although it only lasts 30 minutes, it’s worth taking the time to admire the outstanding paintings for an insight into the obsession King Ludwig had with Wagner and Germanic myths. Tip: book well in advance.
For more information check this day Trip to Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Castles
Dachau Concentration Camp
Located 16 km from Munich is the sobering Dachau Concentration Camp, the first of the like opened in Germany. There are guided tours available with knowledgeable guides, but if you want to spend time there alone, there are audio guides that give information about what happened there and there is an informative short documentary that will help to set the context.
It’s a haunting and somber place, and some of what you see and learn will leave you speechless, but they have done an amazing job at expressing the past in a respectful way. Allow at least 3-4 hours to see everything.
For more information check this tour: Dachau Concentration Camp Half-Day Tour from Munich
Practical Information for your 2-day Munich Itinerary
When is the best time to visit Munich
The best time to visit Munich depends on what you want to see and do. The busiest time for tourists is Summer and Autumn due to the good weather (up to 18c in September which is the busiest month in Munich) and events happening in and around the city, Octoberfest which runs from September-October being a huge draw.
Visit in late Spring if you want to enjoy warmer weather without the crowds but note that April is usually the driest month of the year averaging 4 days of rain whilst the Summer months can receive 2 weeks of wet weather with temperatures between 16c-23c June-August and around 9c-13c in Spring.
Munich becomes a Winter Wonderland in the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas with the Winter Tollwood Festival at the end of November kickstarting the festivities with numerous Christmas Markets to visit in the run-up to Christmas Day, temperatures in December hitting anywhere from 4c to -2c.
After New Year celebrations you can still enjoy the city if you’re ok with the colder temperatures (averaging 0c) as you can enjoy ice skating on frozen lakes and day trips into the Alps for skiing.
How to get to and from Munich airport
Train: There are two S-Bahn trains going from the airport to the city center. The S1 is a slower train that travels via the West of the city and the S8 is a faster train that travels via the East side of the city. Both trains depart the airport train station (Flughafen München) for the central station (Marienplatz) along with other stations including Ostbahnhof and Hauptbahnhof every 10-20minutes between 04.04-01.44
Bus: Lufthansa runs an express bus from the airport to München-Nord / Schwabing and Hauptbahnhof up to every 15 minutes. You can travel on this bus no matter if you travel with a different airline with the added benefit of free wifi onboard. The first bus departs the airport at 06.30 from terminal 2 and at 09.30 from terminal 1 with the last bus from the city center to the airport at 19.55. Price: €11.00
Private Transfer: Welcome Pickups also operate with the added benefit of being able to book online and know that your friendly and knowledgeable English-speaking driver will be waiting for you at arrivals. Click here for more information and to book your transfer.
How to get around Munich
The Aldstadt (Old Town) is small and pedestrianized making walking to each attraction easy, however, if your legs need some help, you might get on the metro, catch the Museumsline 100 bus which calls at several museums around the city or buy a 24hr or 48hr hop-on-hop-off sightseeing tour bus ticket which gives to the added benefit of audio commentary so that you can learn more about the city and the sights you’re passing.
For accessing areas outside of the Old Town, whether simply moving to/from your hotel or getting to attractions such as Nymphenburg Palace, or the Sealife Centre at Olympia Park there’s an excellent public transport system which consists of a metro system (U-Bahn), trams, buses, and S-Bahn railway. All public transport uses the same ticketing system, just remember to validate your ticket at the blue machines.
Munich is an appealing city and one that you’ll be sure to love. Whether it’s castles or palaces, history or sports, or you’ve simply come to indulge in the excellent food and drink, you’ll find the city has everything to offer and I bet you’ll return more than once.
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