Wondering about how to visit Munich and things to do in Munich with kids? The capital of Bavaria, Munich is one of the most populous metropolises in Western Europe. Because of this, it should come as no surprise that it has some of the hottest attractions in the area. What’s more, Munich has a number of activities that are great for the entire family. Whether you’re looking to see the sights and sounds of the city or go to a more unique attraction, Munich in Germany, has something for you. Because there’s so much to do, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding activities that will keep your entire family entertained.
Where is Munich or München or Muenchen
Munchin is also known as München or Muenchen. Munich is the capital of Bavarian, a province in the south-eastern region of Germany. The city itself is known for its beer, football and landmark attractions. The city lies 50km to the north side of the German Alps, and is situated along the Isar River, which runs through the city center.
What is The Population of Munich
The city of Munich has a population of 1.6 million people. It is the third largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg respectively. Not only is Munich the fastest growing city in all of Germany, but it also had the highest population density of 12,000 people per square mile. When the outer suburbs and surrounding areas are included, the entire population of Munich is a little closer to 2.5 million people. This is still relatively small in comparison to the entire German population of 83 million people.
How To Get to Munich
Depending on where you are coming from, traveling by air may be the easiest way to reach Munich. Munich international airport is situated 30 kilometers (18 miles) from the city center. There are frequent buses which run directly to the city center, as well as multiple train lines to get you to the major sights and your accommodation. There are multiple daily flights to almost every major European city, and some daily flights to cities in North America, Asia and elsewhere.
However, if you are traveling from one of the smaller US cities, you may need to make a stopover, and catch a connecting flight in another major European city. The same applies to visiting from elsewhere in the Middle East and Asia.
Another way of getting to Munich is by land. This involves traveling by car or train. Thanks to it’s rather convenient location, Munich is accessible by land from a number of other European cities, for example, it is approximately 8 hours from Paris, and just slightly less than that from Berlin. Meaning wherever you are in Europe, driving to Munich is almost always a possibility.
Trains are another way to get to Munich, as they offer fantastic scenic routes along the way. They are also a convenient and quick way to make it to the city. To make things better, the train station in Munich is just 1.49 miles from the Center of the city! For instance, you can visit Berlin to Munich or even Frankfurt to Munich with the train.
How To Get Around Munich
Munich is actually quite a large city, but the superb public transport system genuinely makes it feel smaller. You can purchase a ticket for the U-Bahn (subway) or the S-Bahn (train) high will be valid for two hours. The price, however, depends on which zone of the city you are traveling to and from.
Bikes are available to rent for approximately €15 an hour, or if your journey isn’t far, you can take in your beautiful surroundings by foot instead. Taxis are in abundance, and rates begin at about €1.60 per kilometer.
Weather in Munich and the Best Time to Visit Munich
The best time to visit Munich is normally between March and May. The large crowds which arrive in the autumn time have fully gone, and the summer visitors haven’t quite peaked yet. Of course however, the Oktoberfest celebrations which take place in the Autumn shouldn’t be missed, but just make sure to pack a coat if you’re coming in this season.
And if you plan to be here in December, the Christmas markets in this city have a reputation for being one of the best in Europe, but just make sure to pack some hats and scarves as well as a coat!
Language in Munich
The official language of Munich is German. But as the city is highly popular amongst tourists, English may be spoken in some bars and restaurants, yet learning a few common German phrases not go unnoticed by locals.
Currency and Money in Munich
The currency used is the euro (€) and will be changed by most German banks. ATM’s are very common in the city.
Time in Munich/What is the Time in Munich Germany
Munich runs on Central European time (GMT+1) time zone so is 6 hours ahead of New York and 9 hours ahead of LA.
Is Munich Safe?
Munich is incredibly safe. The main tourist areas are vibrant areas and are extremely safe both day and night. Just make sure to keep a close eye on your belongings and use common sense.
Where Should I Stay in Munich?
When it comes to choosing the best neighborhood to stay in Munich, our answer is Alstadt. This is truly the most vibrant area and is the spot where culture, history and shopping all meet. There are a huge range of hotels, hostels and apartment available, and you will be surrounded by all the best tourist attractions.
But trying to get your trip planned can be a hassle—especially if you already have a busy schedule. That’s why we’ve put together best activities that you can do in Munich with kids. Keep these tips in mind to make planning your vacation as smooth and painless as possible.
Best Things to do in Munich
1. Take a City Bike Tour
One of the most popular tourist activities in Munich is to take a city bike tour. These incredible tours will take you through the city, keeping you busy while educating you on various different areas. This is a perfect way to keep your children involved as they learn about the rich culture and history of Munich. A four-hour bike ride will take you through both historic and modern sections of the city, providing you with a detailed insight of its culture and history.
This educational tour is perfect for children and teens of all ages. And because it’s four hours long, it will provide nearly a complete day’s worth of entertainment. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to learn about this famed German capital while having fun with your family. This is one of the best things to do in in Munich.
2. Tour Munich Residenz
What used to be a 14th century castle for the royal monarchy in the medieval years, now stands as a stunning palace complex which boasts more than 130 rooms and 10 separate courtyards. Given the large size of the palace, this residence is a sight that should be done in several visits if that is possible. When you are looking for top things to do in Munich, this should make your list.
3. Visit Marienplatz
Looking for unique things to do in Munich? Marienplatz is the city’s rich downtown center—and you’re not going to want to miss it. Marienplatz has been the city’s center for nearly 1,000 years and still boasts an incredible number of shopping and dining opportunities.
This includes both local stores and international favorites. This makes it the perfect place for children and teens of all ages—and for mom and dad, as well.
4. Go to Neues Rathaus
One of Munich’s most impressive sights, the Neues Rathaus, is the town hall which stands on the famous Marienplatz. In the last 20 years of the 19th century, the population of Munich actually doubled, which meant that the building itself had to be extended in size after its completion in 1874. It was extended a total of 400 rooms. It is popular on postcards from Munich. You certainly want to add visiting this place to your list of top things to do in Munich, Germany.
5. Visit the Toy Museum
If you’ve got young children, there’s likely no place better to visit than the toy museum. This famous attraction showcases generations of childhood delights and is sure to capture your child’s fantasies.
Perfect for those who need a few hours to kill during their vacation, this toy museum should be on the itinerary of anyone looking to vacation in Munich with kids. Kids would consider this one of the really fun things to do in Munich.
6. See the Englischer Garten
What is most impressive about this public garden, is its sheer size. The park begins in the left bank above the Isar, and continually flows on, seemingly forever. A brand size of 370 hectares sees this park as one of the largest urban parks in the world, even bigger than Central Park in New York. There are some lovely little sights to see too, including cultural landmarks created for the Olympics, and remarkably, even surfing activities are available here – thanks to the static wave from the river. This makes this a cool place to visit in Munich.
7. Take a Trip to Munich Hellabrunn Zoo
Zoos are another classic favorite for families everywhere. The good news is that the Munich Hellabrunn Zoo is home to a wide range of animals sure to entertain your whole family and make this one of the top things to do in Munich with kids.
As always, these zoos can also be a fun way to provide your child with an educational experience that’s hard to find anywhere else.
8. Day Trip – Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle
This phenomenal castle is situated just on the outskirts of Munich. The castle was intended to be used as a home for the king, Richard Wagner. Unfortunately, he died in 1886. Shortly afterwards, it opened up to the public and has since attracted 61 million visitors since then, more than 1.3 million every year. We consider this one of the best things to do near Munich.
9. Tour the Neue Pinakothek
Wondering what to do on a rainy day in Munich? Or maybe things to do in Munich in November, December, January, February and other colder months? There is a fabulous range of artistic paintings and artworks in this museum. There are a total of 400 paintings of some of the most influential features of the 19th century.
Many gems are also available to see by artists such as Degas, Monet and Gauguin. Certainly visit this place for one of the top indoor things to do in Munich.
10. Visit the Deutsches Museum
The Deutsches Museum is great for parents with older children and teens. This great museum is home to a number of relics that showcase the area’s history. Get to know more about Munich by taking a trip to this iconic museum. And make this one of your top things to see in Munich.
11. Spend time in Lenbacheus
Munich had perhaps Europe’s most influential and vibrant art scenes and you need to visit and spend time here to see it. If you have a free afternoon, make your way to this tourist attraction to learn more about the culture of art in Munich.
This museum hosts a fantastic range of contemporary art from the likes of Andy Warhol, Jenny Holzer and much more. Recently, in 2013, a new wing was added to host more impressive works.
12. Visit St Peter’s Church
Wondering what else to see in Munich? The oldest church in Munich was built at the end of the 12th century, but was tragically destroyed in a fire in 1347. It was reconstructed in gothic style, and many adjustments over the years have left in a blend of renaissance and baroque elements. This blend of styles applies to the artwork on the inside too, with some impressive medieval paintings which are worth seeing.
13. Go to Asam Church
Just a short walk away from the most southern tip of Munich’s old town, is this late baroque church situated between neighboring renaissance buildings. The church was named after the two brothers who both designed and sculpted the church in the 1700’s.
What is perhaps most interesting about this church, is that it was private, and wasn’t attached to any religion. Not being affiliated with any religion, and being in a narrow location, gave the brothers the freedom to break some Baroque rules when it came to designing the interior layout and design. This history makes this place one of the top Munich attractions.
14. Visit Pinakothek der Moderne
Your Munich sightseeing will not be complete without a visit here. Despite the fact that this museum is known locally as “Dritte” (third), referring to the other major museums in the city, this Museum of Modern Art is just as essential. The galleries are stocked with art from some of the most celebrated names of the last 100 years. There are specific exhibitions for applied art, photography, drawings and more. Meaning regardless of what you’re interested in, this museum will have something for you.
15. Tour Frauenkirche
Although there are, of course, some fabulous churches in the city of Munich, none quite have the same sense of scale as this 15th century Frauenkirche.
The pair towers, which are crowned with onion domes, are a landmark of Munich, with no new building allowed to exceed its height of 109m. Despite having been destroyed in the war, there are still a number of historical artworks available for viewing on the inside. You can imagine this is one of Munich tourist attractions that’s quite popular.
16. Visit Theatine Church
Should you decide to visit the Odeonsplatz which is the large central square in Munich, you will be greeted by the impressive yellow façade of the 17th century stone church. It was designed by Italian architects, hence the resemblance to Rome’s Sant’andrea della Valle. If you’re in the area, you should take the time to appreciate the architectural beauty and history behind this wonderful building.
17. Have fun at the BMW Museum
This museum is a must-visit from any kind of automotive fan. Karl Schwanzer, who drew up the architecture for BMW’s main headquarters, also designed this futuristic museum. This is one of Munich best places to see and top attractions even for non-car lovers.
The building was finally completed in 1973 and is often referred to as ‘The Salad Bowl’. You will find the showrooms spacious and amazingly cool as you take yourself on a journey through the technological developments of this automotive giant. You can even see the BMW that Elvis Presley owned.
18. Tour the Bavarian National Museum
This is another fantastic cultural attraction which deserves your time. In this museum, there are more than 40 rooms of decorative goods, from antiques to modern art pieces from the beginning of the 20th century. It is difficult to find a museum in Munich that demonstrates such a variety of artwork from ranging time periods, which is what makes this one so unique. We think this is one of the top 10 things to do in Munich.
19. Stop by the BMW Welt
Just next door to the historic museum, you have a chance to be brought up to date with cars at the stylish BMW exhibition hall. It is completely free to enter, and is widely regarded as one of the most spectacular dealerships in the entire world.
People come here to pick up their new BMW’s, which is a fantastic event to watch in itself. You can get a closer look at the BMW models, or perhaps get behind the wheel and book a test drive for yourself. This is one of the top places to see in Munich.
20. Tour the Glyptotek
Need exciting Munich activities? This museum is often overlooked even though it houses so much history and culture. The building was completed back in 1830, which also makes it the oldest museum in Munich. Inside, however, there are more than a thousand years of artistic works, spanning all the way back to the period of the Roman Empire.
21. Spend time at Olympia Park
Despite the fact that many Olympic parks all around the world are abandoned as soon as the games are finished, that is not the case in Munich. The 1972 Olympic Park is still an incredibly popular place for a day out. So wondering what to do in Munich on your trip and not sure where to start? Visit the Olympia park.
It is a massive activity center where you can zip line across the stadium, and take part in water sport activities in the nearby lake. What’s more is, if you come in the winter, you will even get the chance to ski on the hill!
22. Go to the National Theatre Of Music
This impressive structure is home to one of Europe’s most impressive opera houses, and was the home venue of the Bavarian State Opera and Orchestra. Any fans of the opera who couldn’t get themselves tickets can still see the stunning backstage area, to view some of the people who have graced the building, including some of the most famous opera singers in history. This destination in Munich or Muchen is a something you want to add on your best things to see in Munich.
23. Visit the Allianz Arena
Even if you are only remotely interested in soccer, the Allianz arena makes for a fantastic day trip. Not only because Bayern Munich is Germany’s most successful team, and because it is also one of the most successful teams in all of Europe. And, they upgraded to a phenomenal new stadium no more than a decade ago.
This 66,000 seater stadium available for guided tours including dressing rooms, players tunnel, the presence conference room and much more. Stop by here to visit one of the famous landmarks and tourist attractions in Munich.
24. Day trip – Munich to Salzburg
There aren’t many areas in Europe with two phenomenal cities in such close proximity. From Munich, to Salzburg, Austria is only 150 kilometers. – a journey that only takes an hour and a half by car, and slightly less by train. Salzburg is a fabulous Austrian city, with so much to do see and explore. While it may not have the same cultural heritage as Munich, it is certainly worth seeing if you are nearby and have some time to kill. Most people consider this one of the best day tours from Munich, and in contrast, if you’re in Salzburg, then coming to Munich is one of the top day tours from Salzburg. This is a great way to spend a day in the area.
25. Stop by the Hofbräuhaus
If you want to sample a little bit of the nightlife in Munich, then this is the best spot to come to. There are dozens of beer halls and other bars in this region that you can choose from. No visit to Munich or Munchen can be completed without visiting this tourist attraction!
One of the regulars to this beer hall was in fact, Mozart, who lived just around the corner in the 1700s. On the wall, you may even notice some of the local’s beer steins, which are kept under a lock and key.