2 days in Munich: What to do and see

Munich! Isn’t that that pretentious city in the south of Germany where the supermarkets don’t open past 8 pm and there are draconian penalties for jaywalking? Anyone in Munich reading this right now is probably groaning under the weight of these all-too-common stereotypes. And we haven’t even mentioned beer and lederhosen yet.

They may be stereotypes, but they’re the first thing to come to mind when people think of Munich.

But hey, we’re cosmopolitan-minded people and we were absolutely sure that Munich has its good sides too.

And since Munich was the perfect stop on our way from Budapest to Stockholm, we decided to stop there for two days.

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Sights and attractions in Munich

Just our luck – it rained continuously both days we were there. So our sightseeing plans kinda fell through. Nevertheless, we’ve done our best to give you lots of travel tips for your trip to Munich.

Let’s start with the sights we managed to see despite the rain. We missed quite a few highlights due to weather and time constraints. Still, we don’t want to keep them from you, so we’ll get to them afterwards.

The Viktualienmarkt food market

The Viktualienmarkt is known far beyond Munich’s city limits. You can buy all sort of culinary delights here, and since food is always a major draw for us, there was no way we were going to miss it.

We were also fortunate that our hotel room gave us a great view of the market.

If you’d like to taste your way through many delicacies, then how about this tour: Viktualienmarkt 2-Hour Gourmet Food Tour.

Viktualienmarkt
Viktualienmarkt

The Eisbach Wave

How cool is that? Right in the middle of the city, there’s a standing wave where surfers can ride the river. Of course, it’s not exactly a well-kept secret anymore, but it’s still worth checking out.

Nearest stop: U Lechel

The Eisbach Wave
The Eisbach Wave
The Eisbach Wave
The Eisbach Wave

Munich Residence

The Munich Residence was the city palace of the Bavarian nobles and is located in the center of town. From the outside, the residence looks relatively unspectacular.

But inside, countless rooms with unbelievable splendor await you. We would have loved to show a you a few impressive photos, but the Bavarian Palace Administration doesn’t like it when you publish photos of their hallowed halls. Pity!

Marienplatz and the city center

The Marienplatz is the central square in Munich’s city center. To be honest, we didn’t like the city center very much. It was really crowded when we were there.

And we’re accustomed to other crowded cities. Berlin, Hong Kong, and Bangkok are hardly provincial backwaters with deserted sidewalks. But in Munich, it was just kind of unpleasant and annoying.

Marienplatz in Munich
Marienplatz in Munich

What we missed in Munich

Two days aren’t very much for Munich, especially when it rains most of the time. The city has a lot to offer, especially when it comes to green areas. We’ll definitely return and visit the following highlights.

Englischer Garten

The Englischer Garten (or “English Garden”) is the pride of Munich. The park is really beautiful, and if it isn’t raining you can spend a few pleasant hours here for sure. We’ll just do that next time.

Englischer Garten
Englischer Garten (photo by Luis Gervasi) – Munich tourism

Olympiapark

The Olympiapark, or Olympic Park, is even greener. The Olympiastadion, which was built for the Olympic Games in 1972 with its striking roof construction, is an especially interesting subject for photos.

Olympic grounds
Olympic grounds (photo by Tommy Loesch) Tourism in Munich

Nymphenburg Palace

The Nymphenburg Palace in the west of the city has at least as much pomp and splendor to offer as the Munich Residence. It’s considered one of the largest royal palaces in Europe. It’s certainly worth visiting, but taking pictures is a problem here too.

Nymphenburg Palace website

Deutsches Museum

The Deutsches Museum deals with the topics of technology and natural sciences and makes them more tangible and exciting to visitors with many hands-on exhibits.

Basti visited the Deutsches Museum when he was little and has very fond memories of it. This museum is really a very good tip for families in particular.

Deutsches Museum website

Deutsches Museum
The Deutsches Museum (photo by Luis Gervasi) Munich tourism

The Pinakotheks (picture galleries)

Munich also has a lot to offer for art lovers. From old masterpieces at the Old Pinakothek to modern art in the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich has the right museum for every taste in art.

More information: Website for the Pinakotheks.

Pinakothek
Pinakothek der Moderne (photo by Werner Boehm) Munich tourism

Travel tips for your city trip to Munich

Of course we also have a few general Munich travel tips to help you on your trip to Munich.

Our hotel tip in Munich

Our absolute highlight in Munich was actually our hotel.

The LOUIS hotel, which is located right by the Viktualienmarkt, invited us to stay while we were in Munich and we felt more than comfortable there. The room decor was right up our alley, and if we ever settle down, I want a similar-style apartment.

But apart from the excellent location and the really beautifully furnished rooms, there’s something that so far no other restaurant, no hotel, and not even Mom has done better: the breakfast!

I think I’m starting to get on all my friends’ nerves with this because I just won’t shut up about it, but when I’m excited about something, I have to share it: Never ever in all my life and on all my travels have I had SUCH an amazing breakfast. OK, I’ll admit: As soon as I saw that I could order any kind of vegan (i.e. lactose-free) pancake, they had my full attention.

Whenever I’m raving about the breakfast and I mention that half of the breakfast buffet is vegan, people’s smiles suddenly turn upside down. But they’re wrong! All the vegan food was incredibly tasty and even Basti almost exclusively ate from the vegan half of the buffet.

Whoever is responsible for the breakfast there: A big thank you for the taste explosion in my mouth!

And now our tip for you: If 250 euros per night for a room at the LOUIS hotel is too expensive for you, then at least go there for breakfast. If you like breakfast as much as we do, you’ll fall in love with it just as I did! The buffet costs 28.50 euros per person. That isn’t just a great price by Munich standards, it’s also worth every single cent. OK, I’ll stop going on about it now, otherwise I’ll be on the next flight to Munich.

You can book a table at the Emiko Restaurant here or by calling +49 89 4111908 111

Book a room at the LOUIS Hotel

Louis Hotel Munich
Louis Hotel Munich
Louis Hotel Munich
Louis Hotel Munich
Louis Hotel Munich
Louis Hotel Munich
View of the Viktualienmarkt.
The view of the Viktualienmarkt from our room.

Especially if you don’t have much time for your city break in Munich, a private tour may be worthwhile. We always book our tours and outings via get-your-guide and are very satisfied with it.

We always recommend booking a private tour or at least a tour with just a few participants so you get to know a city more intimately and better, and that way you have the guide to yourself and they can tailor the tour to your needs.

Our tour recommendation for Munich: Private City Tour of Munich – discover the most important sights in the old town.

Public transport in Munich

The public transport network in Munich looks a bit complicated at first glance, but at second glance it’s actually pretty well-structured.

What kinds of tickets are there in Munich?

  • Single tickets
  • Ticket strips
  • Day tickets
  • 3-day tickets
  • Weekly and monthly tickets

In most cases, it makes the most sense to buy a day ticket so you can use all public transport, i.e. the subway, local trains, trams, and city buses. In addition to the day ticket, you can also get a 3-day ticket. Day tickets are always valid from the point of validation to 6 am the following day, or of the fourth day if you buy a 3-day ticket.

Which zones or districts are there in Munich?

Munich also distinguishes between different districts, e.g. inner district, outer district, and the entire network. You can see this at a glance on the metro and train map. The white area shows the inner district in white and the other district in green, yellow, and orange.

With a day ticket for the entire network, you can use all means of transport both in the inner and outer districts, including Munich Airport.

Then there’s the XXL day ticket. It allows you to travel to all stations in the inner district (white), plus the metro and train stations in the green area.

Our tip: Besides normal day tickets, you can also buy group tickets that can be shared by up to 5 people. A group ticket is already worth it if there’s just 2 of you!

How much do day tickets for Munich cost?

Single tickets:

  • Inner district day ticket: 6.40 euros
  • Entire network day ticket: 12.40 euros
  • Inner district 3-day ticket: 16.00 euros

Group tickets:

  • Inner district day ticket: 12.20 euros
  • Entire network day ticket: 23.20 euros
  • Inner district 3-day ticket: 18.20 euros

The Munich CityTourCard

Of course Munich also offers a ticket for tourists that isn’t just good for use on public transport but also provides cheaper admission to museums, attractions, etc.

In my opinion, this ticket is only worth it for groups of several people. You can find out how much this ticket costs and at which museums and attractions you can discounts on the CityTourCard website.

Subway in Munich
Subway in Munich

How to get to the city from Munich Airport

You can easily get to downtown Munich from the airport by local train or by bus. The train alternative is definitely more convenient though.

The S1 and S8 trains run from the airport to the city center every 20 minutes. It takes about 45 minutes to get Munich’s central station.

There are several ticket counters at the entrance to the train station.

Even more practical travel tips for Munich

How much time should you schedule for your city trip to Munich?

Two days are just about enough to see the most important sights in Munich. But if you want to immerse yourself a bit deeper into the city and visit some of the many great museums, then you should stay longer.

Our final thoughts on Munich

Hmmm, difficult. We were really unlucky with the weather and that clouded our impression a bit. Locals sing the praises of the Englischer Garten in particular. And we missed it.

But so far, Munich hasn’t won us over yet. Unlike Berlin or Hamburg for example, Munich lacks that certain je ne sais quoi that makes a city special.

But we’ll be back. We promise! And then we expect sunshine. Perhaps then we’ll finally fall for Munich.

Do you have travel tips for a city trip to Munich?

Now it’s your turn! What should we see the next time we’re in Munich? Where are the areas that make this city so appealing to so many people? Share your Munich travel tips with us and leave us a comment! We’re looking forward to it.