I spent a lot of time planning our kid-free summer travel for 2022, which included 2 days in Munich. Unfortunately, we ended up scrapping our plans due to some health issues in the family. I had to share my 2-day Munich Germany itinerary with you, though, because I really dialed it in! In just a couple of days, we were going to be able to see all the main sights, stay in the heart of Munich, and even take a day trip along the Romantic Road.
You could really consider this a 2-day or a 4-day itinerary for Munich, depending on if you’re counting your arrival and departure days. I’ve shared a 2-day, 3-day, and 4-day itinerary here, so you can pick and choose the right activities for you. This was an adults-only trip, so I don’t have much geared toward visiting Munich with kids, but I’m sure we’ll visit in the future as a family! I also didn’t want to focus my trip on the Holocaust or World War II, so I planned to skip the Dachau Concentration Camp, which is often suggested as a day trip from Munich.
If you’re looking for a romantic, couples-focused trip to Munich, this is the itinerary for you. Read on for all the details!
Why Spend 2 Days in Munich
I had been wanting to visit Munich for years after gasping over pictures of the Bavarian Alps. A German friend had me a bit worried, as she said there’s really not a ton of culture there and it was so bombed in World War II that there doesn’t feel like a lot of history either. However, I knew it was a good place to both visit and use as a base for visiting the famous Neuschwanstein Castle and other parts of Bavaria, so I felt comfortable planning a short stop.
Another reason I chose to visit was that I was already routing through Frankfurt, and Munich is a very short flight from Frankfurt. With just a few extra minutes of flying, I could visit Munich and even make it to the Austrian border, visiting yet another new country for me.
If you’re looking for a smaller city, beer halls, easy and breathtaking day trips, and world-class markets, you will fall in love with Munich.
2-Day Itinerary in Munich – Day One
We weren’t planning much time in Munich – just 2 full days and 2 partial days (arrival and departure). Because we were short on time, I wanted to stay in the city center. There are only a few hotels right on the Marienplatz, and I chose BEYOND by Geisel. With views overlooking St. Peter’s Church (the oldest church in Munich and its historic center) and the historic buildings on the Marienplatz square, it felt like the perfect way to dive right into Munich.
When you first land at the Munich airport, you’ll be looking for how to get from the airport to the city center. There is a train station right at the airport that will take you to the S- and U-bahn stations. From there, it is a 5-minute walk to the hotel. Cars aren’t allowed at the main square, so you’ll be doing a bit of walking regardless of how you arrive.
Getting from the Munich Airport to the City Center
If you’re comfortable with public transportation, you can take either of the S-bahn train lines from the Munich airport. They run in opposite directions, but both stop at Marienplatz station, which is where you will be getting off for BEYOND by Geisel. Trains run every 10 minutes. You can get the AirportPLUS-Ticket, which is a single-day pass that includes transit to or from the airport for about 15 Euro. It takes about 35 minutes from the airport to Marienplatz station on the S-bahn.
What I ultimately chose to book, however, was a car service from the Munich airport. I went with Welcome Pickups, because I wanted to have ultimate flexibility with our schedule and be able to relax after a long flight. I was quoted 76 Euro each way for a black car, meet and greet in the airport, and help with the bags.
What to Do in Munich
After dropping off our bags at the hotel, we planned to refuel at a beer hall. Luckily for us, the famous Hofbrauhaus is just down the street from the hotel, making a quick stop and the best option to get a quick bite. You don’t need a reservation for the beer hall part of Hofbrauhaus, though they do have a reserved seating restaurant in the same building that does require reservations. I decided that casual was just fine. The beer hall will have you sitting family-style on share long tables and benches. If you’re looking for a private table or table service, the other restaurant is the way to go.
If you’ve got the stamina on your first day, take a free walking tour of the immediate area. It’s a 20-minute walk from the Marienplatz to the Englischer Garten or English Garden, Munich’s version of New York’s Central Park. On the way, wander through the beautiful churches of St. Peter’s and Frauenkirche, a Gothic 2-story church bombed in World War II and known for its “devil’s footprint.” If you make it to Englischer Garten and need some refreshment, head to the Chinese Tower beer garden, located inside the park. Or, check out Seehaus, a beer garden on the banks of the lake in the park.
With a little extra time, you can visit Munich Residenz, a former royal palace turned museum. There is not a guided tour at the Munich Residence, but there are free audio guides you can take as you self-pace. The Residenz is open April-15 October: daily 9 am-6 pm (last entry: 5 pm) and 16 October-March: daily 10 am-5 pm (last entry: 4 pm). You can get a ticket to just the Residenz (9 Euro), just the Treasury (9 Euro), or a combined ticket (14 Euro). Children under 18 are free.
If you are planning on taking a day trip from Munich to visit the castles, consider a 14-day “Königsschlösser” combination ticket, which gets you entry to around 40 sites, including the Residenz, Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Palace, for 35 Euro.
2-Day Itinerary in Munich – Day Two
On your first full day in Munich, it’s all about walking. A walking tour of Munich is the best way to really experience the city, and with your central location, you will have plenty of time to see the main sights without packing too much in. On this day, consider visiting the highlights of Munich’s tourist attractions. Pick and choose based on how much you want to pack into one day and where your interests lie.
This art museum covers the 14th to 18th centuries and houses a significant collection of Old Master paintings.
Pinakothek der Moderne
As its name suggests, this art museum covers modern art. It is sometimes called Neue Pinakothek as a contrast to the Alte Pinakothek, its sister museum.
Welcome to the world’s largest museum of science and technology. It has about 28,000 items on display, and is one of the most popular museums in Munich.
Gearheads will love the BMW Museum and the BMW Welt, located next door. Following the history of the iconic car company, visitors can see vintage cars and delve into what makes BMW hum. Admission is 10 Euro for adults and 7 Euro for children, with children under 6 free.
Known for its Christmas markets, Munich draws visitors in the winter-time (and at Oktoberfest, of course!) But visitors can enjoy the Viktualienmarkt any day except Sunday or a public holiday. Step out from your hotel to this food market and browse local goods from cheese to sausages to flowers. Markets are a great way to get to know the real feel of a new location, and this one is well worth visiting.
Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall)
Located on the Marienplatz, you won’t miss this one as you explore near the hotel. Take the elevator up 85 meters to get stunning views of the Marienplatz and all of Munich’s landmarks – St Peter’s Church, the Old Town Hall, and more. The cost is 6 Euro for a 15-minute timeslot, and visitors can enter from 10 am to 8 pm daily.
If you didn’t hit Englischer Garten on day 1, make a stop here for sure. If you did, and you’re also planning to visit the BMW Museum, an easy addition is the Olympic Park. Created for the 1972 Olympics, this tourist attraction offers an iconic tower and adventure activities like bungee jumping into the Olympic stadium.
3-Day Munich Itinerary
If you have a 3rd day in Munich, it’s time to get out of the city. There are so many fun things to do outside the city, but I had my heart set on visiting the fairy tale castles I had read so much about. There are plenty of tours you can join up with, but I had a few requirements for our trip:
First and foremost, I wanted a private tour. You can’t take a private tour of Neuschwanstein itself, but I wanted a private and knowledgeable guide who would get us to all the best parts of Bavaria without waiting a long time for a tour bus full of people. I went with Sightseeing Bavaria Exclusive, who offers one of the best day trips from Munich. I loved that it could be personalized to our interests, including which castles we stopped at, and what order we did things in.
In addition to Neuschwanstein, you can visit Linderhof Palace or Nymphenburg Palace. On this trip, you even have time to dip into Austria. After researching extensively, this tour offered to show us the best places in southern Germany in one day, but at a pace that I can handle. I’ve never been one to enthusiastically sign up for a 12-hour day on vacation. I prefer to take it slow, but when you’ve only got one day for a day trip from Munich, you’ve got to make some trade-offs. Mine was that I’d do and see more than usual, but in a private experience.
4-Day Munich Itinerary
I said up front that I didn’t plan to visit Dachau, but with another day in Munich, it would be the first thing I did. Dachau was the first concentration camp built by Adolf Hitler, and it was used to house political dissidents, his opponents, and eventually Jewish and Catholic people in addition to other persecuted groups. It was used for the entirety of the third reich’s rule until its liberation by the US in 1945.
Located just 10 miles from Munich, Dachau is an easy, but sobering, day trip from Munich. Entry to Dachau is free, but guided tours cost 4 Euro and are open to anyone aged 13 or older. This is not a place to bring young children, who may not be able to maintain the level of decorum and respect a place like Dachau deserves. Both the original site of the camp as well as a memorial are part of a visit to Dachau, which aims not just to describe what happened to the 200,000 prisoners during its 13-year history, but what that history means to us today. This is not a pleasant trip, but it will be a meaningful one.
Where to Eat in Munich
If you’ve only got 2 days in Munich, you’ll want to be thoughtful about what and where you eat. It’s a must to try a beer garden, and Hofbrauhaus is both the most famous in the city and the closest to your hotel, so it’s a great place to get your food tour started.
Other restaurants we planned to visit in Munich include:
Prince Myshkin City
This vegetarian restaurant piqued my interest in a city known for its meat-heavy fare, and its excellent reviews made me confident that we wouldn’t feel we were missing out on anything!
Finding gluten-free food in Munich is no easy feat, and I worked hard to find restaurants that would be able to handle my husband’s gluten allergy. Zum Durnbrau seemed like they could adjust the menu to accommodate my husband safely, which is a huge relief for us when traveling.
I wanted a restaurant with a view for dinner one night, and Mahjong Terrace fits the bill. Located on the rooftop of the Mandarin Oriental hotel, it is walking distance – think 2 minutes – from the Marienplatz and therefore a great option when you want a wow factor but without any work. Get great views of the surrounding area and a trendy champagne bar along with contemporary Asian cuisine.
Best Time to Visit Munich
Summer – June to August
The best time to visit Munich depends on what you want to do when you’re there! The high season in Munich is June to August, when the average temperature is in the 70s. The hottest month is July, when you will also find the longest day of the year and the most hours of sunshine. July is also the wettest month of the entire year, so you’ll deal with some Summer is also the busiest time of year, so you may face extra cost in booking a trip during this season. If you plan on visiting during peak summer months, make sure to book everything ahead of time – especially hotel rooms.
Fall – September to November
Shoulder season in Munich is autumn, where you’ll find cooler temperatures and still relatively clear skies. In early September, you’ll find cooler weather, with comfortable temperatures between 60 and 70 in September, cool temperatures between 50 and 60 in October, and dropping into cold temperatures in November, when the maximum temperature is in the 40s.
Oktoberfest runs from mid-September to early October. In 2022, official dates are September 17 to October 3. Though fall is cooler, Oktoberfest will push prices sky high in Munich. It’s not a good time to visit during those weeks unless you are really interested in the festival (and beer!)
Winter – December to February
Winter temperatures are cold, with minimum temperatures in the mid-20s and maximum temperatures in the mid-30s to mid-40s. Winter is low season in Munich, but the Christmas market will draw tourists.
Spring – March to May
The best time of year to visit Munich is spring, when temperatures start to rise but before the crowds of summer descend. Spring starts out fairly cold and wet, but warms up as you get into later April and May. Spring also brings festivals, so the city will be lively.
Where to Stay in Munich
My choice was BEYOND by Geisel for luxury accommodations. Browse other great options here:
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