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World War II memorials, medieval castles and lots of biergartens, all in Bavaria’s capital of Munich

Munich buildings

With its baroque churches, Gothic façades and cobbled squares, the city of Munich still bears evidence of its Holy Roman Empire heritage through its architecture, which is reminiscent of Florence. However, the city boasts a strong Bavarian identity, proudly displayed through the white-and-blue Bavarian flag flying from its state buildings. It hosts numerous festivals to celebrate its most popular exports, most notably Oktoberfest, where millions of people descend on the city to grab a stein and don their lederhosen.

Get to know Munich by visiting biergartens, taking a World War II walking tour or exploring the Viktualienmarkt. It’s also a good base for exploring Bavaria. You can ride the Romantic Road and admire the valleys and medieval towns of the German countryside or explore the massive castle of Neuschwanstein, with its spiked turrets reaching into the clouds. 

What to see and do in Munich

World War II walking tour

Munich was a Nazi stronghold and the atrocities of World War II left an indelible mark on the city. On a half-day walking tour, you’ll see Königsplatz, a square used for Nazi rallies and book burnings, as well as Odeonsplatz, the site of Hitler’s failed coup d’etat in 1923.

Throughout the city there are memorials and museums dedicated to education and remembrance for the victims of the war, including the White Rose memorial at Hofgarten, dedicated to the peaceful, university student-led opposition group whose leaders were executed by Nazis.

Have a drink

Munich is a city known for its beer, and particularly its production of wheat beer. Helles, a pale lager with a translucent amber hue, is currently the preferred local quaff. There are seemingly countless wirsthausers all over the city, traditional Bavarian restaurants where you can enjoy a pint of beer.

Perhaps even more emblematic of Munich are the biergartens, where you are free to bring your own food (but never your own drinks) and mingle with the locals. Englischer Garten, a large public park in the city, is home to four of the city’s largest biergartens. There are also six breweries in Munich: Augustiner-Bräu, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu, Lowenbräu, Paulaner and Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu.

Viktualienmarkt

We can arrange for a tour of Viktualienmarkt, an expansive food market square in the heart of Munich. While once a more traditional farmers’ market, it has evolved and grown into a massive market for more gourmet foods. The 140 stalls offer flowers, exotic fruit, game, poultry, spices, cheese, fish, juices and more.

It’s open every day except Sunday, 8am-8pm, though the biergarten doesn’t open until 9am. Also note that some flower shops, bakeries and restaurants have special hours to be aware of. The central location of the market makes it easy to stop by while doing other things, like visiting the adjacent Peterskirche and Heiliggeistkirche cathedrals.

Dachau Concentration Camp

While in Munich, we can arrange a privately guided tour of Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, where you’ll learn more about the horrors of Dachau, a concentration camp originally built to hold political prisoners that grew to include forced work and the imprisonment of Jews, German and Austrian criminals and prisoners of war.

The main exhibition focuses heavily on the path of the prisoners. Using first-hand accounts from writings and drawings, the exhibition tells the story of how prisoners ended up at the camp, their life while imprisoned and their journey to either death or liberation.

Exploring Bavaria

Neuschwanstein Castle

Munich offers a good base to explore all that Bavaria has to offer, from the Bavarian Alps and medieval castles, to walled cities and a former Nazi haunt atop a hill. Ride the Romantic Road with a private driver-guide and take in the timbered villages, well-preserved castles and thick forests. You can also visit Neuschwanstein, the captivating and romantic castle that inspired Disney’s castle logo.

Or you may want to visit Linderhof, a Rococo palace built by King Ludwig II. The Bavarian Alps also provide opportunities for hiking and walking, including up to Eagle’s Nest, a Nazi hangout atop the Kehlstein Mountain.

Best time to visit Munich

Munich is great to visit year-round, but some attractions in greater Bavaria, such as Eagle’s Nest, close during the colder months. September and October are very crowded due to Oktoberfest, so we recommend visiting during the spring months, when the weather is fair and crowds are thinner. The city also lights up with Christmas markets during December.

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Start planning your tailor-made trip to Munich by contacting one of our Germany specialists

Suggested itineraries featuring Munich

This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Munich, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Munich

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Munich

    Accommodation choices for Munich

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Munich. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    • Bayerischer Hof, Superior double

      Bayerischer Hof

      Deluxe

      This palatial 19th-century hotel offers exceptional service, opulent amenities such as a three-Michelin-star restaurant and four-floor spa, spacious rooms and central location close to all that Munich’s old city has to offer.

    • Anna Hotel Restaurant

      Anna Hotel

      Medium

      The Anna Hotel is a sleek and modern hotel that offers easy access to Munich’s main sites. Catch the U-Bahn into old town, walk across the street to Karlsplatz or take a short stroll past restaurants and shops as you make your way to Frauenplatz.

    • Louis Hotel, Suite

      Louis Hotel

      First Class

      On the doorstep of Viktualienmarkt and minutes from Marienplatz, the Louis Hotel offers comfortable rooms in the heart of Munich. Enjoy dinner from the steakhouse on the rooftop terrace, visit the Finnish sauna or people watch from your French balcony.

    • Hotel Excelsior Munich, Lobby

      Hotel Excelsior

      First Class

      Centrally located in Munich, and with classic, elegant Bavarian decor, the Excelsior by Geisel offers a convenient and comfortable base from which to explore the city. The train station is a five-minute walk, giving you easy access to all Munich has to offer.

    • Sophia's Restaurant

      The Charles Hotel

      Deluxe

      The Charles Hotel offers a luxe experience in the heart of Munich. Its Michelin-starred restaurant, generously sized rooms and extensive spa services are all within easy walking distance of Munich’s old town and train station.

    Ideas for experiencing Munich

    Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Munich, and which use the best local guides.

    • Eagle's Nest, Bechtesgaden

      Dachau & the Eagle's Nest

      Munich

      Visit two important sites to the history of World War II in this day-long tour. First, you’ll see Dachau, the first concentration camp established by the Nazis. Next, you’ll head to the Eagle’s Nest, a mountaintop retreat once owned by Hitler.

    • Munich Residenz

      World War II history walking tour

      Munich

      Learn more about Munich’s role in World War II on this privately guided walking tour. You’ll also get to see memorials dedicated to those who lost their lives to Nazis and to those who opposed them.

    • St. Martin church, Bavaria

      A day in Bavaria

      Munich

      This day trip from Munich takes you to the Bavarian Alps, where you can get high-mountain views, visit the site of the 1936 Winter Olympics, see a brightly painted Bavarian mountain town and walk through a winding gorge among waterfalls.

    • Biergarten sign, Munich

      Munich's beerhalls & the Oktoberfest Museum

      Munich

      This walking tour takes you through the history of beer in Munich, the capital of Bavaria. You’ll taste samples at two beer halls, learn about the laws of production and visit the Beer and Oktoberfest Museum, with its own attached pub.