Throughout time, I’ve found myself in Munich, Germany over and over again for different periods. Even if I had months to spend or only one day in Munich, there were always those particular things I wanted to see and do.
And since I have experience from taking things slow, to marching through town to tick off all the things to see in Munich in one day, I’ve figured I would help you out with this detailed and comprehensive Munich in a day itinerary.
And one thing is sure, if you only have one day in Germany, make sure to spend it in Munich.
One day in Munich
When it comes to what to do in Munich in one day, possibilities are so vast and the Bavarian town is so big and filled with incredible places to experience, that you will have to plan everything very well to make the best out of it.
No matter if you choose to visit the Munich Christmas Market or see the city during Summer or a warmer season, the main attractions are pretty much the same.
Best places to stay in Munich for one night
If you want to make the best out of your trip to Munich, no matter how long, the best idea would be to choose accommodation close to the city center. Or at least within the inner circle and close to a U-Bahn station.
From my experience of trying different hotels in town, I know it can sometimes get difficult to choose where to stay in Munich. I’ve stayed at 4* hotels which were close to maybe 2*, but I’ve also stayed at pretty nice hotels close to U-Bahn for decent prices.
On top of that, whenever I was looking for a stay in Munich it almost always looked like some event was happening. Thus prices vary a whole lot from one period to the other, and I would recommend booking as in advance as you can.
Here are a few ideas for some of the best places to stay in Munich:
Bayerischer Hof – top of the top accommodation in Munich. Close to everything on the list of things to see in Munich in one day, with an amazing rooftop terrace, SPA, and so much more. Check out their prices here!
Mandarin Oriental Munich – also in the high price range, another 5* hotel just 2 steps away from Marienplatz or the Hofbräuhaus. The hotel has a great rooftop terrace with one of the greatest views over Munich’s skyline. See their rooms here!
Living Hotel Das Viktualienmarkt by Derag – right in Viktualienmarkt, by staying at this hotel you will both be in the center of attention, without having to break the bank for one-night sleep. See when they’re free here!
GHOTEL hotel & living Munchen-City – very close to the Train Station and just 2 minutes from Theresienwiese (the place where Oktoberfest takes place), this hotel is ok. At an affordable price, in a decent location, the hotel is simple. But I guess that’s what you need when staying in Munich for a day. Check out their prices here!
Mercure Neuperlach Sud – out of all my stay in Munich, I think this is my second option for the best places to stay in Munich. I’ve stayed here for almost one month and I liked the hotel, even though it is pretty far from the center. The hotel is only 2 minutes away from a U-Bahn station, which will get you directly to the center. Book your stay here!
Jaeger’s Munich Hotel Hostel – during our first trip to Munich during winter we stayed at this hostel and I must admit it was pretty good. Right across the street from the Central Station (Hauptbahnhof), clean, warm, and has a good breakfast. See the latest prices here!
Getting to and around Munich
Depending on how you travel, you will get to Munich by one of these means:
Land at the Munich Flughafen (Airport) and take the fast train (S1/S8 – 13 EUR to the City Center, Marienplatz, or the Train Station), the bus (from 10.5 EUR), or a taxi (around 80 EUR) to the city center.
It is worth knowing, especially when you go towards the airport, that the S8 train is faster than S1, and the ride lasts around 40 minutes (depending on the station you take the train from). The train ride by S1 lasts a little bit over one hour.
You can buy the strip ticket or the single ticket from the airport vending machine and validate it before hopping on the train, or you can order beforehand online the MunichCityTour Card.
If you have a lot of luggage or simply want to travel comfortably, book a private transfer from or to Munich Airport.
While I never came to Munich by bus, I have been on several day trips within Germany or Austria by Flixbus.
Munich’s main bus station is at Hackerbrücke U-Bahn and S-Bahn station, one stop away from the train station, thus very reasonably set close to the city center.
Munich Hauptbahnhof (Central Station) is perfectly located within walking distance from the City Center, and only 2 subway stops away from Marienplatz.
Getting around town
Public transportation in Munich is very good, and you can easily get almost anywhere by bus, subway, tram, or fast train (S-Bahn). However, it all comes with a price, and you can save more with a MunichCityTour Card.
The card offers you unlimited free public transportation for anywhere between 2 and 6 days, depending on the length of your trip to Munich. You can also choose the area covered – Munich is split into 5 areas: the city center and most museums and attractions are located in the inner area, while the airport is in the 5th area.
You can check out Munich’s public transportation map and areas here!
On top of that, with the card, you get discounts from selected partners, from museums to local businesses.
My one day in Munich itinerary
No matter how many times I see this city, I always end up going to these places. Why? Because I think these are the most iconic and representative of Bavaria’s capital, and my ultimate list of places to visit in Munich in 1 day.
And also because I think they should be on any list with what to do in Munich in one day.
Marienplatz and New Town Hall (Neus Rathaus) in the Old Town Munich
Any visit to Munich should include a stop in the city’s point 0, Marienplatz part of the Old Town Munich.
The main square is always filled with people and even prettier in winter when all the buildings are decorated. Make sure to take a few pictures with the fountain in the middle of the square, head up to the Hugendubel bookstore and admire the view from above. From here, you will have the colorful Old Town Hall on your right side, and the imposing New Town Hall in front of you.
Make sure not to miss one of the 3 daily representations of the life-size figurine glockenspiel in the Town Hall’s tower.
Another thing to do is to book a visit inside the Town Hall, or at least climb the tower and take the view in. I assure you this is one of the most Instagrammable places in Munich. And you’ll like it even if you are not into Instagram.
Try to take some time for a visit to the Municipality’s Law Library. Book your tour here for 18 EUR and enjoy not only the Library but so much more art and architecture.
Also, if you still haven’t had breakfast Cafe Glockenspiel is the perfect place for you! Breakfast and a view. Doesn’t that just sound lovely?
Another thing to have in mind is that all Munich walking tours start from this point.
Just a few steps away from Marienplatz, literally, there’s this heaven of the gourmet food market.
No matter if it’s sunny, rainy, or snowy, my feet would always bring me between these stalls filled with all kinds of delicious things.
I’ll always remember how we stopped here to drink a glass of hor gluhwein (with rum) during our first trip to Munich during winter because we were freezing. I’ll also remember the strolls with my best friend during the rain one Spring day.
What you’ll find in Viktualienmarkt? All kinds of delicious German food. The market had developed from an original farmer’s market to the gourmet food market it is today. Even though I must admit it can be hard to eat vegetarian in Germany, this might just be the place where you’ll find some options.
Tip: If you’re around and want to try something else, less German, stop at the Asian restaurant across the street: Yum2take.
Book your Viktualienmarkt 2-hour Gourmet Food Tour and experience the real Bavarian cuisine
Apart from being one of the most photogenic buildings in Munich, the Hofbräuhaus is a place filled with history and a very popular restaurant (with tourists). For sure one of Munich’s must-see destinations.
I’m sure you all have that one restaurant where all tourists go whenever visiting your town, that the Hofbräuhaus for Munich.
No matter if you are seeing Munich in a day or more, the Hofbräuhaus should be at least a photo stop, since it is in the heart of Munich’s Old Town. The first time we visited, we came here to drink a beer and were impressed by how huge the cups are, and how the beer tasted different than what we were used to back home.
They will also offer to take pictures of you and your friends and you can choose from many of the things they can print the picture on. Such a touristic cliche, right?
On the other hand, the beerhouse dates from 1589 and was open to the general public in 1828. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived around the block from the beer hall in the late eighteenth century. In 1919, the Munich Communist government set up headquarters in the beer hall, and in February 1920 Adolf Hitler and the National Socialists held their first meeting in the Festsaal, the Festival Room, on the third floor.
I think these are just enough reasons for you to consider seeing the brewery.
Munich Opera House
Next on your Munich itinerary is a stop at Munich’s Opera Hous, just a few steps away from Munich’s cathedral in Marienplatz.
A piece of art more on the inside than on the outside, but still a place worth passing by on your way to the next thing on the list of what to do in Munich in one day.
It is a pity you won’t have time to step inside or attend a play, but that’s just one good reason to be back someday right?
If, however, you find yourself craving for a good ballet or opera show, know that you can be spontaneous and come before the show and ask around in front of the Opera house. There will always be ticket sellers around.
Overwhelmingly Magnifique. Maybe one of the most photographed museums in Munich.
And definitely one place worth adding to your list of things to do in Munich in one day.
The Munich Residence served as the seat of government and residence of the Bavarian dukes, electors, and kings from 1508 to 1918.
A large part was destroyed during the Second World War and reconstructed and is open as a museum since 1920, one of the most important palace museums in Europe.
Get all the tourist information you’ll need for planning your visit to Munich Residenz from here.
The museum is open daily with different timetables depending on the time of the year, and a combined ticket for Residence Museum + Treasury + Cuvilliés Theatre costs 13 EUR.
During winter in the period before Christmas, usually starting with the last weekend of November, a Christmas Market is organized in the Court Garden.
Attend a Munich Residenz Concert!
This large square in the center of Munich, right outside of the Residenz is another place that oozes with history.
The Odeonsplatz has traditionally been an important site of parades and public events, and the square was the scene of a fatal gun battle that ended the march on the Feldherrnhalle during the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch.
English Garden and the Chinesischer Turm
No Munich itinerary would be complete without a stroll through the English Garden (Englischer Garten), one of the largest parks in the heart of the city in Europe and one of the most important German landmarks.
And no walk through the English Garden would not be complete without seeing two of the most famous Munich attractions: the Chinesischer Turm beer garden, and the Eisbach.
Wondering what the Eisbach is? I’m sure you’ve already seen the pictures of people surfing in the heart of the city in Munich. And if you haven’t seen them yet, look for them.
You’ve read it right. No matter the season, you’ll find here plenty of youngsters waiting patiently in line with their surfing boards to catch a wave on the manmade river in the heart of the English Garden.
Save it, print it, and take it with you!
Drink a beer at a beer garden
One of the things that German people like, and they like it a lot, is beer. And beer gardens.
As soon as the weather gets warmer, everyone will be out and about in one of the many beer gardens that you’ll find throughout Munich.
Thus, drinking a beer (or a Radler) and experiencing true Germany at one of the authentic beer gardens should definitely be part of your Munich one-day itinerary.
Choose one of the beer gardens below (apart from the ones that have been listed before: Chinese Tower, Hofbräuhaus, and the one in Viktualienmarkt):
When to visit Munich
I’ve seen the city throughout the year and I can say it is beautiful no matter the season.
One thing to keep in mind when planning a trip during winter is that temperatures are usually pretty low, thus you won’t be able to walk around that much. Another thing to have in mind is that hotel prices are a bit higher through the time of the Christmas Market.
Also, during Oktoberfest (the second part of September, the first part of October), accommodation prices hit an all-year high. And the town is packed with tourists.
Taking all that into consideration, I would recommend visiting Munich either during Spring (April to June) or right after Oktoberfest.
What to eat in Munich in a day and where
Whether you are looking for a great coffee and a quick bite, a delicious brunch, or some traditional Bavarian food, I’ll help you out with some ideas of places to try while in Munich.
Cafe Luitpold – featured several times in the Michelin Guide, this is the place to go for a delicious coffee and some state-of-the-art chocolate.
Cotidiano – for all you brunch lovers out there. Choose between the 4 locations in Munich and spend some quality time in a great location, with delicious food.
Victorian Haus – another brunch place with 2 locations in the inner circle and another 2 very close by.
Sushi + Seoul – if you fancy something lighter, head for the best sushi in Munich.
YUM Thai kitchen & bar – I must admit I’m not a huge German food fan (don’t throw things at me!) and that’s why I always end up eating Asian or Italian food whenever I’m there. Thus, this Thai restaurant made the list.
Rusticana – for meat and barbeque fans, this is Heaven. Just make sure to book in advance because it is always crowded.
Other things you must see in Munich in one day
If you’ve already seen some of the above, choose to see something else, or simply have more time on hand, there are other things to have in mind and include as you wish to your Munich in a day itinerary.
Dachau Concentration Camp – the concentration camp memorial is something you don’t want to miss when you have more time to spend in Munich. It is a history-infused tour that will bring chills down your spine while you learn more about the prisoners the Nazi-held and murdered here. Book your guided tour and make the best out of your trip. Book your tour here!
Olympia Tower – one of Munich’s imposing landmarks marking the skyline, also a place from where you can get a nice view over Munich from the above
BMW museum – we had a great time exploring this museum and taking pictures of different BMW cars during our first trip to Munich.
St Peter’s Church (Alter Peter) – particularly popular for the views from its tower.
Frauenkirche – another well-known cathedral you’ve seen for sure in many pictures of Munich. The view from the tower is another thing to consider doing in Munich in a day.
Maximilianeum – the most imposing building on the banks of the Isar river, housing the Bavarian state government since 1949.
Wiener Platz – the smallest permanent market in Munich, cute and authentic, less crowded than the more popular Viktualienmark.
Deutsches Museum – for the science and technology of passionate people.
LenbachHaus – apart from its beautiful architecture, this is a beautiful art gallery.
Alte Pinakothek – I remember people recommending me to see this when I first ended for a longer period in Munich. Somehow, I haven’t made my way to the gallery, but you should if you are passionate about art.
Germany travel resources
- See the pretty small German villages you don’t want to miss
- Take the prettiest pictures in the most Instagrammable places in Munich
- Check out my ultimate list of the best hotels in Munich, based on my travels to the city for the past 5 years.
- Drive Germany’s Romantic Road and be enchanted by castles and vineyards
- See why the Christmas Market in Munich is worth seeing!
- Get your ultimate list of useful tips worth knowing before visiting Munich and everything you need to know about getting around Munich
- Take an epic day trip from Munich
- Find out the best 10 things to do in Munich during winter
- Visiting Germany’s capital? Check out the perfect 2 days Berlin itinerary
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