What to do in Munich: 11 of the best Biergärten, baroque palaces and galleries

What to do in Munich: 11 of the best Biergärten, baroque palaces and galleries

by Erin McGann

Updated May 17, 2022

Looking for what to do in Munich? It’s home to the world-famous Oktoberfest of course, but there’s more to the third largest city in Germany than just their beer festival. Hang out in one of the largest inner-city parks in the world, drive a BMW faster than you’ve ever gone before and tackle an improbably large roasted pork knuckle. We’ve got you covered with some of the best things to do in Munich. 

1. Neues Rathaus and Marienplatz
2. Hofbräuhaus am Platzl
3. Viktualienmarkt
4. Asam Church
5. English Garden
6. Nymphenburg Palace
7. BMW Museum and BMW Welt
8. Old Picture Gallery
9. St. Peter’s Church
10. Deutsches Museum
11. Frauenkirche

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1. Neues Rathaus and Marienplatz

Right in the center of Munich is the Marienplatz and the impressive Neues Rathaus, or New Town Hall. Watch the little figures come out around midday and listen to the 43 bells play a seasonal song.

2. Hofbräuhaus am Platzl

Surrounded by older Munich houses, the historic Hofbräuhaus serves traditional Bavarian favorites like Schweinehaxe (pork knuckle), Leberkäs (a type of finely ground meatloaf) and many sausage options. The Hofbräuhaus has been brewing beer in this area since 1536, but now the beer brewing happens outside the city. 

3. Viktualienmarkt

Not far from the Marienplatz is the popular Viktualienmarkt, a farmer’s market that opens every day except Sundays. Pick up some cured meats and bread for an easy lunch, relax under the shady chestnut trees or grab coffee and people watch. It’s on every ‘what to visit in Munich’ list for good reason!

4. Asam Church

For over-the-top Baroque interiors, it is hard to beat the Asam Church. Built in the mid-18th century by two artist brothers, the small church is squeezed in between two buildings with only an 8-meter frontage. Despite only reaching back to a depth of 22 meters, this small church’s every surface is decorated in a riot of detail. You can admire the facade of the Asam brothers’ house next door as well. 

5. English Garden

At 375 hectares, the English Garden is one of the largest inner-city parks in the world, even bigger than Central Park in New York. Enjoy a leisurely stroll, sunbathe on the grass, rent a pedal boat or visit the Biergarten at the Chinese Tower. At the south end of the park, you can watch surfers tackle the Eisbachwelle, two waves created by planks submerged in the Eisbach, a man-made side arm of the Isar river. 

6. Nymphenburg Palace

This spectacular summer residence of Bavarian royalty and its French gardens inspired by Versailles is worth a visit. The building work began in the mid-1600s, with various expansions and major renovation projects continuing until 1826. Inside the palace are several museums, as well as period interiors like the room where King Ludwig II was born.

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7. BMW Museum and BMW Welt

Car enthusiasts will particularly be interested in the BMW Museum and BMW Welt. In the museum, you can see the development of BMW’s motorcycles, planes and vehicles. The BMW Welt focuses on the future of the company, displaying all the latest and greatest models for you to get up close and personal with. 

What should you do in Munich on a Sunday when most things are closed? Head to a gallery! The Alte Pinakothek, or Old Picture Gallery, has an impressive collection of paintings from the 14th to 18th centuries including works by Raphael, Titian, Botticelli, Da Vinci and Rubens. Its sister gallery, the Neue Pinakothek, features works from the 18th and 19th centuries. 

9. Old St. Peter’s Church

The oldest parish church in Munich, Old St Peter’s, also houses the city’s oldest church bells. Climb the church tower for an excellent view over the Marienplatz and beyond, and examine the 300-year-old Baroque high altar. 

10. Deutsches Museum

The Deutsches Museum is an enormous science and technology museum featuring galleries on everything from submarines to mining technology. Catch a show at the planetarium or witness the staff recreate a lightning strike with an intense explosion of energy. 

11. Frauenkirche

The Frauenkirche or Church of Our Lady is one of Munich’s most recognizable landmarks. From the top of the South Tower, you can get an incredible view over the Old Town from a height of nearly 99 meters. Take your time wandering around this huge Gothic structure, first completed in 1524, and marvel at the restoration work undertaken after it was severely damaged in WWII.  Where else to go after you visit Munich


Where else to go after you visit Munich

Now you know what to do in Munich in three days with museums, historic churches, Biergärten and more to fill your time. You could extend your holiday with a visit to other popular cities like Dresden and Leipzig, or even make it a German-car themed trip with a jaunt to Stuttgart

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Erin McGann is a Canadian freelance writer focusing on travel, living abroad, parenting, history, and culture. After nearly a decade living in the UK, Erin settled in Heidelberg, Germany with her husband and son. Dragging her family to every castle and open-air museum is a favorite activity, along with sewing, cooking, and weaving. You can check out her travel blog, and follow her obsession with half-timbered houses on her Instagram account.

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