Why Munich Should Be On Your Bucket List

Munich Germany

If you have never been to Munich, put it on your bucket list for when we can once again travel. While known for its famous Octoberfest, the Hofbräuhaus, lederhosen, dirndls, beer and sausage, it has much more to discover…it’s called one of the most livable cities in the world.

While travel plans have been put on hold, we can still daydream about where we would like to visit someday. Take a virtual trip with me to Munich, I think you might want to put it on your bucket list for future travels.

Munich, the capital and largest city of Bavaria, is small enough that you could see the highlights in 24 hours but do plan to spend at least three days or more visiting, as there is no shortage of things to see and do. With the city’s close proximity to the Alps, nearby Neuschwanstein Castle, charming villages and beautiful lakes, a longer stay with day trips to the surrounding gorgeous countryside will give you a wonderful introduction to what I like to call “the warm heart of Bavaria“.

When traveling to Europe, my husband and I often make Munich either our first or last stop on our holiday as it has a great airport to fly in or out of.  It is ranked 5th in the world and was voted the best airport in Europe in 2020. It has 150 retail stores, about 50 places where you can eat and drink and there is a very nice Hilton Hotel attached to it. We like the convenience of staying there on our last night when we have an early morning flight. Rental cars can be rented and returned at the rental car garage attached to the airport.

When we visit Munich, we stay in the small and charming historical center, called the Altstadt. We enjoy being within walking distance of most of the city’s museums, shops, restaurants, beerhalls and the subway. The Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten, located on the famous Maximilianstrasse, is our personal favorite with lovely updated rooms, a rooftop spa and swimming pool with wonderful views over the rooftops of Munich.  One of the hotel’s many delights is having English afternoon tea or an evening cocktail in the lobby beneath the pretty Art Deco glass ceiling depicting the four seasons.

One of the best ways to get your bearings once you’re settled in, is to take a hop on, hop off bus tour of the city’s highlights. After that, my husband and I find the city is best enjoyed by walking. If you use the city’s public transportation to reach out further, it is comfortable and clean, the streets are safe and friendly people are always available should you need help with directions.

The city’s central square in the heart of Altstadt is called the Marienplatz. It is famous for the Neues Rathaus, the new town hall and its Glockenspiel with 32 life sized figures that comes to life three times daily. After watching the clock, there are plenty of things to see and do that are easily reached on foot from the Marienplatz.

I’m a real foodie and always visit the Viktualienmarkt just a short walk away from the Marienplatz. Just look for the decorative Maypole at its center. It’s a daily outdoor farmer’s market with over 140 booths that sell fresh produce from local farms as well as exotic fruits, traditional sausages, meats, seafood, gourmet cheeses from around Europe, pastries, coffees, flowers and more. You will spot tourists as well as locals wearing tradition Bavarian outfits enjoying a beer and a snack at tables underneath the shady chestnut trees in the Biergarten at the market’s center.

The Schrannenhalle is a beautiful wrought iron & glass market that is an upscale indoor extension of the Viktualienmarkt that now houses Eataly Munich. You can eat, shop and learn about Italian food and drink. There are nine restaurants and counters, two cafes and a cooking school.

Any foodie will also want to visit Dallmayr, between the Marienplatz and Odeonsplatz. It is the largest delicatessen house in Europe, with 19 specialty departments. It offers the finest quality products in a luxurious setting. If you wanted to have a gourmet party, this is definitely the place to shop. If you would like to have a bite to eat, you can enjoy oysters and Champagne at the Lucullus Bar, have lunch or coffee and cake at the Café Bistro Dallmayr or a memorable meal at the Michelin two starred Restaurant Dallmayr.

When it comes to dining while in Munich, you will want to try some of the classics such as braised pork roast, sausages of all kinds, sauerkraut, the dark multigrain breads, and of course pretzels.

There are also lots of fine dining German and International restaurants to choose from. One of the reasons locals refer to Munich as “Italy’s most northern city” is the number of good Italian restaurants owned and operated by Italians. Osteria Der Katzlmacher, located near the Hofbräuhaus, is our favorite Italian restaurant with a menu that changes with the seasons.

A visit to Munich isn’t complete if you don’t go to the world famous beer hall, the Hofbräuhaus. Large crowds gather to listen to bands playing Bavarian folk music while enjoying a beer. Yes it is very touristy and you will find better food elsewhere but it’s well worth a visit at least once for the experience alone. Close to the Hofbräuhaus is Haxnbauer, another well known spot for hearty Bavarian food and a better choice if you want a restaurant rather than beer hall. The restaurant is famous for schweinhaxen (pork knuckle) which are big enough to share. Another very good place for Bavarian food and beer is across the road from Munich’s Opera House and the National Theatre. The Spatenhaus an der Oper has a formal upstairs dining room that is elegant and serves Bavarian, Austrian and International dishes while downstairs is more traditional and the menu is strictly Bavarian.

If you are looking to have an afternoon snack of pastry and coffee, Maelu’s beautifully decorated little cakes  look almost too perfect to be real.

After a big meal, you might want to take a walk in Munich’s English Garden, it is one of the largest city parks in the world. It was built in 1789 to look like an English country park with large green lawns, lakes, pavilions and the Chinese Tower which is a popular meeting place with one of the largest beer gardens in Munich.

If you only visit one museum, I would suggest the Residenz. It is huge and you can spend half a day and not see it all. It was home to Bavarian royalty and seat of the government from 1508 to 1918. From the outside it’s an imposing but not grand building but once inside, it is decorated with gold, frescoes and marble everywhere you look. You will find the museum’s audio sets useful when you tour its 130 rooms.

If you want a great view of the city, climb the bell tower of the Peterskirche behind the Marienplatz. The Frauenkirche, with its two onion domes is Munich’s main landmark. You can’t miss the Theatinerkirche, painted  bright yellow, its all white baroque interior is stunning. It is on the Italian inspired Odeonsplatz facing the Residenz Palace. It can be seen from many parts of the city and marks one of the entrances into Munich’s old town. One of the smallest churches in Munich is Asam Church on Sendlinger Strasse, it is a real little gem.

Beautiful Church Towers Of Munich   Photo:Simply Munich

If you’re passionate about cars like my husband, a “must see” in Munich is the futuristic BMW Museum. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t a car buff or don’t own a BMW, I believe you will enjoy the museum.

If you love a good party and don’t mind crowds, you might want to plan your stay in Munich to coincide with Octoberfest once it is safe to gather in large crowds. It’s probably the biggest party in the world with 16 days of parades, rides, lots of food stands and of course the famous beer tents and their entertainment. It starts in September and ends the first Sunday in October but unfortunately it was cancelled for 2020. If Octoberfest is something you want to attend in the future, you need to start planning early as seating in many of the beer tents and hotel rooms can be sold out as early as January each year.

Munich has so much to discover and I’ve only shown you a small offering of what you might enjoy. If you’ve not been to Munich, you really should put it on your bucket list of wonderful places to explore. Someday traveling the world will be once again be possible, in the meantime we can still dream of far away places.


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I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.

82 thoughts on “Why Munich Should Be On Your Bucket List

  1. I read Munich and remembered our trip there. A beautiful, fun city except for the local outdoor market. While shopping I picked up some grapes and the vendor started yelling at me in German!. You can’t touch the local produce only point at what you want. This happened quite awhile ago so hopefully they are more forgiving now 🙂

    1. Hi Judi,I agree with you about Munich being a beautiful and fun city. Unfortunately I think many people visiting a European outdoor market may have had the same experience. The market vendors seem to be their own codes and rules of behavior, no matter if it is in Germany, France, Spain or Italy, that are only know by those who have grown up living there that touching the fruit and vegetables displays is frowned upon. It seems that the vendors still want to pick out the produce for you and will hopefully forgive us for not knowing. 😁

      1. It was one of my first trips to Europe and I was taken back and a little frightened to be honest at her response. Gene was at a conference (so I was alone). Our hotel was within walking distance of the market and many stores. I left the market with no fresh produce and shopped elsewhere. Too bad the vendors still follow that practice, but I never made that mistake again. They would be appalled at how many people here pick up an ear of corn and peel the husks back to see if it’s good. I don’t as I can tell by feeling it 🙂

      2. You gave me a good laugh about pulling the husks back on the corn Judi. I can’t begin to imagine what they would think. 😂😂

  2. I’ve never been, but they should put you on the tourist board – it looks fabulous in your pictures and I know I’d enjoy the food. I shared an apartment with a Bavarian girl in Barcelona, many years ago. Her father was a pork butcher and she used to bring back the most delicious sausages and cured meat, every time she went home.

    1. Hi Mad Dog, If there is one person who would really have a great time in Munich it is you. You can’t believe all the photos I’ve taken of the beautiful selections of meats and sausages on display in the butcher shops there. They make it seem like the markets we shop at are very primitive.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the tour of Munich Ingrid. Munich is a real paradise for us foodies, whether you are looking for traditional Bavarian pretzel and sausage or a fine evening meal, you can find it all.

    1. Hi Kay, You really must visit Munich. I know how much you enjoy exploring a city on foot and Munich is a very safe and walkable one. You will also be impressed with all the really great restaurants to try besides the typical German dishes that are available. Definitely put it on your bucket list for when you feel safe to travel.

    1. Hi Jeanie, Munich really is a beautiful city. I know what you mean about Canada…I had been thinking of spending time there during the Christmas season but that is not happening this year.

  3. Sigh. I SO miss traveling! Haven’t been to Munich but have heard it’s terrific. Your post — and the fabulous pictures! — certainly reinforce that. Definitely on my “list”. Fun read — thanks.

    1. I’m with you on missing traveling John…this is the time of year that we always head to Europe. I know the two of you would really enjoy Munich and Bavaria, it is somewhere that we return to often. Thank you for your compliment, I’m happy you enjoyed the post.

  4. Thank you so much for this post. You have taken me back in time to this month in 1968 when I began my senior year of high school at Munich American High School. I spent many a Saturday and Sunday riding the trolley all around town. Went to Octoberfest and no reservations were needed back then! I’m sure everything is different now.

    1. Hi Beth, I’m glad I could take you down memory lane. It must have been a great experience to have spent your senior year of high school in Munich. I had a friend who emailed me that the post brought back memories of two years that she went to college in Munich as well. Yes, I know much has changed but I’m sure you would remember much if you were to see it again. Thank you for your nice comment.

  5. Munich is a magical place! We were there last summer… we loved it!
    Your pictures brought me so many wonderful memories of our trip there. Thank you my friend.
    I can’t wait to travel again!
    Have a wonderful week.

    1. Hi Nancy, Summer in Munich must be nice, we have only been there in the fall and at Christmas…two lovely seasons as well. I’m happy to learn that you enjoyed the post and that it brought back nice memories…thank you for letting me know.

  6. I went there many years ago, time I revisited. Sorry I am behind with visits but the kitchen here has been working in overtime. So much in the garden. Take care, Diane

    1. Hi Diane, I have seen the photo of all your hard work. Your garden certainly gave you a bounty this year. When it is once more safe to travel, Munich would be a great place for the two of you to visit.

  7. I still remember all the good tips you gave me on my last visit to Munich. It is a great town, I have been there many times over the years. There is so much to see and do. I wish I could go right now.

    1. Thank you Gerlinde, I do remember your trip to Munich and I was certainly happy to give you some tips. Hopefully next year we will both be able to return to Germany.

    1. You made me laugh Gary, the same thing happened when my husband saw the sausages…and of course you know who’s order that was in the restaurant. 😁 Thank you for the nice compliment regarding the photos.

  8. This wonderful post brought back such wonderful memories of my visit to Munich. Although that happened in 1973 (!!!), seeing your photos made it feel like yesterday. I definitely need to go back. I was there with my good friend and his brother (two 14-year olds and a 17-year old in Germany of a month ALONE!) and my bucket list, even at that young age, included Neuschwanstein, St. Bartholomew’s Church and Oberamergau. I did get back to Oberammergau several years later for (as much as I could handle of) the Passion Play. (I was still a fidgety young person… and that is a LONG play!)

    1. You are right David, you and Mark should plan a trip back to Germany. We love Bavaria and we were planning to go back again this year but as everyone else, travel plans are on hold. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and that it brought back nice memories.

  9. The last time I was in Munich was back in the early 80s. I was traveling with a friend via rail and we were on a very strict budget. I would love to return now when I have lots of time and a greater ability to enjoy the city without worrying (too much) about the cost. Beautiful pictures!

    1. Hi Janis, Yes we do tend to travel differently as we grow older and are better able to afford traveling. The size of the car we rent and the size of the room we reserve, have both grown larger over the years. 😊 I do hope you get back to Munich, I know you would really enjoy it. Thank you for your nice compliment on the photos, it is much appreciated.

  10. Great post on Munich….. it was a walk though memory lane. I made three trips to Bavaria in 1972 and you brought back so many great memories… thanks.

  11. Thank you for such a wonderful tour I feel like I’ve been there and more importantly now want to go. The food! The architecture! The beer lol it’s all on the list now. What an enjoyable read this was.

    1. Hi Jennifer, It is so nice to hear from you, I hope all is well. I’m happy that you enjoyed the tour of Munich, it is one of our all time favorite cities.

  12. Munich has been my most visited city in Germany since childhood and my husband and I introduced our daughters to it also whilst they were still children. Actually tho’ other European countries are far more likely to be on that famous ‘bucket list’ than Germany, Munich IS special for me. Yes, the surrounds are lovely and interesting: I would very much like to add Ludwig’s Linderhof to his Neuschwanstein . . . much more magical . . . and, yes, it is a great food city with fine restaurants and markets . . and, yes, it does have the famous Hofbrauhaus, BUT it also houses one of the greatest opera houses in the world and five of the most gifted and wonderful orchestras, including the Symphony and the Philharmonic. In season there would never be a time when half-a-dozen of the world’s most gifted classical artists would not be in residence. I go to Munich for the incredible cultural wealth i can access there . . . and, yes, I also like Vier Jahreszeiten: have actually never stayed anywhere else . . .

    1. You are so right Eha, the cultural events in Munich are outstanding. We love the hotel Vier Jahreszeiten because it is so convenient to everything. They always remember us and the service is outstanding.

  13. Your photos are beautiful. We’ve been to Munich, because on one trip we focused on Bavaria and the Black Forest area. Such natural beauty. I know we missed a lot – there was a soccer thing happening, and the city was so full of people, but we did get to the beer hall, and ate and ate, and enjoyed the music. I cannot wait to travel again, like most people

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos Mimi, I agree with you about Munich, Bavaria as well as the Black Forest having so much natural beauty. They are some of our favorite areas in Europe to visit…normally we would be there this time of the year. Hopefully, next year we will all be able to follow our travel dreams.

      1. We should have been in Europe right now and friends should have been in Russia this week. At least we are all healthy and hopefully we will all be able to travel next year…in the meantime we can dream. 😘

  14. I’ve only past thru Munich a few times heading to Garmish and Eibsee but now I wish we had stopped. I would love to drink a great beer at the Hofbrauhaus.

  15. Thanks so much for taking us on this fun journey. I don’t know if we like the architecture or the food better but one thing for sure a next year October trip to enjoy the festivities sounds divine. Your photos are so beautiful, they belong on a post card. Take care

    1. September and October are our favorite months to travel to both Germany and Austria as there is so much happening to celebrate the harvest season Bobbi. Hopefully next year travel life will return to normal.

    1. Thank you for your visit Rotwein, I do hope that you will be able to make a trip back to Munich next year for Oktoberfest. We are usually in Germany this time of the year but will have to wait until it is safe to travel and the borders open again.

  16. We were in München in the late 80’s and it was lovely, I can’t believe it’s been so long ago. I am definitely going to miss escaping winter this year, with covid and the upcoming elections, we’re definitely not going to Arizona for the month of November; and spain’s terrible numbers creeping up has cancelled our 2-month stay in February and March. It’s nice to enjoy our virtual travel through your blog.

    1. Hi Meg, What a pleasant surprise to have you drop by for a visit. Munich is definitely a wonderful city to visit. It is a nice walkable city with lots to see a do. Don’t stay away so long as you have certainly been missed.

  17. Karen, we were there about three years ago, with our daughter, who had such fond memories that she took her boyfriend there last year for a longer stay. We will all go again in the future. Beautiful city. I have Pinned your post for reference. Thanks for the blueprint!

    1. Hi Suzanne, I’m happy that you enjoyed the post and that you and your family enjoyed Munich. If you decide to make plans to go and need any more subjections don’t hesitate to ask.

  18. Beautiful pictures, it is a wonderful place. We are going to Munich next week, but I must say, it is the first time I am not looking forward to it… 😦 They have more issues there with the pandemic than we have here, so it won’t be so relaxed this time.

    1. Hi Adina, I know it is worrisome but try and make the most of a bad situation and enjoy Munich as best you can, it really is a wonderful city. Stay safe.

    1. Thank you for your lovely compliment about my photos of Munich Amalia. Who knows, perhaps one day you will get a chance to return and enjoy the city for longer than a day.

  19. Munich will never be on my bucket list … because I’ve already been there many times! I love Munich so much, that if it were on my bucket list for any reason, it would be to move there. I’m not sure if I can exactly exress why, but there’s something about it that I find so, so wonderful. I’m sure that my experience is influenced by the fact that I’ve only been there in the fall, and autumn is especially wonderful there. Perfect weather. It’s not just the weather, and the beauty, and all the things to see and do … it’s also the way of life.

    1. Hi Jeff, I totally agree with you, Munich is definitely a city I would enjoy living in. We have visited both in the fall and you are right, it is delightful then as well as at Christmas…it really is magical during the holidays.

  20. Went on a six week bike tour of Germany in 1981 and I think we spent two days in Munich. We had a native German as our guide/host so we saw some tourist stuff and a lot of local stuff.
    Good eats !!

    1. Hi Matthew, six weeks touring Germany by bike had to be a wonderful adventure. It is always nice when a local can be your guide and show off the wonderful little spots you might not find on your own. Thank you for your visit and sharing your story.

  21. One of my favorite countries to visit – GERMANY. Been in West Berlin (before the wall came down) and now just plain Berlin. All of Germany is beautiful but I do prefer Bavaria because of the scenery – the Black Forest, Baden Baden, the many beautiful lakes, castles, etc. The Mercedes museum in Stuttgart is great and so is the BMW museum outside of Munich. Well worth the time to see both. Nurnberg is a beautiful small city to visit; the castle in the middle of town is amazing. They have the best bratwurst ever and their Gerstacker Gluhwein at Christmastime with some lebkuchen is a wonderful treat. Been there at least 30 times, spending 1 – 2 months at a time. My fiancee’ is from Germany and maintained a condo for several years which we could go to and then take a train to wherever else we wanted to go, i.e. Prague, Budapest, etc. Great travels. Enjoy if you go – you will love it.

    1. Hi Jacqueline, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice comment. We have been to all of the places you have mentioned and love them. Under normal circumstances we would have been in France, Germany and Austria right now but plans are on hold until Europe opens back up and it is safe to travel. Until then, we all have wonderful memories of better times.

  22. After reading your blog, I felt like I was traveling with you to Munich. Thanks for sharing. Beautiful picture Karen. I wish I could grab one of those desserts. Hope to visit Munich soon.

    1. Hi Deeksha, I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the photos and post about Munich. It was nice having you follow along and I appreciate you lovely compliment.

  23. Once again, I really appreciated the opportunity to virtually escape on vacation! We have been to Germany, but we haven’t made it to Munich yet. It was already on the list, but now it just bumped up a little higher. We almost always travel with an eye on food and drink, so I appreciated the advice throughout this post. And I do want to experience a true German beer hall, or perhaps Oktoberfest. One day…one day…

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