If You Only Have Three Days in Munich
You can see all the top sights in Munich in three days, but bring your walking shoes—Müncheners (as Munich locals are called) love to walk! Fortunately, many of the tourist attractions here are centrally located and within walking distance of each other: from the best view over the city center to the Munich Residence (former home of Bavarian royalty) to the English Garden.
Marienplatz 1, 80331 München, Germany
I would compare Marienplatz to the Grand Place in Brussels, but with a Bavarian twist. The square in Munich is almost as large, and its town hall just as impressive. A beautiful destination for lovers of architecture. While the square itself is a beautiful and lively hub, be sure to checkout the market nearby for authentic goods!
Neuhauser Str. 6, 80333 München, Germany
This 16th century church is in downtown Munich, and, other than its amazing architecture and ceiling paintings, it is also where King Ludwig II of Bavaria rests. The mad king drowned in 1886, close to his fairy tale castle Neuschwanstein. The interior is breathtaking, as you can see! The crypt also holds six other local royals.
Glockenbachviertel, one of Munich‘s prettiest neighborhoods, is located south of the city center and next to the Isar River. Formerly home to the city’s Jewish community and millworkers, Glockenbachviertel was the center of Munich’s gay and lesbian community in the 1980s. In recent years, rapid gentrification has morphed this area into Munich’s most luxurious neighborhood. Quiet streets are lined with beautiful residential buildings and there are plenty of beautiful bars, restaurants, and shops. Take a stroll in the evening or do some shopping before dinner. Don’t miss Hans-Sachs-Straße and its fun boutiques, cafes, and bistros with outdoor seating. One of my favorite meals during my trip was at Das Kranz, a stylish restaurant that focuses on organic produce. The menu changes weekly to take advantage of seasonal, local ingredients. The flavors are fresh and the presentation is beautiful. The fun, relaxed atmosphere (with outdoor seating in summer) further adds to an enjoyable meal.
Viktualienmarkt 3, 80331 München, Germany
Munich’s Farmers’ Market, or “Viktualientmarkt,” is sure to please everybody. Located in Munich‘s old town, the open-air market is an overflowing abundance of fresh produce, cheese, appetizers, desserts, breads, honey, fresh-pressed juices, Bavarian specialties, spices, flowers, and more. It’s no wonder that the bustling, vibrant market attracts locals, tourists, and chefs shopping for the freshest ingredients. If you have been traveling through Germany eating bratwurst and potatoes daily, a farmers’ market picnic may be just what the doctor ordered. There are over 140 enticing stalls and shops, so the hardest part is deciding what to eat! Grab some crusty bread, stinky cheese, briny olives, and fresh strawberries and call it a day. If making decisions tires you out, you can relax with a Bavarian brew in the shaded beer garden next to the market. Open Monday-Saturday from 8am to 6pm.
One of the largest urban parks in the world, Munich’s English Garden was founded in 1789, when Elector Carl Theodor ordered a public park to be built along the Isar River. Having undergone many alterations over the centuries, it now offers a slew of contemporary leisure activities. Cyclists, joggers, and rollerbladers make use of almost 50 miles of pathways, while less-active visitors head to the Japanese teahouse (opened in 1972) or one of several beer gardens (the one next to the Chinese Tower is Munich’s second largest, with seating for 7,000). Additionally, there’s a man-made lake, soccer fields, a small amphitheater, a carousel, a Greek temple, and even a popular surfing wave on the river. The park’s large meadows are ideal for picnicking, barbecuing, and sunbathing, making the English Garden one of Munich’s most popular hangouts in summer. That said, autumn is also a spectacular time to stroll the grounds and peep all the changing leaves.
Schloß Nymphenburg 1, 80638 München, Germany
Built in the 17th century, Nymphenburg Palace is one of the largest royal castles in Europe. Planned as a summer residence for the Bavarian monarchy, it was expanded over time and now features additional pavilions and gallery wings, plus a French Baroque façade by Joseph Effner. The palace exterior and expansive, English-style gardens—complete with lakes, geysers, and waterfalls—are the real highlights here, but the interior, with its Baroque, Neoclassical, and Rococo era rooms, is also worth seeing. Be sure to check out the Steinerner Saal (Stone Hall) with its striking ceiling frescoes, the Schönheitengalerie (Gallery of Beauties) with works by court painter Joseph Karl Stieler, and the palace chapel of St. Magdalena. There are also a few interesting museums on site, including ones dedicated to royal coaches, porcelain, and natural history.