Things to do in Munich – The Bucket List

If you are headed to the Bavarian town of Munich in Germany then you’ll want to tick off all these essential bucket-list worthy items for one of the best cities in Germany! Not to mention that Munich is emerging as one of the top cities to live and visit around the world… once you read the list below, believe me, you’ll know why! …and if this pretty city isn’t on your bigger travel bucket list yet, it will make it’s way on there very quickly!

20 Bucket List Things To Do In Munich

1. Drink Bavarian Beer in a Beer Hall

This is a must-do in the Bavarian Capital of Munich where Beer was practically invented…by the monks! There are only six major beer brewers and they must adhere to strict brewing purity laws, using only four original ingredients. This means your beer is not only tasty but also clean from preservatives, so drink up! If you hope to taste all six beers, be sure to join a beer tasting tour, as the beer halls and gardens are only licensed to serve one kind of beer. Augustiner is said to be the most popular. Make sure to head into a beer hall or garden during the evening for the full atmospheric experience.

Things to do in Munich

Things to do in Munich Beer Halls
Augustiner Beer Hall // Things to do in Munich

2. Eat Weisswurst & Pretzels

This is Munich’s original and traditional poached white pork sausage! It’s delicious, but only if you eat it right. Make sure to peel off the skin before eating, then dip into sweet mustard and eat with pretzel.

Things to do in Munich weisswurst

Things to do in Munich weisswurst

3. Visit the English Garden

Larger than Central Park, this sprawling urban garden is a popular hang out for locals and tourists. You can sit (and swim) by the flowing river, sun bathe (even nude in some areas), have a beer at the central beer garden and find peace on one of the many lawns.

Things to do in Munich english garden
The English Garden // Things to do in Munich

4. Join A City History Walking Tour

Munich is full of history regarding the first and Second World War. It is said that the Nazi party was first formed in it’s very own town hall. Around 90% of the city was bombed down in the war and rebuilt later to replicate the past. If you are interested in finding out more about the buildings, places of significance and the history of the German people who lived in Munich at the time, a walking tour is highly recommended.

Things to do in Munich Marienplatz

Things to do in Munich Marienplatz

5. Try on a Drindl or Lederhosen

The traditional Bavarian working clothes are the Dirndl (cotton dress with apron and often laced bust) and Lederhosen (leather shorts with suspenders). Nowadays they are worn mostly for festive occasions (like Oktoberfest), but also just as patriotic dress around the city. It’s fun to try on the outfits, everyone looks great in a drindl! (And they also have Lederhosen for girls available!) Tip: most stores won’t let you take photos in the outfits, but you can take photos sneakily in the change room.

Things to do in Munich Drindl

6. Have Traditional Kaiserschmarrn

These are dough-y style pancakes sprinkled with raisins and icing sugar, served with apple sauce. They are deliciously filling and should be enjoyed at any time of the day (considered more of a dessert dish than a breakfast one).

Things to do in Munich Kaiserschmarrn
Bavarian Kaiserschmarrn // Things to do in Munich

7. Visit the Viktualienmarkt

This Farmers Market is close to the city centre and sells all kinds of amazing cold cured meats, cheeses and vegetables. It also has wooden made souvenirs, fresh flowers and a beer garden in the middle, surrounding the May Pole.

Munich things to do Viktualienmarkt

Viktualienmarkt // Things to do in Munich
Viktualienmarkt // Things to do in Munich

8. See the French Garden

Located close to the English garden, this is a nice spot to walk through on your way there. Unlike an English Garden that is sprawling and ‘wild’, a French Garden is based on symmetry and pattern. Pathways of beautiful red and white flowers surround the centre dome in the middle.

The French Garden // Things to do in Munich
The French Garden // Things to do in Munich

9. Drink Famous Coffee at Dallmayr

Head into Dallmayr (the equivalent of England’s Harrods) for a rich expresso shot or cappuccino in their cafe on the upper level. The store also sells premium gift chocolates, coffee beans, gourmet foods and teas.

Dallmayr Coffee Cafe // Things to do in Munich
Dallmayr Coffee Cafe // Things to do in Munich

10. Swim in the Ice River

On a hot summer day it’s fun to take a dip in the ice river (called this because of it’s glacier beginnings and cold temperature), running through the English garden. It has a strong current and because of this, people will jump in (sometimes on floating tubes) and flow down the river with the current before climbing out at a designated point at the end.

The River in English Garden // Things to do in Munich
The River in English Garden // Things to do in Munich

11. Watch the Locals Surf “The Wave”

If you can’t have a beach, bring the beach to you! The city of Munich has built two of it’s own surf waves in the river running through the English Garden. There is one at the entrance to the park and the other around the middle. Stay a while and watch the locals surf the incredible wave, or give it a go for yourself!

Surfers in the English Garden // Things to do in Munich

Surfers in the English Garden // Things to do in Munich
Surfers in the English Garden // Things to do in Munich

12. Feast on Pork Knuckle & Potatoes

Germans love their heartier foods and you can’t go to Germany without trying the pork knuckle and some sort of potato side dish (potato dumplings, mashed potato, potato and cabbage). The pork knuckles are huge, so think about sharing between two or going to the beer hall VERY hungry!

Things to do in Munich Pork
Traditional German Cuisine // Things to do in Munich

13. Admire the New Town Hall in Marienplatz

When you see the amazing Gothic-style new town hall, you’ll be surprised to know that it is only 150 years old due to it’s rebuild after the city bombings. It is the most detailed and impressive building in Munich to admire. You can also walk through the arches to see the courtyard inside for free. The surrounding square, Marienplatz is also a great place to walk around, with many shops, traditions beer halls and restaurants. Tip: Be there early at 7am to have the square to yourself!

Marienplatz // Things to do in Munich

Marienplatz // Things to do in Munich
Marienplatz // Things to do in Munich

14. Wall Through an Art Gallery

Surprisingly, Munich actually has a pretty big art scene with many galleries around the city. One gallery that is very central is Kunsthalle and it has new exhibitions every few months, as well as permanent collections. It’s showcases curated collections of contemporary art mixed with mid-century pieces, depending on the theme of the exhibit.

Things to do in Munich Art Gallery
Kunsthalle Gallery // Things to do in Munich

15. Shop in the Adidas Flagship Store

Adidas has their headquarters not far from Munich in Germany. Being one of the most iconic German fashion brands known around the world, it’s cool to say you did a little shopping in their store from the “origin” of the design. They often release exclusive designs and colour ways only available in Europe and Germany, so there’s a chance to score some exclusive digs to brag about at home.

16. Have a Traditional German Breakfast

A must-try is the traditional German breakfast. It is usually a mixed plate of delicious cold cured meat slices with different cheeses, fruits, berries, a boiled egg and rye bread. Sometimes you can also add a bowl of fresh muesli and yogurt or avocado. Recommended is the Trachtenvogl Cafe, with vegan and vegetarian options, traditional german breakfast plates and cute retro interior decor.

Trachtenvogl Munich Things to do

Trachtenvogl Cafe // Things to do in Munich
Trachtenvogl Cafe // Things to do in Munich

17. Take a Day Trip to Neuschwanstein Castle

This is an absolute must-do day trip from Munich. Only 1.5 hours out of the city by bus, the Neuschwanstein Castle is the second castle built by Ludwig II, the “fairytale” Bavarian King named by the people. The white castle was built on the edge of a cliff top in the Bavarian hills and was inspired by numerous medieval German ‘saga’ (folktales). Ludwig’s favourite saga was that of ‘Lohengrin’ the Swan Prince. This is one of the reasons why the Neuschwanstein (meaning ‘new swan stone’) and has many swans adorning the murals, decor and textiles. One room in the castle has approximately 266 swan motifs to be exact!

Neuschwanstein Castle // Things to do in Munich

Neuschwanstein Castle // Things to do in Munich
Neuschwanstein Castle // Things to do in Munich

18. Visit the Nymphenburg Palace

Another short trip out of the central town, this green leafy suburb is an oasis out of Munich. Luscious gardens and of course the baroque Nymphenburg palace (“Castle of the Nymph”) to visit! The palace is 200-hectres with beautiful interiors, baroque gardens and a coach display. It’s a great place to take the day and relax in the gardens, enjoy a coffee or take a picnic with you.

19. Drink Beer at the Chinese Tower

One of the most iconic and famous beer gardens in Munich is surrounding the tall wooden Chinese Tower in the centre of the English garden. The atmosphere is worth enjoying, with a live band often playing in the tower while people sit under the shade of the trees enjoying beer and pretzels.

Chinese Tower in English Garden // Things to do in Munich

Chinese Tower in English Garden // Things to do in Munich
Chinese Tower in English Garden // Things to do in Munich

20. Watch the Glockenspiel

Saving the best until last, this is must-see in Munich! Okay, well I might be exaggerating a little. The Glockenspiel is pretty cool and is a must-see because everyone will ask you when you return from Munich if you saw it work. The mechanical puppet show is on three times per day 11am (which signifies the olden times lunch hour beginning), 12pmΒ (which signifies the olden times lunch hour end) and 5pmΒ (which signifies the olden times work day ending) in the centre of the new town hall tower in Marienplatz.

There are two sequences, the first shows a jousting scene with Bavaria vs. France.. where Bavaria always wins, and the second is of the dancing Cooper barrel makers. After the plague ended, the trusted beer barrel makers of the town came out to dance in the streets to tell people it was safe to come out of their houses again!

Glockenspiel // Things to do in Munich
Glockenspiel // Things to do in Munich

Have you already been to Munich? I would love to hear more suggestions for ‘Things to Do in Munich’ below or any comments. Enjoy your time traveling around this awesome traditional bavarian city and throughout Germany!

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