Thinking about visiting Munich + the surrounding gorgeous-ness of Bavaria? Can’t say we blame you.
If you’re looking for the perfect ideas for your trip to southern Germany, you’ve found them traveler! Pop down to read more of our Spotlight On… Munich!
Let’s start with the city, shall we?
Plan to spend at least 3-4 days in the Bavarian capital, leaving plenty of time to explore outside of the city (still using it as an easy home base, but more on that in a second).
Flying into Munich from the US & Canada will have you landing anywhere from earrrrrrly in the morning through mid afternoon.
Make sure you request early check-in at your accommodations. Nothing stinks (ahem) more than flying overnight and NOT immediately hopping into a hot shower.
Where to stay?
Like most old timey European cities, Munich has a distinct historic center called Marienplatz. If you stay near the center you’ll be within walking distance to most things you want to see, with easy access to the metro should you want to venture out.
Our suggestions? If you want luxury, to rub shoulders with the rich & famous and have charming rooftop views, check out Hotel Bayerischer Hof. It’s a 5-star hotel quite close to Marienplatz where you’ll want for naught!
How about something a bit more midrange? Hotel Louis overlooks the Viktualienmarket (which is either where you can buy local produce or something from the great beyond) and has a lovely Japanese restaurant inside- exactly what you want when you go to Munich, right?
For a more budget friendly option, consider the Hotel Opera. A beautiful hotel with a lovely courtyard and breakfast included. Can’t beat it for my colorful Euro money.
What to do in Munich?
Bah! There are so many options, friends. Let’s be kind to two birds with one stone (?) and take a peek at some of the activities that Whisked Away traveler Albert enjoyed on his recent surprise trip to Munich!
(Psst: the second bird is getting a glimpse of what our surprise itineraries look like!)
Notice that one of Albert’s booked activities was a day trip to the most famous castle of them all, Neuschwanstein. That’s the one the Disney castle was modeled after, and for good reason: it’s stunning.
Fun fact: “Mad” King Ludwig built (or, you know, demanded that other people build) this castle and others, like his fave, Linderhof. Some tours offer a chance to see multiple of his palatial estates.
Albert (our Whisked Away traveler) is the kind of guy who is down with biking around the Bavarian countryside and then taking a dip into an alpine lake before touring the castle, but you do you, traveler.
Day Trips from Munich
You guys… there are so many amazing spots a short train ride away from Munich. Here are our top picks (since we’ve already mentioned Neuschwanstein):
Eagle’s Nest: Ok. Have you watched Band of Brothers? (If not, throw down your phone & go watch it immediately). Remember one of the last episodes when the brothers take Hitler’s vacation home, high in the mountains? They find all the wine & art, etc? That is Eagle’s Nest. Go for the views, the history, and the horrifyingly-exhilarating elevator inside a mountain that takes you there. (Join a tour- this spot is difficult to reach!)
Nuremberg: Yes, this is where the famous trials were held for the Nazi war criminals. However! Nuremberg is also just a beautiful little village that has rebuilt itself since the war- and it tried it’s damndest to ensure it’s original Gothic style was upheld. Now you can stroll through the town and admire how beautiful it really is. (A little over an hour via train from Munich.)
Rothenburg: If you are a Rick Steves junkie then this a town you’ve heard of. Unfortunately (?) there are many of us who follow the gospel of the Steves, so this place tends to get super crowded during peak season. If you’re in Bavaria while the crowds are not, this is definitely a spot to see. (3.5 hours from Munich by train.)
Chiemsee: Whenever you see “see” at the end of a word in German, it means you’re going to get some sweet lake time. Spend a day or two in Chiemsee if you’d like a break from the city & just want to chill with gorgeous views + lakeside saunas. (2 hours from Munich by train.)
Salzburg, Austria: Ok this last one? It could be a day trip, but it shouldn’t be. Go rent a fancy Airbnb in this beautiful town, hike up to the monastery/brewpub, listen to Mozart being played in a castle on the hill… you know. Just your every day stuff. (Less than 3 hours by train from Munich!)