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Got One Day in Munich? Here’s What To Do, See, Eat, and Drink!

Short on time and looking for the Munich highlights? You’re not alone since there are plenty of awesome things to do in Munich. Exploring some parts of Munich in a few hours is certainly doable – and the best way to make sure you see as much as you can is to have a detailed Munich itinerary!

We really enjoy Munich. Having visited a number of times, we have a pretty good idea of what to check out. The nice thing about the German city is that you can spend lots or you can have a cheap day in Munich. Either way, you’ll still be able to explore the city like a pro.

That said, in this guide, we’ll tell you exactly how to spend one full day in Munich – from the early morning food to exploring late at night! From busy Marienplatz to a traditional Bavarian restaurant for a German dinner and beer, here’s our complete one day in Munich itinerary!

We love exploring Munich (and travelling around Germany, in general), so check out some of our other posts to help you plan:

Breakfast: Mucki and Floyd

cake and coffees on table in cafe for breakfast one day in munich
This is obviously cake and coffee – but they had real breakfast, too!

Alright, so it’s the morning and you’re going to need to fuel up for this day in Munich. So, for a good breakfast, we’d suggest a place we really liked: Mucki and Floyd. Located just south of the Old Town, Mucki and Floyd is a small, very unique cafe with mismatched tables, chairs, and decor.

When we visited, we had a slice of homemade cake each and a coffee – and everything was excellent. That said, there were other groups having full-on brunch and it looked really good! If the weather is nice, you can even sit out on their tiny front patio.

Address: Ickstattstraße 2, 80469 München, Germany

If you want another quick suggestion, you could also check out Trachtenvogl which isn’t far from Mucki and Floyd at all. With sidewalk seating and a bunch of tables inside, this place was a more popular establishment.

We headed in that direction for brunch but it was absolutely packed with a line up to the door. So needless to say, we didn’t get to try their food this time. That said, it must be good given the reviews and popularity! You can check them out here.

Address: Reichenbachstraße 47, 80469 München, Germany

Morning Activities: Explore the Old Town

Okay, so once you are done with breakfast, it’s time to hit up some of the top attractions. For this – if you are short on time – you have to wander the Old Town. There are just too many great things to see crammed into one small area to send you anywhere else.

Getting Around Munich

It should be noted that Munich is a very walkable city with top attractions packed together in the city centre. However, the city is also rather large and quite spread out.

If you do need to travel farther (like in the afternoon suggestions of this post), the city has a great public transit system connected via the subway (U-Bahn), trams, buses, and the S-Bahn. You can learn more about the transit system (MVV) here.

If you want a transit pass and discounts on attractions, check out a Munich CityTourCard. We didn’t buy it but if you plan on using transit a ton, this may be a good buy for you since buying single tickets over and over can be a pain.

Another clever way to get aroud Munich is via the Munich Hop-On Hop-Off Bus. This way, you know the routes, they have a single day pass, and you even get some information!

Marienplatz

colourful buildings in old town with towers and subway stop
Marienplatz is lovely – and accessible via transit!

If you only have a day in Munich, then you can’t miss the opportunity to explore Marienplatz. This famous square is considered the heart of the Old Town – and for good reason: you’ll find many top attractions, buildings, and points of interest here.

Likely most important, you’ll find the Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall) standing in all its glory overlooking the square. You can go up the tower for an amazing view, visit the Ratskeller restaurant, and even watch the Glockenspiel chime throughout the day.

The square is also home to the Mariensäule monument and the Fischbrunnen (Fish Fountain). You can also access all the best shopping streets nearby from here. This makes Marienplatz loved by visitors and not-so-loved by some locals!

If you wanted to make exploring the Old Town easier and get as much information as possible, you could always do a Munich Old Town walking tour. This two-hour tour is short so you’d get a sampler of sights and info to then perhaps come back later!

Address: Marienplatz, 80331 München, Germany

Frauenkirche

red brick church with tower at back one day in munich old town
Up close and inside, Frauenkirche is lovely…

Just behind the Neue Rathaus to the north, you’ll find the iconic church with the two towers and green domes: Frauenkirche (or the Munich Cathedral). This version of the brick church was completed just before the year 1500 but was damaged in World War II.

Today, it’s under renovation (it always seems like it’s under renovation) – but you’ll be able to climb the tower for views again when it’s finished! We wandered inside and it’s surprisingly simple and very white. Outside, there are numerous cafes and restaurants with small beer gardens where you can grab a drink and enjoy the atmosphere.

Address: Frauenplatz 12, 80331 München, Germany

St Peter’s Church

historic church and clock tower from view above
These are the views from the church!

One of the other famous churches in the Old Town is St. Peter’s Church. Popular because of its unique clock tower with views, this church was first built in the 11th century. This makes it the oldest church in all of Munich!

While the inside is lovely – it’s known for the tower climb. There are just shy of 300 steps to the top – but you get great views of the Old Town and areas surrounding Munich. Eric has made the climb (the photo above is from that climb) so even with the entrance fee it’s certainly worth it!

Address: Rindermarkt 1, 80331 München, Germany

Victuals Market

man sitting beside tree with closed down market area behind one day in munich
The Market is super busy when it’s open – in this photo, most of it was closed.

If you are into doing a bit of shopping like a local, head to Victuals Market. Located just to the south and east of Marienplatz, this large market area (called Viktualienmarkt in German) has been running for over 200 years!

Today, you can wander through for a bite to eat, shop for ingredients from the area or abroad, grab a souvenir, or just enjoy the atmosphere. We’ve wandered through when it’s open and it’s just buzzing with activity!

If you’re big into food, you could always check out a 2-hour Tour of Victuals Market where you can taste different flavours and learn about the history of the area, too.

Address: Viktualienmarkt 3, 80331 München, Germany

Residence + Gardens

yellow residence palace building with trees and green lawn in front in munich
The grounds and complex would take some time to explore right!

Finally, to round out the top attractions in the Old Town – we have the Munich Residence or “Residenz” in German. This Palace complex is actually the biggest in all of Germany – and it would take hours to explore the whole thing! First built in the late 1300s for Bavarian monarchs, the complex today consists of 10 courtyards and over 100 rooms!

We got the chance to wander through the Gardens to the north of the main buildings and it was lovely. There was a violin player in a small pavilion (who was amazing) and it made for a great visit. If you want to check out tours and/or tickets, you can visit the website to learn more here.

Address: Residenzstraße 1, 80333 München, Germany

Read More: Learn Those German Phrases Before You Go!

Lunch: Cafe, Bakery, or Market

coffee and fruit tart on cafe table in munich
You can opt for sweet or savoury at Luitpold!

For lunch, we’re going to leave the option open to you but wanted to give you a few ideas. If you’re still around the centre, you’ll have no problem finding a bakery and having a more traditional German lunch of a baked item.

If you want to keep with the theme of “experiencing Munich in a day”, then you can always head to Café Luitpold. This is a popular and historic coffeehouse that also does upscale desserts and food. It’s definitely more expensive but it is gorgeous inside and so it might really add to your Munich experience.

Address for Cafe Luitpold: Brienner Str. 11, 80333 München, Germany

The other thing you can do (day depending) is to just head for Victuals Market as the last thing you do in the morning and then have lunch there. In any case, you have options.

Afternoon Activities: Explore the Outskirts

After lunch, it’s time to get exploring again. Since you essentially explored the old town in the morning, it’s time to explore the attractions and sights on the outskirts. Keep in mind, you don’t have to go far from the centre to see some of the top sights listed below (with the exception of Olympia Park which you need to take the U-Bahn to get to).

You can definitely walk but you could also ride the U-Bahn from anywhere in the centre to the attractions below. We’ll list which U-Bahn is closest so you can plan accordingly.

Wherever you do go, aim to be at the Deutsches Museum at the end of the afternoon because – if you stick to this itinerary – you’ll head for a coffee break closeby and then be all set to keep on exploring in the early evening before dinner.

Die Pinakotheken (Museums)

silver futuristic museum with flying saucer outside on green lawn in munich
The Pinakothek der Moderne Museum from the outside.

Just north of the city centre, you’ll find a pocket of many, many museums in an area called Maxvorstadt. This area is absolutely packed with places to visit – and one notable cluster is called Die Pinakotheken.

Showcasing everything from German, European, and modern art, these museums consist of the:

Closest U-Bahn: Theresienstraße or Universität

Address Pinakothek der Moderne: Barer Str. 40, 80333 München, Germany

Königsplatz

tan gate looking building with black van and green grass in front in munich
You know you’re in Königsplatz when you see this!

Close to the museums above is an area called Königsplatz – which in itself is a large square with a towering gate. Nearby in the area, you’ll find a number of other museums and galleries which you might be interested in checking out. They include (but are not limited to):

Closest U-Bahn: Königsplatz

If you only want to explore one museum (or none), you can go elsewhere in the city for the afternoon (keep reading) OR wander north of this area into Schwabing. Here, you’ll find shops and cafes in this Bohemian-style neighbourhood due to its proximity to the Universities in Munich!

Address: Königsplatz 1, 80333 München, Germany

Olympiapark

tv tower standing over green lawn and pond in olympic park one day in munich
Heading up to explore Olympia Park isn’t a bad idea…

One of the most popular attractions that aren’t right in the city centre is the Olympiapark (or Olympic Park). Built for the 1972 Summer Olympic Games, the grounds include a variety of things to check out such as the Olympic Stadium, the Olympic Tower, and the green park space itself.

Beyond those, you can also check out the famous Olympic Village (Olympiadorf) which is now student housing. Oh, and BMW World/Museum is also very close by if you are interested in visiting. You can learn more about tours, events, and visiting the Olympic Park here.

Closest U-Bahn: Olympiazentrum

Address: Spiridon-Louis-Ring 21, 80809 München, Germany

Deutsches Museum

white museum building with green dome and trees in front
The Deutsches Museum is on the Museumsinsel!

Another top attraction – especially if you have kids – is the Deutsches Museum. It is located on an island (Museumsinsel) in the Isar River between the city centre and Au-Haidhausen.

Known primarily as a technology museum, there’s a bit of everything under one roof: from transportation and energy to communication, the environment, and more! There are also a number of special exhibits and rotating objects which might be new when you visit.

We actually didn’t go inside because we had other plans but we crossed through the island and through the inner courtyard. The ticket line-up on a weekend was down the block – so if you’re planning on going, book online in advance or get there early! You can visit the official Deutsches Museum website and buy tickets here.

Closest S-Bahn: Isartor

Address: Museumsinsel 1, 80538 München, Germany

Afternoon Break: Man Versus Machine Coffee

two coffees with latte art on wooden stool in cafe in munich
The coffee at MVM was great!

For the afternoon break, you might need a little caffeine boost and a chance to sit down. For this, head back into the Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt area and check out Man Versus Machine Coffee Roasters. We stopped by one afternoon and it quickly became one of our favourite cafes in Munich.

Man Versus Machine was busy – because they have a great design, nice staff, and they do a good “no-BS” coffee. You can tell they take their craft very seriously!

We had a flat white and a cappuccino and they were both excellent. The place was full but we got a bench spot by the front window. They also have outdoor seating if the weather is nice when you visit. You can check them out here.

Address: Müllerstraße 23, 80469 München, Germany

Early Evening Activity: Wander the English Gardens

green field with trees beside and white pavilion in background munich gardens
The English Garden is HUGE!

Of course, no trip to Munich is complete without at least a short walk through the English Garden. Originally built in the late 1700s, this massive park is one of the biggest urban parks in the world.

The park got its name due to the fact that is was laid out like an English-style garden. Over the years, the park has changed and had things added – but it’s always been a place where locals could come together.

Besides the almost 80 kilometres of trails to enjoy, there are a number of things you can check out. Just within the park’s boundaries, you’ll find Munich’s second-largest beer garden beside the famous Chinese Tower, surfers on the river, a Japanese Tea Garden, and a viewpoint at the Monopteros (shown above in photo).

In the “off-season”, you can enjoy the fall colours while the wintertime brings you Christmas Markets around the Tower! So, in any season, the park makes for a nice evening wander during your one day in Munich. If you want to learn more about visiting the English Garden, you can read more here.

Closest U-Bahn (to the middle): Universität or Giselastraße

Address for Beer Garden + Chinese Tower: Englischer Garten 3, 80538 München, Germany

Dinner: Zum Dürnbräu

two plates of pork knuckle and potatoes with beer in bavarian restaurant
The dishes at Zum Dürnbräu were fantastic.

Now that it’s dinner time, you’re likely hungry if you followed this itinerary! To end off the day in Munichright, you should head to a classic Bavarian restaurant. Our suggestion is the restaurant “Zum Dürnbräu” close to the old town.

From the moment we walked in, we knew we had made a great decision. The place was quite authentic from the decor to the food. We ordered a beer and had traditional Bavarian meals – Lisa had pork with dumplings while Eric had the “Pork Knuckle” also called ” Schweinshaxe”. Both were really delicious!

Lisa doesn’t usually eat meat anymore, but she made an exception here. They do have vegetarian meals on the menu – or you could probably also just ask for some “Knödel mit Soße” (dumplings with sauce) which Lisa almost did.

Many of the tables were reserved but we were only two people so we were able to sneak in. You might want to consider a reservation! The staff was super friendly, too. We had terrible weather but there’s a front and side beer garden if it’s warmer weather or earlier in the day!

In the end, there are many other similar restaurants/beer halls around the city but we would definitely recommend Zum Dürnbräu. If you want to learn more, check out the website (and you can reserve a table online as well).

Address: Dürnbräugasse 2, 80331 München, Germany

Evening Activity: Beer Halls, Nightlife, or the Opera

You made it all the way to the evening – and there are a few different ways you could finish off your day. Since people have such varied opinions of what makes a good night out, we wanted to provide you with some different options to appeal to different interests: visit Hofbräuhaus München, hit up the nightlife in Glockenbachviertel, or attend the State Opera!

Hofbräuhaus München

Could we really write about Munich without mentioning Hofbräuhaus? Definitely not! If you want a truly touristy Munich experience, you should head for Hofbräuhaus – a famous beer hall located in the city centre.

Why is Hofbräuhaus so popular? Well, besides being a historic beer hall that was founded way back in the 16th century, it’s also found a place in modern history with a few familiar names visiting the place.

Because it’s so popular, the place can get very busy – so you might want to go early since you can not make a reservation for the beer hall! You can learn more at the website here.

Address: Platzl 9, 80331 München, Germany

You can also hop on a guided beer and food tasting tour of Munich that takes you to Hofbräuhaus among others!

Bars in Glockenbachviertel

If you are more into exploring the social life in Munich and acting like a local, you can head to Glockenbachviertel – an area of the Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt.

The area is known for its cafes and places to eat – but it’s also known for its nightlife. Of note, check out Auroom for a cocktail bar and Zum Wolf for a more laid back bar atmosphere.

Address: Aim for Müllerstraße Tram Stop

The Bavarian State Opera

Finally, one of the most cultural experiences you could have if you timed it right is to attend the Opera at the National Theatre. Opened back in 1818, the historic theatre hall is absolutely beautiful and has been entertaining patrons ever since.

If you’ve got the time – and there’s a show you like – you should check it out. You can also do a guided tour of the Theatre on select days in the afternoon. You can learn more about tickets on the official website.

Address: Max-Joseph-Platz 2, 80539 München, Germany

And there you have it – our sample itinerary for one day in Munich. In the end, it’s impossible to see everything in Munich in one day – but you can certainly fill your day with amazing sights and food. This itinerary includes lots of things we’ve done but let us know how you spend your day in Munich!

As always, Happy Munich Day Waddlin’,
– L&E

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    Eric is a Canadian & Hungarian content writer with over 45 countries under his belt. From volunteering in Australia to studying his Master's degree abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland, his travel experiences have taken him across the globe. Next to writing on Penguin and Pia, he has been quoted by the BBC, the Travel Channel, USA Today, and Mashable and contributed to companies in the travel space such as Matador, AirHelp, GoOverseas, and Spot.

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