Munich might be best known for its massive Oktoberfest celebration, but there’s much more to this Bavarian city than the annual beer-soaked holiday. From pretty gardens to high-tech museums to mouth-watering markets, Munich has so much to offer. Find out how to navigate the airport, where to stay, and how to spend the best day ever in Munich.

Your Munich Itinerary

No trip to Munich is complete without peeking into a museum or two, strolling through a couple of lush gardens, seeking out a few quirky sights, and rounding out the day with some Bavarian beer. Here’s how to make the most of your time in Munich.

Morning: Sip Coffee at a Cozy Café

If you’re used to grabbing a quick coffee en route to your office, you’ll want to slow down a bit in order to enjoy your coffee to the fullest here. First, don’t ask for your coffee to go. Second, plan to settle in for at least an hour while you nurse a big cup of coffee, and don’t forget the pastry to accompany your caffeine.

Want to sip your coffee in a bright, contemporary, and maybe even slightly industrial café? Head to Man vs. Machine, where the highly-talented baristas can make your coffee with any method you choose, from Aeropress to V60. Don’t be afraid to ask for a recommendation if you’ve never heard of any of these high-tech methods.

If you’re looking for a slightly cozier spot, grab a chair at Gangundgäbe and order a fresh Ecuadorian roast. Everything on the coffee menu is roasted in-house, and you can sip your coffee to the tune of classic jazz tunes. What’s not to love?

For a café with lots of retro appeal, head over to Café Jasmin, conveniently located in the center of town. Here, you can have your coffee with a warm grain bowl or some organic muesli in a spot that’s decked out with chandeliers and vintage celebrity photos.

Das Duetsches Museum (The Deutsches Museum) in Munich.

Noon: Visit Your Choice of Museums

Rumor has it that Munich is home to 80 museums, but you definitely won’t have time to see them all during your visit. Instead, pick one, two, or three of the coolest options in the city.

If you’re feeling artsy, start with the Modern Picture Gallery, which is a quaint name for the city’s modern and contemporary art museum. This is the place to see Munich’s best design collections, graphic art, and architecture exhibitions. The museum also hosts rotating contemporary art exhibitions, so there’s always something thought-provoking to see. Better yet, get a day pass to the Modern Picture Gallery, the New Picture Gallery, and the Old Picture Gallery so that you can see all of the city’s best art for a reasonable price.

If you’d rather see some cool science and technology, head over to the Deutsches Museum, which has exhibitions that cover everything from transportation to the environment to the media. Choose a select few exhibition areas before you arrive, since this museum’s massive size means you could get overwhelmed without a plan.

Looking for something a little weirder? Look no further than Kunstkammer Georg Laue. If you’re a collector, you’ll love this cabinet of wonders, which dates back to 1873. Today, you can marvel at the cool collection and even buy some of the antiques.

Bavaria statue
The Bavaria Statue in Front of The Hall of Fame in Munich.

Afternoon: Enjoy a Stroll and Find the City’s Best Quirks

If the weather is nice, you’ll want to make a beeline for the English Garden, which is a definite must on a sunny day. While this is a great place for strolling and smelling the flowers, you can also rent a bike to cover more ground or hop in a rowboat to check out the lake. No matter how you experience this garden, you’ll feel like you’ve completely escaped from the hustle and bustle of the city.

If you’re looking for something a little more lively, go check out one of Munich’s public squares or food markets. It’s tough to miss Marienplatz, which is right in the middle of the city, and there’s almost always something fun happening here, from street performers to shops and boutiques to seasonal markets. Whatever you do, don’t miss the Rathaus-Glockenspiel, which is an ornate public clock whose wooden figures perform at least once a day. Be sure to check the schedule, since the times differ depending on the season.

Just around the corner, the Viktualienmarkt is also worth a visit. This farmers market dates back over 200 years, and it’s still going strong six days a week, with freshly baked goods, cured meats, and even beer.

Evening: Treat Yourself to a Fabulous Meal and Toast to an Amazing Trip

Munich is best known for its traditional dishes, like sausages and roasted pork, but you’ll also find some fantastic avant-garde food in the city. For an updated traditional menu, try Theresa Restaurant, a trendy spot that serves its take on avocado toast for breakfast and steaks with truffle mashed potatoes for dinner.

For the most popular pizza in Munich, head to L’Osteria, a palatial spot that also serves amazing fresh pasta and rich risotto. If you’d rather stick to veggies, try Gratitude, a vegan spot with a local focus. There’s a daily menu, but you can usually expect dishes like zucchini pasta, spicy curry, and raw cakes.

Finally, round out your night with a Bavarian brew or two. The beer gardens here are quintessentially Munich, so choose one of the traditional spots for the most local flavor. Augustiner-Keller is always a popular pick, and it serves up huge steins of wheat beer, dark beer, and radler, or beer shandy. Be sure to grab a table outside and make friends with your tablemates. You’ll find some great beer gardens in the English Garden, too. With a beautiful garden backdrop, full steins of beer, and beautiful weather, how can you go wrong?

The Olympiaturm (also known as Olympic Tower) in Munich.

Munich Airport Guide

If you’re planning to fly into Munich, you’ll want a ticket for Munich Airport (MUC). This bustling airport handles about 42 million passengers each year, and it’s one of the busiest airports in Europe. Despite its business, the airport has just two terminals, 1 and 2. They’re connected by the Munich Airport Center, where you can shop till you drop.

Just about every airline flies into and out of MUC, so you can get everywhere from Europe, North America, and the Middle East to Africa and Asia without stopping. If you’re flying in from South America or Oceania, however, you’ll probably have to get a connecting flight into Munich. Condor, Eurowings, Lufthansa, SunExpress, and TUI fly Deutschland are some of the airport’s most active airlines, with over a dozen destinations each.

How to Get to and From Munich Airport

Munich Airport (MUC) is about 25 miles north of the city center, so you’ll need to get a ride or drive between the airport and the city. Planning a road trip through Bavaria? You can rent cars from Avis, Budget, Europcar, Enterprise, Hertz, Sixt, and other major rental agencies. Just head over to the Munich Airport Center to pick up or return your car.

Prefer a taxi? You’ll find taxi stands in the arrival areas of both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. If you want to take public transit instead, just hop on the S-Bahn. Both the S1 and S8 lines will get you between the city center and MUC in about 40 minutes. Trains typically leave every 10 minutes, so it’s pretty easy to catch one any time of day.

What to Do at Munich Airport

If you have a long wait before your flight takes off, your best bet is to chill out in the VipWing or in one of the many airport lounges. But if you’d rather stroll through the terminal, you’ll find tons of places to eat, drink, and plane watch. You can even catch a quick nap or charge up your electronics at one of the many recreation areas spread throughout the terminals.

Grab a table at Cloud 7 and nosh on a superfood smoothie out on the patio overlooking the runways. Sip a Bavarian brew at Airbräu, dig into some pad Thai at Mangostin Airport, or treat yourself to a gourmet meal at Dallmayr Bistro. If you just want a quick bite, take your pick from countless cafés like Coffee Fellows or Allresto.

Alternatives to Munich Airport

If you can’t get an affordable ticket to MUC, try flying into Salzburg Airport (SZG) instead. Budget airlines like easyJet, Ryanair, and Norwegian Air all fly into SZG, so this could be a more affordable option, This airport is much smaller and located over the border in Austria, but since both countries are in the Schengen Zone, you won’t run into visa or passport issues. Once you land, Munich is about a 90-minute drive or a 2.5-hour bus ride away.

St peters church
The St. Peters Church in Munich.

Where to Stay in Munich

From funky boutique hotels to lively hostels to cozy private rentals, Munich has the perfect place for you to stay, no matter your budget. Take a look at some of the top picks in town.

Top Hotels in Munich

While this Bavarian city has its fair share of large chain hotels, Munich’s boutique hotels have way more personality. For a boutique spot with tons of history, check out Bayerischer Hof, which first opened back in 1841. While this hotel is definitely steeped in history, you’ll also love the amazing location in the city center, the beautiful views from the rooftop terrace, and the gorgeously designed rooms. If you really want to treat yourself, don’t miss the hotel’s Atelier restaurant, which has two Michelin stars.

Another historical gem, Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski has welcomed guests since 1858, although it was largely rebuilt after World War II. You’ll love the hotel’s location in the middle of Munich’s best high-end shopping street, the grand style throughout, the optional butler service, and the constantly buzzing lobby bar.

For a more contemporary option, try the Louis Hotel, which opened in 2009. You’ll love the Viktualienmarkt location, the sleek contemporary rooms, the breezy rooftop terrace, and the amazing Japanese restaurant, Emiko.

Best Hostels in Munich

The top hostels in Munich are more than just places to enjoy a budget-friendly stay. They’re staffed by helpful locals and filled with gregarious travelers, so you can get great recommendations for your stay and meet new people to accompany you on your adventures.

Euro Youth Hostel is one of the most popular picks in town, and it’s been a favorite for travelers for over a decade. It’s on the large side but still has a comfy, welcoming feel, and you can’t beat the location near Munich’s central train station. You’ll love the free Wi-Fi, the affordable breakfast, and the busy bar area.

Also located near the city center, Gspusi Bar Hostel has private and dorm-style rooms, free Wi-Fi, and a fun bar and lounge. Wombats City Hostel is another good pick in the middle of town, with a lovely glass-covered courtyard, a great common area and bar, and an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet to start the day.

New town hall
The New Town Hall in Munich.

Coolest Private Rentals in Munich

If you really want to feel like a local during your stay, you’ll want to reserve your pick of private rentals in Munich. You’ll find lots of options, so focus on choosing the neighborhood that best matches your style.

If you want to be near the city’s best cultural offerings, check out Maxvorstadt, which is home to dozens of museums and some of Munich’s most welcoming cafés. Haidhausen is another cultural gem, and though it has centuries of history to back it up, this neighborhood just keeps getting cooler, thanks to its repurposed art center and daily food market. Glockenback offers easy access to Munich’s top attractions, and it’s also home to plenty of funky bars and one-of-a-kind stores.

With so many amazing things to do, see, taste, and drink in Munich, you’re definitely going to want to spend as much time here as possible. Use GoDoTrip to plan your excursions, zero in on the coolest landmarks, and find the cutest places to stay in this Bavarian city.