We went to Munich, Germany mainly because my wife didn’t want to miss an opportunity to meet with an online friend who was visiting all the way from Australia. We only got to spend 3 days in Munich, with our toddler as well, so our stay there was really slow paced.
We didn’t really have a plan about Munchen and we didn’t know what to expect. It was one of those moments when you just go, without doing proper research, yet things turn out to be a lot better than anticipated. Because, yes, I loved Munich and I can say that it’s one of the best cities in Europe, in my opinion.
And although it definitely deserves more than just 3 days to explore and see everything it has to offer – especially if you’re traveling with children – there is still a lot you can see in such a limited amount of time, as you will learn from today’s article.
So let’s get straight into the gist of things with out 3 days in Munich itinerary & top things to do and see to fall in love with this beautiful German city, just like we did.
First things first: where to stay?
Munich, like all cities in Germany, is not a cheap one. Fortunately, you have a ton of options available when it comes to choosing your accommodation. We usually compare prices on Booking.com and AirBnb – don’t take the latter for granted as automatically cheaper, because in some cases it is not. Check out all options before deciding!
Unless there is a solid reason not to stay close to the city center, we usually search for an area that’s as close as possible to the heart of the city. It is true that accommodation there is usually a bit more expensive, but you end up saving a lot on transportation costs (even public transportation adds up, not to mention Uber or taxi fares!) so in the end you might still end up paying less or about the same – but being in a great area!
In our case, we found this perfect little studio close to the students area: a place that wasn’t extremely spectacular, but which was exactly what we needed since it had two large beds and a little office area for me to do a bit of writing on. (Reality check: didn’t really get to write a lot during our stay as we were always on the run to somewhere).
It was definitely a place aimed at a younger or at least more party-minded audience (unlike us), but overall the stay was absolutely amazing.
Munich: 3 days itinerary
We knew for sure that we wanted to visit one thing: Sea Life (more about it below). We were coming after a few zoos visited in the other cities and wanted a change. And on our way to Sea Life, we had the BMW Museum. That was something that we had to see, especially since there was no entrance fee either!
It’s a museum / store, but I was one of the many people there who wouldn’t afford getting a BMW, so I had to go with watching only. It was a pleasant experience for sure, even though I am not that big of a car fanatic. But when you see those beauties, you can’t help but stare in awe.
Olympia Park & Sea Life
The only thing that we really did some research for and we knew we had to see – the Sea Life in Olympia Park – was absolutely spectacular. They claim to have 5,000 different species of sea life there, they have a “petting zoo” where our son enjoyed touching some of the fish and the entire place is absolutely spectacular.
We spent a solid couple of hours there and I would do it again and again if I had the chance.
And then you should definitely relax a bit by talking a walk in Olympia Park… maybe chill on the grass like the locals and enjoy the delicious food available there.
All in all, after the first day that we spend in Munich, I realized that the city is greener and a lot more serene than I had anticipated. Despite being a large city, it seems slower paced and chill at all times. Simply amazing!
Exploring the City Center (Marienplatz)
Marienplatz is the central public square in the city and you can definitely spend a few hours exploring the surroundings and enjoying the beautiful buildings, some good food or a delicious coffee, waiting for the main attraction in the area to happen: the clock with its beautiful figures at the Rathaus.
There are many attractions in the area and you can go inside if you have some more time to spend – you can easily spend the entire day just in and around the City Center and probably you’d still have a few things to see.
Best ice cream in Munich
We were lucky enough to meet an old friend who was living in Munich for a while and she decided to take us for a treat: the best ice cream in Munich!
Apparently, we were the only ones who didn’t know about it, as it was a huge line there. We waited 15 minutes to get to get our ice creams and they were devoured before I remembered I should take a picture. My son really enjoyed it, though, so did we:
However, spending 15 minutes to get an ice cream – even though it was indeed delicious ice cream – is not worth it, in my opinion. There are better things to do in Munich, but if you disagree or you’re curious to check it out, definitely do so!
Although we had been walking for half a day, we decided to walk some more to Nymphemburg Palace… and it was a bit too much. This means that we didn’t get to visit the Palace itself, but we were close to it and saw the magnificent structure from close by.
Even better, the way to the palace is beautiful indeed: walking near the clean river, seeing some of the biggest fish we’ve ever seen and enjoying nature. Perfect!
Neuschwanstein & Linderhof
For the third day, I would recommend a change of scenery. This is not something that we did, because it was this day that we met with my wife’s friend and spent most of the day strolling around and resting in cafes or restaurants, but it is something we’d definitely do if we were to visit again.
And that is taking a tour to see Neuschwanstein and Linderhof.
The Neuschwanstein (seen above) castle is actually one of the most popular attractions in Germany and it’s conveniently located close to Munich. Stunning architecture and some truly spectacular views around this place make it a perfect choice to start your day with.
Then, you will move on to the Linderhof Palace (photos above), another magnificent structure that’s simply jaw dropping. Also built in the 19th century, like Neuschwanstein, the palace is smaller but still impressive, mainly due to the amazing surroundings and natural beauty.
OR Pinakothek & English Gardens
If you don’t want to leave the city, why not start the day with a visit to the Pinakothek – a series of three museums that cover art from all decades:
– the Alte Pinakothek which covers the “old” masters from Raphael to Rembrant and Van Dyck
– the Neue Pinakothek which covers more recent artists like Van Gogh, Cezanne or Monet
– the Pinakothek der Moderne, which covers works by Warhol, Kline and much more
You can end up spending a few to several hours here – depending how much you enjoy the paintings… and afterwards you should reward yourself with a nice walk through the English Gardens, a spectacular 900-acre park with ponds, a Japanese Teahouse (yes, in the English Gardens!) and a lot more, including places to eat or have a drink, surrounded by nature and serenity.
Although not cheap, Munich is definitely beautiful. I loved it and I hope that one day I will be able to come back and stay longer. Not as a tourist, but as a person who gets to live like a local a bit. It’s that beautiful!
The city itself is imposing and majestic, elegant and charming, sparkling clean and a lot greener and relaxed than I had anticipated. You’ll see bikes everywhere, which is a delight; you’ll see people enjoying nature and taking care of themselves; you’ll see things that you will fall in love with and, just like I felt, you might end up wishing that you spent more time there.
But there’s always time for a… next time, so next time you visit (and stay longer), you already have the main attractions covered thanks to my recommended slow-paced itinerary and you can focus on living life like a local more. Less running around, more relaxing!