Today, I am sharing with you my self-proclaimed amazing Munich 3-day itinerary. I visited Munich together with my wife and son, as there was an opportunity for my wife to meet with an online friend who was visiting all the way from Australia.
We could only spend 3 days in Munich, with our toddler (my son was 2 back then), so our stay there was really slow paced. But I still believe that the itinerary that we followed is one you will find extremely enjoyable.
In all honesty, we haven’t really have planned our days in Munich and we didn’t really know what to expect from the city in terms of attractions.
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 most amazing 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 younger kids – 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 in Munich?
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, including budget-friendly options.
We usually compare prices on Booking.com and AirBnb – and we’re having more and more luck lately finding better deals and prices (including for apartments on the former). AirBnb is becoming more and more expensive for some reason.
Anyway, you should check out all options before deciding! You can check out the available properties in Munich for your dates here.
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 you are in a great area!
It’s also here where you will find most attractions in the city, and since you only have three days on hand, even 15 minutes saved here and there add up and matter.
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. It was cozy and quiet, so we simply ignored the existing PlayStation and bottles of booze.
Munich: the perfect 3 day itinerary
Now that you’ve got yourself settled in, let’s see what are the things you should see and do during the three days you spent here to make sure that you tick all the fun and important stuff.
Visit the BMW Museum
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 during our month-long train trip through Europe, and we wanted something new.
On our way to Sea Life, we simply happened to go past the BMW Museum. That was something that we had to see, especially since there was no entrance fee either!
It’s a nice experience, as you can see in my pictures below and I really recommend you to give it a try. (If the car models seem a bit outdated, it is because I actually took these photos several years ago!)
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 and dream!
2. Olympia Park & Sea Life
I am pairing these two here for simplicity, but in reality they each deserve a special spot because they’re both amazing and spectacular.
I have to admit that the Sea Life in Olympia Park was the only thing that we had researched a bit before getting to Munich. And this place is exceptional – especially if you’re traveling with kids.
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.
Check out some of my photos below to see what I mean:
We spent a solid couple of hours there and I would do it again and again if I had the chance.
And once you’re over, it’s time for even more relaxation in Munich’s Olympia Park:
You should definitely relax a bit here by talking a walk in Olympia Park… maybe chill on the grass like the locals do and enjoy the delicious street food available there.
All in all, after the first day that we spent in Munich, I realized that the city is greener and a lot more serene and quiet than I had anticipated.
Despite being a large city, it seems slower paced and chill at all times. Simply amazing! I loved it!
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. Since we were on limited time (and with a toddler), we decided against going inside.
But I am sure that if we visit again, we’ll check them all in-depth. There’s a better story painted if you do get inside these historical places than just watching them from the outside (which is still really nice, no complaints!)
Eat the best ice cream in Munich
We were lucky enough to meet an old friend who was living in Munich for a few years and she decided to take us for a treat: the best ice cream in Munich, according to her (and confirmed by the huge line in front of the otherwise small place)!
Apparently, we were the only people in Munich who didn’t know about this place and, even worse, I was apparently the only one who found it insane to wait so much in line to get an ice cream.
We had to wait 15 minutes to get our ice creams, but I have to admit that it was well worth it. They were so good that I even forgot to take a picture before devouring them.
The place is called Ballabeni Icecream Stammhaus, is centrally located and I have marked in on Google Maps here in case you want to visit. Maybe it’s not as crowded when you get there as it was in our case.
It has tons of flavors to choose from and they’re all absolutely delicious. My son really enjoyed it, too:
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 for our legs.
This means that we didn’t get to visit the Palace itself, which made me really, really unhappy… but it was what it was.
You should take an Uber or a car instead and do visit this amazing palace!
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.
At least we got that to make things better, even though we didn’t get to see how royalty lived in Germany this time.
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!
2 thoughts on “Munich 3 Day Itinerary: Top Things to Do and See”
Great guide to what looks like an awesome city. It reminds me of Vienna. I would enjoy visiting and it’s somewhere l had contemplated because l think there is a direct flight. I’m not sure l would stand in line that long for the ice cream.. great or not. I’m happy with the second best one :-). So glad you had a great time.
The city does have a bit of that Vienna feel, for sure! It’s really beautiful and nice… and the food is great too (even though I haven’t covered it in this article). And I totally agree with the ice cream thing. I wouldn’t do it again… especially since once you get inside the place (which is tiny), you have a few seconds to decide what you want and there are at least two dozen types to choose from… I don’t even know what I had, hahaha.