Looking for the perfect 3 days in Munich itinerary? Your search is over – here it is!
A rich history of over 1,000 years and a perfect blend of the old and the new makes Munich a truly amazing city to include on any trip through Germany.
The Bavarian capital is a cultural one and is considered to be the best place to live in Germany and it is not hard to understand why, after spending some time in the city.
Ultimate 3 days in Munich itinerary and travel guide
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Munich, the capital of Bavaria, is a beautiful city located in southern Germany. It is known for its picturesque scenery, its many historical landmarks, and its lively nightlife.
Munich is also home to some of the best beer gardens in the world, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Here is how to spend 3 days in Munich Germany
Munich 3 day itinerary: Things to do in Munich in 3 days
Resource: The perfect 5 days in Munich itinerary
Munich Germany trip planning
When you are planning a trip to Munich for three days keep in mind that there are some major festivals taking place at certain times of the year which may influence your trip.
For example, the Tollwood Festival is held in December, the Auer Dult events take place in May, July, and October, and at the end of September, the Oktoberfest may be high on your things-to-do list.
The best time to visit Munich is in the summer when the weather is fantastic. Winters in Germany can be a lot quieter but temperatures plummet to freezing point which makes moving about difficult.
Arriving in Munich
Munich Airport is the international airport of Munich, the capital of Bavaria. It is the second busiest airport in Germany in terms of passenger traffic after Frankfurt Airport.
This is where you will land if you are flying from overseas. We arrived at the Munich airport from Canada and took the train to get to the city centre.
The airport is located 43 km (or 26.7 miles) away from Marienplatz train station or the city centre. It will take about 45 minutes by train (costs 11.90 euros), and about 30+ minutes by car to get there. You can also book an airport transfer by bus here
Getting around in Munich
One of the first things is to get a Munich Pass or City Card as it provides free access to a number of leading attractions, in addition to free access to public transport in the whole of the inner city zone.
The group ticket gives the best value for money as it allows up to five adults to travel together or substitute two children for each adult.
When going further afield, the Bayern Ticket of German Railways covers all forms of transport in Bavaria, including the entire Munich public transportation network. A bicycle day ticket is €3 for unlimited travel in Munich.
Where to stay in Munich
When it comes to hotel accommodation, Munich is a bit pricey, so be prepared to pay a premium if you want to stay in the vicinity of the city center.
Marienplatz too is a good location as it is near the bus and train stations. Rather spend a few euros more on accommodation than lose valuable hours using public transport. Some hotels in the city center which offer good value for money are:
Bayerische Hof: This is a luxury 5-star property dating back to the 1840s. The rooms here are gorgeous, and you also have amazing dining options choosing from 5 restaurants, a cafe, and 5 bars. A breakfast buffet is available. If you are planning a road trip in southern Germany, you can also arrange for parking here. Click to check availability here
Hotel Lux: Hotel Lux is a mid-budget accommodation for you in the centre of Munich, located only a minute walk away from Hofbräuhaus am Platzl (beer hall). Staying here means you are in the heart of everything from Marienplatz, Residenz Palace, and other popular tourist attractions. Book your stay here
Hotel München City Center affiliated by Meliá: Another mid budget hotel located at the centre is TRYP City center/Munchen city center. The rooms are simple, and you will find a lot of restaurants and small shops nearby. Check availability here
Arthotel Munich: Arthotel Munich is a small boutique hotel. Each suite is curated with colorful art and is located near the Central station. Check photos and other reviews
Day 1 of 3 days in Munich itinerary: Marienplatz walking tour, English Gardens, Olympic Park, Hofbrauhaus
Use the first of the three days in Munich to explore the sights, sounds, and tastes on a walking tour, but first a cup of coffee!
Munich has some specialty coffee outlets, but the one which immediately comes to our mind is Man versus Machine Coffee, accessed by a ten-minute walk to the southwest of Marienplatz. A more traditional German coffee outlet is the Vits der Kaffee.
If you are used to Starbucks Americano, well you will find one by the Beer Hall. Plus there are a lot of cafes near the Marienplatz station and the square like Schmalznudel – Cafe Frischhut.
No matter where you are located, start the morning with an espresso-based beverage to fuel up for the long day ahead of you.
A Munich three-day itinerary gives ample time to see the best things about Munich and get to know the city better. If you miss out on anything, you can always go back, which we bet you will love too.
Free walking tour from Marienplatz (10:00 am to 12:00 pm)
One of the best ways to explore a new city when you first set out is either by walking around yourself or opting for a free walking tour.
Traveling on foot allows you to get oriented with the place and learn about the best places to see and eat.
A lot of hotels offer a free walking tour, but even if they don’t it is well worth going on a two-hour conducted one to learn about the fascinating past of Munich. This is possibly the best way to acquaint yourself with this pretty Bavarian city on the initial leg of your first day Munich itinerary.
Old Town streets (12:30 to 3:30 pm)
There is nothing more pleasant when it comes to wandering around Marienplatz. This main tourist hotspot lies in the heart of the Old Town, surrounded by historical buildings like the neo-Gothic New Town Hall, and is unarguably the top spot to watch the world go by.
The feature attraction by far is the Glockenspiel with its 32 lifelike figures enacting fairy tales.
Here you will come across the Mariensaule column, which towers above the square to celebrate the end of the Swedish invasion.
Besides the square, there are events taking place in the courtyard like Rathaus Glockenspiel, a fascinating depiction of a royal wedding, which is performed every day at 11:00 am and 12:00 pm.
Pro tip: Keep an eye on your belongings as this is prime pickpocket territory.
You can follow our Marienplatz Munich old town guide and check off all the attractions in and around the square. Some of the popular stops include
- Odeonsplatz: This is a large square, which is located at the southern end of the Ludwigstraße. Odeonplatz was established under Ludwig I, and later was the subject of at least one painting by Hitler.
- Munich Residenz palace: Munich Residenz palace is one of the most important palace museums in Europe. There is an entry ticket with an audio guide, and it will take 3-4 hours to explore all of them. So factor this in when you are planning the day. The rest of the stops will be pretty quick so you can add a quick visit, if interested (more on that below).
- St Peter’s Church: This church has a 91-metre tower commonly known as “Alter Peter”—Old Pete. Climb for amazing city views from above.
We recommend spending the majority of your day in the Old town and also stopping for lunch in one of the cute cafes there. In the late afternoon, start for Englischer Garten (around 04:00 pm).
You may like: Marienplatz and English garden walking tour
This is a must visit place in Munich as it is one of the biggest urban parks in the world and a place worth exploring. One can either sit back and enjoy the surroundings or surf the stream close to the bridge at the end of the park.
The special high platform Monopteros provides great views of the park and the city from above.
The most attractive feature of the English Garden is without doubt the artificial stream that flows through the garden. Other spots worth looking into are the Japanese Tea House, Schonfeld Meadow, or any of the beer gardens scattered around the park.
Depending on where you are in the city, you can take the U-Bahn, S-Bahn, bus, or just walk to the park.
Olympiapark (aim for 5:30 – 07:30 pm)
This park is a bit far from the city and best accessed through public transport as walking there one way will take at least one hour.
Subway U3 will take you straight there. Irrespective of time or whether you are a sports fan or not, no trip to Munich is deemed complete without a visit to the 1972 Summer Olympics stadium and now home to the Bayern Munich FC.
The park also serves as a concert venue and has paths and trails laid out to enjoy the outdoors. The Olympic Tower has a revolving restaurant and an observation platform to marvel at the views of Munich far below.
Hofbrauhaus (08:00 to 10:00 pm)
For a first time visitor, trying traditional German food is a must, so if you are wondering where to rest your weary legs after a hard day on the streets head to Hofbrauhaus, the traditional beer hall of Munich established in 1607.
This popular eatery serves traditional German fare featuring roast pork, German beef soup, and of course, Munchner Weisse.
Hofbrauhaus also features rooms and areas where waiters dressed in traditional Lederhosen, sling beer mugs across the tables while the Bavarian bands churn out popular folk songs.
The brewery also has a dark history as this is where Hitler first founded the Nazi party in 1920.
Pro tip: Don’t waste time looking for a free table. It is common to share one with strangers in Germany.
Day 2 of 3 days in Munich itinerary: Hitler and the Third Reich tour, Viktualienmarkt or Victuals Market, Deutsches Museum, BMW Car Museum
Start your morning at another great coffee outlet Cafe Bla, which has a touch of Icelandic influence around it. After filling up the stage is set for your second day Munich tour. There are many options but a tour we recommend is WWII based.
Hitler and the Third Reich (10:00 am to 1:00 pm)
Whether you are into World War II history or not, this three-hour will detail the active role the city of Munich played in the conflict.
The tour will take you all over Munich, during which a true expert will delve deep into the somewhat dark history of the city and explain its role in the rise of the Nazi regime. You can book the guided tour here
Viktualienmarkt (1:00 to 2:00 pm)
After your long walk you must be yearning for something to eat, so head straight to the huge open-air Viktualienmarkt which has been operating for over a hundred years in the heart of Munich. From cured meat to cheese there are over 140 stalls selling things to eat.
For lunch, there are a couple of German fast food options specializing in sausage and pretzels which you can enjoy sitting on one of the many benches lining up either side of the square.
Cafe Frischhut sells the best popular German pastry called Schmalznudel.
Deutsches Museum (2:30 to 4:00 pm)
Walk along Prinzregentenstrasse across the Isar River and the imposing column of the Angel of Peace until you reach Ludwig’s Brucke which is next to the Deutsches Museum, a personal favorite as it focuses more on science and technology rather than history and art.
You will need to book your ticket for the desired day and time in advance to gain admission. Once you enter you can stay within the opening hours.
The original models on display here illustrate how the laws of nature and technology work. The most popular demonstration is the Faraday Cage where staff stands inside while intense sparks of voltage are emitted.
If you don’t fancy walking, the museum is three stops from Central Station.
- Opening hours: 09:30 am to 5:00 pm
- Fees: 8 euros
BMW Car Museum (4:00 to 5:00 pm)
The headquarters of BMW is Disneyland for car lovers. The museum features several stunning exhibits just like a 1933 gleaming runabout and the BMW Welt where car buffs can feast their eyes on new models and concept cars.
The BMW 507 roadster once owned by Elvis Presley in the late 1950s has so many admirers that there are lipstick marks all over it.
Do not forget to taste the special schnitzel with potato salad at the Bavarian Brasserie, one of the five fine restaurants on the campus the car manufacturer.
- Opening hours: 09:30 am to 5:00 pm
- Fees: 10 euros
Nighttime activities (7:30 to 9:00 pm)
After a hectic day out you will be more than ready for a good dinner. A relaxed and intimate eatery in the city center is the Servus Heidi where you can enjoy a beer in the beer garden, weather permitting.
The food is typical Bavarian with plenty of meat dishes in some form or the other. Retire for an early night ahead of your last trying day lying ahead of you in Munich.
Day 3 of the Munich itinerary 3 days: Nymphenburg Palace, Dachau Concentration Camp, Glockenbachviertel
Another day and a new place for a big breakfast as this is going to be a busy and long day of sightseeing. A good place near several transport hubs is the Cafe Glockenspiel where you can have a meal and enjoy uninterrupted views of the New Town Hall.
Nymphenburg Palace (10:00 am to 12:00 pm)
An extremely popular tourist spot in Munich is the Nymphenburg Palace with its massive grounds which are stunningly landscaped. The Baroque palace showcases many unique exhibits of artwork like frescoes and mythological creatures.
The towering tapestries inside provide a vivid glimpse of how prominent German families spent their lives during the 1600-1800 period.
Once the tour of the interior is complete you can wander the grounds and explore some smaller palaces like Brandenburg and Amalienburg which was a former hunting lodge. Animals like roebucks and geese can often be spotted in the vast gardens.
- Opening hours: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, from April-mid October | 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, mid-October to March
- Admission: €15 April to mid-October | €12 mid-October to March
Dachau Concentration Camp (12:00 to 6:00 pm)
This trip will take up most of your last day in Munich but is an unavoidable one if you want to experience the dark past of the country.
Here you can get to learn about the atrocities the prisoners underwent during the Holocaust, walking down the same path that either led to freedom or instant death through the “Path of the Prisoners” exhibition.
On the way, you will come across posts that relate to the history of the concentration camp and about the people who were made to suffer here.
The views of the Dachau concentration gas chambers and barracks will help you understand the most horrific events in history which took place here.
Glockenbachviertel (7:00 to 8:00 pm)
This arty district which runs along the north bank of the Isar River is worth looking into. In the 1980s this was the center of the city’s gay scene and today is full of artisan jewelers and chocolate makers.
The atmosphere here is totally relaxed and in nearby Stephansplatz you will find people chilling around having ice cream or drinking beer at any of the taverns around the Gothic gate, Sendlinger Tor.
Dinner (after 8:00 pm)
A local institution known for its bold style is Tantris, a two Michelin-starred restaurant operating since 1971.
With tables lit by lamps designed as plastic globes and walls lined with orange carpets, this eatery has stuck to its original look since its inception. Chef Hans Haas has the knack for making some of the best roasted veal and octopus carpaccio.
Alternate tour suggestions for 3 day Munich itinerary
Watchman torch tour
There are other special ways to end a day in the Bavarian capital, but one of the most special is going on a night watchman torch tour. This two-hour guided tour aided with the help of a torch features stories about the city’s ghosts as you travel through the dark alleys of Munich.
Learn how the night watchman in the past not only protected the citizens but also maintained law and order in the city. This walking tour will also cover some prominent historical locations of Munich and buildings.
At the end of the tour, you will certainly have a take or two to relate back home after your new perspective of Munich. Click to view this tour and its details
This former castle and residence of Bavarian rulers are now converted into a museum open for visitors. The exterior may look bland but once you step inside the opulence and splendor will leave you spellbound.
No prior reservation is required at the admission ticket can be bought at the front desk for €9 which includes a visit to the Treasury which is also worth seeing. You can also book a concert at the Residenz here
Bavarian beer tour
Day trips from Munich Germany
By using the country’s third largest city as a home base one can undertake some amazing day trips and explore some of the fantastic UNESCO World Heritage Sites situated in the vicinity.
Here are top Munich day trip ideas,
If you want to go to Neuschwanstein Castle take a train from Hauptbahnhof station which is headed for Fussen.
From there catch a bus to Schwangau. This is without any doubt not only the most popular day trip from Munich but also the most rewarding, as this fairy tale citadel has been inspired by none other than Walt Disney’s famous classic “Sleeping Beauty”.
Additionally, there are some splendid other attractions nearby like the Church of the Wires, Ettal Abbey, and the scenic town of Oberammergau which makes the whole tour worthwhile.
Another way to visit Neuschwanstein is through a guided tour.
Not only is it fast and convenient, but the tour company also has access to entry tickets which otherwise are difficult to reserve online.
Then, of course, you have the advantage of having an experienced guide traveling with you.
If you don’t pre-book you will be spending hours lining up just to get in.
A trip across the Austrian border to Salzburg, the birthplace of the famous composer Mozart, has a hotbed of attractions concerning the late master musician and even otherwise.
This picturesque city is surrounded by Baroque-style castles in the shadow of towering alpine snow peaks. Make sure to set aside time for visiting the Old Town, the setting of the mega-hit film, “The Sound of Music” and Salzburg Cathedral with its stunning St Peter’s Abbey.
- Distance from Munich: 192 km (119 miles)
- Travel time: 2 hours and 15 minutes
Located on the border with Austria, a day trip to Passau is perfect for those looking for a riverside getaway. Additionally, the skyline of the city is said to be the most striking in the whole of Europe with Italian style buildings overlooking the River Danube.
The Old Town is laid out perfectly allowing visitors to wander around on the cobbled streets leading right to the water’s edge. Make sure to stop at the Ludwigstrasse for purchasing Austrian and Bavarian goods and other treats.
If you wish to travel by train, there are hourly departures for Passau from Munchen Hbf to Passau Hbf.
Additional travel tips for 3 day Munich itinerary
Munich is a beautiful city with a lot to offer tourists. Located in Germany, the country is a powerful European Union member. If you require a tourist visa to travel to most of the countries in Europe, then do apply for the Schengen Visa ahead of time.
Visitors with US and Canadian passports do not require a visa to enter the country and stay for 90 days; however from 2023, an online authorization – ETIAS – is required prior to travel.
Here are a few more travel tips to help you make the most of your visit:
- Munich gets extremely busy during weekends as a lot of local visitors come to the city for shopping.
- Most of the public museums are closed on Mondays, which is an important point to consider before your visit.
- One of the top ten opera houses can be found in Munich, so if you are a fan try and book a ticket for an evening performance through the Bayerische Staataoper website.
- Germany has a world-class healthcare system with a pharmacy literally around every corner. In an unlikely event, accessing medicine or a doctor is super easy and incredibly cheap.
- Only cash is king in Munich. Local trains and U Bahn stations do not accept credit cards, something of a disappointment for a big city like Munich.
- Get an all-day pass for the public transportation system. This will save you money if you plan on using public transport to get around the city.
Germany’s official currency is euros.
Keep one thing in mind, Munich is an expensive city, especially since you will be spending three days there, so if you are not careful you can easily blow your budget in no time. The best is not to splurge and not be ultra frugal either. Here is a breakdown of costs:
Germany is a foreign destination and the worry about safety among tourists is understandable. However, according to Munich police, this city is by far the safest in the country. Moreover, there is a visible police presence at all the major tourist hubs.
Petty thefts are on the decline but still happen, especially on Oktoberfest, so a bit of common sense is advised.
Were three days in Munich enough?
Longer the better, but three days in Munich is more than enough to see a lot, especially as a part of an extended European trip.
While you may not be short of doing things in Munich, the allotted time is perfect to get the feel of the top sights and attractions of this iconic Bavarian city. Having said that, if you have only three days there will be quite a lot left on the agenda to do another time.
This itinerary doesn’t include visits to festivals, fairs, or big markets that might be taking place during your visit, we recommend tweaking the attractions and time allotted for such events!