Aerial View of Alter Peter, Munich, Germany

Alter Peter

Climbing the 500-plus steps to the top of this tower, which rises above St. Peter's church in central Munich, is a great way to get the lay of the land from above or to work off a hearty lunch.

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BMW Car - BMW World  , Munich, Germany

BMW World

Located in a futuristic-looking building, the BMW Museum showcases the manufacturing history of the German car brand. Car aficionados will love it here; the museum is one of the most-visited sights in Munich. Tours of the Munich plant (adjacent) can also be organized.

Cinema Lounge

A real insider tip is the fact that the small, uber-comfortable movie theater in the Bayerischer Hof has a regular film program and tickets can be booked online. You can order drinks at Falk’s Bar across the way and enjoy seeing films in original language while nestled in an overstuffed chair. A great option when the weather is not great.

Mountain at Day Trip: Bavarian Alps , Munich, Germany

Day Trip: Bavarian Alps

If you drive just 30 minutes south of Munich, the landscape quickly becomes rural. An hour further and you're in midst of the Bavarian Alps, whose piece-de-resistance, the Zugspitze, rises to a proud 9,718 feet in the Wetterstein mountain range. The towns that are located at its foot are some of southern Germany's quaintest: Garmisch-Partenkirchen might be the most famous but it gets crowded and overrun with visitors, so head to the smaller Mittenwald and/or Krün instead.

If you can combine touring in this area with a stay at Schloss Elmau, an ideal day's itinerary would include: a hearty breakfast at Elmau, followed by a hike towards Mittenwald right from the foot of the castle. It's a beautiful, two-hour walk through stunning nature, passing two lakes: the Ferchensee and the Lautersee. At the latter, a number of hostelries and restaurants beckon with great terraces and hearty menus.

Have lunch at the Lautersee Alm but skip dessert and coffee, as you will have this in the quaint town of Mittenwald. Continue your hike – from the Lautersee, it's another 30 minutes until you reach the town. Head to the Obermarkt Café (Obermarkt 24), housed in a building whose beautifully painted façade is a showstopper. Or indulge in an authentic Italian gelato at Eiscafé Venezia (Obermarkt 36). There are a number of quaint shops in Mittenwald, so it's a fun place to wander.

If you're still up for more hiking, the town of Krün is another two hours north. (If you're staying at Elmau, a pick-up can also be arranged.) For a special meal, book a table at the Post Krün, one of southern Germany's most renowned restaurants for traditional Bavarian cuisine.

There are many other incredible hikes in this area; the lovely concierge team at Schloss Elmau can help craft itineraries for any fitness level.

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Exterior veiw park - Day Trip: Berchtesgaden National Park ,Munich, Germany

Day Trip: Berchtesgaden National Park

This national park, a two-hour drive from Munich, offers scenic vistas and challenging hiking. From here, you can also drive to the Koenigssee, a deep glacial lake that is quite scenic and near the famous Watzmann, one of the region’s most impressive (and Germany’s third-largest) mountains.

Driving time to Munich:

2 bours
Exterior Veiw - Day Trip: Bregenz ,  Munich, Germany , Courtesy Herbert Sponner

Day Trip: Bregenz

Home to one of Europe’s most famous summer festivals, Bregenz is located in Austria on the eastern shores of Lake Constance, central Europe’s third-largest freshwater lake. The surrounding area is beautiful for hiking. Music aficionados lucky enough to score tickets to one of the operas performed in July and August will witness one of the world’s most unique set-ups thanks to the stage that floats in the lake (it was made famous in Quantum of Solace, the 22nd James Bond film.)

Driving time to Munich:

2 hours
Structure at Day Trip: Dachau Memorial , Day Trip: Dachau Memorial  - Photo courtesy Kim Traynor

Day Trip: Dachau Memorial

It's an emotionally challenging day trip but visiting the memorial site of this former concentration camp is an important and powerful addition to a Munich itinerary. The fact that it is located only a thirty-minute drive northwest of Munich is a chilling testament of the Nazi fear machine – opened in 1933 just a few weeks after Hitler was appointed chancellor, Dachau was the Nazis' first concentration camp. It originally held political prisoners but after 1938, its primary population extended to Jews and prisoners of war, predominately from Poland. The exhibitions are obviously sobering — it's not recommended to bring children under the age of 12 — but even more poignant is the fact that you're on the actual grounds where these atrocities happened.

Indagare Tip: Take your time and don't follow this up with the next itinerary must-see. After a visit here, you might want to give yourself some time to walk, think and write down some impressions.

Exterior view -Day Trip: Garmisch-Partenkirchen ,Munich, Germany

Day Trip: Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Visiting this quaint town, with its frescoed buildings, feels like stepping back in time. Take the Zugspitzbahn to ascent to Germany’s highest peak: the Zugspitze.

Driving time to Munich:

1 hour 40 minutes
Lake - Day Trip: Lake Starnberg  , Munich, Germany

Day Trip: Lake Starnberg

A favorite local escape, Lake Starnberg is just a 45-minute drive away from the city (during summer weekends, the traffic is as bad as that to the Hamptons, so avoid leaving on a Friday afternoon). For a local taste, head to Midgardhaus Zum Häring (, in the village of Tutzing, which is a wonderful lakeside restaurant and beer garden.

Driving time to Munich:

45 minutes
Exterior Veiw -Day Trip: Neuschwanstein Castle  ,Munich, Germany

Day Trip: Neuschwanstein Castle

This fantasy castle (the Disney logo is based on its outline) draws the expected crowds. The history behind the palace is as dramatic as its Romanesque Revival towers: built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria in part as an homage to the musical works of Richard Wagner, the palace is a fascinating architectural expression of the king’s artistic, volatile, egotistical and emotional mind. Ludwig’s own time at his dream castle was limited; he only lived there for five months before he mysteriously drowned close to shore in Lake Starnberg. Neuschwanstein is one of Germany’s top five attractions; it’s about a two-hour drive from Munich. Those with less time and not eager to battle the crowds should also consider visiting Schloss Herrenchiemsee.

Driving time to Munich:

2 hours
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Exterior romantic palace - Day Trip: Romantic Route ,  Munich, Germany

Day Trip: Romantic Route

This former trade route, now cheesily dubbed Romantische Strasse, kicks off in Würzburg and snakes toward Füssen (home to Neuschwanstein), past some of Germany’s most picturesque towns, castles and sweeping landscapes. It’s often more of a highway than a romantic route, however, so it’s best to come up with an itinerary of specific castles and medieval towns, rather than driving the whole route.

Driving time to Munich:

1 hour 40 minutes (to Würzburg)
Exterior Veiw-Day Trip: Schloss Herrenchiemsee,  Munich, Germany

Day Trip: Schloss Herrenchiemsee

Those turned off by the crowds of Schloss Neuschwanstein and without the time to embark on the Romantic Route with its many castles, can take the one-hour drive to this chateaux right on Lake Chiemsee. Built as a German answer to Versailles, it is famous for its sprawling formal gardens and such decorative details as a massive chandelier made of Meissen porcelain, a hall of mirrors and opulent interiors.

Driving time to Munich:

1 hour
Garden - Englischer Garten , Munich, Germany

Englischer Garten

The city’s large green playground is bigger than Central Park and encompasses a lake, large meadows and such attractions as a Japanese teahouse and a Chinese pagoda (modeled after the Great Pagoda found in London’s Royal Botanic Gardens). A whimsical spot to find is the Eisbach junction. It takes some German engineering to surf in land-locked Bavaria. But endless rides are possible on the Eisbach wave, a man-made, standing curl in the middle of a narrow artificial stream that runs through the Englischer Garten. It has drawn both international river surfers—even in winter—and gawking crowds since soon after the wave was created in 2000. The Eisbach wave is located at the southern edge of the English Garden park, near the Haus der Kunst art museum. There are also several beer gardens in the Englischer Garten, including the one at the Seehaus, which is one of the best spots in the city for lunch or an afternoon beer with beautiful views.

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stone building with a vertical sign reading "Kunsthalle"

Kunsthalle der Hypo Kulturstifting

This small art museum in the city center hosts three exhibitions a year that range from ancient works and decorative art to modern studies.
Exterior Veiw - Lenbach Haus  ,  Munich, Germany

Lenbach Haus

Part of the Kunstreal that also contains the Pinakotheken and Sammlung Brandhorst, Lenbach Haus is known for its singular collection of the Blaue Reiter, a group of expressionist artists that included Kandinsky, Marc and Klee and lasted from 1911 through 1914. The museum reopened in May 2013 after a massive restoration that added a contemporary entrance to the historic canary-yellow villa and updated the exhibitions rooms, making this one of Munich's top museum experiences now.


Housed in a small yellow mansion is a collection of 20th century art, which includes Art Nouveau, contemporary art and Blaue Reiter.
Exterior Veiw  - Museum Brandhorst , Munich, Germany

Museum Brandhorst

Architecture buffs should see the Museum Brandhorst, in a building with a multi-hued, ceramic-slabbed façade that was quite controversial when it opened in 2009. It features the private modern collection of Udo and Anette Brandhorst, including pieces by Warhol, Baselitz, Richter, Basquiat, Polke and Hirst. Brandhorst was particularly passionate Cy Twombly, and with some sixty works, this is one of the largest Twombly collections outside the U.S.

Museum Villa Stuck

With all the rest of Munich’s art offerings, only truly devoted fans of Art Nouveau should take the time to tour Villa Stuck, across the Isa River (about a 10-min taxi ride to the City Center). But those who are fans of the style will love this splendid home, designed by German painter Franz von Stuck. There are beautiful original frescoes as well many paintings by Stuck. An absolutely lovely café/restaurant is on the premises in the leafy garden.

painting with two men and a woman in a red dress

NS Dokumentationszentrum

NS Dokumentationszentrum is for travelers seeking to dive deep into Munich’s dark past, specifically the time of the Third Reich.
white palace surrounded by manicured lawns

Nymphenburg Palace

Once used as a summer residence for the Bavarian royals, this baroque style chateau sits on sprawling grounds with English gardens.
Aerial View-Oktoberfest ,Munich, Germany


The first thing you need to know about the event that most of the world associates with Munich: it’s held in September, more precisely the two weeks leading up to the first weekend in October.

The Oktoberfest (locals call it “die Wiesn”) originated here in 1810, in honor of the marriage of King Ludwig I, and every year the city virtually shuts down for two weeks of beer-drenched celebration. If you are planning your trip to coincide, it’s best to book way in advance.

The festivities are relegated to the Theresienwiese, a large meadow outside the city center, so non-partiers are not impacted by drunken revelers. But the city overall is a lot more crowded during this time, so if the Oktoberfest is not a draw for you, it’s best to avoid these weeks.

STADIUM - Olympic Stadium Roof Climb ,Munich, Germany

Olympic Stadium Roof Climb

If you’ve climbed Sydney’s Harbour Bridge you will be perfectly prepared for the lofty adventure at Munich’s Olympiastadium. The excursion takes two hours after which you have reached the roof of the stadium was built for 1972’s summer Olympics.

Modern white building with a flat roof and a mowed lawn

Pinakothek Museums

The three Pinakothek museums are located in Munich’s so-called Kunstreal, the Arts District, covering a wide range of art and mediums.
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Interior View-Residenz ,Munich, Germany


The colossal Residenz, the home of the Bavarian kings, is best visited with a guide you can get you to the interesting parts of it (including the Treasury) and back out without getting weighed down by too much history. The highlight of the entire complex is the jewel-like Cuvilliés Theater, a Rococo treasure where Mozart’s Idomeneo was first performed (in 1781). The theater hosts occasional theater and concerts; ask your concierge if there is anything on during your visit. Seeing a performance in this incredible space is very special.

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Sammlung Goetz

If you visit only one private collection in Munich, make it the excellent Sammlung Goetz (open by appointment only). In her years working as a gallery dealer Ingvild Goetz amassed an enviable collection of modern art, which she displays in themed exhibitions in a striking building by Swiss architectural firm of Herzog & de Meuron.

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Church - Top Churches ,  Munich, Germany

Top Churches

Munich has a host of stunning churches. Most famous is the Frauenkirche, whose twin towers with their bulbous tops are the city’s iconic landmark (to this day, no building is allowed to built taller than this cathedral). The yellow-hued Theatinerkirche is a must for fans of Italian high-Baroque style, while St. Peter’s Church, one of the city’s oldest, is worth seeing for its lavish, gilded high altar and ceiling fresco by Johann Baptist Zimmermann who also did much memorable work in the Nymphenburg Palace.

Beer Garden - Visit a Beer Garden , Munich, Germany

Visit a Beer Garden

Another typical Munich experience are the many different beer gardens (Biergärten). There are twenty major ones throughout the city, the most famous/best of which are located in the Englischer Garten: the snazzy Seehaus draws the beau monde, the one at Chinesischer Turm is more fun and boisterous.

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