Welcome to the beautiful capital of Bavaria! Straddling the banks of the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps. I have to share the best weekend activities in Munich with you to save for later!
This beautiful city was first mentioned in 1158, talk about some history! Its name interprets from old/middle high German meaning “by the Monks”. This comes from the Monks of the Benedictine Order who ran a monastery at the place that later became the Old Town of Munich.
In 1806, Bavaria was established as a sovereign Kingdom, Munich became a major European center of arts, architecture, culture, and science. This is why you need to absolutely spend a weekend exploring as much as humanly possible!
This square is the heart of the city of Munich since 1158 and definitely isn’t one to miss. This is where the main venue where public events like tournaments events and sadly a few executions too.
The square was originally called Schrannen but then was renamed Marienplatz after the citizens of Munich prayed to the Holy Mother for deliverance from a cholera epidemic.
Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall)
The New Town Hall, “Neues Rathaus”, was built in the 19th century when the city of Munich was a very wealthy city. The Old Town Hall became too small to accommodate the local government gathering together which is why the new hall was constructed!
This building is beautiful without ever having to go in but it is also worth sticking around out in the square at 11 am, 12 pm, or 5 pm to watch the famous Glockenspiel! This beautiful, two-story clock reenacts stories from the 16th century. The first is Duke Wilhelm V’s marriage and the second story is of the Schafflertanxz, also known as the Coopers’ dance set in 1517. The show lasts between 12 and 15 minutes and at the end, a golden rooster chirps three times.
If you’d like to visit Neues Rathaus there is a visitor’s information office where you can purchase your tickets.
Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)
In the same square as the New Town Hall stands the Old Town Hall. Constructed between 1470 and 1480 was based on the design by Jorg von Halsbach, who was a renowned architect at the time.
I highly recommend that you visit one of the finest historical buildings in Munich it is a blast climbing to the roof but also it has a Toy museum which is a lot of fun for the kiddos!
St. Peter’s Church is said to be the site where Munich grew from and the architecture alone is worth the visit! The church itself is open on Monday through Friday from 9 am -5:30 pm, it is worth noting that it is worth paying a few extra euros to climb the tower of the church. It gives a full 360-degree view of Munich. The tower isn’t an easy climb and if you’re scared of heights you might want to think twice about going up – though the view is worth it!
Just around the corner from the Marienplatz is the largest open-air DAILY farmer’s market in Munich! In the early 19th century King Maximilian of Bavaria decided it was time to create a space for a market for the demand for a larger shopping area.
The square got its name from the Latin word for food “Viktuel”. There are stalls for everything one could think of, from wines, fish, fruits, flowers, and more! There are over 140 shops and with it being open daily, you never have to worry about missing it even if you’re only here for a weekend visit.
Hofbrauhaus Beer Hall
It wouldn’t be a true trip to Bavaria if you didn’t visit at least one beer hall. Stay with me on this one, because it is very family-friendly, why not visit the oldest in the city? Dating back to 1589 this beer hall was founded by the Duke of Bavaria and funny enough…wasn’t open to the public at the time. It wasn’t until 1828 that this hall was finally opened to the masses where you can still come to enjoy the music from the Oompah band, a pint of beer, a pretzel and more!
Fun fact: Bavarian beer purity law was passed in 1516. This law states that only natural ingredients can be used for beer brewing and to this day that law is still strictly followed.
Residenz Royal Palace
This is the former seat of the Bavarian Government and the residence of Dukes, electors, and Kings from the Wittelbach family who were the rulers of Bavaria who lived here between 1508 and 1918. Today, the palace houses a museum and proclaims that it has the finest decorated rooms in all of Europe.
You can buy a combined ticket for the Theatre and the Treasury to have a complete experience of the Palace. I highly recommend also getting the audio guide, I always opt for the audio guides when possible (I learned how much I missed out on when I didn’t opt to have the audio guides).
End the weekend at the English Gardens! This park, located in the heart of the city, is 900 acres of land, which makes it beautifully bigger than even Central Park in New York City!
You can take a calm walk, bike ride, jog through the paths, or go enjoy a brew at the beer garden at the Chinese Tower! When the sun is shining in Munich you will see this park full of dogs and locals alike and it is the perfect way to end a weekend in Munich.
All of Munich and the surrounding areas in Bavaria need much longer than a weekend to explore…but this list of locations should get you started in the right direction!
Stay tuned for more fun locations and travel tips here! Or if you are visiting Germany for Christmas markets, you’ll want to check out my blog here.