Munich is the heart of Bavaria, a region that has built up since antiquity a culture that includes a unique language, cuisine, architecture, festivals and elements of Alpine symbolism.
The city is the physical representation of Gemütlichkeit (a German word used to convey the idea of a state or feeling of warmth, friendliness, and good cheer). So get ready to enjoy! Here are my top picks for the best things to do in Munich.
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Visit one of the many Churches
Catholicism is very tightly connected to the story of Munich, and Bavaria as a whole. For that reason, the Church and the Bavarian royalty invested a lot in their churches, which display incredible architecture and iconography.
Visiting the churches in Munich will give you an idea of the importance of religion to Bavaria. Two of the most prominent churches you will find in town are the Frauenkirche and the Asamkirche, make sure to check them out.
Have a Picnic at the Englischer Garten
One of the biggest urban parks in the whole world, the Englischer Garten (English Garden) is the perfect place in Munich for nature-lovers to enjoy. There is plenty of space to jog and cycle on the 78-kilometer-long network of paths within the park, as well as fields that are big enough to play soccer.
The English Garden is located by the Isar river, which spreads a network of canals throughout the whole park, giving a very refreshing feel to the place. It is the perfect place to have brunch or a picnic.
Visit the many Art Museums
Munich has over 80 museums for art and history lovers to enjoy. From prehistoric to modern art, the city has permanent exhibitions with collections including ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman, as well as Art Nouveau, Natural History, and of course, the terrible history of National Socialism. Two of my favorites are the Egyptian Museum and the Glyptothek.
Many museums are admission free in general while some of the museums offer special prices on certain days or for children and adolescents. That includes some of the top museums offering a 1 Euro admission fee on Sundays.
Buy a small Souvenir
I know this sounds very cliché, but the reality is that many stores around Marienplatz sell very pretty souvenirs such as themed silver spoons, nutcrackers, and snow globes for as little as €8. It is a very nice way to bring back home a physical representation of the good memories you will have from this lovely city.
Feel like a Royal at the Munich Residenz
For over 400 years, the Munich Residence was the seat of residence and government of the Bavarian dukes, electors, and kings. The art collections found here stem from the Renaissance, Early Baroque, and Rococo periods through to Classicism, displaying the sensibility to art and the political claim of the Wittelsbach family.
A must-see in this place is definitely the Antiquarium. Built between 1568 and 1571, the Antiquarium is the oldest surviving room of the Munich Residenz. It is a 66-meter long Renaissance hall, the best north of the Alps. It contains 16 paintings by Peter Candid, displaying allegories of fame and virtues; as well as busts and sculptures partly from the collection of antiquities by Duke Albrecht V.
Grab a Beer at a Beer Hall
Let’s be honest, one of the top things to do in Munich will always be to try out traditional beer! If you want to taste traditional Bavarian food accompanied by great beer, a beer hall is definitely the place for you.
Typically decorated with wooden barrels and with live Bavarian music played by oompah bands, beer halls such as the Augustiner Bräustuben, Der Pschorr, and the famous Hofbräuhaus offer the most traditional Bavarian experience.
Get a Stunning View of the City
Munich, like many other European cities, does not have many skyscrapers. But this does not mean it is impossible to get a nice view of the city. The Olympia Tower, the Rooftop Bars of the TU München and the Bayerischer Hof Hotel, and the Hugendubel bookstore at the Marienplatz are some of the places in Munich where you can have a stunning view of the city.