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48 Hours in Munich

As a popular transit hub to many European cities, Munich, Germany is a hotspot for many travellers who often find themselves with 48 hours, or less, to explore the city. But where do you start?

Getting Into The City 

If you’re flying into Munich, you’ll find yourself some 40-45 minutes from the city centre as the airport is located outside of town.

The good thing though is that the train station is connected to the airport and catching a train from here will take you straight to the Marienplatz Central Square – this is a great place to begin your 48-hour exploration of the city.

Marienplatz Central Square, Munich

Marienplatz Central Square, Munich

What To See

Marienplatz Central Square

Named after the Marian Column in its centre, the Marienplatz Central Square is a popular meeting point for tours of the city.

A short walking tour of the highlights of Munich will give you some good insight into the history of the city, including its fascination with beer and its troublesome role in Hitler’s rule.

Also on the square, you will find two beautiful old halls as well as the famous Rathaus-Glockenspiel.

The Glockenspiel’s dance plays out every day at 11 am, noon and again at 5 pm (except in the winter) and it’s well worth positioning yourself here at this time to see the display which lasts between 12 and 15 minutes.

The Residenz

This former palace in Munich is an imposing building and the largest city palace in Germany. While the façade doesn’t look like much, visitors are welcomed inside (for a fee of course) and here the large rooms open up in a glittering fashion.

The treasury is one of the most impressive rooms in the palace with its collection of crowns, swords, goblets and crystals and is a welcomed sight after a short climb up the many steps.

Dresden Frauenkirche

Dresden Frauenkirche

Churches

Close to Marienplatz, you will find St Peter’s Church – the oldest church in the city. Adorned with a number of Gothic paintings, an impressive gold alter and beautiful frescoed ceiling, the church is well worth a visit especially if you decide to climb the tower of the church for a fantastic view of the city.

Another notable church to check out is the Dresden Frauenkirche – whose impressive dome is one of the largest in Europe. Going inside both churches is free, however, you will need to pay a fee if you want to ascend the dome or climb the tower.

Where To Eat 

Viktualienmarkt

While many are tempted to enjoy a drink and a bite to eat at one of the sidewalk cafes lining Marienplatz Central Square, this is also one of the most expensive places in the city.

Venture just around the corner from the square and you’ll find the Viktualienmarkt – Munich’s oldest and most popular food market.

If you’re staying in an Airbnb or self-catering apartment for the night be sure to stock up on fresh vegetables and meat here or just grab a pretzel and wurst from one of the many vendors. 

Viktualienmarkt street

Hofbrauhaus

The Hofbrauhaus is an absolute must-see during your 48 hours in Munich. As the oldest beer hall in Munich, the walls of this establishment have stories to tell.

It was the famed meeting place of Hitler and his cronies, with many a propaganda campaign playing out here. Today, beer is served in traditional mugs by dirndl-clad barmaids, while lederhosen-clad bands play in the background.

The Hofbrauhaus also serves traditional German fare including homemade soups, Spaetzle and the most delicious Weisswurst – a traditional Bavarian sausage made from minced veal and bacon whose insipid white colour doesn’t look appealing but will blow you away with flavour.

Where To Hang Out 

English Garden

Visit in winter and the chilly air that blows in off the Alps will see you hankering inside at one of the city’s popular taverns, but visit in summer and you’ll want to spend some time enjoying the greenery of the English Garden.

This sprawling park stretches north from the city and with its lakes, monuments and large open spaces, is a great place to enjoy a walk or settle down with a picnic. There is even a standing wave where you can go for a surf!

English Garden, Munich Germany

English Garden, Munich Germany

If you feel like heading out of town for one of your days in Munich, there are a few places worth visiting:

Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle is located close to the border of Germany and Austria and it will take you between 2 and 3 hours to get here.

As a result, may tour operators do offer visits here as a full day trip. The fairytale castle is set high on a hill in Bavaria and was originally the private residence of the King.

The castle served as inspiration for Disney’s famous sleeping beauty castle and it is for this reason that it is such a popular tourist attraction.

BMW Welt Munich, Germany

BMW Welt

Located about 25 minutes from the city centre, BMW Welt is a must visit for car enthusiasts.

This showroom, come museum, and adventure centre will take you through the world of BMW – from design, through to production.

The glass-walled futuristic building is an impressive site in itself. Be sure to have a look at what events and exhibitions are happening here before you go.

Nymphenburg Palace

Located about 30 minutes from the centre of Munich, Nymphenburg Palace is a baroque style residence that once served as the summer palace for the royal family.

The palace and its extensive park are open to day visitors and it’s worth dedicating a good few hours to roaming the grounds here.

Words by Janine Avery 

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