3 days in Munich

3 Days in Munich (Budget Itinerary!)

3 days in Munich is a good amount of time to see this beautiful and interesting city in Bavaria, Germany. It is the second-largest city in Germany after Berlin and you won’t be short of things to do in Munich while you’re there.

You can check out the beautiful Marienplatz in the centre of the city, take a sobering trip to the nearby Dachau Concentration Camp and visit the home of one of the world’s biggest football teams Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.

This 3-day itinerary of Munich will let you know the best places to visit in the city, where you should stay, the best places to eat and much more!

Whether you’re in Munich for 3 days or more, it’s somewhere you have to visit while you’re travelling around Germany!

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How to spend 3 days in Munich

Quick 3 Days in Munich itinerary
Day 1 – Walk around Munich, English Garden, Olympiapark
Day 2 – Nymphenburg Palace, Viktualienmarkt, Museum Quarter
Day 3 – Third Reich Tour, Dachau Concentration Camp, Allianz Arena

My thoughts on Munich

Munich skyline

Munich is a city I had wanted to visit for a while, but it was somewhere I knew little about. Apart from the football Bayern Munich, and the annual Oktoberfest, I didn’t know an awful lot about Munich.

As my bus approached the city and we slowly snaked our way to the central station I marvelled at the sights all around me. One thing that caught my eye, in particular, was the sight of surfers near a bridge! I had seen this artificial stream on social media before, I just didn’t realise it was in Munich.

Turns out it is right in the heart of the city and you can even jump in the stream! From that point on, I knew I was going to like Munich. After I spent 3 days in Vienna, Munich felt similar, but distinct also.

The sign of a good city is asking myself whether I could live there and the answer for Munich was yes. That said, I did visit during the summer, I know it gets colder during winter, but I would still live there regardless! I would have to make sure I include my warm jacket on my packing list for Germany!

There is just so much to do in the city, and if you want you can go further afield to places such as Salzburg and the Bavarian countryside. It’s easy to get around and I am a fan of cities that have extensive bike lanes, so Munich had me there too!

All in all, I think Munich is a great city. It’s considered one of the best places to live in Germany and it’s not hard to see why after spending some time in the city. Whether you’re visiting for 3 days or longer, or whether you’re visiting in summer or winter, you’re bound to have a great time.

Some of the best things to do in Munich

3 days in Munich should give you enough time to see everything the city has to offer. If you can squeeze an extra day in that’s great. Otherwise, 3 days should suffice.

One of the things I would recommend getting is a Munich City Pass.

The card gives you free access to a number of the top attractions in Munich. It also provides you with free public transport for the entire inner-city area.

The pass will make your time in Munich a little bit cheaper and easier!

Get Your Munich City Pass Now

Below are some of the best things to see in Munich in 3 days that you should do during your visit.

English Garden

English Garden

The English Garden is without a doubt one of the best places to visit in Munich. This sprawling garden is right in the city centre and there are quite a few things to do here.

You can do the normal thing when visiting gardens which is to walk around, take in your surroundings and spend an hour or two relaxing in the garden’s beauty. However, you can do more than that in the English Garden.

There is an artificial stream flowing through the garden. You can go surfing along a bank by the river, or you can plunge into the water and let the stream take you down along the garden. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to cool off on a hot day!

There is also a large beer garden by the lake, which is another place you have to check out. Beer gardens are popular in this part of the world and this is one of the best you can visit in the city!

Dachau Concentration Camp

Dachau Concentration Camp

It’s weird putting Dachau Concentration Camp down as one of the best things you can do in Munich, but it is important to visit the camp to understand what happened there.

Dachau was the oldest concentration camp used by the Nazis during their reign in Germany. It is horrible what happened there and humbling to walk around and take everything in.

The camp has done a fantastic of explaining what happened at the camp and how the Nazis came to power. I spent a good two hours walking around the camp reading and viewing all the exhibits.

It’s important to remember what happened in the past so we can ensure it does not happen again. For this reason alone, Dachau is somewhere you have to visit while you’re in Munich.

Marienplatz

Marienplatz

Marienplatz is a square right in the heart of Munich and full of magnificent buildings. Its name is derived from the Mariensäule, a Marian column which was erected in 1638 to celebrate the end of Swedish occupation.

The column is right in the middle of the square and has a statue of the Virgin Mary atop of it. As well this, the town hall and Frauenkirche are two other notable buildings in the square. The architecture of both is glorious and will have you snapping away for hours!

If you like shopping, there are plenty of shops around here. There are also several Bavarian restaurants and a Brauhaus or two to check out too!

If you decide to visit Munich in the run-up to Christmas, Marienplatz is where a lot of the Christmas markets are located. A lot of the other square around the city will have similar markets too.

Munich itinerary – Day 1

Free Walking Tour

View of Munich from above

One of the best ways to see a city when you first arrive is to either walk around yourself or go on a free walking tour. I used to favour the former, but recently I have begun doing the latter.

Walking tours allow you to get to grip with a city and find out where everything is. While you can do this yourself, you are missing out on the expertise a tour guide brings.

They can let you know about the history of Munich, which you will struggle to discover by yourself. Often, you will learn about the best spots in the city too, such as where to eat and where to get a coffee.

A lot of hostels offer a free walking tour, so check with your accommodation to see if they do. If they don’t, you always have the option of paying for one. While it may seem like an unnecessary expense, I think it’s well worth it to find out more about Munich’s fascinating past!

Book Your Tour Now

English Garden

Surfing at English Garden

The English Garden is somewhere you have to visit while you’re in Munich. It is one of the biggest urban parks in the world and a beautiful place to go exploring.

My favourite part of the garden is the artificial stream which flows through the garden. It is an ingenious idea and provides you with a unique and quirky thing to do in Munich. You can also surf the stream close to a bridge on the edge of the park which looks like a lot of fun! 

It’s not all adrenaline in the garden. There are plenty of places you can relax and wander in peace. This is what makes it such a great place to visit. The garden has the best of both worlds, you can have a lot of fun if you want, or you can sit back, relax and bask in your surroundings!

There is also a beer garden in the garden, which is worth checking out if you to experience something that is quintessentially Bavarian!

Olympiapark

Olympiapark Munich

The Olympiapark is an Olympic Park constructed for the 1972 Summer Olympics. It’s located in the Oberwiesenfeld neighbourhood of Munich. To get there you can either walk or take the underground. It’s a long walk so I would recommend taking the underground.

The park is gigantic! You could walk around for an hour and just about see everything. Checking out the stadium is a must as it’s a striking piece of architecture.

To get the best view, you should head to Olympiaberg Hill. The view from the hill is great and it gives you a brilliant perspective of the stadium, park and of Munch itself.

The park is often used for cultural and sporting events as well as numerous festivals. If you’re in Munich while one of these events is taking place, you should definitely check them out!

Munich itinerary – Day 2

Nymphenburg Palace

Nymphenburg Palace

The Nymphenburg Palace is a baroque palace located just outside of Munich. It was the main summer residence of the former rulers of Bavaria, the House of Wittelsbach.

The palace takes up a gigantic area and is an impressive sight. It’s a beautiful building and the grounds it’s set in are just as breathtaking.

You will have to pay to get into the grounds and there is a range of tickets available. If you want to see everything, including going inside the palace, tickets cost €9. While you can pay €4.50 to enter the grounds and walk around for a bit.

The palace is similar to Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna. If you’re familiar with that palace, then a visit to Nymphenburg Palace will be right up your street.

Viktualienmarkt

Viktaulienmarkt

Viktualienmarkt is Munich’s main outdoor food market. It’s located close to Marienplatz, making it an ideal place to explore while you’re in the city centre.

There is a range of food to choose from as you wander around. You have stalls selling fruit and veg, sausage and lots of pretzels! There are also several cafes dotted about the area too.

It’s nice to wander around and see what food you can buy, as well as sample some of the local Bavarian delicacies. There are Biergarten areas under the chestnut trees, which is a good place to try some beer and those local delicacies!

Another option is to book a culinary tour, which will take you to all the best spots in Munich’s old town and let you know the history behind some of the food you’ll try!

Book Your Tour Now

Museum Quarter

Museum Quarter

The Museum Quarter is a space containing five museums. Also known as the Kunstareal, the museums in the quarter each focus on a specific period of art. 

The Alte Pinakothek details art from the 14 to the 17th century. The Neue Pinakothek has pieces from the Impressionist period and has some Van Gogh paintings too! The Pinakothek der Moderne is about modern art as the name suggests. 

The two remaining museums are the Glyptothek and State Collection of Antiquities, which hold artwork and pieces from the Roman and Greek period. 

You have two options when visiting the quarter. You can buy a combined ticket allowing you to see all five museums, or you can pay to see the museums that you are interested in. 

Depending on how much time you have it may not be feasible to see all the museums, so it may be better to choose which museums you want to see instead.

Munich itinerary – Day 3

Third Reich Tour

Odeonplatz

One of the darker sides of Munich is that the city played a key role in the rise of Hitler and the Nazis to power. Hitler arrived in the city in 1913 as a 24-year-old after failing to become an artist in Vienna.

Following the end of the First World War, the Nazi party slowly grew a base of power in the city which led to the failed Munich putsch in 1923 and Hitler’s imprisonment. The city is also where the infamous SS was formed.

With all of these places across the city, it’s overwhelming to try and find them yourself and understand the significance of what happened. My advice is to book a walking tour that will take you to all these places.

The guides will be able to give you all the detail about what happened here and how the Nazis were able to rise to power. 

Book Your Tour Now

Dachau Concentration Camp

Fence at Dachau

Dachau is one of the most humbling places I have ever visited. It may not have the same power as Auschwitz, but what happened there is still barely believable.

Dachau is located outside of Munich. You will need to get the S2 in the direction of Dachau/Petershausen until you reach Dachau Bahnhof. From there, you take the 726 bus towards “Saubachsiedlung” to the entrance of the memorial site (“KZ-Gedenkstätte”).

Entrance to the site is free, however, you do have the option of paying for a tour. This may be a good idea if you want to know more about what happened as the guides have a lot of in-depth knowledge about the atrocities that occurred at Dachau.

Walking around the camp is an eerie experience. Just thinking about what happened and that you are walking in the footsteps of this is very profound. I found it an emotional and grounding place to visit, and as a former history student, it was fascinating to read the stories of what took place here.

Even if you’re not a history buff, a visit to Dachau is something everyone should do when they come to Munich!

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Allianz Arena

Allianz Arena

The Allianz Arena is the home of Bayern Munich, one of the most successful football teams in the world. Even if you’re not a fan of football, I still recommend visiting as Bayern are inexorably tied to Bavarian culture and Munich.

The ideal scenario would be to coincide your visit with a match at the ground. Taking a tour of the ground is nice, but it’s not the same as watching a match in the stadium.

Another thing you should do is to visit the club’s museum. It costs €12 to enter and you will learn a lot about the club and how it rose from humble beginnings to become the powerhouse it is today.

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Allianz Arena, if you’re a football fan like me then you have to visit during your 3 days in Munich!

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Other places to visit in Munich

As you can imagine there are a lot of places to see in Munich, as well as plenty more outside the city. If you’re in the city for longer than 3 days, I’ve listed some of the best day trips from Munich below.

  • Neuschwanstein Castle – This is the castle that supposedly inspired the famous Disney castle. It’s located in the Bavarian countryside and was the home of Ludwig II, who turned a little bit mad during his time. It’s an amazing place to visit, especially if you longer in the city. Click here to book your tour!
  • Zugspitze – Zugspitze is the highest point in Germany and not far from Munich. It’s a spectacular, but challenging to the top, however, you can ride a cable car to the top. another option is to visit as part of a tour who will help you get to the peak! Click here to book your tour!
  • Oktoberfest Experience – It’s virtually impossible to get a ticket for Oktoberfest, which is a shame because it would be a lot of fun. However, you can book a tour and be guaranteed a seat at the festival. This is worth doing if you want to experience the festival while it’s in Munich! Click here to book your Oktoberfest Experience!

Munich travel tips

Where to stay in Munich

As the second-biggest city in Germany, there are plenty of places to stay in Munich. You have a wide range of choice from budget hostels to more upmarket hotels. There is something for everybody depending on your budget.

One decision you have to make is where you want to stay in the city. Do you want to be near the centre? Or would you prefer to be further near the Olympiapark for example? By staying further out you will need to use the underground more, but it will be quieter than in the centre.

I stayed at Smart Stay Hostel Munich City, which is located near Goetheplatz. It’s a nice hostel with comfortable rooms and a bar downstairs. It is slightly outside the centre though and the kitchen isn’t the biggest.

I’ve included it and several hostels and hotels you should consider staying at during your trip to Munich in the table below.

Cost of travel in Munich

View of the Olympiapark

One thing to bear in mind when you visit Munich is that it can be an expensive place to travel. Similar to a trip to Berlin, the costs in Munich are not on the cheap side!

Germany is one of the most expensive countries in the world. If you’re not careful you can easily blow your budget.

The cost of visiting Munich will increase further if you go on several tours around the city too. My advice would be to set aside some money for these tours before you go.

The same applies to eating out. If you do this all the time while you’re in the city, you will spend a lot more than you would if you cook the majority of your meals.

The following prices are for the average travel budget. That is someone who is not going to splurge, but someone who will not be travelling on an ultra-frugal budget either.

They don’t include prices for extras such as nights out at a bar/pub, club entry fees, souvenirs/clothing purchases, tours. etc. You will have to budget extra for these purchases as they are ‘non-essential!’ 

Here’s a rough breakdown of essential travel costs in Munich:

Bed icon

Accommodation

Hostel: Dorm – €20-26; Private – €60-100
Hotels: €95-150
Rental Apartment: €80-120

Restaurant Icon

Food and Drink

Breakfast: Free-€5
Dinner: €7-18
Takeaway meal: €3-5+
Pint of beer: €3.50

 

Transport icon

Transport

City Metro / Bus: €2.90
Day ticket: €6.70
3-day ticket: €16.80

 

Best time to visit Munich

Street view in Munich

If you want to visit Munich when the weather is at its best, then you want to visit during the summer. I was there during July and the weather was hot. There were a few days, where it got uncomfortable, but on the whole, the weather was fantastic.

The contrast with visiting during winter is quite large. Temperatures plummet at this time of the year with the average hovering around zero. 

If you visit during this time, Munich will be a lot quieter, but you run the risk of getting caught in the rain and walking around in freezing temperatures. However, if you want to check out the Christmas markets, then going to Munich in winter is a good idea.

An alternative is to visit Munich during Spring or Autumn. Temperatures won’t be as extreme during summer and winter, while there should be fewer tourists during these months too.

The best time to travel to Munich comes down to personal preference. However, if you want to make the most out of your visit I would recommend visiting from April to October.

If you want to visit when there are fewer tourists and potentially see the Christmas markets, visiting outside of these months is when you should go.

How to get around Munich

Train in Munich

The good thing about Munich is that you can walk around the city without too much trouble, there is a downside to this, however. If you want to visit the Olympiapark, for example, it is at least an hour-long walk from the centre.

But that is no reason to despair. Munich has an excellent public transport system. There are numerous buses, trams and an underground system too. You can take advantage of this to see a lot during your stay in the city!

The underground system makes it easy to get around Munich and it’s not too hard to figure which trains go where. One downside is that it can be a bit pricey, so I would either use it sparingly or buy a Munich City Pass before you go, which gives you free access to the inner city area.

Otherwise, it can cost a lot to get around. I paid €6.70 for an all-day ticket for all the zones on Sunday, but the price on Monday soared to €15 for the same ticket! By getting this pass, you will save yourself money in the long run if you want to use public transport to get around.

To get to Munich airport, you want to take either the S-1 or the S-8 Bahn from the city centre. Tickets cost about €13.00. Another option is to get the Lufthansa Bus from Munich central station. This costs a bit less at €10.50.

One thing I wouldn’t do is get a taxi from Munich airport to the city centre or vice versa. You will be looking at a hefty bill of around €70 if you do!

Concluding thoughts

3 days in Munich is about the right time to see this beautiful city. I loved my time in Munich and thoroughly enjoyed exploring the city. There is so much to see here that you could easily stay longer if you wish!

Have you been to Munich? Did you do all of the things on my itinerary? Is there anything I missed? Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts!

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How to spend 3 days in Munich