2 days in Munich

2 days in Munich – what to do and see

Last Updated on May 10, 2024 by Ingrid & Alex

Spending 2 days in Munich is enough time to see the city’s best. The first time I visited Bavaria’s capital was for the Christmas Market in a cold December. Little did I know that soon enough, I would return to the city repeatedly.

While I have seen Munich in every season and have even spent a few months in a row here, I think two days is enough time for a first visit. You can see a lot with this time by following a good itinerary.

Because with every trip back, I would find myself going to the same places. And here is the perfect guide you have been looking for.

I will add valuable tips to make your visit as easy as possible.

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Day 1

Marienplatz and the New Town Hall Tower

Any trip to Munich must start in Marienplatz. That’s the center of the city, and from here, you can access all the other attractions in town.

Start your day with a coffee at Rischart Café am Marienplatz. Sit at a table by the window to admire the beautiful market. It is a popular place with locals and tourists alike, mainly because they have plenty of delicious cakes.

We suggest trying the local specialty made with apple sauce and pancake.

If you already had breakfast at the hotel but still want the view, head up to the Hugendubel bookstore and admire the market from above.

For the best views, climb to the top of the New Town Hall’s tower.

If you are there already, why not visit one of the most Instagrammable places in town?

The Law Library (Juristische Bibliothek) is one of the most beautiful libraries in Europe. You must book a tour in advance, and you can do it here.

Frauenkirche

The Cathedral of Our Dear Lady stands as a symbol of Munich’s rich history and architectural grandeur.

Located in the city’s heart, this iconic landmark is a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture. Its distinctive twin towers dominate the skyline.

Built in the 15th century, the Frauenkirche witnessed centuries of political upheaval and cultural evolution.

Despite sustaining significant damage during World War II, the cathedral was meticulously restored to its former glory, serving as a poignant reminder of Munich’s resilience and determination.

Moreover, its location makes it the best place to head to next. You can book a visit to the South Tower online here.

Viktualienmarkt

The Viktualienmarkt is also located steps away from Marienplatz. If you love food, this is the place for you!

I always enjoy going on strolls around this gourmet food market. Firstly, I will never forget the mulled wine I had here on my first trip to Munich. Secondly, there are some cool cafes around the market, where I once hid from the rain with my best friend.

Consequently, no food lover should skip a Gourmet Food Tour in Viktualienmarkt!

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Go on a Third Reich & WWII Tour

Munich city center
City Center, Munich

Whether you are into history or not, a Third Reich & WWII Walking Tour should be on your list.

Learn about the birthplace of Nazism, walk on Adolf Hitler’s steps, and see the sites of mass rallies.

On top of that, the tour will take you to see some of the most important attractions in town.

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Cocktails at the Mandarin Oriental rooftop bar

Cocktails at the Mandarin Oriental rooftop bar
The Mandarin Oriental rooftop bar

While you might not have the budget to book a room at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, you should not skip a cocktail on its rooftop bar. It was one of the highlights of one of our trips to Munich.

As a matter of fact, from here you can get some of the best views of town.

Dinner at the Hofbräuhaus

Hofbrauhaus Munich
The Hofbrauhaus in Munich

Indeed, one of the most popular tourist spots in town, the Hofbräuhaus, is always full of people. Thus, you might want to book a table for dinner here.

To be fair, I’ve only been there once, on my first vacation to Munich. I tried Weissbier from one of the huge and heavy cups, and we got our picture taken by the restaurant’s photographer. Additionally, you can have the photo printed on an item of your choice.

On the other hand, the beerhouse dates from 1589 and was open to the general public in 1828. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived around the block from the beer hall in the late eighteenth century.

In 1919, the Munich Communist government set up headquarters in the beer hall, and in February 1920, Adolf Hitler and the National Socialists held their first meeting in the Festsaal, the Festival Room, on the third floor.

If you love beer, do not miss a guided tour through Munich’s famous Beer Halls and Breweries.

Day 2

Munich Residenz

Christmas Market at Redisenz
Christmas Market at Redisenz

Start your day with a visit to the Munich Residenz. For a carefree visit, book your tickets in advance.

After all, it is one of the most important attractions in Munich, and it can get crowded. Thus, you don’t want to risk not finding tickets.

Originally a modest castle built in 1385, it evolved over centuries into one of Europe’s most impressive palaces, reflecting its rulers’ changing tastes and aspirations.

Under the Wittelsbach dynasty, the Residenz expanded dramatically, with each ruler leaving their mark through architectural enhancements and artistic patronage. It was the seat of power for Bavarian dukes, electors, and kings until the monarchy’s downfall in 1918.

Surviving bombings during World War II, the Residenz stands today as a testament to resilience. It houses museums, galleries, and treasures that chronicle centuries of Bavarian history and culture.

Immerse yourself in the splendor of Baroque architecture, where every corner tells a story of wealth and power.

The visit can take a few hours, so starting early is a good idea.

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Lunch at a beer garden

Munich Beer Garden
Munich Beer Garden

As you reach the next destination, stop at one of our favorite beer gardens in Munich. Of course, this is not only an option for nice weather since the beer garden also has a covered area.

We recommend Königlicher Hirschgarten Restaurant & Biergarten. It is not right in the city center, thus it is not packed with tourists. Consequently, you will feel the authentic city vibe and see how the locals enjoy their free time at the beer garden.

On top of that, the restaurant is located on your way to Nymphenburg Palace.

We visited several times and think it is a great place, especially when traveling with kids. You won’t have to worry about them being too noisy and disturbing the other guests.

Nymphenburg Palace

Nymphenburg Palace
Nymphenburg Palace

My favorite place in Munich, Nymphenburg Palace, is an oasis of calm.

If you don’t feel like visiting another palace on the same day, come here only for the gardens.

I remember my first trip to Munich as an employee of one of their largest company. Since I was there for business, I had to stay alone over the weekend. It was a warm autumn day, so I grabbed a book and went to the Nymphenburg Palace’s gardens.

Even today, I remember telling my then-boyfriend, now husband, what a wonderful place this is. I described it as “the perfect place to raise your children”.

It’s funny how, even after all these years, we come to the same conclusion with each visit to Germany.

Nymphenburg Palace
Pavillion at Nymphenburg Palace

The palace began as a modest villa, commissioned by Elector Ferdinand Maria in 1664 as a gift to his wife, Henriette Adelaide of Savoy. It gradually transformed into the magnificent Baroque residence we see today.

Over the centuries, successive rulers expanded and embellished Nymphenburg, adding wings, gardens, and ornate interiors.

It served as the summer residence for the Bavarian monarchs, providing a retreat from the bustle of Munich.

I simply love its sprawling gardens, charming pavilions, and picturesque canals. Even on a rainy summer day, I was charmed by deer seen from the window of one of the pavilions.

Book your tickets in advance here!

PS: You can also see a classical music concert at the palace!

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Dinner at a Vietnamese Restaurant

Sure, you can have dinner at one of the many amazing Bavarian restaurants. However, we always love to try Asian food wherever we go. And Munich did not disappoint when it came to Vietnamese food.

You can either try Chi Thu close to Sendlinger Tor. Or take the subway to Giselastrase near the English Garden and have a pho at Ha Noi Pho. It is a tiny place, but the food is delicious.

How to get around Munich

Public transportation, especially the subway, is the easiest way to get around Munich.

For this itinerary, you can only walk on Day 1 and use public transportation on the second day.

Make sure to buy the ticket from the ticket machine or buy it directly from the app. You can check out this page for information about fares and city maps.

Where to stay in Munich

Munich, Germany skyline
Munich skyline

When you only have 2 days in Munich, we suggest staying in the city center. This way, you won’t waste time on the road and can use the time to the fullest.

There are plenty of great hotel options for any budget range, so you won’t have to break the bank.

However, I’ve learned one thing about hotels in Munich after traveling for over 5 years to the city. Whenever there’s a business event taking place, all hotel prices skyrocket.

Moreover, during the famous Oktoberfest, you will find it difficult to find availability and reasonable prices.

That’s why we suggest booking in advance to secure your room.

We have a great guide for the best area to stay in Munich, but to save you time, here are our top choices in the city center.

Our recommended hotels

Best Western Atrium Hotel 

This hotel has a great location, only a few steps away from the Theresienwiese Underground (U), which makes it perfect for visiting during Oktoberfest.

Munich’s Hauptbahnhof (train station) is only a few minutes away, and the city center is also within walking distance.  

One of the things I loved most about this place was the small garden hidden in the interior of the building, where I used to drink my morning coffee.

Additionally, the hotel has a small underground parking space, which you must book in advance for an extra fee. 

Check when they’re available and book your room here!

Mercure München City Center 

This hotel is perfect for your first visit to Munich because of its location right in the city center.

Literally steps away from Munich’s central train station and a short walk from Marienplatz, this hotel caters best to those who don’t want to waste time commuting to Munich’s main attractions. 

Check out prices here!

Hotel Biederstein 

Just steps away from the English Garden, this hotel is simple yet great value for money.

Guests loved the green area, the great services provided by the staff, and the perfect location.

Note that the hotel does not have AC, so it might be worth checking the weather forecast before booking a stay during summer.

See their rooms here!

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2 days in Munich

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