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Top 10 best things to do in Munich

Bursting with culture and history and with plenty of architecture and food to boot, the Bavarian capital, Munich, is a fantastic place for a European city break. Here are the best things to do in Munich to get you inspired.

Neuschwanstein Castle fairytale

The Schloß Neuschwanstein is truly the stuff that fairy-tale architecture is made of! This isn’t an exaggeration because it was actually the real-life inspiration for Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle. It was built in the 19th century on a rugged hill above Hohenschwangau village for Ludwig II of Bavaria in homage to German composer Richard Wagner. It takes around two hours to drive to the castle from Munich but it’s well worth a visit.

Address: Neuschwansteinstraße 20, 87645 Schwangau

Best things to do in Munich: Neuschwanstein Castle

See Warhol at Museum Brandhorst

This museum, which opened in 2009, is home to one of Germany’s largest modern art collections. The collection was bequeathed to the German state by art-lovers and entrepreneurs Anette Brandhorst and Udo Fritz-Hermann. It has over 700 pieces, including 100 by Andy Warhol, more than 100 illustrated books created by Picasso and works by controversial British artist Damien Hirst.

Address: Theresienstraße 35a, 80333 Munich

Opening times: Daily 10am – 6pm. Thursday 10am – 8pm. Closed Mondays

Entry: Regular admission is €7 (Dh32), reduced admission is €5 (Dh23). Admission on Sundays is €1 (Dh5)

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Surf in Schwabing

This is Munich’s bohemian neighborhood and it’s bursting with independent and quirky cafés, boutiques and restaurants. It was once the haunt of the artistic type, evidence of which can still be seen in the art nouveau facades of the buildings. It’s also home to the English Garden which is bigger than New York’s Central Park. The best way to see it is by bicycle, which you can hire in Schwabing. Believe it or not you can also surf on an artificial river in the garden!

Best things to do in Munich: Surf in the English Garden

BMW Welt and BMW Museum

This car museum is about as different to the Schloß Neuschwanstein as it’s possible for two buildings to be! It’s located in a huge glass-and-steel sleek design and contains everything a BMW fan would ever want to see. You can learn all about the different BMW products and brands (including the MINI and Rolls-Royce), and get an insight into the manufacturing of the cars at the BMW Group Plant. There’s also guided tours of the BMW Group Plant and the BMW Group Classic. Read more about the various tours here.

Address: Am Olympiapark 1, D-80809 Munich

Opening times: BMW Melt Monday through Saturday 7.30am – midnight, Sunday 9am – midnight. BMW Museum Tuesday through Sunday 10am – 6pm, closed Monday

Shop at the Viktualienmarkt

This sprawling daily market dates back more than 200 years but has moved around the city several times after outgrowing the spaces. It is the best place in the city to buy fresh dairy, bread and lots of Bavarian specialties such as pastries, honeys and spices. There’s more than 140 stalls so you can easily while away a full morning tasting the best food and drink the farmers have to offer.

Address:  Viktualienmarkt, 80331 Munich

Opening times: Monday through Saturday 8am – 6pm

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Glockenspiel

Don’t visit Munich without heading to Marienplatz square and keeping an eye out at 11am and 5pm every day (and 12 noon in summer) to see the Rathaus-Glockenspiel spectacle. Dating back to 1908, the exceptionally elaborate clock re-enacts two 16th century stories, including the 1568 tale of the wedding between Duke Wilhelm and Renata of Lorraine which includes some jousting! There are 32 life-sized figurines and 43 bells which all play their part in the 12 to 15 minute shows.

Address: Marienplatz 8, 80331 Munich

Hellabrunn Zoo (Tierpark Hellabrunn)

This is a wonderful thing to do in Munich if you’re traveling with a family. It’s home to more than 5,000 animals which it organizes by continent in an attempt to keep them as close to their natural habitat as possible. There’s daily animal shows and feeding sessions as well as a petting zoo.

Address: Tierparkstr. 30, 81543 Munich

Opening times: October 30 through March 23 9am – 5pm. March 24 through October 28 9am – 6pm. Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve 9am – 4pm

Entry: Tickets cost €15 (Dh68) for adults, and €6 (Dh27) for children between 4 and fourteen. Family tickets (two adults and children living at same address) cost €33 (Dh150)

Best places to visit in Munich: Hellabrunn Zoo

Bavaria Film Studios

The Bavaria FilmStadt is another good thing to do in Munich with or without children. Bavaria Film is one of the country’s oldest movie studios and dates back to 1919. It’s still producing movies and television series today (including the exceptionally popular Marienhof German soap opera). It’s most famous film is the 1981 war movie Das Boot. You can tour various movie sets, enjoy the quirky 4D motion cinema and watch a stunt show; during peak season the 4D movie screening at 1pm is in English and is followed by an English guided tour. Check out more tour information here. Bavaria FilmStadt is in the southern suburb Geiselgasteig.

Address: Bavariafilmpl. 7, 82031 Grünwald

Opening times: High season (March 24 – November 4) 9am – 6pm. Low season (January 1 – March 23, November 5 – December 31) 10am – 5pm

Entry: Tickets including guided tour and 4D motion cinema is €27.50 (Dh125) for adults and €22 (Dh100) for children between 6 and eleven

Grab dinner at Tantris

If you’ve managed to tick the rest of this list off your things to do in Munich, it’s time to reward yourself. Tantris is one of the most famous restaurants in Germany and THE place to eat in Munich. It’s decorated in 1970s style but there’s nothing dated about it. It’s earned three Michelin stars over the years so it’s no surprise that it’s one of the city’s most popular restaurants; you’ll definitely need to book your table in advance.

Address: Johann-Fichte-Strasse 7, Munich

Residenzmuseum

This very imposing building is one of Munich’s most popular places to visit and also one of its most important. It was home to the Wittelsbach royal rulers from 1508 until World War One. It’s a huge building which can easily eat a full morning or afternoon of your time if you want it to. You can see lots of their former possessions such as furniture, paintings and treasures in the Residenzmuseum which occupies around half of the palace building. There’s a free audio guide for the rest of the building – the Treasury – which covers around 90 rooms but it is possible to skip certain bits by choosing the shorter routes.

Address: Max-Joseph-Platz 8, 80539 Munich

Opening times: High season (March 24 – October 21) 9am – 6pm. Low season (October 22 – March 23) 10am – 5pm.

Entry: Separate tickets to the Residence Museum and the Treasury cost €7 (Dh32) each. Combination tickets cost €11 (Dh50). Children under 18 go free

*Content first written/published in February 2018. Information correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change and/or availability.

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