5 Days in Munich: The Ultimate City Itinerary

5 days in munich with great views

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Munich is, without a doubt, one of the most well-liked cities in Germany for visitors. After all, Bavaria’s most populous city is frequently associated with images of huge stein glasses filled with beer and Disney-style castles in the nearby countryside.

And believe me, I’m not disparaging either of these things. What’s not to love?

However, Munich has so, so, so much more to offer visitors – especially travelers like me who enjoy taking things slowly in their temporary new homes. 

During my own travels in Central Europe, I was lucky enough to spend 5 days in Munich, which I think is an excellent amount of time to get to know the city (and its surrounding areas). 

checking out the gorgeous rebuilt buildings in munich

Munich Travel Tips

To tell you the truth, Munich is a pretty easy place to visit. You’ll have plenty of things to do even as a solo traveler.

For example, I didn’t encounter too many scams, and felt safe the vast majority of the time. The area around the main train station, München Hauptbahnhof, felt a little seedy at times, but I never felt like I was in any danger as a solo traveler.

Another big travel tip is not to just limit yourself to the city. By spending 5 days in Munich, you’ve a wonderful base for exploring the rest of Bavaria. 

Let’s cover more specifics in detail here.

munich's outdoor statues are delightful

Best Time to Visit Munich

Honestly, I think Munich is wonderful to visit any time of the year. 

However, if you want to know about my personal experience, then I had to admit that I loved summer in Munich.

Specifically, I spent my week in Munich in August. At the height of summer, all the beer gardens are open and active, and the weather is very warm, making outdoor activities at The Englischer Garten and other green spaces very appealing. Just make sure to wear spf on your face to protect your skin. 

If summer travel isn’t your cup of tea, then opt for visit Munich in December for delightful Christmas Markets or in autumn for the famed Oktoberfest. 

Not matter what – you’ll have a lovely 5 days in Munich!

enjoying lovely music in a beer garden in munich

Getting Around Munich

Personally, I think Germany has one of the best public transportation systems in all of Europe.

For example, the extensive trains and buses are one of my biggest reasons why you should visit Germany the next time you’re in Europe.

You won’t need a car in Munich. Driving and parking are both expensive, and not worth the hassle, even when you’re venturing into the Bavaria countryside. 

don't forget to see munich after the lights come on
Got 5 Days in Munich? Explore at Night!

Arrival in Munich

If you’re flying an international flight, you’ll likely arrive in Munich at Munich International Airport, which is the second busiest airport in all of Germany. 

Allow plenty of time to clear border country if Munich is your first destination in the Schengen Area. You don’t want to book a food tour at 11 am if you’re landing at 8 am, for example. Lines may be deceptively long. 

The S1 and S8 S-Bahn lines seamlessly connect Munich International Airport and the city center, with the entire journey only taking 40 minutes. 

Transportation in Munich

Munich is an easy city to navigate on public transportation. The rail system includes the following:

  • U-Bahn: The U-Bahn refers to the network of underground trains aka a traditional subway. You can reach anywhere in the city center using the U-Bahn.
  • S-Bahn: The suburban trains link you to the airport, as well as nearby sites, such as Dachau concentration camp.

Remember: when you buy your tickets, you need to validate them prior to boarding the trains. Not validating your ticket could result in a nasty fine. Undercover cops do check tickets, so be careful.

finding peaceful gardens with 5 days in munich is easy

Where to Stay in Munich

Like any big city, Munich has a variety of wonderful neighborhoods to choose from. However, I would stay close to the city center, preferably in walking distance to Marienplatz, so you’ve easy access to the main attractions and public transportation.

Below, I’ve listed a couple of recommendations for all travel budgets. 

Accommodation Suggestions: 

  • Hotel ADRIA: A lovely 3 star hotel located in Munich’s elegant Lehel district, not too far from the English Garden (see prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com)
  • Motel One München-Sendlinger Tor: This sleek hotel is perfect for travelers on a budget! You’re a quick walk from Sendlinger Tor U-Bahn station, making it easy to explore Munich (see prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com)
  • Wombat’s The City Hostel Munich: Wanna make new friends? Wombats is a great hostel chain that’s perfect for socializing! (see prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com)
enjoying the summer in munich
A Week in Munich Makes Me Happy!

What to Pack for 5 Days in Munich

Although this isn’t a packing list, I wanted to include a couple essentials that you will need for your 5 days in Munich. Don’t leave these items at home!

  • EU-Adapter: You don’t want your devices to die. If you’re coming from the US or UK, then you need to bring an EU adapter to charge your phone and camera.
  • German Phrasebook: Even though Munich is popular with tourists, it’s always polite to learn a couple sentences of the local language. My advice is to bring a Germany Phrasebook to help you navigate Munich.
  • LP Munich Pocket Guide: Lonely Planet makes my favorite guidebooks of all time. Their pocket guide to Munich will help you discover this city on a deeper level.
  • Mirrorless Camera: Your phone takes high quality photos, but if you want to invest in a good camera, then I recommend Sony’s Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Camera as you explore Munich.
  • Sunglasses (For Summer): In the summer, Bavaria is sunny! Nothing like the rainy stereotypes that spring to mind when we think about Germany. Pack sunglasses to protect those eyes!
  • Travel Insurance: Always, always, always purchase travel insurance for any big trip. I use World Nomads for my trips. Their policy is extensive and reasonably priced. 

munich in 5 days in the sun

Quick Glance: 5 Days in Munich

Hi, all. I’ve included a map in this post to help you construct your 5 days in Munich itinerary. More details are below. 

backpacking europe in 2 weeks: visiting munich is always a good idea

5 Days in Munich Itinerary: All the Details

The usual disclaimer: I’m the type of traveler who deeply loves culture and arts, and history, and food. 

For instance, I can spend hours in an art museum. I know not every traveler is like me.

Feel free to do additional research and adjust your itinerary for 5 days in Munich based on your interests! You want the best vacation possible!

headed to the residenz with 5 days in munich

Day 1: Welcome to Munich

Welcome to Munich!

Whenever I arrive in a new city, I love talking free guided walking tours to get acquainted with my surroundings. SANDEMANs offers lovely tours with passionate and fun guides! You’ll recognize them, because their guides always carry bright umbrellas! 

You’ll see and learn about all of Munich’s most popular attractions on the walking tour. Just keep in mind that you should still tip your guide for the tour. Tipping is how these guides earn a living and you want to support them!

After the walking tour, you will want to visit Munich’s recognizable Frauenkirche church.

This stunning Gothic church was mostly destroyed in World War II, but then meticulously rebuilt. One of the few things to survive the war was “the devil’s footprint” in the church floor. Learn all about the legend and see how your foot matches up!

If you time your visit, stick around Marienplatz, the main central square, to see the Glockenspiel clock perform on the hour! 

totally worth adding to your 5 days in munich itinerary
See the cute Glockenspiel!

If you’re ready for a museum, head over to Munich Residenz. This palace is the largest city center palace in all of Germany! Dukes, kings, and other rules governed from this breath-taking palace.

And if you like Rococo? Then this is the palace for you!

As you explore the Residenz, you don’t want to miss the Treasury, which houses a collection of over 1000 pieces of jewelry. Your eyes will glitter and shine in these rooms! In my honest opinion, the treasury is the true highlight of visiting the Residenz. 

Once finished at the Residenz, relax at the surrounding Hofgarten. These court gardens will make you feel as if you’ve transported to a countryside chateau. 

munich is a city with tons of green space

Day 2: Green Spaces, Markets, and More!

Good morning! We’ve more lovely churches, parks, and more on the agenda for today.

For one of the best views of Marienplatz and Munich’s skyline, walk to St. Peter’s Church. This gorgeous church is the oldest parish in the entire city of Munich. 

You will want to visit St Peter’s Church to climb the tower. You might have to pay three euros to climb 300 steps, but I promise the views are worth the money and sore leg muscles. 

Hungry after such a long climb? Then walk a few minutes to Victuals Market. 

Victuals Market is a historic farmers market that offers over 140 stalls and shop. Go and support Munich’s local food scene and savor a healthy snack (or five!). 

golden statue inside asamkirche munich

Once you’ve eaten, take another stroll to see one of Munich’s most beautiful churches (and one of my favorite places in the entire city): Asamkirche. 

This small Baroque church is gilded with golden statues of cherubs, skulls, and mosaics. The message of Memento Mori bleeds through the beautiful artwork, making a visit here a unique, powerful, and slightly unsettling experience. 

If it’s a sunny day, you want to spend some time relaxing in the Englischer Garten. 

Englishcher Garten is one of the largest public parks in all of Europe. You’ll discover a Greek Temple, a sunbathing lawn (don’t be surprised by the nude sunbathers!), and an area designated for water sports.

I personally loved Prinzregentenstraße to watch and cheer for the surfers balancing on the heavy water currents! Not an experience to be missed! 

neuschwanstein is one of the most sites in all of germany
With 5 Days in Munich, you have time for a day trip!

Day 3: Day Trip to Neuschwanstein Castle

Are you ready to briefly leave Munich and see some incredible and famous castles? I bet you are! 

Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most visited Castles in all of Germany. Its white spiral towers glisten on Instagram feeds and magazine covers, so it makes sense that tourists love to go and take hundreds of dramatic photographs. 

For the most iconic views of the castle, you will want to walk to Pöllat bridge. This historic footbridge is only only 500 meters away from the castle, and is well worth it for the pictures! 

However, Neuschwanstein Castle isn’t the only attraction in this area. You can easily spend hours here soaking up your surroundings.

Another castle, Schloss Linderhof, was also built by “Crazy” King Ludwig II, and is located nearby. The King completed this castle before he died, and is well worth a visit. 

In addition, the surrounding Hohenschwangau area consists of stunning green hills, mysterious forests, and onion-dome churches. Rent a bike and take in all the nature. You can even reserve a bike tour to have the assistance of an expert guide.

You can easily visit the castles on your own or join a small group tour if you want a break from planning logistics. 

there is plenty of art to discover in munich

Day 4: Famous Art Museums and Beer Gardens

I know art museums aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I personally love them! If you’re not an art fan, feel free to change your agenda for this day, although I’m sure you won’t eliminate the trip to Munich’s beer gardens, haha.

I’m personally obsessed with the Alte Pinakothek or Old Pinakothek. As we can tell from its name, this museum was founded a long time ago, and opened to the public in 1836. 

You also won’t find any modern art in the Alte Pinakothek. The museum mostly focuses on old masters from Germany, Netherlands, and Italy. Get lost in the museum’s several grand halls.

If you want to save money, visit the Alte Pinakothek on Sundays when the entrance fee is only 1 euro! Just prepare for crowds, haha.

munich's many wonderful art museums

Let’s continue our art journey by jumping waaaaay ahead in time. We’re now visiting the Pinakothek der Moderne. The modern art collection consists of over 5,000 pieces, so be sure to take your time and not expect to see everything in one visit. 

Last but not least, I am sure you want to go to some beer gardens during your 5 days in Munich! 

The most famous beer garden is Hofbräuhaus München. This is one of the most famous beer taverns in the world, and although crowded with tourists, a visit here is a lot of fun, especially outdoors on a brilliant afternoon!

You can also register online for a brewery tour if you want to learn all about how this iconic beer is made. 

with 5 days in munich, you should have time to see dachau

Day 5: Day Trip to Dachau Concentration Camp

Today we will spend more time outside Munich. I personally think it’s important to visit Dachau Concentration Camp.

Now I understand anxiety travelers might feel about visiting the death camp. And believe me, it’s a numbing experience.

However, although visiting Dachau is emotionally difficult, seeing the camps is very important as it serves as a crucial reminder of what happens when unchecked hatred sweeps the government. 

Be respectful on your trip to Dachau. I shouldn’t have to spell this out to people, but demonstrate politeness at the memorials and on the tour. 

Finally, on this blog, I have an extensive guide about taking a day trip to Dachau from Munich, which I hope is helpful if you choose to visit the memorial without an organized tour. 

After going to Dachau, I would pick a relaxing activity in Munich, such as a visit to Nymphenburg Palace or another beer garden such as Augustiner-Keller.

enjoying a beer garden in gorgeous munich

I hope you enjoyed reading about how to spend 5 days in Munich! What do you plan on doing when you visit?

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