Munich is Germany's third-largest city, so whether you fly into Munich Airport or arrive on a train to Munich Central Station, you need to have made a basic plan for your stay there.
Preparing a three-day Munich itinerary before you go is one of the most sensible things to do. By doing that, you won't miss out on seeing any of the most popular tourist attractions, and you'll still have spare time for sitting in the beer gardens or going to see Bayern Munich play a home game.
This Bavarian city is a very cultural one, but unless you're a museum addict, you won't want to spend all of your days in Munich going from one museum to another. The best idea is to choose a couple that really pique your curiosity, like the Bavarian National Museum, the BMW Museum, or the Munich Residenz. Then, visit all the museums in one morning or afternoon. That will loosen up time on your Munich itinerary for taking a free walking tour of the city or just being lazy and sleeping in for a couple of hours if you feel like it.
When you're planning your 3 days in Munich itinerary, keep in mind the fact that some major festivals are happening at certain times of the year, which may influence what you want to do.
When you're planning to visit Munich in December, you won't want to miss the Tollwood Festival with its special Christmas markets. If you're here in May, July, or October, you'll definitely want to take a look at the Auer Dult festivities taking place in the Mariahilfplatz. It goes without saying that if you're headed to Munich at the end of September, then the Oktoberfest will probably be high on your list of things to do.
During your 3 days in Munich, if at any time you find yourself wondering where you can leave your bags, don't worry; Bounce has your back. Bounce has several luggage storage sites in Munich City Center that are economical to hire. They're all security tagged and insured, too, so you can relax and won't have to worry about your belongings while you're enjoying German hospitality in one of the city's beer gardens.
Munich Itinerary – Day 1
The most exciting thing about visiting anywhere new is taking that first look around. Unless you arrived really late to the city, get up early on the first morning you're visiting Munich and join a free walking tour.
You can join a tour easily enough if you head for the Marienplatz in the city center as there's a guide that waits here by Mary's Column at around 10:30 am. The guides are locals, so they know their way around and will take you to several of the main attractions, such as Peter's Church, the town hall, the glockenspiel, and the Munich Residenz, which is the former royal palace. The free walking tour usually takes around two to two and a half hours, so by the time it's over, you'll be ready for lunch.
There's one place you need to check out at some point: the Hofbräuhaus München. Whether you go here on the first day or the last of your Munich itinerary, go for lunch or dinner, it is a must-visit.
The Hofbräuhaus München is one of the oldest beer halls in the city and is so full of character it almost talks. After you've walked up an appetite on your morning tour, you'll be more than ready to tuck into a plate of the traditional Bavarian food they serve here. If you're vegetarian, you won't want to be here as what's on the menu are plates like veal schnitzel, pork knuckle, and pork chops with applesauce and herb dumplings.
You might want to take it easy on the beer here, too, as some of it is quite strong, and a couple could see you sleeping the afternoon away rather than continuing your sightseeing. They also have rooms, so if you haven't decided where's the best place to stay in Munich, you might want to take a look at what they have on offer. It would be a real Bavarian experience so long as the oompah bands don’t play right through until midnight when they close.
After being stuffed to the gills with Bavarian cuisine and beer, quite possibly the last thing you'll feel like doing is moving. The easiest way to see more of the city without strain is by catching the hop-on-hop-off bus. The bus operates three routes, but after a heavy lunch, you'll probably only want to do a short tour.
The most economical ticket purchase is the one that's valid for forty-eight hours. On the first afternoon of your Munich itinerary, just take the short city center exploration tour and save the rest for day two of your Munich itinerary. It'll pay you dividends, and you won't need to fork out extra to see the Nymphenburg Palace or the Olympic Tower.
Spend your first night in Munich at one of the restaurants or bars near your hotel so you can be fresh for day two of your trip. If you haven't tried Hofbräuhaus München yet, now may be a perfect time.
Munich Itinerary – Day 2
Start day two of your Munich itinerary with a big breakfast as it's going to be a busy morning. A good breakfast spot in the city center that's right near several transport hubs is the Cafe Glockenspiel in the Marienplatz.
As well as serving a decent plateful of huevos rancheros, this cafeteria has uninterrupted views of the glockenspiel and the new town hall, so you'll have something to look at while eating. Once you've satisfied your morning appetite, you'll be in the right place to jump back on the hop-on-hop-off bus and continue your sightseeing from the day before.
Pick up the bus in the Marienplatz that runs the red route. It's an interesting loop through the old town, goes past the Deutsches Museum, and terminates in the Hauptbahnhof. Here you can jump on the bus for a different route, the purple one, that will take you out to the Nymphenburg Palace and the Olympic Park.
Go prepared, and you can jump off at the park, take a walk around and find a nice spot for a picnic lunch before heading back on the next bus to the city center. If you've got a head for heights, you might want to add going up the Olympic Tower to the observation deck to your agenda. The views of Munich from there are mind-blowing.
When you visit Munich, you'll probably want to spend the afternoon of day two on your Munich itinerary in one or more of the city's museums. There's certainly plenty to choose from so it really depends on your personal interests as to which you go to. To help you choose, here’s a brief insight into some of the best museums in Munich.
The Bavarian National Museum is an art museum with exhibits encompassing both ancient and modern art. There are more than paintings on display, and alongside those are items relevant to Bavarian culture, including pottery, sculptures, jewelry, furniture, and a massive collection of nativity scenes.
The Glyptothek is a museum that was opened by King Ludwig I in the early 19th century. The museum houses both the Glyptothek and the state collection of Greek and Roman sculptures. The museum also hosts operatic and dramatic performances as well as temporary exhibitions of art.
The BMW Museum is definitely one for car fans. The state-of-the-art building houses a century's worth of vehicles and motorcycles produced by the company and exhibits on designs and technology. If you're not into cars, you'll probably want to skip this one.
If you're not into transport, you probably won't want to bother with the Deutsches Museum either. The Deutsches Museum exhibits all forms of transport that have been used in the city, from trains to cars to trams and bicycles. Fascinating if you're interested in that sort of thing, but mind-numbingly boring if you're not.
After being out and about all day in Munich, you'll be more than ready to relax over a good dinner. Servus Heidi is a Bavarian restaurant in the city center with a relaxed, intimate feel. Here you'll be seated in comfortable armchairs, always good after a day of sightseeing, in a location that's varnished wood from floor to ceiling.
When the weather is good, you might want to make the most of Servus Heidi's beer garden, but if it's not, the indoor décor will soon warm you up. The wait staff and the resident oompah band all wear national costumes, which adds to the atmosphere. The food is typical Bavarian dishes, most of which contain meat in one form or another. If you're vegetarian, try Soy Vegan Munchen instead.
While it might be tempting to hit the nightclubs in the city, save that for a time when you have longer than three days in Munich. Get ready to have an early-ish night in preparation for taking a day trip on day three of your Munich itinerary.
Munich Itinerary – Day 3
There are some places outside of the city you just won't want to miss seeing when you visit Munich. Keep day three of your Munich itinerary totally free of other plans so you can dedicate it to making a full-day trip. The places you'll be going to see are either the Neuschwanstein Castle or the Dachau Concentration Camp. If you can hire a car for the day, you can do both.
If you choose to go to Neuschwanstein Castle first thing in the morning, jump aboard a train at Hauptbahnhof Station heading to Füssen. The trip takes around two hours. From Füssen, you'll need to catch a bus to Schwangau. Is the day trip worth it? Definitely.
There's something totally magical about the Neuschwanstein Castle and its location. Built by King Ludwig II in the late 19th century, Neuschwanstein Castle has been an inspiration to writers and artists ever since. Pre-book your Neuschwanstein Castle tour time online before you go. Otherwise, you could spend hours lining up to get in.
Afternoon and Evening
If you decide to go to the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Museum instead, you'll need to catch a train from Munich Hauptbahnhof Central Station. The S-Bahn journey from Munich to Dachau takes around half an hour. From the station, it’s a short bus ride to the camp, and the stop is right outside.
It can take several hours to tour the various stations in the camp, and it's a good idea to invest in a downloadable ebook or purchase the proper guide when here. They only cost a few euros and will also remind you of your visit.
If you hire a car and hope to do both locations on the same day, try to set out as early as possible. The driving distance between the two is around 80 miles (130 km), so it will take a couple of hours at least. The countryside is also stunning, so you'll want to stop where you can to take photos.
When you visit Munich, you may well discover that three days just isn't enough to do the city justice. This sample itinerary doesn't include any time at any festivals, funfairs, or big markets that might be taking place, depending on the time of year you go.
This Munich itinerary also doesn't include much time for spending in any of the beer gardens scattered around the city. In all honesty, one of the best Munich travel tips you'll ever get is: forget going to Munich for three days and stay for a full week instead. Munich is an amazing city, but one that takes a lot of getting to know. If you're only here for three days, there will be quite a few things left on your agenda you'll want to do another time.