Munich is the capital city of the German state of Bavaria and is one of the top holiday destinations in Europe. The vibrant and beautiful city has an abundance of world-class museums, historical landmarks, lovely outdoor spaces and other points of interest worth visiting. And while Munich is best known for its annual Oktoberfest, the city offers plenty of family-friendly attractions that can be enjoyed by kids of all ages.
If you are planning on visiting Munich with the whole family, you are in for a treat; the Bavarian capital has everything you could possibly need – from outdoor parks, zoos and playgrounds to interactive museums and educational studios. For an unforgettable family vacation, check out this list of top things to do in Munich with kids. But first, drop the kids' backpacks at one of our secure luggage storage facilities in Munich. Don't let their heavy gear slow them down!
See the animals at the Hellabrunn Zoo
Every kid loves to see animals and in Munich, the best place to see a variety of creatures is at Hellabrunn Zoo. One of the city’s most popular family-friendly destinations, this Munich zoo has been in operation since 1911 and is regarded as the first geo-zoo in the world. Sprawling over 99 acres, the Hellabrunn Zoo is currently to nearly 19,000 animals across 800 species, including birds, reptiles, marine creatures and more.
The animals, which are grouped according to their region, are free to wander around the park. Kids will especially love the petting zoo, where they have the opportunity to touch some of the zoo’s animals. For an up-close and personal experience, the Hellabrunn Zoo also allows guests to go on camel rides and walk with llamas.
See the impressive collection at the Toy Museum
The Toy Museum, known locally as Spielzeugmuseum, is one of the most eccentric museums you will find in Munich. Found inside a narrow clock tower in the Old Town Hall, the museum was established in 1971 and is full of – you guessed it! – unique toys from all over the world.
Unlike the toys that you normally see today, the ones displayed in this museum are vintage and made from a variety of materials, including porcelain, wood, lead, plastic and even wax. Here, guests can find on display toys such as vintage Barbies, antique trains, porcelain dolls and historic teddy bears. After seeing the toys, no doubt the kids will want to browse for fun souvenirs while shopping in Munich!
Discover wonders of film-making at the Bavaria Film Studios
The Bavaria Filmstadt, also commonly known as Bavaria Film studios, is one of Europe’s largest and most renowned movie studios. Situated south of the city center, the 300,000 square meter complex houses different sets where some popular film and television productions have been shot.
The studio offers a guided tour, led by English-speaking guides, where guests can step into actual sets, learn about how scenes are shot and even get the chance to recreate some famous scenes using advanced filmmaking equipment such as green screens and 4D simulation. One of the experiences that kids will surely enjoy is sitting atop Fuchur, the flying dragon from the German fantasy film The Neverending Story.
Learn and have fun at the Deutsches Museum
One of the most popular Munich museums, the Deutsches Museum (aka German Museum) is the world’s biggest science and technology museum and a top family-friendly attraction in the city. Suitable for guests of all ages, the facility boasts a range of installations and interactive exhibits related to various subjects, including natural science, physics, history, mathematics, aviation, robotics, mechanics and plenty more.
One of the most interesting parts of the Deutsches Museum is the Kids’ Kingdom (Kinderreich), a section filled with interactive displays and child-friendly activities to keep your little ones occupied and stimulated for hours, including driving fire trucks, learning about physics using giant building blocks, discovering the power of simple machines and playing a giant guitar.
See marine creatures up close at Sea Life Munich
Housed within the sprawling Olympic Park, Sea Life Munich is a thrilling destination for tourists traveling with their children. The aquarium is home to an impressive number of marine animals across various species – from tropical fishes and sea turtles to stingrays and sea horses. Guided tours are offered at Sea Life Munich and include interactive sessions such as fish feeding. A visit to the facility is among the most fun things to do in Munich with kids.
Visit a kid-friendly beer garden
No Munich trip would be complete without having a beer, even if you’re traveling with your kids. While you might think that this is impossible, Munich actually has a range of kid-friendly beer gardens where your kids can play while you sample some of the city’s best brews.
One of the top kid-friendly beer gardens in the city is the Hirschgarten, which even has a deer park where children can wander and play. Another option is the Chinesischer Turm, located by the Chinese Tower in the English Garden. This beer garden is particularly popular during the summer months because of its outdoor setting.
Sample local delicacies at Viktualienmarkt
One of the easiest ways to make kids happy is by feeding them and in Munich, the best place to sample a wide variety of food and delicacies is at the iconic Viktualienmarkt. Located in central Munich and dating back to 1807, the Viktualienmarkt is the oldest and most popular open-air market in the Bavarian capital. Today, the market has more than 140 individual stalls selling everything from bread and sausage to juices and meat, making it the perfect stop for foodies and epicures.
Enjoy a nice day out at the English Garden
Located near the city center and Munich Central Station, the English Garden is the biggest park in Germany and is one of the best places to visit in Munich with kids. Spanning 3.7 square kilometers, the city park is home to a diverse range of facilities that are free to use.
Here, you can find miles and miles of cycling and jogging paths, picnic areas and other open spaces to play in. There is also a massive playground just beside the Japanese tea house where younger kids can run and explore. If you are feeling a little bit more adventurous, you can rent a paddle boat and go boating at the Kleinhesseloher See.
Watch the Glockenspiel at Munich Town Hall
To experience one of Munich’s most wonderful spectacles, head over to the Marienplatz town square and witness the Glockenspiel show with your kids. Located in the Neue Rathaus (aka New Town Hall), this animated clock tower features 32 doll figures that break into song and dance and reenact some monumental events related to Bavarian history. The Glockenspiel show lasts for about 10 minutes and is one of the traditions that you and your kids shouldn’t miss when in Munich.
Discover the amazing BMW Museum
The BMW Museum is the ultimate destination for older children and adults who want to learn all about automobiles and vehicles. Housed within the BMW Welt complex, the museum is home to over 100 actual automobiles, motorcycles and other product lines in the BMW brand. The museum even has a Junior Campus, which features interactive exhibits that demonstrate automobile construction and other processes related to cars.
Take advantage of the fun at Olympic Park
Originally built for the 1972 Summer Olympics, the Olympic Park (also known locally as Olympiapark) is among the best kid-friendly destinations in Munich. Made for outdoor-loving children and adults, the complex boasts a wide variety of sports amenities that are open for public use.
The fun includes ice skating rinks, swimming pools, biking paths, mini-golf courses, tennis courts and a zip line. Right in the heart of the park is the impressive 290-meter tall Olympiaturm tower, which visitors can climb to get panoramic views of Munich and surrounding areas. After building up an appetite, head out in search of amazing Munich street food!
View the life of royalty at Nymphenburg Palace
Sitting just outside the city center, the Nymphenburg Palace is one of the most striking architectural structures in Munich. Built during the 17th century, the royal palace is adorned with opulent decorations and is home to some noteworthy attractions for you and your kids to enjoy.
One of the highlights of the palace is the Marstallmuseum, which houses a wonderful collection of historic carriages and formal coaches. The outside area of the palace is just as impressive; the park boasts expansive green spaces with features such as fountains, a hedge maze, a bathing pavilion, lakes, a walled garden and even a theater.
Witness amazing performances at Circus Krone
Founded in 1905, Circus Krone is one of the oldest continuously-running circuses in Europe and is a must-visit for families visiting Munich. Based in the 3,000-seater venue known as Kronebau, the circus runs from December to March/April and presents three shows that change on a monthly basis. At the Circus Krone, guests get to watch performances from clowns and artists as well as animal shows involving lions, horses and elephants.
See a real-life fairy tale castle
If your kids are a fan of fantasy and fairy tales, then you should definitely add the Neuschwanstein Castle to your list of places to visit. Built in 1879, this stunning castle originally served as the residence of King Ludwig II. When he passed away in 1886, the building was converted into a tourist destination and is now one of the most visited (and most photographed!) castles in Europe. In fact, it is believed to be the inspiration behind Disneyland’s iconic castles seen around the world.
The Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most popular day trips from Munich and can be reached within two hours by public transportation. Alternatively, numerous tour companies offer tours from Munich to the site as the more convenient option for those traveling with kids.
Take a day trip to the Fairytale Fun Park
While it technically isn’t located within Munich, the Fairytale Fun Park (Freizeitpark Märchenwald) is one of the most fun day trips from the city and one worth visiting with your young companions. Located in Wolfratshausen, this theme park spans an area of over 40,000 square meters and features a forest setting.
Here, guests get to experience more than 20 different fairy tales on display – from Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel to Snow White and Cinderella – with more than 260 moving characters acting out the stories (in German or English). Apart from this, Fairytale Fun Park also has several rides that children can enjoy, including roller coasters, slides and carousels.
What are the best family activities in Munich?
Best things to do with younger children:
Fairytale Fun Park
This forest-themed park is best for younger kids who love fairy tales and rides.
For kids who want to explore a real-life castle, the Neuschwanstein Castle is a must-visit.
Glockenspiel show at the Marienplatz
Young children won’t be able to take their eyes of the 32 figures acting out important historical events during the Glockenspiel show.
Young kids will be left in awe while watching and interacting with the wide range of animals at the Hellabrunn Zoo.
With its massive collection of various historical toys on display, the Toy Museum is the perfect destination for younger children.
Best things to do with older children:
Older children will get to appreciate the rich history of the company and the intricacies of car production at the BMW Museum.
With its multitude of interactive exhibitions and hands-on displays, the Deutsches Museum is perfect for kids looking to learn and discover new things.
Bavaria Film Studios
Film enthusiasts and older kids with broad imaginations will surely enjoy the different special effects and simulations at the Bavaria Film Studios.
The English Garden is the perfect place for older children to run around, play and engage in outdoor activities such as paddle boating and cycling.
Home to a number of sports amenities and facilities, the Olympic Park will easily be a favorite among older kids who are looking to get a workout in.
Munich Trip Planning with Kids
If you are planning to visit Munich on a family trip, you have plenty of fun options to choose from. Whether your little ones are interested in museums and animal sightings or are more into outdoor activities and adventures, you won't run out of fun things to do in Munich with kids.