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The 12 best things to do in Munich

Pork knuckles or river surfing? Biergartens, museums and more fill our guide to the best things to do in Munich


Whether you’re here for Oktoberfest or not, Munich packs a punch. This city has everything you need for a city break, and we’d say three days is enough to really get stuck in. And sure, it’s best known for the festival, but there’s plenty more to explore while you’re here. 

Discover an Olympic park, fantastic museums and even where to drink beer at breakfast (yes, really). Oh, and make sure to keep your eyes peeled when you’re wandering the streets; you’ll spot grand buildings, elegant facades, street art and contemporary architecture, the result of reconstruction following the devastation of World War II. Here are the best things to do in Munich right now. 

📍 Our guide to where to stay in Munich
🍻 The best places to drink beer in Munich
🍴 The best restaurants in Munich
🏠 The best Airbnbs in Munich

This guide was last updated by Kate Mann, a writer based in Munich. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines

Best things to do in Munich

  • Beer hall
  • price 2 of 4

There aren’t many places in the world where beer for breakfast is practically mandatory. To enjoy the full experience of Weisswurst, a pale and tender Bavarian sausage in which minced veal, pork and seasonings are crammed into pork casings, head to Schneider Bräuhaus, and pair your meat with a pillowy-soft Brezn (pretzel) and a glass of Weissbier (wheat beer). Best dunked in süßer Senf (sweet mustard), the sausages are traditionally made fresh and not eaten after midday, meaning you won’t find the locals ordering them in the afternoon. Follow suit if you want to blend in.

📍 Discover more of the best restaurants in Munich

2. Stroll around the old Olympic Village

Built for the 1972 games, the Olympiapark is well worth a visit with several attractions, lots of green space, a hill offering fantastic views and a beer garden or two. On the northern end you’ll find the former women’s Olympic village. The blocky bungalows here, most of which were rebuilt in 2007, are now much sought-after student accommodation. With the tenant of each given creative control of the exterior, you’ll find a sea of colourful and ever-changing paintings, a number influenced by pop culture – don’t miss the flat with a ‘Central Perk’ theme. 


3. Discover local labels at HIER Studio

Run by textile designer Stephanie Kahnau, this stylish shop close to Wiener Platz showcases creations from her own fashion label as well as products from other Munich-based brands. With a strong focus on craftmanship and design, HIER Studio is a great place to pick up sustainable and local gifts, all with a story behind them. The mix of clothing, jewellery, accessories, ceramics and stationery is displayed in a minimalist space with exposed concrete walls and high ceilings. Regular pieces include bags and wallets from Vanook, chains and earrings from Cocii and the eyewear collection from Jules & Mel

4. Explore the stalls at Viktualienmarkt

Dating back over 200 years, open-air food market Viktualienmarkt offers a handy (and relatively inexpensive) pit stop if you’re exploring Munich’s historic centre. Some 100 stalls offer a wide range of German and international delights from Monday through Saturday. You’ll find barrels of pickles, cheeses from around Europe and locally roasted coffee, as well as more recent additions such as the FIRST8 Kombucha stand and the newest branch of Munich-based deli Coucou Food Market. Come hungry!

  • Attractions
  • Rivers, lakes and ponds

Surfing seems an unlikely sight in a landlocked city – but watching surfers master the main wave in the Eisbach (‘ice brook’) has become a pastime for locals and visitors alike. Special boards and skills are needed for this cold-water sport, which was banned until 2010 and now draws brave professional and semi-professional athletes in wetsuits all year round. Unlike ocean surfing, there’s no paddling to catch the wave, which is artificially created on a concrete break. This means surfers must be ready to ride as soon as they hit the water. Fall and their turn is over. 

6. Check out the art at Kunstlabor 2

Munich is home to some of the most revered galleries in Germany, such as the Neue Pinakothek and Haus der Kunst, but try this former health department building for something a little different. Since 2021, Kunstlabor 2 has been coordinated by the owners of MUCA (the Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art) and hosts artists from around the world who use the space as studios. It’s open to the public at weekends, while the stylish AMARi Kantine & Bar on the ground floor is open Tuesday through Sunday. Swing by to try their small plates and signature drinks.  


7. Tuck into local fare at the Max Emanuel Brauerei

In business since 1880, this Bavarian Wirtshaus in the district of Maxvorstadt recently had a makeover. Run by a young team, this sleek and modern pub focuses on its food menu just as much as its beer. At Max Emanuel Brauerei, you can try classics from Bavaria and Austria, such as Krustenbraten (roast pork with dumplings and dark beer sauce) or Wiener Schnitzel with potatoes and cranberry sauce, along with more brunchy dishes at the weekend. When the weather in fine, those in the know head straight to the secluded beer garden out the back. Shade is provided by beautiful old chestnut trees. 

8. Discover Olafur Eliasson’s ‘Umschreibung’

In the inner courtyard of an office building, a spiral steel staircase reaches up into the sky – only to return to earth again. A study of movement without purpose by Danish artist Olafur Eliasson, ‘Umschreibung’ is a sculpture comprising two spiral staircases merging to create a double helix. You’ll find it at Ganghoferstrasse 29. Worth a look, if only to admire the engineering required to balance the structure on a single point.

  • Things to do
Mooch around the trendy Glockenbachviertel
Mooch around the trendy Glockenbachviertel

Gentrification is well underway in the once-edgy beating heart of Munich’s LGBTQ+ scene. The vibrant Glockenbachviertel remains one of Munich’s prettiest districts, brimming with chic boutiques, cosy cafes and buzzing bars. Tushita tea house on Klenzestrasse makes a cup of tea a spiritual affair with its assortment of 150 traditionally prepared blends and collection of kettles, teapots, cups, bowls, plus just about everything else in the tea arena (they also have a daily-changing vegan menu and excellent homemade cakes). Summer draws locals and visitors alike to the terrace of the Flushing Meadows Bar on the fourth floor of the hotel of the same name, where artisanal cocktails come with sweeping views of the city.


  • Attractions
  • Public spaces
  • price 1 of 4
Go for a dip at Müllersches Volksbad
Go for a dip at Müllersches Volksbad

Open since 1901, this impressive indoor pool on the banks of the river has retained many of its original features. There are murals and statues, as well as rows of old changing cabins along the balconies. When it comes to swimming, there’s a 100-foot-long pool which was once for men only, and a smaller, slightly warmer one which was originally for women – both are now mixed. Many locals head straight for the spa area complete with steam rooms and a Finnish sauna, or the hairdresser which has been in business since 1905. There’s a cafe too but we suggest heading to new hotspot Boazn, a bar in an old public toilet, instead. It’s right next door. 


11. Grab a snack from bakery Bageri

Bageri is probably one of the city’s smallest and most unusual bakeries. Since summer 2023, a talented team has been making focaccia and cardamon buns in the confines of an old shipping container. All the products are available to go and best enjoyed with a coffee – yes, they found space for an espresso machine too. Look for somewhere to perch outside and take in the surroundings, which include more shipping containers and an abundance of street art – all part of an alternative cultural centre known as Bahnwärter Thiel.  

  • Attractions
  • Monuments and memorials

Last but not least. In Marienplatz, Munich’s central square, a famous clock depicts different events from the city’s history with the help of 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures. With two or three shows daily (depending on the season), the Glockenspiel on the tower of the Neues Rathaus always sees a crowd gather below. We recommend grabbing a coffee and settling in a few minutes early, before making a wager on which tiny knight will win the adorable duel. Take the lift up to the Café Glockenspiel for the best views. 

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