photo of Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria which is a popular destination on day trips from Munich Germany

Munich is a wondrous city, filled with lots of things to explore. From restaurants serving the very best of Bavarian delicacies to museums and historical sights filled with the rich history and fascinating culture of the city – there are plenty of day trips from Munich to enjoy.

While the Bavarian capital itself has lots to offer, venturing beyond the city limits gives you a chance to explore other destinations in the surrounding areas. Whether you feel like discovering medieval castles and fairytale landscapes or strolling through charming little towns with breathtaking natural wonders, day trips from Munich are just the thing for unforgettable experiences. This article highlights the best one-day outings from Munich that offer a perfect blend of culture, history, scenic beauty, and unforgettable adventures.

1. Neuschwanstein Castle

One of the most exciting day trips from Munich is a visit to the beautiful Neuschwanstein Castle. One Google review called it “a beautiful engineering marvel,” and this stunning fairytale castle, perched atop a hill in the magnificent Bavarian Alps, is the epitome of romanticism and the inspiration for Disney’s iconic Sleeping Beauty castle and Cinderella’s castle too. You can take a guided tour of the castle, delving into its opulent halls, intricately decorated rooms, and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. It also tells the story of King Ludwig II and his family which you can learn during a guided tour of the castle.

2. Nuremberg

Located just a short train ride away from Munich, Nuremberg is a fascinating city steeped in history. It’s also the second largest city in Bavaria after Munich, renowned for its medieval architecture. In Nuremberg, you can explore remarkable structures such as the Imperial Castle and the Church of St. Sebaldus and learn all about the city’s history during a leisurely tour. 

One reviewer on TripAdvisor called the city “a thriving, modern metropolis,” where you can enjoy the charm of the old city. There are plenty of places to explore around the city, including the Nuremberg Trials Memorial, a historical landmark where you can take a glimpse into a significant chapter of history through exhibitions about the war crimes trials that took place after World War II.

3. Lake Chiemsee

For a day of relaxation amidst stunning natural surroundings, there’s no better place for day trips from Munich than Lake Chiemsee. Known as the ‘Bavarian Sea’, Lake Chiemsee is a paradise of picturesque landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and lots of islands just waiting for you to explore. The most famous island, Herrenchiemsee, is home to the magnificent Herrenchiemsee Palace, also known as ‘Bavaria’s Versailles’. It’s the perfect place to take a boat trip, visit the palace, and soak up the tranquility of nature while you bask in its magnificent beauty. As one Google reviewer wrote, “the scenery at the lake with the Alps in the background is stunning on a sunny day…well worth the 50 min train journey from the centre of Munich.” It’s also a great place to burn calories and get your adrenaline fix, whether you want to spend an afternoon swimming, sailing, hiking, or mountain biking.
photo of a swan gliding across the water on Lake Chiemsee in Bavaria Germany
Image source: Unsplash (Photo by Travis Blessing)

4. Salzburg

While the enchanting Austrian city of Salzburg is a little further from Munich, taking about an hour and a half to reach, it is well worth the journey. Famous as Mozart’s birthplace, Salzburg captivates visitors with its charming baroque architecture, winding alleys, and the majestic Hohensalzburg Fortress.

The city is also popularly known for its association with The Sound of Music, as it is where the classic movie was filmed. Naturally, there are plenty of musical tours you can take if you’re a fan of the film. Based on reviews of the tours, you’re in for some unforgettable fun like one reviewer who said, “the Sound of Music tour had me grinning from ear to ear.”

5. Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site

A day trip to the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site is a profoundly moving experience but it’s also an essential walk through history. Not far from Munich, the former concentration camp serves as a stark reminder of the atrocities committed during the Holocaust. While you’re there you can learn about the camp’s history, view exhibitions, and pay tribute to the victims in the memorial area. Essentially, as one visitor said in a Google review, it’s “a sobering view of history,” with guides available on site to share details of the place and answer any questions you might have.

6. Augsburg

If you’re looking for a place steeped in history, Augsburg is one of Germany’s oldest cities that you can explore and learn so much from. Its rich architectural heritage is evident in structures like the Augsburg Cathedral and the famous Fuggerei, the oldest social housing complex in the world.

And while an old settlement might not seem like an enticing tourist attraction, it’s been described by reviewers such as AllanJGJ as a “fascinating slice of social history.” There, you can also browse through the collection of artifacts, photos, news articles and lots more.

The city also boasts a vibrant arts scene, with lots of museums and galleries to explore on a leisurely stroll. As you wander through Augsburg’s charming streets, you can indulge in local cuisine, and soak up the centuries-old atmosphere.

photo of the Kehlsteinhaus or Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgaden Germany
Image source: iStock (Photo by Stefan Sutka)

7. The Eagle's Nest – Berchtesgaden

Taking a trip to the Eagle’s Nest is certainly well worth it for the amazing view and history you’ll learn about the place. By car, the trip is almost a 2-hour drive with gorgeous scenery along the way and even better views once you’re there. This is the perfect place for a spectacular view of the Alps from the Eagle’s Nest (Kehlsteinhaus), a former mountain retreat of Adolf Hitler. It was originally constructed by the Nazis at the top of the Kehlstein to hold government and social meetings. One reviewer described it as an “impressive place to visit for a bit of history and some great views.” The panoramic views from the Eagle’s Nest are awe-inspiring, providing an unforgettable experience for both history enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Final Word

From fairytale castles to historic landmarks, charming towns and breathtaking natural landscapes, the best day trips from Munich offer a myriad of experiences to suit every traveler’s interests.

Whether you’re fascinated by history, have a love for nature, or a penchant for culture, all of these options will make for unforgettable adventures just a stone’s throw from Munich’s bustling city center. In a short time, you can expand your horizons, discover new destinations, and create memories that will last a lifetime with these fantastic day trips from Munich.

Featured image source: Unsplash

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