One Day In Munich: 5 Memorable Things To See And Do

If you can have one day in Munich, Germany, how will you spend it? What activities will you enjoy and which places will you visit?

Mostly known for its world-famous beer and the yearly Oktoberfest celebration, Bavaria’s capital city was founded by monks way back 1158. No wonder, it’s official name ‘München’ (or ‘Munichen,’ in old German) literally translates to “by the monks’ place.”

Looking closely at this modern city now, one instantly realizes that it offers so much for tourists and locals alike. So in case you’re headed this way and want to make the most of it, allow us to share a few ideas!

In this article, we’re giving you some useful tips on the top things to see and do if you have one day in Munich. We hope these ideas will help make your visit unforgettable for all the best reasons! Read on to see which places and activities are best for you:

1. Witness the Rathaus-Glockenspiel spectacle in the New Town Hall on Marienplatz

First off, you really should drop by the New Town Hall to check out the Rathaus-Glockenspiel clock. Found in the heart of Munich, this tourist attraction in Marienplatz draws attention year in and year out.

Through the use of life-size figures and chimes, the show features two of Munich’s most significant historical events from way back in the 16th century.

It begins with the top half of the clock portraying the marriage of Duke Wilhelm V to Renate of Lorraine in the year 1568. Eventually, the bottom portion depicts ‘Schäfflertanz’, otherwise known as the coopers’ dance. According to history, Munich was hit by a plague in 1517. The traditional dance was later performed by the coopers for the first time in the hopes of raising the people’s spirits.

As the official Munich website tells us:

“After a severe plague epidemic, the barrel makers are said to have been the first to venture out onto the streets and dance to amuse the people who were frightened by the plague.”

Whether you’re traveling alone or with your family members, this is a must-see spectacle if you happen to be in the Marienplatz central square. So you’d better not miss it if you’re spending one day in Munich!

The show usually runs for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the music used. They are scheduled daily  at 11:00 AM and 12:00 PM, with an additional 5:00 PM show during summer months (March to October).

2. Take a stroll, cycle or even a swim in Englisher Garten (English Garden) and discover the Japanese Tea House, Chinese Tower, wonderful waterfalls, urban surfing and more

For those who’d like to engage in physical activities or simply chill out, the English Garden is the perfect destination. There’s a wide range of activities for you to choose from while you’re there. To begin with, the 375-hectare park is not only known as the city’s biggest park. It’s also one of the largest inner-city parks in the world!.

Love bicycles? You’ll fit right in then because this huge green space is best explored on two wheels. 

Trivia: Munich embraces and promotes cycling as one of its main modes of transportation. Fact is, cycling accounts for 18% of all traffic in the city. Since 2010, Munich has also started dubbing itself the ‘Radlhauptstadt’ (cycling capital) of Germany.

Truly, the English Garden is “a recreational dream for all hobby athletes,” as the official Munich site describes it. In addition to cyclists, joggers come often for the 78 kms of paved paths. Frisbee and soccer enthusiasts also gather in the area to play. On top of that, the Eisbach River is a favorite among expert surfers, while pedal boaters and rowers often flock here to check out the Kleinhesseloher lake.

Image source: Unsplash

Also worth mentioning here, of course, are two popular English Garden attractions – namely the Japanese Tea House and the Chinese Tower. As its name suggests, the Japanese Tea House is a traditional tea house that also has an authentic Oriental ambience. It’s absolutely perfect for enjoying traditional beverages and music with fellow Japanese culture aficionados. Meanwhile, visitors can also dine, drink, and watch cultural events in the 25-meter high wooden pagoda structure that is the Chinese Tower (‘Chinesischer Turm’).

3. Admire the elegant architecture and historic monuments of the Odeonsplatz

Next, we have Odeonsplatz, a large square surrounded by historic palaces, concert halls, and churches.  

Located in downtown Munich, Odeonsplatz is home to the Feldherrnhalle, which means ‘Field Marshall’s Hall.’ This commemorative hall was built from 1841 to 1844 and was patterned after the Loggia dei Lanzi of Florence, Italy. It was commissioned by King Ludwig I of Bavaria for the purpose of honoring the Bavarian Army. The loggia prominently.features the statues of military officials Johann Tilly and Karl Philipp von Wrede. Aside from appreciating history, visitors may also climb the steps of Feldherrnhalle and get a great view of Odeonsplatz.

Built way back in the 17th century, Theatinerkirche or the Theatiner Church was Bavaria’s first baroque church. This structure features majestic yellow exteriors and a pretty straightforward white interior. The church was destroyed during World War II but was later rebuilt and renovated to its current look.

Furthermore, Residenz is another attraction in Odeonsplatz known as Germany’s largest inner-city palace. Residenz is also culturally significant to the city and the country because it has both the Cuvilliés Theater and the Residenz Theater. Other popular attractions found near Residenz are Hofgarten (court garden) and Max-Joseph-Platz, a large square named after King Maximilian Joseph.

As one reviewer on TripAdvisor described Odeonsplatz, it’s “a nice attractive square” that’s also a “photogenic spot.” If you’re a history buff looking for a superb time as you spend one day in Munich, we recommend you include Odeonsplatz in your list.

4. Retail therapy on Neuhauserstrasse and Kaufingerstrasse, Old Town's pedestrianized shopping zone established in the 13th Century and now home to everything from street vendors to top brand names

Want to go shopping for one day in Munich? Well, avid shoppers will surely appreciate Neuhauserstrasse and Kaufingerstrasse!

Measuring approximately 650 meters, these two streets merge and form the commercial and pedestrian zone situated just between Karlsplatz and Marienplatz. Neuhauserstrasse and Kaufingerstrasse allow you to “pleasantly combine culture and shopping in this historic area.” You can find everything from small stores and traditional shops to major retailers surrounded by beautiful buildings and monuments. So whether you’re planning to splurge on fashion items or souvenirs from Munich, you won’t run out of options! You can pick from any of the department stores, specialty shops, gift centers, and flea markets that dot the area. The streets turn even more lively during the Christmas and New Year season as they host the world-famous Munich Christmas Bazaar.

If you’re feeling hungry after all the shopping, you can likewise check out one of the many restaurants there. Plus there are numerous fruit and vegetable stands as well.

5. Grab a brew and a bite at the world-famous Hofbräuhaus beer hall

Finally, your one day in Munich wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Hofbräuhaus, the world’s most popular tavern. This 3-floor beer hall was founded by Wilhelm V, Duke of Bavaria way back in 1589. Legend tells us that he disliked Munich beer so much that he decided to build a state brewery. At first, the beer was exclusively made for royals. In 1828, however, King Ludwig I of Bavaria made the beverage available for public consumption.

Fast forward to the present, Munich has become Germany’s beer capital and is home to the world-renowned Hofbräu beer. Hofbraeuhaus regularly attracts thousands of visitors, particularly during the Oktoberfest season. Suffice to say that it’s definitely the best place to go for a beer-drinking experience like no other.

Fun fact: Bavarians actually consider beer to be their national beverage. “At the same time they do not view it as a drink, rather as liquid bread – a food,” reports the New York Times.

In addition to beer, the restaurant also serves excellent food. They specialize mainly in traditional Bavarian cuisine, so don’t expect to find any fries there. Also, they have some excellent vegan and gluten-free food options. Foreign guests may ask for translated menus, which are available in English, Italian, and Russian.

Hofbräuhaus is open daily from 11:00 AM to midnight, although alcoholic drinks are only available until 11:30 PM.


We trust that our handy guide will help you as you make decisions on what to see and do during your one day in Munich. So before packing your bags and actually coming here, we hope you have considered your options. Doing further research will only confirm that the place has so much to offer to visitors from all walks of life. You might even want to sign up for a guided tour to make the most of the entire experience.  

Whether you’re visiting alone, with your family, or your business associates, one thing’s for sure: You’ll realize there’s definitely more to Munich than Oktoberfest and beer. In no time at all, you will fall in love as you explore this diverse and spectacular German tourist destination!

Featured Image Source: Unsplash

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