Munich the Bavarian Capital is one of the popular tourist destinations in Europe. The city is home to some of the amazing historical sites, pretty squares, fascinating museums, magnificent churches, rich architectural heritage, and an ideal base to visit some of the popular tourist places in Europe. Some of the top day trips you can make from Munich are listed below. Make sure to spend a couple of days in Munich and plan one of these day trips from Munich.
Neuschwanstein Castle (~2 Hour 30 Minutes)
One of the top day trips from Munich is to visit the fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein which inspired the Disney Castles. There are plenty of guided day tours from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle. You can join one of the group tours or do it on your own by regular trains that run between Munich and Fussen. To get to the castle one has to take one of the buses that run between Fussen and Hohenschwangau village at the base of the Neuschwanstein Castle. From here one has to hike through the forests which take around 40 minutes, take a horse carriage or one of the shuttles that drop you close to the castle.
Neuschwanstein is one of the most beautiful castles in Germany. It is located in the village of Hohenschwangau and sits on a rocky hill amidst the lush Bavarian forests. The tour of the Neuschwanstein castle rooms are timed, the timeslots are allocated when you buy tickets (buying tickets online before your visit is highly recommended). The guided tour of the takes you through the apartment rooms decorated with paintings, mosaics, intricate carvings, murals, and rich elaborate silk textiles.
If you can manage time which is practically not possible if you are with a group tour you can also visit the beautiful neo-Gothic Hohenschwangau Castle. The castle served as a summer residence for the Bavarians where King Ludwig grew up. The guided tour of the castle walks you through the lavish rooms decorated with murals, and lavish furnishings.
Fussen (~2 Hours)
Fussen is a charming Bavarian town, a popular base to visit the fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle. If you are planning to visit Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich by train then you will have to take a train to Fussen and then a bus to the Hohenschwangau Village at the base of the castle. Generally, people tend to completely overlook Fussen and just visit Neuschwanstein Castle and head back to Munich. And if you are doing the castle on a day trip then you will not have enough time to explore the town of Fussen. Best would be to do a weekend trip, base yourself in Fussen and explore the castle and the best of Fussen town.
Wander the cobblestone alleys of the old town of Fussen lined with colorful buildings, restaurants, cafes, souvenir shops, and baroque churches. Visit the Hohes Schloss (High Castle) built on a hill and explore its interior decorated with paintings and stucco artwork. The late-Gothic style castle once served as the summer residence of the Lord Bishops of Augsburg. One of the important highlights of the castle is the State Gallery which exhibits an amazing collection of late Gothic and Renaissance paintings.
The former Benedictine monastery of Kloster St Mang is one of the must-visit places on a visit to Fussen. The 8th-century Baroque monastery houses the Museum of Fussen which has an outstanding collection of historical lutes and violins. The crypt of the Klosterkirche is decorated with oldest preserved frescos dating from 980 AD.
Dachau Concentration Camp (~30 Minutes)
Dachau concentration camp is located some 30 minutes train ride from the Munich City center. One has to take an S2 line to the Dachau station and then a bus (726 or 724) to the camp. If you have at least 2 days in Munich make sure to add a visit to the Dachau concentration camp to your list.
Dachau concentration camp was opened in 1933 for the political prisoners, it was the first camp of Nazi in Germany. There have been over 30000 documented deaths in the camp and many more undocumented until the prisoners were liberated by the US army in 1945.
The museum holds an exhibition of photos, multimedia shows, videos providing insight into the history of the camp, the Nazi regime, and the WWII. Visitors can walk through the campgrounds, numerous memorials, cramped labor bunkers, gas chambers, prisoner kitchens and bathrooms, Shunt Room where prisoners were first admitted into the camp and the crematorium. Audio-guided tours are available and guided English tours can be joined if you are looking for detailed information.
To walk through each and every exhibit and room in the camp you will need 3 to 4 hours which can be done on a half day trip from Munich. But we suggest you spend a couple of hours in the Dachau town which is not very far from the camp.
The Dachau Old Town has well preserved historical houses and a palace which is worth a visit. The main points of interest in the historic town of Dachau are 17th century St. James Church, Church of St. Nicolas and St. Mary and a Town Hall. The Renaissance style Dachau Palace once served as the residence of the Bavarian monarchs. Visitors can explore the impressive the banqueting hall with Renaissance ceiling and enjoy the great views of the city of Munich from the palace gardens.
Also Read: How to Spend One Day in Munich, Germany
Nuremberg (~1 Hour 10 Minutes)
Nuremberg is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany and an easy day trips from Munich. The historic old town of the city of Nuremberg has some of the magnificent churches, pretty fountains and bridges, colorful half-timbered houses and a large farmers market.
The tour of the old town starts at the Handwerkerhof, a handicraft market eclosed in historic city walls selling local crafts and products and some local delicacies like Nuremberg sausages and gingerbread.
Walking further into the center you will come across the magnificent churches St. Lorenz Church, Frauenkirche and St. Sebaldus Church and a large food market in the main square of Hauptmarkt. The food market in the Hauptmarkt sells fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese, spices and has stalls selling street food.
One of the top things to do in Nuremberg is the beautiful historic Nuremberg Castle which sits on a hill with a view over the historical old town of Nuremberg. Take a tour of the castle grounds and visit the museum on the history of the castle and the city of Nuremberg. The Weissgerbergasse Street lined with bright colored half-timbered houses is the most photographed street in Nuremberg and something not to miss on your trip to this beautiful city.
Regensburg (~1 Hour 30 Minutes)
Just 90 minutes by car or train from Munich, adorable Regensburg is a must-see in Bavaria. In fact, as a UNESCO World Heritage site, it’s one of Germany’s best preserved medieval towns. In warm weather, the grassy banks on the Danube River welcome students barbecuing and locals enjoying a pint of the local brew under shady trees in the Biergartens.
By Chris from Explore Now Or Never
Regensburg’s rich history dates all the way from the Stone Age! Today, you can still see the remains of the east tower of the Porta Praetoria, the eastern gate to the city from a Roman fortress in 179. Emperor Marcus Aurelius stationed 6,000 of his soldiers here to ward off invaders. The fortress covered 60 acres and included 18 towers back in the day! Later, in the Middle Ages, Regensburg became an important trade center and was recognized as the traditional capital of Bavaria.
Not to miss sights include the memorable Regensburg Cathedral (rebuilt in Gothic style after a fire in 1273) and the Town Hall in Old Town. Duck into the Tourist Information office (just adjacent to the Old Town Hall) to reserve a tour of this fascinating place and see the torture chamber below it that still remains today. Whatever you do, duck into Cafe Prinzess, Germany’s very first coffeehouse in 1686. Today, you’ll find some of the best-handcrafted chocolates anywhere in Europe.
Bamberg (~2 Hour 30 Minutes)
Bamberg is approximately two hours and 30 minutes’ drive north of Munich, on the A9 autobahn, so lies at the limits of a viable day trip from Bavaria’s state capital. Residents of Bamberg, interestingly, identify as being Franconian over Bavarian and have a markedly different dialect to people living in and around Munich.
As a city, Bamberg is a wonderful place to stroll about with a camera or smartphone in hand, documenting perspectives of historic buildings. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and features some outstanding examples of medieval architecture as well as several notable Baroque facades.
By Stuart Forster from Go Eat Do
The Old Town Hall (the Altes Rathaus to locals) stands on a manmade island in the River Regnitz. The timber-framed gable end of the medieval building juts out over the waterway, which is a popular location for kayaking. The city’s cathedral is another of its treasures and houses the Bamberg Horseman, a sculpture depicting a knight sitting on a horse, is the first that clearly depicts horseshoes being used.
Many people depart Bamberg unaware that it has many market gardens. A microclimate, optimal for growing fruit and vegetables, resulted in many being established and their cultivation continues.
If castles are your thing, head up the Altenburg, the highest of Bamberg’s seven hills. Though vines flourish on the city’s hillsides, it has a reputation as one of Germany’s best destinations for enjoying beer, due to the number of breweries, including Schlenkerla, whose tavern is renowned for its smoked beer. The Franconian Brewery Museum tells the long tale of beer production in and around Bamberg. For some, tasting the produce is a reason to stay in the city.
Linderhof Palace (~1 Hour 15 Minutes)
Linderhof Palace is located in southwest Bavaria, set on a back-country road near the monastery of Ettal, which is near Oberammergau and Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It is about 1 hour and 15 minutes from the center of Munich.
Of the 3 palaces, including the very famous Neuschwanstein Castle, built by the beloved King Ludwig II of Bavaria, this is the only palace he resided in. The palace grounds were initially home to the Königshäuschen, Ludwig’s fathers’ old hunting cottage. In 1869, the cottage was dismantled and the palace as we know it was built.
By Amy Chung from Family Globetrotters
King Ludwig II at the time was obsessed and deeply inspired by both the composer Richard Wagner and the exquisite palace of Versailles in France. So much so that King Ludwig II also built a Hall of Mirrors in the palace as well as creating the “Night King” version of Louis XIV’s “Sun King” bedchamber. Wagner’s work can also be seen in many of the rooms of the palace. The surrounding gardens of Linderhof are well manicured and is a mixed style garden of Baroque styles and Italian Renaissance. Some parts of the garden are also very English in style.
The palace is open from 9 AM to 6 PM in the summer months and 10 AM to 4 PM in the winter months. Note that the gardens are not open to the public during the colder seasons. Admission tickets can easily be bought on site and cost about €8.50.
Please note that the palace may only be accessed by a 30-minute guided tour and you are not permitted to wander inside on your own. The tours are available in English and German and they have a strict no photo policy inside.
If you have a car, the palace is easily accessible with plenty of parking. If you’re opting for public transport you can take the train to Oberammergau station and then Bus 9622. No doubt the most convenient way to see the palace is on a tour which also incorporates a visit to the fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle.
Don’t let the small stature of this palace fool you. It is exquisite, and the interiors are breathtaking. I “oohed” and “ahhed” my way throughout the 30-minute tour. The palace gardens, also small in comparison to some of the more famous palaces, definitely packs a punch and makes for a beautiful stroll in the warmer months.
Schliersee (~1 Hour)
The real charm of Bavaria lies in its small countryside towns. Spending some time in such towns is an absolute must if you want to experience the essence of Bavaria. One such beauty is the Alpine lake town called ‘Schliersee’ – an ideal town for a day trip from Munich. One can reach Schliersee by a regional Bavarian train from Munich that reaches Schliersee in just 54 minutes. There are plenty of trains plying all day long between Munich and Schliersee.
By Vrushali from Couple Of Journeys
There are plenty of things to do in Schliersee. The Schliersee lake, situated right outside the railway station, is the perfect place to spend a few hours, no matter the season. In summer one can go for a quick dip and sunbathe on the majestic greens surrounding the lake. The Park Strandbad near the lake is particularly ideal for this agenda! In winter, the frozen lake is a perfect place for ice-skating. Motorboats also ply between the months of May to October from the lake and take you to the spectacular island of ‘Wörth’ that sits right in the middle of the lake. Hiking fans can take a boat to Fischhausen and follow the signposts to enjoy a scenic circular trail.
A short bus ride from Schliersee station takes one to the famous winter destination ‘Spitzingsee’. Spitzingsee is also a huge spread out lake that sits atop a hill. In winter, this place is famous for winter-sports such as snowboarding. In summers, this place nestled in the Alps provides soothing views.
One can also ride up in a short 4-minute cable car to Schliersbergalm. The area on top is a perfect place for kids to have fun. It has large playgrounds, trampolines and specially designed kids play area. On the way down, one can experience the slightly adventurous fun toboggan ride.
Salzburg (~1 Hour 30 Minutes)
Salzburg is one of the most beautiful cities in Austria and can be visited on an easy day trip from Munich. One of the major points of interest in Salzburg is the old town or the Altstadt which has some of the well preserved historic buildings.
Residenzplatz is the main square in the old town which has two main attractions – the 12th Century Salzburg Residenz palace and a beautiful baroque fountain. The ornate staterooms, private apartments and the Residenz Gallery which houses an outstanding collection of paintings from 16th to 19th centuries are open to the public.
Next to the Residenzplatz is the 17th century Salzburg Cathedral. The beautiful baroque church is a top landmark in Salzburg dominating the city skyline with its twin tower and a central dome. The St Peter’s Abbey is one of the oldest monasteries in Germany and dates back to the 7th century. Visitors can take a guided tour of the art gallery and the library which is the oldest library in Austria and visit the cemetery and the catacombs.
One of the largest medieval castles in Europe the Hohensalzburg Fortress sits on the hill overlooking the city of Salzburg. Visitors can tour the ornate staterooms and visit the museums on the history of the castle. Also must visit is the Mirabell Palace for the Marble Hall which is a stunning banquet hall and the palace gardens adorned with fountains, sculptures, and an Orangerie.
Chiemsee (~ 1 Hour)
Roughly an hour southeast of Munich lies the Chiemsee. And while southern Germany is rich with lakes, the Chiemsee is special. Dubbed “the Bavarian Sea” by locals, the lake is home to two islands: the Fraueninsel and the Herrenchiemsee.
The Fraueninsel is the only inhabited island on the lake. Visitors will find a small village that sprawls across the flower-covered island that is full of Bavarian charm. Locals sell unique items, sometimes handmade, while at the local restaurants you can enjoy the freshest of fresh fish and then relax in a Biergarten. The island is largely a car-free zone, a fact that helps transport visitors back to a different era from long ago.
By Corinne from Reverberations
The Herrenchiemsee is home to not one but two massive palaces as well as a monastery. Although, on initial landing at the dock, you’d be forgiven for being a little skeptical. The palaces are somewhat hidden from view at the dock. But these palaces are no fairytale! After a walk through a forest (or opt for the horse-drawn carriage if you prefer), visitors find themselves at an incredible palace, the New Palace. A formal garden sprawls out before the palace, with huge, intricate water fountains.
King Ludwig II ordered the building of the palace but, like Neuschwanstein, he died before the project was completed. There are hints of it being unfinished, such as the fountains missing their gilding. It’s fascinating to consider the great feats that workers went to do get the necessary building materials across the lake and then across the island to the building site. Meanwhile, only a short distance away, is the island’s original palace.
The journey to the Chiemsee is a multi-part journey. From the regional train station, you could walk down to the lake’s edge. Or, you can take the 1887 steam train through Prien. From there, boats ferry visitors around the lake with the islands being the two most popular stops. But if palaces and islands aren’t your thing, Chiemsee is ideal for a relaxed lake day.
Therme Erding (~45 Minutes)
When you have had enough of traipsing through the city streets, a day relaxing in the warming spa waters at Therme Erding, the world’s largest thermal spa, is a must. Inside this all-weather spa facility, you will find several spa pools, jacuzzis of varying temperatures, clothed saunas, a full programme of pampering and even an outdoor swim-up bar. The idea is that people come here to relax.
For those that are less prudish, you also have Saunaparadies, a nudist sauna complex with more than 25 different saunas to explore including one that serves fresh bread and a male-only beer sauna.
By Tamason Gamble from Travelling Book Junkie
For those traveling with children, or for those that can’t possibly spend the entire day relaxing you also have Galaxy Water Slide World, an indoor thrill seekers paradise of more than 20 slides varying from those suitable for families to those designated as X-Treme. On top of this, there is also the newer Virtual Reality slides which will take you to faraway galaxies, through celestial worlds, and across tropical terrains.
Finally, for those that want to extend their experience, you can always stay at Hotel Victory for an evening of fine dining onboard the themed cruise ship or head down to the family-friendly restaurant where you can eat inside your very own boat.
This wonderful fun-filled rejuvenating experience is just half an hour outside of Munich and can be reached by either car or train making it accessible for all. Open from 10 AM – 11 PM Monday to Friday and from 9 AM at weekends the starting price of 34 euros for a day pass is extremely cheap when you think about how many hours you actually get to relax for.
Konigssee (~2 Hours)
Konigssee, which lies in southern Germany very close to its border with Austria, is one of the most naturally beautiful places I’ve ever seen. The drive from Munich is under two hours, so it’s an ideal day trip from the city. The bright blue waters of the long, narrow lake – it’s nearly five miles long and only about a mile wide at its thickest point – stand out against the lush green foliage of the surrounding mountains, giving you a glimpse of nature at its finest.
By Kris from Nomad By Trade
Visitors can stay at one of the many guest houses and hotels and take part in one of the many recreation opportunities offered. Hiking in the mountains is a popular activity, though many of the trails require advanced skills and alpine experience. If you’d rather hit the water, a variety of small boats can be rented, giving you a chance to relax in the gorgeous blue, however, only electric and human-powered vessels are permitted in order to preserve the clarity of the water.
Another popular activity is taking a ferry across the lake to the small, but the picturesque chapel of St. Bartholomew. This tiny church with its round domes is the site of an annual pilgrimage and also has a restaurant and events center. One of the highlights of the ferry ride is a demonstration of the well-known echoes that reverberate across the lake. Because of the sharp slopes of the surrounding mountains, the area is prone to lengthy echoes, and the ferries will pause for a trumpeter to play a tune as passengers listen to the many sounds bouncing back.
Berchtesgaden (~2 Hours)
Berchtesgaden is famous for its beautiful town center with traditional Bavarian painted houses, beautiful churches, delicious restaurants of Bavarian cuisine (read Schweinebraten) great hikes, Thermal spas and historical places like the Eagle’s Nest (Kehlsteinhaus), which is a secluded building on top of a mountain Kehlstein.
By Liza Skripka from Tripsget
Eagle’s Nest was used by Hitler and the Nazi party for special gatherings. Right now, there’s a museum and a restaurant that you can visit, however, you need to check the opening times in advance because it’s often closed. Moreover, the weather up in the mountains can be quite unpredictable (unless it’s summer), so the opening times could be influenced by the weather as well. The best part about the Eagle’s Nest is the view over the beautiful Alps – a really stunning panorama that should be on your travel bucket list.
One of my favorite things to do in Berchtesgaden is visiting the Thermal Baths located directly in the city center of Berchtesgaden. There’s an open-air swimming pool with a view that is heated in winter, so you can swim, while it’s snowing outside.
Zell am See (~2 Hours and 30 Minutes)
Zell am See, Austria is a charming little town just 2 hour and 30-minute car drive from Munich, Germany. This town is located on Lake Zell and surrounded by tall mountains making sure that it encompasses all of Austria’s famous natural beauty.
During summertime, visitors can enjoy water sports on Lake Zell primarily such as boating. However, the most popular option is taking a lift up to the lift up Zell am See-Kaprun resort. A resort shared by Zell am See and the neighboring city of Kaprun. The resort offers casual strolls along the mountain tops with views out. The gondola to the top will take you directly to the number one attraction: Gipfelwelt 3000 which offers a viewing platform of the town below. Or for the more adventurous take a hike up to the summit! Either way, the views from the top of the mountains make for breathtaking panoramic views of the city against the lake. Additionally, the winter après-ski locations stay open meaning you can enjoy a classic Austrian meal at the top of the Zell am See-Kaprun as well.
By Amy Dodd from Oceans to Alpines
During winter time, that same mountain turns into a ski resort with 80 marked trails. Instead of hiking up or down the slopes, ski or board towards the lakes. There are not many locations that encompass skiing next to a lake, so the photo opportunities are plentiful. If interested in adventuring even further than Zell am See, the town is approximately 40 minutes away from the famous Grossglockner mountain which is the tallest mountain in Austria. Day trips can also be organized from Zell am See to visit and climb the tallest summit in Austria.
Ultimately, Zell am See is an outdoor person getaway making for a lovely nature filled day trip from Munich.
Burg Hohenzollern (~3 Hours)
Burg Hohenzollern requires a bit of a drive as a day trip from Munich, but it is one well worth the time. Located outside the village of Bissingen, the castle is just under 3 hours from Munich, with most of the drive being along Bundesautobahn 8.
Burg Hohenzollern is an iconic example of a defensive hilltop castle, once housing the seat of Prussian royalty. Notable leaders who ruled from the castle include Willhelm and Frederick the Great. Today it is still owned by the royal heirs, which is quite unusual.
By Roxanna from Gypsy With A Day Job
Upon approach, the castle looks formidable, from quite a distance. There is a winding access road which leads to a parking area halfway up the hill, with a gift shop where tickets are purchased. Visitors have the option of hiking the woodland trail to the castle, which takes about 30 minutes or taking a shuttle to the drawbridge, which costs 2 euros.
General admission includes free access to the grounds, the courtyard, and 2 worship chapels, one Catholic and one Protestant, as well as the casemates, which are quite eerie. A full exploration of these areas takes about 2 hours.
The interior can only be visited by guided tours which are offered in German, and in English. The tour includes the parlor, with the elaborate family tree, the formal ballroom, and both the king and queen’s chambers. The tours include a wealth of information about the history of the castle itself and the Prussian lineage. They conclude with a trip to the treasury, which includes items such as the dress Queen Louise wore for negotiations with Napoleon in 1807, and the Prussian crown jewels.
There is an outdoor cafe in the castle courtyard, which features quick snacks and made to order sandwiches. There is also a full-service restaurant inside the castle for those who want to relax for a sit-down meal. These dining options provide an opportunity to split up the grounds exploration and the guided tour, making the visit from Munich a full day of experience.
Innsbruck (~2 Hours)
Around two hours away by train, Innsbruck is a perfect choice for a day trip from Munich. Or probably more than a day if you can spare more time. The fifth largest city of Austria, Innsbruck is in the western part of the country.
It is in the Inn valley. The name Innsbruck means Bridge on the river Inn. The bridge was a major connection for trade and communication between the North and the South of it. Clearly, because of this bridge, Innsbruck was always in the hub of things in Austria. So we suggest starting with a walking tour of Innsbruck old town situated just near the river.
By Nisha and Vasu from Lemonicks
Start with Goldenes Dachl, the landmark of Innsbruck which has a roof made of gold-plated shingles. It was built to be visible from afar and also as a mark of affluence of the Kingdom. Imperial Palace and garden which is almost as important as the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, are close by to explore. Next to the palace is the Court Church, one of Innsbruck’s most impressive attractions. St. James Cathedral is again at a walking distance.
Do not miss climbing the City Tower whose lookout gallery offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the Old city of Innsbruck with most of the building maintaining their antiquity. It was made a few decades earlier than Goldenes Dachl. There are more interesting attractions such as Goldener Adler, Helbling House, and St. Anne’s Column. The statue on top of this column is looking in the direction of the old town and the mountains behind. The column was erected as a victory monument when Tyrol was freed from Bavarian troops. Inn Riverfront and Marktplatz are some more places to explore along the river. A walk of around 10-15 minutes on Maria Theresa Street brings you to the Triumphal Arch.
Innsbruck is an internationally known as a winter sports center. So if you go there during winter, there are plenty of adventure activities to do as well.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber (~2 Hour 30 Minutes)
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a charming town in the Bavarian region of Germany. The town is also part of the popular Romantic Road in Germany. One of the major attractions in Rothenburg is its old town which has well-preserved medieval buildings and the colorful half-timbered buildings.
The main square of the old town is the Marktplatz which is surrounded by historical buildings like the town hall and the Ratstrinkstube (a former Council Tavern). On a trip to Rothenburg, you cannot miss the Plonlein which is the iconic landmark of the old town which a small half-timbered house at the intersection of two cobblestone streets.
If you are museum buff you cannot miss a visit to the two uniquely fascinating museums of Rothenburg – the Medieval Crime Museum and the Christmas Museum. The Medieval Crime Museum houses a collection of items and objects on crime and punishment during the medieval times in Europe. The Christmas Museum houses an interesting collection of decorative items, Christmas trees, Santa Clauses, and many other items related to the Christmas traditions.
Wander the cobblestone alleys lined with half-timbered buildings, magnificent churches including the 15th century St. Jacob’s, and walk the Old Town Walls for amazing views of the old town and the surroundings.