For many, Munich is all about Oktoberfest. But there is so much more to see than just the Wiesn. But sometimes you only get a limited window of opportunity to visit a city. Maybe your travel style is all about traveling to many places instead of getting to know a few really well. Or sometimes the reason is as simple as a lack of time or money. Or both. If you’ve got the time, I’ve shared my tips and favorites in Munich. But what if time is limited? I’ve put together my favorites and must-sees for a guide of how to spend 24 hours in Munich!
Morning – Nymphenburg
What better way to wake up than with a nice long walk through Nymphenburg Palace Park? Grab some pastries and a tea or coffee from one of the nearby cafes and head over to Nymphenburg Palace Park. Visitors can wander around the grounds surrounding the impressive palace — or enter for a fee. Stop by early before the tour buses arrive! Then head west through the park, wandering the wooded trails along the canals. My favorite place is to sit on a bench under a tree in front of Badenburg and watch the large groups of birds feeding, grooming and flying over the water.
Midday – Altstadt & Maxvorstadt
No visitor to Munich should miss Marienplatz and everyone should see the famous Glockenspiel spin at least once. Every day at 11 o’clock, the Glockenspiel plays music and the whimsical characters spin, turn and dance. In the summer, the Glockenspiel does two encores: one at noon and another at five in the afternoon. Visitors crowd the square to watch with their cameras and mobile devices up in the air. Walk through the iconic Frauenkirche and St. Peter’s Church (known as der alte Peter to the locals), nearby churches.
Not far away in Maxvorstadt, grab a burger for lunch at Alter Simpl near Universität. The restaurant has been around since the early 1900s when it was a favorite for bohemians: artists, musicians and writers. Today, it’s a friendly spot for a good meal.
After lunch head down Türkenstraße a couple blocks to Brown’s Tea Bar. The friendly tea-oriented cafe has delicious homemade desserts and a really great selection of teas and other drinks. The cozy cafe is a great place to hang out or people watch.
Spend the rest of the afternoon at the nearby Pinakotheken museums. There are a number to choose from and they’re all around the same area. My favorite is the Alte Pinakothek but you can’t go wrong with any of them.
Evening – Altstadt-Lehel & Altstadt
The day isn’t over yet! On the way back to Altstadt (or Old City), head back by way of Englischer Garten. Stop by the Eisbach to watch some surfers. That’s right: surfers. The man-made river that runs through the park has a seemingly perfect, never-ending wave that attracts surfers from around the world no matter the time of the year.
While there is no shortage of nightlife in Munich, there is only one Hofbräuhaus. (Actually, they’ve started building them internationally. But the original can’t be beat.) At night, the restaurant is jammed with tourists and locals alike. Grab a seat wherever you can find one, flag a waiter or waitress down and order yourself one of their famous beers and any of their delicious Bavarian specialties. At Hofbräuhaus you get more than just a meal. You get atmosphere and entertainment. You can usually count on a Bavarian brass band to be playing traditional music.
What better way to soak in the Bavarian atmosphere and end a long day? THAT’s how to spend 24 hours in Munich!
Looking to go more in-depth in Munich? Check out my Munich city guide.
All photos are my own.