Things to do|Travel tips

Munich: What to know before you go

Munich, Germany

I loved exploring Munich, getting lost in its streets, wandering its parks and beer gardens, and sampling delicious Bavarian food and drink. There is no shortage of things to do and see here and we hope our Munich travel guide helps you better plan your trip to this iconic Bavarian city.

Munich, or München in German, is steeped in history, tradition, and modern charm and has amazing churches, beer halls, palaces, and museums. Munich is the capital of the state of Bavaria and was the capital of Bavaria when it was independent from Germany until 1871. 

Today’s Munich is welcoming and offers something for every type of traveler. You’ll definitely want a few days to explore all that the city has to offer and you should start planning your trip now! 

Let’s dive into our guide to Munich!

Munich travel guide

Munich, Germany
Munich, Germany

Where is Munich?

Munich is the capital of the state of Bavaria in southern Germany and has a population of about 1.5 million people and houses an international airport. It sits at an elevation of about 1,700 ft. above sea level and is about 30 miles north of the Alps and the Isar River winds its way through the city. It is also close to the German-Austrian border and Switzerland border. It only takes about an hour and a half to Salzburg in driving time and almost two hours to Innsbruck from Munich. 


Right now, Munich is in Central European Summer Time (GMT +2), putting it six hours ahead of New York City, eight hours ahead of Denver, and nine hours ahead of Los Angeles.


The weather in Munich is known for nice summers, cold winters, and a cool autumn – perfect for drinking copious amounts of beer. 

Average temperatures in Munich by season (Fahrenheit)

  • Spring: 32-64 degrees
  • Summer: 50-74 degrees
  • Fall: 32-65 degrees
  • Winter: 23-38 degrees

Expect rain from March through June and bring some cozy sweaters when you visit for Oktoberfest! January is its coldest month and July’s claim to fame is both the hottest and wettest month.

Basic travel info

*Be sure to dial 0049 if using a phone from abroad

  • Police: 110
  • Emergency medical services: 112
  • Area code: 089
  • US Embassy: Königinstraße 5, 80539 München, Germany
  • Electricity: 230 volts and type F or type C adapters 


German is the official language in Munich, but most people (especially anyone in tourism) speak English, but it does help to have a few German phrases up your sleeve before exploring the city.

Common German phrases for travelers

Hello …  Hallo (ha-loh)

Good day …  Guten tag (gooh-ten tahk)

Good night …  Gute nacht (gooh-teh nacht)

Goodbye …   Auf wiedersehen (ouf vee-der-zey-en)

How are you? …  Wie geht es ihnen (vee geyt es een-en)

Fine, thanks … Gut, danke (gooht dahn-ke)

Yes …  Ja (yah)

No …  Nein (nine)

Please/You’re welcome …  Bitte (bi-tuh)

Thank you …  Danke (dahn-ke)

I’m sorry …  Es tut mir leid (es toot mir lied)

Excuse me …  Entschuldigung (ent-shool-dee-goong)

I don’t understand …  Ich verstehe nicht (ikh fair-shtay-er nikht)

I don’t speak German …  Ich spreche kein Deutsch (ihk spre-kuh kine doytch)

Do you speak English? …  Sprechen sie Englisch? (shpreh-en zee eng-lish)

What? …  Was? (vass)

When? …  Wann? (van)

Why? …  Warum? (va-room)

Where is….? …  Wo ist…? (voh ist)

The bathroom …  Die toilette (dee toy-let-uh)

Do you have…? …  Haben sie…? (hah-ben zee)

I’d like…  Ich hatte gern… (iH he-te gern)

How much does… cost? …  Wie viel kostet (vee feel kos-tet)

The bill, please …  Die rechnung bitte (dee reh-noong bi-te)

Want to learn German before you check out Munich? Read up on our tips for learning a new language!

Currency in Munich

In Munich, the currency is the euro (€). At the time of this posting, $1 USD = .91 Euro. You can easily explore Munich for €100-200 per day and even less if you plan ahead. 

For tipping in Munich, it’s pretty comparable to other European travel destinations where a tip isn’t expected but is appreciated. If you do want to tip, go with:

  • 1€ per bag at your hotel
  • Taxis, round up to the nearest 5€
  • Restroom attendants .50€
Biking in Munich

Transportation in Munich

Getting around Munich is pretty easy and one of my favorite ways of getting around the city was by bicycle! The paths were easy to stick to and covered a lot of ground and made it easy to get to hidden paths and the Chinese Beer Garden.

Public transportation

Munich’s public transportation system is run by MVV and has buses, trams, and the U-Bahn and S-Bahn. We were able to navigate the bus schedule and ticketing system as well, just be sure to validate your tickets prior to getting on the bus!

You can get single tickets, single day tickets, an airport-city day ticket, or get free travel on MVV with the CityTourCard. A single day ticket for the inner district is 6,70 € or you can use the entire network for 13,00 €, the airport ticket is the same price for one rider. 

Munich neighborhoods

Munich has some awesome neighborhoods and areas to stay and explore. Some of the most popular spots include:

  • Altstadt: Historic, central, Marienplatz, New Town Hall, foodies, first-timers
  • Maxvorstadt: Universities, museums, cafes, boutiques 
  • Schwabing: Bohemian, restaurants and cafes, boutique shops, urban
  • Ludwigsvorstadt: Oktoberfest
  • Haidhausen: Non-touristy, local, bars and clubs, Isar River
  • Isavorstadt: Hipster, gay-friendly, Isar River, city center
  • Nymphenburg: Schloss Nymphenburg, parks


There’s a great range of affordable accommodations and luxury rooms in Munich. We actually stayed just outside the city and took the bus into the city center. If you do want to stay closer to all the action (and beer) try one of these fabulous hotel options. 

10 best hotels in Munich

  1. KING’s HOTEL CityStay
  2. Eden Hotel Wolff
  3. Platzl Hotel
  4. Aloft München 
  5. Arthotel munich
  6. Novotel Munich City
  7. Harry’s Home Hotel Munich
  8. Hotel Excelsior 
  9. Ruby Lilly Hotel Munich
  10. Vi Vadi Hotel Bayer 89
Hofbrauhaus beer
Liters of beer at Munich’s Hofbrauhaus

Dining in Munich

You definitely won’t get hungry or go thirsty in Munich! When dining, leave a few coins for the barman and round up your restaurant bill to the nearest 5€ or 10€ if the service was very good. 

Best foods in Munich

Not sure what to eat in Munich? Here are our picks for the must-eat foods in Munich:

  • Spaetzel
  • Bratwurst
  • Jagerschnitzel 
  • Obatzda cheese
  • Knodel
  • Pretzels
  • Bavarian potato-cucumber salad
  • Strudel

What to drink in Munich

It’s almost impossible to travel to Germany without sipping some of their traditional suds. Go traditional with their beers by tasting their:

  • Pilsner
  • Marzen/Oktoberfest
  • Hefeweizen
  • Munich Dunkel
  • Doppelbock 
  • Kolsch (from Cologne, Germany)

During your meals, cross your knife and fork on your plate if you’re not done. This tells servers that you’re still eating, but if you place your knife and fork in parallel on the right side of the plate, your waiter will understand you are finished. 

Top 10 things to do in Munich

There are plenty of things to do in Munich and surrounding it. It’s totally worth the travel time to visit the castles or concentration camp memorial just outside the city, as well as devoting enough time to staying in the city to explore the plazas, churches, palaces, and refueling at a beer hall! 

  1. Neuschwanstein Castle
  2. Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial
  3. Bike tour
  4. Beer gardens
  5. Tierpark Hellabrunn
  6. Residenz Royal Palace
  7. Nymphenburg Palace
  8. Marienplatz and Odeonsplatz
  9. Olympiapark
  10. Viktualienmarkt

German culture & etiquette

Want to blend in like a local as you make your way through Munich? Follow these rules of etiquette to understand their culture and daily life a little bit better. 

  • Say hello: Being polite goes a long way and you should always say hello or try grüss gott, the southern German way of saying guten tag. 
  • Titles: Academic titles belong in a name, such as Herr Doktor Weise. 
  • Punctuality: Be on time, it’s extremely rude to show up more than a few minutes late. Germans are noted for being very punctual, so it’s best to try to arrive five to 10 minutes ahead of time. 
  • Sharing tables: When dining out or grabbing a stein of beer, you might have to share a table with another group. It’s no big deal, just ask if the seat is free (ist dieser platz noch frei?) wish them a good meal (guten appetit), and then enjoy your own food and drink.
  • Wait to eat: Wait for everyone to be seated and to hear guten appetit before digging in. You can also toast with a “prost!” before clinking your beers or a “zum wohl” with wine. 
  • Keep conversation topics pleasant: We all know what happened in Germany in the 1940s and it’s a touchy subject. Don’t bring it up in public unless you’re close with your dining companions or in private. 
  • It’s okay not to drink: If you refuse a beer or alcoholic beverage, it’s completely fine and you won’t be berated into ordering a drink. 
  • Close the door: Coming across a closed door in an office or even at home doesn’t mean the person is shutting everyone out.  It’s common for Germans to keep doors closed for some quiet but you’re always welcome to knock. Same thing for bathroom doors, most of the time they’ll be closed even if no one is in there – but definitely knock before going in there!

We hope this Munich travel guide helps you plan your trip to this fantastic part of Germany! If we missed anything, please tell us in the comments or on Twitter!

Munich, Germany
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Hey, I'm Stephanie! I'm a copywriter living in beautiful Denver with my husband Rick, and our dog Rocco. I love traveling, writing, reading, and being outside as much as possible - unless I'm on the couch binge watching Stranger Things with a glass of wine! Thanks for reading and being a part of the adventure with Back to the Passport! ❤️

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