Traveling to Munich for the first time… Well, here is everything we had to learn prior to our arrival and mostly during our visit.
Last updated: August 31, 2023
While planning our trip to Munich, I read somewhere that one day would suffice first-time visitors. The article went on saying that this was enough time to see all major sites and enjoy Munich to the fullest.
So we devoted exactly one day out of our five-day backpacking adventure in Europe to explore Munich. It was our turn to test the validity of this statement and later to compile our guide to Munich for first-time visitors.
OUR QUICK GUIDE TO MUNICH FOR FIRST-TIME VISITORS
Munich, the capital of Bavaria, Germany, is one of the most beautiful and popular cities in the region. Known also as a place where you may often have a long layover during an intercontinental flight with Lufthansa or Austrian, the city is ideal for both short excursions and extended vacations.
The place is quite walkable. So after spending just a few hours here, even first-time visitors may feel at home in Munich.
Arriving in Munich
One of the most popular ways to travel to Munich is by flying into Munich International Airport. Although I considered our recent trip to Munich my first official time in the city, my feet touched its ground a few times before. Not exactly the ground, but the floor of the Munich International Airport.
Sadly, my many previous layovers allowed me only a quick glance at the Bavarian land through the plane window. Neither one of them was long enough to let me venture to Munich and explore it more.
If you travel from neighboring countries or cities, buses and trains are good alternatives to get to Munich by land. These types of transportation are especially convenient during summer. As the days get longer, first-time visitors can glance at expansive Bavarian land from the comfort of their seats before diving into the bustling city life Munich is famous for during this time of the year.
On top of that, bus and train tickets are normally cheaper compared to airfares. For our nearly five-hour bus ride from Prague to Munich we paid approximately 38 Euros for two adult tickets.
First Time in Munich: Getting around the City
Our bus arrived at ZOB Hackerbrücke at 10:00 p.m. Despite the late hour, we managed to get to our motel without booking always useful, but sometimes pricy Uber. The city has reliable public transportation with advanced and extended metro system that even Munich first-time visitors like us would appreciate. It took us literary ten minutes to get to our home away from home in Moosach.
Additionally, metro day passes ensure flexibility and convenience of traveling in and around the city. One pass is good from the moment of its validation until 6:00 a.m. the following day. The price depends of the amount of zones you need to travel to your destination.
For example, one-way ticket from Moosach to Marienplatz in Munich Old Town (one zone) costs 2.90 Euros. A day pass ticket for Inner district (white zone) comes with a price of 6.70 Euros. The transportation cost varies depending on the zone. A day pass for the entire network costs 13 Euros.
First Time in Munich: A Quick Guide to City’s Accommodation
Munich is a city that accommodates the visitors of all walks of life. From luxury hotels to budget motels and hostels, the city has it all. We booked a room at LetoMotel Munich Moosach.
TIP: For budget travelers that are not particularly picky about amenities, there are plenty of options to choose from. Make sure, though, that you book a standard room with a private bathroom and restroom. Many first-time visitors to Munich don’t realize that a lot of budget hotels offer rooms with shared bathrooms and restrooms. These places are usually cheaper, but less convenient in my opinion.
Another thing to consider when booking a hotel room in Munich for the first time is its proximity to the public transportation and major attractions. It’s absolutely not worth it to get the best hotel deal and spend long hours getting to the city center.
Places to See in Munich as a First-Time Visitor
The very first place you want to see when visiting Munich for the first time is Old Town or Altstadt. A medieval town is known for its beautiful architecture, narrow streets, and stores selling traditional souvenirs and costumes.
The Old Town is quite small and doesn’t take more than a few hours to show its attractions. The main point of interest here is the Marienplatz with the stunning Rathaus-Glockenspiel, the tower clock with chimes and moving figurines. Other landmarks include St. Peter’s Church, the Frauenkirche and the Victuals Market.
Odeonsplatz is located within a stone’s throw away from the Marienplatz. One of the largest squares in central Munich is famous for the Theatinerkirch, a Baroque church that is the symbol of gratitude.
Nature lovers find escape in the Hofgarden, the English Garden and the Japanese Garden and Tea House in the center of Munich.
The city also boasts a good number of museums to art galleries. The most famous of them include the Bavarian National Museum and the Neue Pinakothek.
Places to Eat
Your first-time visit to Munich, a city where annual Octoberfest celebration takes place, is not complete without eating traditional Bavarian dishes and drinking Bavarian beer.
To satisfy your taste buds, go no further than the Victuals Market. Apart from many options of beer and signature dishes, the place inspires its visitors to wear traditional costumes and gowns. If you arrive way before merchants open their booths, ReweCity nearby is a good place to grab some snacks.
TIP: One thing to remember, though, the majority of restaurants and stores in Munich close pretty early. So, if you like to eat late, make sure to plan it ahead of time.
Best Time to Visit Munich
It might sound like a cliché, but morning is indeed the best time to explore Munich for the first time. Even the bustling Marienplatz offers enough solitude and freedom to explore early in the morning. Come afternoon or evening, and the place turns into a madhouse.