Munich is a fascinating city that blends old Bavarian culture with modernity. The areas around Munich, the largest city in Bavaria, offer a plethora of limitless opportunities for all types of travellers, whether they are looking for traditional Bavarian food and beer or jaw-dropping views from the top of The Alps.
It also serves as a starting point for a number of other breathtaking locations that are merely a short car or train ride away. Finding the ideal Munich day excursion couldn’t be simpler, with enchanting nature getaways that are nearby as well as castles and palaces that are more fascinating and enigmatic than the last.
With the country’s highly regarded transportation network and the simplicity of renting a car in Europe, you won’t have any trouble getting to the right trip and taking advantage of everything it has to offer within a day.
Taking a day trip from Munich is the perfect way to explore the best of Bavaria without having to switch hotels every day.
Look no further! Here are ten of the best day trips from Munich to explore the beauty of Bavaria.
1. Neuschwanstein Castle: Discover a fairytale world
Neuschwanstein Castle is a nineteenth century palace perched on a hill in Hohenschwangau, near Füssen in Bavaria, Germany. The castle was commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria as his retreat and with the intention of honouring the renowned composer, Richard Wagner.
Touring the interior presents visitors with a dazzling display of ornate, luxurious rooms and panoramic views of the surrounding region. Plus, there’s a stunning garden and lake that can be explored, along with picturesque hiking trails.
Visiting Neuschwanstein is usually quite popular among tourists. To avoid long lines and crowds it’s best to arrange arrival at either early morning or later afternoon hours. The castle stays open year-round but certain sections may be closed during winter months so adjust travel plans accordingly.
Neuschwanstein is located around 120 kilometers from Munich – the easiest way to reach there is by train or car; however organized tours departing from Munich are also available for those who prefer travelling with a guide and without any transportation hassles.
2. Salzburg: Visit a beautiful city in Austria
Are you a fan of classical music? Then you simply can’t miss a Salzburg day trip from Munich!
Salzburg (a city in Austria) is the birthplace of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and is a charming city with a rich cultural heritage and stunning Baroque architecture. Salzburg is a picturesque city located on the border between Austria and Germany.
Visitors to Salzburg can explore the historic city center, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and features stunning baroque architecture, beautiful gardens, and charming narrow streets. Other popular attractions include Mozart’s birthplace, the Hohensalzburg Fortress (which towers over the city and offers breathtaking views of Salzburg and the surrounding Alps.
Salzburg is a year-round destination, but the summer months are the busiest, with many cultural festivals and events taking place during this time. A good time to visit is in December when you’ll get to see the wonderful Christmas market.
Salzburg is located about 145 kilometers from Munich and can be reached by car or by train. There are also many organised tours available from Munich that include transportation, a guide, and other benefits.
3. Berchtesgaden National Park: Embrace the beauty of nature
Set in the Bavarian Alps, Berchtesgaden National Park is a picturesque wilderness area that boasts of some of the most breathtaking landscapes in Bavaria, including the famous Königssee lake.
The park is teeming with diverse flora and fauna, including golden eagles, ibex, and chamois. A highlight of the park is the stunning Königssee, a glacier-fed lake that boasts turquoise waters and a picturesque setting surrounded by mountains. Take a boat ride across the lake to St. Bartholomä, a beautiful pilgrimage church that dates back to the twelfth century.
If you’re feeling adventurous, take a hike up to the Watzmann mountain, one of the highest mountains in Germany. The views from the summit are simply spectacular.
For history buffs, a visit to the Eagle’s Nest, Hitler’s former mountain retreat, is a must-see. Today, the site serves as a restaurant and offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding area. Other attractions include the Jennerbahn cable car, and the Salt Mines.
Berchtesgaden National Park is 150 kilometers from Munich and can be reached by car or train in two hours. Visitors can explore the park on foot, bike, or take a tour from Munich that include transportation, a guide, and admission to popular attractions in the park.
4. Zugspitze: Reach the top of Germany
Are you looking for a thrilling adventure during your visit to Munich? The Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain at 2,962 metres above sea level, is the only place to start.
For more than a century, hikers and skiers have made the mountain a favourite destination. To get people to the top, the historic cable car (the Zugspitzbahn cable car) and Cogwheel train can help.
You’ll be rewarded to panoramic vistas over Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy once you reach the top. Active individuals may also explore the Zugspitze glacier, which provides skiing and snowboarding, on the Zugspitze plateau.
The train ride from Munich’s main railway station to Garmisch-Partenkirchen is the most convenient way to get there. You can also get a bus or drive. From Garmisch-Partenkirchen you may ride a cogwheel railway to the top of Zugspitze.
5. Rothenburg ob der Tauber: Step back in time
Are you a fan of medieval towns? Then Rothenburg ob der Tauber is the perfect day trip destination for you!
This picturesque town is a living museum that takes visitors back in time to the Middle Ages. you can explore the narrow streets and alleyways, visit the historic walls and towers, and learn about the fascinating history of this enchanting place.
The Christmas Museum is one of Rothenburg ob der Tauber’s attractions. The town is also well-known for having spectacular Christmas markets every December and for having shops that sell Christmas stuff all year long.
Visit the Medieval Crime and Punishment Museum to learn about the brutal punishments of the past. Next, visit the St. Jakob’s Church, Town Hall and the Plönlein (seen below), one of the most photographed spots in Germany.
Don’t miss the chance to try the town’s famous Schneeballen, a pastry that’s shaped like a snowball and covered in powdered sugar.
To get to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, you can take a train from Munich to the town of Ansbach and then transfer to a regional train that will take you to Rothenburg. Alternatively, you can rent a car and drive there in about two hours.
6. Nuremberg: Explore a city with a rich history
If you’re a history junkie, get yourself over to Nuremberg for the day! With chiselled half-timbered buildings and major cultural museums, this city is steeped in history.
But Nuremberg isn’t just about the past – it’s a thriving modern city with lot to offer. Behind the chiselled and half-timbered façade of its attractive buildings, its small, winding lanes are bustling with life and trade. Experience one of Europe’s largest and most significant cultural history museums, the Germanisches National Museum.
Don’t miss out on key spots like Nuremberg Castle – the 11th century masterpiece. There’s also the Hauptmarkt (center square) to relish treats like Nürnberger Rostbratwurst and delicious gingerbread.
Don’t forget to visit the Toy Museum either – it’ll blow you away with its vintage games and toys.
Take a train from Munich that’ll get you there in an hour and a half, or drive two hours if you’d prefer. But why not splash out on an organised tour? Either way, Nuremberg’s bound to blow your socks off!
7. Regensburg: Discover a gem on the Danube river
If you’re looking for a day trip that combines history, culture, and scenic beauty, then Regensburg is the place for you!
Located about hundred and twenty kilometers from Munich, this charming city on the Danube River is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and boasts a plethora of architectural wonders, cultural attractions, and natural beauty.
Start by visiting the Regensburg Cathedral and walk through the old city’s landmarks. Don’t forget to make some time for the Stone Bridge, one of the oldest surviving bridges in Germany. For something different, try a tour of the Thurn and Taxis Palace.
To get to Regensburg, you can take a train from Munich, which will take you there in about an hour and a half to one hour 40. You can also drive there in about an hour and a half.
8. Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site: Remember the past
The Dachau Concentration Camp is a powerful reminder from WW2. It’s the first Nazi camp, opening back in 1933 and over 41 thousand people lost their lives here. Even though it has dark history in its core, this memorial site needs to be visited so we can remember the victims and honour them.
When you get there, you’ll walk through the gates and enter a world full of pain and suffering including the barrack dorms, gas chambers and the crematorium. It’s hauntingly sad but incredibly important that we understand these events.
It is highly recommended taking one of the tours at the site; they’ll teach you about everyday life of inmates and some stories from survivors too – just make sure you spend at least half a day there for full understanding of what happened.
The Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site is located about twenty km northwest of Munich. And if you’re wondering how to get there: take S2 S-Bahn (suburban train) from Munich to Dachau Station then grab bus 726 going to memorial site!
9. Garmisch-Partenkirchen: Revel in alpine adventure
For thrilling day trip from Munich then head down to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a picturesque alpine town that’s sure to leave you spellbound.
This Bavarian Mountain town boasts of stunning alpine views, fresh air, and amazing skiing experience! The streets are lined with quaint German architecture that’ll make you go ‘aah!’ So take a leisurely stroll through its streets and soak in the beauty of it all.
Packed with adventure, Garmisch-Partenkirchen will let you try your hand at skiing or snowboarding on its slopes. Or if that doesn’t do it for you, then head to Zugspitze (mentioned above) – Germany’s highest mountain – in a cable car and check out the incredible view from up top.
But whatever you chose, don’t forget to give yourself at least a day here – there’s just too much awesome stuff waiting for you! And before leaving, cap off your trip with some famous Bavarian cuisine at one of the cozy cafes around town. From schnitzels to sausages (aka Wurst) to warm pastries (hello Apfelstrudel!), you’ll be in yummy heaven every second spent here.
Getting here is fairly easy as well – you can take a regional train from Munich to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. To get to Garmisch-Partenkirchen from Munich by car, take the Autobahn 95 heading south.
10. Andechs Monastery: Taste Bavarian beer and spirituality
If you’re looking for a unique day trip from Munich that combines a unique blend of spirituality and Bavarian beer, then Andechs Monastery is the perfect destination for you.
Just approx 45 minutes from the city, this stunning Benedictine monastery has been brewing its own beer for over 500 years and is also a spiritual retreat. When you arrive, start by checking out the massive 12th-century Andechs Abbey Church; inside you’ll find amazing frescoes and ornate altars.
After that, hit up the Andechs brewery to try some of Bavaria’s best beer – the Andechs Doppelbock is a must-try! And don’t forget to grab a meal at the beer hall while you’re there – pork knuckles and pork belly are popular here.
If you really want some incredible views too then make sure to take a stroll through the monastery gardens where you can soak in panoramic vistas of Lake Ammersee and the Bavarian Alps.
The easiest way to get there is by car. If you don’t have a car, you can take the S-Bahn to Herrsching and then catch a bus to the monastery. The journey takes approximately 45 minutes.
Munich is an excellent base for visiting the various day trip locations in the stunning Bavarian region of Germany. There is something for all travellers in Bavaria, from ancient castles to breathtaking natural scenery.
Munich is a wonderful city, but Bavaria has much more to offer than just Munich. Visitors may explore the beauty and diversity of the region by taking day excursions from Munich.
Anyone visiting Germany must make sure to visit Bavaria. It is a genuinely one-of-a-kind and amazing place to visit due to its rich history, breathtaking scenery, and vibrant culture.
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