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The Top Day Trips from Munich
Bavaria is the most visited state in Germany and most people that visit add Munich to their itinerary. We recommend to stay a few extra days in Bavaria’s capital and enjoy some of the best day trips from Munich to explore the beauty of the region. Whether you are looking to go hiking near Munich in the Bavarian Alps, explore Neuschwanstein Castle or nearby towns and cities, we have something for you.
Our list of Munich day trips focuses on famous Bavarian castles, a handful of unique hikes, a lot of history, a great brewery, several quintessential Bavarian towns, and more.
In order to plan day trips from Munich, you should become acquainted with the region’s transportation options. The best option, of course, is renting a car, as Germany’s roadways are excellent and you have better access to many more attractions.
All of the day trips below can also be made by train. The local trains run frequently, are reliable, and take you through the Alps, forests, and incredible lake districts. The Bayern ticket is a good deal: it gives you unlimited travel for one day through Bavaria for 21-31 euros. It is only good for local trains, not the IC or EC trains, and some other restrictions apply. It is an especially great deal if traveling in a group of two to five people. The Einfach Raus ticket is Austria’s version of the Bayern ticket.
To plan day trips from Munch by train, visit bahn.de , which provides searches in English. To search for routes covered by the Bayern Ticket, check the “Local Transport” box, unchecking the “Prefer fast connections” box.
Before you come to Bavaria, do not forget these 3 important points:
- Get Travel Insurance! I trust SafetyWing Travel Medical Insurance and can only recommend them. They cover COVID-related issues, as well as the traditional coverage like, delayed and canceled flights, medical emergencies, and lost luggage. And their monthly plans start at only $40/month. Click here to buy your SafetyWing Travel Medical Insurance.
- Visit my Travel Gear and Resource Page to see my recommendations on useful travel gadgets and helpful travel services that can help you with planning your trip.
- If you don’t want to drive in Europe, you can use this website to book your train tickets between the city and for day trips. It is super easy and in English.
List of Day Trips from Munich
Hiking in the Bavarian Alps
If you can’t wait to go explore the best hiking trails near Munich and hike in the Bavarian Alps, you can either rent a car and go out on your own or join a guided hike. As a lot of the trailheads are not that easy to get to, especially if you don’t have a car, we recommend the latter. That way, you don’t have to worry about anything, can meet other avid hikers and make the most of your day hiking near Munich.
Also check our guide on Hiking Gear Packing Essentials before you head to Munich.
Hiking and Summer Coaster Run in Rural Bavaria – Perfect for Families
This is the perfect Family day trip from Munich, if you like to get outdoors. First, go on a short hike to an Alpine hut for a delicious Bavarial lunch and drinks and then hit the Alpine Coaster for some downhill adventures. Perfect to explore the Bavarian Alps and the beautiful countryside. Book this trip here.
Alpine Ski Trip in Winter
If you visit Munich in winter and want to have some fun in the snow, this is the easiest way to hit the slopes. Everything is organized for you – transfer, snowboard or ski gear rental, ski pass and all – so you don’t have to worry about anything. The trip will take you to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the home to the 1936 Winter Olympics. You will find any level of slopes, from beginner to black diamond afficionados. Book your Munich Ski Trip here.
Likely your guidebook features this castle on the cover, and it looks like something out of Disneyland for a reason: The Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland was based on it. And now that the tourism industry has fully taken over the area, you’ll feel like you’re visiting Disneyland, too. Neuschwanstein Castle is probably one of the most popular day trips from Munich. Expect huge crowds, long ticketing queues, and exceptionally well-organized tours led by robotic tour guides.
Neuschwanstein is two hours by train and we highly recommend going with a guided tour, (this one is a small group tour and includes Linderhof palace) as it really takes the hassle out of it. They book the tickets, organize a tour guide and transportation from Munich, so all you need to do is show up (and there isn’t really a way to see Neuschwanstein “off the beaten path” anyways).
If you want to splurge and do something really special, I recommend this Helicopter tour that will take you to some of the most stunning castles and lakes of Bavaria. Truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you will never forget!
Dachau Concentration Camp
Located just a 30-minute train ride from Munich, Dachau was the first Nazi concentration camp ever built, and today it can be toured. Many of the camp’s original buildings remain intact, as well as the crematorium. Guided tours are offered daily.
Take the S2 train from Munich to the Dachau train station; from there, take bus 726 towards Saubachsiedlung to get to the concentration camp. Or you can book a tour that includes your train ticket and a guided tour of the Dachau Concentration Camp.
Königssee & Bavarian Alps
On this tour, you will see some of the most magnificent Bavarian landscapes, the Alps and stunning Königssee. On this 9-hour small group tour, your guide will take your from Munich to the Bavaria Alps’ heart: Berchtesgaden. There you will have a chance to take short boat ride on the beautiful Königssee (King’s Lake) where you can spot the infamous Eagle’s Nest – Hitlers Bavarian vacation residence.
As you drive through the breathtaking scenery, you will feel like you are driving through the set of Sound of Music. Book your tour here.
Romantic Road – Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Rothenburg, albeit quite touristy, is a beautiful little town in Franconia. Its iconic half-timbered houses are instantly recognizable and to be honest, it is the stereotypical German town. While it is a top tourist destination, it is also worth a visit. Some places you just have to see for yourself. Just be aware that you might hear more English than German. This tour will take you along the Romantic Road and you’ll have an extended stay in Rothenburg.
Lake Starnberg is also a 30-minute train ride from Munich, and this beautiful lake is home to several small towns and relaxing lakeside promenades. Completely off the beaten path, this is a great day trip for absorbing Bavarian culture and relaxation.
The town of Starnberg has a castle in the center, and it is worth hiking up to it for the views of the lake.
If you want to experience something special during your time in Starnberg, you can book a dinner cruise on the lake, which includes a 3-course meal, a Water Music Concert and even a firework.
Ferries run from Starnberg, and you can either spend an hour or three puttering around the lake. Ferries run to the town of Berg, which is home to the Castle Berg. King Ludwig II, who resided in the castle, was famously found dead in the lake one day.
Germany’s tallest mountain is a great choice for a day trip from Munich, if you want sweeping alpine views. If you do a guided tour to the Zugspitze, you will be picked up at your hotel and drive to Garmisch-Patenkirchen, where you will take a cable car to the 2962 meter high peak. Enjoy the stunning views, relax and have a beer at Germany’s highest beer garden and take way too many photos.
If you want to get up close and personal with the mountain and are in good shape, you can also hike up to the top. I highly recommend going on a guided hike, especially since you get all the equipment (you need crampons and harnesses for this hike) through the tour company.
Ammersee Lake and Kloster Andechs
50 minutes by train, this day trip combines a beautiful lake, relaxed hiking, and one of the best places for beer in Germany: Kloster Andechs. The train drops you off in the town of Herrsching, where you can stroll down to the Ammersee Lake. From Herrsching you can get to Kloster Andechs monastery by taking a bus or hiking 45 minutes along a well-marked path. At the monastery, you can take a tour, drink the excellent beer, and eat the famous Schweinehaxe (roasted ham hocks). A must for beer enthusiasts.
A perfect way to see the beautiful Ammersee and Kloster Andechs is by bike. This bike tour offers a full day bike tour through the Bavarian countryside – and if you run out of steam, the eBike will do the work for you!
One of the closest ski resorts to Munich, this Bavarian Alps town is famous for hosting the 1936 Olympics, so if you are interested in some winter fun, Garmisch-Partenkirchen is one of your best day trips from Munich options in the winter.
In the summer, hikers can trek down to the Partnachklamm Gorge: a narrow, deep canyon with walkways carved into the cliff walls. You will get wet, but it will be worth it. Other hikes can be reached by taking a breathtaking cable car ride. Garmisch-Partenkirchen can be reached in one hour by express train, and the local train takes around an hour and a half.
If you don’t want to organize this day-trip yourself, you can book this Tour from Munich, that includes Garmisch-Partenkirchen, as well as the Zugspitze, the highest peak in Germany (don’t worry, you can take a cable car up to the top!).
The second-largest city in Bavaria after Munich, Nuremberg is a true gothic city with one of the most impressive centers in Germany. The Nuremberg castle looms above the cobblestone streets and sunny courtyards.
Ornate churches and buildings are around every corner; the city’s once impenetrable city walls, now broken into sections, stand side-by-side with Renaissance buildings. Nuremberg has a wide selection of art and history museums, including the Reichsparteigelande, which documents the rise of Adolf Hitler. Nuremberg was the Nazi Party’s rally grounds.
Express trains reach Nuremberg in just one hour or you can book a day trip that includes an English-speaking guided tour, and roundtrip train tickets from Munich.
Berchtesgaden & Eagle’s Nest
If you are a history lover, this is a must do for your trip to Bavaria: A visit to the idyllic alpine town of Berchtesgaden and Hitler’s infamous Eagles Nest. You can explore Hitler’s vacation home – the Kehlsteinhaus – which looks just like it did in 1945, plus a beer garden on the terrace in the summer. You’ll be surrounded by beautiful scenery yet at the same time, the place feels eery and haunted.
If you are in Munich, I recommend the Berchtesgaden and Eagles Nest Tour.
Regensburg is a stunning little city that is worth a visit. Its old town is a UNESCO Heritage Site and you can admire the beautiful medieval center, including the 12th-century bridge crossing the Danube river, the impressive St Peter Cathedral or the Porta Praetoria tower.
A bit out of the city, you can visit the Walhalla – sort of like the “Hall of Fame” of notable Germans.
Würzburg is a bit further away, but if you get an early start, you can still make it a day trip from Munich. Located in the North-Bavarian region of Franconia, this city makes wine lovers’ hearts beat faster. Try some Silvaner – the most iconic Franconian grape variety – on the Old Main Bridge. It is a favorite hangout spot for locals to drink a glass of wine, with a stunning view of the Würzburg Fortress.
I also highly recommend a visit to the Würzburger Residenz – another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Especially in the summertime, the gardens are lovely and they offer tours in English.
The valley of the River Altmühl lies between Munich and Nuremberg. It is home to the Altmühltal Nature Park, where visitors can enjoy outdoor activities, such as hiking, cycling, and swimming. Rent bicycles and take the Altmühltal Radweg cycle path along the river to see stunning rock formations and more. Several towns are located inside the park; from Munich, most towns take an hour and a half to reach by train.
Around two hours by train, this castle is just as grand as Neuschwanstein, but it is much less known. Located on an island in the middle of Chiemsee Lake, the Herrenchiemsee Castle was designed to look like Versaille. The gardens and grounds are expansive, replete of bubbling fountains and sculptures.
Inside you’ll find rooms elaborately decorated with gold leaf as well as the largest porcelain chandelier in the world. Tours are offered daily. To get to the castle, take a train to Prien, then a ferry to the island.
This Austrian city is two hours by train from Munich. It is famous for being the birthplace of Mozart and the filming location for The Sound of Music. Besides reenacting scenes from The Sound of Music, you can tour the stunning Old Town of Salzburg, which is overlooked by the imposing Hohensalzburg Castle.
With all the gothic homes and churches, it’s definitely worth spending a whole day in the city, then unwinding with great beer at Augustiner Bräustübl. Here is a great tour that will take you to Salzburg – a fun day trip from Munich.
If you are looking for hotels and accommodation in and around Munich, take a look here.
Sunday 16th of September 2012
I loved Andechs. Would love to have seen the others in this list as well!
The Language Journal
Wednesday 20th of June 2012
This place is quite great.Along the streets of Munich, there are royal avenues, parks and more squares. Museums hold collections of the branches of science.