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.
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.
List of Day Trips from Munich
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 Castle Linderhof) 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). A less touristy castle is featured next.
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.
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 chilling out. The town of Starnberg has a castle in the center, and it is worth hiking up to it for the views of the lake. 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.
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 private 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 & Eagles 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.
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, Hallstadt, and through the Austrian Alps.
If you are looking for hotels and accommodation in and around Munich, take a look here.
Written by Mattie Bamman for EuropeUpClose.com