In Munich there is always something to discover, whether in four or 24 hours, on a long weekend or in a whole week. A few suggestions for families and stays with children!
Munich's city centre can be easily explored on foot or with a pram. And many of the sights are not just for adults, but also for the little ones. Like the Marienplatz with its famous carillon or the town hall tower, which unlike the popular Alter Peter observation tower has an elevator - and the view is almost the same! Afterwards you should definitely visit the Viktualienmarkt around the corner. If you like, book a tasting tour in advance - this way the popular food market can also be experienced by children.
Especially fascinating for young and old is the Devil's Step legend in the Frauenkirche, probably Munich's most famous landmark. Equally popular is the Italian-style Odeonsplatz (square) with its Hofgarten (park) and the white Theatinerkirche (church). The two lion figures in front of the Residenz entrance (next to the entrance to the Hofgarten) are famous in Munich: They say, whoever strokes their nose is lucky. If their legs carry you so far, you can also take a leisurely stroll over to the English Garden and watch the famous surfers of the Eisbach wave with the children.
Fresh air and sightseeing make you hungry. If the weather is fine, you can enjoy a snack you brought with you in one of Munich's traditional beer gardens. Of course you can also enjoy a delicious selection of Bavarian dishes directly in the beer garden. From Obatzdn to sausage salad and chips with ketchup. The beergarden at the Chinese Tower in the English Garden attracts visitors with a beautiful playground and a historic children's carousel (open from April to October; only in good weather). The beer garden at Wiener Platz in Haidhausen and the beer garden of Augustiner-Keller at Hackerbrücke also have a playground.
In bad weather you will find numerous typical Bavarian restaurants in the centre of Munich. A visit to a café at the Viktualienmarkt would also be a nice way to round off your tour of the old town. If it rains, you can also visit the Toy Museum in the Old Town Hall or the Deutsches Museum (Kinderreich for children from 3 to 8 years) on the Museum Island. We especially like the mine here, which our author has always visited as a child.
In the morning you explore Munich's old town as described above with Marienplatz, Viktualienmarkt, Frauenkirche, Odeonsplatz with Hofgarten and the English Garden. If you have a whole day's time, after a lunch break you can continue on to Hellabrunn Zoo - one of the most animal-rich zoos in Europe. The zoo has a lot to offer, especially for small guests: a petting enclosure with dwarf goats, two playgrounds and the Kinderland Hellabrunn. Those who are already in Thalkirchen can go for a walk along the Isar river afterwards. If you walk towards the city centre as far as the Glockenbachviertel, it will take you about an hour. If you don't feel like walking so much, explore Flaucher with the little ones - in summer it's an adventure and bathing paradise!
After exploring Munich's old town (see under "Stopover: Four hours"), you can take the tram to Nymphenburg Castle, the former summer residence of the Wittelsbach dynasty, instead of going to the zoo on the same day. In good weather, the ride in an original Venetian gondola on the castle canal is an unforgettable experience. In bad weather you can visit the Museum Mensch and Natur, an outstanding natural history museum for young and old at Nymphenburg Castle or the Marstallmuseum with an outstanding courtly carriage collection in the southern part of the castle.
On the second day we will set off for the Olympic Park: with an exciting ascent to the Olympic Tower and a ride on the park railway. Afterwards, a visit to the Sealife adventure aquarium in the Olympic Park could be on the programme - always a highlight for children, as the Sealife is home to the largest variety of sharks in Germany. Or you could go to the BMW Welt and the BMW Museum opposite. At BMW Welt you can experience the delivery centre and showroom in one. The BMW Museum provides a comprehensive insight into the history of the Bavarian automobile manufacturer.
After the Old Town, Nymphenburg Palace and the Olympic Park, the following experiences could be on the programme for a longer stay: On the third day you will visit the Deutsches Museum, one of the largest natural science museums in the world. It is not only the children's kingdom (for children from 3 to 8 years old) that casts its spell on the young visitors. A visit to the Kinderkunsthaus in Schwabing is also a great way to start the day. At the weekend, children aged 2-14 can be creative at the "open programme" between 10 am and 4 pm in the Wekstatt: drawing, printing, crafting - everything is possible! In the afternoon you can look behind the scenes of cinema & TV during a visit to the Bavaria Filmstadt or experience the Hellabrunn Zoo (see "Short trip: one day"). Alternatively, you can attend a performance at the Munich Marionette Theatre, which is one of the oldest puppet theatres with a permanent seat in the German-speaking world.
The following day you will then take a guided tour of the Allianz Arena, Munich's football temple (duration around 75 minutes). Afterwards you will go into the countryside: Beer gardens (Chinese Tower with children's carousel or Seehaus), Eisbach wave, lakes and well-kept meadows promise a relaxing afternoon in the English Garden. Alternatively, on day four you can experience a day trip to Lake Starnberg with a boat trip. The S 6 towards Tutzing (exit Starnberg) takes you from the city centre in about 30 minutes to the landing stage at Starnberger See. It is worth visiting the children's playground in Bürgerpark near the landing stage of the boats. You could also make an excursion with the Bayerische Regiobahn to the Schliersee. The train takes you from Munich Central Station in about one hour to the Schliersee stop. Near the station "Schliersee" on the shore of the lake there is a nice playground next to a beer garden with pedal boat rental.
Those who stay for a whole week are spoilt for choice in activities. After our four-day programme we would like to recommend: If you are visiting the Olympic Park anyway and have older children (ten years and older), you may consider taking a tour on the Olympic roof with a tent. If you are planning an excursion and don't want to go to the lake, go to the Allgäu Skyline Park - here you will experience over 60 attractions. The amusement park is only about one hour away from Munich. The bus company FlixBus offers a daily (non-stop) service from the central bus station (ZOB) in Munich to Bad Wörishofen to the main entrance of the leisure park.
On the fifth day a guided tour of the Allianz Arena, Munich's football temple, could be on the programme (duration around 75 minutes). In the afternoon you might attend a performance at the theatre for children. From the robber Hotzenplotz to Sleeping Beauty and Pinocchio: In Munich's Theater for Children professional actors perform plays for children from the age of four.
The penultimate day is then well suited for a day trip into the surrounding area - for example to Neuschwanstein, Linderhof or Herrenchiemsee, the castles of the Bavarian fairy-tale king Ludwig II. Here Munich Tourism also offers organized day trips with bus transfer and skip-the-line service!
Alternatively you can visit "Frau Holle" or the "Sieben Geisslein" in the Märchenwald Isartal (fairytale forest Isartal). Over 20 fairy tales, more than 260 moving figures and numerous rides offer children a very special experience. You take the S 7 to the final stop Wolfratshausen. There you take the bus 375 direction Endlhausen, Egling b. Wolfratshausen and get off at the stop Meßnergassl/Wolfratshausen. From there you walk about ten minutes to the Märchenwald. The journey time from the main station in Munich is about one hour. Alternatively, families with larger children can walk directly from Wolfratshausen station (about 20 minutes).
On the last day we recommend a visit to the Munich-Nymphenburg Botanical Garden (especially when there is a butterfly exhibition). Or a look behind the scenes of cinema & TV in the Bavaria Filmstadt can be a nice end to this week of holidays in the Bavarian capital.