10 Best Day Trips from Munich (That Are Worth Doing!)

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After you’ve spent 4 days in Munich, it’s time to get out of the city. There are plenty os fascinating day trips from Munich for every travel taste.

Famous for its architecture, history, and of course the now globally recognized Oktoberfest, Munich is the third-largest city in Germany after Berlin and Hamburg, and is the capital of the German Free State of Bavaria.

First mentioned in 1158, the city abounds with historical sights, including the stunning baroque Nymphenburg Palace, and the landmark Frauenkirche which dominates the skyline due to local height laws.

Munich is also well placed to explore the rich historical area of Bavaria, a land of fairytale castles, medieval towns, forests, and mountain scenery.

Even Austria can be quite easily visited from this city. But which day trips from Munich are most worth your time? Here are some of our top recommendations for your next visit to Munich.

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Germany (Travel Guide)

10 Best Day Trips from Munich

1. Regensburg

Regensburg, Germany - Best Day Trips from Munich

Just under two hours to the north of Munich is Regensburg. This historic town is known for its very well preserved medieval center, which has as such has been made a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

However, its history spans back much further than the Middle Ages. Evidence of a settlement here in the Stone Age does exist, but more tangible is the Roman town of Castra Regina, built here in 179 AD; even in 90 AD the Romans had constructed a fort nearby.

You can still see evidence of the Roman town in the form of the remains of the East Tower of the Porta Praetoria.

Elsewhere the skyline is dominated by the huge Regensburg Cathedral, dating back to 789 AD, but as it stands dating to the 16th century (and later), and the stunning 200-year-old Regensburg Stadttheater. This is a town full of history ready for you to explore.

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2. Ingolstadt

Ingolstadt, Germany

Located as little as 36 minutes away by train, day trips from Munich to Ingolstadt couldn’t be more convenient. First mentioned by Charlemagne, the Holy Roman Emperor, in 806 AD as Ingoldes stat, this ancient city is packed full of sights.

There is the Kreuztor, the iconic western gate to the medieval part of town, built in 1385, the stunning baroque Asamkirche Maria de Victoria, a church constructed in the late 18th century, as well as the pristine 15th century ‘New Castle’, among many other examples of Gothic architecture.

Aside from its wealth of history, this Bavarian town is also a haven for shoppers, with designer outlet shopping at Ingolstadt Village featuring 110 international boutiques, many of which offer discounts of up to 60%. We’ve spent more than 4 weeks in Germany so check out our Germany articles!

3. Salzburg and Salzkammergut (Lake District)

Salzburg, Austria

In the summer, Munich heads to the cooler climate of the Bavarian Alps to relax and chill out in its naturally beautiful lakes and rivers.

In neighboring Austria, day trips from Munich allow you to immerse yourself in the Salzkammergut area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site filled with glistening lakes and beautiful waterfront towns.

One of these is Lake Wolfangsee, a beautiful body of water nestled between low mountains where you can go on a boat ride to the famous 500-year-old White Horse Inn. In fact, Wolfgangsee is located close to Salzburg, which is most definitely worth a visit when you’re in the area.

While this is a charming, historic city in its own right, it’s super famous for being the birthplace and early home of the child prodigy, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. You can actually visit the house where it all started in 1756.

Discover elegant Salzburg, the historic birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on a day trip from Munich. Relax on the comfortable train ride to Salzburg then take a guided tour of city attractions like Domkirche Cathedral.

Enjoy the Festung Hohensalzburg fortress, then enjoy hours of independent time to explore. Soak up Austrian history, sample local delicacies, and snap photos of the city set against the striking backdrop of the Alps.

4. Herrenchiemsee

Herrenchiemsee, Germany

King Ludwig II of Bavaria had a big obsession with wanting to build castles and palaces that looked like something out of a fairytale. Versailles near Paris, France and Herrenchiemsee definitely fall into this category.

Visit one of the three castles commissioned by Ludwig, Herrenchiemsee, on a Palace Rail Trip from Munich .

The Herrenchiemsee is very different from the other two in that it actually features two castles: the first was a medieval abbey converted into a palace by Ludwig (Old Palace).

The second is the New Palace, built in the rococo style and featuring lavish interiors. Both of these, collectively known as the ‘Bavarian Versailles’, are to be found on Herreninsel, the largest island in the Chiemsee Lake, just under two hours’ drive southeast from the Bavarian capital.

Neighboring island Fraueninsel is home to a Benedictine convent, but there had already been a monastery in this tranquil setting, founded in 782 AD by Tassilo III, Duke of Bavaria.

5. Berchtesgaden

Berchtesgaden, Germany

Near the border of Austria lies this incredible area of natural beauty. The municipality of Berchtesgaden is dominated by the towering distinctive twin peaks of Watzmann, Germany’s second highest mountain at 8,901 feet, famed for its climbing.

Another notable mountain in this area is the 6,171 ft tall Kehlstein, which itself is a sub-peak of the Hoher Göll (8,274 ft). It’s atop Kehlstein that you’ll find the Eagle’s Nest, or Kehlsteinhaus, a residence used by Adolf Hitler.

Ironically, however, the Nazi leader only visited 14 times, who worried about the bad weather, thin air, and had a fear of heights.

Today it’s open seasonally as a restaurant and beer garden and is visited by bus. You can then catch a brass-clad elevator that makes its ascent for the last 407 feet of the journey.

6. Linderhof Palace

Linderhof Palace, Germany

Known in German as Schloss Linderhof, this is the only of Ludwig II’s castles whose completion he actually lived to see (though it was finished in the same year as his death in 1886).

Despite being the smallest of Ludwig’s grand construction projects, and not exactly perched upon mountains like Neuschwanstein, the Linderhof is nevertheless a majestic building.

In fact, it was modeled after Louis XIV’s Versailles, the French king was actually something of an idol for Ludwig.

Situated near the also grand Ettal Abbey, Linderhof is a suitable homage to its inspiration: it is sumptuously decorated inside and out, with its famous glittering ‘Mirror Room’, and Dining Room complete with ivory chandelier. There’s also a 125-acre formal garden to wander around.

7. Nuremberg

Main Market Square in Nuremberg, Germany

Visit the second biggest city in the region on a day trip from Munich. Nuremberg is a fascinating, beautiful and somber place to visit. It is an easy day trip from Munich, being only around two hours by car.

This city is known not only by its older history, with the 14th century house of Renaissance painter Albrecht Dürer or the fortified buildings of Nuremberg Castle constructed around 1000 AD, to name just a few, but it is also known for its Nazi connection. 

It is here, at the Reichsparteitagsgelände (‘Party Congress Grounds’), a ‘New Rome’ was envisioned by architect Albert Speer. It is also the location where Adolf Hitler held the infamous Nuremberg Rallies.

Most buildings constructed during this time were demolished, but the biggest National Socialist building preserved is the massive amphitheater of the Kongresshalle or Congress Hall.

Here you can learn much more about the ascent and aftermath of Nazi Germany at the Nazi Documentation Center. Have a look at our Nuremberg City Guide for all the best things to do in the city once you’re there.

8. Drive the Romantic Road

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Rather than one single destination, the aptly named ‘Romantic Road’ is a route stretching south from Munich to southern Bavaria, along which a string of beautiful places to visit are situated.

Day trips from Munich can easily take in some of these sights, where you’ll feel like you’ve stepped right into the pages of a fairytale, the road winding through mountains and thick pine forests.

There’s Harburg, for instance, which features a stunningly well preserved medieval castle – first mentioned in 1150, it has never been seriously damaged by war; even Michael Jackson tried (unsuccessfully) to buy Harburg Castle, having called it “the castle of my dreams.”

Further south is the impossibly picturesque Rothenburg, the archetypal Bavarian town, an equally medieval feel with its cobblestones and historic buildings.

Admire the countryside, castles and villages of Germany’s Romantic Road on a day trip from Munich. Enjoy a coach drive along the iconic Road, a famously picturesque route through Bavaria’s mountains and forests.

Need to book a car for your road trip adventure? We use Discover Car Hire for comparing car prices to find the best deal. They search both local & international rental companies.

9. Zugspitze

Zugspitze, Germany

Located in the extreme south of Bavaria, and saddling the Austrian border, is the mighty Zugspitze, at 9,718 feet this mighty mountain is Germany’s highest peak.

As a day trip from Munich, taking just over an hour to get there by car, you’ll pass through Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the town of Hitler’s 1936 Winter Olympics and a great place for a stop-off in itself.

The cobbled streets and Lüftlmalerei (Italian-style Bavarian frescoes) adorning its buildings make for a charming rest-stop. From here it’s not far to Zugspitze.

Thanks to great infrastructure, it’s not hard to travel around the mountain; first of all, it’s a cable car ride to the top of the mountain for unparalleled views of the Bavarian Alps, then a ride on the unique Bavarian Zugspitze Railway, one of four rack railways still operating in Germany.

10. Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle - Best Day Trips from Munich

One of the three beautiful castles commissioned by ‘Mad’ King Ludwig II of Bavaria, Neuschwanstein Castle is arguably the most beautiful.

So much so, in fact, that it is affectionately known as the ‘Cinderella Castle’, though it is the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland which is directly modeled after this opulent and ostentatious project.

Built from 1869 to 1886, the year Ludwig died, this stunning example of Romanesque revival architecture was originally intended as a home for the Bavarian king, but instead, opened to the public shortly after his death.

It’s been a major tourist attraction ever since, drawing 1.3 million people to every year.

There are spectacular views from here of Hohenschwangau Castle, set in the village of the same name; the castle was the childhood home of Ludwig II, and it’s sort of heartwarming that he wanted a view of it from Neuschwanstein.

If you are looking for more information on visiting Neuschwanstein Castle check out our article: How to Visit Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich.

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About Lina Stock

Lina is an award-winning photographer and writer that has been exploring the world since 2001. She has traveled to 100 countries on all 7 continents. Member: SATW, NATJA, ATTA, ITWA

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