There is one place that always draws me back for a visit to Germany, and that is Munich. In the heart of Bavaria Munich stands out as a city full of life, from Oktoberfest, to the thriving Christmas Markets. Recently, I stayed in the Old Town of Munich. I explored the city like never before from food to history. Munich has something for everyone in Old Town Munich. Below find a travel guide to Old Town Munich.

Read more: Exploring the Ins and Outs of Old Town Munich and Beyond in 2024

Unraveling Old World Charm: A Comprehensive Travel Guide to Old Town Munich, Germany

Introduction:

Welcome to Old Town Munich, where every cobblestone whispers tales of centuries past, and the air is filled with the aroma of freshly baked pretzels. Nestled in the heart of Bavaria, Old Town Munich offers a delightful blend of medieval architecture, vibrant marketplaces, and the warm embrace of Bavarian hospitality. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a foodie craving authentic German delicacies, or a culture seeker yearning for memorable experiences, Old Town Munich has something special in store for everyone.

Getting There:

Old Town Munich is conveniently located in the city center, and easily accessible by various modes of transportation. If you’re arriving by air, Munich International Airport offers numerous direct flights from major cities around the world. From the airport, you can hop on a direct train to Munich Central Station (Hauptbahnhof). From there, Old Town Munich is just a short tram ride or a leisurely walk away. Alternatively, taxis, buses, and rental cars are readily available for a seamless journey to the heart of the city.

Also you are going to want to stay connected on the go. I use Airalo in order to have an eSim to be able to use google maps, book hotels, and things to do.

Top Attractions:

Marienplatz

The beating heart of Old Town Munich, Marienplatz is a vibrant square that serves as the focal point of the city. Surrounded by historic buildings and bustling cafes, Marienplatz is the perfect place to begin your exploration of Munich. At the center of the square stands the imposing Neo-Gothic New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus), adorned with intricate spires and statues. Be sure to catch the enchanting performance of the Glockenspiel, a mechanical clock with moving figurines that reenact scenes from Munich’s history several times a day. 

Frauenkirche (Cathedral of Our Dear Lady)

Dominating the Munich skyline with its distinctive twin towers, Frauenkirche is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture and one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Built in the 15th century, this cathedral is renowned for its vast interior, awe-inspiring stained glass windows, and serene atmosphere. Don’t miss the opportunity to climb the South Tower for panoramic views of Munich and the Bavarian Alps on a clear day.

Frauenkirche Old Town Munich

Viktualienmarkt

Viktualienmarkt Old Town Munich

Indulge your senses at Munich’s oldest open-air market, Viktualienmarkt, located just a short walk from Marienplatz. Spread across several bustling streets, this lively market offers a kaleidoscope of colors, flavors, and aromas. From fresh produce and aromatic spices to artisanal cheeses and Bavarian sausages, Viktualienmarkt is a paradise for food lovers. Take a stroll through the market stalls, sample local specialties, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of this culinary treasure trove. I truly loved eating at the Munich Soup Kitchen for a quick bite, I got goulash but the menu changes.

If you want coffee and a pastry check out Café Nymphenburg Sekt. There is so much to choose from so if you are feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin check out a food tour of Virtualienmarket private or in a small group.

Hofbräuhaus

Immerse yourself in Munich’s beer culture at the legendary Hofbräuhaus, located near Marienplatz. Founded in 1589 by Duke Wilhelm V, this historic beer hall has been serving thirsty patrons for over four centuries. Step inside and be transported back in time to a traditional Bavarian beer hall, complete with wooden benches, vaulted ceilings, and oompah music. Order a stein of Hofbräu beer, sample hearty Bavarian dishes like schnitzel and sauerkraut, and raise a toast to the lively atmosphere of this iconic establishment.

Hofbräuhaus is a must visit historic beer hall located in Old Town Munich.

Residenz Palace

Explore the opulent world of Bavarian royalty at the Residenz Palace, located just a short walk from Marienplatz. Once the seat of the Wittelsbach rulers, this magnificent palace is a testament to the wealth and power of Bavaria’s noble families. Wander through lavish chambers, grand halls, and ornate courtyards as you immerse yourself in the splendor of the Bavarian Renaissance. Be sure to visit the Treasury, which houses a dazzling collection of jewels, crowns, and other priceless treasures from centuries past.

Hidden Gems in Old Town Munich:

Asam Church (Asamkirche)

Tucked away on a quiet street near Sendlinger Tor, the Asam Church is a hidden gem renowned for its exquisitely detailed Baroque architecture. Built by the Asam brothers in the 18th century, this small but stunning church is a true masterpiece of Bavarian craftsmanship. Step inside to admire the ornate frescoes, intricate stucco work, and the awe-inspiring high altar, which is adorned with gilded statues and delicate carvings.

Things to do in Old Town Munich including a visit to Asam Kirche.

Haidhausen

Escape the crowds and explore the charming neighborhood of Haidhausen, located just east of Old Town Munich. Once a separate village, Haidhausen retains much of its historic charm with its picturesque streets, colorful townhouses, and quaint squares. Take a stroll along Weißenburger Strasse, Haidhauser Hauptstrasse, and the banks of the Isar River, and discover a treasure trove of boutique shops, cozy cafes, and traditional Bavarian beer gardens. Don’t miss the chance to sample local specialties like weißwurst (white sausage) and obatzda (a creamy cheese spread) at one of the neighborhood’s traditional taverns.

St. Peter’s Church (Peterskirche)

St Peter's Church roof top view

Climb the tower of St. Peter’s Church for breathtaking views of Munich’s skyline. Dating back to the 12th century, this Romanesque church is one of the oldest in Munich and offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city below. Step inside to admire the elegant interior, with its ornate altars, beautiful frescoes, and serene atmosphere. Then, make your way to the top of the tower, where you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Old Town Munich, the surrounding countryside, and the distant Alps on a clear day.

Things to do beyond Old Town Munich 

Nymphenburg Palace

Nymphenburg Palace a must visit and just a short tram from Old Town Munich.

Nymphenburg Palace is located a short tram ride away from Old Town Munich and is worth it! Its construction began in 1664, commissioned by the Elector Ferdinand Maria and his wife, Henriette Adelaide of Savoy, to celebrate the birth of their son, Maximilian II Emanuel. It was completed in 1675. 

Enjoy the magnificent gardens and the summer escape of Bavarian prince elects and Kings. After taking an audio tour of the main palace, the crown jewel if I may was wandering the manicured gardens, and exploring the 4 mini palaces. This is by far one of the most Instagrammable places in Munich, and it is filled with a rich history. 

Visit the 4 Park Palaces: Badenburg- the bathhouse palace, Pagodenburg- the Chinese-inspired palace, Amalienburg- the Rococo palace, and Magdalenenklause the most unique as it was built to represent a ruin itself. 

If you don’t want to take public transit, there is also a hop-on hop-off bus that brings you straight to the palace’s door! 

Surfing on the Eisbach river in the English Garden

When I heard of this I was in disbelief. Surfing in a river, in the middle of a city in Germany, and surfing year round. It sounded nuts to this Florida girl. However, I saw it with my own eyes, and if you want to participate you can also book an experience on GetYourGuide too. 

Surfing the Eisbech river in the English Garden in Munich.

Day Trip from Munich 

Neuschwanstein Palace and Linderhof Palace Day Trip

One of my favorite days in Germany was an escape outside of Old Town Munich. I decided to take a day trip to enjoy the fabled Neuschwanstein Palace and Linderhof Palace. Neuschwanstein is one of the most photographed places in the world. I went in the winter and it was magical. This was built by the mad King Ludwig 2 and was never completed. After the king died under mysterious circumstances he opened up the fantasized palace to the public at a charge since its construction almost led the crown into ruin/debt. 

Where to Stay in Old Town Munich 

Old Town Munich offers a range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to cozy guesthouses. The central location by Marienplatz or Munich central station are great in terms of access to many of the sights. Alternatively, travelers looking to immerse themselves in the local culture may opt for accommodations in charming neighborhoods like Haidhausen or Schwabing, where traditional taverns, quaint cafes, and vibrant street life abound.

Where I stay in Munich?

Louis Hotel is a boutique luxury hotel located in Viktualienmarkt and in Old Town Munich. This was a great stay for those looking to explore Old Town and great for foodies. The onsite restaurant has an amazing breakfast daily for guests. I also enjoyed a wonderful dinner as well with local ingredients they get from the market. 

Also, they have a bag you can use during your stay. There is also a yoga mat if you want to stay active on your holiday and a nice outdoor terrace. 

My room opened into a courtyard and was in the center of Old Town Munich. In the morning I loved having a cup of coffee with my Nespresso machine with a view of the St. Peters Cathedral. There are also bikes on site for guests to use. However, I walked around or took public transit to make it to most attractions. 

HOTEL LOUIS IN OLD TOWN MUNICH ROOM

Where to eat in Old Town Munich

Old Town Munich, known as Altstadt, is brimming with diverse dining options ranging from traditional Bavarian fare to international cuisine. Here are some noteworthy places to eat in Old Town Munich:

Traditional Bavarian Cuisine

Wirtshaus in der Au: If you want to try some of the best Bavarian food and dumplings in Germany this is your place. I got the duck here, but they are known for their rich tasty dumplings. It is located in the Au neighborhood a really cute residential section of Old town Munich with a great vibe. This is also a historic beer hall and is worth a stop.

Wirtshaus in der Au RESTAURANT IN THE AU NEIGHBORHOOD OF OLD TOWN MUNICH

Hofbräuhaus München: If you come to Munich, you need to try one of the famous beer halls. This is by far the most visited and one of the most famous beer halls in the world. While I do not drink, I love the traditional Bavarian food here and vibes of the beerhall. Hofbräuhaus offers a quintessential Bavarian experience with live traditional Bavarian music and long tables perfect for interacting with other travelers. Some specialties include sausages, pretzels, pork knuckle, and classic Bavarian beers.

Location: Platzl 9.

Augustiner am Platzl: If you are looking for a traditional Bavarian restaurant it is known for a cozy atmosphere and authentic German Bavarian cuisine. Try some of their specialties like Roast pork, schnitzel, and Augustiner beer.

Location: Orlandostraße 5.

Modern and Fusion Cuisine

Tantris is a 2 star Michelin restaurant. It has been a part of the Bavarian Capital’s food scene that provides a mix of German and International cuisine. This restaurant takes extreme care to provide a unique experience with artfully designed plates. It is a high end restaurant with your bill probably coming above 100 euros per person.

Location: Johann-Fichte-Straße 7, 80805 München, Germany

Brenner Grill: A chic restaurant offering a mix of Mediterranean and Bavarian dishes. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They serve grilled meats, seafood, and pasta with a Mediterranean flare.

Location: Maximilianstraße 15.

Cafés and Casual Dining

Café Frischhut: If you love donuts and fresh baked goods this spot is sure to be for you. There may be a line, but there is also a to-go-only line or a dine-in line. The best is the Schmalznudeln a Bavarian Donut. Location: Prälat-Zistl-Straße 8.

Bla Cafe in Au: I loved this cafe and it is one of the only ones I found that allow laptops (except on Sundays). The owner was very friendly and they make really good coffee. Their coffee shop is also one of the cutest in Munich and offers outdoor seating as well. The neighborhood Au is also a pleasure to take a stroll around with pastel colored historic buildings.

Cafe boa laptop friendly cafe in AU Old town munich.

Final Thoughts and Helpful Resources To Visit Old Town Munich

Old Town Munich is magical. I just enjoy wandering the streets, enjoying the beautiful squares, and buildings. It transports you an era of knights, nobles, and kings. Whether you’re admiring architectural marvels, savoring local delicacies, or simply soaking up the vibrant atmosphere, Old Town Munich promises an unforgettable journey through the heart of Bavaria’s rich cultural heritage. From Marienplatz to the hidden corners of Old Town Munich, there is something for everyone for history buffs and foodie enthusiasts.

Want to explore more of Germany? Add on a Berlin City Break.

Old Town Munich the best things to do and where to stay.

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