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Exploring Munich in 48 Hours: Palaces, Museums, Markets, and Culinary Delights

A whirlwind trip unveils the Bavarian capital’s diverse delights, from extravagant palaces and world-class museums to traditional markets
and robust cuisine.

There’s so much more to Munich than the Oktoberfest! And while the world’s biggest beer festival (from 16 September to 3 October 2023) is, without a doubt, a great reason to visit the city, its historical attractions, stunning architecture, green spaces, and cultural experiences offer an immensely appealing charm of their own. Here’s how you can experience Munich’s delights over the course
of two exciting days


The striking, neo-Gothic facade of the majestic Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall) takes centre stage in Marienplatz.

Set the tone for the day with a hearty breakfast in the Altstadt (Old Town). Once here, make your way to Zum Dürnbräu, a classic brewery with cavernous, wood-panelled interiors that recall the medieval era—a perfect setting for a taste of the iconic Bavarian short, white sausage or weisswurst. Served as a pair in a pot of hot, salty water, it’s best eaten with a pretzel and a dollop of mustard, washed down with a tall, cold glass of Hefeweizen (wheat beer). Fortified with this satisfying repast, it’s now time to stroll over to Marienplatz, Munich’s central square since the 12th century! Flanked by several impressive buildings like the Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall) with its decorative neo-Gothic façade, the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), and St Peter’s Church, it’s an architectural haven. Try to get here around 12pm; you’ll find a crowd of people milling about, looking up at the Glockenspiel clock in the Town Hall’s main tower. When the clock chimes at noon, watch an elaborate parade of 32 life-sized copper figures in colourful livery jousting, dancing, and spinning around. The show ends with a golden bird chirping thrice. Truly charming! Next, a short stroll from the square will bring you to Frauenkirche, the city’s majestic 15th-century Gothic-style cathedral with elegant twin towers. An unmistakable symbol of the city, it’s quite a spectacular sight.

The colourful, dancing figurines of the Glockenspiel clock.

Feeling a bit peckish by now? Luckily, Munich’s oldest market, Viktualienmarkt, is just a few steps away. What began as a farmers’ market in 1807 is now an epicurean paradise, choc-a-bloc with stalls selling fresh produce, local food products, and a beer garden (it’s Munich, after all!) Simply wander around and buy what catches your eye—sausages, cheese, bread, even giant pickles—and make a picnic of it. Round off your lunch with a schmalznudeln (doughnut fried in lard) at Schmalznudel Café Frischhut (a minute’s walk from the market), followed by a coffee at Kaffeerösterei Viktualienmarkt. Or better yet, sign up for a food tour with Fork & Walk ( for a tasting session around the market, along with anecdotes about the city.

Patrons enjoying beer and delicious pub food at Hofbräuhaus.

Tastebuds satiated, take a leisurely, 10-minute walk to the grand Residenz. Sitting pretty amidst the landscaped Hofgarten (Court Garden), this former abode of the Bavarian monarchs is also Germany’s largest inner-city palace, home to a treasure trove of art and artefacts. Take a guided tour to admire the stunning Antiquarium hallway decorated with striking Renaissance frescoes, the Treasury with its collection of royal jewels, and the Cuvilliés Theatre with luxurious red-and-gold Rococo-style interiors. As dusk falls, it’s time to heed the call of Munich’s legendary nightlife. Get ready for a fiesta at Hofbräuhaus, the city’s largest and oldest beer hall known for its massive servings of beers, hearty food, and a live Bavarian band. For easy access to all these attractions, consider a stay at the classic 19th century Hotel Bayerischer Hof near Marienplatz; for a modern (and quirky) vibe, try the design-forward 25hours Hotel Munich The Royal Bavarian, conveniently located near München Hauptbahnhof, the city’s main train station.


An early sunrise covers the expansive greenery and the Monopteros temple in the Englischer Garten.

It’s a brand new day! Take in the city’s natural beauty with a walk in the scenic Englischer Garten (English Garden), one of the world’s biggest parks, lush with walking trails and green meadows. A short climb up to the small temple of Monopteros offers panoramic views. The park even has a beer garden, but it may be a tad early for a pint! Instead, the chic Maxvorstadt neighbourhood nearby has many charming cafés like Gartensalon, where you can relish light eats and cakes on a
leafy patio.

Mesmerising art spans the ceiling of the Antiquarium
corridor at the Residenz.

From here, a brisk, 10-minute walk will take you to Alte Pinakothek. The jewel-toned walls of this neoclassical museum are graced with masterpieces by great artists such as Peter Paul Rubens, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, and many more. Just five minutes away is a museum that offers a dramatic shift in theme: the NS Documentation Centre stands on the site of the former headquarters of the Nazi party (which was founded in Munich). Start at the fourth floor and make your way down, taking in poignant exhibitions on the origins of the National Socialist Program, all the way to World War II.

Munich nightlife
Jazz musicians perform at Unterfahrt.

The heavy afternoon may call for another taste of the city’s party scene. Begin with a lively jazz show and delicious global fare at the underground Unterfahrt club, located in an unfinished subway station. Then, hop on the U-bahn (subway) to Bahnwärter Thiel, an alternative music venue spread across shipping containers; the techno music here is sure to get you on the dance floor! Return to the Altstadt for dinner at the bustling Nürnberger Bratwurst Glöckl am Dom near Frauenkirche. This traditional Bavarian pub is known for pork sausages grilled on an open fire and topped with sauerkraut, cheese, and horseradish. Order a glass of the local Augustiner beer and be sure to say “Prost!” (cheers) to an exhilarating two days in Munich!



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