The primary reason why most tourists visit Munich is because of its fantastic location. Many popular destinations can easily be visited and make some of the best day trips from Munich.
Munich is the capital of the Bavaria region and is one of the most popular touristic cities in Europe.
In this post, I am going to share details of the top day trips from Munich. All the day trips mentioned in this article are those that you can easily undertake by taking a train from the main Munich station known as Munich Hauptbahnhof.
However, before you read any further, do not forget to read about the Bayern Ticket here. It is a train ticket that can save you hundreds of euros.
It works on all regional trains of Deutsche Bahn running within Bavaria as well as the regional trains going to Salzburg. You can use this ticket to access all the local modes of transport within Munich too.
Best day trips from Munich
Neuschwanstein Castle (Travel time – 2.5 – 3 hours from Munich)
This fairy-tale castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Germany. The beautiful castle was built by ‘Mad’ King Ludwig II. This castle is also the inspiration of the Walt Disney castle seen in ‘Sleeping Beauty’.
You need to book a guided tour of the castle in order to be allowed entry inside the castle. The tour can be booked here. The tour must be booked at least 2 days in advance and you must reach the castle at least 15 minutes before the start of the tour.
The guided tour will give you insights on plenty of interesting facts about the castle as well as a peek into the life of King Ludwig II.
After the tour ends, make sure you trave to Marienbrücke (Mary’s bridge). This bridge offers the best viewpoint for clicking the best pictures of the castle!
How to reach Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich by train?
In order to visit Neuschwanstein Castle, you need to take a train to Füssen from Munich Hbf. The total train journey takes a little over two hours. After you alight at Füssen, take a bus to Hohenschwangau.
The bus journey takes about 10 minutes. From Hohenschwangau, you should factor an additional time of 30 minutes to climb to the top of the castle. You could even ride on a horse carriage to save time.
The total commute time is approximately 3 hours.
You can also go on a tour if you want:
Dachau Concentration Camp (Travel time – 1 hour from Munich)
Dachau Concentration Camp was primarily built to hold political prisoners. However, over time, it became one of the largest forced labour and torture camps the world has ever seen.
The experience of visiting this place will be overwhelming and life-changing. The reality and the gravity of the World War will hit you hard. It is a must-visit place for the lesson in humanity that it offers.
It is advisable to tour this place with a guide or by using the maps and the audio guides provided here.
You will need at least 3-5 hours to visit this place. Be prepared to walk a lot. Do not schedule any other activities for the rest of the day. You will not have the emotional appetite for it. Also, young children must not visit this place.
How to reach Dachau Concentration Camps from Munich by train?
You can take a regional train from Munich Hbf or the S2 line train from a station close to your accommodation and get off at the Dachau station. From here, take Bus No. 726 that goes to KZ-Gedenkstätte.
The total commute time is less than an hour.
Salzburg (Travel time – 2 hours from Munich)
Yes! Here comes the tourist favourite day trip from Munich!
Salzburg, the pretty town from Austria is popular for being the birthplace of Mozart. Music runs through the veins of this beautiful Austrian town. The city is also particularly famous amongst the fans of the classic movie ‘The Sound of Music.’
There are plenty of really awesome things to do in Salzburg (that too, on a budget!) for all age groups.
You could start by visiting the iconic Hohensalzburg fortress that overlooks the Old Town of Salzburg. You could then follow it up by a quick round of the Old Town of Salzburg.
You may even head out on a half-day guided ‘Sound of Music Tour’. If you are not a ‘Sound of Music’ fan, you could instead take a bus to the foot of Untersberg. From the foot, ride on the cable car to the top of the mountain and enjoy the most beautiful views of Austria from here!
My advice to you would be to buy the Salzburg Card at the Salzburg Hbf station itself. This card allows unlimited access to all forms of local transport within Salzburg.
You can even use this card to gain free entry without queues to most of the prominent sightseeing spots in Salzburg. Buying this one card will definitely save you a lot of money.
How to go to Salzburg from Munich by train?
Regional trains starting from Munich Hbf take you to Salzburg two hours. There are plenty of trains plying between the two cities.
What’s great is that the money-saving Bayern Ticket that I referred to above works even on your trip to Salzburg. (Just make sure you take a train after 9 am if you are travelling on a weekday. On weekends, you can even take an earlier train using this ticket!)
Nuremberg (Travel time – 1 to 2 hours from Munich)
This charming medieval town is a must-visit place from Munich. Most of the town was damaged during the bombings of the second world war. Despite the damage, Nuremberg has a plethora of sightseeing marvels in store for the tourist.
A walk around the Old Town is the perfect way of exploring Nuremberg. Start from the Frauentorturm and keep walking in the direction of the Imperial Castle of Nuremberg (Kaiserburg)
Along the way, you will run into the stunning St. Lawrence Church. A little further down is the enormous Frauenkirche (The Church of our lady).
In addition to the castle and the many beautiful churches, you will also come across picturesque canals and overhead pedestrian bridges that make for perfect postcard pictures.
There is also a central market close to the Frauenkirche with plenty of small shops and local food stalls here that is a tourist favourite. The famous Christmas market of Nuremberg is organised in this market square itself.
In addition to the Old Town attractions, Nuremberg also played an important role in Nazi history. You should spend time exploring the museum at the Nazi Party Rally Grounds.
The exhibits there showcase the dark Nazi phase of German history. You will also be able to understand more about the historic Nuremberg trials here.
How to go to Nuremberg from Munich by train?
If you travel by the high-speed ICE from Munich, you will reach Nuremberg in an hour. However, if you plan on using the economic Bayern Ticket, you will not be allowed to travel on the ICE. You will have to take the regional trains starting from Munich.
However, make sure that you take a regional train that reaches Nuremberg in two hours. (Some regional trains take longer and you will end up wasting a large part of your day commuting between Munich and Nuremberg).
Schliersee (Travel time – 1 hour from Munich)
This is a small town situated just about an hour away from Munich.
Plenty of tourists visiting Munich would probably not know about it at all. However, the real beauty of Bavaria lies in its many small countryside towns.
Therefore, as a tourist, if you want to experience the real charm of Bavaria, you must visit one such local town.
The reason why I recommend Schliersee is for its proximity to Munich and for the fact that Schliersee has a lot to offer to tourists despite its small size.
To begin with, there is a vast lake right outside Schliersee station. You can enjoy a lovely day out on the banks of this lake. Alternatively, you could even take a boat and visit Wörth, a small island in the middle of Lake Schliersee, for a short hike with great views.
If you want, you could even head up to the top of the mountain to another Alpine lake called Lake Spitzingsee.
If you are travelling with kids, you could also take the cable car up to Schliersbergalm lookout where you can spend some time in heated swimming pools.
On the way down again, you can take the thrilling toboggan ride!
How to go to Schliersee from Munich by train?
Regional trains starting from Munich Hbf take you to Schliersee in 55 minutes. Once at Schliersee, you can take a bus to go to Spitzingsee. The frequency of both the train and the bus is pretty good and no advance booking is required.
More Best Day Trips From Munich Options
The list above contains my top picks for a day trip from Munich. However, the region surrounding Munich is culturally and historically so rich that there are so many more places that you could travel to on your day out from Munich. Some additional options that you may want to consider are-
- Regensburg – This UNESCO World Heritage Site with its medieval era charm is picture-perfect. Its architectural beauty makes the town an attractive option for a day trip from Munich.
- Bamberg – If you don’t mind taking a high-speed ICE then go here for a day out and marvel at the architectural marvels of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Zugspitze – The highest mountain in Germany offers breathtaking views of the regions surrounding Germany. However, a day trip from Munich to Zugspitze will require careful planning and may seem rushed. But the view from the top of the tallest mountain in German will make the hustle worth it.
The central location of Munich will tempt you to visit so many other towns that choosing where to go would be a hard decision to make.
I would recommend you to opt for a place that interests you instead of a place that is touristically popular. Most German towns and tourist attractions are extremely well-maintained.
The public transport system makes even the smallest towns accessible. Therefore, no matter what place you choose to travel to from Munich, you will come back with a unique experience and some great memories.
Travel To Munich and Germany
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