Free Things To Do in Munich
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This large public park, which reaches from the city center to the northeastern city limits, is one of Munich's must-dos. Named for the informal English style of rolling hills and open landscaping, the Englischer Garten contains several popular biergartens, a handful of eclectic monuments and a boating lake, among lots of jogging and biking paths.
Recent travelers mightily enjoyed their time here and recommend renting a bike or a rowboat to explore it. Many also commented on what a retreat it was from an otherwise city vacation. To spend a sunny day in the English Garden, hop off Tram 18 at one of the parkside stops. Admission is free.
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The gothic-period Frauenkirche, or Church of our Lady, is a unique part of the Munich skyline with its two dome-topped towers, which residents say resembles a pair of beer steins bubbling over. The main part of the church was finished in the late 1400s, but Allied bombing during World War II necessitated restoration in the mid-1900s. Today, you can tour the church for free and recent travelers say the small fee to reach the observation platform at the top is definitely worth it. Find it off the Marienplatz U-bahn or S-bahn stop.
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Open daily, Peterskirche (St. Peter's Church) is Munich's oldest and smallest place of worship. Jump off the U-bahn or S-bahn at Marienplatz to tour for free, but expect to pay a small fee to climb its tower for a sweeping view of Bavaria. Recent travelers were impressed by the church's glittering altar, not to mention the gold, jewel-bedecked skeleton of St. Munditia, a revered Christian martyr. They also say the view at the top is a must-see.
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The Marienplatz square, accessible by a U-bahn station of the same name, is Munich's heart just as it used to be back in 1158 when it was established. Back then, it hosted spectator events, such as jousts and executions (yikes!). Today this Alstadt (Old Town) square is alive with street performers, from mimes to musicians, and restaurants, selling bratwursts and beer, plus lots of surrounding shops. At Christmastime, Marienplatz fills with vendors selling holiday gifts at the popular Christkindlmarkt.
Recent travelers say spending some time in this city square is a must-do, noting the distinctly Bavarian feel. Visitors also recommend timing your visit for the daily glockenspiel shows at the Neues Rathaus (Town Hall).
- #6View all PhotosfreeViktualienmarkt#6 in MunichShopping, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDShopping, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDRead More
The Viktualienmarkt, located in Alstadt off the Marienplatz U-bahn and S-bahn stops, is the city's oldest farmer's market (dating back to 1807). Open six days a week, it contains around 140 booths with merchants selling everything from fresh baked bread to sausages and honey to fresh flowers. You can also enjoy a beer under chestnut shade trees at the Viktualienmarkt biergarten.
Travelers say this market is perfect for an afternoon stroll, noting visitors should stop to buy and sample some of the goods available, and finish their day with a stein of beer.
- #8View all Photos#8 in MunichCafes, Parks and Gardens, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDCafes, Parks and Gardens, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDRead More
Located in the English Garden near the Chinesischen Turm (Chinese Tower), this biergarten is one of Munich's most famous. The sylvan park provides a fantastic backdrop to the lively chatting of biergarten patrons and the jolly notes of oompah musicians. Recent visitors enjoyed the welcoming atmosphere and the chance to people-watch. Jump off Tram 19 at the Tivolistraße stop to join in on the fun.
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BMW Welt (BMW World) is a space dedicated to one of Germany's most famous exports. Many travelers said it was worth visiting — if not for the cars then for the building's contemporary architecture. You can view the company's latest concept cars, motorcycles and more here. The main attraction is a large vending machine that new owners can use to pick out their cars. After you've decided on a new set of wheels, head over to the nearby BMW Museum to learn a bit more. Both sites are located on the east side of the Olympiapark and are accessible by U-bahn at the Olympiazentrum stop.
Hours vary, depending on what part of BMW World or the museum you are visiting. BMW World is free to visit, but the BMW Museum charges €10 for adults and €7 for children, students, seniors and military. For more information on hours and exhibits, visit the website.
- #10View all Photos#10 in MunichCafes, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDCafes, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDRead More
Augustiner-Keller, one of few remaining traditional beer gardens left in the city center, serves big glasses of refreshing beer. Although you can cut down on costs by bringing a picnic of your own food, you can also order your traditional German fare here. Visitors recommend staking your claim to a shaded seat outside, as the indoor beer hall is nothing to write home about.
Keep in mind that the beers here cost the equivalent of a stateside, doctored-up Starbucks drink, but visitors seem to think the steins are worth it. You'll find Augustiner-Keller off Tram 16 or 17's Hopfenstraße stop or off the München Hackerbrücke S-bahn stop.
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Usually Renaissance churches have towers, but you won't find one at Michaelskirche (St. Michael's Church). During its construction, the tower fell. Patron Duke Wilhelm V took it as an act of God that the church was too small, and so he ordered the church be made bigger — and with barrel vaulting that today rivals St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The church is free to tour, but you'll have to pay a small fee to view the crypt (where the patron duke, King Ludwig II and others from the royal family are buried). The church is open daily (except during services), and you can access it from the Karlsplatz U-bahn and S-bahn stations.
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