When I was an au pair, I went on a weekend trip to Munich, Germany. There are tons of free options to choose from in Munich, as well as surrounding towns.
Munich is perfect for any budget, and there are plenty of kid-friendly activities to choose from as well. To make it easier for you, I’ve compiled a list of free things you can do in Munich.
Tips to save money in Germany:
- Use the actionable tips from How to Travel the World on $50 a Day.
- Use Airbnb to save a ton of money and get a more authentic travel experience.
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- Use Ebates, a free service that allows you to save money on flights, travel-related expenses, and thousands of other items and services online. Create an Ebates account here. Make an online purchase of $25 and get $10 as a welcome bonus! So easy.
1. Englischer Garten
This park is bigger than both London’s Hyde Park and New York City’s Central Park (which means it’s obnoxiously massive). Here, you can view surfers surf on man-made waves, which is awesome watching up close.
Take a visit to the Japanese Teahouse, beer gardens, and Greek-style temples.
This park is also great for relaxing, lounging, having a picnic, and people watching.
Viktualienmarkt is both a food market and has several other different kinds of vendors as well.
The market has over 140 shops filled with food, candy, flowers, spices, and more.
The market is usually busy with both locals and tourists and has a lively ambiance to it.
Related: 10 Destinations for a Tight Budget
3. Dachau Concentration Camp
Germany’s first concentration camp, Dachau is a must for anyone visiting Munich.
Entry is free, and there’s so much to see.
Prepare to shed some tears and get emotional.
There’s also a museum that I recommend taking your time in, as well a bookstore that holds books about Dachau that aren’t sold anywhere else in the world.
Please be respectful when taking photos. Many visitors were smiling, laughing, and doing silly poses for photos at the camp, which is very disrespectful.
Constructed for the 1971 Summer Olympics, Olympiapark continues to be a popular meeting ground for locals, tourists, serving religious, social, and cultural events.
There are free concerts to attend and many other activities to choose from
Make sure to check out the Olympic Tower, Munich Walk of Stars, or fly over the stadium at Flying Fox.
A 3-floor beer hall, the Hofbräuhaus dates back to the 16th century and is filled with plenty of beer, food, people, and music.
6. Nymphenburg Palace
Built in the 1600s, the Nymphenburg Palace once housed Maximillian II and King Ludwig II in this enormous building.
There’s no cost to walk around the garden and ponds area.
There is a fee to go inside the palace, which I recommend doing due to how breathtaking it is.
Visit during the day and at sunset for beautiful photos.
7. Walk around Marienplatz
The city center of Munich, Marienplatz is filled with amazing restaurants, shops, and the well-known Glockenspiel chime. The Glockenspiel
A popular attraction of Munich is the Glockenspiel chime. The Glockenspiel is part of the New Town Hall.
It includes more than 40 bells and 30 figures which enact two 16th century stories every day at 11:00, 12:00, and 17:00.
At these hours the Marienplatz is always crowded with people waiting for the figures to appear and the bells to ring.
8. Lake Starnberg
Less than 30 minutes south of Munich is Lake Starnberg, which is a freshwater lake surrounded by mountains.
There are restaurants and stores along the lake, so get prepared to get in some walking on your trip.
If you’re wanting a more peaceful trip and want a break from Munich, Lake Starnberg is a must.
9. Neuschwanstein Castle
Although not free, I couldn’t make this list without adding Neuschwanstein Castle.
Tours start at 59 euro for students, which is a great deal for everything that it includes.
It was one of my favorite experiences while in Europe for a good reason.
The tour includes a bus ride (on a comfortable bus) throughout beautiful Bavaria, as well as lunch, a bike ride along the Alps and the castle entry + tour.
10. St. Michael’s Church
This Renaissance-style building is the largest of its kind north of the Alps.
The inside of St. Michael’s Church will put you in awe at how much detail and time was put into the architecture. I’ve never seen a church with this particular style, which is why you must visit it.
Munich was such a beautiful city with an ambiance that the other cities I’ve visited didn’t have.
I enjoyed the culture, the people, and the respect that Germans had for their country.
Germany is also doing a lot for countries that need help, which is another reason I love Germany so much.
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What to read next: 10 Budget Travel Tips That Can Save You Thousands
Have you been to Munich? What are some other free things to do on a budget?