No, you cannot see Munich, Germany in a day.
In fact, I did not even see the Bavarian capital in a day – I was there for 3.
But since many of my readers are like me, furiously running through Europe trying to see as many cities as possible in a short amount of time, here’s my 24-hour Munich itinerary for catching the best of the city’s central sights in a day.
24-Hour Munich Itinerary
Begin the day with an early morning at Olympic Park, home to the 1972 summer games.
Walk past the various sport centers to the main enchilada – Olympic Stadium. Skip the film – it pays an embarrassingly small tribute to the Israeli victims of the Munich massacre and tells you even fewer details of what happened. Spend your time instead walking around the stadium and at the photo exhibit.
After a speed walk around here, hike up to Olympic hill for a view of Munich’s city center. Warning: the hill is a killer.
Before heading back to the center of the city, stop by the adjacent BMW Welt, home base, museum and plant for the luxury car manufacturer.
Marienplatz City Center
Pick up your pace and take subway line U3 to Marienplatz city center. You are now in the Old Town. The world famous glockenspiel, a hand carved clock, rings at noon at the New City Hall. Walk around the facade and take in the neo-gothic architecture after it finishes ringing.
Stop in at Café Rischart am Marienplatz for a sandwich for a quick lunch and don’t miss out on a pastry. I recommend one of the cream-filled donuts.
It’s now time to leave Marienplatz, but don’t worry – you’ll be back to take in the rest of the sights here before sunset.
Head to the Residenz, residential palace and seat of government. On your way you will likely pass Odeonplatz. If you feel a chill as you pass this plaza its probably because you’ve seen it before in history class – Hitler gave several well-photographed speeches here, and if you’re headed to Berlin, you’ll see them in many of the museums documenting the terror of the Nazi regime.
A much lighter side of German history is on display at the Residenz. For 500 years Bavarian dukes, electors and kings resided here and regal opulence is still in full swing in the rooms and halls of the palace.
The English Garden
More walking is on the agenda next. Power it through the English Garden, a green oasis in the city that is larger than New York’s Central Park.
Your workout isn’t over yet—the sun is starting to get lower in the sky and you need to be back at Marienplatz to see the sunset from high above the Church of St. Peter. The oldest parish in the city is equipped with 306 wooden steps that will take you to a tower overlooking the city. The view of the Alps at sunset here is an absolute must-see while in Munich.
After sunset, head back into the Church of St. Peter to admire the décor or say a few prayers.
Hofbrauhaus Beer Hall
Your power workout is almost over. Last stop is Hofbrauhaus, the most famous beer hall in the world. Celebrate your efficient day of exploring Munich with some German beer and pretzels.
Bietfall! You’ve seen the best of Munich in a day!