Munich is the Bavarian capital (technically an unofficial capital) and an absolute cultural hotspot. The city’s history is next to none, with harrowing tales of World War II and the catastrophic rise of the Nazi Party. However, there are more lighthearted things to do in Munich, like attending the world-famous annual Oktoberfest or visiting the famous old town hall. Munich is easily one of the most famous cities in Germany and an absolute pocket rocket for activities and attractions – so why on Earth would you want to book day trips from Munich?
As exciting and diverse as the city center, Munich is set amidst stunning scenery you’ll absolutely adore experiencing on day trips. And with its train station and excellent public transport system, it would be a crime to refrain from indulging in a day trip or two. With loads of car rentals, you can easily organize a romantic road trip too, and there are some of Germany’s best castles within two hours of the city center.
Top Day Trips From Munich
When you visit Munich, you definitely need to allocate a day or two to day tripping your way around its surrounding areas. Day trips from Munich are essential, even if you just want to better understand the city. Here are our top recommendations for Munich day trips – from Dachau Concentration Camp to Eagle’s Nest.
Planning Your Trip To Munich Right Now?
Below are some of the top day trip tours from Munich. Don’t forget to plan ahead when visiting Germany!
Top Day Trip Activities and Tours from Munich:
The best way to get around Bavaria from Munich is by rental car. You can compare prices here. If you don’t want to drive, we have included day tours from Munich at most of the destinations listed.
For transfers from the airport to downtown Munich, book this Private Transfer to take the hassle out of finding a taxi when landing. Your driver will have your name plate waiting for you upon arrival.
1. Neuschwanstein Castle
Neuschwanstein Castle is a fairytale castle and an esteemed UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you think you don’t recognize the name, you’ll recognize its picture. The stunning castle sits amidst the snow-capped Bavarian Alps and is featured in the cult classic film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The bright white walls and turrets (dramatic enough to make Walt Disney jealous) cut a beautiful picture against the mountainous backdrop. And, not even considering its history, it’s no wonder that Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the world’s most famous castles.
This Full Day Trip takes you on a guided tour from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle and then you will continue on to Linderhof, Hohenschwangau, and Oberammergau giving a good highlight tour of Bavaria’s top attractions.
Neuschwanstein Castle was built by King Ludwig II as a bolt-hole after his – rather embarrassing – loss in the Anglo-Prussian war, and many say that he used it as a sort of imaginary kingdom. King Ludwig II met a twisted end, declared insane by the government and eventually found in a suicide-suspected-assassinations alongside his psychiatrist.
You can discover more about Neuschwanstein Castle and King Ludwig II on a guided tour of the attraction. It is two hours away from Munich by car, which is the best way of reaching the castle besides a guided tour. Between the castle’s beauty and Ludwig’s complex story, it is easily one of the best Munich day trips. The Premium tour includes skip the line tickets to Neuschwanstein and Linderhoff
2. Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site
Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site is one of the most tragic stories and dark day trips from Munich. Dachau was one of the main concentration camps used by the Nazi Party in World War II, and it was a Nazi party rally grounds as well as a jail (and often death sentence) for political prisoners. To learn more about the World War II history around Munich, it is one of the main ‘attractions’ in the area. While you don’t get an official tour guide, visitors get an audio guide leading them through the concentration camp complex and a series of exhibits. You’ll learn about those who lost their lives and get an incredibly sad but insightful education on the rise and fall of the Nazi’s power.
You can book a guided tour to Dachau with a professional guide, trained and authorized by the Memorial site. They will organize travel arrangements and give you a comprehensive tour of the memorial site.
Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site is less than one hour from Munich city center. You can drive there in 30 minutes, but we’d suggest catching the 20-minute train to Dachau before catching the 10 minutes bus to the camp. Or you can take a guided excursion. As far as day trips from Munich go, it is the easiest option. The memorial site is also the most educational in World War II history.
3. Zugspitze Cable Car
Zugspitze cable car is one of the top day trips from Munich. Zugspitze is 2,962 meters above sea level and is the highest mountain in Germany. As Germany’s highest peak, it attracts tons of visitors wanting to enjoy the stunning views and tick it off their bucket lists. The best thing is that you can ride the cable car to the top.
You can book a guided full day tour to Zugzpitze from Munich to ride the cable car up Germany’s highest peak. Enjoy the breathtaking views before you descend on the historic cogwheel train.
The Zugspitze cable car is a little expensive (nearly $90). However, the 10-minute journey is ridiculously scenic and holds a world record for the ‘longest free span in a cable car.’ Really, $90 is quite reasonable, considering you’ll be getting a round-trip tour to the top of Germany’s highest mountain. And Zugspitze cable car is one of the most exciting Munich day trips. You can view the borders of four countries from the summit – Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. There’s a summit station, too, with restaurants and an indoor viewing area.
The best way to reach the base of the Zugspitz cable car is by driving, and you can reach this attraction in less than two hours by car. You also go through some beautiful areas, skirting the edge of Ettaler Forst and Murnauer Moos.
4. Linderhof Palace
King Ludwig II was not short of beautiful castles; we can tell you that for free. Linderhof Castle is just another of his magnificent builds and one of the top Munich day trips. The 19th-century palace is the ultimate picture of grandeur. If Neuschwanstein Castle was a fairytale image, Linderhof Palace is a royal image. The stately castle has a beautiful expanse of gardens and water features.
Book the ultimate Royal Fairytale Castle Tour with skip-the-line tickets to Linderhof Castle and Neuschwanstein that includes guided tours and leisure time to explore some of Bavaria’s best highlights.
And visitors can take guided tours around the grounds between April and October. Need help to choose between the two of Ludwig’s castles? In an ideal world, choose both. But what differentiates them is size; Linderhof Palace is much more intimate and thoroughly furnished inside. Whereas Neuschwanstein Castle is better known for its dramatic backdrop and locale.
Linderhof Palace is best reached by car or organized excursion. By car, it is just a 1.5-hour journey. While by public transport it takes over 2.5 hours. Consider booking a guided tour, including transportation, for this one if you need a driving license.
5. Take a River Altmühl Boat Tour
The River Altmühl lies between Nuremberg and Munich. When you think of rivers near Munich, your mind probably jumps to the Danube – no shame in that – which, while beautiful with stunning views, is one of the busiest places to take a boat tour or cruise. Regarding avoiding crowds, the River Altmühl is the better option. It has an idyllic setting looping between little towns and villages. To experience the German countryside from the water, the River Altmühl is one of the area’s best-hidden gems.
You can hire a kayak or canoe. Or book a more traditional guided tour on a small boat with other tourists. Zimmern to Solnhofen is a popular boat tour route on the Altmühl. Still, canoe and kayak rentals dotted all along the river. An Altmühl boat tour is one of the top day trip choices and well worth wiggling into your Munich itinerary, especially since Solhofen is just 1 hour and 40 minutes by car from Munich’s city center.
Vaduz is one of the most unusual Munich day trips – best for those with a driving license and a firm sense of adventure. Why not venture into Liechtenstein to add another country to your passport while you have the chance? Vaduz is Liechtenstein’s capital and is located along the Swiss border. You’ll get a different insight into the scenery and landscape. The drive takes you nearly 3 hours southwest of Munich (no small undertaking, so we’d suggest having drivers rotate driving shifts) and past Obersee Lake. If you fancy a halfway stopping point, Memmingen is a beautiful town with brightly painted buildings and plenty of aesthetic, traditional cafes.
In Vaduz itself, there is the beautiful Vaduz Castle, Old Rhine Bridge, and Werdenberg Castle. Vaduz is an ideal spot to museum-hop and sightsee historic castles and prior royal residences. For history buffs with a taste for road trips, there’s nowhere better than day-tripping from Munich. We had to suggest it as a further afield, lesser-known day trip option. Especially as it is so good for beating the crowds.
While in Liechtenstein, take this 35-minute train journey for panoramic views of the mountains and the Old Town of Vaduz.
7. Eagle’s Nest
The infamous Eagle’s Nest is one of the eeriest day trips from Munich. Eagle’s Nest is a former military base on a mountain summit that is reachable to visitors by elevator – or hiking if you are courageous. The whole thing is rather scenic and has beautiful views over the surrounding landscape. However, the real kicker is that this base belonged personally to Adolf Hitler.
The dictator received Eagle’s Nest as a 50th birthday present and used it as a bolt-hole to escape the public eye and significant cities. While he never got to use it as frequently as intended, it was, by design, a place for Hitler to privately enjoy.
Eagle’s Nest is a place for dark tourism and serious history enthusiasts. Most people visit because of the historical insight into the war and the personal element to the site – Hitler is a terrifying figure, and people grapple with the sense of him actually being a ‘real’ person. Eagle’s Nest is eerie evidence of Hitler’s everyday activities.
This day trip is best accessed by car, which takes just under 2 hours and passes the nature reserve of Mundung der Tiroler Achen. Public transport is a nightmare, taking 3 hours n multiple bus lines. If you can’t drive, book a guided tour from Munich.
If you fancy a train ride with breathtaking scenery, consider Stuttgart. Stuttgart is Germany’s car-obsessed 6th largest city, famously home to car factories including Mercedes-Benz and Porsche vehicles. Mercedes-Benz and Porsche have headquarters and museums in Stuttgart – so for any petrolheads, it is a fabulous city to visit. These two big-name museums have some of the best tours for car enthusiasts.
The train station in Stuttgart is smack bang in the city center, so it’s a breeze to get to Munich. The direct train leaves from Munchen Hauptbahnhof and takes 2 hours and 17 minutes on average, passing just three stops before reaching Stuttgart. High-speed trains are the best when taking Munich day trips, and despite being a slightly longer journey, this public transport is one of the easiest and most relaxing ways of going on a day trip. Bring a good book and enjoy the countryside views.
9. Beer Halls and Brewery Tours
Local beer is a huge selling point when visiting Munich, so having some beer-themed day trips from Munich also makes sense. Once you’ve exhausted (or opted out of) the busy beer halls and breweries around the city center, set your sights further and consider going to breweries and venues on the outskirts of Munich. These spots are much quieter – meaning fewer crowds and a more authentic beer culture. These outskirt venues often offer the best tours and a much more intimate experience.
You could choose CREW Republic (40 minutes away on public transportation) or Hops Hacker GmbH & Co (30 minutes away on public transportation). There are tons of lesser-visited beer halls and breweries, so just be prepared to travel further afield and watch the quality of your experience triple.
Ingolstadt is known for Audi cars and its medieval old town. Strange combination, right? But it makes for a fascinating day out. A 14th-century gate marks the entrance to the old medieval town where Ingolstadt would have been one of Germany’s best small towns. You can easily explore this region on foot as everything is within walking distance. Ingolstadt remains one of the best tours for early German history. Skipping centuries entirely, visiting the Audi Forum – a massive museum with an impressive vintage car collection is worth visiting. The city is varied as you travel through its ages and is a brilliant destination on a day out from Munich.
Ingolstadt is best reached by train – a nice touch for sure in making this day trip from Munich one of the most sustainable options. It takes just 40 minutes from Munich on a direct line.
11. Rothenburg ob der Tauber
If you walk past travel stores in Munich, you’ll see pictures of Rothenburg ob der Tauber plastered everywhere. It is one of the most classic day trips from Munich, whisking away camera-happy visitors to a cobbled German town around 3 hours from Munich by car or shuttle. Rothenburg ob der Tauber is famed for its medieval architecture, including the ‘money shot’ of a curved street taking a sharp bend with traditional houses lining the road. The half-timbered houses and dull-painted buildings are beautiful, and it’s easy to see how tourism has become rife here.
This private tour from Munich takes you along the Romantic Road in a comfortable van. The 10-hour tour can be customized and takes you through the Bavarian countryside to Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is definitely a busy tourist destination. Don’t be under any illusions that you’ll be jostling elbows with other tourists when snapping photos. Be prepared to buy into the cheesiness of it all – even a little bit. However, it is one of the most aesthetic spots to visit when day-tripping from Munich. We’d suggest splashing out on a day tour for this trip, as reaching Rothenburg ob der Tauber by train is challenging, requiring multiple train changes and taking over 3 hours.
12. Partnach Gorge
If you want hiking trails, nowhere itches the spot like Partnach Gorge. The bright blue water is a brilliant light color – almost baby blue – and runs like a crystal against the dark gray rocks. Visitors hike alongside the water through narrow gorges and under waterfalls, protected by the cliffs above. It is easily the most scenic place to head and enjoy hiking trails on a day out from Munich. And walking along the narrow railed paths carved out of the gorge’s cliffside is exhilarating. There isn’t a hike like it in this area of Germany.
Partnach Gorge is a horrible place to try and reach by public transport, demanding multiple buses and schedule juggling at stops. Instead, we’d suggest hiring a car and driving, since it takes an hour and 20 minutes to reach by car from Munich.
13. Schleissheim Palace Complex
A 17th-century palace immediately conjures visions of total grandeur. And with elaborate gardens, Prussian art exhibits, and manicured architecture, it’s evidence that first impressions count. Schleissheim Palace Complex is grand through and through. You can easily spend half a day walking past water fountains and admiring the original artwork. Past visitors have even gone as far as to compare it to being in Alice and Wonderland. Its grandeur gives it a serious wow factor and makes it as popular as it is. The fact that you can spend an entire day here is also positive, and the mixture of indoor and outdoor activities is perfect for a warm day.
Schleissheim Palace Complex is located just north of Munich – around 40 minutes away by public transport and 30 minutes by car. It is one of the closest day trips attractions to the city and one of its most beautiful. For a unique experience, book an evening concert at Schleissheim Palace performed by members of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra.
Nuremberg is Bavaria’s second-largest city, only just smaller than Munich. Sadly, the Second World War destroyed much of its original architecture. However, much of it has been restored over later years, so you can still see elements of medieval architecture and historical buildings. You can also trace a lot of the history of the world wars in Nuremberg, including the trials after WWII. Memorium Nuremberg Trials was where the Nazi party and associates were tried and convicted as war criminals. The museum is set above the original court and has many exhibits and information on enacting justice. Nuremberg is a hub of history and culture – whether dark or lighthearted. If you fancy another ‘large city experience’, spending a few hours outside of Munich is a brilliant way.
We have a complete guide on things to do in Nuremberg; check it out for more inspiration. It’s also worth noting that Nuremberg is easier to reach by train than by car, taking only an hour instead of 2 hours by car.
Book a private tour of Nuremberg from Munich. The full-day tour is led by a 5-star private guide to see all the highlights and best attractions of Nuremberg. Sights include Imperial Castle Kaiserburg, Frauenkirche, St. Laurence, and St. Sebald, and more. Plus, return tickets between Munich to Nuremberg.
Augsburg is a beautiful city. It takes the phrase historical center to the next level with its ultra-traditional medieval city center, complete with city walls. And some parts even date back to the Middle Ages; Augsburg is the oldest city in Germany. If you are into history or architecture, this is your day trip. There are medieval guild buildings, cathedrals, and abbeys to visit. It feels like Augsburg has an ancient building or story at every corner.
Ready for the real winner? Augsburg is only 30 minutes away from Munich by train. You ride two stops on a direct train line, reaching the city in what feels like no time at all. We love the smaller-city atmosphere that Augsburg offers; it has so much history to give people.
While in Augsburg book this scenic flight that includes soaring over the likes of Neuschwanstein Castle, Munich, and Bavaria’s stunning mountains, lakes, and forests.
16. Lake Chiemsee
Lake Chiemsee is a beautiful day trip, and if it is a hot day in Munich, consider this your best option. With natural beaches skimming along the lake’s shoreline, it’s no mystery why this is one of the most popular swimming spots outside of Munich. Swimming is the most tempting option on a hot day but doesn’t rule out boating too.
There are three islands on the lake, one of which houses a Benedictine nunnery. It’s great fun to explore by boat. So book a time slot, rent a boat, and let loose on the water. Lake Chiemsee is really fun-orientated, which makes it stand out from other more sightseeing or history-focused attractions.
Lake Chiemsee is a very popular day trip from Munich. Depending on the whereabouts of the shoreline you plan to visit, it takes you around an hour to get to the lake from Munich – by train or car. It is frequently visited by those living in the city. It is a dream to organize as a day trip, which is completely easy logistically.
One of the main attractions at Chiemsee is Herrenchiemsee Palace. This day tour from Munich takes you on a boat ride along the lake to the Benedictine convent on Fraueninsel and the Palace built by ing Ludwig II.
Salzburg is an easy sell; we won’t lie. This is ten times more so if you love classical music, as the city was home to Mozart. The Old City has stunning medieval town buildings and houses, strongly influencing later baroque architecture too. In the Old City, you’ll find Mozart’s birthplace – now converted into a museum documenting his life. Aside from the Mozart museum, Salzburg is home to the imposing Hohensalzburg Castle.
It is also located along the Austrian border, meaning you see an entirely different side to this area of Germany. So while Mozart draws people in, there are plenty of other attractions to enjoy. Book a private day tour to Salzburg with your own private 5-star guide to immerse in the filming locations of ‘The Sound of Music’, see the Old Town and Fortress Hohensalzburg, visit the fabulous Mirabell Gardens and more.
Getting to Salzburg by public transport is a mission – taking multiple trains and buses in a 1.5-2-hour journey. Driving is much easier, taking 1 hour and 45 minutes and passing Lake Chiemsee and other cute little towns to stop at.
Day Trips From Munich: FAQs
Munich day trips are popular for many reasons, as you can see. The best thing is that for many of the day trips we’ve featured, you can just hop on an easy train ride – making a day trip from Munich non-reliant on a driver’s license and much more sustainable.
Now that you are feeling inspired, what else is there to quickly cover before you head out day tripping? These are our top FAQs to prep you for your day trips from Munich.
What is a good day trip from Munich?
Dachau Concentration Camp is a harrowing day trip from Munich if you want an insight into World War II and Nazi Party history. While Neuschwanstein Castle is perfect for those wanting the fairytale ‘German castle’ experience.
Is Salzburg worth a day trip from Munich?
Yes, Salzburg is a brilliant day trip from Munich because of its links to Mozart and ridiculously cultural history. Salzburg is also beautiful, and the Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is an engaging and visually striking day trip.
What other cities are near Munich?
Augsburg, Nuremberg, and Salzburg are all within a 2-hour radius of Munich. Larger cities in Northern Germany, like Frankfurt, are within a 5-6 hour radius by public transport or car.
How many days are enough to see Munich?
We suggest 4 days when visiting Munich. The city itself can be appreciated in 2-3 days. However, allowing a 4-day itinerary means that you can incorporate a day trip to somewhere like Neuschwanstein Castle, the Bavarian Alps, or Linderhof Palace.
Out of all the German cities you could visit, pat yourself on the back for choosing Munich, because it is just so rich in the way of day trips. Day trips from Munich are a brilliant way to expand your understanding of German history and Munich. And all of these Munich day trip options will complement your visit perfectly. You’ll have a fantastic time, whether you choose a picturesque town like Ingolstadt or a ride up the cable car, or take a guided tour of Linderhof Palace.
Don’t stop at Munich either; if you get a chance, explore more of Germany’s beautiful cities and fascinating historical attractions. You could plan a romantic road trip over a few days or weeks. Or check out our guide on the best places to visit when heading to Berlin. Enjoy your visit.