Short breaks in Munich – 48 hours of markets, galleries and beer gardens

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Grand palaces, Alpine views, and merry beer halls filled with oompah-pah music await on short breaks in Munich. Get the most out of your few nights in a Munich hotel by following this itinerary.

Munich short break day one, morning

Munich wakes up over coffee and street entertainment on Marienplatz square in the Old Town. Gaze up at the turrets and gargoyles of the neo-Gothic New Town Hall, where the glockenspiel chimes and animated figures joust at 11 a.m. Stroll south along cobbled Rindermarkt to St Peter’s Church. Scale the tower for views over Munich’s red rooftops – you can see as far as the Alps on clear days. Just around the corner, the Viktualienmarkt food market throngs with locals buying fruit, ham and cheeses. Wash down Weisswurst (veal and pork sausage) with local brews in the chestnut-shaded beer garden.

Start: Marienplatz.
Nearest U-Bahn Marienplatz


Retrace your steps to Marienplatz and continue north to Residenz Palace, which mirrors the power of the 700-year Wittelsbach dynasty in its frescoed state apartments. The rococo Cuvilliés-Theater staged the first performance of Mozart’s Idomeneo opera in 1781. A short walk north brings you to the greenery and romantic follies of Munich’s English Garden. Maple and oak trees fringe the avenues, which twist north to Kleinhesseloher See’s boating lake and beer garden.

Start: Residenz.
Nearest U-Bahn Odeonsplatz


Have cocktails in the marble and wood-panelled sophistication of Schumann’s bar, just south of the English Garden on Odeonsplatz. Wander south past the neoclassical National Theatre for a fresh seafood supper at the vaulted Austernkeller. Kitted out in old-world Bavarian style with wooden booths, the cellar is renowned for its shellfish platters.

Start: Schumann’s.
Nearest U-Bahn Odeonsplatz

Munich short break day two, morning

Begin your second day boutique shopping on Munich’s smartest boulevard, Maximilianstrasse. Divert south to gourmet delicatessen Dallymayr. Heading west, the glass-and-steel Fünf Höfe’s interlinking courtyards shelter big-name designers and champagne bars. Amble south from the Fünf Höfe to the soaring vaults of the Hofbräuhaus. The centuries-old beer hall may be touristy, but nothing says Bavaria quite like its dirndl-clad waitresses, Mass litres of beer and midday oompah-pah sessions. Loosen a belt notch for roast suckling pig or sausage salad. 

Start: Maximilianstrasse. 
Nearest tram Kammerspiele or Nationaltheater 


It’s a 20-minute walk or an U-Bahn ride north to Munich’s Kunstareal museum quarter, where you can take your pick of several world-class galleries. Rembrandt canvases are among the Old Masters in the Alte Pinakothek, while the Neue Pinakothek showcases Monet and Degas paintings. For Picasso and Warhol works, visit Museum Brandhorst. Afterwards, ramble along the canal in the sculpture-filled gardens of baroque Nymphenburg Palace

Start: Kunstareal. 
Nearest U-Bahn Königsplatz 


Before returning to your Munich hotel, round out your trip in the relaxed Hirschgarten. Once a royal hunting ground, the 8,000-seat beer garden overlooks a deer enclosure. Sip Augustiner brews and tuck into specialities like roast pig’s trotters with sauerkraut and potato dumplings. 

Start: Hirschgarten. 
Nearest S-Bahn Laim