16 Amazing Free Things to do in Munich, Germany
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Oh Munich… the city that makes pictures of beer-drinking people on the Oktoberfest pop up in everyone’s head. Even though the Oktoberfest is a massive part of our tradition here in Munich, there’s much more to see and do! Since the city comes with a hefty price tag (it’s considered the most expensive city in Germany), I’m here to save your wallet with a collection of free things to do in Munich.
Before we dive into our free attractions, here are some quick basics:
- Munich is the Bavarian capital, located in the southern part of Germany.
- The city is known for the Oktoberfest, Fc Bayern Munich, BMW, and anything that comes with bavarian tradition. While you can dive into beer garden culture and listen to traditional bavarian music in a beer hall, the city is also known for combining bavarian history with modern life. Munich is trendy, luxurious, and hip, making it an excellent destination for everyone.
- Munich is great to visit year-round. However, the city is packed and incredibly expensive during Oktoberfest. So if you don’t plan on going there, try to visit the city outside of this season. In the wintertime, you will get to see some beautiful Christmas markets!
- The “german way” to spell the city would be “München.”
Here are all of the best free things to do in Munich!
Top 16 Free Things to do in Munich
Listen to Free Concerts on Olympiaberg
The Olympic Stadium in Munich’s “Olympiapark” houses some of the coolest events in Munich, like concerts of world-famous artists. Sometimes, you can hear the music on the Olympiaberg, the hill in the Olympic Park.
You can get a free concert from up there if you’re lucky! It’s common among Munich residents to spend their evening on the Olympiaberg once there are some famous acts. So pack your food, bring some beer and enjoy a picnic while listening to artists like Coldplay or Ed Sheeran – for free!!
So make sure to check out the program for the Olympic stadium during your stay in the city – who knows who you’ll get to hear for free?!
Visit a free Museum or Gallery
Some of Munich’s museums are free to visit, and so are the galleries. Here’s a quick overview of some places you can enter for free according to the recent update on the official Munich website:
- Artothek & Bildersaal
- Museum für Abgüsse klassischer Bildwerke
- Geologisches Museum
- Lothringer 13
- Paläontologisches Museum
Ps: On Sundays, many museums cost only 1€.
Listen to the Glockenspiel at Marienplatz
The Glockenspiel at Marienplatz is another world-famous (and free!) attraction in Munich. Every day at 11 am and 12 am, its 43 bells play four different songs. The songs change monthly, and you can find the Glockenspiel on the exterior facade of the new town hall.
Marienplatz is great to spend time watching people passing by and taking in the city’s energy. It’s between the town hall, Frauenkirche, and St. Peter’s church.
On a sunny day, you will also find many street performers at and around Marienplatz, since this is the most famous square in Munich.
Fun fact: The bells are run by solar energy!
Stop by Munich Airport Visitors Park
Munich Airport is one of Germany’s and Europe’s most essential airports. Acting as one of the main hubs, it connects Europe with the world.
If you like airplanes, you should stop at the visitor’s park. You can watch the busy airport operation and start at planes during their takeoff and approach from the visitor platform on the hill. In addition, you can also explore an interactive exhibition and the playground.
The visitor’s park is an excellent opportunity to spend time on your arrival or departure day, especially if you’re interested in aviation. And the best thing: all of this is entirely free!
Quick note June 2’22: The historic aircraft are currently closed for renovation.
Go for a Walk in the Hofgarten
The “Hofgarten” or Court Garden of Munich Residence is fantastic. Even though you’d need to pay an entry fee to tour the Residence, the Court Garden is free to stroll around.
Make sure to snap a picture of the iconic Dianatempel in the Hofgarten and – if you’re lucky – listen to musicians or watch dancers underneath it.
The Hofgarten is located in central Munich so stopping by is a must! It’s also one of the most instagrammable spots in Munich.
Go on a Walk with the Forest Ranger in Grünwalder Forst
Spending time in a big, beautiful city sometimes can get overwhelming, so getting out in nature helps recharge the social batteries. Even though the Englischer Garten is a great possibility to stroll through the greens, there is another place I’d suggest visiting.
The Grünwalder Forst is a forest area south of Munich and perfect to escape the crowds. Besides the multiple trails waiting to be explored, you can also visit the “Walderlebniszentrum.”
You can watch the wild boars being fed and explore an exhibition about mushrooms and further forest facts.
On Sundays and public holidays, the local forest ranger invites for a free 2hr walking tour through the area, starting at 2 pm.
Visiting the Grünwalder Forst is excellent for families and a fantastic opportunity for kids to learn more about the forest and its animals.
Dive into Another World at Bahnwärter Thiel
The Bahnwärter Thiel is a hip corner in Munich and especially great for a night out. During the day, it’s a fantastic place to stroll along and get some fancy pictures and delicious food!
The location is incredibly unique and an excellent opportunity to escape Munich’s hustle and bustle visiting Munich. Swapping from designer bags and luxury cars to vegan food and a bottle of Mate in your hands was never easier!
Watch a Public Training Session of the Famous FC Bayern Munich
Now, this might be the thing to do for all the soccer fans among you. The training area at Säbener street welcomes many visitors and fans for their (usually weekly) public training sessions.
If you’ve always dreamed about seeing some world-famous stars in action on the pitch, this might be your chance!
Since the schedule changes often, it’s easiest to check the official website for the upcoming public training sessions before you make your way to the field.
People-watch at Odeonsplatz
Munich’s city center is incredibly scenic and welcomes visitors from all around the world. One of the easiest free things to do is sit down and people-watch for a few minutes.
This is especially great at Odeonsplatz (and Marienplatz), probably the most famous square beside the Marienplatz.
From here, people arrive and leave by “U Bahn,” going for a walk in the Hofgarten, meeting with friends for a shopping spree, or trying to find their next sight on a map.
PS: We have a saying in Germany called “sehen und gesehen werden” which would translate into something like “look at others and be looked at.”
Munich is full of luxury and glamor, and the so-called “Schickeria” (upper-class Munich residents) will present their sports cars and designer bags at every single possibility. People watching is a thing here, especially in the city center.
Climb up Luitpoldhügel – Another one of Munich’s Viewpoints
Last but not least, the Luitpoldhügel is another excellent spot to enjoy the view of the Munich skyline without spending any money!
This hill is located in the north of Munich’s city center, and on a good day, you’ll be able to even spot the alps from up there!
Tour the Churches
When it comes to churches, they’re usually always free to tour in Germany. Some of the iconic churches you should visit in Munich would be the Frauenkirche, Asam Church, and St. Peter’s Church.
All of them are open to the public, and you can – as long as there are no church services at the moment – tour them on your own. In some of them, e.g., the St. Peter church, you can enter the towers for a small fee and enjoy the view over Munich. Even with just one day in Munich, visiting the churches is a must-do.
Stroll Through Viktualienmarkt
The “Viktualienmarkt” is Munich’s biggest market with over 100 sellers and delicious, fresh produce. It dates back more than 200 years and is an absolute Munich original.
You could spend ages strolling between the sales stands and get inspiration for different dishes you want to cook.
Watch Surfers on Eisbach Welle and Dianabadschwelle
If you think you need an ocean to get onto your surfboard – let Munich prove you wrong:
The Munich Eisbach Welle is one of the most famous and unique attractions in this town:
The Eisbach is an artificial stream through the English garden. In a particular spot, there is a standing wave that’s perfect to surf on. You can watch people surf (or at least try to) from the bridge above the Eisbach Wave and enjoy the spectacle!
The Eisbach Welle is located at the southern entrance to the English garden, right around the corner from the Hofgarten. (You will find it, trust me. Just look for a pile of people standing along a bridge and staring into the park.)
In case it’s too crowded at the Eisbach Welle, you can watch the same action at the “Dianabadschwelle,” located just a few meters from the original Eisbach Welle, also in the English garden.
Stargazing at ESO Supernova Planetarium
You can watch the stars for free in the ESO Supernova Planetarium, a little outside the city. The only thing you need to do to get free access is book your ticket in advance.
If you’re not in the mood to leave the city center, you should plan a visit to the German Museum. On Tuesday and Friday evenings, the entrance to the east part is free – and will grant you a beautiful glimpse into the skies.
Take a Walk in Munich’s Englischer Garten
…aka Munich’s pendant to New York’s Central Park. Munich’s English Garden is the largest park in Munich and offers many sights to tour. Especially the Chinesischer Turm (en. Chinese tower), the Surfer waves (”Eisbach Welle”), or the Monopteros are worth a visit.
The “Englischer Garten” is with a size of 3.7km” 2 one of the world’s largest parks and definitely on the list of must- and free things to do in Munich! Especially the view over Munich from the Greek-style temple called Monopteros is breathtaking!
The southern part of the park is very vivid and crowded. If you look for a calmer space to flee the pulsating city, check out the park’s areas in the north!
On a sunny day, you will see tons of people in the English garden drinking beer, riding a bike, playing games with friends, or sunbathing after jumping into the water.
Listen to a Free Concert at Gasteig
Munich’s Gasteig is our cultural heart and home of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. It hosts many cultural events (like the Munich Filmfest and the Munich Biennale), and the four main concert halls welcome more than 750.000 visitors annually.
Now to the fantastic news: they offer free entry to multiple events so you can listen to, e.g., the rehearsals of the orchestra and much more. I mean, who doesn’t love free concerts, right?! You can research the upcoming free events on their website.
If you’re a fan of classical music, make sure not to miss this opportunity!
Summer 22 Money-Saving Hack
In case you haven’t heard about that yet, the German government released the so-called “9 Euro Ticket.”
As the name states, this ticket will let you use public transportation for only 9 Euros a month. It’s valid for all regional trains, busses, subways, and trams – all over Germany. Isn’that great? These tickets are available in June, July, and August 2022.
If you’re coming to visit during these months, I recommend getting one of these tickets. Public transportation, especially in Munich, is expensive (e.g., the ride from the Airport to the city center only will usually cost you 12,30€ already!!), so these tickets are the biggest money-saving hack this summer!
Good to know: Birthdays will save you even more money!
Besides the free things to do in Munich I already listed, many attractions offer free entries on your birthday. So if you plan your birthday trip to Munich, make sure to check birthday discounts in advance so you can plan your itinerary accordingly and include some more free activities!
Now tell me, are you ready to explore Munich and – most important – save some money during your trip?!
I hope these free things to do in Munich made the city rank a lot higher on your bucket list. Munich is a beautiful city full of culture, history, and fun things to do!
About the Guest Author:
Hi there, nice to e-meet you! I’m Julia, a german travel blogger and flight attendant. On JetlagJules, I take you along my travels and share my experiences and tips. My mission is not only to help you have a wonderful trip but also to share my knowledge when it comes to creating content along with it.
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