If you’ve ever been told you have to discover Bavaria, Munich is a great place to start. This sleek and modern city however, it’s just about gorgeous new BMWs; it prides itself on its folklore culture and age-old traditions. Here’s your guide to discovering Munich for free.
Generally speaking, Munich is far more affordable than most of there major European cities. That being said, with so many beers to sample, it’s best you keep as many Euros for the biergartens as possible. And don’t even get us started on the pretzels.
Residenz Palace Gardens – The palace here was once the home of the Bavarian monarchs and is the largest city palace in Germany. While there is an admission fee to the palace buildings, visiting the 10 impeccably landscaped gardens is completely free.
Rathaus Glockenspiel – This is one of the city’s most popular attractions. Much like the agronomical clock in Prague, you’ll have to time your visit to Munich’s Rathaus-Glockenspiel correctly. Every day at 11am (and also at noon and 5pm during the summer months) the clock’s life-sized knights, kings, queens and dancer figurings emerge to act out 16th century stories to the chiming of bells. The clock has been in operation since 1907 and draws crowds every day.
Church of Our Lady – This is certainly one of Munich’s more unusual buildings. This 15th century cathedral is known for its two towers and quite unique brickwork. The interior features sculptures from Hans Krumpper and tombs of some kings and emperors.
Englischer Garten – Munich’s English Garden is the perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon and it’s right in the city centre. Japanese gardens, bike paths, running trails and lakes are just the beginning of what you can expect from this city park. In the summer, the park’s open-air theatre usually hosts free performances.
Felderrnhalle – Munich’s Field Marshal’s Hall was built in the 1840s to honour the Bavarian Army but today the site is more known for that time the Bavarian police got into a scuffle with Adolf Hitler’s followers in 1923.
Culture and museums
Museum Brandhorst – The Museum Brandhorst may be one of the city’s newest museums, but it’s a must. The contemporary art museum first opened in 2009 and houses an amazing collection from artists like Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, Picasso and more. This museum isn’t exactly free… but we wanted to include it because if you go on a Sunday, the tickets are only €1. That’s a bargain!
Museum of Man and Nature – This is another one of Munich’s museums that charges only €1 on Sundays. The natural history museum does a brilliant job of combining modern interactive displays with traditional exhibits and a “hands-on” area for curious learners.
Viktualienmarkt – There’s no better place to get the real Munich experience than at the city’s oldest farmer’s market. Over 100 stalls sell locals and tourists alike everything from fruits to flowers. The market is open Mondays to Saturdays from 8am to 8pm.
Oktoberfest on a budget
Munich’s drinking festival dates back to the year 1810 with the Bavarian people celebrated the marriage of King Ludwig and Princess Therese. Since then, the festival has become one of the largest of its kind in the world, attracting 6 million every year. The best part of Oktoberfest? Entry is free! The beer and Würstl, however, is not. Arrive early, as the tents fill up very quickly.
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