With the beautiful and vibrant city of Munich as your base, you are a short drive or train ride from many invigorating ways to spend the day. From the alluring peaks of the Alps to important historical sites, there is a day trip from Munich for everyone.
Here are my top recommended trips from the Bavarian capital!
There is no doubt this fairytale castle is the most popular daytime activity from Bavaria’s capital. Constructed in the 19th century, the intended home of Ludwig II of Bavaria is an astonishing work of engineering and artistry. The limestone-colored structure reaches to the heavens and is intricately decorated by marvelous paintings and sculptures.
Perched on a steep hill above an idyllic gorge, the castle provides heart-racing views of the Bavarian countryside. The climb to the entrance of the castle is a challenging expedition but the reward is worth it.
The well paved path that snakes around Neuschwanstein’s foundation gives you a remarkable bird’s eye view of the neighboring Hohenschwangau Castle and the pristine lakes in its backyard. For an image that will make your heart skip a beat, snap a photo of this dreamlike scenery at sunset.
One of the best angles of Neuschwanstein itself is from Marienbrücke which sits high above the gorge. The cascading waterfalls, lush forests, and craggy cliffs create a photogenic backdrop to capture the beauty of the castle.
How to Get There: Take the train from the Hauptbahnhof station to the Füssen station near the castle. Hop on a bus from Füssen the rest of the way to the quaint Schwangau village where Neuschwanstein is located. The journey should take you almost 2.5 hours.
Berchtesgaden National Park
Nestled in the southeast corner of Germany along the Austrian border, this serene mountain oasis provides unbelievable imagery of the Alps. The sound of peacefully flowing rivers, birds chirping in the breeze, and sparkling blue lakes create a paradise for those who love being in the outdoors.
Two majestic highlights of the park include a pair of dazzling lakes wedged between jagged peaks. Königssee is a narrow stretch of water that winds through the mountains and is often considered Germany’s cleanest lake.
To reach the equally captivating Obersee, you will have to take a boat ride across Königssee and trek through rocky terrain.
How to Get There: Take the Salzburg train from either Hauptbahnhof or Ostbahnhof. Transfer to the Berchtesgaden line at Freilassing. The trip should take between 2-3 hours. Alternatively, drive from Munich using the Autobahn A8 and exiting at junction 115 towards Bad Reichenhall on B21. The B20 takes you the rest of the way to Berchtesgaden.
This breathtaking alpine lake is surrounded by quaint villages, radiant flora, and enchanting views of the Bavarian Alps. Two excellent starting locations to begin a leisurely stroll around the stunning blue water are the resort towns of Tegernsee and Bad Wiessee.
Waltz along the concrete path around the lake’s shores for a relaxing day under the sun. Pick up a delicious scoop of gelato, sip on refreshing Bavarian beer at the nearby Biergartens, or hop on a boat for a ride around the lake.
How to Get There: Take the train from the Hauptbahnhof station to the Tegernsee station neighboring the lake. The route should take roughly 1-1.5 hours.
Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site
This short trip from Munich is worth the visit for a different reason. Stepping foot on the grounds of the first Nazi concentration camp serves as an important reminder for humanity to learn from the mistakes of the past.
The visit to Dachau can be an emotional experience and my recommendation is to be mindful of where you are located and pay your respects to those who tragically lost their lives in the camp from 1933-1945. This includes avoiding improper behavior such as snapping selfies or horsing around with friends.
The museum and library that now resides at the former camp site provides a quintessential history lesson we all should learn.
How to Get There: Take the S-Bahn S2 line from the center of town towards Petershausen and exit the train at Dachau Bahnhof. Catch the 724 or 726 bus beside the sign that says “Concentration Camp Memorial Site.” Ride the bus until you reach KZ-Gedenkstätte. The trip should take approximately 40-50 minutes.
You can reach Dachau with a one or three day City Tour Card. Tickets cost 22.90 euros for 24 hours or 36.90 euros for three days within the entire network. Save costs by traveling in a group of up to five adults.
If you wish to skip across the Austrian border, a trip to Salzburg is fantastic way to take in world-class culture and exquisite architecture. The beautiful city centre is masterfully preserved and is teeming with Baroque styled churches. Being the birthplace of Mozart and providing the setting of The Sound of Music, those who appreciate fine arts will have a spectacular time exploring the city’s influence on classical music.
Salzburg is not short on enthralling natural scenery as it is located at the foothills of the Alps. The towering snow-capped peaks and sweeping hills that surround the city are a nature lover’s paradise and provide some of the most exhilarating hiking trails in the region.
For an iconic view of the picturesque city and its mountain backdrop, head to Fortress Hohensalzburg and prepare to be blown away!
How to Get There: Take the train from the Hauptbahnhof station to the Salzburg Hauptbahnhof station. The journey takes anywhere from 1.5-2 hours. There are over 20 trains to Salzburg per day departing every hour.
Ticket costs vary greatly and normally cost more when booking the day of departure.
Transportation Costs: Purchase a regional day ticket for 25 euros and only 7 euros for each additional passenger up to 5 individuals for unlimited travel within Bavaria for one day. Tickets are valid Monday to Friday from 9am to 3am the following day.
Header Image by Johannes Plenio from Pixabay
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