Are you looking for the best things to do in Munich in winter? This guide is ready to help out – keep reading!
Germany is often painted as a cozy winter wonderland by foreigners and as someone who lives in Frankfurt, I can honestly say that this is not true!
But… Munich does winter well and better than most German cities. It doesn’t hurt that the Alps are within arms’ reach of the Bavarian city.
This guide covers what to do during winter in Munich, including some of the top day trips.
Did we miss any of the best things to do during Christmas in Munich? Or winter? Let us know!
Winter Temperatures in Munich
Munich has cooler temperatures in the winter months, but the real ‘winter’ is nearby in the Alps! Or at least in my opinion!
Here are the average winter temperatures in Munich:
- Munich in November: highs of 7 C (45 F), lows of 0 C (33 F)
- Munich in December: highs of 4 C (38 F), lows of -2 C (28 F)
- Munich in January: highs of 3 C (37 F), lows of -4 C (25 F)
- Munich in February: highs of 4 C (39 F), lows of -3 C (26 F)
- Munich in March: highs of 9 C (48 F), lows of 0 C (32 F)
Snowfall in Munich
Although Munich is a city that certainly experiences snowfall throughout the winter, don’t expect the snow to last very long.
The temperatures during the day during the winter months are usually warm enough to melt the snow quickly.
With that being said, you can expect to see some snow if you plan on visiting during the winter. On average, February is the snowiest month, and the snowy season lasts from November to March.
Best Things to Do in Munich in Winter
1. Revel in Holiday Cheer at Munich’s Fantastic Christmas Markets
Soak in the holiday magic while swinging by Munich’s fantastic Christmas Markets.
Munich Christkindlmarkt in Marienplatz Square is a traditional market dating back to the 14th century where you can find everything related to a real Nativity scene.
Christmas Village in the Kaiserhof of the Residenz, nestled in the Residenz (the largest courtyard of Munich’s city palace), is another must-visit one, which offers special delicacies like Bratwurst, Glühwein, and Crepes as well as puppet shows for the little ones.
Take a step back in time to medieval Munich at Mittelaltermarkt at Wittelsbacherplatz, where vendors in period costumes offer you culinary delights of the Middle Ages.
Those after Christmas tree decorations, Nativity figures, jewelry, ceramics, and more can visit Neuhauser Christmas market, while Haidhausen Christmas Market on Weissenburger Platz offers a more intimate Christmas Market experience with a great selection of Christmas delicacies and pastries.
2. Sample Bavaria’s Traditional Dishes and Beer During a Night Out
Those after indulging their taste buds with the best of Bavaria’s traditional dishes and beer should definitely add this evening tour to their bucket list.
The tour allows you to learn about the rich history of German brewing while your friendly guide shares the secret haunts locals always visit, as well as makes you understand why people from all over the globe flock to Munich for the ultimate beer experience.
Head to one of the city’s finest old beer halls to sip different varieties of the world’s finest beer and savor some traditional Bavarian food, such as cheese and meats, on a Bavarian Food Platter.
You can also join an exclusive private tour that will take you to the new Beer and Oktoberfest Museum.
Here you can tour a traditional beer garden, then visit the world-famous Hofbräuhaus, followed by a delicious dinner in a traditional Bavarian beer house.
3. Ice Skate on the Frozen Nymphenburg Castle Canal
It’s time to lace up your skates and experience winter fun at one of the city’s best ice spots. Ice skating on the frozen Nymphenburg Castle Canal will guarantee a one-of-a-kind experience.
There is an authentic Munich tradition where locals enjoy ice skating on the frozen Nymphenburg canal while admiring the most spectacular views along the way.
In colder months, when the temperature drops below the freezing point for a few days, the canal freezes, creating a huge natural ice track.
Tourists and locals alike flock here for skating, ice hockey, and curling. There you can also find several little food stalls offering hot wine, traditional Bavarian foods, and cold beer.
For a complete experience, make sure to visit Nymphenburg Palace, which is the Wittelsbach family’s former summer residence.
Nearby highlights include the Amalienburg hunting lodge, the Pagodenberg palace, and Badenburg pavilions.
4. Enjoy a Special Christmas Concert
Christmas in Munich wouldn’t be complete without enjoying a special Christmas concert.
Everything from traditional Bavarian Christmas songs to great symphonies will make you experience the holiday magic of Bavaria.
Soak up the festive mood with the whole family in the royal rooms during the Advent/Christmas season or on New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day.
In the Imperial Hall or in the Cuvilliès Theatre, you can enjoy some of the best compositions that are in perfect harmony with the city’s festive atmosphere.
Those will be performed by Bavaria Klassik and the Residenz soloists, including musicians from the Munich Philharmonic and the Symphonieorchester of the Bayerischen Rundfunks.
The Imperial Hall is where Mozart performed in 1790, while he premiered his Idomeneo in Cuvilliès Theatre.
You can’t miss Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Final Fantasy in concert during the festive season. In the end, you can sing your heart out at one of the magical Christmas carols.
5. Visit the Fairytale Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Castles
Immerse yourself in a real-life fairy tale by witnessing the majestic castles of Neuschwanstein and Linderhof.
Hop aboard an air-conditioned bus and head to discover the one-of-a-kind castles of Bavaria. Either buy your castle tickets on the bus on the same day or get them in advance as part of the day trip.
First, you’ll explore the grounds of the stunning Linderhof Palace with your guide, which is the only castle Ludwig II saw built while still alive.
Your next stop will be the quaint town of Oberammergau, where you can snap the perfect photos and surely satisfy your shopping itch.
Then you’ll head to marvel at the childhood home of Hohenschwangau of Ludwig II, King of Bavaria.
After that, be ready to be mesmerized by the beauty of one of Germany’s most impressive sights, which is the Neuschwanstein Castle, nestled in the foothills of the Alps.
6. Ride a Cable Car to the Zugspitze, Germany’s Highest Peak
Thrill seekers will love riding a cable car to the Zugspitze, which is Germany’s highest peak.
Take your time and breathe in the fresh air while the world-record-holding Cable car Zugspitze, the almost 100-year-old cogwheel train, or the Gletscherbahn cable car gets you to the very peak of the mountain.
The signature feature of the 2,962-meter-high Zugspitze is the golden summit cross. Once on the top, you will be rewarded with truly staggering 360-degree views of more than 400 summits.
The observation deck here features binoculars, a souvenir shop, restaurants, and a small museum offering information about the mountain range, funicular construction, and stunning nature.
Dine in style at Panorama 2961 or Gletschergarten and enjoy skiing and snowboarding at Germany’s highest ski area, which awaits you with its 20 kilometers of snow-covered tracks.
Those up for a challenge can hike up the mountain making it a one-day adventure.
7. Enjoy a Beer at the World-Famous Munich Hofbrauhaus
After hours of exploring the city, it’s time for a refreshing beer at the world-famous Munich Hofbräuhaus.
This is the oldest beer hall in Munich, founded by the Duke of Bavaria in 1589 as the official Royal Brewery, where you can surely experience the culture of Bavaria.
Beers, still brewed in accordance with Reinheitsgebot (500-year-old Bavarian Purity Law), are served in giant 1-liter glass steins known as a mass.
Besides traditional Hofbräu beer, here you can also taste typical Bavarian specialties, including roasted pork knuckle, white sausage, dumplings, soft pretzel, weissbier, and more.
Admire the rustic setting at the traditional beer hall in the Schwemme, enjoy a hearty lunch at Braustüberl restaurant, and chat with locals at Biergarten.
Legendary visitors to the Hofbräuhaus were Mozart, Marcel Duchamp, Lenin, John F. Kennedy and George H. W. Bush, Louis Armstrong, and Mikhail Gorbachev.
8. Watch the Charming Glockenspiel Clock Show at Marienplatz
Even if you’re short on time when visiting Munich, watching the charming Glockenspiel Clock Show in the New City Hall on Marienplatz, Munich’s central square, is surely not to be missed.
The fun begins when the Glockenspiel’s detailed figures start circling around inside the tower. This is the largest Glockenspiel in Germany and the fourth-largest in Europe, consisting of 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures.
The Glockenspiel recounts all events that have left an impact on Munich’s history, including a royal wedding, jousting tournament, and ritualistic dance.
The top floor recounts the 1568 wedding of Duke Wilhelm V and Renata of Lorraine, while the lower one shows a ritualistic jig known as the Schäffler dance.
You can watch it daily at 11am and 12pm from November through February or additionally 5pm only from March to October.
The show lasts about 12 minutes and concludes with the golden cuckoo bird coming out above the display and chirping three times.
9. Attend a Show at the Bavarian State Opera House
Steeped in 350 years of history, the Bavarian State Opera House, nestled on Max-Joseph Platz, is one of the largest opera stages in the world with its 2,500-square-meter stage.
The Opera House was commissioned by King Maximilian I Joseph and rebuilt twice after being nearly completely destroyed by fire in 1823 and from a bombing raid during WWII.
The neoclassical Nationaltheater is where the majority of performances take place, with over 30 operas and more than 20 ballets in the space of one season.
It proudly presents the main works of German opera and ballet, and since 1901 this venue has focused its programming on the works of Richard Wagner.
Famous operas like “Tristan und Isolde” or “Die Walküre” were premiered at the National Theater. Anyone keen to get a glimpse of behind the scenes can join a tour that is held several times a week throughout the entire season.
Address: Max-Joseph-Platz 2, 80539 München
10. Discover the Picturesque Town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber on a Day Trip
Discover the beauty of Rothenburg and Nördlinger Ries on this exciting guided tour from Munich.
Your first stop, Harburg, is one of the oldest and best-preserved castle complexes in Germany, which will transport you back to the bygone era.
This castle of ancient traditions will surely leave everyone enchanted.
After exploring the castle, it’s time to drive on through the stunning landscape of the Nördlinger Ries, which is a large circular depression in western Bavaria left by an ancient meteor.
Rothenburg is another beautifully restored medieval town to explore. You’ll stroll through the lovely streets and alleyways to experience the full charm of the region.
Round off your tour in Munich while touring Hallertau, the largest hops-growing region in the world.
11. Explore the Deutsches Museum, an Amazing Hands-On Science Museum
Escape the Munich winter cold at the Deutsches Museum nestled on an island in the Isar River. Founded way back in 1903, this is the largest museum of science and technology in the world.
The museum is divided into four separate locations, which feature a diverse collection of over 28,000 objects across fifty different fields, such as aerospace engineering, mining, physics, music, cave paintings, and more.
Delve deep into the history of aviation at Old Aeronautics Hall, witness stunning examples of sailing ships and passenger vessels in the Marine Navigation exhibition, join different workshops and installations at The “Forum” building at Ludwigsbrücke and let the kids loose at the Kinderreich.
To further enhance your visit take part in guided tours offered in both German and English. On-site, you can also find a restaurant and café, a picnic area, a library, and gift shops.
The museum welcomes its guests daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm.
Address: Museumsinsel 1, 80538 München
12. Visit the Munich Residence Palace and Museum
Feel like a royal while touring the Munich Residence Palace and Museum, the largest palace in any German city center.
This is the official residence and government seat of the Bavarian royals between 1508 and 1918.
Constructed in 1385 as a modest Medieval fortress, it once housed 130 rooms, a church, ten courtyards, riding stables, a theater, the Hofgarten, and more.
Today you can simply walk around to marvel at lavish interiors packed with period treasures and experience the wealth of the Bavarian monarchs over the centuries.
Among the highlights are the fresco-smothered Antiquarium banqueting hall decorated with incredible Renaissance frescoes, Cuvilliés Theatre, the Rococo-period Reiche Zimmer (Ornate Rooms), the Baroque Imperial Hall, King Ludwig I’s neoclassical State Apartment, and the Grottenhof (Grotto Courtyard).
Set aside an hour to explore the Treasure Chamber (Schatzkammer), where you can witness everything from fairytale crowns and state jewelry to jewel-encrusted swords and golden toothpicks.
Address: Residenzstraße 1, 80333 München
13. Climb the Bell Tower at St. Peter’s Church for Amazing Views Over the City
St. Peter’s, locally known as Alter Peter (Old Peter), is one of the state capital’s top sights.
Nestled in the heart of the city right next to Marienplatz and Viktualienmarkt, this is the oldest parish church in Munich, with the city’s first tower clocks and the oldest bells.
Climbing the bell tower at St. Peter’s Church can be quite challenging, but the final views will be well worth the effort.
You can climb 300 steps to reach the viewing platform at 56 meters and get ready to be mesmerized by the stunning views over Munich.
Keep your eyes peeled for Marienplatz with City Hall (Rathaus) and the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady).
If the weather allows it, you will even witness the gorgeous Alpine chains stretching across the entire horizon. The tower is open every day from 12:00am to 4:30pm.
Address: Peterspl. 1, 80331 München
14. Visit the Memorial Site and Museum at Dachau Concentration Camp
History buffs eager to learn about the history and workings of one of the first concentration camps should join this half-day tour from Munich.
This 5-hour tour allows you to explore the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial and visit the surviving buildings.
You’ll watch a moving English language documentary film in the cinema to get an idea of what life was like back then here in the camp.
As you tour the area, your professional and friendly guide (trained and authorized by the Memorial site) will share stories of terror and resistance and make you experience the whole terrifying history from another perspective.
You’ll also visit the modern museum exhibition area, which highlights the prisoners’ lives inside the camp, including their arrival and their devastating journey to either death or freedom.
15. Take a Dip at the Baroque-style Indoor Swimming Pool and Sauna
Indulge in a true German experience by taking a dip at The Müller’sche Volksbad in the Au-Haidhausen district, the oldest public indoor swimming pool in Munich, which opened its doors to the public in 1901.
This Art Nouveau building boasts two large indoor swimming pools as well as a Finnish sauna with colored light effects and changing infusions, a relaxing Roman-Irish steam bath with a cascading fountain, and an outdoor patio.
Once, both of the pools were strictly separated for men and women, but they are both co-ed now and differ only in the water temperature.
The unique interior inspired by the design of Roman Thermal Baths, Hammams, and Mosques certainly adds to the ambiance of Müller’sches Volksbad.
Baroque-inspired accents include murals, stucco, and even bronze statues. Onsite you can also find a cafe, which offers coffee, a full range of meal options, mocktails, and a full bar menu.
16. Admire the Art at Lenbachhaus Museum
Picture the classic Florentine-style museum, the former villa of Realist artist Franz von Lenbach packed with artistic treasures by renowned artists – this is the Lenbachhaus Museum, a historic institution for art enthusiasts.
Being part of the extensive art area in Munich’s Maxvorstadt, the museum is famous for the world’s largest collection of artworks by the “Blaue Reiter” (Blue Rider) group, including pieces by Franz Marc, Wassily Kandinsky, Gabriele Münter, and many others.
The remodeling of the Museum’s historic buildings created social spaces, like education facilities, a restaurant, a terrace, and a dramatic full-height atrium.
Experience the sober-realistic reproduction of reality among artists in the 1920s and 1930s by admiring the “Neue Sachlichkeit” collection, while the “Art After 1945” and Joseph Beuys collections will give you a glimpse into more recent forms of art.
Lenbachhaus Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 6pm.
Address: Luisenstraße 33, 80333 München
17. Sample a Variety of Food on a Tour of Viktualienmarkt
Where else to experience the bustling daily life of the locals and learn more about regional Bavarian delicacies? Head to the Viktualienmarkt!
This is Munich’s largest market, which you can explore with the Gourmet Food Tour.
Nestled in the heart of the old town, here you can savor some delicious and traditional Bavarian sausages (Weißwurst), pretzels, beer, cheese, and bread from different regions of Germany.
Your tour starts at Marienplatz, from where you’ll head towards the Viktualienmarkt and stop at several stands to snack on many delicacies and learn more about the food and the market traders.
You will also savor some exotic fruits that we bet you may have never heard of before. Trying some pickled Bavarian treats will round out your tour.
18. Take a Tour of the Neo-Gothic Style New Town Hall
Munich’s New Town Hall, also known as Neues Rathaus, is a grand Neo-Gothic-style building in the heart of Marienplatz.
Built between 1867 and 1908 by Georg Hauberrisser, it is one of the city’s must-see landmarks. The magnificent façade is richly decorated with gables, bay windows, loggias, pergolas, turrets, and battlements that represent local folk legends and depictions of Munich’s founders.
A well-known Glockenspiel spectacle is also held in the tower, which re-enacts scenes from Munich’s history. Harry Potter fans get ready to visit the famous Law Library, one of the city’s most beautiful libraries featuring the floral Munich Art Nouveau style.
You don’t have to be a full-blooded fan to appreciate the beauty of the Hauberrisser Room (Room 200), where the Munich City Council holds meetings.
Don’t miss catching the lift up the tower for only €3 to take in all the majestic sights of Munich, including Alter Peter, Frauenkirche, Altes Rathaus, Theatinerkirche, and much more.
Address: Marienplatz 8, 80331 München
19. Stroll through the Beautiful Gardens of the Botanical Garden Munchen-Nymphenburg
Step into a fairytale while strolling through the beautiful gardens and warm greenhouses of the Botanical Garden Munich-Nymphenburg.
Munich’s first botanical gardens, originally located between Stachus Square and the central station, were established in 1812 and are now known as the “old botanical garden.”
However, due to the lack of space in the center, this new botanical garden was created in Nymphenburg in 1914.
Twenty-two hectares of area features a remarkable collection of more than 15,000 plant species. Here you can admire 2,000 species of orchids, browse through the Tropical House, witness spherical and columnar cacti and agaves at the large cactus house, and marvel at weird aquatic plants in 15 aquariums.
There are 4,500 square meters of great display greenhouses that imitate the flora of humid tropical areas, hot deserts, and cool tropical mountain forests.
Regular guided tours, speeches, and exhibitions are offered for those who want to dive deep into the world of plants.
Address: Menzinger Str. 65, 80638 München
20. Learn More about Bavarian History at the Bavarian National Museum
Channel your inner history buff and learn more about Bavarian History at the Bavarian National Museum on Prinzregentenstraße.
This is one of the largest decorative art and cultural history museums in Europe, where you can marvel at exceptional art from late antiquity up to Art Nouveau.
The architecture alone is worth mentioning as it combines a mixture of Romanticism, Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance elements.
Founded in 1855 by Maximilian II of Bavaria, 40 rooms over three floors house a wide range of artworks from Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Rococo sculptures and paintings to carved ivory, musical instruments to textiles and tapestries, goldsmith works to suits of armor, decorative clocks to exquisite porcelain and much more.
Among the highlights are the royal art holdings of the Wittelsbach family, Neapolitan nativity scenes from the 1700s, and the 1000-year-old St Kunigunde’s chest fashioned in mammoth ivory and gold.
Address: Prinzregentenstraße 3, 80538 München
21. Marvel at the Opulent Interior of the Asam Church
Stand in awe while stepping inside the Asam Church (Asamkirche), tucked away on Sendlinger Straße, squeezed between neighboring buildings.
Also known as St. John Nepomuk Church, this church was designed by the Asam brothers, sculptor Egid Quirin Asam and painter Cosmas Damian Asam, as their own private chapel in the style of the Bavarian late Baroque between 1733 and 1746.
Despite its small size, the interior is overwhelmingly beautiful, with rich stuccos, intricate carvings, and enormous frescoes.
The luxuriously furnished interior is divided vertically into three sections: the relatively dark lowermost part symbolizing the suffering of the world, the white and blue section reserved for the emperor, and the uppermost portion of the ceiling dedicated to God and eternity.
The complex ceiling fresco representing the life of St Johann Nepomuk is the main highlight of the church, which portrays scenes from the saint’s sufferings, such as his torture and his horrible death by drowning in Moldavia.
Address: Sendlinger Str. 32, 80331 München
22. Dive into the World of All Things BMW at the Museum Showcasing the Brand’s Origins to Present
You can’t leave Munich without diving into the world of all things BMW at the BMW Museum, next to the BMW Welt and the BMW Group’s Factory.
The 5000-square-meter area showcases the brand’s evolution throughout its 100 years of history through 125 exhibits, including cars, motorbikes, engines, turbines, and small planes.
Among the highlights are the original car from the 1997 James Bond film “Tomorrow Never Dies,” the BMW Isetta, a 1928 Dixi car, a rare 1974 BMW 3.0 CSL “Batmobile” and more.
Join guided factory tours for a special behind-the-scenes look into the manufacturing rooms. The nearby BMW Welt is an interactive museum where you can witness the latest models of the brand’s cars and take your dream car for a spin.
You can visit the museum from Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 6pm with an admission fee of €10 for adults and €7 for children under 18 years old and holders of Olympiaturm tickets.
Address: Am Olympiapark 2, 80809 München
Where to Stay in Munich
If you’re looking to find a great place to stay on your Munich winter trip – here are some of our top picks!
- Hotel Metropol (excellent location!)
- Hotel Torbrau (city center lodging)
- Mercure Munchen (mid-range option)
- Cortiina Hotel (has a gym!)
Did we miss any of the top things to do in Munich in winter? Let us know your winter in Munich tips in the comments!
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