Top 15 things to do in Munich

There’s more to Munich than work! Once you’ve found a place around the city, have settled nicely into your new Munich job and made some friends: it’s time for some entertainment.


7 minute read
Updated on 19 Apr 2024

There’s more to Munich than you think! Once you’ve found the right neighbourhood, have settled nicely adjusted to your new life in Munich: it’s time for some entertainment.

Munich is home to a variety of events and fun activities that can make for a great afternoon or night out! So grab your agenda to take note of the beer gardens, open-air markets, walking tours, concerts and more that you can take part in.

1. Olympiapark (Olympic park)

We think you’ll agree that summer offers the perfect environment for open-air festivals of all kinds. If you enjoy live music but want to save a little bit of money, then you can attend one of the many free concerts held at the Olympiapark.

We suggest you put the Theatron Festival held in August on your calendar. They offer a program with several live music performances, spanned across music genres, ensuring that everyone finds an event that they will enjoy. To create an even cooler vibe, make this a real festival experience by bringing a picnic basket full of food, drinks and a big blanket for relaxing between performances.

2. Hofbräuhaus (Beer hall)

Set some time aside to enjoy the world-famous Hofbräuhaus. Of course, there're countless different beer halls, but the Hofbräuhaus is definitely the most memorable. You can indulge in its delicious menu of Bavarian specialties and traditional German food. You can also step out into the beer garden, where you can drink your fill of German-crafted beers.

If you aren’t a fan of drinking, just visiting to see the historical attributes of the building is worth it. Plus, you can enjoy the brass band music or the many events held at Hofbräuhaus throughout the year, especially in the summertime. Spend an afternoon and learn why they are known for their Gemütlichkeit (friendliness).

3. Mixxit

If you’d like to really immerse yourself in Munich’s exciting culture, be sure to visit Mixxit, a fun-filled improvisation theatre. Now, this's crowd participation to the max as Mixxit will include your ideas spontaneously in the scenes, developing a thrilling story.

Operating in Munich for over 11 years, this theatre truly allows the audience to direct the entire evening, evoking feelings ranging from hilarious humour to dramatic events. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more unique way to spend an evening in Munich!

Now, if you feel like you want to take things a step further, Mixxit also offers workshops to learn more about being a “player", teaching the art form of improvisation. You never know how your time abroad in Munich might end!

4. TANDEM Munich

If you love to break down the German language barrier or learn a new language we have a wonderful option for you! The TANDEM language school in Munich offers a variety of German classes, ranging from courses for beginners to the intermediate level and on to advanced learners.

You’ll also find that these courses are not only informative, but also convenient. They offer summer sessions, which can help you learn the German language. If you want to spend your days full of adventurous activities, you could also opt for an evening course.

They also offer a social and “spare time” program, which allow you to get to know the city with other language students.

If this sounds exciting but you're not sure about learning German, we can assure you that there're plenty of reasons to learn German.

5. The English Garden

During the warm summer months, you’ll find that the city of Munich offers many natural attractions. The English Garden's the ideal space to relax. The park is vast, reaching from the center of Munich to the northeast end of the city.

The park, which is 225 years old, received its name due to its lush, rolling hills and open landscapes. The garden is home to cultural events, beer gardens, beautiful architecture and areas for relaxation. If you’re in Munich for any length of time, you’ll soon find that the English Garden is one of your “happy places”.

6. Hirschgarten (Beer garden and park)

Munich's known for its many beer gardens, and not just during Oktoberfest! Beergardens are the perfect place to relax with friends, indulging in the best beer that you’ll ever have the pleasure of tasting.

While there are numerous beer gardens, the largest and most well-known is the Hirschgarten. This is also the name of the park surrounding the beer garden, which keeps it tucked away as one of Munich’s best hidden secrets.

Once you arrive, guests can mix their own “Radler,” which is a delicious concoction of beer and lemonade. Be sure to sample the menu, filled with German favorites. As the name suggests, there're also deers next to the beer garden, which makes for an incredible view!

7. River surfers

No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. Munich is a mecca for surfing, but don’t expect the board shorts and tan bodies from California. River surfing's a popular sport in the city on the Eisbach, which is a small channel off the Isar River. This frigid stream of water produces continuous waves that roll through at almost all times during the day.

Something interesting to know is that this extreme sport was actually illegal up until 2010 due to its level of danger. This often attracts crowds as people gather to watch these surfers try new tricks and master older ones.

8. Free walking tour

If you’d like to explore even more of the city, learning many interesting facts about Munich as you go, there're several ways to do this. You could try a guidebook or download an app on your phone; but chances are that you’ll miss a thing or two.

However, the city of Munich offers free walking tours full of fun tips about the city. The guides always choose entertaining routes, so you will not be overwhelmed with floods of information or boring facts. There're a few different providers to choose from and many depart from Marienplatz. Once you’re done, you’ll feel like a local!

9. Viktualienmarkt (Market)

If you like to shop, then you came to the right city. While Munich offers a plethora of shopping options throughout the city, wouldn’t it be great to have it all under one roof?

The Viktualienmarkt can easily fulfill that request, offering just about everything your heart could possibly desire. Expect a wide variety of wares for sale, such as flowers, wine, decorations, clothing and much more. If you’re thinking about making a large breakfast at home, you can purchase all of the ingredients right there at the market.

10. KulturRaum München

If you’re looking for even more events around the Olympiapark area, you should definitely head over to *KulturRaum*. You can experience free concerts, events and even movies, along with cultural programs. It also includes a wide variety of diverse offering, with everything from orchestra concerts to rock bands, truly offering something for everyone!

While this list might get you off to a great start, there're still countless other activities to keep you busy throughout your time in Munich.

11. Starkbierfest

People in Munich love their beer! Thankfully, you won’t need to look far for an excuse to share a drink with your friends in Munich because even early in the year, in March, it’s time for the Munich Starkbierfest (strong beer festival). Strong beer doesn’t mean just more alcohol, it’s also darker and more filling! For example, Starkbeer is to a pilsner what Guinness is to a regular pint. You could say it’s a liquid lunch floating anywhere between 7-10% alcohol!

Unlike festivals with a dedicated location, Starkbierfest takes place all around the city in the various taverns and at special events hosted by the various breweries. The festivities start off with the Starkbieranstich, a ceremonial tapping of the beer involving a roast of local politicians. Despite the local popularity of the fest, it’s still a bit of a local secret which has yet to reach the status and attendance that Oktoberfest does. But, if you’re looking to satisfy your thirst in early spring, Starkbierfest is the place to be!

12. Oktoberfest

The world’s biggest beer festival that brings millions of people to Munich every year!

Oktoberfest is split up into 2 main events, the drinking at the beer tents and the funfair. Wherever you decide to spend your time, don't forget to bring cash and wear solid shoes as there's a lot of walking, standing and a lot of spilled beer! All in all, you'll spend €10-13 for a big beer!

Oktoberfest in Munich takes place at Theresienwiese, in the city center. It's well connected to public transit or easily reached by foot from the central bus and train stations.

13. Ritterliches Spektakel bei München

Are you sick and tired of modern life? Or are you simply curious about how things used to go a couple of centuries ago? You can find out at the Kaltenberger Ritterfestspiele! During this medieval festival, a group of reenactors live life just like they did all those years ago. No wifi, no electronics but burly knights in plate armour who relive the battles of old.

You’ll also find the stands of various artisans who, even to this day, create tools, weapons armour and clothing authentic to various eras. So, get yourself a medieval mantle to stay warm while listening to some of the musical groups that still rock the lute, the flute and the drums of forgotten ages.

There’s also room for you to show your own skills with tutorials in swordsmanship and archery! If you’ve fumbled around enough, then you can have a seat in the arena to watch the professionals fight out duels as they would have in the past! And yes, this even includes heavily armoured mounted knights!

14. Comic con Munich

Once a year it’s time to let out your inner nerd at comic con Munich! Meet up with like-minded geeks and indulge in the celebration of pretty much any universe and layer you can think of in sub-cultures like comics, gaming and other branches of fantasy from Harry Potter to Anime.

Admire the cosplay skills of others or show Munich what you’re made of with a home engineered Batman costume. Attend one of the many themed panels to discuss the latest in lore or get in line for a meet ‘n greet with your favourite actors, voice actors, authors and artists that attend Comic con Munich every year!

15. Tollwood festivals

Twice a year it’s time for the Tollwood festivals —— the summer festival kicking off around June and the winter festival starting in late November. It’s an ecocultural festival that aims to bring culture to everyone. And because everyone is welcome, admission to the grounds in the Olympia Park is free! On top of that, around 80% of the activities in the festival are also free!

The sommerfestival sees around 900,000 visitors, who spend their time at over 200 merchant tents, over 50 food establishments and across the various theatrical and musical programmes. The musical performances have included major international artists like Bob dylan and Jethro Tull.

The winter festival has its very own Christmas market. It also features theater, and the platforms called ‘Markt der Ideen’ (market of ideas) and the Weltsalon (world saloon) to talk about societal and environmental issues.

Bonus suggestion

If you're in Munich for long and want to to something nice for others, why not consider volunteering in Munich? There're plenty of places you can volunteer, whether as a full-time employee or student.

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