Top Sights to See in Munich with Kids
Munich is the perfect destination choice for families seeking an easy, friendly city in which to experience German history, food and culture. As the capital of Bavaria, Munich is a vibrant metropolitan city steeped in history. Its buildings were completely restored after WWII, so it has retained its historic beauty. Its city center is very pedestrian-friendly, with lots of parks and pedestrian squares where kids can run freely. The transit system is efficient, clean and easy to use. (It is Germany after all!)
Many Germans speak English, so communication is not really an issue for non-German speakers. As in most countries, any attempt to speak their language is well received, even if it’s just “Hello,” “Please,” and “Thank you” (“Hallo,” “Bitte,” and “Danke,” respectively). That being said, a German-English dictionary will help with food choices (“potato” in German is “kartoffel”).
For those visiting more than one European city, Munich could also serve as a base city for day trips to other popular German destinations like the Black Forest and Neuschwanstein (Sleeping Beauty’s castle). Munich was the first stop on our tour of Germany and Austria. Here were our family’s favorite activities:
Things to See in Munich with Kids
Rathaus Glockenspeil in Marienplatz
Marienplatz is Munich’s old town square where both the old town hall (Rathaus) and the new town hall are located. Erected in 1908, the new town hall features the famous Glockenspiel, which is similar to an enormous cuckcoo clock. Many tourists come to watch the clock’s “show”: a 15-minute spectacle of music and life-size figurines that enact two 16th century German folk tales. The clock chimes at 11 a.m. daily, as well as at noon and 5 p.m. during the summer. You might want to arrive at the square a little early as the crowds can get thick, especially in the summertime.
This quaint little museum is located right on Marienplatz in one of the turrets of the old buildings. We enjoyed the opportunity to explore its collection of old toys and dolls dating from the 1800s. The collection is small, but provided just the perfect amount of stimulation for our little ones’ attention spans.
Nymphenberg Palace (Schloss Nymphenberg)
This is an expansive 17th century palace located just a short car or train ride outside of central Munich. We spent an afternoon here walking through the grand rooms and the beautiful gardens. Of course, our girls were more fascinated with the swans in the fountain than the beautiful architecture, but we felt it was well worth the visit.
Places to Eat in Munich with Kids
English Garden (Englisher Garten)
The English Garden has been called “Munich’s Central Park” and is the largest public park in Munich. With grassy fields, bustling streams and miles of trails, it’s a perfect place to walk around, rest your feet or just people-watch.
There is a well-known beer garden in the park which is located near a multi-story pagoda called the Chinese Tower (Chinesischen Turm). A live band plays Bavarian music from the first story of the tower on weekends and more frequently in the summer. We enjoyed giant pretzels, French fries and beer while listening to the Om-pa-pa of the band — it was a perfect German moment! Hilton Munich Park is located within an easy walking distance to this beautiful park.
The Germans really understand what parents need, and the Hofbraukeller restaurant is my case in point. Hofbraukeller is a restaurant and beer garden that serves delicious German specialties and caters to families and kids. They even have a babysitting room! We enjoyed lingering over some fantastic German food and beer here while our kids played. The portions were enormous and there were plenty of healthy food choices for the kids. My daughter LOVED the sauerkraut and cucumber salad. (I know, I could hardly believe it myself!)
Please note that this is NOT the Hofbrau house, but is a sister location. The Hofbrau house is a short walk from Marienplatz, but can get very rowdy. It’s worth a trip to see the famous beer hall, but the Hofbraukeller was better for a family dinner experience.
There is much more to be seen in Munich with kids, but these were a few of the highlights that kept both the parents AND our kids engaged and happy.
Erin is a native Floridian who has resided in Atlanta since 1995. Her husband Mike and she have two funny, smart, active girls and two cats.