The city of Munich is an ideal, centrally situated base from which to explore the entire Bavaria region of Germany. For art and history lovers can take a step back in time when visiting several fascinating medieval towns like Regensburg, Burghauzen, Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Ulm, all of which are in easy reach for a day trip. If you are interested in World War II history you must add Berchtesgaden, Eagle’s Nest and Dachau Concentration Camp to your itinerary. Everyone will love visiting some of Germany’s unforgettable castles like Neuschwanstein, Schloss Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee, all of which offer a rare glimpse into the decadent opulence of King Ludwick II and his court.
Located in the upper alpine region of Bavaria, close to Salzburg and Lake Chiemsee, Altötting has been a popular pilgrimage site for Catholics for many centuries. It is here, in a little chapel, that more than a million pilgrims come annually to see the famous image of Our Lady of Altötting, also known as the Black Madonna. Whether or not you are religious, Altötting is a fascinating town to visit on your next day trip from Munich. Besides viewing the Chapel of Mercy, you can join a city sightseeing tour, visit the Pilgrimage Museum, see the Basilica of St. Anne and visit Schloss Tussling Castle.
Altötting, 84503 Bavaria, Germany
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Augsburg is an ancient but modern city, whose center is home to what many consider to be the most beautiful boulevard in Germany. This city is definitely a must-see for anyone interested in history, architecture and culture. Stunning examples of Renaissance architecture can be found in the heart of the city – highlights include the City Hall, Perlach Tower and Augustus Fountain. The Fuggerei is the oldest social settlement in the world and is a must see on your itinerary. Augsburg is also home to some wonderful museums including the Roman Museum, the Maximilian Museum and the Puppenkisten Museum, which showcases the history of Augsburg’s famous Puppet Theater.
Augsburg, 86150 Bavaria, Germany
Not only is the mountain town of Berchtesgaden very attractive, it is also a must-visit destination for anyone who is interested in WWII history. Here, at Obersalzburg, you can see the remains of what was once Hitler’s mountain stronghold (which was mostly destroyed by the Bavarian government in the hopes of erasing its notorious history). You can visit the Documentation Center, which is the official historical museum and contains a wealth of Third Reich history. You can also access the bunker system under the building and another eerie and extensive bunker system under Hotel Turken. If you prefer a more light-hearted day you can enjoy some very scenic hiking, visit the salt mine or have a scenic lunch in Hitler’s former home – the Eagle’s Nest.
Berchtesgaden, 83471 Bavaria, Germany
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For an exciting outdoor excursion you can visit one of the deepest and most spectacular river gorges at Breitachklamm. The gorge is 2.5km long and a massive 150m deep and walking along the rock path besides the rushing river is an amazing activity at any time of year. Walking paths were painstakingly chiseled out of the rock face around 1904, and you can now walk the length of the gorge and witness the power of the rushing waters which carved this gorge out of solid rock. Winter in the gorge is particularly magical, when the waters freeze and create remarkable ice sculptures.
Breitachklamm, Klammstrasse, 87561, Oberstdorf/Tiefenbach, Phone: +49-83-22-47-76
Burghauzen has been settled since the 7th century and, among other interesting attractions, it is home to the world’s longest castle where a walk around the walls and ramparts is more than a mile long. Of course, a tour of the castle and its’ 6 courtyards is mandatory – a period-clad guide will let you in to some of the castles secrets and legends. Burghauzen also boasts a beautiful Old Town which you can explore on foot, stopping here and there for a coffee or drink. You can download an interactive tour guide to explain everything you are seeing. Other highlights include the very beautiful pilgrimage church Marienburg and the Reitenhaslach Abbey.
Burghauzen, 84089 Aiglsbach, Germany
6.Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site
A day trip to Dachau Concentration Camp should be considered a moving and educational experience. Annually, thousands of visitors come to see the site and pay their respects to the thousands and men, women and children who passed through the camp or lost their lives there. For obvious reasons only children over the age of 13 may join one of the tours or watch the very graphic 20min movie about the history of the camp. Admission is free and you can join a guided tour which takes around two and a half hours – English tours are offered daily at 11am and 1pm – check the website for tour times in other languages.
Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, KZ-Gedenkstatte, Dachau, Alte Romerstrasse 75, Dachau, Phone: +49-81-31-66-99-70
A day trip to Garmisch Partenkirchen is an exciting outing which offers something for everyone. If you would like to learn more about Bavarian history and culture you can join a guided walking tour of Historic Partenkirchen to see marvelous examples of traditional frescos and delightful shops all along famous Ludwigstrasse. The town also offers outstanding opportunities for hiking, mountaineering, mountain-biking and water sports in summer. You can take a scenic cable-car ride to the summit of Zugspitze to see Germany’s only glacier ski resort. In winter you can find all types of snow sports and visit the amazing Olympic Ski Jump.
Garmisch Partenkirchen, 82470 Bavaria, Germany
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No visit to Munich would be complete without taking the time to visit the site of “mad” King Ludwig II’s New Palace. The very impressive palace, which was modeled on the Palace of Versailles in France, was constructed in 1878 on Herreninsel, an island in Germany’s largest lake, Chiemsee. After you have toured the famous palace and the beautiful formal gardens you can visit the Augustinian Monastery which King Ludwig called the Old Palace. Here you will find the Julius Exter Art Gallery, the Mahler am Chiemsee Gallery and the new museum which opened in 1998, showcasing 1200 years of Bavarian history and the living apartments of King Ludwig.
Schloss und Gartenvervaltung Herrenchiemsee, D-83209 Herrenchiemsee, Phone: +49-8-05-16-88-70
Ingolstadt is an ancient German city which perfectly combines history, legend and modern conveniences. The city is located in the heart of Bavaria, about 40min by train from Munich. History lovers can embark on a tour of the exceptionally well-preserved fortifications for which the town is famous. If you are brave enough you can join a Frankenstein Tour of the Old Town, where you will see some of the actual places featured in Mary Shelley’s book. Other Igolstadt highlights include the Audi Museum, the baroque Maria de Victoria Church, the beautiful Anatomical Institute and its’ adjacent Garden of Medical Plants. Ingolstadt also offers great shopping and dining and Zoo Wasserstern for animal lovers.
Igolstadt, 85049 Bavaria, Germany
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Located across the German border in Austria, Innsbruck is a wonderful day trip destination at any time of the year. A few of the most popular tourist attractions in the city include the Imperial Palace, the famous Golden Roof (in the heart of historic old town), Swarovski Crystal Worlds and Ambras Castle, which is home to the Habsburg Portrait Gallery. If you are travelling with children you can take them to meet the animals at the Alpine Zoo. Taking the Nordkettenbahnen Lifts and Cable Cars up to Seegrube or Hafelekar will reward you with wonderful views of the greater Innsbruck region. Leading up to Christmas, the town is festooned with beautiful Christmas lights and the famous Christmas Markets are in full swing.
Innsbruck, 6020-6161 Austria
Lake Königsee is one of the most beautiful lakes in Germany and is easily accessible from Munich. The lake is located in the Berchtesgaden National Park and a short bus ride from Berchtesgaden will get you to the boat dock where you can board an electric boat for a scenic lake tour. There are two stops along the route where you can get off and do some hiking or explore the St. Bartholoma Church. At the second stop (Salet) you can take a fifteen minute walk to see a smaller lake called Obersee, which is famous for the wonderful mountain reflections on its’ still surface. The entire area is outstandingly beautiful and serene.
Königsee, 83471 Berchtesgaden, Germany
12.LEGOLAND Deutschland Resort
If would like to be the most popular parents in town, you simply have to take your children on a day trip to LEGOLAND. The resort is located less than two hours by road from Munich and is filled with entertainment for all ages. Imagine 63 separate attractions as well as thousands of Lego constructions made from no less than 57 millions Lego blocks – all this and more awaits you. The resort is huge and offers so much to do that you really need to do some advance planning. There are attractions and rides for all seasons and all ages – it is advisable to download the park map to help you find your way around. On-site accommodation is available if you would like to stay overnight.
LEGOLAND Deutchland Resort, LEGOLAND Alee 1, 89312 Guenzburg, Bavaria, Germany
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Scenically nestled in the heart of Lake Constance, the island of Lindau is a wonderful day trip destination. The location and natural beauty of Lindau are hard to beat – the island is surrounded by crystal clear waters and boasts a backdrop of snow-covered mountains. A large variety of water sports attract many outdoor enthusiasts who come to enjoy wind surfing, SO paddle boarding, sailing, kayaking and much more. A few of the city’s must see attractions include the iconic harbor entrance, the Church of St Peter, the Thieves Tower, the Old Town Hall and fashionable Maximilianstrasse, which perfectly combines shopping and history. In winter Lindau offers a gateway to various winter sports like ice skating and tobogganing.
Lindau, 6912 Bodensee, Germany
No visit to Germany would be complete without taking a day trip to see Linderhof Palace, one of the most beautiful and impressive palaces in the country. Schloss Linderhof is located about 60 miles south-west of Munich and can be accessed by road in around 90 minutes. Once there you can join a guided tour of the sumptuous Baroque villa, the only palace which King Ludwig II of Bavaria was able to complete in his lifetime. The rooms of astonishingly lavishly appointed, and are reported to far exceed the French palaces on which it was fashioned. The gardens are equally impressive, combining French Baroque and English Landscape Styles
Linderhof Palace, Linderhof 12, 82488 Ettal, Germany
Disneyland’s famous fairy-tale castle is modeled after this amazing Bavarian Castle which was built by “mad” King Ludwick II in 1869. The castle is located about two hours by road from Munich and offers an interesting day out for visitors. You can only enter the castle if you join a guided tour – these are offered in German on English and will enlighten you about the history of the castle and the rather extrovert character of King Ludwick II. After touring the castle you can enjoy exploring the small town of Fussen. Visitors are advised to avoid visiting Neuschwanstein between July and September unless you have made prior online reservations - long queues of visitors arrive daily.
Neuschwanstein Castle, Neuschwansteinstrasse 20, 87645 Schwangau, Germany
Nuremberg is well known for offering a wide variety of outdoor recreational opportunities. The region (and the city), is located in the Franconia region of Germany, about two hours north of Munich. Here you will find wonderful trails for hiking or biking through beautiful vineyards, mountains and valleys. In addition, the region boasts more than twenty natural hot springs where you can swim in the healing thermal waters. The city of Nuremberg offers many interesting historic sites including the former Nazi Party Rally Grounds, the Imperial Castle, the New State Museum for Art and Design and several excellent museums.
Children will love visiting the Nuremberg Zoo.
Nuremberg, 90402 Germany
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17.Partnach Gorge (Partnachklamm)
Outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers should definitely add a day trip to the Partnach Gorge to their Munich Itinerary. This impressive gorge, which is 80 meters deep in places, has been carved out of the rock by the Partnach River. The gorge runs along a 700 meter course and the good news is that you can observe the rushing white-waters from the safety of an observation trail. The trail runs the length of the gorge and you will even be able to walk behind some of the waterfalls. The gorge is open to the public daily except for a short period in spring when melting ice makes the pathway impassable.
Partnach Gorge, Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany
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A day trip to the historic heritage town of Regensburg is a must for all visitors who have an interest in history and culture. Regensburg has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status as an amazing example of an early medieval trading center and visitors can look forward to admiring outstanding examples of ancient buildings, some of which date back to the 11th century. You should start your visit at the Tourist Information Center where you can pick up brochures, book a guided City Tour, a Segway Tour or a Boat Tour. Highlights of this charming town include St. Peter’s Cathedral, the Old Stone Bridge, the Golden Tower and the Old Town Hall.
Regensburg, 93047 Bavaria, Germany
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19.Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Located in the heart of Franconia in northern Bavaria, the ancient city of Rothenburg is a must-see day trip destination for any visitor who finds him or herself in Munich. Here you will find Germany’s best-preserved walled medieval town, complete with two miles of defensive walls, ramparts and ancient cobbled streets. To make the most of your visit you can join a guided tour of the city to learn all about the history of the town and the notorious 30-year war between Catholics and Protestants which brought great misery to the city. Besides the city’s fascinating history, Rothenburg is best known for wonderful shopping and hosts a very popular Christmas Market each year.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber, 91541 Bavaria, Germany
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Located just across the border in Austria, Salzburg is a charming historic city with much on offer for day trippers. Outdoor enthusiasts can go hiking or biking – the Untersbergbahn cable car will quickly whisk you to the top of Mount Untersberg where many hiking trails await you. Adrenalin junkies can book a paragliding tour for great aerial views of this beautiful city which was the birthplace of Mozart. Back in town you can visit the actual Mozart Birthplace, Mirabell Palace and Gardens, the Hellbrun Palace (and Trick Fountains) and the wonderful Museum of Modern Art. Children will love visiting the Salzburg Zoo and taking a fun tour of the Hallein Salt Mine.
Salzburg, 5020 Austria
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21.The Eagle’s Nest
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When you visit the Eagle’s Nest, located on the summit of Eagle’s Nest Mountain, it can be a little difficult to comprehend that such an idyllic location was once used as the headquarters of one of the world’s most evil human beings. Here, surrounded by the remarkable natural beauty of Obersalzburg, Adolf Hitler did much of the planning and brainstorming which led to World War II and the holocaust. Visitors to the Eagles Nest can join a guided four-hour educational tour of the famous teahouse and Obersalzburg area, which will include a visit to the Documentation Center Museum. The Eagles Nest is only open to the public from around the end of March to October, depending on when snowfall makes the road impassable.
The Eagle’s Nest, Kehlsteinhaus, 83471 Berchtesgaden, Germany
The lovely old city of Ulm and the new city of Neu Ulm are located on either side of the Danube River in Bavaria, where they beckon visitors to come and spend an interesting day. In Ulm you can spend a few hours strolling the ancient streets and lanes of the Fisherman’s Quarter before visiting the city’s famous Gothic cathedral which has the tallest steeple in the world. As you cross the Danube to Neu Ulm you will exchange antiquity of the hustle and bustle of a modern city which offers excellent shopping, dining and lovely parks and gardens. Highlights of your trip could include visiting some of the excellent art museums including Kunsthalle Weishaupt and the Edwin Scharff Museum, Museum Ulm and the Museum of Bread Culture.
Ulm and Neu Ulm, 89073 Bavaria, Germany
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The Walchensee is a very picturesque lake located in Upper Bavaria, offering picture-perfect azure waters surrounded by stunning mountain scenery. Outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers can spend a delightful day getting back to nature as you hike, bike, swim or indulge in a number of other outdoor activities. The lake is immensely popular with wind surfers and on most afternoons you will be able to watch many enthusiasts making the most of the perfect conditions. You can cycle the 27km circumference of the lake, take a gentle stroll along the lake shore or take a cable car to the summit of Herzogstand for sensational views and great hiking trails. Pack a picnic to enjoy on the beach and look forward to a perfect day trip.
Walchensee, 82432 Bavaria, Germany
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Located at the gateway to Germany’s famous Romantic Road, the city of Wurzburg is deserving of a place on any day-trip to-do list. Art and history lovers will enjoy exploring the city to undercover many famous examples of baroque and rococo architecture, several of which you can admire at the Residenz Palace, which boasts a huge fresco by Italian artist Tiepolo. If you are planning to see several museums and historic sites you can buy a Wurzburg Welcome Card which offers discounted entry to 30 city attractions and highlights. Highlights include the Fortress Marienburg, the cathedral of St. Kilian and a guided tour of the surrounding vineyards and wineries
Wurzburg, 97070 Bavaria, Germany
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Located at 2,962 meters above Sea Level, Zugspitze is the highest mountain in Germany, offerings a day of fun and entertainment for the whole family. Getting there is half the fun and you will travel by cog-railway from Garmisch Partenkirchen to Lake Eibsee, from where you take a wonderfully scenic cable-car ride to the peak. Zugspitze is home to three glaciers which can be accessed by means of the Glacier Lifts. Once you reach the summit you can enjoy 20km of skiing pistes, two toboggan runs and several excellent restaurants offering amazing vistas of the snow-covered mountains. If you are feeling particularly energetic it is possible to hike all the way from Garmisch to the summit.
Zugspitze, 82467 Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany
25 Best Weekend Getaways and Day Trips from Munich, Germany
- Altotting, Photo: pwmotion/stock.adobe.com
- Augsburg, Photo: Falko Göthel/stock.adobe.com
- Berchtesgaden, Photo: pure-life-pictures/stock.adobe.com
- Breitachklamm, Photo: F. Peter/stock.adobe.com
- Burghauzen, Photo: fottoo/stock.adobe.com
- Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, Photo: KamHung/stock.adobe.com
- Garmisch Partenkirchen, Photo: sonyakamoz/stock.adobe.com
- Herrenchiemsee, Photo: Tetiana Ivanova/stock.adobe.com
- Igolstadt, Photo: inkwelldodo/stock.adobe.com
- Innsbruck, Photo: pure-life-pictures/stock.adobe.com
- Königsee, Photo: Friedberg/stock.adobe.com
- LEGOLAND Deutschland Resort, Photo: Bildgigant/stock.adobe.com
- Lindau, Photo: olga demchishina/stock.adobe.com
- Linderhof, Photo: Buffy1982/stock.adobe.com
- Neuschwanstein, Photo: dmitr86/stock.adobe.com
- Nuremberg (Nuernberg), Photo: reimax16/stock.adobe.com
- Partnach Gorge (Partnachklamm), Photo: arnaudmartinez/stock.adobe.com
- Regensburg, Photo: Sergii Figurnyi/stock.adobe.com
- Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Photo: vichie81/stock.adobe.com
- Salzburg, Photo: saiko3p/stock.adobe.com
- The Eagle’s Nest, Photo: Henry Czauderna/stock.adobe.com
- Ulm, Photo: oenning/stock.adobe.com
- Walchensee, Photo: Videografic/stock.adobe.com
- Wurzburg, Photo: Leonid Andronov/stock.adobe.com
- Zugspitze, Photo: eugen_z/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Firma V/stock.adobe.com