Munich is a dynamic city that taught its people how to live their lives to the fullest. Explore the artsy Schwabing district and sit down at any of the 47 open-air cafés and restaurants along the Leopoldstrasse nearby. Or burn some Euros at the celebrity spot, Maximilianstrasse, lined with all the big brands such as Versace, Jimmy Choo, Dior and more. The city centre is easily reached from Munich Airport by train or shuttle service.
Lay down on the grass and relax at the English Garden. This beautiful park was opened to the public in 1792 to allow every person access to a green space. While in the park, don’t miss its famous attraction, the great Chinesischer Turm where you can have a stein and get to know the locals. If you’re up for some surfing (or simply watching others surf), catch a wave at the one and only surf spot in Munich. Located at the southwestern corner of the English Garden the Eisbach, a man-made river with a constant wave attracts many surfers. This city also offers many treasures for art lovers and its museums and galleries reflect how deeply the residents care for the arts.
No matter how you decide to spend your time there, you will be impressed by the historical and modern-day gems the city has to offer. Should you want to discover the nearby places, hire a car in Munich and have an adventure!
Basic info and car hire in Munich
- Location: South-eastern Germany (capital of Bavaria).
- Population 1.4 million people (2014)
- Official language: German.
- Currency: Euro (€).
- Weather: Continental climate. Summers are warm with an average temperature of 18°C / 64°F. Winters are cold with an average temperature around 0°C / 32 °F. Spring and autumn are usually pleasant, but sometimes chilly. May is the wettest month of the year and July is the hottest. Rainstorms are common and arrive quite unexpectedly.
- Holidays in Munich: For public holidays in Germany click here »
- Internet coverage: The free and public wireless M-WLAN is available for an hour and does not require registration. Many hotels, restaurants and cafés offer Wi-Fi as well. Read more here »
- Road conditions: Roads are well maintained and have great connections.
- Car hire in Munich: Prices for hiring a car in Munich are as low as 11€/day in autumn and around 14€/day in winter, spring and summer. Keep in mind that prices fluctuate frequently. To ensure you have the lowest car hire price, make a car booking from 3 to 8 weeks prior to your vehicle collection. Alternatively, it's possible to get a great last minute car hire deal also. Most people pick up their rental at Munich Airport. Find the best car hire deal in Munich!
Driving in Munich
Traffic can be an exhausting experience especially during the peak season, which is anytime from June to August when the weather is perfect and the city is bustling with festivals. If you’re thinking about hiring a car in Munich, you won’t face any complications – car hire deals are very affordable and there are plenty of car hire companies, such as Keddy, Alamo, Enterprise and more to choose from. The downside is that once you have your rental, finding a parking space in the city centre and the more central districts is frustrating. We suggest you leave your hired vehicle in a Park & Ride car park in the outskirts of the city and use public transportation to get to your final destination.
Keep in mind that the maximum BAC level is 0.05% for drivers of private vehicles. There is a Zero Tolerance Law for novice drivers who have held a driving licence less than two years and for young drivers who are less than 21 years of age.
- Age limits: 21 (minimum age may vary according to car hire companies. A Young Driver fee will apply to drivers under 25 years of age. In some cases, in order to hire a car, it is required that a driver has held a driving licence for a minimum of one year).
- International Driving Permit: No. It is not necessary to have an International Driving Permit when hiring a car in Munich, but all car hire agencies recommend that you have one. Please check with your rental agent.
- Additional papers: Identification (passport), a valid driving licence, registration papers and the proof of insurance. (It is advisable to buy insurance at the car hire company in case your policy doesn't cover your insurance while driving in Munich).
- Additional requirements: Warning triangle, first aid kit and hands-free equipment are required if you’re talking on your phone while driving. Reflective vests are recommended.
- Children in the car: Children 3 years and over must be transported in the rear seats of vehicles. A child under 12 years of age and measuring less than 4ft 11in (1.50m), travelling in any type of vehicle must be seated in a child seat or child restraint and is not allowed to ride in the front seat of a car.
- Driving side of the road: Right.
- Lights: Dipped headlights are required at night and during reduced visibility.
- General speed limits: 80mph (130kph) on motorways, 30mph (50kph) in residential areas and 60mph (100kph) elsewhere. Traffic calming zones (Verkehrsberuhigungenzone) (indicated by a sign showing a pedestrian and a child kicking a ball) can be found in residential areas. In such areas you must stop if needed and must not drive more than 4mph (7kph) as children may occupy the entire street.
- Parking suggestions: Finding a vacant spot to park can be somewhat challenging. At times, you may be required to pay for a parking ticket from street parking machines. Other times you may be required to pay for a parking disc, which can be purchased at any petrol station. Parking in front of yellow or red road lines or where a white line is marked is not permitted.
What to see in Munich
Let’s begin at the true heart of Munich, the Marienplatz Square with Old and New Town Hall. The Old Town Hall was built between 1470 and 1480 and sits on the east side of the square. The New Town Hall, done in a neo-Gothic style dominates its north side. Climb the building’s tower and enjoy the view of the city.
For more breath taking views walk up the 299 steps of the Church of St. Peter, the city’s oldest parish church, and enjoy the view from the church’s spire. By law, no building in Munich can surpass the height of the towers of the Church of Our Lady (99m), so the skyline and view provides the perfect, uninterrupted Bavarian view as far as the eye can see. On a clear day you can even see the Alps! A visit to the aforementioned Church of Our Lady is a must. It is one of Munich's most important landmarks. Step inside and visit the tomb of Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian and the devil's footprint.
Our favourite spots
The Victual's Market (Viktualienmarkt)
- The Victual's Market (Viktualienmarkt): This is Munich's most popular open-air market - whatever you can think of, they have it! This is also the site of folklore festivals. Read more »
The Victual's Market
This is Munich's most popular open-air market. Whatever you can think of, Victualienmarkt has it! This is also the site of folklore festivals.
Locals prefer to call it Stachus after Eustachius Föderl, who ran a popular inn and biergarten on this square in the 18th century. The Karlstor city gate is also positioned on this square. Admire one of the three preserved city gates that protected the city during the Middle Ages. A fascinating look into the past. Two other significant buildings located on the square are the neo-baroque Justizpalast, or the Palace of Justice, and the first post-war department store in Munich, the Kaufhof.
Cars can be parked a minute away at Karlsplatz garage.
For more parking suggestions click here »
This is the busiest promenade you’ll find there, and its shops and restaurants will definitely entice you to take a stroll. The street runs from Marienplatz to Karlsplatz/Stachus.
Vehicle can be parked two minutes away at City-Parkhaus am Färbergraben garage.
For more parking suggestions click here »
Hotels in Munich
Hotel Am Nockherberg
This centrally located hotel has a charming courtyard garden and elegant rooms. Parking is available.
This hotel is less than 2 km from Marienplatz and other city centre attractions. The rooms are cosy, their bar is open from 7.00 a.m. until 1.00 a.m., and they offer parking.
Elegant, classic hotel with available parking for 18€ per day. It’s positioned 15 minutes away from Marienplatz by foot.
Drive your rental car around Munich
If you’re up for it, and if you hire a vehicle in Munich, you can explore more captivating places. The first one on our list is the impressive fairy tale castle, Neuschwanstein, about 75 mi (120 km) southwest of Munich. It’s so enchanting that Walt Disney used it as a model for Sleeping Beauty’s Castle! Head north and visit Bamberg, known as the Little Venice, a rough 142 mi (230 km) north of Munich. The Regnitz River that runs through Bamberg and the Old Town Hall adds a special atmosphere to the city. Another beautiful place towards north is the medieval village Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a 155 mi (250 km) long ride, with half–timbered houses, cobbled streets and a festive Christmas market. If you want to change direction, pick east! About 93 mi (150 km) that way you can visit the charming Berchtesgaden and explore the Old Town, discover the Salt Mine, or visit the Oktoberfest’s beer hall. Why stick to Germany only, when you can go further! Salzburg, Austria, known for the movie The Sound of Music is only 15 mi (25 km) up the road from Berchtesgaden! Take a photo of at least one of the many castles and palaces, like the Hohensalzburg Fortress, have a look at the house Mozart lived in, and visit the Mönchstein Castle. Before you cross the border, make sure you notify the car rental agency and ask for any additional information.
Where to eat, drink and party in Munich
Bavarian food is heavy on meat and dumplings (usually made from flour, bread and potatoes). It is safe to say that the Bavarian cuisine is very rich, filling and doughy – exactly what is needed when sampling German beer.
Looking for something light? Try the salty pretzels! Yes, they are huge. Or spaetzle, tiny dumplings often served with fried shallots and cheese.
Next is the popular schweinshaxe or a roasted pig knuckle accompanied by a huge potato dumpling. It will sharpen your mind and cleanse your soul! You simply have to try the weisswurst or “white sausage” made from bacon or veal. You can eat it with the aforementioned pretzel or dip it in sweet mustard. Pure heaven! And of course, the snitzel is not to be missed. This classic is a boneless meat coated in breadcrumbs and cooked in such a way that it will bring a whole new meaning to your life! And for dessert? Germans love their Kaffeeklatsch (basic translation: gossip over coffee and cake) and finding a café that serves strong coffee and tasty cakes won't be a challenge.
Major events and festivals in Munich
There are a myriad of open-air, fancy-dress balls on Marienplatz. Everything from classical gala balls to the famous dance of the market women accompanied by great music!
A hundred venues performing everything from classical to rock music in one awesome night! A great opportunity to listen to diverse music for a very low price.
Theresienwiese turns into a little Octoberfest with beer tents and fun rides and an overall lively program.
A two-day celebration of the foundation of the city of Munich taking place between Marienplatz and Odeonsplatz.
Classical Music on OdeonsplatzJuly
A two-day open air classical music concert is one of the annual summer highlight.
Christikindlmarktmid-November to mid-December
This Christmas market has 150 stalls which are selling everything from artsy decorations to sweet mulled wine. Snack on their roasted almonds, baked apples or ginger bread called Lebkuchen while you're staring at the beautifully lit and 30 meters tall Christmas tree.
Oktoberfestmid-September to early October
This is the real deal right here. Every year the Theresienwiese hosts the world's largest beer festival for 16 days. Parades, food, music, folkloric dancing for anyone!
Tollwood Summer Festivallate June to mid-July
Tent shows in Olympiapark feature international performers, live music, theatre, food and much more. If you miss this festival in the summer, you always have the Tollwood Winter Festival in mid-November to the end of December.