Frequently overshadowed by Berlin and only acknowledged for its Oktoberfest, Munich has much more than meets the eye. Proud to offer something across all twelve months of the year, the city is arguably one of the best year-round destinations in Europe.
Whether you wish to soak in the winter beauty and enjoy the off-season months or flock to the city during some of the busiest festivals when the weather is nice, Munich never stops enchanting travelers with its German magic.
If you’re having a hard time deciding when the best time to visit Munich is, we’re here to help you make up your mind. But before that, let’s cover some basics first.
Why You Should Visit Munich in 2023
… and why not Berlin, Cologne, or Hamburg? Because Munich is just that unique and has truly German vibes that no other city quite captures — here’s why:
- The city is both rich in urban attractions and plenty of parks. You can spend the day soaking in the sun in Hofgarten, the city’s most central park, completely forgetting you’re in a city, and then go on a city tour and observe historic buildings and join the city buzz.
- If visiting royal palaces and stunning castles sounds exciting, then Munich and the nearby region is the right place for you. Head to the Nymphenburg palace, a venue reserved for monarchs’ summer holidays. Other options are Neuschwanstein Castle, the castle which inspired Sleeping Beauty’s castle, and Residenz, the largest city palace in the country.
- Munich is home to some spectacular architectural buildings, such as Asamkirche, New Town Hall, Old Town Halls, St. Peter’s Church, Frauenkirche, Holy Ghost Church, Justizpalat, and so on.
- Care for some museum hopping? Try the following museums: Residenz, BMW Museum, Alte Pinakothek, BMW Welt, Deutsches Museum, Glyptothek, and FC Bayern Museum (if you’re a fan, of course).
- Foodies can enjoy traditional food in Munich such as pretzels, Obazda, Weisswurst, Semmelknödel, Leberknödelsuppe, Bayerischer Leberkäse, Schweinshaxe, Schweinsbraten, and Käsespätzle.
- No trip to Munich should go without paying Viktualienmarkt a visit. Easily one of the best attractions in the city, this authentic market is known for its excellent food quality, cute souvenirs, and the Maypole.
- Did you know you can surf in Munich? Known as the best city location in the world for river surfing, the Eisbach River is situated right at the entrance of Englischer Garten. Its waves make surfers and curious first-timers flock to the area and try their surfing skills.
- Spending time in some of the local beer gardens is a special experience on its own. Beer in Munich is more than just a beverage; it’s part of the overall culture. Once you’re there, you can choose among Weissbier, Helles, Pils, Dunkles, and Märzen, to name a few.
- Very few people know Munich is home to one of the oldest pedestrian areas (Fussgängerzone). Opened in 1972 for the very first time, Munich’s Fussgängerzone is said to be the first carefree shopping area in the entire country.
- Five very popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites are a short trip away — Bamberg, Blaubeuren, Regensburg, Augsburg, and Wieskirche.
Overall Best Time to Visit Munich
The overall best time to visit Munich is in summer (June–August). Summer temperatures here range between 51°F and 74°F.
It’s the absolute prime season for Munich — there’s an influx of tourists thanks to the city’s lovely weather and fun events to attend. Booking your stay in advance is highly advisable at this time.
Summer activities in Munich can vary from cooling off in the Isar River, unwinding in an open-air pool, and picnicking in the parks to relaxing in a “biergarten” and touring the famous Botanical Graden. Open-air concerts and outdoor cinemas are quite popular at this time, too.
For a much better cultural experience, consider attending June’s Munich Film Festival, attracting both local and guest film enthusiasts. Founded in 1983, the Munich Film Festival is one of the most significant film events in the entire country, coming right after the Berlinale.
Yet another popular event, June’s Tollwood features different content each time it runs, trying to unite music, cabaret, and the arts with “ecological consciousness.”
Another June festival, StuStaCulum is a theatre festival in Studentenstadt. Then there’s the Munich Opera Festival (June/July), with a high-quality opera repertoire, premieres, and an international audience.
Like elsewhere in the world, Munich also has its own June Pride Week, uniting the LGBT populace. This event goes hand in hand with July’s Christopher Street Day, the largest celebration of this kind in Bavaria.
Lastly, Munich is not without its folk events, either, and Kocherball, hands down the largest folk dance event, won’t disappoint. Kocherball is all about waltzes, polkas, and having a lot of fun.
If folk events resonate with you, consider Jakobidult (July/August) as well. Promising plenty of German beer, food stalls, and funfair rides, Jakobidult is an event that offers entertainment for everyone.
Cheapest Time to Visit Munich
If you’re on a budget, consider visiting Munich in November. This post-Oktoberfest and pre-Christmas month is the ideal limbo period for travelers who not only wish to find more affordable hotel rates and airfare deals but also steer away from tourist crowds.
That said, with lows of 32°F and highs of 44°F, November weather is much worse than September or October, so get ready for a rainy fall month, a lot of wind, and chilly temperatures.
November is also ideal if you’re interested in trying a special kind of Bavarian sport — curling. Involving both skills and a neat strategy, curling is usually played in Bayernpark, Olympiapark, and Nymphenburg Palace.
November may be gloomy at times, but toward the end of the month, Christmas markets are set up, making the overall atmosphere much more entertaining.
If you wish to spend more time indoors, consider attending the Munich Literature Festival.
Least Busy Time to Visit Munich
The least busy time to visit Munich is either in spring (March–May) or in fall (September–October).
Being shoulder seasons, spring and fall allow visitors to engage in plenty of recreational without breaking a sweat or fighting large crowds. Be it cycling in the city, barbecuing in the parks, flying kites, or simply sightseeing, you’ll find Munich highly enjoyable.
Spring visitors soak in the lush landscape and the blossoming flowers; fall guests get to marvel at the stunning foliage and see the golden side of the Bavarian capital.
If you come in spring, expect average temperatures between 32°F and 64°F. Those who visit in the fall should get ready for temperatures hovering around 66°F during the day and 40°F at night.
Although generally low season months, certain events such as Oktoberfest make specific periods much busier than usual. Attracting a plethora of visitors each year, Oktoberfest not only leads to crowded streets but also high accommodation rates and inflated airfare prices.
However, if attending Oktoberfest (September/October) is on your list, by all means, go for it, as it’s an absolutely spectacular experience every beer lover should have at least once in their lives.
Other popular events during these shoulder months include Starkbierzeit (March), another beer event, Auer Dult (April), combining a market and folk festival in one, Maidult (May), both the largest and the oldest Munich-based spring festival, and Stroke Art Fair (April/May), the city’s number one boutique art fair.
There’s also Kirchweihdult, the third and last Auer Dult of the year (October). Lastly, be on the lookout for the Lange Nacht der Münchner Museen. Held annually since 2005, in the second half of October, all museums and galleries can be visited for a symbolic entrance fee.
Worst Time to Visit Munich
Weather-wise, winters in Munich (December–February) can be dreary, cold (the temperatures range between 25°F and 40°F), and uncomfortable, especially for travelers hoping to enjoy the city in all its glory.
However, Christmas makes everything better — the mulled wine and holiday decorations are here to help, too! Add a bit of snow in the mix, and you have yourself a little winter haven.
The best Christmas markets are in Marienplatz, the city’s main square, but if you’re up for something more unusual, check out the Pink Christmas Market, hosted by the local LGBTIQ+ community.
Those looking for winter sports fun can easily access more than a few slopes via train — Brauneck Mountain and Garmisch-Partenkirchen are in close proximity. That said, visitors keen to stay in Munich can still find warmth in some of the city’s local museums, galleries, and beer gardens.
If ice skating is your jam, consider Stachus Prinzregentenstadion or the Münchner Eiszauber rink. You also have Munich’s Luitpoldpark and Westpark transforming into a sledding haven once there’s enough snow.
January and February are much less dynamic as the holiday festivities end. Also, many businesses are closed after the Christmas break. That said, there are still engaging events happening at this time, bringing some liveliness to the city, such as Fashing (February).
Featuring parades, fun, and costumes, Fashing promises fun for the whole family.
It’s a February event centered around cruising, camping, water sports, and wellness. By the looks of it all, we dare say winters in Munich don’t sound that bad at all, but they can never compete with the summer sun and greenery if you ask us.
Things to Consider
Apart from the best time to visit Munich, here is what else you should keep in mind:
- If you’re an American citizen, you don’t need a visa to enter Germany for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period.
- Make sure you have cash with you at all times. While most businesses in Munich accept cards, many smaller shops or bakeries still operate on a cash-only policy. It’s not uncommon to come across coin-only machines on public transport too.
- Don’t be negligent when it comes to buying tickets on public transport — random checks are frequent, and the fines can be quite hefty.
- Budget-friendly tip: Purchase the Munich Card and City Pass and save big.
- If you forget/lose something during your public transport ride, there are a couple of ways in which you can try to retrieve your items. First, you can stop by the Munich Transport Company (MVG) Lost and Found Center; second, you can look for them online by following this link.
- We don’t recommend renting a car in Munich — not only is it unnecessary, but the traffic is also bad.
- There’s free M-WLAN service at a wide range of locations in the city, allowing you to browse the Internet for free.
- If you fancy eating in a specific restaurant, book a table in advance, especially during weekends. Tipping is usually around 10-15%.
- Most stores in Germany remain closed on Sundays — this is very strict, so if you need to buy groceries, make sure to do so in advance to avoid unpleasant situations.
- As Munich is actually somewhat of a tourist hotspot, many speak English very well. However, knowing basic German goes a long way, but remember that the Bavarian accent can be somewhat challenging.
- Pack in layers, as German weather can get unpredictable. Raincoats are recommended even if you visit in summer, as occasional heavy rains accompanied by thunderstorms aren’t unheard of.
- Jaywalking is illegal in Germany, and you may even end up with a fine. Even if you don’t, you won’t be able to escape the judgemental stares from other pedestrians, especially if there are also children nearby.
- Munich is considered to be one of Germany’s safest cities, but keep your valuables safe at all times and use common sense, as you would everywhere.
- Get travel insurance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few frequently asked questions to help you find the best time to visit Munich:
How many days do you need to visit Munich?
We think spending at least three days in Munich is enough to stroll the city, visit the parks, attend a cultural event, try some local food, and see the most important points of interest.
Is Munich an expensive city to visit?
Munich is one of the most expensive cities in Germany — for a three-day trip, you’ll need $900 if you’re going on your own, $1520 if you have a travel buddy, and $1970 if you’re visiting as a family of four.
Hotel prices in the center of Munich range from $200 to $495 (on average, $250 per night). Set aside $115 per day per person for eating out and public transportation.
Keep in mind that these figures are based on previous visitors’ data — always look for the latest budget info before heading somewhere, including Munich.
What area of Munich is best to stay in?
1. Aldstat, if you’re a first-time visitor
2. Haidhausen, if you hope to explore the city’s nightlife
3. Nymphenburg, if you’re on a family holiday
4. Ludwigsvorstadt, if you’re on a budget
5. Sending, if you wish to engage in recreational activities
Is Munich better than Berlin?
Berlin is a cheaper and much more budget-friendly option; Munich has a much higher standard of living and is pricier. Also, they differ in terms of architecture, size, and overall vibe — if you’re looking for a chill city and get immersed in the Cold War history, pick Berlin; if you want a city that’s aesthetically much more pleasing to look at, go for Munich.
Is Munich a walkable city?
Yes, Munich is a walkable city. You can easily visit the old town, nearby areas, most city parks., and even the main shopping area. However, to truly see most of the city, you can take advantage of the highly developed public transportation system, consisting of buses, U-Bahn (subway), S-Bahn (urban rail), and trams.
So, What Is the Best Time to Visit Munich?
|👍 Best Time to Visit||June to August|
|💲 Cheapest Time to Visit||November|
|🗓️ Least Busy Time to Visit||March to May or September to October|
|👎 Worst Time to Visit||December to February|
- The overall best time to visit Munich is in the summertime (June–August). The weather’s lovely, the festivals are in full swing, and exploring the outdoors is enjoyable. Make sure to book your stay in advance, though.
- The least expensive month to visit Munich is November. Want to enjoy some reduced hotel rates and attractive flight deals? November is your ideal month, then.
- Care to stay away from the peak season crowds? Consider going to Munich either in spring (March–May) or in fall (September–October). Some of the best events also take place at this time, so pick your preferred month based on what you’d like to attend.
- Avoid going to Munich in winter (December–February) — it’s cold and unpleasant for sun-seekers. If you don’t mind the cold and wish to join the holiday festivities, however, winters in Munich can be a magical fairy tale.
On the whole, Munich is a city that has preserved its traditional culture, but at the same has embraced contemporaneity — you won’t go wrong regardless of when you visit, as the city’s full of surprises year-round.