Day trips from Munich are an underrated aspect of the popular German city. Munich alone is impressive, but it’s also an amazing home base for exploring the rest of Germany’s Bavaria region, and nearby countries like Austria.
You could easily spend your entire time in Munich visiting landmarks in the city, but if you want a taste of even more culture, architecture, and nature, setting aside a couple days to explore some of these day trips from Munich is a must.
Due to some of my own time constraints, I was only able to visit Neuschwanstein Castle, Bamberg, Nuremberg, Oberammergau, and Salzburg. The rest of these day trips come highly recommended by friends, locals, and other travelers.
Click below to find some of the best day trips from Munich:
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Distance from Munich: Approximately 2.5 hours driving, 3 hours and 20 minutes by train.
How to get to Rothenburg ob der Tauber from Munich by train: Starting at the Munich Ostbahnhof (Ost) station, take Deutsche Bahn train EC 114 to Augsburg Hauptbahnhof. At Augsburg Hbf, transfer to the RE 57042 train. Get off the train at Steinach, transferring to the RB 58909 train before finally arriving at the Rothenburg ob der Tauber station.
Bavaria’s medieval towns and dramatic architecture are exactly why I fell in love with the region (because who doesn’t want to feel like they’ve taken a step back into a fantasyland?). Rothenburg ob der Tauber is the embodiment of that.
Located in northern Bavaria, half-timbered houses line the cobblestone streets of this picturesque town.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber’s Plönlein (think pretty intersection-meets-small plaza) is by far what the town is best known for. The Plönlein is one of the most famous images for Germany’s Romantic Road, a scenic road running through Bavaria’s charming towns. I highly recommend driving it!
Stop into St. Jakob’s Church to see a beautiful example of German woodcarving before dining at Zur Höll (“To Hell”), a traditional Bavarian restaurant whose origins date back to AD 900. The restaurant is cash-only, and you will need a reservation, but I’ve been told the restaurant is very worth it for rich Bavarian fare, Franconian wine, and a potential glimpse of the medieval night watchmen.
If you decide to stay the night, Rothenburg’s Night Watchman tours are an incredibly popular choice for learning more about the town’s history and lifestyle in the Middle Ages.
Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site
Distance from Munich: 25 minutes by train or driving.
How to get to Dachau from Munich by train: Take the S2 train from Munich’s Central Station towards Dachau/Petershausen.
At most landmarks in Germany, the country’s cruel World War II history is glossed over or altogether omitted (take Residenz in Munich for example, which is mostly restoration work as it was destroyed due to World War II bombing, yet makes no mention of this until a small, final mention at the end of your visit).
Visitors can pay tribute to those lost during the Holocaust at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, where tourists from around the world gather to reflect on the grim reality of Hitler’s regime.
KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau was one of the first Nazi concentration camps built, opening in March 1933. Closing in April 1945, the Dachau was the longest-running concentration camp, housing over 200,000 prisoners.
This is understandably a somber, emotional place to visit. Displays include original images of the camp and the horrors that took place there—these may not be appropriate for children.
Today, the concentration camp is a memorial site and museum, open from 9 am to 5 pm, daily. Admission at Dachau Concentration Camp is free, though if you’re driving, you’ll need to pay to park.
Distance from Munich: 1 hour and 45 minutes driving, approximately three hours by train.
How to get to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich by train: Take Deutsche Bahn train RB 68 from Munich’s Central Station (München Hauptbahnhof) to Füssen. At Füssen, transfer to Bus 73 or 78, getting off at Hohenschwangau. Detailed instructions for driving or taking the train here.
Tucked away in the Bavarian Alps, Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most popular day trips from Munich. The popular tourist attraction was built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria in the 19th century.
If you’re thinking that Neuschwanstein Castle looks like something out of an actual fairy tale, you’re not alone. Neuschwanstein Castle is said to be the inspiration behind Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle, and Disney World’s Cinderella Castle.
Make sure you visit the castle early—shortly after opening, it fills up with large buses of tourists.
While you’re in the area, you can visit nearby Hohenschwangau Castle and the Alpsee, or stop by Oberammergau on your way back to Munich.
Find out exactly how to visit this dreamy castle in Germany with my guide on how to visit Neuschwanstein Castle.
Discover day trip tours from Munich by clicking below:
Distance from Munich: 1 hour and 15 minutes driving, one hour on the train.
How to get to Chiemsee from Munich by train: Take one of several direct Deutsche Bahn trains to Prien Am Chiemsee departing from the Munich Ost station. When you reach Prien Am Chiemsee, a 15-minute taxi may be needed to reach your final destination at the lake.
Formed 10,000 years ago at the end of the Ice Age, Chiemsee is a stunning freshwater lake nicknamed “the Bavarian Sea.”
The lake’s main island, Herreninsel, or Men’s Island, is covered in trails for hiking and is home to Herrenchiemsee Palace. Water sports and bike tours are popular at the lake, as is just relaxing on the beach. In the winter, ice skating, cross-country skiing, and tobogganing take over.
Chiemsee’s ease of access and close proximity to Munich makes it one of the best day trips from Munich for those wanting to experience both culture and nature. The abundance of activities also makes it a good option for families looking to entertain kids.
Herrenchiemsee New Palace
Distance from Munich: 1 hour and 20 minutes driving, approximately 1.5 hours on the train.
How to get to Herrenchiemsee Palace from Munich by train: Once reaching Prien Am Chiemsee via direct train from Munich Hbf, walk 30 minutes or call a taxi to the Prien/Stock pier. During the summer, a special Chiemsee train also runs to the pier from the station. At the pier, take a boat to Herreninsel. The schedule can be found here.
As mentioned above, Neues Schloss Herrenchiemsee is located on Chiemsee’s Herreninsel island. Unlike many of the palaces in and near Munich, however, Herrenchiemsee Palace was never finished.
Built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, the castle was modeled after Versailles in France. Visitors can explore both the interior and exterior of the palace from 9 am to 6 pm, daily. Don’t let the palace’s unfinished history fool you—Schloss Herrenchiemsee is often regarded as one of the grandest palaces near Munich.
Neues Schloss Herrenchiemsee sometimes accommodates special events, altering its hours. Current hours can be found on the palace’s website. Like many of Germany’s castles, admission should be purchased in advance online to guarantee entry, though it can be purchased onsite in a pinch.
Pair Herrenchiemsee Palace with boating and water sports at Chiemsee for a laid-back day.
Distance from Munich: 1 hour and 15 minutes driving, 1 hour and 50 minutes by train.
How to get to Oberammergau from Munich by train: Take Deutsche Bahn train RB 6 from München Hauptbahnhof towards Garmisch-Partenkirchen. At the Murnau station, transfer to Bus EV towards Oberammergau.
This charming Bavarian town covered in Lüftlmalerei (Bavarian painted buildings) is by far best known for making a vow to the Lord Himself back in 1633. Oberammergau promised that they would perform a Passion Play every 10 years if the bubonic plague stopped killing their people.
The town has upheld its promise, performing the Oberammergau Passionsspiele each decadal year. I happened to visit during a year that the play was being performed. The streets were absolutely flooded with tourists visiting to catch a glimpse of the six-hour-long spectacle when the play was on intermission.
Here’s the thing: as famous as the Passion Play is, you’re missing a lot if that’s the only reason you’re visiting this eye candy-filled village. The beautifully painted buildings will have you wanting to wander for hours. You’ll find yourself dodging Into all the woodcarving souvenir and Christmas stores celebrating the town’s traditions.
We met the nicest shopkeeper in Oberammergau at Toni Baur – Holzschnitzereien & Krippen aller Art. When I tried paying for my ornament, he told me no charge. It might sound crazy, but the kind gesture was one of the moments that made Bavaria feel so special.
Oberammergau is a short drive from Neuschwanstein Castle, Ettal Abbey, and Linderhof Palace. Pair all four destinations together for the ultimate day trip from Munich! Several tours offer the option to explore them all.
Read more about how to visit in my guide to the best things to do in Oberammergau.
Distance from Munich: 1 hour and 15 minutes driving, 2 hours and 30 minutes by train.
How to get to Linderhof Palace from Munich by train: Follow train instructions to Oberammergau. After reaching Oberammergau, transfer to Deutsche Bahn Bus 9622 to Linderhof.
Linderhof Palace, also known as Schloss Linderhof is a small palace just a 15-minute drive away from Oberammergau. Of King Ludwig II of Bavaria’s three palaces, Linderhof Palace is the smallest and the only one he saw completed.
The petite palace’s main appeal is its beautiful gardens, designed by Court Garden Director Carl von Effner.
Visits to the palace’s interior are only allowed as part of a guided tour, available every five to ten minutes. Tours are available in both German and English and last about 25 minutes.
Due to Linderhof Palace’s small size, I would only visit if you’re pairing the palace with other nearby attractions like Neuschwanstein Castle, Oberammergau, and Ettal Abbey.
Distance from Munich: 2.5 hours driving, approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes by train.
How to get to Bamberg from Munich by train: Several direct trains are available from München Hbf including DB Fernverkehr AG ICE800 and DB Fernverkehr AG ICE708.
Bamberg is the lovely, preserved town in Bavaria I would have never thought to visit. I’m glad we did—the historic town was the perfect way to escape the city and get a glimpse of Bavarian tradition.
Located where the Regnitz and Main rivers meet, Bamberg is known for its landmark Altes Rathaus (town hall), 11th to 19th-century architecture, being the center of Enlightenment in Germany during the 18th century, and having the largest intact city wall in Europe.
The medieval town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has also gained notoriety in the beer world for the Rauchbier at smoked beer brewery and Bavarian restaurant, Schlenkerla, die historische Rauchbierbrauerei.
Bamberg has a wonderfully cozy feel, perfect for wandering with no plans whatsoever and taking in river views. Stay a night to truly experience the city.
Distance from Munich: Approximately two hours driving, approximately two hours by train.
How to get to Innsbruck from Munich by train: Take Meridian, BOB, & BRB train RB54 from München Ostbahnhof towards Kufstein. At Kufstein, transfer to ÖBB line RJX towards Feldkirch. Get off at Innsbruck Hbf.
All that glitters isn’t gold in Innsbruck—it’s crystal. Ah yes, the Swarovski Kristallwelten, an eccentric museum for the famed crystal seller is located just outside of Innsbruck in neighboring Wattens.
The capital of Austria’s Tyrol state, Innsbruck is best known not for its proximity to Swarovski but to the Alps and winter sports.
Innsbruck’s historic center boasts beautiful mountain views on its own, but tourists visiting the city should not miss the opportunity to get into the Alps for even better views from the Nordkette Cable Car.
Designed by famed contemporary architect, Zaha Hadid, the Nordkettenbahnen soars 2,256 meters above the Alps. Several ticket options are available based on how far up you want to go on the cable car. The Nordkettenbahnen departs from Innsbruck’s city center and reaches the top of the mountain in 45 minutes to an hour.
Distance from Munich: Approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes driving or by train.
How to get to Dachau from Munich by train: Take Austrian Railways (ÖBB) train RE5 or Deutsche Bahn (DB) train IC 461 from München Hbf to Salzburg Hbf.
Salzburg is best known for being the birthplace of Mozart. You can visit his birthplace and museum while there or can catch a beautiful Mozart dinner featuring a live orchestra.
Before hearing the sounds of Mozart’s symphonies, you can also go on Salzburg’s Sound of Music tour for a little film tourism. You’ll visit all the original shooting locations for the Sound of Music movie, including Mirabell Palace, Nonnberg Convent, Schloss Leopoldskron, Hellbrunn Palace, Basilica St. Michael (Mondsee Abbey), and the gazebo where Maria and Baron von Trapp first kissed.
Admittedly, I wasn’t all that impressed with Salzburg when we visited (I found day trips from Munich in Germany more interesting), but the city is ultra-popular with tourists visiting Munich.
Salzburg is worth checking out for the day if you have one to kill. Otherwise, it’s a good stop if you’re driving from Munich to nearby Slovenia or Croatia. I would not spend more than one day in Salzburg.
If you’re driving to Salzburg, make sure to buy a vignette at a gas station in Germany before crossing the border, or you could end up with a hefty fine. Your vignette must be displayed on the car’s window.
Find Munich day trip tours below:
Distance from Munich: Approximately two hours driving, 2.5 hours by train.
How to get to Bamberg from Munich by train: From the München Ost station, take the train to Freilassing Station in Salzburg. In Salzburg, transfer to Bayerische Regiobahn train BRB S4, getting off at Berchtesgaden Hbf.
To foreigners, Berchtesgaden may be most recognizable as being home to Hitler’s command center and underground bunkers during World War II, and to the Eagle’s Nest (Kehlsteinhaus), a former Nazi retreat given to Hitler as a gift. Acknowledging the town’s dark Nazi history, the Dokumentation Obersalzberg museum stands to educate visitors interested in learning more about the era. Visitors can tour the underground bunkers, or catch a glimpse of the beautiful view from the Eagle’s Nest, which is now a restaurant.
Present day, The National Park of Berchtesgaden is a beautiful natural area in the Bavarian Alps with hiking, skiing, and snowboarding nearby. At the base of the mountains is Konigsee, a beautiful blue lake.
While you’re there, try windbeutels, a large German cream puff dessert popular in the area. The indulgent dessert is sometimes made even sweeter by being drizzled in chocolate syrup.
Schönau am Königssee
Distance from Munich: Approximately two hours driving, approximately three hours by train.
How to get to Schönau am Königssee from Munich by train: Follow instructions for reaching Berchtesgaden by train. Once at Berchtesgaden Hbf, transfer to the Berchtesgaden Busbanhof, taking Bus 843 towards Berchtesgaden Zentrum. Get off at Schön Klinik Bgl.
Don’t plan separate day trips from Munich to visit Schönau am Königssee and Berchtesgaden. This rich blue lake is located at the foot of Berchtesgaden, nestled between the Alps.
Schönau am Königssee is among the popular day trips from Munich for travelers seeking to get outdoors. You can take a boat tour of the lake, or go hiking nearby. If you’re visiting during the winter, call the Tourist Information of Schönau am Königssee to see if the Ice Chapel (Eiskapelle) is accessible.
Distance from Munich: 1 hour and 40 minutes driving, 1 hour and 10 minutes on the train.
How to get to Nuremberg from Munich by train: Take one of several direct regional trains from Munich Hbf to Nuremberg Hbf.
Though Nuremberg does have a historic Old Town filled with beautiful structures, the city is probably best known to the international community for the Nuremberg trials following World War II.
We visited for this reason on our way to Bamberg. The Memoriam Nuremberg Trials allows visitors to view the courtroom where the trials took place, also including a small museum detailing the specifics of what took place both inside and outside of the courtroom as Nazi war criminals took the stand.
The memorial is located in the Palace of Justice (Justizpalast). Keep in mind that Courtroom 600, the courtroom used for the Nuremberg trials, is still in use today. If the courtroom is being used for a trial, you won’t be able to view it during your visit.
Tickets can be purchased onsite, and include a self-guided audio tour. Despite visiting during Oktoberfest, the Palace of Justice wasn’t busy at all.
Outside of the Justizpalast, you can also visit the Imperial Palace of Nuremberg, and the Germanisches Nationalmuseum to get a real education on German culture and art.
Nuremberg is relatively modern overall and is a large city rather than a charming small town. If you’re short on time or only able to take one or two day trips from Munich, I’d prioritize destinations like Oberammergau or Bamberg, unless you’re a history or religion buff—the Protestant Reformation was accepted in Nuremberg, and seven years later, the Nuremberg Religious Peace was signed there.
Distance from Munich: 1 hour and 20 minutes driving, approximately 1.5 hours on the train.
How to get to Regensburg from Munich by train: Take one of several direct trains from München Hbf to Regensburg Hbf.
At the meeting of the Danube, Naab, and Regen rivers lies Regensburg. This charming town is comprised of Roman, Romanesque, and Gothic architecture, earning its old town UNESCO World Heritage status.
Wander the city’s narrow lanes and take in views of the city’s iconic Old Stone Bridge, St. Peter’s Cathedral, and Gothic town hall that are remnants of the city’s former status as a center of the Holy Roman Empire.
Distance from Munich: Two hours driving, approximately 2.5 hours on the train.
How to get to Passau from Munich by train: Several nonstop trains are available between Munich Hbf and Passau Hbf.
Also known as Dreiflüssestadt and Three Rivers City, Passau is where the Danube, Inn, and Ilz rivers meet on the Austria-Germany border. The town is a common port city for luxury cruise line Viking River Cruises and is one of the top day trips from Munich for musically inclined tourists and those looking to explore baroque architecture.
Passau is best known for St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a beautiful onion-domed church that boasts one of the world’s largest pipe organs. The decadent, baroque church is a sight to behold on its own, but for musicians, the appeal doesn’t end with the mosaic roof and stunning frescoes. St. Stephen’s pipe organ has a whopping 17,974 pipes.
Perched over the city is Veste Oberhaus, a hilltop fortress. Built in the 13th century, the fortress is now a museum and observation deck. Visitors can view exhibitions from the Middle Ages to the present day to learn more about Passau and the surrounding area.
Tips for Taking Day Trips from Munich
Before you head on one of these interesting day trips from Munich, make sure you’re prepared. Here are a few tips for successfully booking and taking a Munich day trip:
1. Book your day trips from Munich in advance
Munich is a frequently visited city for its central location in Europe. As a result, popular day trips get crowded and booked fast, especially during peak seasons like the summer and Oktoberfest.
Some excursions require payment at the door, but many, like Schloss Neuschwanstein (or any castle near Munich), allow booking online. Large tour buses often show up at popular landmarks and cause long ticket lines, or for tickets to sell out.
For example, booking a tour of the inside of Schloss Neuschwanstein is timed. Even if you show up at opening, tours for the day are often sold out or are not available until several hours later.
The same goes for trains—tickets for regional train systems like Deutsche Bahn or ÖBB can be booked in advance online. It would be a letdown to plan a day trip and have to cancel because of a lack of transportation.
2. Purchase a Bayern Ticket
Taking the train for your day trips from Munich? Buy a Bayern Ticket to save money.
Online and at any DB ticket machine, Bayern Tickets (Bavaria Tickets) are available for just €27. The ticket grants you unlimited train and bus rides within Bavaria for a day (9 am to 3 am the next day for Bayern Ticket, 6 pm to 6 am the next day with Bayern Ticket Nacht).
This includes local train rides within Munich, and regional rides to cities like Füssen for Neuschwanstein Castle, and Salzburg, even though it’s in Austria. Basically, if Deutsche Bahn goes there and the location is near Munich, it’s covered!
Here’s the thing, that €27 is just the cost for one person. You’ll save even more if you’re traveling as a group. You can travel with up to five people on a single ticket. Just add an additional €9 per person to the €27 base fare for 2nd class travel. First-class Bayern Tickets start at €39.50 with a €11 charge per additional person.
Regional train fares in Germany can add up. This is usually the most cost-efficient way to use the train for day trips from Munich.
3. Pay attention to your train station
Regional trains in Munich typically depart from München Hauptbahnhof (Munich Central Station) or München Ostbahnhof (Munich East Station).
These train stations are not close together. Before departing on your adventure, double-check that you’re going to the correct station and plan your travel time accordingly.
4. Dress for the weather
Munich isn’t exactly known for its stellar weather. When I visited the city for Oktoberfest, it was cold and rainy during the entire trip!
5. Wear comfortable shoes
You might be surprised to know that some of Munich’s top day trips require a little more rugged walking than a stroll in the park.
For example, visiting Neuschwanstein Castle requires a 30-minute walk if you don’t want to pay for a shuttle or horse-drawn carriage. This walk isn’t paved, it’s an uphill dirt trail that gets muddy and slippery when wet.
Even for the darling Bavarian towns, medieval cobblestone streets rule the Altstadt (old town) which are difficult to walk on in uncomfortable footwear.
Bring comfortable walking shoes for your day trips from Munich. For those that are style-minded, a white leather sneaker is a good option for trips that don’t require outdoor activities.
6. Bring a camera
Ask anyone I travel with—I’m the annoying friend holding everyone up with my nonstop photo-taking.
You don’t need to be a photographer or as vigilant in your photo-taking as me to capture some great memories. A phone camera is totally sufficient, especially if you don’t want to be lugging around too much during your day.
For those that want to up their souvenir photo game, my camera of choice is the Sony Alpha A7 IV. I have the previous version of this camera, the Sony Alpha A7 III and love that this camera is mirrorless making it much lighter and easier to travel with than a typical DSLR camera.
Another popular travel camera choice is the GoPro Hero 11. This compact camera is ultra-lightweight and waterproof. It’s also mountable to tons of different tripods, headgear, and chest mounts. If you’re planning on swimming in one of Munich’s lakes or going skiing in the Bavarian Alps, the GoPro Hero 11 could be a great option for you.
Day Trips from Munich: FAQ
Salzburg is a lovely city in Austria but may feel more lowkey and less exciting than Munich. It’s possible to visit the city as a day or weekend trip from Munich if you’re really interested in attractions like a Sound of Music Tour or Mozart dinner. Vsitors who are crunched for time can still fit a lot in during a half-day trip to Salzburg from Munich.
Nuremberg is an easy day trip from Munich. The city is a little over an hour away from the city on the train. If you’re only interested in visiting attractions like the Justizpalast, you may only need a half-day in Nuremberg. If you have a weekend, stop by Nuremberg for a half or full-day trip on your way to Bamberg.
Being on a guided tour is not necessary to visit Dachau. Admission is free and does not need to be booked in advance. The memorial site for the concentration camp is only 25 minutes away from Munich on the train—easy to access without a tour guide. Both guided and audio tours are available at Dachau, but using them is not required.
Looking for more fun things to do in Germany? Discover some of my favorites below:
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