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Munich for families

family travel guide

Family trip to Munich: key takeaways

  • One of Germany's oldest cities
  • Many parks and playgrounds
  • Fantastic range of tours for children
  • Excellent facilities for walking and cycling
  • Great amusement parks nearby
  • Convenient public transport
  • Savings on travel with the CityTourCard and the Bavarian Ticket
  • High quality hotels
  • Excellent connections to other cities and ski resorts


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Family holidays in Munich

Munich is well known to fans of beer, quality cars and good football. But it is not often mentioned as a family holiday destination, and for good reason.

The atmosphere is friendly, museums and attractions abound, transport runs like clockwork and the hotels are really good. And that's not all: Munich has some of the best amusement parks in Germany, and no child can resist them. Find out how to plan a trip that doesn't feel like a mini-break with kids in Munich, when to go and where to take the whole family.

Munich on the map of Germany

Munich is Germany's third largest city and the administrative centre of Bavaria and the administrative district of Upper Bavaria. It is one of the oldest cities in the country and is located in southern Germany on the banks of the River Isar.

The distance from Munich to Berlin is 590 km, to Garmisch-Partenkirchen — 90 km, to Oberstdorf — 170 km, to Salzburg (Austria) — 150 km.

The name Munich is a deriving from the word Munichen in Old High German and Middle High German, meaning "by the monks". In fact, in the VIII century, monks settled near where Munich is. By the middle of the 12th century, the settlement had grown so large that it was granted the status of a city, and 300 years later Munich became the capital of Bavaria.

Munich also has the distinction of being the beer capital of Germany. The annual Oktoberfest having been held since the year 1810 and now attracts 6 million visitors.

Munich for Kids

Munich is sometimes perceived as a transit city, a stopover on the way to the mountains. But even a short sightseeing tour of the city centre while waiting for a transfer will make you want to stay longer.

When planning a holiday in Munich, there are several points of reference. For some, The Munich Residence is the main attraction, for others the famous art galleries, for others the BMW Museum and the official stadium of Bayern Munich football club.

Munich for children has a wonderful toy museum, zoo, aquarium, circus and many other interesting places.

It's not just fun that brings children to Munich. The museums in Bavaria's capital city also appeal to children. Whether it's dinosaur skeletons, Egyptian sarcophagi or ancient trains, it all depends on your child's preferences.

What's more, a trip to the Bavarian capital starts and ends at the airport, where a whole educational programme is organised, from aeroplane watching to a sightseeing tour.

Munich's hotels, on the other hand, have no special facilities for children. Of course, you can relax in your room with your child after a day of sightseeing, but don't expect to find a children's room or pool at the hotel. However, if you are travelling with an infant, a cot will be provided in your room and in some places everything you need to prepare baby food will be provided.

Best time to travel

Munich welcomes visitors all year round. This is reflected in its motto: 'Munich loves you'. That's why Munich's tourist season never ends, although it is particularly busy during the Oktoberfest and Christmas holidays.

It's not a bad idea to plan a holiday with your child during the Oktoberfest. The weather is clearer in autumn than in summer, and the costume parade and fairground rides are as much fun for children as the beer tents are for adults. It is a 16 to 18 day folk festival that runs from mid to late September until around the first Sunday in October.

It's a good idea to visit Munich in December when the Christmas markets open — they're world famous. Marienplatz is full of souvenirs, many of them are created right in front of the customer.

Gingerbread is in the air — traditional pastries in all shapes and sizes are on sale everywhere. There are fun shows and competitions on the square, the most popular of which is the Krampus Run, a traditional carnival costume race. There are also special workshops for children on how to make a gift.

Spring is the best time to visit Munich with an infant. There are relatively few tourists in the city and the days are mild and sunny most of the time. Summer is not the best time to visit, as there are too many tourists and the rain is often heavier than you'd expect on a holiday. For more information on when to visit Munich, see information below.

Weather and climate

Munich has a pleasant climate for travelling. It's not bitterly cold in winter or blisteringly hot in summer, so you can combine it with a winter holiday in the mountains or a summer trip to the lakes.

It's important to bring an umbrella, rain gear and waterproof footwear — it often rains between May and September, with June and July being particularly wet.

May is a pleasant time to go on holiday in Munich. The air warms to between 17°C and 19°C, the young foliage in the parks of Nymphenburg and the English Garden is a feast for the eyes, and only cloudy skies have to be taken for granted.

Temperatures rise to +21°C in June and +23-24°C in July and August. These are averages, and actual temperatures can be as high as +30°C or +15°C. Nights are quite cold, however: in the morning the air cools down to +8-12°C. September usually brings a sudden drop in temperature. The average temperature for the month is +17°C, but be prepared for +10°C. Sometimes the beginning of autumn is surprisingly warm, with temperatures in Munich ranging from +23-24°C.

But don't count on this heat in October. During the day the thermometer reads +10-12°C and at night the temperature drops to 0°C. In November, the first frosts can occur at night, although temperatures during the day reach +7-8°C.

Winter temperatures stay between +2-5°C, with a light frost only in the evening or early morning. Snow is therefore not to be expected: even at Christmas, the city is often drenched in rain. Rarely does Munich experience heavy frost or snow. Spring in Munich is brought by the foehn, a warm breeze from the Alps. Temperatures rise to +8 - 9°C as early as March and +13 - 14°C as late as April.

So when is the best time to visit Munich with children? The relatively warm December with its pre-holiday atmosphere, May-September with the best amusement parks and October with the festival season are ideal for a trip.


The choice of where to stay in Munich with children is hardly influenced by the hotel's cuisine, especially as guests are often only offered breakfast. Lunch and dinner are usually served in ethnic restaurants, with dishes such as roast knuckle of pork with sauerkraut, Munich white sausage, potato salad, Leberkase pâté and the famous Bavarian beer.

German cuisine isn't really suited to children's tables, but Munich has European restaurants, pizzerias and fast-food outlets, so feeding a child is no problem.

Once you've spent some time in the city and are feeling refreshed, take a break in one of the cosy cafés where the kids can enjoy traditional Bavarian sweets: crispy pretzels, German pancakes, fruit-filled doughnuts or even a slice of Prinzregent chocolate cake (layer cake with chocolate filling).

Getting Around

Despite its population of around 1.5 million, Munich is very compact and easy to explore. Many of the sights are centrally located, and the rest are easily accessible by public transport or bicycle.

Munich's public transport system is well known for its punctuality and short distances. Buses and some trams run non-stop, while the underground runs for 3 hours at night and only 2 hours at the weekend.

You'll never spend more than half an hour getting from one point to another, so your child won't get tired on the way to the excursion. Trams, buses, subways and trains are all run by the MVV and are networked, running very smoothly and on time.

The most popular bus route is no. 100, also known as the 'Museum Route'. This bus route takes you past 24 museums in Munich.

The fare depends on how many of the four zones of Munich you're travelling between.

The transport network has four zones: inner white zone (innerarium), Munich XXL (white + green zones), outer districts (green + yellow+ red zones) and entire network (white + green+ yellow+ red zones). It also has 16 rings. For example, if you need to go to Munich Airport from the center, then this is a red zone, which means you need a ticket for all zones (Gesamtnetz) or Airport-City-Day-Ticket

The cheapest ticket, the single ticket, which allows you to travel 4 stops by tram, bus or 2 stops by metro, costs €3.70. Children aged 6 to 14 pay €1.80.

A Streifenkarte for long journeys costs between €3.26 and €16.30 for adults and between €1.78 and €8.90 for children aged 6 to 14. These tickets are valid for between one and four hours from the time of purchase.

It is cheaper to buy a day ticket for one person (from €8.80) or for 5 people (from €17). A day pass for a child costs €3.50.

For active tourists who want to see as many sights as possible, there is the CityTourCard. It gives free travel on Munich's public transport network and significant discounts at museums.

The 24-hour card costs €15.50 for a single person and €24.50 for a group of 2 or 5. You can also buy a CityTourCard valid for 48 hours, 72 hours, 4.5 days or 6 days.

The Bayern-Ticket is available for travel in Munich and throughout Bavaria. It entitles you to travel on all public transport except the S-Bahn.

Such a ticket costs €27 for 1 person, €36-63 for 2-5 people. Children under 5 travel free. It is useful that the ticket is valid on suburban trains going to neighbouring federal states and even to Austria (Salzburg).

A taxi from the airport to the city center is usually around € 50, the standard fare is €2.1 per kilometre plus basic fee €4.8. There is an additional charge for luggage.

It is not advisable to drive around the city. Traffic in Munich is heavy, congestion is common, parking is tight and cars are not allowed in the city centre.

However, you can get around Munich by bicycle. Bicycle hire is available in all tourist areas and costs around €16 per day.

What to do with kids

Travellers who only wanted to pass through Munich are biting their elbows: the city is clearly worth staying in for at least three days. What would interest a child in Munich?

Old city walks

All tours start in the central square, Marienplatz, where the Old and New Town Halls stand side by side. Both are very beautiful, and the New Town Hall has moving figures that come to life every hour before noon to illustrate important events in the city's history.

The Old Town Hall is also worth a look: behind its discreet door is the Toy Museum.

The museum's four rooms, each on a different floor of the tower, are like a child's dream come true: a multitude of toys for girls and boys await visitors on all sides.

Munich also surprises visitors with its beautiful fountains — there are more than 700 of them. You can see the whole of the old town from the viewing platform of St Peter's Cathedral.

Children's activities

Children love to meet animals, so a family trip to Tierpark Hellabrunn, one of Europe's largest zoos, is a must. Although the park is within the city limits, the animals feel like they are in the wild.

The Sea Life Aquarium, home to over 4,500 animals, is also worth a visit. You can catch and hold a crab, a small turtle or a starfish in the contact tank. Many people come to see the sharks being fed. Another way to enjoy Munich with a child is to go to the Zirkus-Krone performance. The highlight of every performance is the entrance of the trained elephants.

Parks and gardens

On days when you just want to take your child for a walk, a trip to one of Munich's parks is a good idea. Right in the centre is the Royal Hofgarten and next to it is one of the largest parks in the world, the English Garden.

There's plenty of space to run around and play. As well as the usual park delights, there are waterfalls and even a stream with a 'standing wave', a surfing practice area.

The Maximiliansanlagen (Maximilian Park) stretches across the Isar river. There are no playgrounds, but you can explore the Old town from the steep banks.

A popular destination is the Botanical Garden next to Nymphenburg Palace. The primroses bloom in early spring and the garden is full of colour until late autumn.

On the other side of Nymphenburg is the small Hirschgarten park. It's notable for its paths lined with reindeer: children can make friends with the animals straight away.

Best amusement parks

Despite its many attractions, we don't recommend staying too long in Munich with a child. Why not? Because there are amusement parks close to the city that all children dream of visiting. It's not easy to decide where to spend time with children:

  • At the huge Europa-Park, you can visit almost the whole of Europe in an hour, as well as Chocolate Land and the Enchanted Forest;
  • Bavaria's largest park, Skyline Park, is packed with family attractions and free entertainment for toddlers up to 110cm tall;
  • Legoland Germany, built from 56 million Lego bricks, has rides, a mini-city, a 4D cinema, playgrounds for toddlers, a Lego Academy and hotels with themed rooms;
  • The Märchenwald brings children's favourite stories of Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and other characters to life.

Another entertainment centre for children and adults is the GALAXY water park, with 20 waterslides: children's, family and extreme. The water park can be enjoyed outdoors in summer and indoors in winter.

Waiting for a flight

An airport is an attraction in itself for children, but Munich Airport is doubly so. There is a viewing platform from which you can see planes taxiing in, a huge open-air playground, an interactive exhibition about the secrets of the airport and an exhibition of old planes.

If you have some time before your flight, don't sit in the waiting area: better come to the Visitors Park to explore the fascinating and diverse world of the airport, and for an up-close look at big planes, join one of the exciting airport tours. The Visitors Park is open all year round and is free to visit throughout the day.


The study of Munich's sights begins with learning new words: propylaeum, glyptothek, pinakothek. But they all turn out to be familiar words. The first stands for the front door, the second for the collection of sculptures and the third for the collection of paintings. Munich Glyptothek houses works from ancient Greece and Rome. The Pinakothek has a collection of 1,400 paintings, including Leonardo da Vinci's Madonna and Child. And the Propylaeum is a replica of the facade of the Acropolis in Athens.

Interestingly, there are several other museums on the square next to the Königsplatz. You can choose what to see with the kids in Munich on the spot:

  • Museum of Egyptian Art with sarcophagi, masks, representations of gods and stone tables inscribed with Egyptian hieroglyphs;
  • Several art museums that, together with the Pinakothek and the Glyptothek, make up Munich's art scene the Lenbachhaus, the Neue Pinakothek, the Pinakothek der Moderne and the Brandhorst Museum (highlights of the latter two include works by Gries, Kokoschka, Klee, Kandinsky, Dali, Beuys, Hirst and Warhol);
  • Palaeontological Museum Munich is one of the most interesting places for children, with skeletons of large dinosaurs.

There are also a few other great museums that we recommend you visit on your holiday in Munich with children.

A 15-minute walk from Marienplatz is the German Museum of Science and Technology. It is the largest polytechnic museum in the world — an entire island, called the Museum, is dedicated to it.

The exhibits on display will appeal to both the technical and the adventurous you can step inside a submarine and descend into a mine.

Five Continents Museum is an ethnographic exhibition where you can show your child Indian clothes, African masks, samples of Arabic and Chinese calligraphy. The special thing about this museum is that almost all the objects are originals.

The Munich Stadtmuseum also knows how to surprise. One room tells the story of beer and urban superstition, another hosts concerts of early music, and a third features puppets from the puppet theatre and traditional fairground rides.

Deutsches Museum Verkehrszentrum (Transport Museum) can be visited in a variety of ways. Pre-schoolers, for example, will enjoy hanging out in the Children's Kingdom or near a working model railway. Schoolchildren will be more attracted to the exhibition of old and new technology, from bicycles to trains.

Attractions away from the centre

What is there to see in Munich once you have explored the old town? Nymphenburg Palace, the 17th century residence of the Wittelsbach family, is a must. Nymphenburg now houses the Natural History Museum, the Carriage Museum, the Porcelain Museum and the famous Belle Art Gallery.

Another special attraction in Munich is the BMW Museum. You may not know much about cars, but you will appreciate the sleek design of old models, the beauty of modern cars and the bold contours of concept cars. If you have time, take your child to Munich's MVG Museum, which is dedicated to public transport.

Things to Do with Kids

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Where to stay: Munich districts

The decision about where to stay in Munich should be based on the purpose of your trip. If you are planning to spend a day or two in the city but want to do more sightseeing, choose accommodation close to the main railway station.

Firstly, the centre of the old town is a 10-15 minute walk away. Secondly, it is a major transport hub with easy access to other parts of the city and the airport. Thirdly, it has the highest concentration of hotels and shopping centres in Munich. On the downside, there are a lot of beggars and the area can be noisy and not always clean.

The area around the station is lined with Turkish shops, cafes and clubs, but this is not a risky place to stay.

It is also possible to stay in the Old town, where there are both expensive hotels and budget guesthouses.

The most affordable area is Ludwigsforstadt. This area encircles the Old Town in a semicircle and abounds with cheap hotels and apartments. It is also home to the main railway station.

We recommend choosing a hotel that's better for children, taking into account the options you need. Look for hotels with free children's accommodation or family loyalty schemes, children's menus and full breakfasts. Cots are available on request in most hotels.

The Neuhausen-Nymphenburg area is popular with families with children. Although Neuhausen-Nymphenburg is the furthest from the city centre, there are 3 or 4 underground and tram stops from the hotel to the old town.

The area is quiet, clean and well-maintained and has an excellent infrastructure. Nearby you'll find Nymphenburg Park, where you can have a great time and visit several museums, including the Olympic Museum and the BMW Museum.

If you're planning a self-catering holiday in Munich with children and intend to travel by car, it's worth asking the hotel about private parking — it's very difficult to find a space in the city centre.

A good option is to stay in one of the towns near Munich where the amusement parks are located: Günzburg, Rust, Bad Wörishofen. The parks have their own hotels, but other accommodation is also available.

Also popular are the ski resorts around Munich, including Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Oberstdorf. The hotels in the mountains are of good quality, so you can be sure of a relaxing break after skiing.

Places to Stay

Getting to Munich

By Plane

Munich International Airport is 28 kilometres from the city. It receives flights from many countries and the timetable can be found on the website.

How to get to Munich from the airport

  • By S-Bahn (lines S1 and S8, trains to city centre, Hauptbahnhof and Ostbahnhof, departing every 10 minutes);
  • Lufthansa buses, arriving at Arnulfstraße near the central station;
  • Flixbus;
  • Taxi;
  • Hire a car.

By Train

Munich Central Station is located in the city centre. Both national and international trains arrive here. Under the station are the S-Bahn and U-Bahn, which take you directly to all the city's attractions.

You can find timetables and buy tickets on the Deutsche Bahn website:

By Bus

The Central Bus Station is located next to the main railway station. The bus is one of the best ways to get to Munich from Germany and other European cities. You can find a suitable route on the website of the bus station:

By Car

Munich is crossed by the E52, which links Salzburg (Austria) and Strasbourg (France), and the E53, which starts in Pilsen (Czech Republic). You can travel to Munich by car or hire a car locally. The city is surrounded by the Mittlerer Ring, which marks the boundary of the environmental zone. You will need a permit sticker to enter Munich.

The official Munich website has information on parking.