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Top Attractions In Munich For Free

Munich is one of the most visited cities in Europe and that is for a good reason. It's filled with numerous historical attractions and a number of cultural interests that cater to all kinds of travellers. If you're the kind of tourist who travels on a budget, you can save money if you know the cheap things to do in Munich. In fact, by simply wandering along the city streets, you'll already be met with so many interesting sights that are truly entertaining to watch!

Like most of the cities in Europe, Munich is not cheap to visit. But the great news is that there are lots of free things to do in Munich so even if your travel budget is limited, you will surely have a great time in the city. If you prefer to explore museums, you'll be happy to know that there are plenty of free museums in Munich that are waiting for you to explore. You can also check out the other free attractions in Munich that includes the Church of Our Lady or Frauenkirche, the Old Town of Altstadt, the St. Peter's Church, Glockenspiel, the Chinese Beer Garden, the Viktualienmarkt, and many more!

Regardless of the season, Munich certainly has a lot of things on offer for all kinds of travellers. For example, one of the free things to do in Munich this summer is to visit Lake Starnberg. This large natural lake is very iconic and where King Ludwig II was found dead. If you have your kids with you, one of the free things to do in Munich with kids is to hang out at the English garden, a beautiful public park where you can take a relaxing stroll or have picnic.

So if you're planning for a budget trip to Munich, then check out these free things to do in Munich.

Free Things To Do in Munich

1. Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche) (Free)

4 Free Tourist Attraction

The Frauenkirche stands proudly at the heart of Munich’s old town district. The building itself is recognised with enough respect for there to be a law restricting any other building to exceed its height. The church was completed in 1494 and has become a focal point of the city. At the time of its construction, Munich’s population was just 13,000, but Frauenkirche was optimistically made to house crowds of up to 20,000. The Munich skyline has become famous since its inclusion of the two dome towers than extend from the church. These were added 30 years later in 1524.

The building did suffer considerable damage in World War II, but after the wars conclusion there was a great interest in restoring the church. It was not until 1994 that the final reconstruction has been completed. Today visitors are able to climb to the top of the south tower for an impressive view of the city.Frauenkirche is a resting place for a large number of Bavarian nobility, including Ludwig the Bavarian and King Ludwig III.

2. English Garden (EnglischerGarten) (Free)

4.5 Free Tourist Attraction

Since 1789, visitors to Munich have been able to relax in the spacious grounds of EnglischerGarten. The park is one of the largest inner-city public parks in the world with 910 acres, much larger than New York’s Central Park. The name was adopted due to the style of landscaping than can be seen here. This style was extremely popular within England during the 18th century. The garden was originally created as public space as a combination of elector Carl Theodor inheriting the land, whilst Sir Benjamin Thompson advised that an architectural piece of land should be worked on by soldiers during peace time.

The park provides seemingly endless paths and trails that equate to 75km. There are numerous streams and seating areas for visitors to enjoy. One artificial stream has a water pumping mechanism that even attractions interest from surfers. Throughout the park there are many towers and temple like buildings. One of the most famous is JapanischesTeehaus, constructed as a symbol of the Summer Olympics coming to Munich in 1972.

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3. Glockenspiel (Free)

4 Free Tourist Attraction

The Rathaus Glockenspiel is an iconic symbol of tradition within the heart of the Munich old town. Since its creation alongside the completion of the second phase of the New Town Hall in 1908, it has become famous as a focal point of Marienplatz Square. Each morning at 11am, 32 life-sized figurines mechanically portray a story coinciding with the sound of 43 bells. The show is split in two sections with a golden rooster above them both which chirps three times to signify the end of the show. In the time of its creation, it was a fascinating sample of entertainment that would attract people from far and wide.

The first story depicts the time of the marriage between Duke Wilhelm V and Renata of Lorraine. Duke Wilhelm V was born locally in Munich and the figurines display a horseback jousting competition. Bavaria is portrayed in blue and white, with Lothringen in red and white. Unsurprisingly the Bavarian knight wins every time.

The second story depicts the tale of the legendary Coopers Dance. It is known that in 1517, Munich was struck with a plague and moral was low within the city. To put a smile on the faces of its inhabitants, the duke would send the Coopers to march through the streets dancing. The dance was performed as a sign of perseverance and to entrust loyalty to the duke.

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4. Theatine Church (Theatinerkirche) (Free)

4.5 Free Tourist Attraction

Theatinerkirche is a famous Catholic church within the city of Munich. Its conception was in celebration of the birth of Max Emanuel in 1662, the new heir to the Bavarian throne. The couple behind the project were Elector Ferdinand Maria and his wife Henriette Adelaide of Savoy. The work began in 1663 with Italian architect AgostinoBarelliat the helm. The construction was not completed until nearly 30 years later in 1690. The stand out feature of the church is its yellow exterior, more typical to religious buildings in the Mediterranean. With its bold appearance and historical importance, Theatinerkirche has become a renowned landmark within Munich.

During World War II, the church was the subject of several bombing attacks. The alter which was donated by Ferdinand Maria and Henriette Adelaide of Savoy was completely destroyed. The entire western wing of the building was also devastated. In 1946 plans for restoration began to take shape and although a lot of work was completed by 1955, it was not until 1973 that the church was once again its former self.

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5. Viktualienmarkt (Free)

4.5 Free Tourist Attraction

The Viktualienmarkt is one of the most popular food markets in Germany. With an abundance of history and culture, it also has become one of Munich’s most popular attractions. The market was born when the original agricultural trade at Marienplatz became too big for the area. On 2nd May 1807, King Maximilian I issued a decree stating that the food trade was to relocate to Viktualienmarkt, its home ever since. The area became completely pedestrianized in 1975.

Today the streets are thriving. The market boasts more than 140 stalls in the 22,000m2stretch of land. The wares offer an insight into typical Bavarian delicacies with items such as; Game, poultry, spices, cheeses, fish and much more. There are even stalls that are dedicated solely to flowers. The market also has numerous beer gardens and restaurants, making it one of the most consistently busy areas of Munich.

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6. Old Town (Altstadt) (Free)

4 Free Tourist Attraction

Munich’s old town district is the smallest and oldest area of the city. It is however, home to some of the most famous and most historical landmarks. The official name for the district is AltstadtLehel, which itself is split into six areas. The area that is considered the true ‘old town’ are the four districts of; Kreuzviertel, Graggenauer, Angerviertel and Hackenviertel. These were the city’s extended boundaries, the work of Ludwig the Bavarian. Ludwig the Bavarian is buried within Altstadt at Frauenkirche.

The more recent additions to the area known as AltstadtLehel are the district of Lehel and EnglischerGartenSud. Other notable landmarks within Altstadt are St. Peter’s Church and BayerischeStaatsoper. The popular Glockenspiel show is also found here. Visitors can witness it every day at 11am in Marienplatz Square.

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7. St.Peter’s Church (Free)

4.5 Free Tourist Attraction

Long before the city of Munich had been formed, a group of monks lived close to what is now the centre of the city on a hill called Petersbergl. This 8th century church is the earliest knowledge of a building of its kind in the area, making the current St. Peter’s Church one of Munich’s oldest institutions. Towards the end of the 12th century, the church was rebuilt in a more Bavarian style. It stood until the great fire of 1327 and was rebuilt again in 1368 as the church that stands today. For historical enthusiasts, this attraction portrays the focus of what Munich was built around.

There are a number of impressive pieces of art within the church. The daunting high alter depicts an image of St. Peter, which was contributed by Erasmus Grasser. Also inside the church are a number of gothic paintings by the likes of Jan Polack. The intricate ceiling work was reconstructed at the turn of the millennium after it was originally created halfway through the 18th century by Johann Baptist Zimmermann.

8. Lake Starnberg (Free)

4.5 Free Tourist Attraction

Lake Starnberg is a large natural lake south of Munich. The small district of Starnberg is located on the northern bank. The lake itself is the 5th largest lake in Germany in terms of area, but when its deepness is taken into account it becomes the 2nd largest body of water in the country. The lake remains property of the Bavarian Administration of State Owned Palaces, Gardens and Lakes.

A notable interest is shown in the lake as being the place where King Ludwig II was found dead in waist deep water with the doctor that had diagnosed him as being unfit to rule Bavaria. This was in 1886 and around this time a railway was built from Munich to the lake making it an easily accessible day trip for the city’s people. Lake Starnberg was also mentioned in T. S. Eliot’s famous poem, The Waste Land.

In modern times, Lake Starnberg is still a popular day trip for people in the area. Its relatively untouched surrounding land is a common choice of destination for hikers and cyclists. There is a 46km cycle path that runs along the perimeter.

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9. Chinese Beer Garden (BiergartenChinesischerTurm) (Free)

4.5 Free Tourist Attraction

The Chinese Beer Garden within Munich’s English Garden is the second largest in the city, with 7,000 seats. The Chinese Tower was constructed in 1789 and was modelled on the famous Great Pagoda in London’s Royal Botanic Gardens. The five stories of the tower look out over this area of English Garden and have become a popular place to relax for both residents and tourists. At the end of the 19th century, around 5,000 of Munich’s working class people at 5am every Sunday to dance in what was known as ‘The Cook’s Ball’. This tradition was forbidden at the start of the 20th century on moral grounds. Since 1989 however, it has been celebrated again annually to mark 200 years of the Chinese Tower.

There are a number of food stalls that serve traditional German delicacies including; Steckerlfisch, Hendl, Schweinshaxn, Obatzda and Auszogne. Visitors can also enjoy horse carriage rides through the park from here. On weekends there is a brass band that plays from the 1st floor of the tower and sporting fixtures are shown. The tower also has Wi-Fi available.

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10. Oktoberfest (Free)

4.5 Free Tourist Attraction

Oktoberfest is officially the world’s largest fair. Attracting an average of six million visitors in recent years, people travel from all over the world to join in the 16 day festivities. The event itself is held at the large Theresienwiese field to the west of central Munich. At this location, Oktoberfest runs annually for 16 days until the first Sunday of October. If the first Sunday of October happens to fall on the 1st or 2nd, then the event will go on until the 3rd to coincide with German Unity Day.

The first Oktoberfest was in 1810 and was a celebration for the marriage of King Ludwig and Therese of Saxe Hildburghausen. The field in which it takes place is names after Therese to this day. The entire population of Bavaria was invited to attend and since then the event has become a renowned piece of Bavarian history. In over 200 years of Oktoberfests, there have only been 24 cancellations due to either wartime or large scale medical issues.

In the modern day the minimum strength of alcohol sold at Oktoberfest must be 6.1%, which often catches tourists out. Any beer sold at Oktoberfest must be brewed within the city of Munich. The brewers that are given authority to produce beer for the event and all have their own tents are:


Hacker PschorrBrau





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11. Field Marshal’s Hall (Feldherrnhalle) (Free)

4 Free Tourist Attraction

Feldherrnhalle is a site of significant German historical interest. Since its completion in 1844, there have been numerous incidents that will forever last in its memory. Its initial construction was as a monumental loggia in memory of King Ludwig I of Bavaria. The building was designed by architect Friedrich von Gartner and took nearly four years to complete. In the early years it was a symbol of dedication to Bavarian soldiers and is home to statues of the renowned Johann Tilly and Karl Phillip von Wrede. There were more statues incorporated to its design in 1882 after the Franco Prussian War.

In late 1923, Feldherrnhalle was the site of one of the confrontational illegal protests lead by Adolf Hitler and his followers. This event became famous for resulting in Adolf Hitler’s imprisonment, after Bavarian State Police lost control of the situation. There is now a plaque in remembrance of the four police officers that lost their lives that day. This landmark became a place of interest during the 3rd Reich, with an image of Feldherrnhalle being embossed on the Nazi Blood Order Medal. In 1995 World War II veteran Reinhold Elstner committed self-immolation here to bring remonstrate against the defamation of German Soldiers since the war.

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Neuschwanstein Castle Day Trip from Munich


Duration: 10 hours

GetYourGuide: €40.00, Viator: €49.90

4.5 (1,736 Reviews)

Neuschwanstein Castle Day Trip from Munich Tickets

Day Trip to Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Castles from Munich


Duration: 10 Hours

GetYourGuide: €54.00, Viator: €55.00

4.5 (4,022 Reviews)

Day Trip to Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Castles from Munich Tickets

Dachau Concentration Camp Half-Day Tour from Munich


Duration: 5 Hours

GetYourGuide: €28.00, Viator: €28.50

5 (2,121 Reviews)

Dachau Concentration Camp Half-Day Tour from Munich Tickets

Munich City Sightseeing Bus Tour


Duration: 1 or 3 Days

GetYourGuide: €14.90, Viator: €17.30

4 (958 Reviews)

Munich City Sightseeing Bus Tour Tickets

Munich Bike Tour


Duration: 3 Hours

GetYourGuide: €29.50, Viator: €30.00

5 (143 Reviews)

Munich Bike Tour Tickets

FC Bayern Munich Football Stadium tour and Allianz Arena


Duration: 4 Hours

GetYourGuide: €29.00, Viator: €29.50

4.5 (52 Reviews)

FC Bayern Munich Football Stadium tour and Allianz Arena Tickets

Munich City Tour Card


Duration: 1 to 4 days

GetYourGuide: €12.90

4.5 (123 Reviews)

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Hitler and the Third Reich Munich Walking Tour


Duration: 2.5 Hours

GetYourGuide: €17.50, Viator: €17.70

4.5 (632 Reviews)

Hitler and the Third Reich Munich Walking Tour Tickets

Munich WWII Combo: Dachau Concentration Camp and Third Reich Walking Tour


Duration: 8 Hours

GetYourGuide: €55.00, Viator: €40.00

5 (225 Reviews)

Munich WWII Combo: Dachau Concentration Camp and Third Reich Walking Tour Tickets

Bavarian Beer and Food Evening Tour from Munich


Duration: 3 Hours

GetYourGuide: €36.00, Viator: €36.50

5 (602 reviews)

Bavarian Beer and Food Evening Tour from Munich Tickets

Salzburg Day Tour from Munich


Duration: 9.5 Hours

GetYourGuide: €49.00, Viator: €47.70

4.5 (1,367 Reviews)

Salzburg Day Tour from Munich Tickets

Romantic Road, Rothenburg and Harburg Day Tour


Duration: 10.5 Hours

GetYourGuide: €51.00, Viator: €51.70

4.5 (640 reviews)

Romantic Road, Rothenburg and Harburg Day Tour Tickets

Berchtesgaden and Eagle's Nest Day Tour from Munich


Duration: 10 Hours

GetYourGuide: €75.00, Viator: €51.90

4.5 (629 Reviews)

Berchtesgaden and Eagle's Nest Day Tour from Munich Tickets


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