The 12 Best Free Things to Do in Munich

Welcome to Munich, a vibrant and culturally rich city nestled in the heart of Bavaria in Germany. While it’s known as an expensive city with its stunning architecture, world-class museums, and bustling beer gardens, Munich also offers an array of fantastic experiences that won’t cost you a penny. In this article, we’re going to unveil the top 10 free things to do while visiting Munich, ensuring you make the most of your visit without breaking the bank. Munich has something for everyone, whether you’re interested in history, love nature or just want to enjoy the local culture – all without spending a single euro. Join us as we explore the hidden gems and affordable attractions of this enchanting Bavarian city.

Three BMW cars at BMW Welt in Munich

1. Explore the Amazing BMW Welt

Our journey through the best free things to do in Munich begins with a visit to the remarkable BMW Welt. This architectural masterpiece is not only a showcase for one of the world’s most iconic automobile brands, it is also an unmissable attraction that offers a glimpse into the world of German engineering excellence.

The BMW Welt, or “BMW World,” is a futuristic and innovative exhibition space where you can discover the fascinating world of BMW, from their history to their cutting-edge technology and sustainable initiatives and from BMW’s latest models, classic cars to their prototypes. And here’s the best part: entry is absolutely free!

The Residences-Courtyards in Munich

2. See the Residence's Courtyards

Our journey through Munich’s free activities now takes us to the city center, where history and architectural grandeur await. The Residence’s Courtyards, offer a fascinating glimpse into the city’s royal past, all without spending a single Euro.

The Munich Residence, is the largest city palace in Germany, and a sprawling complex that boasts stunning architecture, opulent interiors, and beautifully landscaped courtyards. While there are ticketed areas within the Residence that offer a deeper dive into its history, you can still explore the exquisite courtyards without spending a dime.

3. Join a Munich Free Walking Tour

Pavilion in the courtyard garden in Munich.

A free walking tour in Munich is a great way to get to know the history, culture and stories of the city without spending any money. Munich’s knowledgeable and dedicated guides are happy to share their knowledge with you and take you on a journey through the city’s most famous sights.

These free walking tours typically start from Marienplatz, Munich’s most famous square, and meander through its charming restaurants, shops and street performers. You’ll have the opportunity to discover the historical significance of Marienplatz, gaze upon the stunning Glockenspiel of the Rathaus (City Hall), and learn about Munich’s medieval origins.

As you follow your guide, you’ll pass by architectural wonders like the Frauenkirche, a symbol of the city, and the captivating Viktualienmarkt, a bustling food and produce market where you can experience the local flavors.

Glockenspiel at Marienplatz Munich.

4. Listen to the Glockenspiel at Marienplatz

At the heart of Marienplatz, you’ll find the Rathaus-Glockenspiel, a magnificent clock tower that comes to life multiple times a day with a captivating performance in the Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall). The Glockenspiel is a marvel of engineering and artistry, featuring a cast of figurines and carillon bells that tell two different stories.

The first story, known as the “Cooper’s Dance,” is a lively depiction of Munich’s beer culture, complete with dancing barrels, beer drinkers, and a jovial conclusion. The second story, the “Knight’s Tournament,” is a historic portrayal of a jousting competition.

Every day, at 11:00 AM, 12:00 PM, and 5:00 PM (and an additional 9:00 PM show during the summer months), visitors gather around the city square to watch this delightful spectacle. It is one of the must-see free activities that offers Munich.

Folk musicians with traditional costumes in a public square in Munich

5. Join completely free concerts

One of the fantastic free events in Munich is the opportunity to join amazing concerts and enjoy live music performances in various settings throughout the city center.

There are free Concert at Gasteig Cultural Center, world-famous for its excellent acoustics, is home to the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and serves as a training center for students of classical music and theater. To promote the talents of these students, the facility frequently hosts free concerts that are open to the public throughout the day.

The University of Music and Performing Arts Munich frequently host free student concerts and recitals. It’s an excellent opportunity to witness emerging talent in classical music, opera, and more.

6. Stroll Through the Hofgarten

For a serene escape amidst Munich’s bustling city life, there’s no better place to explore than the Hofgarten (Court Garden), a tranquil oasis right in the heart of the city. What makes this experience even more appealing is that it’s entirely free.

One of the unique features of the Hofgarten is its magnificent Renaissance-style loggia, known as the Hofgartentor. This grand entrance provides a picturesque view of the Theatine Church at the opposite end of the garden.

Bayern Munich fans on a public square celebrating with the fan flags and football shirts.

7. Watch a Public Training Session of the Famous FC Bayern Munich

For sports enthusiasts and football fans, Munich offers a unique opportunity to witness the excellence of one of the world’s most famous football clubs, FC Bayern Munich, up close and personal, and the best part is that it’s a free experience.

FC Bayern Munich occasionally opens its doors to the public, allowing fans and visitors to watch their training sessions. The club’s training ground, Säbener Straße, is where the magic happens. Watching the likes of world-class players like Harry Kane, Thomas Müller, and Manuel Neuer hone their skills is a truly exciting and memorable experience.

To attend a public training session, you’ll want to keep an eye on FC Bayern Munich’s official website or social media channels for announcements regarding training schedules and open sessions.

View of the English Garden with a large white pavilion in Munich

8. Stroll Along Munich's Englischer Garten

Munich’s Englischer Garten, often referred to as the English Garden, is a vast and enchanting urban park that offers an idyllic escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. What’s more, it’s larger than New York’s Central Park and London’s Hyde Park, making it one of the world’s largest urban parks.

Covering over 900 acres of lush greenery, meadows, serene lakes, and winding pathways, the Englischer Garten is a haven for nature lovers and a place of relaxation for both locals and visitors.

The Englischer Garten also boasts charming beer gardens, such as the famous Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower) beer garden, where you can savor traditional Bavarian cuisine and refreshments amidst the natural beauty of the park.


One of the park's iconic features is the Eisbach River, where you can witness daredevil surfers riding the man-made wave.

Blue Bus driving in the city center of Munich.

9. Enjoy free admission with the Munich Card and the Munich City Pass

When exploring Munich and its many attractions, you’ll find that the Munich Card and City Pass are valuable tools that not only offer convenience but also help you save money on your adventures.

The Munich Card and City Pass provide various benefits, including discounted admission to numerous museums, public transportation options, and more. Here’s a breakdown of how these passes can enhance your Munich experience:

Munich Card:

  • Public Transportation: The Munich Card typically includes unlimited travel on Munich’s public transportation system for the duration of your card’s validity.

  • Discounts: With the Munich Card, you can enjoy up to 70% discounts at 100 offers like museums, attractions, and cultural sites.

  • Convenience: It offers the convenience of hassle-free travel and access to the city’s highlights, making it an excellent choice for tourists who want to explore Munich efficiently.

The Munich City Pass

  • Extended Benefits: The Munich City Pass provides free entry to 45 top attractions like into the Deutsche Museum (incl. Fast Lane), the Nymphenburg Palace, the Lenbachhaus, and other famous sights and attractions in Munich. Beside free admission into landmarks and castles, the Munich City Pass also allows you to visit other attractions like SEA LIFE Munich, the_die Bavaria Film Studios, or the Tower of the Neues Rathaus for free.

  • Hop-on-Hop-off City Tour: Learn more about the Neues Rathaus in Munich by participating in the town hall tour — alternatively you can also discover interesting corners of Munich on a city tour. Both tours are free when using the Munich City Pass.

  • Discounts: Up to 50% discounts at several partners like restaurants, bars and attractions in Munich.

  • Savings: By bundling multiple attractions and services into a single pass, you can save a significant amount of money compared to paying for each one individually.

Both the Munich Card and City Pass are designed to enhance your visit to Munich by offering not only cost savings but also the convenience of streamlined access to the city’s cultural, historical, and recreational offerings.

The Frauenkirche in Munich on a sunny day.

10. Explore Munich's Most Popular Churches

Munich is home to several magnificent churches, each with its unique history, architecture, and cultural significance. Exploring these churches can provide a deep insight into the city’s heritage and spiritual traditions.

  1. Frauenkirche (Cathedral of Our Dear Lady): This iconic twin-towered cathedral is one of Munich’s most recognizable landmarks. Its distinctive domed silhouette dominates the Munich skyline. The Frauenkirche is known for its massive interior, stunning Gothic architecture, and the Devil’s Footprint legend. Visitors can climb the south tower for panoramic views of Munich.

  2. St. Peter’s Church (Alter Peter): Located in the heart of Munich, St. Peter’s Church is one of the city’s oldest churches. Climbing the tower’s 306 steps rewards you with breathtaking views over the city, making it a popular tourist attraction.

  3. Asamkirche: The Asamkirche, or Asam Church, is a Baroque masterpiece known for its opulent interior and intricate stucco decorations. The church’s compact size belies its ornate beauty, making it a hidden gem in central Munich.

  4. Theatine Church (Theatinerkirche): This baroque-style church is a visual delight with its golden hues, elegant architectur and mediterranean flavor. Built in the 17th century by an Italian architect, the inside is made out of white stucco and its façade with its striking yellow color and intricate details, is particularly captivating.

  5. St. Michael’s Church (Michaelkirche): St. Michael’s is a Renaissance-style church with a rich history. The interior is adorned with stunning stucco work and intricate decorations. Be sure to visit the crypt, where you can see the final resting place of King Ludwig II of Bavaria.

  6. St. Ludwig’s Church: This neo-Romanesque church stands out for its striking red-brick façade and graceful arches. Inside, you’ll find a tranquil and spacious interior adorned with beautiful stained glass windows.

  7. St. Cajetan’s Church (Theatinerkirche St. Kajetan): Another Theatine church in Munich, St. Cajetan’s is celebrated for its Baroque architecture and elegant white exterior.

A table in a beer garden with two pints of beer and a pretzel.

11. Wander the World's Most Famous Beer Garden

When it comes to beer gardens, Munich is renowned worldwide for hosting some of the most iconic and vibrant ones. The world-famous Hofbräuhaus tops the list as a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience Bavarian beer culture.

Hofbräuhaus: Established in 1589, Hofbräuhaus is not just a beer garden; it’s a cultural institution. This historic beer hall is located in Munich city center and has been a favorite gathering place for Munich residents and tourists alike for centuries. Here, you can immerse yourself in a truly Bavarian atmosphere, enjoy a stein of beer, savor traditional dishes like schnitzel or sausages, and be entertained by live Bavarian music.

Englischer Garten: As mentioned earlier, Munich’s Englischer Garten is also home to several wonderful beer gardens, making it one of the largest green oases in the city. While here, you can visit the Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower) beer garden, known for its picturesque location and a vast selection of beers. Grab a bench under the tower’s canopy, enjoy a beer, and savor some Bavarian specialties.

Augustiner-Keller: Another legendary beer garden is the Augustiner-Keller, which has been serving beer since 1812. This traditional Munich beer garden offers a serene and relaxed atmosphere, making it an excellent choice for enjoying a refreshing Maß (liter-sized mug) of beer and traditional Bavarian dishes.

Löwenbräukeller: Located near the famous Theresienwiese (site of Oktoberfest), Löwenbräukeller is a historic beer hall and garden. It offers a vast space to enjoy classic Bavarian brews and cuisine. It’s particularly lively during Oktoberfest when it becomes a hub of festivities.

View of the Olympic park Munich with the television tower in the background

12. Discover Olympic Park

Munich’s Olympic Park is a sprawling, green oasis that was originally constructed for the 1972 Summer Olympics. It’s a remarkable blend of modern architecture, scenic landscapes, and cultural attractions. Here are some highlights:

  1. Olympiaturm (Olympic Tower): This 290-meter tall tower offers panoramic views of Munich and the Alps. You can take an elevator ride to the observation deck for breathtaking vistas of the city.

  2. Olympic Stadium: Walk around the iconic Olympic Stadium, which features an innovative tensile roof structure. While the stadium itself may not always be open to the public due to events, you can still hang out around the park what is absolutely free of charge. The Olympic Hill is also one of the best spots in the area to listen to performances coming from the Olympic Stadium.

  3. Olympia See (Olympic Lake): A serene artificial lake surrounds the park, providing a perfect spot for leisurely walks or picnics. In the summer, you can even rent paddleboats for a unique perspective of the park.

  4. BMW Welt and BMW Museum: Located adjacent to the park, the BMW Welt (World) and BMW Museum have free entry. You can explore the latest BMW models and learn about the history of this iconic brand.

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