Munich is not just a fantastic destination in its own right, but also the perfect base for exploring the wider region and beyond.
There are plenty of options for discovering the beauty and charm of southern Germany on a day trip from Munich, with its excellent transportation network, including local S-Bahn and U-Bahn trains, regional and intercity services, and organised bus tours.
Those who are more into outdoor activities can try the nearby lakes and mountains, while visitors who are more culturally inclined have medieval towns and castles.
The S-Bahn and U-Bahn are a great way of taking day trips from Munich. The local trains are affordable and convenient, and provide easy access to many nearby destinations. Here are a few great options that are within an hour or less from Munich:
Just hop on the S6 S-Bahn line and you’ll find yourself at the second largest lake in Bavaria in less than an hour. You could enjoy a ferry ride around the lake and visit some of the towns on the lakefront, or rent a bike and explore the scenic cycle trails along the shore. (If you want to do the whole circuit of the lake, reckon on 50 kilometres in the saddle!)
A sombre but important visit, the Dachau Memorial Site can be reached by taking the S2 S-Bahn line. Learn about the chilling history of Nazi Germany at the first concentration camp opened under their rule. Visit the museum and memorial site to remember those who suffered during this dark time.
Board the S8 S-Bahn line to Herrsching, and from there, catch a local bus to Kloster Andechs (as it is known in German). Taste the famous beer brewed by the monks after taking in the view of the Baroque monastery and then wander down to the shores of the Ammersee. It's a perfect combination of culture and relaxation.
Take the S1 S-Bahn line to Freising, the oldest town in Bavaria. Discover the impressive cathedral and the famous Weihenstephan brewery, which holds the distinction of (allegedly) being the oldest brewery in the world.
Just to recap, here's a brief list of the destinations mentioned with their corresponding train lines:
Train journeys of two to three hours open up the possibilities of more distant day trips from Munich.
Don't forget to use the Bayern Ticket, which is valid for a day for one or more people on regional public transport. There are also some even cheaper options like the Werdenfels ticket, which covers certain journeys to the Bavarian Alps.
Here are some top destinations you could consider:
Discover the birthplace of Mozart and the Sound of Music in this charming Austrian city. Explore the historic old town, the lovely Mirabell Palace and Gardens, and the imposing Hohensalzburg Fortress.
This UNESCO World Heritage site showcases one of Germany's most beautiful medieval cities. The half-timbered town hall, the imperial palace, and the cathedral are among the impressive sights.
Delve into the history of Nuremberg, the cultural hub of the Franconia region to the north of Munich. Explore the historic centre, the medieval castle, and, during the festive season, the enchanting Christmas market.
Climb to the top of Germany on the Zugspitze, either by cable car or cogwheel train. Enjoy breathtaking views of four countries from the glacier and snap some incredible photos! Stop on the way up or down and discover the lovely waters of the Eibsee.
Take a journey through time to one of Germany's oldest and best-preserved cities, where you can wander across the stone bridge, visit the cathedral, and taste the delicious local sausages.
Combine the beauty of the Bavarian Alps with the history of the Berchtesgaden area. Hike mountain trails, visit the famous Eagle's Nest, or take a scenic boat trip on the Königssee lake.
Taking an organised guided tour from Munich is a fantastic way to explore the beautiful destinations surrounding the city. You can enjoy the convenience, comfort, and guidance provided on these bus tours, allowing you to focus on creating unforgettable memories.
Some of the top destinations to visit on organised bus tours from Munich are:
Visit the fairy-tale castle that inspired Disney and learn about the life and death of King Ludwig II, who built it as his dream palace. Don't miss a walk up to the Marienbrücke bridge behind where you can get some memorable shots of Neuschwanstein Castle against the countryside below.
Enter the fairy-tale world of Germany's most romantic medieval town, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, part of the famous Romantic Road tourist route. Walk along the city walls, visit the Christmas museum, and shop for souvenirs.
Discover the grandeur of King Ludwig's largest and most lavish palace, Herrenchiemsee Palace, inspired by Versailles and located on an island in the Chiemsee lake.
Explore the smallest and most intimate of King Ludwig II's palaces, Linderhof Castle. With its lovely gardens and enchanting grotto, this palace is a delight to visit.