Planning a family vacation to Munich? Even kids will love this historic German city!
Munich is a great city to explore for young and old, and there are many fun things to do for kids. Whether you're looking for indoor attractions (the German Museum) or want to spend some time outside in the sun (the English Garden), kids of all ages will never find themselves bored.
From interactive museums and toy stores to parks, farmers markets, and even beer gardens, here’s how to have a wonderful time in Munich with kids.
Bring your kids to Marienplatz, the central square in the heart of Munich’s Old Town, for a beautiful tradition. Every day, visitors gather in front of the impressive Rathaus (City Hall) which houses a 100-year old Glockenspiel. This old clock chimes twice a day at 11:00 a.m. and noon (as well as at 5:00 p.m. in the summer months) with 32 life-sized figures reenacting Bavaria's historical events. Tell your children to look out for the golden bird that chirps three times to mark the end of each show.
Munich’s green heart is a wonderful place to explore. Rent a paddle boat, don't mind the nudes, stroll along wooded paths, visit a playground, feed the ducks or watch the surfers on the currents of the river Eisbach.
The museum offers a plethora of interactive exhibits for busy hands, and there is a whole section dedicated to curious children. At “Kid’s Kingdom,” young explorers can sit behind the wheel of a real fire engine, fly into the air, or play on a giant guitar—just to name a few of the 1,000 kid-friendly activities at the German Museum. Admission for children under six-years-old is free.
If you are traveling with little movie buffs, take them to the Bavaria Filmstadt (Bavaria Film Studios), Munich’s answer to Hollywood.
In Europe’s largest filmmaking center, kids can take a ride on Falkor the dragon from The NeverEnding Story (Die unendliche Geschichte in German), while parents can experience the submarine of Das Boot. Kids will also be fascinated by the stunt show, which includes fistfights, fire, falls and a 92-feet deep plunge. Guided tours of the studio sets are available in English.
Can you take your little ones to a traditional beer garden? Definitely. Munich’s beer gardens are very family-friendly and keep the kids happy while you enjoy a traditional Bavarian beer. Most beer gardens have a playground or at the very least a sandbox. The beer garden at Hirschgarten even features a small deer park.
Kids will love the beer garden food, too: Sausages, potato salad, pretzels, and apple strudel.
The bustling Viktualienmarkt is Munich’s oldest and best open-air farmers market, dating back to 1807. There is a lot to see and sample: kids can marvel at booths decorated with garlands of sausages, mountains of fresh vegetables, and pyramids of fruits. The market has everything from meat, and cheese, to bread, pastries, and freshly squeezed juices. Buy some treats for the whole family and enjoy them right then and there or at the beer garden in the center of the market.
A visit to Munich’s zoo, Tierpark Hellabrunn, is a fun outing for the whole family. Laid out on 99 acres, the park is more like a nature preserve than a traditional zoo.
Here, more than 18,000 animals from all over the world are grouped according to their regions and roam the park in their natural habitats. There’s also a petting zoo, pony and camel rides in summer, and a penguin parade in winter.
The Spielzeugmuseum (Munich’s Toy Museum) is housed in a narrow clock tower of Munich’s old Town Hall. Opened in 1971, the museum spans four floors (there is no elevator), full of unique historical toys from Europe and the United States. There are dolls, teddies, toy trains, and vintage Barbies. This is not an interactive exhibition and the toys are only for viewing so it is probably best for older children.