If you have seen Munich’s most popular attractions, how about leaving the city for a day and exploring the lovely surroundings of the Bavarian capital? Take a day trip from Munich and find out more about Bavaria’s history, nature, and culture.
A great way to get around Bavaria is by train, especially if you get the Bavaria train ticket.
The world’s most popular fairy-tale castle is just a beautiful train ride away from Munich: Castle Neuschwanstein, nestled in the Bavarian Alps, was the dream-come-true of King Ludwig II, who built this fantastic palace in 1869. You can take a tour through Neuschwanstein’s flamboyant interior; highlights include a gaudy grotto, the Throne Room with its giant crown-shaped chandelier, and the lavish Minstrels' Hall.
Getting There: Take the local train to Füssen, then the bus RVA/OVG 73 in the direction to Steingaden / Garmisch-Partenkirchen or the bus RVA/OVG 78 in the direction to Schwangau until you reach the stop Hohenschwangau / Alpseestraße.
Bavaria is home to some of Germany’s best breweries; the Andechs Monastery, located on the Holy Mountain above Lake Ammersee, has been a site of pilgrimage and beer culture since the middle Ages. The brewery offers a tour, which tells you all about the monastery’s rich history, as well as giving you access to its state of the art facilities. After the tour, you can visit the monastery’s church, brew pub, restaurant, butcher shop, distillery, and an organic farm.
Getting There: Take the suburban train (S Bahn) S 8 to Herrsching, then take the bus line “Rauner” to the brewery.
10 miles northeast of Munich you’ll find the town of Dachau, which became infamous for being the site of the first concentration camp built in Nazi Germany. Today’s memorial site features the original barracks, prisoner baths, and the crematorium, as well as a historic exhibition. After visiting the concentration camp, head into Dachau’s Old Town, which has a very picturesque historic city center, overlooked by a castle.
Getting There: Take the suburban train (S Bahn) S2 from Munich in the direction of Dachau/Petershausen until you reach the Dachau station (app. 25 minutes); from here, take bus 726 towards "Saubachsiedlung" to the entrance of the Memorial Site ("KZ-Gedenkstätte").
4. Starnberg Lake
Take a day trip to the Starnberg Lake, which lies 16 miles south of Munich; lined by some of King Ludwig’s best palaces, the lake offers fantastic views of the Bavarian Alps and the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak. In summer, the lake is ideal for water sports and strolls along its promenade, and in winter, the idyllic surroundings make it a great spot for cross-country skiing and ice-skating.
Getting There: Take the suburban train (S Bahn) S6 to Starnberg
A 2-hour train ride, and you are in Salzburg (Austria), the birthplace of Mozart. Classical music aficionados will love the city for its many music festivals, including the world-famous Salzburg Festival. Salzburg’s Old Town is one of the best-preserved city centers in Europe; its fascinating Baroque architecture made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Getting There: Trains run every 2 hours from Munich’s central train station to Salzburg.
Nuremberg (Nürnberg) is not only a treat during holiday season, when the city hosts one of Germany’s best Christmas markets, but the 950-year old city is worth a visit year-round. Bavaria’s second largest city is alive with history: See the Imperial Castle, which was the residence of Germany’s Kaiser and kings, the romantic Old Town with original timber-framed buildings, Albrecht Dürer’s home, and the Nazi Rally Party Grounds.
Getting There: Trains run regularly from Munich’s central train station to Nuremberg (app 1 hour train ride)