Eagel's Nest Viepoint in Berchtesgaden
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21 Best Day Trips From Munich For Unforgettable Experiences

Munich, strategically located in the center of Europe, makes a great base for exploring the surrounding area either by car or by train. From the fairytale-like Neuschwanstein Castle to the serene beauty of Lake Starnberg and magnificent Mount Zugspitze, this guide unveils the best 21 day trips, ensuring a diverse range of experiences for every traveler. 

The list below is based on my own experience living in the area for over a decade and hundreds of day trips and weekend breaks. In addition to famous landmarks and tourist attractions, this list includes off-the-beaten-path places and hidden gems of Bavaria, Austria, and Switzerland that most tourists don’t know about.

Neuschwanstein Castle

Distance from Munich:  125 km (77 miles)
Travel Time by Train: 3 hours
Travel Time by Car: 2 hours

Panoramic view of Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle is a famous fairytale-like castle near the beautiful Bavarian town of Füssen. It was built in the 19th century by King Ludwig II. He wanted a special place for himself and admired the works of a composer named Richard Wagner, so he designed the castle to reflect those ideas. Even though the castle wasn’t finished when Ludwig passed away in 1886, it’s well-known for its beautiful location against the Bavarian Alps and its unique design with towers and turrets that look like something from a medieval story.

A popular day trip from Munich, Neuschwanstein Castle is easily accessible by train or car, making it an ideal destination for those who want to see the famous Dysney’s Castle. You can explore the castle’s interior, adorned with opulent rooms and Wagnerian themes, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. Additionally, the nearby Hohenschwangau Castle, Ludwig’s childhood residence, offers further historical insight.

In the area surrounding Neuschwanstein, you can also explore the charming town of Füssen with its medieval Old Town, visit the Alpsee Lake for scenic walks, and even venture to the nearby Wieskirche, a UNESCO-listed pilgrimage church known for its Rococo architecture. The combination of Neuschwanstein Castle’s enchanting allure and the surrounding attractions makes it an unforgettable day trip from Munich.


Read more details in my full guide on how to get to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich.

Linderhof Castle

Distance from Munich: 103 km
Travel Time by Train: 2.5 hours
Travel Time by Car: 1.5 hours

Linderhof Palace

Linderhof Castle is another famous Bavarian castle built by King Ludwig II during the 19th century. The king loved grand and luxurious things, so he created Linderhof to be his little palace of splendor. The palace is known for its lovely gardens, fountains, and golden statues. Even though it’s the smallest of Ludwig’s three castles, it’s full of charm and opulence.

If you’re in Munich and looking for a great day trip, Linderhof Castle is a fantastic choice. You can reach it easily by car or train. Inside the palace, you can explore the lavishly decorated rooms and see the beautiful gardens outside. The surrounding area offers more to explore, like Ettal Abbey, a picturesque monastery, and Oberammergau, a charming village known for its painted houses. The natural beauty of the Bavarian Alps is also nearby, making it a delightful day trip for both history and scenery.

Check out my full list of most beautiful castles near Munich.

Lake Königsee and Berchtesgaden National Park

Distance from Munich: 163 km
Travel Time by Train: 3.5 hours
Travel Time by Car: 2 hours 40 minutes

St. Bartholomä church on lake königssee
St- Bartholomä Königssee

Lake Königssee, nestled in the picturesque Berchtesgaden National Park, is a pristine alpine lake located in Bavaria directly at the Austrian border. Surrounded by towering mountains, the lake is renowned for its crystal-clear waters and tranquil atmosphere. The area holds historical significance, with legends suggesting that the mythical King Watzmann resides in the surrounding peaks. The iconic St. Bartholomew’s Church on the lake’s shores adds to its cultural charm.

Make sure to take a boat ride on the lake to enjoy breathtaking views of the Alps. In addition to exploring the lake, you can venture into Berchtesgaden National Park for hiking trails that lead to panoramic viewpoints.

Although it’s quite far from Munich, it is still possible to visit Lake Königsee on a day trip. If you have extra time, I highly recommend staying at least two days in the area. You can combine visiting Lake Königsee with visiting the Eagel’s Nest or Salzburg. You can find more information in the link below:
Ultimate Guide to Lake Königsee and Berchtesgaden

Eagle’s Nest

Distance from Munich: 161 km
Travel Time by Train:
3 hours 10 minutes
Travel Time by Car: 2.5 hours

Eagel's Nest Viepoint in Berchtesgaden

Eagle’s Nest, nestled in Berchtesgaden National Park in Bavaria, is a mountaintop retreat with a unique history. Built as a teahouse for Adolf Hitler’s 50th birthday, it became known as the Eagle’s Nest due to its strategic location and breathtaking views. Despite its connection to history, it is now a peaceful restaurant and observation point.

Eagle’s Nest makes for a scenic day trip reachable by public transportation. The journey itself offers stunning alpine landscapes. Once there, you can enjoy panoramic views of the Bavarian Alps and explore the historical significance of the site. The nearby town of Berchtesgaden provides additional attractions, including the stunning Königssee lake and the Watzmann mountain, offering a perfect blend of natural beauty and historical exploration.

Partnach Gorge

Distance from Munich: 90 km
Travel Time by Train: 1 hour 45 minutes
Travel Time by Car: 1 hour 20 minutes

Partnach Gorge Partnachklamm
Partnach Gorge Partnachklamm

Partnach Gorge is a breathtaking natural wonder situated near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a short day trip from Munich. The gorge is formed by the Partnach River, creating a narrow, deep ravine with towering rock walls. You can embark on a scenic hike through the gorge, navigating wooden walkways that cling to the cliffs and allowing for stunning views of the rushing river below.

The hike through Partnach Gorge is generally considered easy and suitable for all ages. The well-maintained paths and bridges make it accessible, providing an opportunity to immerse oneself in the beauty of the surrounding nature. The adventure is particularly enjoyable during warmer months when the sunlight filters through the rock formations, creating a magical atmosphere.

As part of a day trip from Munich, exploring Partnach Gorge can be combined with other activities in the Garmisch-Partenkirchen region. Nearby, the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain, offers cable car rides with panoramic views. Additionally, the charming town itself provides opportunities for shopping, enjoying Bavarian cuisine, and experiencing the local culture. 

You can find more information about hiking the Partnach Gorge and how to get there in my dedicated post below:
How to Visit Partnach Gorge from Munich

Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Distance from Munich: 89 km
Travel Time by Train: 1.5 hours
Travel Time by Car: 1 hour 20 minutes

Olympia Skistadion Garmisch-Partenkirschen

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, nestled in the Bavarian Alps, is a charming town with a rich history and picturesque surroundings. The town was formed by the merger of two separate communities, Garmisch and Partenkirchen, in preparation for the 1936 Winter Olympics. Today, it is a popular day trip destination from Munich, known for its stunning alpine landscapes and Bavarian hospitality.

You can explore the historic streets, adorned with traditional frescoed houses and charming shops. The town’s significance as an Olympic host is evident in the preserved Olympic Ski Stadium. A cable car ride to the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain, offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Alps.

In addition to winter sports, Garmisch-Partenkirchen offers hiking and outdoor activities in the warmer months. The Partnach Gorge, a natural wonder, is a short distance away, providing a picturesque hiking adventure. 

Mittenwald

Distance from Munich: 105 km
Travel Time by Train: 1 hour 50 minutes
Travel Time by Car: 1.5 hours

Mittenwald town center

Mittenwald also known as “Village of a Thousand Violins” is a fairytale alpine town with a very traditional Bavarian flair. Known for its colorful houses adorned with intricate frescoes, Mittenwald has a rich history dating back to the 18th century. 

The town gained prominence for its violin-making traditions, and you can explore the Geigenbaumuseum (Violin Making Museum) to learn about this cultural heritage.

Surrounded by stunning mountain landscapes, Mittenwald offers various outdoor activities. The nearby Karwendel Nature Park provides hiking trails suitable for all skill levels, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the breathtaking Alpine scenery. Additionally, the town is famous for its scenic violin-shaped walking trail.

Some of the best hikes close to Munich start from Mittenwald. You can find out more about those hikes in the link below:
Most Scenic and Easy Hikes Near Munich

Zugspitze and Lake Eibsee

Distance from Munich: 95 km
Travel Time by Train: 2 hours 9 minutes
Travel Time by Car: 1.5 hours

Eibsee lake near Zugspitze
Eibsee lake near Zugspitze

Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain, and the stunning Lake Eibsee together form a must-see attraction in Bavaria. Zugspitze has a rich history as a popular destination since the 19th century, attracting adventurers and nature lovers alike. Today, you can easily access the summit by cable car or cogwheel train, treating yourself to breathtaking views of the Bavarian Alps.

Lake Eibsee, nestled at the base of Zugspitze, offers serene beauty with its crystal-clear waters and surrounding forests. A stroll around the lake provides tranquility and splendid photo opportunities.

This day trip from Munich is ideal for those seeking outdoor activities. In warmer months, hiking around Lake Eibsee and exploring Zugspitze’s trails are popular. During winter, the area transforms into a snowy paradise for skiing and snowboarding.

For more information, check out my dedicated post in the link below:
The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Lake Eibsee from Munich

Dachau Memorial Site

Distance from Munich: 20 km
Travel Time by Train: 25 minutes
Travel Time by Car: 40 minutes

Dachau Memorial Site

The Dachau Memorial Site near Munich is an important place with a dark history. It was the first Nazi concentration camp, established in 1933. The site serves as a memorial to honor the victims and educate people about the atrocities of the Holocaust. Visiting Dachau Concentration Camp is a powerful way to learn about history and pay respects to those who suffered.

Dachau Memorial Site is easily reachable by public transportation making it an easy day trip from Munich. It provides a meaningful experience for those interested in understanding World War II history. The nearby town of Dachau offers a peaceful contrast, with its Bavarian charm, local shops, and cafes. You can also explore the Dachau Palace and its gardens, adding a touch of cultural and historical richness to the day.

Salzburg

Distance from Munich: 149 km
Travel Time by Train: 1 hour 48 minutes
Travel Time by Car: 2 hours

Chapter Fountain, Kapitelplatz Salzburg
Chapter Fountain, Kapitelplatz Salzburg

Salzburg is a beautiful Austrian town close to the German border. Steeped in history, Salzburg is the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the setting for the iconic film “The Sound of Music.” The city’s historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a treasure trove of baroque architecture, charming squares, and winding streets.

You can explore the Hohensalzburg Fortress, perched on a hill, offering panoramic views of the city. The Salzach River adds to the city’s picturesque setting, providing a lovely backdrop for nice strolls. The Mirabell Palace and Gardens, known for their beauty, are a must-visit.

Salzburg’s proximity to Munich makes it an ideal day trip, with a train journey offering scenic views of the Bavarian and Austrian countryside. In addition to exploring Salzburg, you can indulge in Austrian cuisine, shop for souvenirs, and enjoy the cultural ambiance of this historic city. 

You can find more information in my dedication post below:
How to Plan Munich to Salzburg Day Trip

Regensburg

Distance from Munich: 128 km
Travel Time by Train: 1 hour 28 minutes
Travel Time by Car: 1 hour 48 minutes

Regensburg

Visiting Regensburg makes a great day trip from Munich due to its rich history and well-preserved medieval architecture. The city, situated on the banks of the Danube River, boasts a UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town that showcases its historical significance. Regensburg played a crucial role during the medieval period as a major trade center, and remnants of this heritage can be explored in its narrow streets and ancient buildings.

You can marvel at landmarks such as the Regensburg Cathedral and the Stone Bridge, which date back centuries. The city’s medieval charm is complemented by vibrant squares, like the Haidplatz, where locals and visitors gather to enjoy the atmosphere.

Regensburg’s accessibility from Munich, with a convenient train connection, makes it an ideal day trip. In addition to exploring the city’s historical sites, you can enjoy a boat cruise on the Danube or relax in riverside parks. The city’s welcoming cafes and restaurants provide an opportunity to savor traditional Bavarian cuisine. Overall, Regensburg offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and scenic beauty for an enriching day trip experience.

The full list of the most beautiful towns in Bavaria can be found below:
Fairytale towns near Munich Reachable by Train

Nuremberg

Distance from Munich: 205 km
Travel Time by Train: 1 hour 7 minutes (with ICE fast trains)
Travel Time by Car: 2 hours 10 minutes

Nuremberg Castle

Nuremberg is the second-largest city in Bavaria and it is famous for its Christmas market and medieval castle Kaiserburg. The Christmas market in Nuremberg is one of the most famous Christmas Markets in Bavaria and in the world.

With a history dating back to the Middle Ages, Nuremberg played a key role in trade and commerce. The city’s medieval charm is evident in its well-preserved Old Town, where you can explore landmarks like the Nuremberg Castle and the iconic Hauptmarkt Square.

Despite its old and rich history, Nuremberg is quite often linked to World War II and the Nazis. So if you are particularly interested in this part of German history, you can visit some Nazi party rally grounds in Nuremberg. The Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds provides insights into a darker chapter of history

Nuremberg is easily accessible from Munich by train, making it a convenient option for a day excursion. 

Burghausen

Distance from Munich: 116 km
Travel Time by Train: 2.5 hours
Travel Time by Car: 1.5 hours

Burghausen Castle

Burghausen Castle is a fascinating castle located in Bavaria, in the town of Burghausen. It holds the title of the longest castle complex in the world, stretching over a kilometer. Built in the 11th century, the castle has a rich history and was strategically important for guarding the border between Bavaria and Austria.

Due to its accessibility, Burghausen Castle makes for an excellent day trip from Munich. You can easily get there by train or car. The castle offers a glimpse into medieval times with its towers, courtyards, and historical exhibitions. Additionally, the town of Burghausen itself is charming, with narrow streets and traditional Bavarian architecture. You can enjoy strolling through the town, exploring local shops, and experiencing the Bavarian culture. The castle’s location along the Salzach River also provides scenic views, adding to the overall appeal of this historical day trip.

Lake Chiemsee and Herrenchiemsee Palace

Distance from Munich: 91 km
Travel Time by Train: 57 minutes
Travel Time by Car: 1 hour 15 minutes

Herrenchiemsee Palace Versailles alternative

Herrenchiemsee Palace is a stunning historical landmark located on an island in Lake Chiemsee. Built by King Ludwig II in the late 19th century, it was intended to be a replica of the Palace of Versailles in France. The palace is known for its opulent interiors, elaborate gardens, and the Great Hall of Mirrors, inspired by its French counterpart. Visiting Herrenchiemsee offers a fascinating glimpse into Bavaria’s royal history and Ludwig II’s eccentric taste.

A day trip to Herrenchiemsee is a great way to explore the Bavarian countryside and one od the most beautiful lakes near Munich. A scenic boat ride across Lake Chiemsee takes you to the island, providing picturesque views along the way. Apart from touring the palace, you can enjoy a nice walk in the beautifully landscaped gardens or relax by the lakeside. The area around Lake Chiemsee also offers opportunities for cycling, hiking, and enjoying traditional Bavarian cuisine in charming local villages. 

Bad Tölz

Distance from Munich: 56 km
Travel Time by Train: 1 hour
Travel Time by Car: 54 minutes

Bad Tölz old town

Bad Tölz, nestled in the heart of Bavaria, is a charming town that makes for a wonderful day trip from Munich. With roots dating back to medieval times, Bad Tölz gained significance as a spa town known for its healing waters. The picturesque Old Town, adorned with colorful facades and charming boutiques, showcases the town’s historical charm.

Easily reachable from Munich, Bad Tölz offers a relaxed escape into Bavarian culture. You can stroll along the Isar River, enjoy the historic Market Street, or unwind in the town’s thermal baths. The Blombergbahn cable car provides panoramic views of the surrounding Alps, adding a touch of natural beauty to the visit.

In the surrounding area, you can explore the Bavarian countryside, hike in the nearby mountains, or indulge in traditional Bavarian cuisine in local restaurants. Bad Tölz’s blend of history, wellness, and scenic beauty makes it a wonderful destination for a day trip from Munich.

Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber

Distance from Munich: 240 km
Travel Time by Train: 3 hours
Travel Time by Car: 2 hours 30  minutes

Rothenburg on der Taube town center

Rothenburg ob der Tauber offers a perfect day trip from Munich with its well-preserved medieval charm. Steeped in history, Rothenburg boasts timber-framed houses, cobblestone streets, and the iconic town wall that transports you back in time. The town’s history dates back to the Middle Ages, and its significance lies in being a key trading center along the Romantic Road.

Stroll through the charming Market Square, visit the medieval Crime Museum, or walk along the well-preserved town walls for panoramic views. The town’s Christmas Market is famous for its festive atmosphere and traditional crafts.

Although Rothenburg is quite far from Munich, it is still possible to visit this fairy tale town if you start your day trip very early in the morning. If you have some extra time, I highly recommend staying in Rothenburg overnight. In the surrounding area, you can enjoy the scenic landscapes of the Franconian region or visit nearby picturesque villages.

Lake Starnberg and Roseninsel

Distance from Munich: 33 km
Travel Time by Train: 35 minutes
Travel Time by Car: 30 minutes

Sunset at Lake Starnberg

Lake Starnberg, located just a short journey southwest of Munich, is a picturesque freshwater lake surrounded by charming villages and lush landscapes. The lake has been a witness to Bavarian royalty and cultural events. One of its notable historical moments is the mysterious death of King Ludwig II, whose body was found in the lake in 1886.

Make sure to take a boat trip to the Rose Island (germ. Roseinsel), a favored retreat for the Bavarian royalty. Roseninsel is a charming island known for its beautiful rose gardens and scenic views. The best time to see the roses in blossom is June. The lakeside villages, like Tutzing and Starnberg, offer delightful cafes and local cuisine, allowing travelers to savor the Bavarian flavors.

Beyond the lake, the surrounding area offers opportunities for hiking and exploring nature trails, providing stunning views of the Bavarian Alps. Additionally, the nearby Buchheim Museum of Phantasy offers a unique cultural experience, showcasing a collection of expressionist art. Lake Starnberg thus emerges as not just a historic site but a relaxing destination for a day trip from Munich.

You can find more information about Lake Starnberg in the dedicated article below:
Best Things to Do in Lake Starnberg

Rhine Falls

Distance from Munich: 280 km
Travel Time by Train: 3 hours 50  minutes
Travel Time by Car: 3 hours 20  minutes

Rhine Falls

Rhine Falls in Switzerland is a spectacular waterfall, known as the largest in Europe. It is a famous tourist spot, attracting visitors with its breathtaking views and the thrilling boat rides that get you up close to the cascading water.

Rhine Falls Boat Trip

The journey from Munich to Rhine Falls offers scenic landscapes and a chance to experience the charming Swiss countryside. Besides marveling at the falls, you can explore the surrounding area, take walks along well-marked paths, or enjoy a boat ride on the Rhine River. The nearby town of Schaffhausen offers souvenir shops and cafes, providing a delightful taste of Swiss culture and hospitality. 

Lindau and Lake Constance

Distance from Munich: 179 km
Travel Time by Train: 2 hours 8 minutes
Travel Time by Car: 2,5 hours

Lindau old town

Lindau, nestled on the shores of Lake Constance, is a picturesque town with a rich history. The town’s roots trace back to the Middle Ages, and its charming old town boasts medieval architecture and a famous harbor. Lake Constance itself is one of Europe’s largest lakes, surrounded by stunning landscapes and shared by Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

You can enjoy a stroll through Lindau’s cobblestone streets, explore its historic buildings, and soak in the serene atmosphere of Lake Constance. Boat trips are popular, providing scenic views of the lake and the distant Alps. In the broader region, there are opportunities for hiking, cycling, and exploring other lakeside towns, making Lindau and Lake Constance a great escape from Munich’s urban hustle.

Altmühltal National Park

Distance from Munich: 126 km
Travel Time by Train: 2 hours 17 minutes
Travel Time by Car: 2 hours

Kayaking in Altmühltal National Park

Altmühltal National Park, located not far from Munich, is a nature lover’s paradise. This protected area is known for its ancient limestone cliffs, lush forests, and winding river valleys. It was established to preserve the unique natural landscapes and the rich biodiversity of the region.

Altmühltal National Park is an excellent day trip option from Munich, easily reachable by train or car. You can explore well-marked hiking and cycling trails that lead to scenic viewpoints, hidden caves, and fossil-rich limestone formations. The park is home to diverse wildlife, including rare birds and butterflies, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts. Additionally, charming towns like Kelheim and Beilngries nearby offer a taste of local culture and cuisine, providing a well-rounded experience for a day trip from Munich.

Andechs Monastery

Distance from Munich: 45 km
Travel Time by Train: 1 hour
Travel Time by Car: 45 minutes

Interior of Andechs Monastery

Andechs Monastery nest between two beautiful Bavarian lakes has a rich history dating back to the Middle Ages. Originally founded as a Benedictine monastery in the 10th century, it later became a destination for pilgrims due to a Holy Relic. Over time, it evolved into a brewery and a popular spot for both spiritual reflection and enjoying local beer.

Andechs Monastery makes an excellent day trip. It’s easily accessible by train or car. You can explore the beautiful monastery grounds, including the church and brewery. The onsite beer garden offers a chance to taste traditional Bavarian beer and food. Surrounding the monastery, the Ammersee lake provides a serene backdrop for a pleasant stroll. Additionally, nearby Herrsching offers a charming lakeside experience, making the trip a delightful blend of culture, history, and nature.

Conclusion

Munich offers a plethora of diverse day trip options, allowing you to explore historical landmarks, natural wonders, and picturesque towns. Whether it’s the fairytale-like Neuschwanstein Castle, the historical significance of the Dachau Memorial Site, or the charming beauty of Lindau and Lake Constance, each destination provides a unique experience. These day trips cater to a variety of interests, from history and culture to outdoor activities, making them accessible by both train and car, ensuring unforgettable experiences for every traveler. 

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comment section below. I’ll be happy to help.

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