Munich is the heart and capital of Bavaria. When North American’s think of Germany, there is a good chance the images in their head are of Bavaria.
Following the Second World War, German communities were given the choice to either rebuild in a traditional style or make a move toward a more modern style. Munich chose to rebuild in a traditional style and while it has been restored in the last 70 years, it gives the visitor a real sense of Bavarian history and traditional culture
Even with kids, the core of Munich is very walkable. The gothic styled town hall, historical churches and architecture, and the Viktualienmarkt are all highlights for visitors of any age. Kids will be enthralled with giant pretzels and German chocolates as you tour the old city. Two to three hours should be allowed to tour this very lively and engaging area.
This museum is a perfect blend of fun and educational. There is a giant space devoted to learning via play. Amongst the activities included are ropes and pulleys, magnets, sound, building blocks, and mirrors. This was a favourite for all our kids. Touring the museum was also an enjoyable experience particularly the areas of German maritime history and electricity. Two to four hours should be allowed to visit, depending of your appetite for watching the kids in the play area.
This is reportedly the largest green space on the continent and during warm weather Germans and tourist take to the park to play about. There is even an area in the English Garden where one can go surfing on the river! We recently visited in October and the kids enjoyed the numerous playgrounds as well as engaging in cut-throat leaf fights.
Beer Halls like the Haufbrauhaus may not seem like your idea of a great place to take your kids, but they are a great place to get kids fed, in a relaxed environment, and for a reasonable price. You are also likely to get a healthy dose of German Folk music and our kids loved seeing the band as well. Also, let’s face it, after a long day of with the kids on holiday, sometimes the parents would like to drink a giant mug of beer with supper. I have written about this before and you can learn more about my views on taking kids to beer halls here… Should You Take Your Kids to a German Beer Hall?
The rebuilt home of the Bavarian Monarchy, the house of Wittelsbach, offers a glimpse of the luxuries of a forgotten age. This can be as long or as short of a visit as you would like. There is a point during the tour where you can choose the longer route or shorter route. Our eight year old chose the long route and by the time it was done we all wish he had picked the short route. Particularly if you have seen a few other palaces or castles during your European holiday, you can probably opt for the short tour.
A Word of Caution
Something to keep in mind is that Bavaria is the most traditional and conservative area in Germany. Almost every store will be closed Sundays including grocery stores, convenience stores, and pharmacies. It sadly took us about 2.5 hours to find a pharmacy with diapers and had to settle for a size that was not ideal for our little ones. Ultimately it was tourist information in Marienplatz that pointed us in the right direction for an open pharmacy with diapers.
Munich is a family friendly city with a lot to offer. I would recommend three days to get a nice feel for the city. Access to Munich is easy via air or train and from Munich it is easy to branch out to smaller towns in Bavaria, the Alps, Austria, or other areas of Germany.
Please feel free to share your experiences of Munich in the comments section and as always, if you have any questions regarding your upcoming trip to Germany, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments section or contact us via social media.