I am delighted to have Eileen Gunn from FamiliesGo! sharing her favorite things to do in Munich with kids. For those of you unfamiliar with Eileen, she is a veteran journalist, fearless traveler and mom of one. She’s written a book on career management that took lessons from extreme sports, climbed a volcano in the pitch black, gone kayaking in a typhoon, and launched a business. Eileen launched FamiliesGo! to help parents plan memorable vacations the whole family can enjoy together. Head over to her site to find advice for planning your next vacation.
Munich is one of our favorite destinations in Germany, and we loved visiting the German Christmas markets. Our kids also enjoyed a day trip to Neuschwanstien and Linderhof Palace, BMW Museum, and Residenz. But enough about us, let’s see what Eileen has to say!
Germany is an incredibly easy place to travel with kids. How could the country that gave us the Brothers Grimm and gummy bears not be? Bavaria is one the most laid back parts of Germany, making it a doubly great place for families. Here are our favorite things to do in Munich, some on the well-worn tourist track and some a small detour from it.
What to Do in Munich with Kids
1. The MarienPlatz is the city’s central pedestrian zone with stores, cafes, beer halls and churches. At 11:00 and noon (and 5:00 pm May to October) stop in front of the Rathaus to see the Glockenspiel. More than 30 figures act out a wedding complete with dancing coopers and a joust (the Bavarian knight always wins). At 3.5 years old Tiny Traveler was captivated.
2. Munich’s public pools complexes are huge and amazing. Admission is a few dollars, lockers are available and facilities are ultra modern and clean. The outdoor Prinzregentenbad has a stone wading area with sprinklers and a playground for small children, slides and whirlpools for bigger kids and a lap pool. Bring lunch or buy it there and picnic on the large lawn.
Naturbad Maria Einsiedel is a similar complex near the zoo. The bracing Isar River feeds one of its pools.
Try the Cosimawellenbad on bad-weather days. Kids come running when the buzzer sounds signalling waves are about to start in main pool. Pre-swimmers have a wading pool with a slide. Grown-ups have an indoor/outdoor heated pool with spa jets and whirlpools.
3. Englischer Garten, Europe’s largest city park, offers playgrounds, beer gardens, an antique carousel and rambling wilderness. Pass by the entrance on Prinzregenten Strasse, near the Haus der Kunst (art museum) to watch wetsuit-clad locals surfing in the chilly Eisbach River.
4. Future engineers will love every inch of the Deutsches Museum, a science and technology museum. Take those under 8 downstairs to the Kinderreich (kids’ kingdom), where they can play a giant guitar from the inside, run on a large hamster wheel and clamber around a fire truck.
Where to Eat in Munich with Kids
5. At the outdoor Viktualien Market, you can buy ready-made sausages and sandwiches from prepared-food stalls or put an impromptu picnic together with cold cuts, seafood, cheese, bread and fruit from local purveyors. TT was rewarded for finishing her lunch with neon-colored Turkish delight sold by the piece. She loved it.
6. Families are welcome in all the beer halls and beer gartens. Look for them in most parks, sometimes with playgrounds and amusements in view of the tables.
On a nice day head to the sprawling Chinesischer Turm in Englischer Garten, popular with tourists and Munchners alike. The cafeteria style café is budget friendly; kids and their parents will love the roast chicken and sausages. Made-to-order Palacinken (pancakes) are a sweet treat and TT liked watching them cook. The large coins you get with your beer represent the deposit you made on your glass.
7. For indoor dining try the cozy Glöckl Am Dom, known for tiny bratwurst served with fresh horseradish. Schneider Weisse, famous for its weisswurst with pretzels and weisse beer, is a Munich must. Kids go for the mild white sausages and “bretzie.”
8. Germans love their sweets and take time out for “kafe und Kuchen” most afternoons. There are plenty of places around the Marienplatz to indulge in the marzipan-laden and seasonal fruit-topped cakes the locals favor. My favorite has a rich-but-not sweet pastry cream and poppy seeds.
Has Eileen convinced you to take a trip to Munich? I know we love visiting, and I hope she has inspired you. Thank you Eileen for sharing your tips with us. You can follow FamiliesGo! on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.
*This post originally appeared in August 2015, but was updated in September 2018.
Still looking for Munich ideas? Check out our other post with additional things to do in Munich.