Munich in English - selected by independent Locals for Cosmopolitans, Newcomers and Residents - since 1989

back to overview

May 2007

How to Be a Tourist

With the Isar banks awash with lilacs, and chestnut trees blooming over the Biergartens, it’s hard to blame friends and family for wanting to trade their home town for ours. Of course, there’s more than greenery to see in the “Athens on the Isar,” and a number of local tour companies help visitors make the most of their time in Munich. (And help hosts avoid awkward silences when posed questions by curious guests.)

To do without reservations (and double- or triple-digit prices), small groups or individuals can join in on one of Munich Insider and the Tourism Office tours leaving from the Mariensäule on Marienplatz (at 10:30 am and 2 pm, and 10:30 and 1 pm, respectively). Each costs € 8. More information on the tours is available at or by visiting the Tourism Office in the Rathaus. (Pick up a copy of MunichFound while you’re there!)Recent arrivals, however, can skip the ride to Marienplatz and tour with Radius Tours. Their daily Munich Highlight tour leaves Hauptbahnhof (Track 32) at 10 am and costs € 10.

For those who’d like to take their touring into the evening hours, a daily tour (dubbed “The Crawl”) focusing on the history of Munich breweries leaves Easy Internet Café at the Hauptbahnhof each night at 7:30 pm (and usually ends much after midnight). As The Crawl visits three of the city’s historic beer halls, guides narrate Munich’s path to becoming the beer capital of the world. The € 15 price includes an hour-long beer and wine happy hour and other surprises. (All participants must pay for drinks at the halls.) Munich Insider also offers a frighteningly popular “Ghost Tour” of Munich, which leaves the Mariensäule at 9 pm and costs € 10.

Other companies offer more specialized tours that could teach even the Münchner Kindl a thing or two. Stattreisen, for example offers tours on the history of National Socialism or brewing in Munich (both € 137, 2 hrs., 10 people). A full list of available tours (in English) and booking information is available at It is supported by members of the city’s Department of Culture. Hand-picked specialists also lead the tours of Events, Sights, and More. Guests can explore “Culinary Munich” at Dallmayr and the Viktualienmarkt, “Musical Munich” through the eyes of Strauss, Mozart, and Wagner, or “Munich Rococo” in the city’s churches and museums. Tours are priced according to group size and duration: A two-hour walking tour for up to six people costs € 145, and a three-hour coach tour costs € 275. Prices are higher for larger groups, or longer excursions to nearby cities such as Regensburg, or Ludwig’s castles. Visit or call 29 16 00 for specific quotes or to reserve a guide.

The easiest way to tour Neuschwanstein and Linderhof, however, is with Autobus Oberbayern. Daily bus excursions to the castles cost € 45 per person. The same price applies to other day-trip destinations such as Herrenchiemsee, Rothenburg, Innsbruck, Salzburg, and Berchtesgaden. (All tours last approximately 10 hours. See for full information.) Autobus Oberbayern offers motorized touring here in Munich as well. The Stadtrundfahrten—hour-long double-decker bus tours of the city—depart from Hertie at the Hauptbahnhof every twenty minutes (€ 13, € 7 for children).

For a more private touring experience on wheels, visitors may opt to explore Munich by bike. Radius Tours and Munich Insider offer guided bike tours for small groups throughout the city’s many bike paths. Visit their websites for prices and reservations. (Individual tours are not available.) Those without the energy—and with a high tolerance for embarrassment—may also enjoy a Rickshaw Tour of the city. Riders depart from Marienplatz on several routes throughout the city, which passengers determine upon boarding. A half-hour ride for two passengers costs € 37, one hour costs € 49, and a tour of the English Garden can be had for € 52.

Of course, reading up ahead of time is the cheapest and most convenient way to learn about the city (and simultaneously avoid joining an umbrella-bound herd). Each month, we present an in-depth look at one of Munich’s most popular sites in our Landmark article. Recent features on the Haus der Kunst, Theresienwiese, and new Jewish Museum are available in our archives. See this month’s piece on the Viktualienmarkt, and regale your friends and family with trivia on your next visit.

tell a friend