Munich, the capital of Bavaria, is a German metropolis set in the middle of southern Germany. From its centuries old Marienplatz to its traditionally Bavarian Hofbräuhaus, it is a dream city for many travellers. Munich is also a great home base for travellers wanting to explore its surroundings, as there are many great places to visit on day trips from Munich. In this post, I’ll be sharing three of the best places (in my opinion) to visit on day trips from Munich. These places include a fairytale castle, a former concentration camp, and enchanting Austrian city.
The first day trip destination is one that I think everyone should visit once in their lives – a Nazi concentration camp. Dachau Concentration Camp, located 30 minutes outside of Munich, is the first camp created by the Nazis during the third reich. Around 200,000 prisoners passed through Dachau, and 30,000 of them were killed at Dachau. It was in use from 1933 to 1945, until it was liberated by US troops in May 1945.
The area were the camp used to be is now home to a memorial site, where you’ll find the infamous “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate, the former camp prison, reconstructed prisoner barracks, and the camp’s former crematorium. For more information on the current use and history of Dachau, you can read my post all about it through this link.
Visiting Dachau, or any concentration camp, is definitely a very somber experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Though it isn’t a very happy place to visit, it is a very influential place to see through your own eyes as it reminds you of the horrors of the holocaust and how they can never be repeated. I’d suggest setting aside at least half a day to spend at Dachau, if not more.
Located in the foothills of the Bavarian alps, near Germany’s border with Austria, Neuschwanstein Castle is known for being the inspiration for the iconic Disney castle. Considering its surroundings, location, and architecture, Neuschwanstein is a very beautiful and enchanting place.
Neuschwanstein, built by Ludwig II in the late 1800s, is found within the small village of Hohenschwangau, near the town of Füssen, which is a two hour drive or three hour train ride out of Munich. The castle is truly a fairytale scene, and it is one of the most stunning places I’ve ever been to.
If you’re planning on visiting Neuschwanstein, I’d recommend allotting most of your day towards visiting the castle. For more about Neuschwanstein, you can read my entire post about it here.
Salzburg, an Austrian city on the border of Germany, is about a one and a half hour drive/ train ride from Munich. With views of the Eastern Alps, Salzburg is a very charming city. Its known for its beautifully designed altstadt, being the birthplace of the famous composer Mozart, its impressive Hohensalzburg fortress, and being the main filming location for the Sound of Music.
If you don’t have much time in the area, and you’d like to get a chance to visit Austria, Salzburg is the perfect day trip city from Munich. However, if you have enough time, I’d recommend staying in Salzburg overnight rather than just on a day trip so that you get the chance to see more of the city. If visiting on a day trip is your only chance to visit Salzburg though, definitely take advantage of the chance to visit!
If you’re coming on a day trip, plan to spend pretty much your entire day in Salzburg and getting to Salzburg. If you’re staying for longer than a day though, definitely look out for my upcoming posts going more in depth about Salzburg’s main sites and what to do while you’re there (I will link them in this post once they go up).
That’s it for my Munich day trips post! Hopefully it was either helpful or entertaining to you. Have you been to any of the places in this post? If so, what was your favourite to visit?
Thanks for reading.
P.S. As you’re reading this I’m actually in Palm Springs for the weekend!