Munich may be known for its beer and Oktoberfest celebrations but even kids can have fun in this German city, where the young can have fun with plenty of interactive museums and toy stores, parks and farmers’ markets. Here are our top picks of things to do in Munich and how to have fun even with young'uns in tow!
1. Munich Hellabrunn Zoo
The Hellabrunn Zoo is always a good place to start off. As one of the oldest zoos around and the 4th best zoo in Europe (in 2013), the zoo is home to plenty of animals including the rare silvery gibbons. Also gorillas, giraffes, elephants, wood bisons, elk, and Arctic foxes were successfully bred in the zoo, which focuses heavily on conservation efforts. Besides kids, dogs are also welcome in the zoo, and your kids will be having hours of fun learning about and identifying all these new species they’ll discover here (with over 18,943 animals representing 767 species!)
Munich Hellabrunn Zoo
Address: Tierparkstr. 30, 81543 München, Germany
Website: Munich Hellabrunn Zoo
2. Toy Museum Munich
Freak your kids out a little with this Toy Museum in Marienplatz, which contains a huge collection of European and American toys, with dolls, doll houses, trains, aeroplanes, bears, and animals. Hopefully, you won’t run into an Annabelle type figure, but jokes aside, this is a great place for them to learn about what entertainment was like pre-electronics and iPads, a real glimpse into children’s history.
Toy Museum Munich
Address: Marienplatz 15, 80331 München, Germany
3. Deutsches Museum
The Deutsches Museum is the science museum of Munich, and is currently the world’s largest museum of science and technology, with about 28,000 exhibited objects from 50 fields of science and technology. With over 1.5 million visitors per year, brace yourselves for crowds, but your children will be delighted as they explore the wonders of science, educate themselves in a fun way, and marvel at the mysteries of planet Earth.
Address: Museumsinsel 1, 80538 München, Germany
Website: Deutsches Museum
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4. English Garden
The English Gardens was built in 1789 and remains one of the key features in Munich. A humongous park, it’s the ideal place to visit during all seasons of the year, and you can either take a lovely stroll, or catch some cool sights such as surfers catching some waves on the river (yes, really!). Your kids will be fascinated by this brush with nature even in a manmade land, and you’re certain to appreciate the wide area that’s perfect for running around, with carefully built areas that will bring you excitement and comfort as necessary in this classically landscaped garden.
Website: English Garden
5. BMW Welt
Do your kids like cars? Doesn’t matter! They’ll love being at the BMW Welt, a huge museum and showroom for the quintessential German automobile. There’s always some kind of special exhibition here on display, and even if you’re not too interested in it, you’ll be awestruck by the beautiful design of the entire place, and the countless cars on display, giving you a fascinating look into BMW’s history and design, with plenty of great photo opportunities. Maybe your child’s first car might even be a BMW! In any case, the kids will be running around and falling in love with cars and the history of cars left right and center.
Address: Am Olympiapark 1, 80809 München, Germany
Website: BMW Welt
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Constructed for the 1972 Summer Olympic games held in Munich, this is the site of one of the most historic Olympic games ever. Even though there most likely won’t be another set of games here for a while, the park still has its uses, and provides a much needed space for play, relaxation, and exploration amongst its expanse of land. The park consists of multiple areas, with memorials to the old Olympic sports facilities including an aquatics centre, shopping centre, and even a village. You could spend hours here and never get bored of this endlessly beautiful place, which catches the sun just right when it sets.
Address: DSpiridon-Louis-Ring 21, 80809 München, Germany
The Viktualienmarkt is a result of the food market of the city growing too large for the central square, Marienplatz, and of course, it was shifted and ended up having its own building. The Viktualienmarkt is great to bring kids to see shopkeepers at their best, hawking their brilliantly coloured wares and foodstuffs, and with how huge the whole thing is, it’s an entire morning of fascination with all that the market offers. Nowadays, instead of basics, the market has grown to offer more, such as exotic ingredients that are not available anywhere else in the area, and is renowned for its diversity and size. Assembled on an area covering 22,000 square metres (236,806 sq ft), this market has 140 stalls and shops offering flowers and plants, fruits and vegetables, venison and fowl, eggs, butter, honey, fish, meat, sausages, herbs, spices, wine, and tea. It is great for shopping!
Address: Viktualienmarkt 3, 80331 München, Germany
8. Nymphenburg Palace
How can you come to Munich and not check out the key palace of the city? Nymphenburg Palace will impress you with its baroque design and architecture, and its history will stun you, with five generations of Wittelsbach rulers involved in building it. It is still one of Munich’s favourite attractions. Your kids will be begging you to stay in a place like this when you leave, and no doubt they’ll be thinking and using their imagination to fantasize about being a Bavarian king or queen as they rule over the land and live in these hallowed hallways.
Address: Schloß Nymphenburg 1, 80638 München, Germany
Website: Nymphenburg Palace
9. Bavaria Film Studios
Head out of Munich a little to reach the Bavaria Film Studios, where “Das Boot” was shot as well as many successful German films and TV series. The studios have a stunt show with special effects and is exciting entertainment for the whole family, while children can have a ride on the dragon “Fuchur” from the “Neverending Story”. Guided tours take about 90 minutes, and since you’ll be walking inside the studios as well as outside, definitely wear comfortable shoes, and enjoy the magic of the cinema that you’ll be exposed to while here.
Bavaria Film Studios
Address: Bavariafilmpl. 7, 82031 Grünwald, Germany
Website: Bavaria Film Studios
In the main square of Munich, there’ll always be the hustle and bustle of energy and activity. Check out the iconic clock that will chime while you’re in the square, and perhaps go on a guided tour where the square’s history will be explained to you, along with the significance of each ‘Marian’ column that’s on the square. During the festive periods, such as October and Christmas, expect huge festivals and markets to pop up here as well, getting you in the right mood to celebrate with exclusive food and decor.
Plenty of fun activities for the family!
Munich has plenty to offer for adults, but families can also find plenty of fun activities for the little ones to enjoy while here, sans the delicious beer. There’s no shortage of history and magic in the air as you explore the amazing Munich, and definitely consider this huge city as part of your plans when planning a family trip to Germany.
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