Family Europe Trip 2023: Munich, Germany With Kids

This post focuses on the itinerary we followed during our visit in and around Munich with kids. We also did a day trip to Salzburg, Austria.

This is part two of a multi-part blog series of our itinerary, tips and tricks from our epic Family adventure to Europe in the spring of 2023.

Our first part of the trip was Paris. Check out this post for all the details.

Transportation: Train Ride

Munich with kids

Choosing the correct form of transportation required a bit of research. I wanted to make the most financially-smart choice when it came to a Eurail pass vs. individual tickets.

I decided on the Eurail pass which I believe we came out about even. I’ll write more about that experience in a separate tips and trips post soon.

Since we chose the seven-day Eurail pass and were leaving Paris to head to Germany, we needed seat reservations along with our train passes.

This is because most trains leaving Paris are the faster-type trains and they require reservations. This isn’t true for most of Europe.

The Eurail website stated I need to print the reservations at home prior to our trip which was hard to believe.

Getting on the train with the correct tickets was simple. However, after that, activating our Eurail passes for the following days was quite challenging (see future post for details).

Travel Day to Munich: Saturday, March 25

Since there wasn’t a direct route to Munich from Paris, we had a stopover in a medium-sized city named Mannheim. We had lunch at a quaint restaurant and enjoyed our first German cuisine.

Thankfully, the staff was very friendly and helpful. That wasn’t the case in other parts of this city. Numerous times we felt like people didn’t quite like us being in this specific city.

I ordered this delicious salad you see above – the first one I had in a week since in France we basically ate bread and cheese 🙂

The rest of our party ordered more traditional German food including Spaetzle and this amazing apple strudel.

Munich Lodging

We changed our travel plans a few months before traveling to Europe and decided to spend more time in Munich vs. stopping at smaller cities between Paris and Munich.

This was a great decision since our original one-night stay in two different locations would have been too much moving around.

Staying 3 nights at a minimum was best for our family. With that said, we couldn’t extend our Airbnb stay so we found two hotel rooms to accommodate all 7 of us. I personally loved the hotel we found.

It was within walking distance of the main square which was a perfect location.

Munich with kids

It was called Hotel Deutsches Theater and was 100 years old. I used booking.com to find the hotel and it was reasonably priced. The hotel lobby concierge was a 90-year-old man with a wealth of history to tell.

There were plenty of quirky things going on in the hotel such as you can only lock the doors with a key (inside and out) and the showers sprayed water all over the bathroom if you weren’t careful.

For the last 3 days we stayed in this Airbnb. It was a converted office and had a huge loft in one room which the kids loved.

Day 2 in Munich: Sunday, March 26

I started my day with a run around the city and it was pretty easy to navigate. Google Maps always helps but we were very centrally located so I didn’t have to run far to see many of Munich’s attractions.

I discovered a farmers market full of fresh produce and ran alongside the Isar River.

Olympic Park and BMW Museum

We took the subway to Olympic Park for the day. We found the Olympic pool and walked the grounds. We learned you can purchase a pass to swim for a few hours in the pool. If we had more time we would have loved to!

An interesting fact surrounding a huge hill in Olympic Park is that it was created by the rubble/debris left from World War II bombings. It was later decided to be the hosting location for the 1972 Summer Olympics.

This location was super exciting to me since it was our first sighting of the Alps!

While we climbed the large hill and did a bit more outdoor exploring, my parents checked out the BMW Welt.

There are two options – one free “museum” called BMW Welt and another paid museum. My parents toured the free one and they said it was well worth it.

Day 3 in Munich: Monday, March 27

Munich with kids

Strikes apparently occur in Europe fairly often as we learned in Paris. Today we were moving from our hotel to Airbnb and it just happened to be a day of strikes.

They actually notified the public of the specific day that the strike would happen.

This strike was due to transportation workers wanting an increase in pay and shut down the majority of transportation methods including most buses, metros, and even planes.

Thankfully we knew ahead of time, so we planned on the 3-mile walk to our Airbnb.

Marienplatz

We visited this central square where we viewed the famous Glockenspiel chime and enjoyed some giant pretzels.

Yes, more grains for Eli (see the Paris post for details).

Munich with kids

Haufbrau House

On Dan’s must-see list was definitely to visit the Haufbrau House. There’s live music daily and the food was delicious.

Munich with kids

Touristy, yes, but so much fun 🙂

Kids also tried sparkling apple juice and orange spritzer which they all loved.

Day 4 in Munich: Tuesday, March 28

We wanted to visit a concentration camp while in Germany for not only remembrance of this horrible time in history but to also teach our kids a little about this time period. We decided on the Dachau Concentration Camp since it was just outside of Munich.

I was a little hesitant to bring the kids since it was suggested for ages 12 and up, however, we stayed away from any videos or photos that would have been too much for them.

When you arrive in the city of Dachau from the train station, you can choose to either take a five-minute bus ride or walk to the camp.

We chose to walk since they have a remembrance walk between the train station and camp that signifies the same walk prisoners took. The directions weren’t exactly clear but we figured it out.

They have several posters with details about the camp along the route.

I have previously been to another concentration camp outside of Berlin, but regardless, this time was just as unreal and beyond sad to be at the exact location of such devastation and terror that took place here over a span of 12 years.

Salzburg, Austria: Wednesday, March 29

Salzburg is only about 1 1/2 hours by train from Munich.

I loved the train ride since we could start seeing the Alps come to life over the horizon. And I absolutely love to see and be in the mountains.

Salzburg was very easy to navigate and easy to see most of the attractions in one day. We purchased a Salzburg Card which got us in free to many attractions or at least discounted tickets.

You can also ride public transportation for free with the card. It was well worth the cost.

We visited the Hohensalzburg Fortress which overlooks the entire city. This was definitely a highlight for everyone.

There’s a funicular (my parents and kids took the easy route) you can ride up or take a very steep walk up to the entrance. Dan and I took the walk and boy was it a workout!

You can explore the entire grounds of the fortress and learn about the history of the fortress. They also provided a children’s activity book to complete along with the self-guided tour.

We also visited Mozart’s residence for free using the Salzburg Card and it included an audio tour. And we toured the grounds of the cemetery and church where parts of the Sound of Music were filmed.

As you can see, we covered quite a bit in 1 day in Salzburg and 3 days in Munich with kids.

Below are a few things we had planned but didn’t have a chance to do including a few tips.

Munich Tidbits

  • A hilarious fact to us but not to locals: the metro stopped unexpectedly while we were coming back into town from Dachau due to a balloon getting stuck in the overhead electrical lines of a metro car! A local student that was on the metro with us explained that this happens regularly and expressed the need for an upgrade of the metro system and that this topic is quite embarrassing for Munich locals.
  • Munich and all of its main attractions are very walkable. And, when working, the public transportation was easy to maneuver.
  • Unfortunately, the weather was quite chilly when we visited so outdoor seating/beer gardens were not operating. We’d love to come back to enjoy that!

Additional Attractions Nearby

  • Neuschwanstein castle: this must be booked in advance. We missed the window of purchasing tickets ahead of time. It’s recommended that you book weeks ahead of time. It’s a few hours outside of Munich and not easily accessible by public transportation. So if you want to see this castle, I’d recommend renting a car for the day.
munich with kids

Next stop, Switzerland!

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