Neuschwanstein Castle is an obvious choice for a Munich day trip. Located above the small village of Hohenschwangau, this gorgeous palace was the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Neuschwanstein was built in the 19th century as a luxurious home for the reclusive King Ludwig II. The castle was never quite finished: in 1886, King Ludwig died before construction was completed. The Bavarian government decided to open up Neuschwanstein to public tours after the king’s death.
Kept safe by its secluded location, Neuschwanstein survived both World Wars, and remains one of Germany’s favourite tourist destinations. The preserved rooms are stunning in their ornate detail. Only about two hours away by car or regional train, Neuschwanstein offers one of the best day trips from Munich.
You can of course also choose to head out on one of the tours offered direct from Munich, but if you happen to have a car or prefer independent excursions, the palace isn’t hard to visit on your own. Reserving tickets for tours online in advance is recommended.
Dachau Concentration Camp
For Munich visitors who really want to get immersed in the history of Germany, day trips to the nearby Dachau concentration camp offer a close look at a dark chapter in the nation’s history.
The first camp opened in Germany, in 1933, Dachau originally held political prisoners, later expanding greatly to include Jewish prisoners and other Holocaust victims. Only a short distance away from Munich, Dachau is a good choice if you only have time for short excursions: it can be reached easily by car or regional train in about half an hour.
Tours also travel to Dachau directly from Munich. As Germany’s first camp, Dachau is a crucial historical site, and now houses a number of memorials and informative exhibits.
Salzburg in Austria
Finally, the city of Salzburg provides another exciting opportunity for excursions from Munich. Despite being located in Austria rather than Germany, Salzburg is only about an hour away by car or train. Again, there are many offers of guided tours and day trips from Munich itself.
The birthplace of Mozart, Salzburg is a lovely historic city that offers many fascinating cultural attractions and historic sights. For fans of “The Sound of Music”, many of Salzburg’s views will be familiar, as the classic film was set there. Architecture buffs will love the diverse architecture on display, ranging from Romanesque to modernist. Salzburg is also home to many beautiful old churches, abbeys, and cathedrals, as well as important museums and galleries. You might need to make multiple day trips to see everything it’s got to offer.
Now you’ve got some inspiration for your trip to Munich, you’re sure to enjoy your stay to the fullest. Try taking some time out from drinking pilsner and eating bratwurst to make some excursions to nearby sites like Neuschwanstein, Dachau, or Salzburg. You won’t regret it.
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