Munich may have the reputation of being one of the most expensive cities in Germany, but it still has a lot to offer as a budget destination. In fact, it’s very possible to do it on the cheap and still tick off all of the boxes on your must-do list.
After you hit the beer garden in the Munich Airport and get into the city, it’s time to have fun.
From steins to sausages and finding affordable beds and public transport, here are 10 ways to save on your next trip to Munich.
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1. Consider sleeping away from Marienplatz
Marienplatz is in Munich’s core (Stadtmitte), and its nearby S-bahn stops Karlsplatz, Hauptbahnhof and Isartor have the most expensive hotels.
Luckily, the public transport in Munich is extremely efficient and fast. Look for hotels in the artsy district Schwabing or South of the Train Station to find a much better deal just a stone’s throw away from the sights.
Search and book our favorite hotels in Munich.
2. Travel with IsarCards and Strip Tickets
If you’re staying in Munich for a week, look into buying a blue paper IsarCard. It cheapens your rides with a one-time fare, and unlimited S-Bahn and U-Bahn travel for seven consecutive days. Those here for less time should get the discount Strip Card, a long strip of paper that you use to punch in your one-way rides.
Taxis here are expensive, so try to avoid them
3. Drink like a local
The English Gardens and Hofbrauhaus have the rep as the most popular stein drinking spots in the city. But if you want to drink like at local, at a local’s price, venture to where the Munich people hang. The Hirschgarten is the biggest beer garden in the city (maybe the world), and you can drink beer next to live deer. Both the Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr Bräuhaus breweries have beer gardens in the summer and beer cellars in the winter that carry the same Bavarian charm as the famous ones. The steins here are around a few euros less.
And speaking of beer, here are 10 tips to save time and money at Oktoberfest.
4. Schnitzel on the go
VinzenzMurr is a chain meat house that hands out hot slices of pork, schnitzel and sausages to go with mustard and on a roll for €2-3. Cheaper than buying at a restaurant, and just as good. Want a selection? Try the small meat houses along the Viktualienmarkt as well.
Related: 5 Classic Munich dishes for around €1
5. Breakfast on the cheap
The bakeries in Germany are the absolute yummiest in Europe with plenty of sweet and savory picks. From big salty brezen pretzels to cheese croissants and jam pastries, Munich is heaven for pastry and bread lovers. Keep an eye out for Müller, a popular chain with many items for as little as €1 or 2.
6. Buy beer in gas stations
We know this sounds a bit out there, but trust us on this one. Gas stations in Munich can be a handy option for picking up a few biers. They are open late, accessible by foot and sell cheap beer. Locals who want to hang outside, come here to grab a few when the supermarkets close and the picnic party on the Isar River is still happening.
7. Order the midday plate for lunch
When eating out, look for the lunch specials called “mittag teller.” It’s not a fancy meal, more like a cheap plate of a hearty serving with a few sides. And the choice is usually traditional items like pork with potatoes and vegetables. But with prices starting at about €8-10, you won’t find a better and more filling deal in Munich.
Looking for more great deals? Check out these 5 cheap eats in Munich that locals love.
8. Affordable (and lovely) view of the city
Climb the 306 steps of St Peter’s Church downtown for a bird’s eye views of the city. Dating from 1180, it’s Munich’s oldest church and worth a look-see anyway. The cost to climb the steps is €2.
Related: 7 Free and fun things to do in Munich
9. Check out museums on Sundays
Some museums are free, some cost a few euros and some might even be closed. If you spot an exhibition or history museum you want to check out, see what offer they have on Sundays. There is usually a huge discount, and in fact, many only charge fees as low as €1.
10. English Gardens for a day
You might have thought you saw the English Gardens, but did you catch the surfers ripping the natural wave on the Eisbach creek? Get a glimpse of the naked sunbathers in the nudist part? Check out the rose garden, the Chinese beer garden, Japanese teahouse and the big lake? It’s easy to spend a free day exploring this massive park.
How do you save in Munich? Share your thoughts in the comments below.