Where to Stay in Munich (2020 • COOLEST Areas!)

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Munich is a city that wears many hats. It is famous for its incredible architecture, rich history, diverse art, cultural scene, and, of course, its raucous and rowdy annual Oktoberfest.

We wrote this comprehensive guide on where to stay in Munich because this is a large city and some neighborhoods are better suited for visitors than others.

Moreover, Munich is more expensive than other German cities, so you want to pick the best area in Munich for your budget.

In this article, we break down the best neighborhoods in Munich by sharing our top picks and some hidden gems, so you can quickly find the area in Munich that best suits your travel style and interests.

Whether you’re looking for the hottest clubs, most chill pubs, greenest parks or the best museums, we’ll discuss it all below.

Keep on reading for more information on our picks for where to stay in Munich.

 

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Munich

  • Where to stay in Munich first time – Altstadt
  • Where to stay in Munich on a budget – Isavorstadt
  • Best area to stay in Munich for nightlife – Maxvorstadt
  • Coolest place to stay in Munich – Schwabing
  • Best neighbourhood in Munich for families – Haidhausen

 

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

 
Altstadt
Altstadt is the historic centre of Munich. It’s made up of charming cobblestone streets and expansive medieval squares.
 
Places to Visit:
  • Browse the shops and stalls of Viktualienmarkt, a large open-air market
  • Dance the night away at Frauen 26, one of Munich’s best-kept secrets
  • Enjoy great beer and traditional Germany food at Am Marienplatz

 

Where to Stay in Munich

Looking for a specific place to stay? Perhaps a hostel or maybe something more elegant?

These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Munich.

 

Best Hostel in Munich: Wombats City Hostel Munich

Wombats City is our top choice for where to stay in Munich for travelers on a budget. It’s central enough in Munich – just a short walk from Old Town – that you can explore the city with ease. You’ll be well connected to public transit, restaurants, and bars.

Best of all, this fun and funky hostel has a great social atmosphere, laundry facilities, and relaxing hammocks. It’s our top pick for the best hostel in Munich, as well as where to stay for Oktoberfest since you can walk to the festival grounds.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in Munich: Modern and Airy Apartment

Located in the Maxvorstadt District, this modern apartment offers business travelers and tourists a pleasant retreat. The spacious living room and the fully equipped kitchen are waiting for your visit. The apartment also has a welcoming balcony where you can relax and take it all in. The first bedroom has a double bed, and the second bedroom also has a double bed plus a work space if you need it. The bathroom with its large bathtub invites you to linger.

View on Airbnb

 

Best Hotel in Munich: Hotel Blauer Bock

A convenient location, fabulous décor and spacious rooms are just a few of the reasons Hotel Blauer Bock is our top pick for where to stay in Munich.

This modern hotel has a coffee bar, bike rentals and spacious rooms. There’s also a great on-site restaurant and a stylish lounge bar.

View on Booking.com

 

Coolest Place to Stay in Munich: Ibis Munich City North Hotel

The Ibis Munich City North is a great base for your time in Schwabing, our pick for one of the coolest areas in Munich.

The hotel has a terrace, bar and an on-site restaurant. They offer airport transfers, dry cleaning and laundry services too. Rooms have comfortable beds, private bathrooms, and all the necessities.

You are a short walk from the Alte Heide Station, and close to Englischer Garten.

View on Booking.com

 

Munich Neighborhood Guide

Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Munich

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Altstadt

  • Altstadt is the historic centre of Munich. It’s made up of charming cobblestone streets and expansive medieval squares.
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Isavorstadt

  • Isavorstadt is a lively and vibrant neighbourhood that is part of Munich’s second district. Just outside of Altstadt, Isavorstadt is centrally located with a great variety of bars, clubs, pubs and restaurants, yet a much more affordable option than Alstadt.
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Maxvorstadt

  • Located between the city centre and the suburbs, Maxvorstadt is a hub for Munich’s arts scene. It’s home to a wealth of museums and art galleries as well as universities and cultural institutions.
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Schwabing

  • Schwabing is one of the most eclectic and coolest places to stay in Munich. It is Munich’s artistic quarter as well as its wealthiest and most desirable district. This contrast is what makes Schwabing quite unique.
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Haidhausen

  • Haidhausen is a downtown neighbourhood located across the river from Altstadt. Its history dates back more than 1,200 years to when Haidhausen was once one of the poorest districts of the city.
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Munich is one of Germany’s most underrated cities. As the capital and largest city in Bavaria, Munich has a diverse history, thriving cultural scene, vibrant nightlife, and lush natural landscape.

It is also home to the annual Oktoberfest celebrations, whose beer tents and steins attract thousands of revellers from all over the world.

But there’s plenty to see and so here beyond the beer garden. From sampling incredible cuisine to dancing the night away, Munich is a city that enriches the lives of its visitors.

Munich is divided into 25 administrative zones. Each zone has a number of neighbourhoods each with a distinct atmosphere and diverse attractions.

Altstadt is the historic and geographic heart of Munich. A pedestrianised zone, Altstadt is where you’ll find the majority of Munich’s tourist attractions, including Marienplatz, as well as shopping and great restaurants.

To the north, you have the district of Maxvorstadt. Considered the cultural centre of Munich, here you’ll find a great variety of museums and art galleries. It has a lively and vibrant student population and is home to Munich’s best nightlife scene.

Travelling south, you’ll pass through the neighbourhoods of Isavorstadt and Schwabing. Exciting and eclectic, these two districts are packed with restaurants, bars, shops and museums.

Across the Iskar River are Haidhausen and East Munich. These two areas are amongst the oldest in the city. They have stunning architecture and a plethora of thriving restaurants and family-friendly attractions.

Still not sure where to stay in Munich? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

 

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5 Best Areas to Stay in Munich

Now, let’s take a look in more detail at the five best areas in Munich. Each is a little different than the last, so be sure to check out which is right for you!

 

1. Altstadt Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Munich for First Time

Altstadt is the historic centre of Munich. It’s made up of charming cobblestone streets and expansive medieval squares.

This area of Munich is home to the city’s most famous and recognizable tourist attractions and landmarks; it’s our recommendation for where to stay in Munich if you’re visiting for the first time.

Culture vultures who want to check Munich’s top tourist attractions off their list will love exploring Altstadt. Tucked around every corner are iconic sights and architectural gems, including the Altes and Neues Rathauses, Hofgarten, and the State Chancellery.

Interested in a little shopping? Altstadt is the place for you! In Old Town, you’ll find Munich’s leading shopping destinations, like Kaufingerstrasse and the open-air market Viktualienmarkt, selling everything from fruits and vegetables to clothes and souvenirs.

When you’re ready to grab a pint, head over to Hofbräuhaus brewery. Dating back to the 16th-century, Hofbräuhaus is Munich’s most famous beer hall. A bit touristy but still great for food, beer, and boisterous polka music.

Altstadt, Munich

 

Things to See and Do in Altstadt

– Admire the detail of the Altes Rathaus, Munich’s old city hall that was originally built in 1474 and rebuilt following World War II.

– Browse the shops and stalls of Viktualienmarkt, a large open-air market.

– Dance the night away at Frauen 26, one of Munich’s best-kept secrets.

– Enjoy great beer and traditional Germany food at Am Marienplatz.

– Grab a drink and spend an afternoon people watching at Hofbräuhaus, one of the most famous brewpubs in Munich.

– See antiques and armour, artefacts and more from the Middle Ages through the early-20th-century at the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum.

– Visit the Neues Rathaus and let the magical figures of the Glockenspiel entertain you with their musical show.

 

Best Hostel in Altstadt: Gspusi Bar Hostel

Gspusi Bar Hostel is centrally located in Old Town Munich. It is close to Munich’s vibrant entertainment and fantastic shopping districts.

Comprised of 20 rooms, this stylish boutique hostel offers private and shared accommodations, a common room, and a bar. It has free linens, hypoallergenic bedding and reading lights for guests.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in Altstadt: Modern and Airy Apartment

Located in the Maxvorstadt District, this modern apartment offers business travelers and tourists a pleasant retreat. The spacious living room and the fully equipped kitchen are waiting for your visit. The apartment also has a welcoming balcony where you can relax and take it all in. The first bedroom has a double bed, and the second bedroom also has a double bed plus a work space if you need it. The bathroom with its large bathtub invites you to linger.

View on Airbnb

 

Best Hotel in Altstadt: Hotel Blauer Bock

As we mentioned earlier this hotel is one of the best places to stay in Munich, due to its convenient and central location, wonderful rooms and excellent amenities, like lounge and coffee bar and an on-site restaurant.

They also offer bike rentals; one of the best ways to see Altstadt and the rest of Munich is by bike.

View on Booking.com

 

Best Hotel in Altstadt: Hotel ADRIA Munchen

Hotel ADRIA Munchen is conveniently located at the centre of the city. It is close to great shopping, delicious restaurants and Munich’s exciting nightlife scene.

Each room is stylishly decorated and features cable/satellite TV, a private bathroom, and a minibar. There’s even an on-site golf course!

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2. Isavorstadt Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Munich on a Budget

Isavorstadt is a lively and vibrant neighbourhood that is part of Munich’s second district. Just outside of Altstadt, Isavorstadt is centrally located with a great variety of bars, clubs, pubs and restaurants, yet a much more affordable option than Alstadt.

One of the hippest districts in the city, Isavorstadt is very popular amongst Munich’s younger population who like to gather to enjoy craft beer, good cocktails, and a night on the town.

But there’s more to Isavorstadt than just beer. This south-central neighbourhood is also where you’ll find world-renowned museums, cultural institutions, incredible restaurants and some of the best views in the city.

We wouldn’t hesitate to stay that this is the best area to stay in Munich…

Our top pick for where to stay in Munich if you’re travelling on a budget, Isavorstadt has a wide variety of affordable accommodation options and is where you’ll find some of the best bed and breakfasts in Munich. From basic hostels to boutique hotels, your hard-earned travel dollars will go far in this hip and funky downtown neighbourhood.

Isavorstadt, Munich

 

Things to See and Do in Isavorstadt

– Enjoy savoury sausages, cold beer and traditional currywurst at Bergwolf.

– Grab a seat at the Bavariapark beer garden, a 1,500 seat pub that’s always bursting with activity and life.

– Stand in awe of St. Paul’s Church, the second largest church in Munich whose bell tower stands nearly 100 meters tall. Climb to the top of the tower for an incredible view over Munich to the Alps.

– Travelling in late-September? Grab a pint and join the party at Oktoberfest, the world’s largest beer festival.

– Try traditional German food with a modern twist at Roecklplatz.

– Visit the Deutsches Museum and explore one of Europe’s best science and technology exhibitions.

– Visit the famous Paulaner brewery and enjoy a pint (or two) at its fantastic beer garden.

 

Best Hostel in Isavorstadt: Wombats City Hostel Munich

Wombats City is a fun and funky hostel – and our top choice for where to stay in Isavorstadt. A short walk from Altstadt, this hostel is also close to public transit so you can visit the rest of Munich with ease.

It has a great social atmosphere and guests will love relaxing in hammocks in the glass-roofed terrace. If you are visiting Munich for Oktoberfest, this is the perfect base for backpackers and social travelers looking to meet people to enjoy the festival with.

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Best Airbnb in Isavorstadt: Chic and Comfortable Oasis

Intelligently designed, this apartment has a sleeping alcove with double bed and high wardrobe. In the living area, beech wood work and storage areas, work space with W-lan, pull-out dining table, comfortable swinging chairs, sofa bed, and large TV flat screen. In the kitchen, you can find amenities such as mineral water maker, espresso machine, toaster, kettle, and a coffee machine. There are two bicycles available for guests. Great value for money.

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Best Hotel in Isavorstadt: GHOTEL hotel & living Munchen-City

Situated at the heart of Isavorstadt, GHOTEL is where to stay in Munich for Oktoberfest. The modern and comfortable GHOTEL hotel & living is also great for year round travels, as it central and close to dining, shops, and clubs.

The hotel has a sun-soaked terrace, stylish bar, and delicious daily breakfast buffet.

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Best Hotel in Isavorstadt: Hotel Cristal Munich

Enjoy four-star luxury at a fraction of the price at the Hotel Cristal Munich. Located in trendy Isavorstadt, this hotel has top tourist attractions as well as restaurants, shops, and bars nearby.

It has an on-site restaurant, lounge and coffee bar, and each room is outfitted with modern amenities. Hotel Cristal Munich is our other pick for where to stay in Munich for Oktoberfest.

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3. Maxvorstadt Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Munich for Nightlife

Located between the city centre and the suburbs, Maxvorstadt is a hub for Munich’s arts scene. It’s home to a wealth of museums and art galleries as well as universities and cultural institutions.

Tourists and locals flock to this area throughout the day and night to enjoy its fantastic displays, excellent restaurants, and world-class exhibitions.

Because of Maxvorstadt’s high volume of students and young people, it’s also one of the best places to stay for Munich’s nightlife scene.

From rock clubs and quiet pubs to exciting eateries and all-night dance parties, this area of the city is where you’ll find a variety of things to do at night, no matter your age, style or budget.

Looking for the best places to drink beer in Munich? Check this post!

Maxvorstadt, Munich

 

Things to See and Do in Maxvorstadt

– Dance until dawn at Bob Beaman, one of the best clubs in the city.

– Dine on delicious fare at Electric Elephant, a minimalistic restaurant that pumps techno music.

– Drink beer and meet new people at the ultra-hip and modern FOX.

– Enjoy cheap food, good beer and a welcoming local atmosphere at Alter Simpl.

– Sample local beers and dishes at Alter Ofen, a Maxvorstadt institution.

– See brilliant works of art by great European masters at the Alte Pinakothek.

– Sit back, relax, and take in a film at Cinema, a fantastic theatre that screens original versions of English language films.

– Take a tour of the Lowenbrau brewery and enjoy a few pints at this historic institution that dates all the way back to the late-14th century!

 

Best Hostel in Maxvorstadt: The 4You Hostel Munich

Comfortable, spacious and packed with amenities – the 4You Hostel is one of our top picks for where to stay in Maxvorstadt.

It has private and shared accommodations, and each bed has its own reading light and locker. A delicious continental breakfast buffet is also provided.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in Maxvorstadt: Bright and Breezy Studio

This fully equipped and renovated studio is very bright and has a delightful south-facing balcony where you can appreciate the city view. Located in the university district, it is a popular meeting place for students and workers, as there are numerous cozy cafes, bars and restaurants in the immediate vicinity. It is equipped with a 1.60 x 2,00m sleeping sofa for 2 people, a fully equipped kitchen with ceramic oven, refrigerator and a 46 inch TV. Amazon Prime Video and Netflix TV can be used free of charge and in different languages. In the basement there is a coin-operated washing machine and dryer.

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Best Hotel in Maxvorstadt: Hotel Erzgiesserei Europe

Enjoy a modern accommodation at the heart of Maxvorstadt at the Hotel Erzgiesserei Europe. Situated within walking distance of transit, this hotel is well-connected; plus, they offer bicycles for rent.

Each room comes with slippers, a flat-screen TV, and free wifi. There’s also a splendid breakfast buffet.

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Best Hotel in Maxvorstadt: VI VADI HOTEL Downtown Munich

Just a ten-minute walk from Munich Central Station, you won’t find a better located hotel in Maxvorstadt.

This charming three-star hotel features 120 recently refurbished rooms each equipped with cable/satellite TV, private bathrooms, and comfortable beds. The hotel offers a laundry service, airport transfers, and a daily breakfast buffet.

We also like that they have an in-house Italian restaurant, and there is a wide choice of eating options in the surrounding area.

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4. Schwabing Neighborhood – Coolest Place to Stay in Munich

Schwabing is one of the most eclectic and coolest places to stay in Munich. It is Munich’s artistic quarter as well as its wealthiest and most desirable district. This contrast is what makes Schwabing quite unique.

Located north of the city centre, Schwabing is a magnet for tourists and locals alike. It’s home to a great variety of chic boutique and local designers, innovative restaurants, cosy cafes, and trendy bars and clubs.

You’ll also find world-class museums and one-of-a-kind art installations.

One of Schwabing’s most famous attractions is the Englischer Garten. A massive urban green space, the Englischer Garten spans more than 900 acres and has intricate temples, charming teahouses, and lush verdant lawn.

The park is also a great place to try your hand at surfing – that’s right – thanks to a standing wave created on the river near Haus der Kunst, you can surf in Munich year-round! Though, we suggest you wear a wetsuit.

Schwabing, Munich

 

Things to See and Do in Schwabing

– Dance to the best hip-hop and RnB at Deluxe Munich.

– Dig your teeth into fresh and delicious Greek food at the very hip and popular Cavos Taverna.

– Enjoy pints in the sun at Aumeister, one of Munich’s best beer gardens that’s located at the north end of Englischer Garden.

– Pack a picnic and enjoy an afternoon on the lawns of the stunning Englischer Garten.

– Party all night long in a former power plant at infamous club Freiheiz.

– Rent a bike and cruise along the trails that weave throughout this gorgeous neighbourhood.

– Sample dishes from one of Germany’s best chefs at Tantris. The prices are high, but the experience is worth it.

– Shop until you drop on Leopoldstrasse, one of Munich’s main boulevards, which is home to everything from high-end designers to high street fashions.

 

Best Hostel in Schwabing: Haus International

Haus International is a comfortable and basic hostel in Schwabing. It offers private and shared accommodations and boasts a large restaurant with a patio and beer garden.

This hostel is also home to a bar and club, which is only open to guests. We think this is one of the best places to stay in Munich for its welcoming and social atmosphere.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in Schwabing: Private Guest Room in central area

Guest room in high-end apartment with roof-top terrace in a central area of Munich. Tram stop right in front of the building that takes you to the very center of Munich. All guests will have access to dining room area and kitchen. If you wish to exclusively book the entire apartment for 4 or more people, you can contact the owner directly and discuss prices.

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Best Hotel in Schwabing: Steigenberger Hotel Munchen

The Steigenberger Hotel Munich is a stylish and modern hotel – and our top choice for where to stay in Schwabing. This four-star hotel is conveniently located and well-connected to restaurants, bars, clubs and shopping.

It has a stylish bistro, comfortable lounge bar, and a relaxing library on-site.

View on Booking.com

 

Best Hotel in Schwabing: Ibis Munich City North Hotel

Cute and convenient, the Ibis Munich City North is a great base for your time in Schwabing. Bars, eateries and shops are close by.

The hotel has a terrace, bar and an on-site restaurant. Rooms have comfortable beds, private bathrooms, and satellite TV.

View on Booking.com

 

5. Haidhausen – Where to Stay in Munich with Family

Haidhausen is a downtown neighbourhood located across the river from Altstadt. Its history dates back more than 1,200 years to when Haidhausen was once one of the poorest districts of the city.

Today, Haidhausen is a popular and thriving residential area. Thanks to its stunning architecture, lush landscapes, and close connection to the city centre, Haidhausen is our top choice for where to stay in Munich for families.

Haidhausen is packed with activities and attractions that will excite and entertain all members of the family. From skate parks and cinemas to climbing walls and parks, there’s plenty to see and do in this part of the city.

It also has a great variety of restaurants and bars, and cafes and pubs that will satisfy all your culinary tastes and desires.

One of Haidhausen’s main attractions is its beautiful riverbanks, which are perfect for relaxing and enjoying a stunning sunset after a long day of sightseeing.

Haidhausen, Munich

source: Polybert49 (Flickr)

 

Things to See and Do in Haidhausen

– Learn about space, planets, the universe and beyond at the Bavarian Public Observatory Munich. For an incredible view, visit the 300 square meter observation platform and peer through the telescopes.

– Enjoy a peaceful and relaxing day at Maximiliansanlagen, a gorgeous park that runs along the river.

– Test your skills and race to the top at Boulderwelt Munchen Ost, a climbing wall suitable for all ages and levels.

– Run, jump, laugh and play at Kulti-Kids, a massive indoor and outdoor adventure park.

– Dine on everything from pizza to pasta at Gast. An open concept kitchen, kids will be mesmerized by the action as they watch their food being prepared.

 

Best Hostel in Haidhausen: HI Munich Park

Modern and cosy, this Haidhausen hostel is perfect for families visiting Munich. A short metro ride from the city centre, it is close to restaurants, parks, and Munich’s best landmarks.

This hostel has a delicious all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, free wifi, and three spacious common rooms. There is also a bistro and vending machines.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in Haidhausen: Modern and Spacious Home

The apartment is located in the Kustermannpark, in Munich-Haidhausen. It has three rooms, each of them with a view of the city. All rooms are equipped with elaborate cherry wood parquet. The spacious bathroom with gray slate tiles from Italy has a walk-in spa shower with rain shower head and massage jets, a bathtub, towel radiator, plus a washer and a dryer. The kitchen is packed with everything your heart desires, this also includes a dishwasher, which you will need if you’re travelling with family.

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Best Hotel in Haidhausen: Mariahilf

Mariahilf is a charming and quaint three-star hotel located in Munich’s Haidhausen district. It is close to the Deutsches Museum, as well as bars, restaurants, and parks.

Its rooms are comfortable and spacious, perfect for families. Enjoy a range of modern amenities and comfortable features.

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Best Hotel in Haidhausen: Am Nockherberg Hotel

This three-star hotel is classic, clean and comfortable. Situated in Haidhausen, it is close to the Englischer Garten, which is a fantastic place to hang with family and friends.

The rooms have modern amenities and are spacious enough for families of all sizes. A tasty breakfast is also available.

View on Booking.com

 

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Munich

Munich is one of the most underrated cities in Europe. This southern German city is bursting with history, culture, cuisine and fun! Moreover, it’s a relatively rich city, meaning curated art, architecture, green parks, and clean streets are always at your fingertips.

Whether you’re a culture vulture, history buff, party animal, or somewhere in between, there’s something for everyone in Munich! Still unsure what to do? Check out our insider Munich itinerary post for some more ideas!

To recap; one of the cool places to stay in Munich is the Maxvorstadt neighborhood. Home to museums, culture, bars and eateries, there’s always something going on in this central neighbourhood.

Our recommendation for the best hotel is Hotel Blauer Bock thanks to its central location, modern décor, and very reasonable price point.

For another budget option, check out Wombats City Hostel Munich for its excellent social atmosphere and central location.

Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below!

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