Munich’s surrounding area is rich in well-known excursion destinations. But the region also has many a hidden treasure up its sleeve, which can be easily reached by train and bus.
Munich Region: 8 Excursions by Train and Bus
Whether it’s a wildlife park, an imposing castle or a falcon show – the Munich countryside is well worth a visit! There are so many things to discover here. We have 8 tips for varied excursions around the state capital, as well as for every season.
Freising: 2,000 Years of Christian Art
After nine years of closure and four years of construction work, this Diocesan Museum is open once more. The general refurbishment effort totalled EUR 70 million. One special feature of the new house is its transparency thanks to floor-to-ceiling round-arched windows, all-round arcades and the high atrium. Time and again, views into the halls open up. Another special eye-catcher is the light installation by the American artist, James Turrell, in the house chapel.
Thanks to a collection of early Christian and Byzantine art that was donated to the house, the museum depicts nearly 2,000 years of Christian religious history. Outstanding works include those by late Gothic masters such as Erasmus Grasser and Jan Polack, as well as Baroque and Rococo artists such as Ignaz Günter, Johann Baptist Straub and the Asam brothers. Folk art and handicrafts also have their place in the “Dimu”, as well as a collection of nativity scenes. Special exhibitions complement the permanent exhibition. The café with panoramic terrace is not to be missed.
How to get there from Munich: 30 kilometres north-east, 25 minutes by train or 40 minutes with the S1 to Freising, 10 minutes’ walk from the station to the museum
dimu-freising.de (only in German)
Wildlife Park Poing: A Tremendous Show on Flight
The private game park is an “officially recognised German game reserve” and has been awarded the Bavarian Environmental Medal (“Bayerische Umweltmedaille”). The enclosures and aviaries are designed close to nature and meet the needs of the animals. Native red, fallow, roe deer, mouflon and wild boar live here almost like in the wild.
Visitors can observe a wide variety of animals on a four-kilometre-long course. Deer, sheep, goats or ponies – many can be stroked, or even fed. You also pass bear, wolf, lynx, ponds, fish ponds, wetland biotopes and bird aviaries. One particular highlight is the flight show incorporating eagles, falcons and owls, where the birds fly over the heads of the spectators.
You will learn interesting facts about these fascinating animals. A spacious picnic meadow with kiosk and seating invites you to rest and while away the time. There are several playgrounds for children.
How to get there from Munich: 20 kilometres east, in 30 minutes with the S2 in the direction of Markt Schwaben/Erding to Poing, then 20 minutes on foot; the route is signposted
wildpark-poing.de (only in German)
Airfield Flugwerft Schleißheim: A Royal Bavarian Take-Off Like No Other!
The branch of the “Deutsches Museum” is home to seventy flying objects that tell the story of aviation: from the “Lilienthal glider” of 1894 to the Eurofighter, from flying boats to rockets, plus engines, motors and models.
The museum grounds are located to the south of the Schleißheim castles. It was the site of the Royal Bavarian Air Force, which existed from 1912 to 1920. The former “Kommandantur” and the “Flugwerft” (airfield) are now part of the museum, along with a modern exhibition hall. Schleißheim was an air force base from 1933 to 1945, and the museum was opened in 1992. In a glass workshop, visitors can watch vintage aircraft being restored. Guided tours and demonstrations are also offered.
How to get there from Munich: 12 kilometres north, in about 30 minutes with the S1 towards Freising/MUC to Oberschleißheim, then 15 minutes on foot along Mittenheimer Straße
Ebersberger Forest: "Museum Forest and Environment"
The Museum im Ebersberger Forst bears the quality seal “Environmental Education.Bavaria” and is funded by the Bavarian State Ministry for the Environment and Consumer Protection. It borders the Ebersberger Forst, one of the largest contiguous forest areas in Bavaria.
Educational events, guided tours, holiday offers and excursions combine a visiting guest’s experiences of nature with interesting facts from biology, geography, geology and more. In addition, the outdoor area on the “Ludwigshöhe” with a view of the Alpine chain invites visitors to spend some time and offers opportunities for exploration and activities. A 1.5-kilometre nature discovery trail leads through the outdoor area. Sixteen audio stories are available by way of QR code.
Visitors can also hike or walk through the varied end moraine landscape from the museum. The trails are well-signposted, from a quick round up the lookout tower, to the full-scale circumnavigation of Ebersberg Forest. Hiking maps are available at the museum. Guided tours are also offered.
How to get there from Munich: 30 kilometres east, 50 minutes with the S4 or S6 to Ebersberg, on the signposted hiking trail 2 (wild boar illustration) then two kilometres on foot to the museum
museumwaldundumwelt.de (only in German)
Lake Starnberg: A Rosy Hideaway
The “Roseninsel” (“Rose Island”) – just under four football fields in size – is the only island in Lake Starnberg. It remains under landscape and monument protection, and knows only one inhabitant: the gardener. The small island on the western shore was probably inhabited as early as 6,000 years ago, as indicated by prehistoric pile dwellings (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
Today, visitors come for the beautiful gardens and parks. The oval Rosarium with its tall, fragrant roses is particularly inspiring. A small castle, the so-called “Casino”, served as an undisturbed hideaway for the Wittelsbach kings. Among others, King Ludwig II met there with grand cousin Sisi or Richard Wagner. A small wooden ferry takes visitors from the park in Feldafing (Glockensteg) to “Roseninsel”.
How to get there from Munich: 30 kilometres south-west, 40 minutes with the S6 towards Tutzing to Feldafing, then about two kilometres on foot to the lake
roseninsel.bayern (only in German)
Fürstenfeldbruck Monastery: It’s Quite Baroque!
The Cistercian monastery, founded in 1263 and later undergoing a baroque transformation, was abolished in 1803. Following renovation work, the area is now a place of art and culture. These include an event forum, the municipal museum, the “Neue Bühne Bruck” and the galleries Kulturwerkstatt Haus 10 and Kunsthaus.
However, at the centre is the Church of St. Mary’s Assumption. It is considered a major work of southern German baroque, with a monumental façade and lavishly decorated interior. The building was designed by the Munich Oberhof architect, Giovanni Antonio Viscardi, on behalf of Elector Max Emanuel.The church’s interior was designed by the Asam brothers – one a sculptor, the other a fresco artist. The room appears both bright and light. Pastel shades and gold leaf provide light effects and shading. The “Klosterstüberl” and the “Fürstenfelder” restaurant, both with a beer garden, invite visitors to stop and enjoy a bite to eat.
How to get there: 25 kilometres west, in 25 minutes with the S4 towards Geltendorf to Fürstenfeldbruck station, then 10 minutes on foot to the monastery complex or with buses 815, 822 and X900
fuerstenfeldbruck.de (only in German)
Myth in Maisach: The Bavarian Rebel
Mathias Kneißl was born in poverty in 1875 in the Dachau region. He carried out his first raids as a teenager. After a stay in prison, he was no longer able to find work as a convict, and so once again turned to burglaries. Two gendarmes were killed during an arrest attempt. A large reward was then offered for Kneißl. The people in the countryside, however, glorify Kneißl as a Bavarian Robin Hood because of his shrewdness and rebelliousness against the authorities.
He often found shelter with farmers – and would return the favour with freshly shot game. Only when he was betrayed did a 150-man police detachment overpower the unarmed Kneißl, who is seriously injured in the process – the (in)famous “Kneißl Battle of Geisenhofen”.
His life ended in the gallows in Augsburg in 1902. Today, the outlaw is remembered by the small Kneißl Museum in the “Bräustüberl Maisach” (Brewery Inn), a few kilometres from his birthplace. You can see original clothing, historical newspaper clippings, weapons and more. You can also toast the “folk hero” in the Bräustüberl (with beer garden) – with a strong Räuber Kneißl Dunkel (dark beer)!
How to get there from Munich: 25 kilometres north-west, 30 minutes with the S3 towards Mammendorf to Maisach, 5 minutes’ walk from the station to the “Bräustüberl”
wirtshaus-maisach.de (only in German)
Grünwald Castle: Watching Over the Isar Valley
The late medieval hilltop castle of Grünwald was strategically built at a crossing of the Isar river in the south of Munich. From its tower, you can enjoy a magnificent view over the Isar valley. The Wittelsbach family took it over in 1260 and used it as a hunting lodge. From the late 17th century, the castle served as a prison, and until the 1870s, as a gun powder hold.
Today, the castle “Burg Grünwald” is an integral part of the State Archaeological Collection. The permanent exhibition entitled “Burgen in Bayern” (“Castles in Bavaria”) reveals their near 1,000-year history, as well as other castles from the Isar Valley and the whole of Bavaria.
The best thing to do is to walk from the Höllriegelskreuth S-Bahn station along the footpath next to Dr.-Carl-von-Linde-Straße to the edge of the slope on the Isar high bank, and cross the motorway on a bridge. Then, on the old footpath down to the Isar and over the Grünwalder Brücke bridge, along the east bank 200 metres uphill along Emil-Geis-Straße, from which the Flößersteig branches off to the left and reaches Zeillerstraße. This leads you to the castle on the left.
How to get there: 10 kilometres south, in 20 minutes with the S7 towards Wolfratshausen to Höllriegelskreuth; return with tram 25 from Grünwald/Derbolfinger Platz to Wettersteinplatz and with the U1 back to the city centre
archaeologie-bayern.de/burg-gruenwald (only in German)