Where to Stay in Munich: The Best Places to Stay in the Heart of Bavaria

Munich, the capital of Bavaria and Germany’s third-largest city, is a thrilling mix of old and new. Founded by Benedictine monks over a thousand years ago (Munich or München means Home of the Monks). Today this thriving southern Germany jewel is not only home to museums, galleries, royal avenues, and sprawling parks, but is also a center for industry, finance and sport. It’s also perfectly located to travel around Bavaria and see some of the breathtaking German castles that even inspired Disney! Despite being a relatively compact city, it’s still important to think about where to stay in Munich so that you find a perfect home base for your time in the city. 

Munich is the beating heart of Bavarian culture. It is the home of Oktoberfest, which thousands of tourists from all over the world flock to to celebrate that Bavarian culture in beer halls wearing Lederhosen and drinking out of steins roughly the size of my head.

One of the things that surprised me about Munich was the lack of a traditional Central Business District in the city center. You know, the concentration of tall buildings where you’ll find men in business suits half running, half walking between lunch and their next meeting.

The result is a city that feels much smaller, quieter, and more charming and romantic than other big cities in Germany, namely Berlin. It makes for a much more intimate travel experience, which I enjoyed more than I thought I would.

In this guide to where to stay in Munich, I will:

  • Point you to the three neighborhoods that offer the best combination of accessibility and style 
  • Give you some tips on things to do and see in each
  • Recommend some top places to stay, whatever your taste and budget!

Ready? Let’s jump into where to stay in Munich!

Before we get onto the best places to stay in Munich, let’s talk briefly about how I chose them. 

Iconic Frauenkirche of Munich, Bavaria, Germany with alps in the background.

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Where to Stay in Munich: The Best Places to Stay in Bavaria’s Beating Heart

Before we get into the meat of the best areas to stay in Munich, let’s talk about my philosophy and process when it comes to picking a place to stay. 

How Did I Choose These 3 Neighborhoods?

There are two main ways to approach choosing where to stay in a given city – pick the best hotel, regardless of the area, or pick the best area, then find a hotel that fits your style and budget. 

My approach is the latter – first find the best area to stay, then find the best hotel, hostel, or Airbnb in that neighborhood – and that’s how I think you should approach it too. 

When I am researching the best neighborhoods, I’m looking for three things.

  1. First, a central location with public transit links. You don’t want to be spending half an hour getting to the main sights in Munich. 
  2. Second, the food and drink scene. Because I love food, and you probably do too. 
  3. Last, but certainly not least, the “vibe” for lack of a better word. Is it full of tourists? I prefer to stay in neighborhoods where locals actually live to get a taste of local life, even if that means I’m not staying right in the middle of the city. So that means, for me, Alexanderplatz probably isn’t the best place to stay in Berlin, and the Champs-Élysées isn’t the best place to stay in Paris. 

Now that you know how I chose these neighborhoods, let’s get to finding a place to stay in Munich that you’ll love!

The church in the heart of Altstadt, one of the best areas to stay in Munich, Germany.

The 3 Best Areas to Stay in Munich for Every Style and Budget

Here are 3 neighborhoods in Munich that will make a perfect home base for your time exploring Munich.

Altstadt: Best Neighborhood for First Timers

Aldstadt, literally meaning “old town,” really is the center of Munich and offers incredible architecture, cobbled streets, Marienplatz (the world-famous square) with the New Town Hall, and outstanding shopping. 

In the reconstruction in the 1950s and 60s after WWII, when most other German cities embraced modern architecture, Munich rebuilt Altstadt very much as it had been, a living fairytale. 

Munich's Christmas Markets in the heart of Altstadt, one of the best areas to stay in Munich.

All this does come at a price – literally – Altstadt is not the cheapest option, and it’s probably not best for the authentic Bavarian experience either, but it is conveniently located for many top tourist attractions and is the center of luxury, so you certainly won’t feel like you’re missing anything! 

Things to Do and See in Altstadt

Where to start? Pretty much everything in Altstadt is worth seeing so here are just a few highlights:

  • Marienplatz is the heart of Munich. With both the Neues and Altes Rathaus (new and old Town Halls) and Munich Cathedral, the Frauenkirche, it’s hard to think of a better square in any European city.
  • Germany is well known for its beer halls, and their frothing steins of lager and Munich’s Hofbrauhäus is the most famous among them. It’s worth a visit even if you don’t like beer, but I expect anyone in your party who does will be dragging you there anyway! 
  • If you are a foodie, you have to visit the Viktualienmarkt, the daily open-air food market just a block away from Marienplatz. The displays of fresh fruit and veggies, the mounds of ripe cheese, the choice of fish, spices, and flowers will have your mouth watering.
Best Places to Stay in Altstadt

Top-Rated Budget Hotel: Müller Inn 

With just nine rooms, you will need to book early if you want to enjoy this hotel’s charms. Müller Inn has no pretensions. There are no en suite bathrooms in some rooms, for example, which you can book at a lower rate and are a great budget option for staying in Central Munich. What you get is a quiet, clean, and well cared for room and a beautiful breakfast in the center of the city at a (very) reasonable price. Plus, it’s just a 10-15 minute stroll from Marienplatz.

Click here to check prices, reviews, and availability.

Stunning Boutique Hotel: Flushing Meadows

Built on the top two floors of a nondescript shopping street, Flushing Meadows manages to be both cool and comfortable. With various local creatives involved in the design, each room is unique, bound together by a modern style and a sense of fun.

Click here to check prices, reviews, and availability.

Best Splurge-Worthy Hotel: Louis Hotel

Modern and comfortable, the Louis Hotel offers everything you would expect of a luxury hotel: restaurant, bar, sauna, and even a rooftop terrace overlooking St Peter’s Church and the Frauenkirche.

Click here to check prices, reviews, and availability.

Highly-Rated Airbnbs in Altstadt

In the center of Altstadt, you’ll find plenty of incredible Airbnbs. Here are some of my top picks.

Urban Minimalist Apartment in Old City Center

Brand New Cozy Apartment – Munich Center

Chill on the Picnic-Style Bench at a Serene, Sunlit Hideaway

Aerial view of Munich over Theatine Church of St. Cajetan (Theatinerkirche St. Kajetan) and Odeonplatz, Munich, Bavaria, Germany in day time

Maxvorstadt: The Best Area to Stay in Munich For Pretty Much Everyone

Lying just to the north of Altstadt, Maxvorstadt is a vibrant combination of museums, galleries, universities, eateries and bars, shops, and offices.

It has a young and artsy vibe and a great nightlife. It’s not an area packed with places to stay, however, so you should try to book your place to stay sooner rather than later. 

What to Do in Maxvorstadt

This part of Munich is packed full of art and history – that’s what you should focus on here.

  • The Documentation Center for the History for National Socialism is a museum dedicated to education about and remembrance of the crimes perpetrated by the Nazis. It’s located in the “Brown House” – which was the Nazi party’s first headquarters. I didn’t know this before visiting, but Munich might be the city most closely tied to the Nazi party’s rise in Germany. The museum is worth a visit, but I’d STRONGLY recommend taking this guided walking tour about the history of the Third Reich in Munich.
  • At the western end of the neighborhood, you’ll find the world-famous Augustiner Keller, which is home of one of the most famous German beers. On a winter day, grab a seat at the bar in the warm and cozy interior. On a summer day, grab a table on the patio and pick up a stein to enjoy in the warm sun.
  • All the museums! Art lovers should head to Alte Pinakothek, Pinakothek der Moderne, Neue Pinakothek, and Museum Brandhorst. The Egyptian Museum is a good stop for history lovers.
Where to Stay in Maxvorstadt

Affordable Hotel: Hotel Im Hof

With its 12 tastefully decorated rooms, the Im Hof is a centrally located hotel that is quiet and appealing, close to the numerous galleries of Maxvorstadt. Outside its doors is a selection of restaurants, cafes and bars where you can sample the cuisines of the world. Click here to check prices, reviews, and availability.

Stunning Boutique Hotel: Ruby Lilly

Converted from a modern office building, everything at Ruby Lilly shouts cool and class from the sleekly opulent rooms to the buzzing bar, café, and rooftop terrace. They even have bikes and guitars to rent (though you probably don’t need them both at the same time!). If not the best place to stay in Munich, it’s possibly the funkiest! 

Click here to check prices, reviews, and availability.

Comfortable Condo-Hotel: Vi Vadi Munich

Large, airy rooms typify the Vi Vadi Hotel in Downtown Munich. It boasts two restaurants, one a classy Italian (natch) and the other, the Vi Vadi Rustico specializing in grills and pizza. Super convenient, it is only 250 yards from the main Munich train station.

Click here to check prices, reviews, and availability.

Most Affordable Area to Stay in Munich: Isarvorstadt / Ludwigsvorstadt

The great thing about this neighborhood is it’s affordable and close to the train station with great metro connections.

So, you might be asking “why is it affordable?” It’s not particularly attractive and can be noisy at night, but if you just want somewhere to stay while you visit Munich that is affordable, easy to access, and fairly central, Isarvorstadt/Ludwigsvorstadt could be for you.

Best Places to Stay in Isarvorstadt / Ludwigsvorstadt

The Best Hostel in Munich: Wombat’s Hostel Munich

I stayed here for my trip to Munich with my little brother, which was a little more budget-conscious than my usual trips. Dorms or private rooms, the choice is yours at this friendly, affordable hostel.

In this guide, you’re going to find out where to stay in Denver based on your travel style, budget, and group size. 

Charming Boutique Hotel: Bold Hotel Zentrum

Another good choice if you want to stay in central Munich. Bold Hotel Zentrum has 85 rooms, nearly all with a balcony or roof terrace. There’s a train station close by that’s only three stops from Marienplatz, and if you want to experience Oktoberfest, there’s nowhere better.

Click here to check prices, reviews, and availability.

Splurge-Worthy: Aloft Hotel Munich

Right next to the central station, this large hotel offers convenient comfort and a 24-hour gym. The W XYZ Bar hums with energy and regularly hosts live music events. Again you are within walking distance of the Oktoberfest.

Click here to check prices, reviews, and availability.

Drool-worthy Airbnb: Serene, Sunlit Hideaway

Beautifully presented and situated on a leafy avenue, this Airbnb offers accommodation for up to six guests. The host, Christoph, gets rave reviews, as does his apartment. Great location, very clean and well equipped!

Click here to check prices, reviews, and availability.

Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Munich

Here is a recap of the info above, including the best areas to stay and hotels in Munich.

Quick Picks: The Best Areas to Stay in Munich

Don’t have time to read the whole guide and need an answer fast? No worries, here’s what you need to know to find an amazing place to stay.

Here are my picks for the best neighborhoods to make your home base for exploring Munich. 

Maxvorstadt – The Best Overall Area to Stay in Munich
Just to the north west of Altstadt, you’ll find low-key Maxvorstadt and its trio of three museums and access to the English Garden, a huge public park in Munich. Complete with a place to surf! It’s quieter with less glitz and glamour than the old town, but has its own unique charm and young, artsy style with two universities, three of Munich’s best museums, and countless art galleries. Overall, this is my recommended place to stay for most people in Munich. 

Click here to find an amazing Airbnb in Maxvorstadt | Click here to find a perfect hotel in Maxvorstadt

Altstadt – Best Area for First-Timers
The heart and soul of Munich, this is the Old Town, full of cobblestone streets and breathtakingly beautiful architecture. It’s super central, and you’ll be able to spend more time exploring, less time trying to get around to the main tourist sights. It’s 100% tourists, so it’s not the most authentic Munich experience. 

Click here to find an amazing Airbnb in Altstadt | Click here to find a perfect hotel in Altstadt

Ludwigsvorstadt and Isarvorstadt – Best Area for Travelers on a Budget
This area, which is southwest of the Old Town, is full of hostels and budget hotels, making it a perfect place to find an affordable place to stay in Munich. It’s right next to the train station with both international and local connections, and it’s a 15 minute walk from Marienplatz, the center of the Old Town. 

Click here to find an amazing Airbnb in Isarvorstadt | Click here to find a great hotel in Isarvorstadt

Quick Picks: The Best Hotels in Munich

If you just want to find the best hotel in Munich and don’t really care too much about the location, this section is for you.

Although, most of these places are in one of the three areas I mentioned above, so it’s not like you’ll be staying 45 minutes outside the city. 

Roomers Munich (Schwanthalerhöhe): A part of the Marriott Autograph Collection, a line of design-forward boutique hotels, Roomers Munich is beautiful and highly rated. The downside? It’s west of Isarvorstadt, which means it’s a little further out. It is right on the metro line, and just a few blocks from the world-famous Augustiner Bräustuben restaurant and brewery. Click here to read reviews and check prices.

Louis Hotel (Altstadt): This beautifully-styled hotel is in the best location on this list for tourists – smack dab in the middle of the Old Town, two blocks away from Marienplatz and overlooking the Viktualienmarkt (which you should definitely visit!). Click here to read reviews and check prices.

Ruby Lilly (Maxvorstadt): A more affordable option in the best neighborhood in Munich, this hip hotel gets rave reviews with its minimalist decor, featuring plenty of wood paneling, and comfy beds. They have a very stylish onsite bar too. Click here to read reviews and check prices.

Flushing Meadows (Altstadt): Hipster heaven south of Marienplatz and near the river. 16 rooms with eclectic decor. It reminds me of the Ace Hotel, which is one of the best places to stay in New York and other American cities. Click here to read reviews and check prices.

Quick Pick: The Best Hostel in Munich

Wombat’s Hostel (Isarvorstadt): This is where I stayed for my trip to Munich with my little brother, when we were looking for a more affordable place to stay, and it was fantastic. We stayed in a private room with two twin beds and a shared bathroom, and it was clean, comfortable, mostly quiet, and a block from the train station, where we had to go to take some of the best day trips from Munich. Click here to read reviews and check prices.

Quick Picks: The Best Airbnbs in Munich

Serene Sunlit Hideaway – southwest of Altstadt, this beautiful, light-filled apartment has a little more space and a sofa bed, so it can accommodate groups of 4 fairly comfortably. The modern bathroom is BEAUTIFUL. 

Stylish Apartment in the Middle of Munich – on the border between the Old Town and Maxvorstadt, this is the perfect location for a home base in Munich. You’ll be walking distance from all the sights, like the Residenz, English Garden, and Marienplatz.

That’s all folks!

There you have it, three choices for the best area to stay in Munich. Whether you want to be right in the middle of all the action, or you’d prefer some peace and quiet, I guarantee you will have a great time in this exciting and engaging city.

Munich is worth a visit if you like architecture, galleries, shopping, food and drink, or plan to travel all around Bavaria seeing the wonder this area of Germany has to offer.

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