Where to stay in Munich for first time: 6 Safe areas

Finding where to stay in Munich as a first-time visitor can be a daunting task. That’s why, in today’s article, I will help you to find safe places to stay in Munich for first-timers and tourists.

I’ll provide you with my recommendation for the best and safest areas to stay in Munich, along with a helpful map and areas to avoid. I’ll also share where I stayed in Munich and suggest some of the best hotels for all budgets.

Before going into the main topic, let’s look at some facts and highlights about Munich.

Munich, also known as München in German, is the capital and largest city of the state of Bavaria in southern Germany. It is one of the country’s major cultural, economic, and political centers. 

Founded by Henry the Lion in the 12th century, Munich has played a significant role in the history of Germany, including being the birthplace of the Nazi Party and serving as a major cultural center during the Enlightenment.

The city is famous for hosting the world’s largest beer festival, Oktoberfest. It’s a two-week-long event that typically takes place from late September to the first weekend in October, attracting millions of visitors from around the world.

Munich is also known for its historic and architectural landmarks, including the Nymphenburg Palace, the Munich Residenz, and the Frauenkirche (Cathedral of Our Dear Lady). It has a mix of historic and modern style architecture.

The city has an efficient public transportation system, including a network of trams, buses, and the Munich U-Bahn (subway). It’s also a major transportation hub, with an international airport located just outside the city.

It is home to numerous parks and green spaces, including the English Garden (Englischer Garten), one of the largest urban parks in the world.

The city is famous for its Bavarian cuisine, including dishes such as sausages, sauerkraut, pretzels, and, of course, beer. Munich’s beer gardens are a popular place for both locals and tourists to enjoy traditional food and drink.

Is Munich safe to visit?

Yes, Munich is generally a safe city with low crime rates and rare violent crimes are. However, like any major city, petty crimes like pickpocketing can occur in crowded areas, so it’s essential to remain vigilant and keep an eye on your belongings. 

Where to stay in Munich for the first time?

The best and safe areas to stay in Munich for first-timers and tourists are Altstadt-Lehel (Old Town), Maxvorstadt, Au-Haidhausen, Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt, Schwabing, and Nymphenburg. While Munich is generally safe, like any city, it’s essential to stay alert no matter where you stay.

These areas offer plenty of accommodation options and are well-connected to public transportation. Just pick a hotel that suits your budget and you’ll be able to explore the city with ease.

The Old Town, without a doubt, is the best area in Munich for new visitors and those who want the heart of Munich’s historical and cultural attractions. You’ll be close to Marienplatz, the Viktualienmarkt, and many museums and churches.

Maxvorstadt is a trendy and culturally rich neighborhood, home to many museums, galleries, and universities. It’s generally safe, with a mix of students and professionals, creating a diverse and lively environment.

Au-Haidhausen offers a more local and residential vibe while still being close to the city center. You can explore the lovely Gasteig Cultural Center and enjoy the neighborhood’s parks, restaurants, and cafes.

Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt includes the vibrant Glockenbachviertel and is popular for its nightlife, restaurants, and LGBTQ+ scene. It’s generally safe, but it can be lively and bustling at night. The area is budget-friendly and is convenient for those who want to stay close to the Oktoberfest ground.

Schwabing is an upscale residential area with tree-lined streets and a peaceful atmosphere. It’s safe and well-connected to public transportation, making it an excellent choice for a quiet stay.

Nymphenburg is known for its beautiful palace, park, and upscale residential neighborhoods. It’s a safe and tranquil area, a bit further from the city center but well-connected by public transport.

When visiting Munich, there are a few areas where caution is advisable, especially at night. While these areas are not necessarily extremely dangerous, it’s wise to be vigilant in places like Hasenbergl, Neuperlach, and parts of Giesing, where higher crime rates have been reported.

The Hauptbahnhof (main train station) area is generally safe, but be mindful of pickpocketing.

During my trip to Munich, I stayed in the Old Town at the Platzl Hotel – Superior. It has a super central location, a short walk from the Marienplatz Square and the Hofbräuhaus Brewery. It also has soundproofed rooms, paid airport shuttle service, and superb breakfast.

Below is a map of the best areas in Munich for first-time travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the best areas to stay in Munich first time
Map of the best areas to stay in Munich first time

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Munich, especially for first-time visitors. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Munich have been carefully selected by me, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

6 Safe areas to stay in Munich for first-timers and tourists

1. Altstadt-Lehel (Old Town)

Altstadt-Lehel is the most popular area to stay in Munich for first-time visitors. It is the historic heart of the city and offers a charming and vibrant atmosphere. 

Altstadt-Lehel is home to some of Munich’s most iconic landmarks, including Marienplatz, the New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus), the Glockenspiel, and the Frauenkirche. Staying here means you’ll be within walking distance of these must-see sights.

 The Old Town is rich in history and architecture, with cobblestone streets, medieval buildings, and traditional Bavarian charm. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in Munich’s past.

You’ll also find numerous museums, galleries, and cultural institutions in this area, such as the Bavarian State Opera, the Residence Museum, and the Viktualienmarkt, a traditional food market.

Altstadt-Lehel offers a wide range of dining options, from traditional beer gardens to fine dining restaurants. You can also explore boutique shops, local markets, and souvenir stores.

Due to its prime location, staying in Altstadt-Lehel can be more expensive than other areas, and it can get crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons. But, the convenience and atmosphere make it a popular choice for travelers looking to experience the essence of Munich.

Best places to stay in Munich Old Town for first-time visitors:

  • Luxury ($$$): DO & CO Hotel München, great 5-star hotel located in central Munich, within walking distance from major sights such as the Marienplatz, Munich Residence, Bavarian State Opera, and Rathaus-Glockenspiel. It has a 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, and 2 restaurants. Easy access to the metro station for links to the airport.
  • Mid-range ($$): Platzl Hotel – Superior, 4-star hotel centrally located in Munich city center, only a few mins walk from the Marienplatz Square, Hofbräuhaus Brewery, and Viktualienmarkt Market. Easy access to Munich Central Station and Munich Airport by S-Bahn train from Marienplatz. It has Superb breakfast according to more than 2000 guests’ reviews from booking.com.
  • Budget ($): Hotel Schlicker, great 3-star Family-run hotel in central Munich, a short walk from Munich City Hall and Marienplatz Underground Station for services to Munich Messe Exhibition Centre and the airport. The hotel has family rooms, Free rental bikes, and 24-hour front desk.

2. Maxvorstadt

Maxvorstadt is a trendy and culturally rich neighborhood in Munich, making it a great choice for many travelers, including those who are visiting the city for the first time. It is a central district located just  northwest of the city center and is well-connected to public transportation.

Maxvorstadt is often referred to as the “Academic District” or the “Museum District” due to its concentration of cultural and educational institutions. 

It’s home to several world-class museums including the Pinakothek museums, the Glyptothek, and the Staatliche Antikensammlungen, covering everything from classic to modern and contemporary art.

The Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and Technical University of Munich in the area gives Maxvorstadt a youthful and intellectual atmosphere, with many students and academics around.

Maxvorstadt boasts historical sites like Königsplatz, which is a significant location from Munich’s Nazi history. You can also find beautiful historic buildings and architecture throughout the area.

The neighborhood offers easy access to lovely parks like the English Garden (Englischer Garten), one of the world’s largest urban parks. It’s a great place for a leisurely stroll or a relaxing afternoon.

Maxvorstadt offers a wide range of dining options, from trendy cafes to international restaurants. It is known for its culinary diversity, budget-friendly dining and shopping, and lively nightlife.

Best places to stay in Munich in Maxvorstadt for first-timers:

  • Luxury ($$$): Rocco Forte The Charles Hotel, 5-star hotel, set in a quiet location right next to the Old Botanical Garden, featuring an indoor swimming pool, Superb breakfast, and Private parking for those who drive. Within walking distance from the Munich Central Station, as well as the main tourist attractions and the shopping precinct.
  • Mid-range ($$): NH Collection München Bavaria, popular 4-star hotel located near the Munich Main Station, offering daily buffet breakfast and free parking. Underground, tram and S-Bahn train services are just outside the NH Collection München Bavaria. Easy access Marienplatz, Munich Trade Fair and the Theresienwiese – the location of Oktoberfest beer festival. 
  • Budget ($): Hotel Antares, 3-star accommodation located in Maxvorstadt, easy access to Universität U-bahn station, Odeonsplatz Underground Station, and the Amalienstraße bus stop for the Museum bus line. The hotel is also close to the English Garden and Pinakothek museums.

3. Au-Haidhausen

Au-Haidhausen is a charming and relatively quiet residential district on the eastern bank of the Isar River. It’s a great choice for couples, families, and travelers who want to experience local life and enjoy a peaceful environment while still being within reach of the city’s attractions.

Au-Haidhausen has a selection of cozy cafes, beer gardens, and local restaurants where you can savor traditional Bavarian dishes and enjoy a peaceful dining experience.

You’ll find the Museum Villa Stuck, a museum dedicated to the works of Franz von Stuck, an important Munich artist. It’s an excellent place to explore the city’s artistic heritage.

While it’s not right in the city center, Au-Haidhausen is well-connected to Munich’s public transportation network, making it convenient to reach other parts of the city.

Best places to stay in Munich in Au-Haidhausen:

  • Luxury ($$$): Hotel München Palace, 5-star hotel located in a quiet area in the upper banks of the River Isar close to the English Garden. It is within walking distance from Max-Weber-Platz Underground Station, offering easy access to other parts of the city.
  • Mid-range ($$): Hilton Munich City, popular 4-star hotel located above Rosenheimer Platz S-Bahn Station, offering trains to the city center, Airport and Central Station. The hotel has good breakfast, as well as Bicycles and cars rental services.
  • Budget ($): Motel One München-Haidhausen, 3-star good value for money accommodation, located within walking distance from München Ost Train Station, offering Very good breakfast and 24-hour front desk. Quiet area with nice cafes and restaurants nearby.

4. Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt

Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt is a neighborhood located just south of the Old Town, and it’s a popular choice for many travelers due to its central location, budget-friendly accommodations, and accessibility. 

The central train station, Hauptbahnhof, is located in this neighborhood, making it extremely convenient for travelers arriving by train. It’s also a transportation hub for buses, trams, and the U-Bahn), allowing you to easily explore the city and beyond.

If you plan to visit Munich during Oktoberfest, Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt is very close to Theresienwiese, where the festival takes place. This is a prime location for festival-goers.

The neighborhood is known for its vibrant nightlife, with numerous bars, clubs, and music venues. It’s a great choice if you’re looking to enjoy the city’s nightlife scene. It may not be suitable for travelers seeking a quiet and serene environment. 

The Deutsches Theater and Gasteig Cultural Center are nearby, offering cultural experiences including concerts, theater performances, and exhibitions.

It’s also a good idea to book accommodations well in advance if you plan to visit during Oktoberfest, as it’s a very popular time to be in this area.

Best places to stay in Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt for first-timers:

  • Mid-range ($$): Cocoon Sendlinger Tor, great accommodation located within 15-minute walk from Munich Central Station, and 5 mins walk from Sendlinger Tor Underground Station. Easy access to major sights in the city center by public transportation.
  • Mid-range ($$): OneBavariaHomes, 4-star self-catering accommodation conveniently located within walking distance from Oktoberfest – Theresienwiese. It has family rooms and private parkings.
  • Budget ($): Lizz Hotel Munich, great 3-star good value for money hotel located in Ludwigsvorstadt, offering fabulous breakfast. It is close to the Oktoberfest venue, Goetheplatz U-bahn station and easy access to restaurants and shops. 

5. Schwabing

Schwabing is a district in the northern part of Munich known for its vibrant and bohemian atmosphere, and it has a rich history as a cultural and artistic hub. It is also one of the great bases for those who travel on a budget.

The district is adjacent to the famous Englischer Garten (English Garden), one of the largest urban parks in the world. The park offers beautiful green spaces, walking and cycling paths, and a serene environment for relaxation.

Leopoldstrasse is one of the main streets in Schwabing, known for its lively atmosphere, boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants. It’s a great place for shopping and people-watching.

The Siegestor, or Victory Gate, is a historical monument located at the northern end of Ludwigstrasse. It serves as a symbol of the district and is often associated with Schwabing’s rich history.

Schwabing may not be as close to the city center as some other areas like Altstadt-Lehel. However, it’s well-connected to public transportation, so you can easily reach the central attractions. 

Best places to stay in Munich in Schwabings:

  • Luxury ($$$): Andaz Munich Schwabinger Tor – a concept by Hyatt, 5-star beautiful hotel, located at the Schwabinger Tor, away from bustle downtown, between the Olympic Stadium and English Garden. It has Very good breakfast and an indoor swimming pool. You can find a tram stop in front of the hotel for further exploration.
  • Mid-range ($$): HOtello Schwabing, 4-star accommodation located in Schwabing-Freimann, within walking distance from Englischer Garten Park. It is also close to The Münchner Freiheit and Giselastraße underground stations for services to all areas of the city.
  • Budget ($): Hotel Leopold, 3-star hotel, that has Fabulous breakfast and Private parking, set in a quiet and convenient location, close to a train station, easy to walk into the city center  and parks.

6. Nymphenburg

Nymphenburg is a lovely and upscale residential neighborhood in the western part of Munich. It’s an excellent choice for travelers who appreciate a more peaceful and historic atmosphere. 

The area is home to the stunning Nymphenburg Palace (Schloss Nymphenburg), a Baroque palace surrounded by beautiful gardens. It’s one of Munich’s most significant historical and cultural landmarks and is a must-visit attraction.

The Botanical Garden of Munich-Nymphenburg is located nearby and is a delightful place for nature lovers. It features a wide variety of plant species and a pleasant environment for a leisurely stroll.

The neighborhood’s canal, Schlosskanal, provides a pleasant area for walking, jogging, or cycling. It’s a picturesque waterway that adds to the neighborhood’s charm.

Nymphenburg is also close to the Hirschgarten, one of Munich’s largest beer gardens, and other green spaces, allowing you to enjoy the outdoors.

Keep in mind that it may not be as centrally located as some other neighborhoods, but Munich’s efficient public transportation system allows you to easily access the city center and attractions.

Best places to stay in Munich in Nymphenburg:

  • Mid-range ($$): Novotel München City Arnulfpark, 4-star hotel located in Neuhausen – Nymphenburg, a bit out of the city but easy access to major sights by train and tram nearby.
  • Budget ($): Hotel Kriemhild am Hirschgarten, 3-star hotel located in a quiet area of Nymphenburg, within walking distance from Nymphenburg Castle, Hirschgarten park and beer garden, as well as many restaurants and shops in Romanplatz. You can find a tram nearby to take you to the city center.
  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel New Orly, 4-star hotel located in a quiet area, only 8 mins walk from Maillingerstraße Underground Station. It has family rooms and a very good breakfast.

In conclusion, Altstadt-Lehel (Old Town), Maxvorstadt, Au-Haidhausen, Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt, Schwabing, and Nymphenburg are the best places to stay in Munich for first-timers and tourists. These are safe, central and well-connected districts that offer plenty of accommodations for all budgets. 

You can continue reading about Munich and other destinations in Germany in these articles:

I hope you enjoyed my article and find it both informative and helpful. If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

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