Munich – City of Sports

Famous for Oktoberfests, pretzels, and a manmade surfable river, Munich is an absolute treasure in Germany’s south. The Bavarian culture couldn’t be stronger than it is in Munich, and it’s an incredible place to visit, soak up some history, and explore the wondrous sights on offer. If you’re planning a trip to Munich for a sports event, here’s what you need to know before you start packing your bags. 

city view of munich

Top Highlights and Sporting Events in Munich in 2024

At Traveling for Sports, we love exploring new places by visiting sporting events held in different parts of the world. It’s the perfect excuse to visit somewhere new while cheering on your favorite teams! Munich is hosting some big events and activities in 2024, including these ones: 

2024 European Men’s Handball Championship

In January, Munich is one of several German cities that are playing host to the 2024 European Men’s Handball Championship. Munich will be hosting the preliminary round of the tournament, with the main event being held in Hamburg and Cologne. Handball is the second most popular sport in Germany (after football), so this tournament will be a big deal and should have a great atmosphere. 

UEFA Euro 2024

One of the most hotly anticipated sporting events on the European calendar, and followed around the world, the UEFA Euro tournament rolls around every four years. Euro 2020 (held in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic) was hosted by multiple countries across Europe, but this edition is being held in just one country: Germany.

Munich is one of the host cities for Euro 2024, and it’s set to hold the very first match of Euro 2024, a Group A showdown between hometown heroes Germany and underdogs Scotland. Munich is set to host three other group stage matches, as well as a round of 16 match and a semi-final. 

Oktoberfest

Ok, it’s not technically a sporting event, but Oktoberfest in Munich is arguably one of Germany’s most famous and popular annual traditions. The official dates of Oktoberfest 2024 in Munich are September 21st to October 6th, during which time millions of visitors from around the world will descend on the city.

munich oktoberfest

At its heart, Oktoberfest is a special type of German folk festival. It’s a celebration of Bavarian culture, with an emphasis on music, dancing, and activities for the whole family. The city will come to life with parades, concerts, celebrations, and of course the most important ingredient – beer! 

Munich Marathon

Held just a week after the Oktoberfest activities wrap up (which is definitely not enough time to finalize your training efforts!) the Munich Marathon might be one of the most picturesque courses in Europe. Spectators line the streets as runners enjoy a backdrop of centuries-old buildings and the pristine Isar River. There’s also a costume run and plenty of events across the city to celebrate the occasion. 

FC Bayern München

Apart from a break over summer and a shorter break over the new year period, you can catch an FC Bayern match almost year round in Munich. Germany’s most successful domestic club play their matches at Allianz Arena, in front of one of the most dedicated, atmospheric home crowds in European football. If you’re lucky enough to get tickets, this is a can’t-miss event!

10 Tips for traveling to Munich for a sports event

Regardless of your reasons for visiting Munich, it’s helpful to have a bit of an idea of what to expect before you go. Here are 10 handy tips about Munich to help you prepare for your Bavarian adventure. 

  1. Olympiapark

The Munich Olympiapark is worth a visit, both for the breathtaking views (and highest beer garden in Munich) and for its historical significance as the host of the historic (and tragic) 1972 Olympic games. The BMW Museum is also a solid option, especially for motorsports-loving travelers coming in for the Euro.

  1. Double-check opening hours

Germany has some pretty strict rules for businesses in terms of their operating hours, which can catch some visitors by surprise. In general, expect most stores to be closed on Sundays, and to possibly have shorter operating hours on Saturdays. Museums and tourist attractions are usually open on the weekends, but some may be closed on Mondays or Tuesdays. 

If you’re planning on shopping in Munich, make sure you take these hours into account. If you urgently need to pick something up on a Sunday and not much is open, try a gas station or supermarket in a train station, as these businesses don’t typically have to follow the laws in place for operating hours. 

  1. Get familiar with public transport

When planning on mostly staying within the city of Munich, you won’t need a car. The city is mostly walkable, and if you’re feeling brave, easy to navigate on a bicycle, which can be rented throughout the city. Braving the public transit system is one of the fastest, cheapest, and easiest ways to get around.

​​Munich boasts an excellent public transportation system. The U-Bahn (subway), S-Bahn (urban rail), trams, and buses efficiently connect the city. You might want to look into purchasing a Munich City Tour Card for unlimited travel on public transportation and discounts at various attractions.

  1. Learn to read some basic German

Honestly, even if you speak a little bit of German, you’ll soon find that the Bavarian accent is thick, and unless you’re fluent, you might have a hard time understanding the locals. While it might not help you to learn how to speak or listen to German before your trip, understanding how to read some basic words will definitely come in handy.

If you’re planning on driving or renting a bike, understanding these road signs will help. When using public transport, familiarize yourself with these words and phrases to better understand the signs and announcements you see around the stations. In case you get stuck or need help, many people speak English and will be happy to point you in the right direction.

  1. Embrace the friendliness

In general, big cities with crowded streets people tend to ignore each other, but on the contrary, Munich might feel like a quaint breath of fresh air. Although it’s by no means a small town, it carries many of those values with it. Most locals will happily smile and nod as they pass you on the street, so make sure you’re returning the favor. 

  1. Museums are cheap on Sundays

While many of the retail stores are closed on Sundays, the city’s many museums come to life. Munich is home to some world-class art, history, and science museums, and they often offer heavily discounted entry on Sundays, costing you as little as €1 for a visit! Of course, this means Sundays is often the busiest day to visit, so be prepared for wait times and big crowds. 

  1. Bring cash and a debit card

Unlike some parts of the world, you may struggle to get by in Munich with a credit card alone. Make sure you have a debit card, as this is the preferred payent method for many stores and restaurants. You’ll also need to carry some cash, especially if you’re using public transport or visiting markets and small speciality stores like bakeries. 

  1. Make reservations at restaurants

Especially on the weekends, Munich’s restaurants can get quite busy. It’s a good idea to book ahead to secure a table, particularly if you’re visiting some of the more famous or popular spots in the city. Reserving online also helps you confirm the opening hours – there’s no worse feeling than showing up at a restaurant to find it closed! If you are not sure where to eat in Munich, you can take a look at our Munich food guide page.

  1. You can drink the water

Munich’s tap water comes from the pristine Alpine foothills of Bavaria. It’s perfectly safe to drink (and delicious), and subject to Germany’s strict safety regulations. Bring a refillable water bottle with you – you’ll save so much money compared to buying bottled water, and it’ll also help you reduce your footprint throughout your travels. 

  1. Find a local market

Munich is famous for many things, including its spectacular outdoor markets. The most famous is the year-round Viktualienmarkt, located near the Marienplatz city square in the heart of Munich. You’ll find an incredible selection of produce, local food and drink options, and a giant beer garden. 

If you’re lucky enough to visit Munich in December, make sure you make your way to a Christkindlmarkt, one of the many Christmas markets throughout the city. Walk through the local arts and crafts stalls as you sip on some mulled wine to stay warm and enjoy delicious fresh-baked gingerbread. Bliss! 

Got more questions about traveling to Munich? We’ve got answers!

While we’ve given you an overview of what Munich is all about, you can find much more detailed information on our dedicated Munich travel pages. Wondering how to find accommodation in Munich, or looking for some budget travel tips? We’ve got you covered! 

You’ll find all the answers you need to help take the stress out of planning and focus on what’s important – enjoying your incredible time in Munich!