Day trips from Munich to Salzburg

Travelling from Munich to Salzburg by train is quite popular for a day trip, as travel is achievable in just 1h 30m each way. That gives you plenty of time to arrive in one of Austria's most beautiful cities bright and early, taking in the sights before stopping for lunch. Perhaps schnitzel and local beer will fit the bill? Salzburg is considered among Austria's most beautiful cities, often compared to a fairytale town for its magnificent and ancient architecture.

Hohensalzburg Fortress dates from the 11th century, sitting proudly atop a hill and easily bringing to mind tales of dragons and knights. Somewhat newer but no less beautiful is the 17th century Mirabell Palace, an opulent and painstakingly maintained regal home. Wander around its gardens in the sunshine and also be sure to tour the inside. The marble-clad Salzburg Cathedral is another jewel in the city's crown. Most trains arrive at Salzburg Hauptbahnhof.

Day trips from Munich to Switzerland

Just four hours away, you can also travel by train from Munich to Zurich. This is one of Switzerland's finest cities, the financial capital and the main German-speaking town in the country. Despite its identity as one of the world's leading business centres, Zurich maintains its traditional Swiss charm. This is evident in the architecture of the houses and shops lining the River Zimmat. The pristine Lake Zurich is popular for swimming and boat tours in the summer, and the charming streets of the Old City are a joy to explore too. Grossmünster is one of Zurich's most popular landmarks, the 12th-century cathedral features a distinctive twin-spire design.

Traditional dishes to try here include cheese fondue, either shared with travel companions or as an indulgent meal for one. Raclette is made with melted cheese and potatoes and is another hearty and delicious dish associated with the city. Zurich Hauptbahnhof is the main train station here. Alternatively, for a look at small-town Switzerland, stop at St Gallen just across the Swiss border. Travel by train from Munich to St Gallen in just 3h 30m, and marvel at this pristine, quaint town below the mighty Alps.

Day trips from Munich to Liechtenstein

Train travel from Munich to Liechtenstein takes around four hours. You'll experience a pretty unique country in Europe, a tiny principality that's often overlooked by travellers to the continent. In the capital, Vaduz, you'll discover the hilltop Royal Castle, and learn more about the country at the National Museum. Not a member of the EU but keeping close ties with its neighbours, this German-speaking principality is a friendly and beautiful little place to visit on a day trip. Schaan-Vaduz is the main station here.

The local cuisine takes inspiration from Switzerland, Austria, and Germany, with smoked meats and sausages, grated and fried potato (called rösti), and torkarebi dumplings being staple foods. You'll find the pristine architecture and beautiful views of the surrounding mountains inspiring and very photo-worthy. Visiting Liechtenstein is quite a unique experience, and will earn you the bragging rights to having visited this tucked-away gem of Europe.

Day trips from Munich to Stuttgart

Why not also consider seeing more of Germany itself when travelling from Munich? Trains from Munich to Stuttgart take just over two hours and will bring you to a motor head's paradise. The Mercedes-Benz Museum and Porsche Museum will be enough to keep you occupied for hours. If cars aren't your thing, check out the Wilhelma, a botanical garden housing an impressive zoo in the city. The Ludwigsburg Residential Palace is built in attractive baroque style and is one of the grandest in Germany. It's often compared to Versailles and features beautifully decorated interiors and façades.

Stuttgart is one of Germany's most culturally interesting cities and hosts several brilliant festivals throughout the year. So whenever you're visiting, be sure to check out what's on – you might be able catch something unforgettable during your day trip! The Stuttgart Jazz Open in July and the grand Christmas Market at the end of the year are just two examples.

Day trips from Munich to Neuschwanstein

This is a must-visit destination when staying in Munich. Neuschwanstein is often considered Germany's (if not the world's) most impressive fairytale-like castle. Travelling by train from Munich to Füssen in just two hours, you'll arrive at a charming village at the foot of the fortress. It was built in the 19th-century by the passionate Bavarian King Ludwig II. Unfinished at the time of his death, the attention to detail, from the jutting turrets to the exterior bridges, is simply mesmerising.

Inside, gilded corridors lead to grand chambers including the Throne Room and Hall of the Singers. The level of detail in each room has to be seen to be believed, and the views across the surrounding forests are majestic. Neuschwanstein is an emblem of Bavaria, and it's easy to see how it came to inspire Cinderella's castle in the animated Disney film.

From Munich, you'll have a selection of marvellous places to visit for the day when you travel by train. Sitting back and allowing yourself to be whisked away to uniquely scenic destinations, you can experience all these great locations and more, then be back in the evening to enjoy Munich by night.