All tours were not created equal. In fact, some are simply tourists giving other tourists tours while some are professional historians explaining in fine detail the intricacies of history which have made Munich what it is today. Cost, physical ability, time of year, and interest can all be factors in which tour you choose.
What you should first decide is which kind of tour you would like. As I’ve already written about that on this blog, I would like to refer you to that previous article first, you can read it here.
Let’s start with bus tours.
There are two bus companies operating city tours in Munich. Both companies have their city bus tours start from directly across the street from the main train station. Their regular city tours are both hop on hop off style tours, just with slightly different durations and languages offered. Both offer English.
Citysight seeing Munich - (all are hop on hop off style tours and are 1 hr. tours) City Tour, Nymphenburg-Olympia tour, Schwabing tour
Grayline – Express Hop on hop off City Tour (1hr.), Grand Hop on hop off city tour (2.5hrs.),
Walking tours, in my personal opinion the best option to see it all, are also the most popular and of course there are several companies to choose from. Here are two of the three companies operating walking tours as of January 2012, the third company I will not mention as I prefer not to promote tours operated by tourists:
Radius Tours – Radius Tours offerings: Munich City Tour, Third Reich Tour, Munich After Dark (ghost tour), and the Bavarian Beer and Food Tour. This company also offers several day trips from Munich using public transport including Dachau concentration camp and Salzburg.
Munich Walk Tours – Munich Walk Tours offerings: Munich City Tour, Third Reich Tour, Ghost Tour, and a Beer Tour. This tour company offers day trips from Munich using public transport to Dachau and Salzburg.
Bike Tours are another big option in Munich, at least for the warmer six months of the year. Although the majority of the old town is off limits, there is plenty you can see from a bike in Munich.
Mike’s Bike Tours – Of the backpacker orientated bike tours, Mike’s Bikes has been king for a couple decades. It’s the original party on wheels.
Frankie’s bike Tours – Frankie was for many years Mike’s Bike Tours head guide. The two had a falling out, and Frankie, as Mike’s Bike Tours head guide, parted ways and created his own. He’s got brand new bikes and always has a fun time.
Lenny’s Bike Tours – Lenny’s Bike Tours are the cheapest bike tours in town. Originally another split from the Mike’s Bike Tours camp, this one is the most popular bike tour in town.
Radius’s Bike Tours – More a tour than a bike and a beer (unlike the others), this is a compromise tour between those who want a bike tour and those who want to see and hear Munich’s history.
In the end, it completely depends on your style and how much money you want to spend. In my opinion, private tours offer the best tour, but at a price. All walking tour companies and bike tour companies offer private tours and nearly all guides for each of those companies are freelancers, so if you want to pay less for a private tour, contact the guide you want direct and it will be cheaper for you and at the same time more money for the guide.