Urban Hikes in Munich

Along the Isar River, through the English Garden, past the Munich Residence or Nymphenburg Palace—Müncheners love their fresh air and exercise. So head outdoors and explore the city on foot. Go really local and reward your efforts with a coffee or beer, in the German fashion! It’s tradition, after all.

Munich, Germany
One of the largest urban parks in the world, Munich’s English Garden was founded in 1789, when Elector Carl Theodor ordered a public park to be built along the Isar River. Having undergone many alterations over the centuries, it now offers a slew of contemporary leisure activities. Cyclists, joggers, and rollerbladers make use of almost 50 miles of pathways, while less-active visitors head to the Japanese teahouse (opened in 1972) or one of several beer gardens (the one next to the Chinese Tower is Munich’s second largest, with seating for 7,000). Additionally, there’s a man-made lake, soccer fields, a small amphitheater, a carousel, a Greek temple, and even a popular surfing wave on the river. The park’s large meadows are ideal for picnicking, barbecuing, and sunbathing, making the English Garden one of Munich’s most popular hangouts in summer. That said, autumn is also a spectacular time to stroll the grounds and peep all the changing leaves.
Spiridon-Louis-Ring 21, 80809 München, Germany
The Olympic Park from the 1972 games, is still very much alive with activity. Today concerts are held in the arena and the main stadium also hosts sporting events. The funny thing to me was that although it was an Olympic venue, there are no Olympic rings to be found anywhere and if you didn’t already know about the Olympics being held there, you’d be none the wiser just looking around. There is a communications tower that was bult there even before the Olympics and its worth the 5 euros to go to the top and get a nice view of the city and on a clear day, the Alps. There is also a mini rock and roll museum. You can catch one of the subways from downtown right to the place!
Hochstraße 77, 81541 München, Germany
With well over a hundred beer gardens to choose from in Munich, locals have quite the choice, but the Paulaner am Nockherberg is a local favorite. Perhaps the multi-award winning naturally cloudy beer known as “Nockherberger“ has something to do with it. As with all beer gardens it’s opening hours are weather dependent.
Pestalozzistraße, München, Germany
Pestalozzistrasse isn’t something you find unless you’re looking for it, even though it is relatively central. The small creek that runs through the residential area of the Glockenbachviertel makes for a nice quiet walk, while giving you glimpses into how Müncheners live. Of special interest is the community-made graffiti in the tunnel under Kapuzinerstrasse. Go down one of the many side streets and you’ll easily find a cafe, there’s virtually one on almost every corner!
Perlacher Forst, Germany
Perlacher Forest is a large public park (13.36 sq km) in southeast Munich. It’s a favorite recreation spots for locals, with miles of walking and bike paths, and of course a couple of beer gardens! Of special interest is the Perlacher Mugl (hill), pictured above. It provides nice views over the forest, and in previous times was a vantage point for hunters.
Schloß Nymphenburg 1, 80638 München, Germany
Built in the 17th century, Nymphenburg Palace is one of the largest royal castles in Europe. Planned as a summer residence for the Bavarian monarchy, it was expanded over time and now features additional pavilions and gallery wings, plus a French Baroque façade by Joseph Effner. The palace exterior and expansive, English-style gardens—complete with lakes, geysers, and waterfalls—are the real highlights here, but the interior, with its Baroque, Neoclassical, and Rococo era rooms, is also worth seeing. Be sure to check out the Steinerner Saal (Stone Hall) with its striking ceiling frescoes, the Schönheitengalerie (Gallery of Beauties) with works by court painter Joseph Karl Stieler, and the palace chapel of St. Magdalena. There are also a few interesting museums on site, including ones dedicated to royal coaches, porcelain, and natural history.
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Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
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