August 12, 2022

Munich Outdoors – where to go cycling, surfing and wild swimming

Plan a trip to Munich and you might think of classy palaces and art galleries, reassuringly expensive automobiles and naturally the joyous event of beer and Bavaria that is Oktoberfest. However if you want fresh air and fun there are lots of outdoor activities in Munich to attempt, from wild swimming along the river Isar to cycling in the Englischergarten. Surfing spots can even be found in the heart of Munich, although this is one sport that you may be delighted to view from the safety of the river bank!
Check out on for our top tips on how to check out Munich outdoors.

Munich Outdoors – Where To Go Cycling, Surfing And Wild Swimming

River Isar in Munich

Munich Outdoors – Where To Go Cycling, Surfing And Wild Swimming

4 enjoyable locations to go biking in Munich

Munich Outdoors – Where To Go Cycling, Surfing And Wild Swimming

There are many cycling paths in Munich to check out the city and its green areas, and here are four of our favourites that are easily accessible for visitors.

Munich Outdoors – Where To Go Cycling, Surfing And Wild Swimming

1. City sightseeing by bike

Munich Outdoors – Where To Go Cycling, Surfing And Wild Swimming

Biking in Munich.

Munich Outdoors – Where To Go Cycling, Surfing And Wild Swimming

Munich is a hugely bike-friendly city, so zipping around between the leading museums, galleries and attractions makes perfect sense and enables you to see more in the time readily available. We used a mapping app to outline a path in between the places we desired to visit, following the circulation of other bicyclists on the marked bike courses and trying to regard pedestrian only routes.
Using our bikes we discovered such diverse gems as the Asamkirche, Deutsche Museum and art galleries in the Museum Quarter. Have a look at some of the places you might like to check out in my post on 20 fabulous things to do in Munich
Numerous bike trips in Munich are available to take you around the crucial sights and this is a fun way to check out the city as part of a group. No opportunity of losing your method with a knowledgeable guide who will give you insights and stories along the way– its also a friendly method to get in touch with other tourists.

Munich Outdoors – Where To Go Cycling, Surfing And Wild Swimming

2. Biking in the English Garden

View from the Monopteros Temple in the Englischergarten Munich
Checking out by bike permits you to reach the part of the English Garden thats north of the primary roadway bisecting the park, which you most likely would not reach on foot. This northern section of the park feels a little more wild and courses along the river cause the Isarwehr bridge with its hydroelectric power station. Gravel banks in the shallows of the river are perfect for swimming and a pedestrian bridge permits you to reach the green areas on the opposite bank of the river.

Englischergarten Munich
Of course you might stroll, but the sheer size of the Englischergarten makes it perfect to check out by bike, since you can cover so much more ground. As an option to biking or walking, its likewise possible to employ a horse and carriage trip, or cycle rickshaw at the Chinese pagoda. In good weather condition, you might quickly while away an entire day in the English Garden, particularly if you stop for a beer or 3 at one of the many biergarten.

Chinese Pagoda in Englischergarten Munich
The most popular is at the Chinesischer Turm or Chinese Pagoda with a self service coffee shop serving hearty Bavarian meals cleaned down with beer and a brass band playing at weekends. Another popular lunch area is the Seehaus biergarten at Kleinhesseloher lake in the northern area of the park, where rowing boats for hire await you, lined up on the waterside.
For more ideas on where to consume in Munich, examine out my short article on what and where to consume in Munich

One of the very best understood places for biking in Munich needs to be the Englischer Garten or English Garden, an enormous park with lakes, biergarten and structures. This green oasis got its name from the informal style of English nation park that was fashionable in the 18th century, when the park was set out on the orders of Elector Karl Theodor.

Isarwehr in the Englischergarten Munich.

Boating in the Englischergarten Munich
Look out for the stunning Monopteros temple that was commissioned by King Ludwig I in the 1830s, set up on a mound to make a lovely image surrounded by trees. At the top of the mound, the Greek style dome with green and red painted decoration offers a grandstand view over the park.

3. Cycle along the River Isar

The River Isar makes a green corridor through Munich, with walking and biking courses that are popular for households and locals to utilize at weekends. One simple stretch that we cycled runs from the Deutches Museum on Museumsinsel (Museums Island), a fun museum loaded with hands on exhibits from the field of science and innovation.

Cycling by the River Isar in Munich
From here, the cycle path continues along the west bank of the river with a detour into the English garden and on towards the Isarwehr water pumping station that spans the river. Along the method are lots of gravel beaches and areas beside the river where you can pick up a picnic.

River Isar in Munich
If you have longer to explore, follow the River Isar southwards on 10km of riverside courses, as far as the Großhesseloher Brücke, which may take an hour or more. A number of interesting stopping points are offered along the method, such as the Hinterbrühl nature park, the Flauscher Park, Hellabrunn zoo and Floßlände browsing area.

4. Cycling around Olympia Park

View from the hill in Olympiapark Munich
While you are at the Olympiapark, its well worth going to BMW Welt which is best next door, a free tourist attraction which is part car reveal room, part exhibit space, part audio visual experience, all designed to draw you into the world of BMW cars and trucks.
Pointer: You can take your bike on U-bahn and S-Bahn trains in Munich, but not during the rush hour Monday to Friday 6am-9am and 4pm-6pm. Look out for the station raises that can be used to take your bike down to platform level and make certain you buy the additional bike ticket.

Biking past the Observation tower at Olympiapark Munich
The park has plenty of traffic totally free paths with lots to see, so a bike is an ideal method to take it all in. When we checked out in summer season our bike flight took us past the funfair at the entryway, then we continued down the hill, biking around the lake and up the small manmade hill on the other side. From the top of the hill theres a terrific view over the park and stadiums along with the Olympic tower.
This 190m high observation tower is well worth the extra fee to go to, with a lift directly to the lower observation deck. The glass enclosure is marked with the landmarks on the horizon that can be seen from this point, while stairs take you approximately the outside platform, where the wind was so strong I might hardly keep my phone still for pictures!

The lake at Olympiapark Munich
In the Olympiapark is a memorial with images, videos and info honoring the awful events throughout the 1972 Munich Olympics. The kidnapping by Palestinian terrorists of Israeli professional athletes remaining in the Olympic village, led to a stopped working rescue effort and the murder of 11 of the Israeli athletes and coaches along with a German policeman.

The Olympiapark remains in the north of Munich, a 20 minute cycle trip from Marienplatz, so you might desire to take your bike on the train to get there. The park was built for the 1972 Munich Olympic Games and contains the Olympic Stadium now utilized for sports and cultural events, Olympic Hall and Aquatic centre with a public swimming pool.

Bike leasing in Munich

There are plenty of options when it comes to leasing bikes in Munich. For a start, many hotels like the beautiful Louis Hotel and Hotel Cortiina where we stayed, have bikes which they provide to visitors complimentary of charge, so its worth checking when you book lodging.
Its also easy to hire bikes from one of the numerous public bike schemes in Munich that charge you through a mobile app. Inspect out Nextbike, Call a Bike and there are most likely more.

Cycling by the River Isar in Munich
If you wish to be sure of a good quality bike then you can rent from an established bike leasing shop or take a bike trip in Munich, where a guide will take you around the essential sights, so you dont have to fret about navigation. Bike rental is available from if you choose to explore on your own;
Mikes Bike tours Munich– Bike leasing from their HQ at Bräuhaus Strasse 10 on the corner with Hochbrücken Str, which lies right behind the well-known beer hall, the Hofbräuahaus. They also provide bike trips around Munich
Fat tire tours– Their bike shop in Munich is at Karlsplatz 4 behind the Main Train Station (Hauptbahnhof). They also offer bike leasing along with tours in Munich
Radius Tours– Bike leasing from their shop at Arnulfstrasse 3 at the Main Train Station (Hauptbahnhof). They likewise run Munich bike trips.
Discover the perfect travel plan for 3 days in Munich in my short article about all the cool things to see and do.

Wild swimming in Munich

River Isar in Munich
When cycling along the riverside path or crossing among the little bridges, youll see many gravel banks, like the substantial bar of pebbles in the river near Mariannenbrucke. You can presume that its permitted and look for a way to get down to the river level if you see other residents unwinding and swimming here.

Outside pool in Munich.

For such a large city, its incredible that there are many opportunities for wild swimming in Munich, especially along the River Isar that goes through the centre. Between the Museum Island where the Deutsche Museum lies and the English Garden, the river is reasonably shallow with little islands and gravel banks that make popular areas for swimming and sunbathing.

Gravel banks for swimming on the River Isar in Munich.
In the northern part of the English Garden, the course runs near to the river bank and we identified more gravel beaches in the river near the Isarwehr. It appeared incredible to me that the river could be so tidy in the heart of the city as I cant imagine swimming in the Thames in London! Outdoor swimming is part of the culture in Germany where lake and river swimming is especially popular in summer.

Other locations for outdoor swimming in Munich include:
Dantebad swimming pool– Close to the Olympiapark, this is the only outside pool in Munich that opens throughout the year, with an Olympic size pool and heated wellness pool.
Maria Einsiedel swimming pool– Fed by the River Isar, this outdoor bathing complex in the south of Munich uses chlorine totally free swimming in natural surroundings. You could easily get there by bike along the cycle path next to the River Isar.
Prinzregentenbad– Just across the river from the English Garden, in the classy suburbs of Munich, these outside swimming baths consist of a 25 metre swimming pool and 20 metre experience pool with water torrents, jets and water slide.

River Isar in the English Garden in Munich

Want to leave the city? Discover 15 of the very best day journeys from Munich by train.

Surfing in Munich

Surfing on the Eisbach Munich
If you follow the river Isar south from Munich, theres another less known area where internet users can also catch a wave in the river at the Surfwelle Floßlände surfing spot. Less knowledgeable surfers who wish to polish up their act prior to braving public examination on the Eisbach, must head to the Jochen Schweizer Arena, on the south side of Munich, where theres an indoor browsing swimming pool with group classes available.

Surfing on the Eisbach Munich
Its mesmerising to view as knowledgeable internet users take their turn to leap on their board to twist and turn, vying to see the length of time they can stay up before they either fall off or dive off into the river. There does not appear to be any restriction on turning up to have a go yourself, although this experience is most likely for the more innovative and confident web surfers among you!

There cant be numerous European capitals where you can view web surfers catching a wave in the heart of the city! At the edge of the English Garden in Munich, theres an area where the river Eisbach streams under the bridge, producing a single wave that experienced web surfers line up to try. The bridge and river bank provide an ideal grandstand where crowds collect to view the complimentary phenomenon of Munich river surfing, one of the unique things to see in Munich

Surfing on the Eisbach Munich

Our favourite green spaces for walking in Munich.

Munich has plenty more in addition to those weve already discussed such as the English Garden if you are seeking open green areas to unwind and walk. Lots of have actually lovely biergartens connected and our favourites parks in Munich for a walk, or simply to view the world go by with a revitalizing beer are;

The Hofgarten

Formerly the garden of the Residenz, for personal usage by the Wittelsbach rulers of Bavaria, the Hofgarten is laid out with formal gravel parterres, an ornamental structure and water fountains at all four corners. Theres a calm atmosphere to the garden which is planted with low evergreen hedges, filled with vibrant seasonal plantings.
While you can cycle right around the perimeter of the Hofgarten and use it as a route to get to the English Garden, the main part of the garden is a relaxing location to walk or discover a bench and absorb some sunshine.
Learn more about checking out the Residenz in my article– Visiting the Munich Residenz, palace of the Bavarian rulers.

Hofgarten Munich

Where to eat in the Hofgarten

Go into through the archway from Odeonsplatz and youll discover a broad, shady balcony for outdoor dining on bright days. The large biergarten and restaurant terrace within the Hofgarten is run by dining establishment Tambosi, which serves Italian inspired food, along with the more common German beer. From here youll have a prime spot to watch groups of locals gathering to play a game of boules on the adjoining gravel balcony.

Tambosi dining establishment in the Hofgarten in Munich

Modify Botanischer Garten

After a see to the art galleries of the Museum Quarter and Königsplatz, head to the Alte Botanischer Garten or Old Botanical Garden, which is an enjoyable place to unwind if youve had enough of museums. The park contains lots of exotic trees and a central statue of Neptune surrounded by colourful flower beds. The Old Botanical Garden ended up being a park in the 1930s, when a brand-new Botanical Garden was laid out at Schloss Nymphenburg.

Modify Botanischer Garten Munich

Where to eat in the Alter Botanischer Garten

Within the garden is an extremely pleasant restaurant at The Park Cafe, which belongs to the Hofbrau Brewery. Sit outside in the biergarten with a view of the park when the weather is fine, or admire the classy percentages of the cafe interior. The menu is global and diverse, providing a modification from the typical hearty Bavarian dishes and theres a popular Sunday Brunch, with jazz and live music in the evenings.

The Park Cafe in Alter Botanischer Garten Munich

On the edge of Munich and easily available by public transport is Schloss Nymphenburg, formerly the summer house of the rulers of Bavaria and surrounded by official gardens with parterres, parkland and a lake.
When the spouse of the Elector, Henrietta Adeleide of Savoy provided birth in 1662 to a long awaited child and heir after 10 years of marital relationship there was much pleasure and relief! Her benefit was a gift of arrive at which she developed the pavilion of Schloss Nymphenburg, which was bigger by succeeding rulers in the French design during the 18th century.

Schloss Nymphenburg in Munich
The palace itself is a gorgeous concoction of sparkling chandeliers, gilding and romantic pastel rococo design, which is well worth checking out. One talking point is the “Gallery of Beauties”, with pictures commissioned by Ludwig I that included some of his mistresses, including noblewomen, actresses and among the best understood portraits of the shoemakers daughter. Also within the park is the Marstallmuseum, located in the former riding stables, with a collection of fairy tale coaches and sledges.

Nymphenberg Gardens Munich
After your see to the palace, walk down the formal gravel parterres leading down to the lake, where you can take a romantic gondola trip along the main canal when the weather is fine. Beyond the lake, the gardens provide way to woodland on either side, where you may discover natural water functions and ornamental structures, consisting of the pretty-in-pink Amalienburg with its hall of mirrors and rococo decor.

Nymphenberg Gardens Munich
We reached Nymphenburg by taking the train to Laim station and then strolled through the park to reach the palace. While there is a charge to check out the palace and other buildings, the park is free to visit.

Schloss Nymphenburg

Where to consume at the Nymphenburg Palace

Throughout our check out to the Schloss Nymphenburg gardens, we delighted in lunch in the gorgeous Palmhouse dining establishment, among 3 glass houses that were constructed for King Maximilian I in the 1820s. In warm weather, lunch can be handled the big outdoor dining establishment terrace in front of the lovely glasshouse.

Nymphenberg in Munich

Strategy your trip to Munich

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Plan a trip to Munich and you might think of stylish palaces and art galleries, reassuringly pricey automobiles and of course the wondrous celebration of beer and Bavaria that is Oktoberfest. If you want fresh air and enjoyable there are numerous outside activities in Munich to attempt, from wild swimming along the river Isar to biking in the Englischergarten. Surfing spots can even be found in the heart of Munich, although this is one sport that you might be pleased to watch from the security of the river bank!
At the edge of the English Garden in Munich, theres an area where the river Eisbach flows under the bridge, developing a single wave that experienced surfers line up to attempt out. The bridge and river bank provide a perfect grandstand where crowds gather to see the totally free phenomenon of Munich river surfing, one of the distinct things to see in Munich

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Hotels: We can extremely advise the glamorous Louis Hotel where we stayed that is well found by Viktualienmarkt or its a little more affordable sister store Cortiina Hotel which is also centrally located in the Old Town.
Tourism details: Check out the Munich Tourism site for additional information to assist plan your check out to Munich or the Germany Tourism site if you are planning to visit other parts of Germany.
Required a manual for Munich? I like the DK guides as they are so vibrant and well showed, so take a look at the DK Eyewitness Top 10 Munich guide for brief trips or the DK Eyewitness Munich and the Bavarian Alps for longer trips.