Northern Munich is a large expanse of the city of Munich bounded to the north by A99 autobahn, to the east by the river Isar, and to the west and south by the railway tracks running from the airport to city centre. The areas of most interest to visitors are Schwabing the university quarter, English Garden the 5 km-long park flanking it, Olympiapark site of the 1972 Olympic Games and with the BMW museum nearby, and Nymphenburg home to a vast palace and park. Bayern Munich play at Allianz Arena north of Schwabing.
Schwabing is ranged north-south along Leopoldstraße bordering the English Garden, and with Hohenzollernstraße the main east-west boulevard. It's an upmarket university quarter, with LMU and TUM based here, and the student housing area of Studentenstadt further north. Schwabing was a hamlet in the 8th century, so it's older than Munich itself, but incorporated into the city in 1890. It was then a bo-ho district crowded with artists, writers and painters, and Lenin moved here in 1900, publishing tracts calling for the violent overthrow of just about everything. His spiritual descendants of the 1960s sought to achieve this by flower-power, fomenting the Schwabinger Krawalle unrests which augured the Europe-wide student agitation of 1968. One grievance was the spiralling rents and property prices as the area gentrified; sure enough the property prices won.
English Garden is a park so large as to feel like a district in its own right, if not two. The south adjoining Altstadt / Lehel is genteel with pavilions and beer gardens, the north (Hirschau or deer park) is still rural.
Milbertshofen - Am Hart is the name of a borough of some 76,000 residents, but the only part of interest to visitors is its southwest corner of Am Riesenfeld. This contains Olympiapark, site of the 1972 Summer Olympics, with several sports facilities and other structures from that event, with others created later in a large park and leisure area. Also here are the headquarters, showrooms and museum of BMW, and many futuristic buildings.
Neuhausen-Nymphenburg are boroughs incorporated into the city in 1890 and merged in 1992. The big draw is Schloss Nymphenburg, a humonguous bling-palace built to out-do Versailles, with its retinue of pavilions, museums, ornamental lakes and gardens. The Botanic Gardens lie north of the palace. Neuhausen is south, bounded by the main railway tracks. This is a relaxed and untouristy district, with the world's biggest beer garden at Hirschgarten. If some of its visitors appear boorish, that's because they really are wild boar.
Further north are a swathe of residential and industrial areas. The main attractions are Allianz Arena for games of Bayern Munich plus the nearby Fröttmaning church last survivor of a medieval village engulfed by a trash heap, and Schleißheim Palace with the nearby aviation branch of Deutsches Museum.
Mainline trains from other cities all arrive at Hauptbahnhof the main station. It's in Ludwigsvorstadt district just west of Altstadt, but see Munich#Get in for connections and station facilities.
S-Bahn suburban lines fringe northern Munich but don't run through it, so you change to the U-Bahn. You normally change at Hauptbahnhof, but arriving on S1 from the airport you could also change at Feldmoching to line U2, or at Moosach for U3.
U-Bahn underground lines cross the city north-south so they are the more useful. All the area described on this page lies within the inner city fare zone, including Oberschleißheim.
- and start in the southeast, heading north via Sendlinger Tor, Hauptbahnhof, Stiglmaierplatz, Maillingerstraße, Rotkreuzplatz and Westfriedhof to Olympia-Einkaufszentrum - change there for U3 to Moosach.
- starts away east at Messe trade fair grounds. It's joined by and they run to Sendlinger Tor, Hauptbahnhof, Königsplatz (for Kunstareal museum district), Theresienstraße, Josephsplatz, Hohenzollernplatz and Scheidplatz. U8 then turns west to Olympiazentrum, while U2 continues out to Feldmoching.
- and run from the southwest to Sendlinger Tor, Marienplatz (for Altstadt), Odeonsplatz (for Residenz), Universität, Giselastraße and Münchner Freiheit. U3 then swings west to Scheidplatz, the Olympia district and Moosach, while U6 continues north to Nordfriedhof, Fröttmaning (for Allianz Arena) and Garching.
1 Münchner Freiheit is a secondary transport hub: change here between U3, U6, trams and buses.
- Line 17 runs from Botanic Garden and Nymphenburg, and at Romansplatz is joined by line 16. They run along Arnulfstraße to the bus station and Hauptbahnhof, then south to Sendlinger Tor and circle Altstadt.
- Lines 20, 21 and 29 run north from Hauptbahnhof to Stiglmaierplatz (for west end of Kunstareal) and up Dachauer Straße.
- Lines 27 and 28 run from Sendlinger Tor to Karlsplatz (Stachus) and north up Barer Straße via Karolinenplatz (for east end of Kunstareal). The 27 branches to Petuelring, for Olympia Park and BMW Museum.
Reaching this district by car is easy except in rush hour. The big problem is parking: street parking within the circular expressway is reserved for residents. The only attractions with visitor parking are Olympia Stadium, Nymphenburg Palace and Allianz Arena. If you're coming for a day-trip, use one of the P&R lots signposted from the expressway: these have U-Bahn connections.
The area is bike-friendly, with bike lanes on major streets: see Munich#Get around for bike hire. Distances are not great, for instance Altstadt to Olympiapark is only 5 km.
Walking between Altstadt / Lehel and the southern part of English Garden and Schwabing is reasonable on foot. Further north and west, the distances between points of interest stretch out, so switch to public transport.
This spread-out district has U-Bahn and tram lines radiating from Hauptbahnhof, see above. Moving between areas such as Nymphenburg and Olympia Park may mean riding into city centre then out again, so plan to see them on separate days.
- 1 Walking Man (U-Bahn U3, U6: Giselastraße) is the 17 m white statue at 36 Leopoldstraße. It was constructed by Jonathan Borofsky in 1995, in Sun Valley California then brought over in nine pieces for assembly - there's a stairway within for that purpose but not open to the public. The statue is meant to indicate progress in a busy modern world. He's striding out of Munich Re (also designed by Borofsky) whose main business is re-insurance, laying off the risks shouldered by primary insurers, so he's probably hurrying to investigate a claim. Look down Leopoldstraße for a vista of Siegestor, the victory arch described in Maxvorstadt.
- 2 Sankt-Ursula Kirche, Kaiserplatz 1a (U-Bahn U3, U6: Münchner Freiheit), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 08:00-19:00. In the late 19th century the population of Schwabing grew rapidly, so they built this Roman Catholic church, consecrated in 1897. It's a neo-Renaissance brick building with campanile, and faces north (not the standard east) because of its position at the end of Friedrichstraße.
- 3 Sankt-Sylvester Kirche, Biedersteiner Straße 1A (U-Bahn U3, U6: Münchner Freiheit). This was the original parish church of Schwabing, first documented in 1315, until supplanted by St Ursula's. A neo-baroque "new church" extension was added in 1925.
- Erlöserkirche the Lutheran Evangelical church at Germaniastraße 4 is 300 m north of Münchner Freiheit. It's a mix of neo-Gothic, neo-Romanesque and Art Nouveau. When it was completed in 1901, it stood in a quiet village square.
- 4 Nordfriedhof (Northern Cemetery), Ungererstraße 130 (U-Bahn U6: Nordfriedhof). Nov-Mar 08:00-17:00, Apr-Oct 08:00-20:00. In mid-19th century the city's only cemetery was the Southern in Ludwigvorstadt. It was getting full so a north cemetery was opened in 1868 in Maxvorstadt - and was obviously too small for the burgeoning city. A further north cemetery was created here in 1884. Among the 34,000 interred are singer-actor "Jopi" Heesters, Ernst Mach who gives his name to a measure of supersonic speed, and Oswald Spengler who predicted the collapse of Western civilisation from 2000 AD. It has an impressive funeral chapel and morgue, which figure in Thomas Mann's novel Death in Venice. The "grove of honour" holds 2099 victims of the World War II Allied air raids. Free.
- Art Nouveau buildings - known in Germany as Jugendstil - dot the area, mostly just as facades. Find examples at the Evangelical Church (above), Römerstraße 11 & 15, Ainmillerstraße 22, Franz-Joseph-Straße 19, Gedonstraße 4 / 6, Isabellastraße 20 and Leopoldstraße 77.
Der Englischer Garten is a large public park, opened in 1792 and extended since. It's about 1 km east-west by 5 km north-south, bigger than New York's Central Park or London's Hyde Park, and divided by the Isarring highway into a southern and northern section. The southern is the most visited and ornamented, with pavilions, concert venues and a beer garden.
The park's first designer was English but the name reflects the 18th century style of English landscape gardening pioneered by Capability Brown. It was frankly a booby prize for the city: Prince Charles Theodore (1724-1799) really didn't want to be Elector of Bavaria, and it showed. But he saw what happened to unpopular rulers elsewhere and sought to regain favour by various civic improvements. He hired Sir Benjamin Thompson (1753–1814) to create this park, and Thompson's concept was of a military garden, where soldiers could cultivate crops and learn agriculture whenever they weren't biffing the French or partitioning Poland. Later designers put more emphasis on leisure and decoration in the southern section close to the city, while the northern Hirschau or deer park remained bucolic. The name "English Garden" stuck since "Theodore's Park" was unacceptable, and the Elector's eventual death from a stroke was greeted by uproarious celebrations.
The north-south division became stark in 1966 when Isarring cut through, part of the four-lane inner ring road R-2. In 2017 the city agreed a plan to tunnel the highway and re-unite the park, but their timespan is not known. The north boundary is Föhringer Ring: the tract beyond is not park but is mostly woodland as the flood-prone River Isar has prevented development. The canalised river forms the east boundary of the English Garden. The west boundary is the stream Schwabinger Bach, then Königinstraße for its southern 500 m. The south boundary is Prinzregentenstraße, and facilities here are described as part of Altstadt. These include the small formal park of Hofgarten (connected to the garden by a tunnel), and Maximilian Park along the east bank of the Isar.
- 5 Monopteros (U-Bahn U3, U6: Universität) is the focal point of the southern garden. It's a 16 m high neo-Grecian rotunda, built in 1836 atop a 15 m rubble hillock, so it's a good vantage point to scan for a lost child.
- Southern English Garden (Südlicher Englischer Garten) is close to Altstadt and the university and office quarters, so it's popular with sunbathers on lunch breaks. A surprising number of these have absent-mindedly left their clothing back at their desk: there is a designated nudist zone but you're liable to see withered acorns anywhere. It's also popular with joggers, cyclists, strollers, skateboard and roller blades, riders on horseback, and even surfers - see below for the two surfing waves on the stream through the park.
- Japanese Tea House is on an islet in the stream near the garden south entrances. One Sunday a month in summer they serve tea with suitable bowing and self-effacing smiles, see website for details. No booking, the first 20 per serving get tea, the rest get sumimasen.
- 6 Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm) (U-Bahn U3, U6: Universität or Bus 54, 58). This 25 m high pagoda was constructed with the original park in 1790, and rebuilt after World War II in 1952. It has a beer garden, with a Bavarian oompah band performing at weekends from the second floor. It can feel touristy, and horse-drawn carriage and rickshaw tours through the garden start here - see below for the Kocherlball in summer and the Christmas Market. Until the end of 2022, the tower is scaffolded for re-roofing; the beer garden remains open. The tower is 1 km from the U-Bahn at Universität, but Bus 54 runs past it from Münchner Freiheit and Ostbahnhof S- and U-Bahn stations.
- Kleinhesseloher See is the ornamental lake at the north end of this section of the garden: see below for Seehaus beer garden. A footbridge crosses busy Isarring into the northern garden, with Hirschau another beer garden just the other side.
- 7 Northern English Garden (Nördlicher Englischer Garten) stretches for another 3 km, take U-Bahn U6 to Dietlindenstraße, Nordfriedhof, Alte Heide or Studentenstadt. This area doesn't have monuments or ornaments, just fields with wildflowers, and even flocks of sheep with attendant shepherds and dogs. The park stretches north to end at Aumeister beer garden and Föhringer Ring.
They were meant to be "The Friendly Games". Munich was awarded the 1972 Olympic Summer Games and created a large complex of stadiums, accommodation and other facilities here on a disused airfield. The last Olympics held in Germany had been the 1936 Berlin event, part of the rise of Nazism and slide into war and Holocaust. The organisers were determined to present a reborn West Germany, smiling and democratic, with minimum security, and a welcome for the Israeli Olympic team. It turned into a disaster. At 04:30 on 5 Sept 1972, in the second week of the Games, 8 terrorists of the Black September group broke into the Israeli accommodation at Connollystraße 31. Two athletes were killed in the assault and nine were taken hostage. The terrorists demanded the release of 234 prisoners held in Israel, and of two notorious Germans, Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof. After some hours they negotiated a helicopter transfer to Fürstenfeldbruck air base, where a plane would take them to Cairo. Every step of the West German response was botched, and it degenerated into a shoot-out and grenade blasts at the air base which killed all the hostages, a policeman and five terrorists. Olympic President Avery Brundage declared that "the Games must go on", and they did. So too did the global repercussions.
The Olympic area is about 2 km north-south by 1 km east west, bisected by R2 highway Georg-Brauchl-Ring. North is mostly sports pitches, bounded by Moosacher Straße. South centres on a lake and has parkland and public leisure areas, bounded by Schleißheimer Straße east and Dachauer Straße southwest. U-Bahn U3: Olympiazentrum is near BMW Welt east-side.
- 8 Olympiaberg is that geological delicacy known as a Trümmerberg or Schuttberg - a great pile of rubble, most of it from wartime, but with some from construction of the U-bahn. It's now a pleasant picnicking and vantage point. If there's a concert on at the stadium, bring a blanket and beer and listen to the show for free.
- 9 Olympiaturm (Olympic Tower), Spiridon-Louis-Ring 7 (U-Bahn U3: Olympiazentrum), ☏ . Daily 09:00-23:00. This 291 m tower was built in 1968 and looks it: the centrepiece for the 1972 Olympic complex. The revolving restaurant (see below) is at at 182 m and the observation deck is at 190 m. Until 2021 it housed a rock and roll museum but this has closed. No reservations for the lift, but advised for the restaurant. There's special midnight opening on New Year's Eve. Adult €11, conc €7.
- Sea Life, Willi-Daume-Platz 1 (U-Bahn U3: Olympiazentrum; 100 m east of Olympiaturm). Apr-Oct 10:00-18:00, Nov-Mar 10:00-16:00. Aquarium with over 30 tanks and aquatic life from local river dwellers to sharks and coral reefs. Adult €19.95, child 3-14 €15.95.
- BMW Welt is "not only a temple but also a market place and communication center, and a meeting point for knowledge transfer" - that's code for selling more cars. This futuristic exhibition hall, display window and events venue is free (open daily) but you might come away with a car you hadn't set out to buy. If you doubt your resolve, proceed instead to their museum across the street.
- 10 BMW Museum, Am Olympiapark 2 (U-Bahn U3: Olympiazentrum), ☏ . Tu-Su 10:00-18:00. Extensive museum displaying the evolution of motoring technology, from the earliest days to future concepts. Adult €10, conc or child €7.
- 11 Connollystraße 31 (U-Bahn U3: Olympiazentrum) is the apartment block in the former Olympic village where the Israeli athletes were taken hostage. There's a memorial plaque and that's all: it's nowadays student apartments. The street is named for Jamie Connolly (1868 – 1957) from the US, the first Olympic champion of the modern era - he won the triple jump on the opening day of the 1896 games in Athens.
- 12 Luitpoldpark (U-Bahn U2, U3, U8: Scheidplatz) is a large public park 500 m east of Olympiapark, laid out in 1911. Few tourists come here.
- 13 Herz Jesu Kirche, Romanstraße 6 (U-Bahn U1, U7: Rotkreuzplatz), ☏ . Th-Su 08:00-19:00, M 12:00-19:00. This Roman Catholic church was built 1997-2000 after the previous church burned down. It's a large blue glass cube 14 m per side, which contains a wooden interior cube. The church within is spare and minimalistic. The entire glass facade can be opened like a gigantic gate. This only happens on public holidays so don't be lured by their "open door" announcements, which will engulf you in prayer and parish activities. Free.
- 14 Botanical Garden, Menzinger Straße 65 (Tram 17: Botanischer Garten; no access from Schloss park or Maria-Ward-Strasse), ☏ . Daily Apr-Oct 09:00-18:00, Nov-Mar 09:00-16:30. Covering 21 ha, the Garden opened here in 1914 when it outgrew its original site on Karlsplatz. It holds some 19,600 species, with an alpine garden, arboretum, rose garden, and extensive glasshouse collections. Adult €6.50, conc €4.50.
- 15 Schloss Nymphenburg (Tram 17: Schloss Nymphenburg), ☏ . Daily Apr-mid Oct 09:00-18:00; mid Oct-Mar 10:00-16:00. What began as a modest 17th century pavilion grew and grew into a vast Baroque palace, bigger than Versailles, which was no accident. You view some 20 ornate rooms: one striking feature is the paintings of the many female friends of King Ludwig I. (See Sligo for one infamous paramour, the lurid Lola Montez.) Some areas are closed in winter, hence the reduced admission: the Royal Chapel, the Porcelain Museum and the Marstallmuseum (carriages and sleighs in the former royal stables). Museum of Man and Nature is also within the Schloss but separately ticketed, see below. The extensive gardens are free. Apr-mid Oct adult €15, conc €13; mid Oct-Mar adult €12, conc €10.
- Museum of Man and Nature (Museum Mensch und Natur), Schloss Nymphenburg (Tram 16, 17: Schloss Nymphenburg), ☏ . Tu-F 09:00-17:00, Sa Su 10:00-18:00. Natural History museum on the north flank of the Schloss but separately managed and ticketed. Signage is only in German. Adult €3.50, conc €2.50, under 18s free.
- 16 Nymphenburg park (Tram 17: Schloss Nymphenburg) stretches for a km west of the palace. The inner garden is a French parterre enclosed by a canal. The rest of the park, originally Italian in style, was anglicised by Prince Theodore at the same time as he developed the English Garden nearer city centre. There are vistas, water features and several "Parkburg" or pavilions, open to view April to mid-Oct. These are Amalienburg a Roccoco hunting lodge just south of the parterre, Magdalenenklause just north of the parterre a mock-ruin studded with sea-shells, Badenburg by the lake a palatial bathroom, Apollotempel a neoclassical rotunda, and Pagodenburg north a tea-house.
- 17 Fröttmaning Hill (U-Bahn U6: Fröttmaning) is a 75 m high mound covering the lost village of Fröttmaning, which dates to the 6th century, with its church consecrated in 815 AD. In the 1950s as Munich expanded the area was demolished and turned into a waste dump. Methane from decaying garbage caused fires, so the hill resembled a volcano swathed in smoke and stench. The dump was closed in the 1980s and the hill re-natured, with vents for off-gassing and retaining walls against seepage. It's now a pleasant park topped by a wind turbine and with views of the Alps on a clear day. It's popular for mountain biking and tobogganing - the idea for a ski slope and chairlift has come to nothing. Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche (Holy Cross Chapel) at the north foot of the hill is 13th century, the last survivor of the village. It's often been threatened by demolition, vandalism or engulfing in trash, but it was found to have Romanesque ceiling frescoes from the 1740s. (It's active Roman Catholic but seldom open, you may be able to peek in around services.) 150 m south is an apparently identical chapel half-buried in the hillside, as if by a fetid avalanche: this is an artwork created in 2006 as part of the Allianz Arena construction.
- 18 South Fröttmaning Heath (Südliche Fröttmaninger Heide; U-Bahn U6: Fröttmaning) is a large open space west of Allianz Arena. It's one of the last tracts of the ring of heath north of the city - glacial deposits of gravel created a distinctive terrain that was well-drained but treeless. Elsewhere this was urbanised but South Fröttmaning was preserved by use as a military training area. In 2016 it was converted into a nature reserve and recreational area, while the army continues to use the zone north of A99. There are different rules on permitted activities in various parts of the heath, but given the amount of old military ordnance still lying underfoot, metal-detecting is always a bad idea.
- 19 Panzerweise and Hartelholz (U-Bahn U2: Dülferstraße) is a similar heath west of A13 - the Panzers trained here. The city acquired the land in the 1990s and built housing on its southern part but in 2002 made the rest into a nature reserve.
- 20 Schloss Schleißheim, Maximilianshof 1, Oberschleißheim (S-Bahn S1: Oberschleißheim), ☏ . Tu-Su Apr-Sept 09:00-18:00, Oct-Mar 10:00-16:00. Humonguous complex of three palaces. The Old Palace at the west end was a mansion built up into a palace only to be promptly scrapped and rebuilt by 1623. It was bombed in World War II, rebuilt from 1970, and now houses religious art and an exhibition on the former Prussia now in Poland. The New Palace just east was built 1700-26 for Elector Max Emanuel, a sumptuous Baroque confection packed with art work: Großer Saal, Viktoriensaal and the Große Galerie are its highlights. The Lustheim Palace was built in the 1680s (between the Old and New construction) as a villa or hunting lodge: it's 1.3 km east down the landscaped vista, and big spenders can ride a gondola down the linking canal. A grand semi-circular enclosing colonnade soon fell to bits. Today the Lustheim displays Meissen ceramics. The parklands are equally vast. Last but not least, there's a 980-seat beer garden, Schlosswirtschaft Oberschleißheim, in the palace grounds. Adult €10, conc €8, under-18 free, cash only.
- Deutsches Museum Flugwerft Schleißheim, Effnerstraße 18, Oberschleißheim (S-Bahn S1: Oberschleißheim; 200 m south of Old Palace), ☏ . Daily 09:00-17:00. The palace grounds were used as an airfield in wartime, and this is now the aviation branch of Deutsches Museum. Adult €8.
- 21 Schwarzhölzl is a fen, inundated in the 19th century through peat extraction. After agricultural use it became a nature reserve in 1994, with more woodland than the heath reserves.
- 1 FC Bayern Munich, Allianz Arena, Werner-Heisenberg-Allee 25 (U-Bahn U6: Fröttmaning), ☏ . Die Bayern play soccer in Bundesliga, Germany's top tier. They do well and qualify for European tournaments, and matches sell out. (Buy tickets online, but you have to register, to try to curb the touts and scalpers.) The Arena (capacity 70-75,000), completed in 2005, is a sight in itself, like an inflatable boat with colour-changing exterior; tours are available.
- TSV 1860 Munich no longer play at the Arena - watching their games use to be a cheap way to see it. But they've tumbled down the leagues and now play at Grünwalder Stadion in Haidhausen to the south.
- Tennis: 2 MTTC Iphitos, Aumeisterweg 10 (U-Bahn U6: Studentenstadt), ☏ . This is the principal tennis club in Munich. In mid April they host the Bavarian International (sponsored as BMW Open), played over a week on clay. It ranks in the fourth tier of the ATP tournament schedule.
- 3 Olympic Stadium (U-Bahn U1: Westfriehof) is the 69,000 seater stadium created for the Games then converted to a football stadium, with a great tented roof. Bayern Munich moved out to the Allianz Arena in 2006 and nowadays the stadium itself is little used, though there's a cluster of sports facilities around it. Tours available.
- Olympiahalle is a multi-purpose venue 100 east of the main stadium.
- Ice Hockey: EHC Red Bull München play in DEL, the German top tier. Their home rink is the Eishalle, 200 m east of the Olympic Tower.
- Cycling: Munich has many bike trails, and the English Garden is a good area, especially its larger, more rural northern section - see Munich#Get around for rentals and bike tours.
- Dreiseenplatte means "three lakes plateau". These were gravel pits scooped out in 1969/70 for railway track gravel, and rehabilitated as leisure lakes. They're fed by groundwater and meet EU standards for bathing.
- 4 Lerchenauer See (S-Bahn S1: München-Fasanerie, Bus 60) is the smallest and most popular, as it's easiest reached by public transport. Access from the west off Lerchenauer Straße.
- 5 Fasaneriesee (S-Bahn S1: München-Fasanerie) reaches 8 m depth but is mostly shallow, becoming warm in summer, so it's suitable for kiddy-bathing or retrieving an overthrown frisbee. There's a lifeguard station just in case. Access from the south by Feldmochinger Straße. The north end was in former times a cemetery, with one row of graves from 550-700 AD.
- 6 Feldmochinger See (S-Bahn S1: München-Feldmoching) is the largest, and the least crowded as it has poor public transport: the S-Bahn station is 1 km east. Bus 172 runs past every 20 min M-F from Am Hart via the S-Bahn station to Dachau, but there's no weekend service. The lake has step-free access via a ramp, and a walk around the perimeter is 2.25 km. Access from the north off Karlsfelder Straße.
- 7 Oberschleißheim Regatta Course (A92 exit 2: Oberschleißheim) was created for the 1972 Summer Olympics. It's sometimes reserved for rowing events, but otherwise open for public use. Access from the north off Dachauer Straße.
- Regattasee next to the course is another gravel pit converted to a triangular leisure lake. The north is for bathing, the south is a wildlife habitat.
- Ice skating (Schlittschuhlaufen): in winter the ponds and lakes may freeze hard enough for skating. One popular spot is the ornamental canal in front of Schloss Nymphenburg, directions above.
- 8 Surfing on the Eisbach, Prinzregentenstraße (Tram 18: Nationalmuseum / Haus der Kunst). The Eisbach is an artificial side-channel of the Isar, culverted beneath Altstadt but emerging at the bridge on Prinzregentenstraße, south edge of English Garden. Here it drops over a 1 m weir to form a standing wave, surfable whenever there's a good flow of water. Late winter into early summer is best, as its parent river cascades down from Alpine snows and the "ice stream" earns its name. Surfers queue up on the banks - there's only room for one at a time, and as it's a standing wave you can surf as long as you can stay upright. After half a minute it's etiquette to attempt a move beyond your skill level, wipe out and be borne by the current to the back of the queue. It's considered an expert surf, and beginners should hone their skills 500 m northeast downstream at Dianabadschwelle, where the wider stream makes for a gentler wave shared with kayakers. They might also try the Floßlände wave in Obersending south side of Munich. The main Isar is occasionally surfable at Wittelsbacherbrücke just south of Altstadt, but only in spate with all sorts of unpleasant or hazardous stuff racing down the brown torrent.
Culture and subculture
- 9 KreativQuartier at Dachauer Straße 112 is a complex of venues., which include Pathos Theatre, Import Export danceroom, Schwere Reiter ("Heavy Riders"), Mucca Community Arts and Filmstadt München. Take a tram to Leonrodplatz.
- 10 Wannda Circus, Völckerstraße 5 (U-Bahn U6: Freimann, Bus 178: Lindberghstraße), ☏ , email@example.com. They do put on circus acts, but it's more like a tented event venue hosting live music, theatre, alternative fashion and parties. The field gets muddy after rain.
- 11 Motorworld Munich (U-bahn U6: Friemann; Bus 140, 170, 171, 178, 180 to Paul-Hindemith-Allee) is a huge event space opened in 2021 in a former railway works. It hosts conferences and trade fairs, and includes the Zenith and Kesselhaus music and clubbing venues.
- Corso Leopold (U-Bahn U3, U6: Universität, Giselastraße or Münchner Freiheit) is a street fair taking over a km of Leopoldstraße - The Walking Man is about midway along. There's a funfair, art fair, food stalls and the like. Traditionally it was held first weekend in June and second weekend in September, but nowadays dates vary. South along Ludwigstraße was the similar Streetlife Festival: see Maxvorstadt, but as of 2022 this hasn't resumed post-Covid.
- StuStaCulum is a student-run theatre and music festival, held over a long weekend in mid June. Various venues, but it's mostly in the block on Christoph-Probst-Straße, 100 m east of U-Bahn U6: Studentenstadt.
- Theatron Pfingsfestival is a music festival in Olympiapark in June, with the stage on a platform on the lake. Theatron also organise Musiksomer here in August.
- Tollwood music festivals are twice a year. The summer festival is mid-Jun to mid-July in Olympiapark around the Olympiaberg. The winter festival is on Theresienwiese (the Oktoberfest venue) from the last week of November until Christmas, and includes a Christmas Market.
- Münchner Sommernachtstraum (Midsummer Night's Dream) is a music festival with fireworks on Olympiapark in July.
- Kocherlball ("Cooks' Ball") is held at the Chinese Tower beer garden on the third Sunday in July, from 06:00 to 10:00. The custom started in 1880 as a festival for the town servants: not just the cooks, but all the table maids, ostlers, boot boys, grooms, skivvies, the lot. And they all had to be back on duty by the time their masters returned from church, hence the early start and finish. It was banned as immoral in 1904 but re-started in 1989 to mark the 200th anniversary of the gardens. Many come in period peasant or servant clothing, arriving from 04:00 to bag good places, and perform traditional Bavarian dances.
- Christmas fair at the Chinese Tower in English Garden is held from the beginning of December to Christmas Eve, M-F 12:00-20:30, Sa Su 11:00-20:30. It's walking distance from Altstadt, or take U-Bahn U3 or U6 to Universität.
- Schwabing Christmas Fair is held at Münchner Freiheit (U-Bahn U3, U6) from late Nov to Christmas Eve, M-F 12:00-20:30, Sa Su 11:00-20:30.
- Elisabethmarkt (Tram 27, 28: Elisabethplatz) is in the square facing Wintergarten (see Drink). It's a smaller, less touristy and cheaper version of Viktualienmarkt in Altstadt, with stalls offering a good selection of fruit, veg and deli-food. Most stalls are open M-F 08:00-18:00, Sa 08:00-14:00.
- 1 Galeria Kaufhof, Pötschnerstraße 5 (U-Bahn U1, U7: Rotkreuzplatz), ☏ . M-Sa 09:30-20:00. This chain department store has some eight locations across the city, but the one at Rotkreuzplatz is the most useful for the northwest districts. There's a market hall adjacent.
- 2 Olympia-Einkaufszentrum (OEZ) (U-Bahn U1, U3: Olympia-Einkaufszentrum), ☏ . M-Sa 09:30-20:00. This large shopping complex was built in 1972 for the Olympics and expanded in the 1990s. It has a variety of department stores (including another Galeria Kaufhof), boutiques and food stores. There are parking lots north and south side. In 2016 a mall shooting killed nine people plus the perpetrator.
- 3 mira, Schleißheimer Straße 506 (U-Bahn U2: Dülferstraße), ☏ . M-Sa 09:30-20:00. A three-storey shopping mall in Nordheide district opened in 2008. It's a bright modern structure winning awards for this 'n that, but a third of its 70 stores lie empty.
- Flea market Olympiapark is held in the car park of Olympic Stadium, F Sa 07:00-16:00 but not during big events. See stadium directions above, U1: Westfriedhof and U3: Olympiazentrum are 1 km away. The car park is on Spiridon-Louis-Ring, no access from Georg-Brauchle-Ring.
- Nymphenburg Porcelain Manufactory, Nördliches Schloßrondell 8 (200 m northeast of palace), ☏ . M-F 10:00-18:30, Sa 10:00-16:00. Offers beautifully handcrafted and very pricey porcelain. The factory was founded in the early 1700s to create porcelain for the Royal family. You can look around for as long as they think you might buy something, otherwise they might tactfully but firmly redirect you to the porcelain museum within the palace.
- Shere Punjab, Leopoldstraße 43 (U-Bahn U3, U6: Münchner Freiheit; corner with Kaiserstraße), ☏ . Daily 11:30-00:00. This Indian restaurant gets very mixed reviews.
- 1 Garbo by the Sea, Kaiserstraße 67 (Tram 27, 28: Kurfürstenplatz), ☏ . M-Sa 17:00-01:00. Cozy restaurant (which sometimes means cramped) with slick service. Good pizza but the specialty is seafood.
- Lemar Restaurant, Viktor-Scheffel-Straße 23 (one block north of Garbo), ☏ . Daily 17:00-23:00. Delicious Afghan food in a sumptuous interior. Cash only.
- Seerose, Feilitzschstraße 32 (U-Bahn U3, U6: Münchner Freiheit; one block south of St Sylvester), ☏ . M-F 12:00-16:00, 17:00-00:00, Sa Su 12:00-00:00. Great reviews for this cheerful trattoria near the top of the southern English Garden.
- 2 Tantris, Johann-Fichte-Straße 7 (Tram 23: Potsdamer Straße), ☏ . W-Sa 12:00-14:00 & 18:30-02:00. Pricey restaurant but worth it for top continental cuisine. It will help if you like 1970s decor.
- Restaurant 181, Olympiaturm, Spiridon-Louis-Ring 7 (U-Bahn U3: Olympiazentrum), ☏ . W-Su 12:00-16:00, 17:30-00:00. Pricey restaurant, the "181" refers to its height within the Olympic Tower, which slowly rotates. Food just about right for the price, snooty service.
- 3 Wasserman, Elvirastraße 19 (U-Bahn U1, U7: Maillingerstraße), ☏ . Su, Tu-Th 16:00-23:00, F Sa 16:00-00:00. Trad fare such as giant burgers, pork roast and Schnitzel.
- 4 Taj Mahal, Nymphenburger Straße 145 (U-Bahn U1, U7: Rotkreuzplatz), ☏ . M-Sa 11:30-14:30, 17:30-00:00, Su 11:30-00:00. Mostly good reviews for this Indian restaurant.
- Other Indians close by include Bollywood, New Delhi and Saravanaa Bhavan.
- Amea is a decent trattoria 50 m south of Taj Mahal and open M-Sa 17:00-00:00. It's no longer Noah's, who've moved into Altstadt.
- Maui, Nymphenburger Straße 151 (U-Bahn U1, U7: Rotkreuzplatz; 100 m west of Taj Mahal), ☏ . M-F 11:30-14:30, 17:30-23:00, Sa 17:30-23:00. Hawaii and fusion cuisine, and it's often packed out.
- Scarletti, Nymphenburger Straße 155 (U-Bahn U1, U7: Rotkreuzplatz; 150 m west of Taj Mahal), ☏ . Daily 09:00-21:00. Trad ice cream parlour with a wide selection, mixed reviews on whether it's worth the higher price.
- Ristorante Romans, Romanstraße 1 (U-Bahn U1, U7: Rotkreuzplatz; block north of Herz Jesu Kirche), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 11:30-01:00. Smart Italian serving excellent meat and fish with Italian wines.
Bars & pubs
- Schwabinger 7, Feilitzschstraße 15 (U-Bahn U3, U6: Münchner Freiheit; it's 150 m east of U-Bahn station), ☏ . Tu-Sa 20:00-04:00, Su 20:00-00:00. Authentic dive bar with live music, dark interior and low prices - hence popular among students.
- Shamrock, Trautenwolfstraße 6; (U-Bahn U3, U6: Giselastraße; block 200 m north of Walking Man), ☏ . Tu-Sa 18:30-00:00. Atmospheric Irish pub, with live music and karaoke, so it's the authentic drouthy experience of Friday night in (say) Wexford, Newtownabbey or Letterkenny.
- 1 Wintergarten, Elisabethplatz 4b (Tram 27, 28: Elisabethmarkt), ☏ . Daily 10:00-22:00. Small Augustiner beer garden mostly serving locals, and tourists are rare. It has a small playground with swings, slide and sandpit close enough for you to supervise your kids playing. They sometimes have live trad music. It's next to Elisabethmarkt, see Buy.
- 2 Milchhäusl, Veterinärstraße 16 (U-Bahn: U3,U6 Universität), ☏ . Daily 10:00-21:00. This snack shop in English Garden offers beer, Bavarian food and bio sandwiches, and in cold weather you can have your snack within an Alpine lift gondola.
- Biergarten am Chinesischen Turm (Beer garden at the Chinese Tower), Englischer Garten 3 (U-Bahn U3, U6: Universität), ☏ . M-F 10:00-22:00, Sa Su 11:00-22:00. Famous 7500-seater beer garden next to the Chinese Tower in the south section of Englischer Garten. Good selection of trad food, and Oompah bands play from the pagoda on summer weekends. As it's within walking distance from Altstadt it can feel touristy.
- 3 Seehaus, Kleinhesselohe 3 (U-Bahn U3, U6: Münchner Freiheit), ☏ . M-Sa 12:00-00:00, Su 12:00-22:00. Beer garden with 2500 seats by a small lake in the English Garden. This and the artistic boathouse and other structures were designed by Gabriel von Seidl in the late 19th century. Enjoy a beer and Bavarian fast-food while small boats pootle by.
- 4 Hirschau, Gyßlingstraße 15 (U-Bahn U6: Dietlindenstraße), ☏ . M-Sa 12:00-23:00, Su 11:00-21:30. Beer garden at the south end of Hirschau, the deer park or northern portion of English Garden, with a footpath beneath busy Isarring connecting to the southern portion. With 1700 seats, it's seldom crowded, and not touristy. Music is modern rather than trad.
- 5 Aumeister, Sondermeierstraße 1 (U-Bahn U6: Studentenstadt), ☏ . Closed. This is at the very north end of English Garden so tourists are rare. There's a bosky 2500-seater beer garden, and restaurant in one of Prince Regent Luitpold's hunting lodges. It remains closed in 2022.
Clubs and discos
- Freiheitshalle is an events venue in an old red-brick factory at Rainer-Werner-Fassbinderplatz, just north of Donnersbergerbrücke S-Bahn station. It's mostly rock and alternative music.
- Kesselhaus and Zenith are now within Motorworld Munich, see above.
- 6 Zum Jennerwein, Belgradstraße 27 (U-Bahn U3: Hohenzollernplatz), ☏ . W Th 19:00-01:00, F Sa 19:00-02:00. Established in 1962, this is a lively friendly dive-bar and club.
- Deck21, Hans-Jochen-Vogel-Platz (U-Bahn U3: Olympiazentrum). Th F 16:00–22:00, Sa Su 14:00-22:00. This bar is on the rooftop of Olympiahalle next to the Olympic Stadium. Pleasant views in fine weather, but food and drink are overpriced, service is slow, and the place is not accessible with strollers or wheelchairs.
- Olympia-Alm, Martin-Luther-King Weg 8 (U-Bahn U3: Olympiazentrum), ☏ . Daily 11:00-23:00. This is a small beergarden in the park 100 m east of Olympiaberg.
- OlyDisco, Helene-Mayer-Ring 9 (U-Bahn U3: Olympiazentrum; foot of Connollystraße 200 m east of massacre memorial), ☏ . F 23:00-05:00. The club is in the former Olympic village, nowadays student apartments. So it's mostly a student crowd, which keeps prices moderate. It's seen better days.
- 7 Happy Corner, Franz-Marc-Straße 10 (U-Bahn U1, U7: Westfriedhof), ☏ . M-F 16:30-00:00, Sa 18:30-00:00. A rustic pub just west of Olympic park.
- 8 Hofbräu am Oberwiesenfeld, Hildeboldstraße 23, ☏ . W-Su 11:00-00:00. Lively brewhouse southeast of Olympic park.
- 9 Hirschgarten, Hirschgarten 1 (S-Bahn: Hirschgarten), ☏ . Daily 11:00-22:00. Europe’s biggest beer garden with 8000 seats, with a 500-seater indoor restaurant. They serve beer from two breweries and trad food, though you can bring in your own food. It has a small zoo with deer and wild boars.
- 10 Taxisgarten, Taxisstraße 12 (U-Bahn U1, U7: Gern), ☏ . Closed. This small beer garden remains closed in 2022.
- 11 Peaches, Donnersbergerstraße 50 (Tram 16, 17: Donnersbergerstraße), ☏ . Daily 18:00-01:00. This lively bar serves cocktails and giant pizzas. Great place to meet and watch people.
- 12 Backstage, Reitknechtastraße 6 (S1,S2,S3,S4,S6,S7,S8: Hirschgarten), ☏ , email@example.com. Live events complex with three venues for shows. The smaller ones are more like club / disco and can go on to 05:00.
- 1 Campingplatz Nord-West, Auf den Schrederwiesen 3 (1.5 km west of S-Bahn Fasanerie), ☏ . Very basic campsite and a schlep to reach, open all year. Two-person tent €18.
- 2 The Tent, In den Kirschen 30 (Tram 17: Botanischer Garten), ☏ . Tent-based hostel open June-Sept. Good vibe, comfy but unheated, bring your own lock for the lockers. Tent floor €10, bunk €15.
- 3 ibis München Parkstadt Schwabing, Lyonel-Feininger-Straße 20 (U-Bahn: Alte Heide), ☏ . Value-for-money budget hotel. B&B double €100.
- Novotel Suites München Parkstadt Schwabing, Lyonel-Feininger-Straße 22 (within ibis building), ☏ . Accor budget suites, functional enough. B&B double €120.
- Motel One München Parkstadt, Anni-Albers-Straße 10 (Opposite Innside Melia, one block south of ibis), ☏ . Small rooms but clean and comfy. B&B double €140.
- 4 Arthotel ANA (formerly Sheraton), Helene-Mayer-Ring 12 (U-Bahn U3: Olympiazentrum), ☏ . Reliable comfy hotel next to Olympiapark. B&B double €135.
- 5 Mercure Hotel München-Schwabing, Leopoldstraße 120 (U-Bahn: Dietlindenstraße), ☏ . Accor chain hotel, small rooms, near public transport. B&B double €120.
- Flemings Hotel München-Schwabing, Leopoldstraße 130-132 (U-Bahn U3, U6: Münchner Freiheit; opposite Mercure), ☏ . Comfy modern hotel in Schwabing, helpful staff. B&B double €130.
- Hotel Leopold 100 m north of Mercure is another mid-price chain hotel.
- Oberschleißheim has a couple of hotels if you prefer to stay edge of town: Blauer Karpfen is just north of the castle, and Kurfürst east near the Lustheim.
- 6 Hilton Munich Park, Am Tucherpark 7 (Tram 18: Tivolistraße), ☏ . Good business hotel with 3 restaurants, bar and indoor pool with fitness center. B&B double €200.
- 7 Innside München Parkstadt Schwabing, Mies-van-der-Rohe-Straße 10, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Melia chain hotel with minimalist modern design. B&B double €160.
- 8 Munich Marriott Hotel, Berliner Straße 93 (U-Bahn: Nordfriedhof), ☏ . Chain hotel with spacious clean rooms. B&B double €250.
- Steigenberger Hotel, Berliner Straße 85 (next to Marriott), ☏ . Smart chain hotel. B&B double €230.
- 9 Pullman Munich (formerly Renaissance), Theodor-Dombart-Straße 4 (U-Bahn: U6 Nordfriedhof), ☏ . Large rooms, comfy enough but cleaning and service erratic. Double (room only) €150.
- 10 Rilano Hotel München, Domagkstraße 26 (U-Bahn U6: Alte Heide), ☏ , email@example.com. Decent enough mid-range place. B&B double €150.
- 11 Andaz Munich Schwabinger Tor, Leopoldstraße 170, ☏ . Great reviews for comfort and service at this Hyatt hotel. B&B double €260.
As of Oct 2022, the entire city has 5G from all German carriers. Wifi (WLAN in German) is widely available in public places and on transport.
- Altstadt starts just south of English Garden, the city's delightful medieval core.
- Maxvorstadt on the west flank of Altstadt is the university quarter, with big-name galleries.
- Dachau north of city limits has a bling palace but is notorious for its Nazi concentration camp, now a museum.
- Munich Airport is 25 min away by S1 suburban trains.