Around just 20 kilometres to the south-west of the city, you will find “Munich’s summer swimming pool”. Anyone who fancies a swim, bike ride, leisurely stroll or boat trip won’t be disappointed on a trip to Starnberger See (Lake Starnberg).
Bavaria’s second largest lake is a popular day trip destination for residents of Munich and it’s easy to see why: set against the incredible panorama of the Alps, it is the ideal place to relax in the restaurants, beer gardens or cafés on the waterfront.
Lots of amateur sports lovers make the most of Starnberger See for a spot of swimming, sailing or rowing. Cyclists and ramblers will be in their element on the 46-kilometre round trip off the main road or the area’s countless hiking trails.
The villages around the lake are some of the most exclusive residential districts in the Munich region. Luxurious villas and carefully renovated stately homes line the banks, surrounded by ancient trees. One of these residences, Schloss Possenhofen (Possenhofen castle), is where Empress Elisabeth of Austria (also known as Sisi) spent a large portion of her childhood.
Starnberger See is also renowned across Bavaria as the place where King Ludwig II met his tragic end when he drowned in mysterious circumstances close to the village of Berg in 1886. These days, a votive chapel and wooden cross in the lake close to the site of the incident stand as a memorial to the king.
Between spring and autumn, visitors can also explore the lake by boat: Bayerische Seenschiffahrt takes visitors on its fleet of boats through the areas of Starnberg, Possenhofen, Tutzing, Bernried, Seeshaupt, Ambach, Ammerland, Leoni and Berg. Its packages include various round trips and themed tours, such as a tour of the area’s stately homes, culinary explorations and romantic moonlit tours.
Travelling from Munich, the quickest way to reach the lake is on the A95 road or S-Bahn train line 6 via Starnberg to Tutzing. Beaches on the lake are within easy reach of the train stations and car parks in Tutzing, Possenhofen and Feldafing.