An oasis of green right in the middle of Munich: the English Garden is equivalent to the size of around 640 football pitches, making it the largest inner city park in the world.
The English Garden in Munich connects the natural landscape of the Isar meadows in the north of Munich with the old town over a length of five and a half kilometres. Sights in the English Garden include the Monopteros with its unique view, the surfers at the unique Eisbach wave, the Japanese Tea House and Kleinhesseloher Lake. Don't miss the traditional Kocherlball or the Christmas market and beer garden at the Chinesischer Turm.
More than 225 years ago, Elector Karl Theodor had the park laid out as a public garden for the people. At first it was called Theodor's Park, but soon the name English Garden became established - because it was not laid out as a geometrically designed French Baroque garden, but in the natural style of an English landscape park.
With the English Garden, the actually unpopular Elector also wanted to give the bourgeois part of society the opportunity for leisure and recreation. At first, however, the people of Munich were extremely sceptical and ignored their new park. This new concept of leisure was too alien: "As a rule, the Munich resident does not go for a walk, he only goes to some inn ... That is why the delicious English Garden ... is so lonely, so extinct," wrote the writer and publicist August Lewald in 1835.
Today, the people of Munich love the English Garden: on nice days they enjoy the sun on the meadows, play football or go for a walk. In winter, with good snow conditions and cold temperatures, you can even go cross-country skiing here or skate your laps on the Kleinhesseloher See lake. Or go sledding on the Monopteros hill. The view from this Greek-like temple is worthwhile at any time of year, because you have all the most important sights of Munich city centre at a glance: the Frauenkirche, the Theatinerkirche and the City Hall.
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, you can walk through the woods, meadows and along the waters of the garden in the quieter northern part, get some fresh air and let your mind wander. With its 375 hectares, the English Garden is one of the largest inner-city parks in the world - there's the perfect spot for everyone. Munich's way of life can also be found in the four beer gardens located in the park - at the Aumeister, at the Chinese Tower, in the Hirschau and at the Seehaus directly at Kleinhesseloher See. If you just want something to eat, stop by one of the many kiosks - such as Milchhäusl or Fräulein Grüneis. Right next door is the famous Eisbach wave, where Munich residents and professionals from all over the world surf.
Good to know: The social upheavals at the end of the 1960s led to a movement of nudists in Munich. Especially in the English Garden around the Eisbach wave, many stripped naked, which led to amusement but also discussions throughout the city. When the European and eventually even the international press began to report on the "nudists", people travelled from all over the world to see for themselves what was happening in terms of free body culture. Today there are designated nudist areas in the English Garden such as the Schönfeldwiese and the Schwabinger Bucht.