Whether you are right in the centre or at the city limits, in Munich you’re never far from the nearest peak. You can reach mountain tops, Alpine views and creature comforts in no time and with no equipment, either by using public transport or on foot. Here are a few suggestions:
Luitpoldhügel (Luitpold hill), Schwabing-West, Munich: In 1911, Prince Regent Luitpold of Bavaria was presented with an obelisk and a 33-hectare park for his 90th birthday. Today, it is not the monument that is the main landmark of the park, but rather a heap built from the rubble of Munich following the Second World War.
Height: Relative height is 37 metres.
Getting there: Approx. 7 minutes on the U2 underground line towards Scheidplatz, get off at the final stop (Scheidplatz).
The climb: 6 to 8 minutes
The view: In summer, when the Föhn wind is blowing, the Alps are the crowning glory on a view over Schwabing’s traditional mansard roofs. In the evening, the illuminated Allianz Arena can be seen to the north.
Refreshments: It is a ten-minute walk to the neo-baroque Bamberger Haus, where you will be rewarded with freshly made Kaiserschmarrn (in the Zum Ferdinand restaurant), wood-fired pizza (at Ciao Francesco) and Augustiner beer served from wooden kegs (beer gardens in the summer).
Tip: The hill is one of Munich’s steepest tobogganing slopes, and remains covered in snow when the runners of less fortunate tobogganers elsewhere are scraping over the grass.
Olympiaberg (Olympic hill), Olympic Parc, Munich: The “little rubble heap” (see above) has a big brother. The “big rubble heap” in the Olympic Park is Munich’s second highest slope, and is well worth a visit to see the site alone.
Height: Relative height is 60 metres.
Getting there: Approx. 20 minutes on the U1 underground line towards Olympia-Einkaufszentrum, stop: Rotkreuzplatz, then take bus no. 144 towards Scheidplatz, stop: Olympiaberg. Alternatively, you can take the U2 towards Scheidplatz and then change to the U3 towards Moosach, getting off at Olympiazentrum. It is a 20-minute walk from there.
The climb: Around 15 minutes.
The view: An imposing hidden object game featuring the Olympic Tower, Olympic Lake, Olympic Tennis Courts, Olympic Stadium and almost 75,000 square metres of canopy roof. You can see the Alps on a clear day.
Refreshments: The Olympia Alm on the hillside is Munich’s highest beer garden site, serving fresh spare ribs, bread and drippings, cool lager or glühwein, accompanied by the strains of brass music and classic rock.
Tip: The hill becomes a free box seat when international stars are performing in the Olympic Stadium.
Jochberg, Bavarian Prealps: Michael “Bully” Herbig chose Walchensee (Lake Walchen) as the backdrop for his film, “Wickie und die starken Männer” (“Vicky the Viking”) – and we choose this turquoise dream as the perfect destination for an outing.
Height: 1,565 m above mean sea level.
Getting there: Approx. 2 hours by train and bus to Kesselberg pass, Kochel am See.
The clime: Around 1.5 hours.
The view: A breathtaking 360-degree panorama of Walchensee (Lake Walchen), Kochelsee (Lake Kochel), Starnberger See (Lake Starnberg) and Ammersee (Lake Ammer) located 45 kilometres away, with even the Munich TV Tower visible at times. The Karwendel mountain range and the Zugspitze can be seen further to the south, while the Herzogstand mountain is visible to the west.
Refreshments: Those who brave the steep trail that forks off towards the Jocheralm can enjoy milk, butter and buttermilk from the region’s own cattle, tucking into regional cheese, bread and sausage to boot.
Tip: Pack your swimming gear and cool those aching legs in the lake.
Brunnenkopf, Ammergauer Alpen: Maximilian II of Bavaria enjoyed hunting in the Ammergebirge mountains, and would travel to the mountain to spend time recovering from the rigours of governing. We, too, can enjoy views that are fit for a king.
Height: 1,718 m above mean sea level.
Getting there: Approx. 2.5 hours by train and bus to Linderhof, Ettal.
The climb: Approx. 2.5 hours. The last few metres are secured via wire cable – 30 seconds of rope climbing thrills.
The view: Nature reserve as far as the eye can see. The craggy wall formed by the great Klammspitze peak is awe-inspiring by day and simply majestic when bathed in the evening light.
Refreshments: In 1856 King Maximilian II commissioned the building of the “Brunnenkopfhäuser” cabins for his hunting trips. The upper hut is now a mountain chalet with a terrace. We recommend that you don’t indulge in the Heulikör (hay liqueur) made by Ettal monks until after you have conquered the wire cable.
Tip: In summer, people here are seized by wanderlust – so get up early or tackle the peak on a weekday. The chalet offers 30 beds with pillows and woollen blankets for after-work trips.