Running tracks in Munich

A good run

From top athlete to club owner to museum founder – six well-known Munich residents tell us their favourite running routes in and around Munich. In the Westpark, at the Isar, over the Theresienwiese or in the Olympiapark: here you can jog especially beautifully.

Alexandra Burghardt, best German sprinter (100 metres in 11.01 seconds), Olympic participant Tokyo 2020

"The Olympic Park has become my second home over the last few years. It is probably the most varied place to train in the whole city, a real Olympic playground: short runs, long runs, interval training, outdoor workout, everything is possible. Runs up Olympic Hill are the perfect training for more power and are rewarded with a magnificent view. You can feel the spirit of the 1972 Olympics around every corner. My goal is to write a piece of sports history myself at the 2022 European Championships in the Olympic Stadium.
Having the stadium in view during my training sessions spurs me on to push my limits and I get goose bumps every time. It was here that I made the decision to run on this track myself one day when I was a child visiting the European Athletics Cup. Thanks to running, I have met so many people and been able to discover different places and cultures. For me, running is therefore more than training and sweating. It is pure joy and excitement."
More of Alexandra's tips for running routes through Munich can be found here.


Stephanie Utz, co-founder of the “Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art” (MUCA)

“Ideally I would go for a run twice a week. Unfortunately, I only manage to go twice a month at most. I am a child of the Isar river and I love the route along the banks of the river. I recommend starting at Praterinsel (island). From there, you can run as far as Thalkirchen and beyond. Past the many stunning bridges, the Müllersches Volksbad (indoor swimming pool) – what sets this route apart are the great many Munich hotspots that you pass.

I love running – it gives me time to think. The idea for the “MUCA Street Art Bike Tour” actually came to me on one of my runs. We offer a three-hour cycle tour, during which you get to take a closer look at Munich’s urban street art scene. It finishes with a tour of the MUCA. I can’t completely switch off when I run, but I sometimes get new ideas – and that is no bad thing.”


Nico Paufler, 2019 U23 world champion in wildwater canoeing

“For me, running is a good thing to do alongside canoeing. After a difficult session, it is a great way to relax the arms and recuperate. I alternate relaxed runs with tempo runs to increase my endurance. Ever since I began canoeing nine years ago I have always combined it with running. I go two to three times a week during the main canoeing season, and up to five times a week during winter.

In Ismaning, I prefer jogging in Fischerhäuser, a district of the municipality. There is a lovely route that takes you far away from the noise, along the banks of the Isar, parallel to the forest. In winter, this route is part of the Ismaning Winterlauf (series of winter runs). I took part last year and it was fun. In Munich my favourite place to run is from Thalkirchen. I start near the boat houses. There is a lovely route along the Isar here.”


Dorothee Bär, Minister of State for Digitalisation

“For me, running is not just about doing some exercise, it is about getting active outdoors, enjoying the city and nature and experiencing them properly. If you consciously run through the streets, the city opens up to you in a way it never did before. It is like having a long-term partner who you thought you knew inside out and then falling in love with them all over again because you see a whole new side to them.

“When you run through the streets, you see the city in a completely different way; a way that you wouldn’t otherwise get to experience.“
Dorothee Bär

After spending almost ten years of my life in Munich, I am always pleased when my work brings me back here. I love the Englischer Garten (park) because it is home to lots of windy paths. It is the green heart of the city. I also love the Olympiapark (Olympic Park) with its architectural masterpieces, the former home of Bayern Munich and the magnificent Olympiaberg (Olympic Mountain) – you can see the Alps from the top. One lap is almost precisely five kilometres. You can easily break it up into smaller runs too.

I like to listen to podcasts when I run. My favourites are “ZEIT - Verbrechen” and “Mordlust”. I get to combine running with my love of crime thrillers. One special feature of running Munich: you can end your run in a beer garden.”


David Süß, owner of the Harry Klein (nightclub)

“My favourite jogging route starts at the Reichenbach bridge and takes you along the Isar. The destination: the Hinterbrühler See (lake) in Thalkirchen. Alternatively, the northern part of the Englischer Garten is great for running. Munich is really great for that – green spaces are so easy to find! Going for a run away from traffic is the most important thing for me.

When I was really sporty, I used to go running three times a week, for an hour each time. I have since switched to road biking – my joints don’t like running any more and I can last longer on the bike.”


Ulrich Barth, sports scientist and medical training therapist at Hotel Bayerischer Hof

“Whether it's rain or shine, I go running in any weather. My favourite route starts right from the doors of the hotel and takes in three parks: Westpark, Bavariapark and the Theresienwiese (seven to ten kilometres). And the best thing: you don’t have to cross any roads. Each park has something different to offer. The Theresienwiese, for example – everyone knows this place. You can do a few sprints on the steps leading up to the Bavaria (statue). The walls on the sides of the steps are great for small climbing exercises.

“You really don’t feel like you are in a city with over a million inhabitants here – there are no signs of urban life for far and wide and you can feel like you are on your own.“
Ulrich Barth

Back in the Bavariapark, you have the gravel paths and a small wood in the centre. You really don’t feel like you are in a city with over a million inhabitants here – there are no signs of urban life for far and wide and you can feel like you are on your own. That is also why I don’t need music when I run – I like to listen to the forest.

I finish in the Westpark. As part of my work as a physiotherapist in the Bayerischer Hof, I use specific strategies to help relieve the pain that people suffer in different parts of their bodies. One such strategy is the corrective exercise plan. I use it for myself too and integrate it into my runs: I do three to four exercises at a time and then simply continue with my run.



Text: Nansen & Piccard; Photos: Frank Stolle, on running


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