Whether in the city centre, along the banks of the Isar river or up a mountain in advance of tobogganing back down into the valley, Munich offers a wide selection of winter hikes to enjoy. Here are six diverse suggestions for cold-weather outings – including those all-important warming stop-off points of course.
When winter weather blankets the landscape of Munich and its picturesque surroundings, there’s no sound quite like the crunch of snow under your walking boots. Our six ideas for all kinds of winter walking includes something for everyone – whether you’re in the middle of Munich, on the Wallberg near Lake Tegernsee or enjoying some solitude on the snow-covered banks of the Isar river, surrounded only by nature.
The heritage-protected park of Schloss Nymphenburg encompasses exquisite park pavilions and sculptures as well as a rich variety of wildlife which can also be admired in the winter: it is home to deer and foxes and even a pair of kingfishers, not to mention the famous brown owl Kasimir. You can explore the expansive complex on your own or follow one of the three suggested routes on the Schloss Nymphenburg app for a wonderful winter hike. If you activate your GPS, you can also use the app to receive an alert at each of the 23 selected points of interest within the park, and access some fascinating historic information.
After your exertions, you can warm up in style over a hearty meal or some coffee and cake at the Schlosscafé in the Palmenhaus. This is a classic winter outing in Munich and also a popular snowy Sunday afternoon choice for Munich locals. You could even combine it with a visit to the palace for the perfect cultural finishing touch.
Getting there: Take tram number 19 and get out at the Schloss Nymphenburg stop. The park is a 10-minute walk away.
Duration: Choose from three different routes: 2.5 km, 5 km or 5.5 km.
Perlacher Forst is characterised by seemingly endless poker-straight forest paths, where locals catch up on their running at weekends and cyclists zip along at breakneck speeds. But this 13-square-kilometre area of woodland has still more to offer: if you come here for a trek in the snow, it’s well worth taking the time to eschew the beaten track and discover the magic of the road less travelled. Many, though not all, of these paths lead to Perlacher Mugl, a man-made hill and viewing point on a meadow where stags used to clash in deer rut season. In fair weather you can see part of the Bavarian Alps from here – offering a great opportunity to select your next winter wandering destination around Munich.
We recommend stopping off at Harlachinger Jagdschlössl for some classic Bavarian cuisine afterwards. If you prefer something sweet to go or just want a coffee, you should go for the Amandînes & Chocolats patisserie instead.
Getting there: U1 station: Mangfallplatz, then walk around 10 minutes to the entrance at Giesinger Waldhaus. Or take tram number 15/25 towards Grünwald and get off at Menterschwaige.
Duration: You can choose from various walks and longer winter hikes in the forest. It takes around 50 minutes to get from the U1 stop at Mangfallplatz to the Perlacher Mugl viewing point, and the direct route covers almost 3.5 kilometres.
If you’re embarking on this gentle winter hike on the outskirts of Munich, we hope that the snow has already fallen before you arrived and that the sun is now shining – those are the perfect conditions to bring out the true magic of this area and the wild river that flows through it. This easy circular trail starts from Lenggries, goes through Wegscheid and is ideal for families. There are various places for breaks along the way, including the cosy Jaudenstadl restaurant, while a diverse experiential nature trail on the way back is sure to round your hike off beautifully.
As this wild upper bank of the Isar river is a conservation area, it is important to stick to the trails on your trip and to avoid leaving litter behind or taking plants, animals or other items away with you.
Getting there: You can get to Lenggries by car or take the regional train from Munich Hauptbahnhof station. From there, simply walk to the Isarbrücke bridge, which is the starting point for this winter walk.
Duration: You can find details of the route here. You should allow around an hour and a half to complete this 6.6-kilometre trek.
The Osterseen is the name of a cluster of lakes to the south of Starnberger See (lake), and presents a truly special vista. In summer the water in the two bathing areas here is so deep and turquoise you could almost think you were in the Caribbean – were it not for the dramatic alpine panorama all around. In winter, a number of trails invite hikers to discover this nature conservation area, a glacial landscape full of moors and mixed woodland. From Iffeldorf it’s just a short walk to the southern end of the Großer Ostersee, which you can then circumnavigate anticlockwise. There’s a chance to stop en route to see the many animals at the Gut Aiderbichl animal sanctuary – the donkeys are a particular children’s favourite – and enjoy some vegan and vegetarian fare. The Landgasthof Osterseen country inn is also a wonderful place to finish your day of winter walking.
Getting there: You can take a train to Iffeldorf or, if you choose to drive, parking is available at the Ostersee/Jägerstrasse car park.
Duration: It takes two and a half hours to hike all the way round the Großer Ostersee without stopping; the route covers around 10 kilometres in total.
This recommendation will take you into the Isar valley, which is a particular haven for anyone seeking total peace and relaxation amid a landscape which is often snow-covered in winter. This gentle winter trek begins at the Brückenwirt inn, which can be reached from Höllriegelskreuth S-Bahn station. Heading upriver, the route leads along the right bank of the Isar and past the famous Georgenstein, a rock formation some five metres tall that was a much-feared obstacle back when this was a rafting route. The trail runs directly beside the wild riverbed at times and through the forest at others, ensuring plenty of variety in what you experience on this winter hike. Upon reaching the endpoint at the Kloster Schäftlarn abbey, you can relax in the rustic rooms of the Klosterbräustüberl restaurant and treat yourself to a hearty meal or a warming mulled Glühwein.
Getting there: Take the S7 to Höllriegelskreuth; the Brückenwirt inn is just a short walk from here. It is a 20-minute walk from Kloster Schäftlarn to the Ebenhausen-Schäftlarn stop for the S7 train, which will take you back to Munich.
Duration: This winter hike can be done in 2.5 hours without stopping and covers some 10 kilometres.
The classic winter outing on the outskirts of Munich The Wallberg is a mountain beside Tegernsee (lake) which has year-round appeal for many Munich locals, who come to climb it or – for later risers and those who are only interested in the view – take the cable car to the summit. In winter, there’s a trail to the summit that crosses the summer trail in places and offers breathtaking views of Lake Tegernsee. If you follow the snowy path all the way to the top, you can warm up in the rustic Altes Wallberghaus mountain lodge, where warm dishes such as freshly-made Kaiserschmarrn (sweet shredded pancakes) await. You can travel down on foot, via cable car or by sledge: the Naturrodelbahn toboggan run is one of the longest and most challenging in Germany, offering more than half an hour of tobogganing fun in a winter paradise!
Getting there: If you go by car, you can park in the Wallbergbahn cable car lower station car park. You can also take the train from Munich to Tegernsee and then ride bus number 9550 to the lower station in Rottach-Egern.
Duration: The easy to moderate trail that leads to the Altes Wallberghaus mountain lodge takes approximately 2.5 hours to complete and covers around 6 kilometres.