From pre-Alpine tour to forest hikes with a view of the southern lakes, to a tour of the sprouting city parks: the most beautiful walks in Munich and the surrounding region.
The northern part of the English Garden, formerly a royal hunting ground, is twice as large (and less crowded) than its more famous southern sibling. It is a perfect place for a long walk in any weather. From the City’s underground stop Münchner Freiheit, the beautiful Feilitzschstrasse leads you directly to the English Garden, and with every café you leave in Schwabing district a piece of civilisation behind until you finally reach the Kleinhesseloher See (lake). Passing the Seehaus (restaurant), you head north-east, to the Tivoli Pavillon and finally in the direction of the Tivoli-Kraftwerk (power plant) and into a part of the park that is wild and untouched, yet situated smack-bang in the middle of the big city.
To the north of the power plant, you can continue walking to the estuary where the Eisbach (stream) flows into the Isar river. Further north, you can make your way to the Aumeister beer garden. Following a proper refreshment, for example with a Radlermaß (litre of shandy) and a “Aus’zognen” (pastry), you can, if the mood takes you, walk back along the Schwabinger Bach (stream) in the direction of your starting point, but if post-culinary exhaustion has set in, it is also possible to turn right after a small stretch and head for the underground stop Studentenstadt, and allow yourself to be whisked back to civilisation.
Accessibility: U6, stop Münchner Freiheit, duration: about two hours
Those who already know our native floral splendour by heart should stroll through the Botanischer Garten (Botanical Garden). Especially it blooms spectacular in April, it smells like spring, and the birds quickly enter into a singing contest. But also at any other time of year the Botanical Garden surprises with special plants and exhibitions. The directly adjoining Schlosspark Nymphenburg (Nymphenburg Palace park) invites you to extend your walk accordingly.
On a counter-clockwise tour through one of the world's greatest garden works of art, you will pass a number of royal splendour buildings: the Pagodenburg (Asian-inspired lodge), the Großen Kaskade (cascade), the Badenburg (in former times, the bathroom of the Wittelsbachs was located there) and the Amalienburg (lodge), until you finally reach Schloss Nymphenburg. There, you can stop for a nice drink in the inn or in the beer garden of the Schlosswirtschaft Schwaige (castle inn). Via Magdalenenklause (artificial ruin), you are finally returned to the Botanischer Garten.
Accessibility: Tram 17 direction Amalienburgstrasse, stop Botanischer Garten. Duration: roughly 2 hours
If rivers serve local recreation, then the Isar is a veritable wellness hotel – rich in space, unspoiled, and with plenty of opportunities for refreshment. From the Thalkirchen underground station it takes less than five minutes to reach the riverbank. Cross the bridge in the direction of Tierpark (zoo), then turn right and keep heading south, upstream, all the while with the sun on your face. After half an hour you will reach the Menterschwaige inn. There you will find good food and, depending on the weather, you can also enjoy curling or simply sit back and unwind in the beer garden.
Hikers continue to walk towards the sun from that point until they reach the Großhesseloher Brücke (bridge), where they cross the Isar (and thus take in a section of the famous Way of St. James) and on the other side of the river further south until they reach the stunning Jazzbiergarten Waldwirtschaft (inn with live music). From there you can either walk back towards Thalkirchen or take a short route through the village of Pullach to the S-Bahn (suburban train) station entitled Großhesselohe Isartalbahnhof.
Accessibility: U3, stop Thalkirchen (Tierpark), duration: roughly two hours
King Maximilian II had a railway station built in Possenhofen for the high nobility of the 19th century so that Empress Sisi, who spent her childhood in the nearby castle, could also be visited. At some point in time the noble station was converted into a down-to-earth S-Bahn stop, which the bourgeois visitor could also reach without hesitation. After getting out of the train there and walking towards the lake for roughly ten minutes, and after letting your gaze drift from the castle and over the sunny Starnberger See (lake) to the Roseninsel (island) – all in memory of Sisi – you journey takes you southward.
Take the footpath that runs directly along the shore. After about 30 minutes you reach a landing stage. There, you can either cross over to Roseninsel for some secluded sunbathing or continue walking until you reach the Nordbad Tutzing (swimming pool) after approximately one and a half hours. There you will find cool wheat beer, good food and a private jetty, which is also ideal for sunbathing. After another 15 minutes or so, you will arrive in the village of Tutzing, where there are more places to stop and the S-Bahn station that takes you back to the awaiting city.
Accessibility: S6 Possenhofen, duration: roughly one and a half hours
If local people are to be believed, the Kloster Andechs (Andechs Abbey) is like the city of Rome: all roads lead there. But if you are longing for light after the expanse of winter, you should take in the high-altitude hiking trail. From the Herrsching am Ammersee S-Bahn station, you walk a little to the east through the village, passing the Gasthof zur Post (inn) and then turning right into Kienbachstrasse. After approximately half an hour, a wonderful view of Ammersee (lake) opens up, and after a short forest section you will enjoy an Alpine panorama of picture book proportions until you reach the Kloster Andechs.
In the restaurant you can enjoy freshly brewed beer, the best Bavarian cuisine and outside there are many opportunities to sit in the sun. For the way back, you can either take the easy route back through the Kiental (valley) or walk past the Ramsee-Denkmal (memorial), looking down into the budding countryside and taking full advantage of the light. From Wartaweil, the route takes you back to Herrsching on the lakeside.
Accessibility: S8 Herrsching, duration: roughly two hours forty five minutes
The cosy alternative – the Schliersee round-trip: around a mountain lake in just one afternoon? No problem if you take the Bayerische Oberlandbahn (Bavarian Uplands Railway) from the Central Station to Schliersee. Even the one-hour ride is a panoramic experience in itself. You walk briefly through the village and start your Schliersee round-trip in an eastern direction to ensure maximum sunshine.
After roughly one hour you will have circumnavigated two thirds of the lake before reaching the Rixneralm – an ideal place for coffee and homemade cake in a wood-panelled rustic atmosphere. Another three-quarters of an hour later, and now back at the starting point, you can proudly claim to have circumnavigated a mountain lake in just one afternoon – before being taken by the Oberlandbahn to the city centre just in time for an aperitif.
Accessibility: BOB Schliersee, duration: roughly one and a half hours
If a mountain lake hike should also be about both mountain and lake in equal measure, take the Bayerische Oberlandbahn in the direction of Tegernsee (lake), where travel time is also roughly one hour. You should start in the morning, as an ascent time of approximately one and a half hours mainly leads through a forest and you want to be able to see from the mountain down to the lake just in time for the bright midday sun.
Opposite the railway station, follow Klosterwachtstrasse for a short distance until you see the first signs for Berggasthof Neureuth (mountain inn). Then follow the signs and choose the summer hiking trail. When you finally leave the forest behind you, you come to an alpine pasture. There you will enjoy a view of the Tegernsee and the Alps, which will ensure you forget every shady section of the forest on your hike. You could call it breathtaking – but you’d better breathe, because the air up here is fabulous.
Accessibility: BOB Tegernsee, duration: roughly three hours
The Murnauer Moos is the largest contiguous moorland in Central Europe. This offers a decisive benefit for hikers frustrated by winter’s grip: Hardly any trees cast a shadow, the land is flat and the sunlight penetrates every corner of the landscape. Nature awakens from hibernation and in the Murnauer Moos it is particularly diverse. On the way you can learn so much about the animals and plants found there thanks to the information boards dotted around.
The hike begins at the Ramsachkirche (church) and follows the Ramsach and Lindach streams to the south. If you like, you can make a small detour to the village of Grafenaschau, the Café Habersetzer is open at weekends and on public holidays. Then continue clockwise, with a view of the nearby mountains, until you turn right onto the Bohlensteig (trail). You pass the Murnau district of Westried and return to the Ramsachkirche via an elevated path. You will see a few more animal and tree species and you will have topped up your vitamin D levels.
Accessibility: By car via the A95, duration: roughly three hours