In summer, Munich transforms itself into a paradise of greenery and water. The clocks tick differently, the cars drive more slowly, priorities change – if you come to visit now, you can be sure that you will fall in love.
If you invite friends to Munich, then always with the subordinate clause "but be sure to come in summer". One reason for this is that when the weather is nice, you can simply do more. And of course every city looks a little better as soon as the sun shines on it: the empty Viktualienmarkt in the quiet midday heat, the summery clear view from Alten Peter into the blue sky up to the Alps, the espresso in the shade of the parasol at the Italian-looking Odeonsplatz. All this feels even more harmonious in summer, as if it only belongs in this season of the year.
But that is not the only reason why residents want to convince non-Munich people of summertime here. Anyone who has ever sailed along the Isar in an inflatable boat on a perfect 32-degree Sunday and had a case of beer knows this. And anyone who has ever spent a whole day eating ice cream and drifting along the Eisbach stream without even looking at the clock can feel the same way. In the evening, when you are tired from the sun and the water, with the tips of your hair still wet and a slight sunburn on your nose. These are the Munich moments when you can hardly believe your luck. Where everything seems good, no matter how good it really is. The waves of the Isar wash away any remaining doubt.
Munich in summer is an invitation. To the fact that life can be too good to be true. That you should go with the flow and don't stand in your own way. While for the rest of the year the city is accused – sometimes rightly so – of making itself comfortable in its bubble of Isar-beauty and Maxmiliansstrasse-wealth, summer silences even the loudest critics. Yes, Munich sometimes lives in a dream world. But in summer, as soon as you can jump into any lake and sit in a different beer garden every day, it actually becomes reality.
Yes, Munich sometimes lives in a dream world. But in summer, as soon as you can jump into any lake and sit in a different beer garden every day, it actually becomes reality.
During summer everything is a little slower, the big holidays lie over the city. The Munich residents only work as long as they have to – nobody wants to spend the hot afternoon in the office. You put your work around the thermometer or just take it with you into summertime: One sits down with a folding table and laptop under an apple tree in the Rosengarten, the other simply takes his documents with him to the open air swimming pool. In general, the whole city starts working earlier, riding along the cool Isar at seven o'clock in the morning already, in order to be able to cycle back again as soon as possible. And you suddenly realize: Even important calls can be handled wonderfully from the beer garden. As soon as June is on the calendar, the priorities of Munich's citizens change and are as clear as can be seen very rarely. Then everyone agrees for once.
Also, the summer is much more quieter. At the latest in August, there are less cars, you can get a parking place everywhere and almost doubt if you have forgotten anything. Where is everybody? Oh, yes, on holiday. Probably in the mountains or in some other place where there is a lot going on, while Munich dozes off in peace at the bathing lake. Instead of hibernation there is summer peace. At that time of the year you don't actually go away, but rather come here – like your friends. What many people overlook or simply do not know: Those who spend the summer in the city are rested enough.
Because Munich is a real summer city and it would be a shame to spend the most important weeks of the year somewhere else. A city full of greenery and water and shade and beer benches. With everything that makes the summertime even better than it already is. Some parts seem to wake up from their hibernation just now, some places in Munich only open up their complete possibilities at over 30 degrees.
On the one hand there is one of the largest city parks in the world, the English Garden. In the warm season it becomes a meeting place, a bathing spot, a place of rest, you can spend your whole day here. All it takes is a picnic blanket and a few euros for a snack at the Chinesischen Turm. Summer pros have long since invested in a hammock and cycle to the northern part, where you can hide in the tall grass. On the way there, an Eisbach surfer with a board under his arm will surely meet you. And you can only grin because it is so beautiful.
Someone must have considered summer when planning the city, because it can't be a coincidence that you never sit on your bike for more than 20 comfortable minutes to drink the next cool beer or jump into a lake.
Then of course there's the Isar. A river that is so clean that you don't want to miss any opportunity to swim in it. Or at least get your feet in it. The Isar river divides Munich into two sweaty halves and everyone is happy that it's there. In the morning, when it's not quite so hot, the joggers meet here. Later, everyone who works around the corner jumps into the water during the lunch break. After all, in addition to wallets and keys, towels and swimming trunks are part of the basic equipment of Munich's citizens in summer. In the evening you barbecue here and drink beer, which always stays cold thanks to the water within reach. The Isar is the largest swimming pool in the city. And, as befits swimming pools, you can walk barefoot to the nearest kiosk – even if it's two streets away.
Another summer institution is spread over the whole city, similar to the Isar: the beer garden. There is no place that is so much Munich and despite the familiarity, even for residents, feels so much like holiday as a shady spot on the beer bench. Someone must have considered summer when planning the city, because it can't be a coincidence that you never sit on your bike for more than 20 comfortable minutes to drink the next cool beer or jump into a lake. Anyway, the city expands in summer – everything that can be reached by bicycle suddenly belongs to Munich. For some even the Starnberger See.
And if the visitor still hasn't fallen in love yet, just take him to one of the surrounding lakes, preferably one with a mountain panorama. Borrow a boat there, put on your sun hat and cycle back to the sleepy town in the evening, where, thanks to the summer peace, you can suddenly find a place on the beautiful restaurant terrace without a reservation. Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of experiencing Munich in summer is guaranteed to come back again and again. In fact, my friend enjoyed it so much that he's moving here this summer. And where else would he find a place? You guessed right – at Sommerstraße.