When the snow falls in Munich, it’s time for a winter walk. We present the nicest routes, from the English Garden to the Isar – and at the same time the appropriate refreshment to warm up culinarily.
Whenever the locals talk about a walk along the Isar river, they usually go from Gasteig (cultural centre) to the Wittelsbacher Brücke (bridge). And there’s lots to see along the way, including the Rosengarten (garden), Kabelsteg and other historic bridges along the river, from the Corneliusbrücke to the Reichenbachbrücke, all of which were built around the turn of the century. In keeping with the winter scenery, you can get delicious Nordic coffee and cake at the Icelandic Café Blá at Au. Café Hüller, Henry hat Hunger and Rosi Kaffeehaus are also just around the corner.
The Kunstareal is a renowned art district in Munich’s Maxvorstadt, featuring 16 museums and 40 art galleries, such as the Pinakothek art galleries, the Brandhorst Museum, the Lenbachhaus and the NS-Dokumentationszentrum (Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism). Both the Königsplatz (square) and the meadows around the Alte Pinakothek are ideal for a nice stroll. Just around the corner, in the Italian Café VON & ZU you can get fine coffee and tea, but also lemonades and chai latte. If you like things a little more sparkling, order an Aperol Spritz or a glass of champagne to go.
The Englischer Garten is regarded as one of the most beautiful parks in the world – and for good reason. No matter whether you’d like to explore the quieter northern section or the more popular southern part, the grounds are best explored on foot. When the temperature drops and the snow begins to fall, it’s particularly worth a trip to the Monopteros, the Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower) and Kleinhesseloher See (lake) – you can even ice skate there when the lake freezes over. If you take your time, you can easily spend one or two hours outdoors. To warm up afterwards, get Bavarian delicacies from the Osterwaldgarten (restaurant).
The Westpark is the perfect place for quiet winter walks. Unlike the English Garden, there’s not much hustle and bustle here, but you can go sledging or ice skating on the frozen lake. You’ll find plenty photo opportunities in the snowy surroundings, especially at the Thai-Sala, the first ever free-standing Buddha sanctuary in Europe. At Café Gans am Wasser you can also enjoy chips, cake and coffee in winter. Alternatively, you can head over to the trendy Westend district, where numerous cafés, restaurants and bars await.
Nymphenburger Schlosspark (Nymphenburg Palace Park) has become an almost classic destination for walkers and is even popular amongst the locals – in every season. But winter is the only time of the year when you can enjoy curling and ice skating on the canal. There are lots of manor houses and hunting lodges to discover across 200 hectares of land, including the Parkschlösschen Badenburg (pavilion), the Pagodenburg (Asian-inspired lodge) and the Jagdschlösschen Amalienburg (hunting lodge). You can get a coffee or mulled wine in the Palmenhaus at any time - grilled sausages and sweets are also on the to-go menu. If you still haven't had enough after the palace park, take a look at the Botanical Garden right next door - spring fever comes up here all year round.
Munich’s districts are best explored on foot, and Haidhausen is undoubtedly one of the nicest on the list. When its old buildings and small streets are draped in snow, the former French Quarter becomes an almost cheesy location. The district has lots of fairytale squares, such as Wiener Platz, Bordeauxplatz and Weissenburgerplatz, where a Christmas market is held every year. It’s also worth seeing the golden Friedensengel (monument) and the Maximilianeum in this part of the city. Anyone strolling through the romantic Preysingstrasse in Haidhausen could take a break at Zum Kloster and take something to eat here.
Built for the 1972 Olympic Games, the Olympiapark (Olympic Park) takes you back to another era. As you stroll through the landscaped park in the north of Munich, you’ll pass the almost 300-metre-high Olympiaturm (Olympic Tower), the 1970s Olympic Pool, the interesting Olympic Village and the popular Olympiahalle (Olympic Hall), which regularly attracts world-famous stars. You can round off your winter adventure with some ice skating at the Olympia Eissportzentrum (Olympic Ice Sport Centre). Once you’ve taken in the magnificent views from the Olympiaberg (Olympic Mountain), you should definitely have a look at the to-go menu in the nearby Oberwiesenfeld restaurant.
Also worth a visit: Burger House Biergarten
Endless walks can be enjoyed all along the Isar (river) – and there are just as many places to stop for refreshments. One route runs from Thalkirchen to Großhesseloher Brücke (bridge) which, at over 30 metres, is the highest along the Isar. On the way, you’ll also pass Hinterbrühler See (lake), the Stichsteg (bridge), the Marienklause (chapel) and the Lola Montez House (historical event location). If you carry on past the bridge in Grosshesselohe, it won’t be long before you reach the Waldwirtschaft (beer garden). While a jazz-themed beer garden awaits in summer, you can also enjoy hearty Bavarian food indoors during the cold season.