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, as well as the best places to enjoy some heart-warming food and drink after your winter adventures.
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. If you’re looking for peace and lots of nature, you should head to the north or south of the Isar. But you’re bound to stop and refuel at every last tavern in the city centre, such as at the cosy Wirtshaus in der Au.
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. Maybe take a break here by ordering coffee and cake in the nice surroundings of Café Klenze by The Victorian House. If you’d like to continue your stroll afterwards, you’ll find another great selection of cafés and restaurants in Munich’s university district.
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. Those looking for a heart-warming treat afterwards can head to places like the Osterwaldgarten (restaurant), where Bavarian delicacies are served.
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. There are lots of places to sit outside in the winter, such as Café Gans am Wasser with its nice outdoor seating arrangement and cosy tent. Alternatively, you can head over to the trendy Westend district, where numerous cafés, restaurants and bars await.
Also worth a visit: Wirtshaus am Rosengarten
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 should make time for a coffee break at the Palmenhaus (café), where guests are surrounded by plants and seven-metre-high windows. If your trip to the Palace Park leaves you wanting more, you can check out the Botanical Garden next door, where the greenhouses are kept tropically warm throughout the year.
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 (Angel of Peace) and the Maximilianeum in this part of the city. If you’re planning a stroll along the romantic Preysingstrasse, you should take a well-earned break at the tavern Zum Kloster.
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 head for the nearby Wirtschaft Oberwiesenfeld (tavern).
Endless walks can be enjoyed all along the Isar – 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 enjoy gourmet Bavarian food in the cosy tavern throughout the colder months.
Also interesting: For all those who now feel like longer walks. We walked through Munich almost completely – once from east to west from Prinzregententheater to Schloss Nymphenburg and once from north to south from BMW Welt to Hinterbrühl.