One of the largest city parks in the world – Munich’s English Garden. Easily accessible by subway, there is plenty to see and do. Let us introduce you to the most beautiful places and find out where there is a lot going on and where there are still quiet corners.
The most beautiful sights in Munich’s English Garden
Monopteros: One of the park’s most striking landmarks stands on a small hill in the south of the English Garden: the Monopteros.
The circular columned building offers a fantastic view of the greenery and the sunbathing and party area on the Eisbach. The view of the city skyline towards Marienplatz and the Theatinerkirche church is just as magnificent as the summer sunsets.
Haus der Kunst: The historic, neoclassical building that houses the “Haus der Kunst” is located in the south of the English Garden on Prinzregentenstraße. First-class exhibitions of contemporary art show how artists deal with and explore themes from all over the world in a wide variety of ways.
Chinese Tower: The Chinese Tower is just as famous as the beer garden of the same name, with “Blasmusi” blaring across the area from the first floor at beer garden time. Did you know that the China Tower burned down completely during the Second World War and was reconstructed and reopened in 1952?
Oberföhring weirThe large Isar weir in the north-eastern part of the English Garden (near Oberföhring town) is a short walk through idyllic greenery along the Isar. Don’t worry, it doesn’t take more than 15/20 minutes to marvel at the power of the flowing Isar at the weir and the naked people on the gravel island.
Our top 3 activities in Munich’s English Garden
- Watching Eisbach surfers on the Eisbach wave and then enjoying a cappuccino at Fraeulein Grueneis
- Experience the view and sunset from the Monopteros
- Chinese Tower and then enjoy a cool beer in the beer garden. Bavarian brass band music is included free of charge.
Tourist magnet no. 1 – the Eisbach wave with the daring Eisbach surfers
In summer in swimming trunks, in winter in a wetsuit, the Eisbach surfers queue up in all weathers to rock the wave.
Surfing on the Eisbach wave is only for experienced surfers and experts. If you want to get in more easily, practise on the small Eisbach wave. Also called “E2” by insiders.
English Garden Munich – the beer gardens
Beer garden at the Chinese Tower: The heart of this beer garden is the Chinese Tower – the landmark of the English Garden. The special flair is created by the mixed audience. Young and old, business people and Munich originals, tourists from all over the world and locals meet here.
Seehaus am Kleinhesseloher See: The Seehaus is a renowned, upscale restaurant with an extra beer garden directly on the lake. The clientele is mixed, although Munich residents with well-filled wallets are more likely to be found here. A visit is still worthwhile, especially in the evening, as you can experience a beautiful sunset over Kleinhesseloher See.
Hirschau Biergarten – in the northern part of the English Garden: This family-friendly beer garden has a great children’s playground with a pirate ship and is therefore very popular with parents. Visitors will find typical Bavarian cuisine at normal prices. In spring and summer there is a music program with live bands.
Aumeister beer garden: The “Aumeister” with beer garden and restaurant is located directly on the northern border of the English Garden. The “Aumeister”, built around 1810, used to serve as a royal hunting lodge. It is an ideal destination for a longer walk and for those who want to cross the entire English Garden.
Popular with dog fans: The beer garden of the Mini-Hofbräuhaus, in the central northern section, is particularly popular with Munich dog owners.
Bavarian and idyllic, under large chestnut trees, with red checkered tablecloths in the beer garden, the Osterwaldgarten serves, among other things, the “best duck in town”. Located directly at the entrance to the English Garden, near Kleinhesseloher See.
The English Garden in Munich is a real “people’s garden”. The Munich residents play volleyball, badminton and frisbee on the extensive lawns, there is space to play soccer, sports and jogging sessions are offered and slacklines and hammocks are strung between the trees. It is allowed to swim in the Eisbach (even naked in certain places).
On warm summer nights, the meadows (especially the Monowiese at the Monopteros) serve as a party location for the city’s young people.
The Eisbach surfers, who surf the Eisbach wave directly on the Prinzregentenstraße bridge, are famous beyond the city and state borders.
A 78-kilometer network of paths in the English Garden offers a variety of routes for joggers, cyclists and inline skaters.
Special: the best playgrounds for children – and parents
Where else in the city can you walk so freely without having to watch out for cars, cyclists or other vehicles? The English Garden, with all its many playgrounds and great open spaces for running around, is a paradise for children and parents alike. Here you will find a complete overview of the playgrounds in the Englischer Garten, as well as the playgrounds that are located directly at or in beer gardens.
Snacks, cappuccino and beer – overview of the kiosks
Fräulein Grueneis: The popular kiosk “Fräulein Grueneis” is located almost directly next to the Eisbach surfers. It’s really nice to take a break in this little green and white “Swedish cottage” in the middle of the greenery of the English Garden. You can have a relaxed chat over soup, beer or cappuccino on casual “beer crate seats” (to be found between Eisbachwelle and Lerchenfeldstraße, somewhat set back at the beginning of the English Garden).
PS: The kiosk used to be a toilet block. Over 50 tons of rubble were dug out of the cottage during the renovation to make room for the sweet café.
Milchhäusl – Bio Kiosk: The Milchhäusl in the English Garden is a traditional snack bar with a small, charming beer garden that is very popular with Munich locals. Organic products, snacks and small Bavarian dishes are offered here. Particularly fun: in winter, discarded cable car cabins equipped with sheepskins ensure a warm stay.
More than just a kiosk: Fräulein Mueller: Fraeulein Mueller is very popular with Schwabing residents and is more than just a kiosk. On the way from “Muenchener Freiheit” to the English Garden you will find it on Gunzenrainerstraße. There are small tables and chairs in front of the kiosk and the smallest beach in the world has space for exactly four sun loungers. In summer, the sun shines long into the evening on the beach. PS: I’ve also seen a small wedding there.
Tips for activities
Boating at Kleinhesseloher See: Kleinhesseloher See, located in the middle of the English Garden, is a popular excursion destination for Munich residents and tourists. The Kleinhesseloher See boat hire offers a romantic stopover with pedal boat or rowing boat tours. The rental shop is located to the north, next to the Seehaus.
Walk through the English Garden: The English Garden is perfect for a walk with its green spaces, size, tranquillity and sights.
Relaxing at the Tivoli power station: There is a small but beautiful sunbathing lawn right next to the stream at the Tivoli power station. It is not overcrowded and a large weeping willow provides shade on hot days.
Anyone interested in the history of technology will find the historic power station, which was built in 1895, in the northern part of the English Garden. The plant, which was ultra-modern at the time, combined water and steam power and was able to drive an electricity generator with both water turbines and steam engines. Today, the listed building supplies environmentally friendly electricity from the Eisbach with two turbines.
Tips for the evening
Lively nightlife around Wedekindplatz: The small streets around the popular summer meeting place on Wedekindplatz are home to many nice restaurants, such as “Chopan” (Afghan specialties) or “Helene Liebt Dich” (current motto: “Tel Aviv meets Marrakesh”) or “California” with Mexican food. In summer, the square is packed and there is always a long queue in front of the ice cream parlor because the ice cream is so special and delicious. Be sure to try it: A scoop of mango and almond!
Goldene Bar: The Goldene Bar is located directly at the back of the Haus der Kunst. The cool bar, steeped in history, revives the flair of old lounges and combines it with new facets of design. It is also the café of the Haus der Kunst and a little bit “hip”.
LMU, Schellingstrasse and Tuerkenstrasse: The university quarter has lots of cool bars, cafés and eateries. In summer, young students also meet at the LMU square. Everyone has their beer and it’s party time.
The most important facts and figures about Munich’s English Garden
With an area of 3.7 square kilometers, the “English Garden Munich” is one of the largest city parks in the world. It is even larger than London’s Hyde Park or Central Park in Manhattan New York.
Strictly speaking, the English Garden stretches from the very central Hof- und Finanzgarten at Odeonsplatz to the far north of the city. The trail network covers over 78 kilometers, of which around 12 kilometers are for horseback riding.
The English Garden was founded in 1789 by Elector Karl Theodor. The length is about 5.5 km, the width about 2 km.
The largest body of water is Lake Kleinhesseloher, which covers around 8 hectares. All streams together have a length of 15 kilometers with over 100 footbridges and bridges. The English Garden is visited by over 5 million people every year.
The Palaces and Lakes Administration, which is responsible for the park, employs over 60 people to manage and maintain the English Garden. (Source: Castles and Lakes Administration).
With its streams, lakes, meadows and beer gardens, it is the most popular meeting place for activities or relaxing in Munich.
History and origin
Until 1788, the English Garden was a meadow landscape. As a floodplain for the Isar, it was occasionally used by farmers as a pasture for cattle. The impenetrable forest was also the hunting ground of the Bavarian princes. The name Hirschau has survived to this day.
The initiator of the park was the American Benjamin Thompson – later ennobled as the Imperial Count of Rumford from Massachusetts. His basic idea was initially to create a “military garden” in which soldiers could largely provide for themselves in peacetime. After the ground-breaking ceremony in 1788, the idea of creating a public garden in the English landscape style developed. The shell of the Chinese Tower was completed as early as 1790. Benjamin Thompson also introduced the potato to Bavaria.
South and north part
The Isarring divides the English Garden into a southern and northern section. The southern part is closer to the city and is used intensively by Munich residents as a leisure park. On our site you will find a detailed map.
The northern part stretches from Schwabing almost to the edge of the city in the north. It is more of an oasis of peace, and even today still offers secluded and secluded places to relax and take a deep breath.
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