It was a lovely spring day in Munich, but alas stricken with the flu we didn’t have much energy for exploring. Luckily for us we were staying in central Munich only about 10 minutes or so (at ambling pace!) from the famous Englischer Garten. We decided a couple of hours sitting in the sun would do us good so set off to discover more.
Our walk took us north of the Marienplatz and we skirted round the imperial “Residenz” of the Wittelsbach dynasty (of which more to come in later posts), past the Hofgarten (garden of the imperial palace) and into the southern part of the Englischer Garten.
You could be forgiven for thinking you were in the middle of the countryside rather than a large city. Between the Hofgarten and the start of the Englischer Garten we found yet another area of parkland, this time the Finanzgarten.
I’m not sure of the exact translation of the German on the sign, but clearly green recreational space is a priority for the Bavarians and Munich is no exception. Elector Carl Theodor ordered the construction of a new park near the Hofgarten back in 1789. The work was completed and the gardens opened to the public in 1792. Not surprisingly it has been a hugely popular recreational facility for the citizens of Munich ever since!
The Englischer Garten is divided into a southern part (2 kms long) and a northern part (3 kms long) separated by a busy road. The gardens are set alongside the River Isar, which meanders its way through the park.
There are endless pathways so it’s an ideal place for walking, jogging or cycling. It’s also a very popular spot for sunbathing (not always with clothes on – you have been warned!). We still thought it was on the chilly side though, lovely out in the full sun but there was still a crisp April wind.
The park is home to several restaurants and kiosks plus a couple of beer gardens. The larger of the 2 beer gardens, is situated next to the Chiniescher Turm (Chinese Tower). It is the second largest in Munich and you can find out further details here. If you want to eat at the restaurant, bookings are a good idea and if you can negotiate the online booking form in German follow the link here. Had we been feeling more ourselves we would have definitely visited the beer garden and restaurant, but we opted instead to buy gelati from a mobile stall and settled down to enjoy the delicious flavours (very soothing for sore throats too!) overlooking the river.
Our vantage point was actually overlooking a man-made off shoot of the Isar, the Eisbach, which has become a very popular spot with surfers (a surfing wave has been created there). There were warning signs about the dangers of swimming and engaging in water sports but no one seemed to take any notice so we were not quite sure whether it was legal or not. However I suspect that as long as you’re an experienced surfer it is ok! There is even an annual river surfing competition on the Eisbach river wave. We had fun watching the surfing enthusiasts trying to balance on the waves and the swimmers whizzing past us down the river!
Our little stroll has covered only a fraction of this magnificent park! If you ever find yourself yourself in Munich, I’d highly recommend spending a few hours or even a brief sojourn in the beautiful Englischer Garten. It’s a lovely spot in which to relax and recharge your batteries, a wonderful facility for Munich residents and visitors alike. Tschuss till next time!
For more wonderful walks around the world head over to Restless Jo’s Monday Walk!
Copyright © 2015 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved