If you are looking for the lungs of Munich, there is only one place to consider - the Englischer Garten (English Garden), a 3.73km2 green area in the heart of the city which is one of the largest urban parks in the world, bigger even than Central Park. Boasting 8.75km of streams, more than 75km of paths and walkways, over 100 bridges and a breeding ground for 50-60 species of birds, the Englischer Garten is a natural paradise accessible from the centre in just a short walk. The peace and tranquility afforded in such a central location is something one would struggle to find in most cities in the world. And whatever the season, the Englischer Garten is magnificent. Consider the four seasons in the videos below:
Joggers, walkers, cyclists, young families, FKK lovers, it seems everyone is drawn to the expansive open spaces, a perfect escape from the pressures of city life, and the ideal location to catch up with friends over a lunch break. And while the path, streams and open spaces may be the main attraction, the Englischer Garten has plenty of surprises for those who are looking for something a little more interesting. Did you know, for example, that it is home to an amphitheatre, where concerts are performed in the summer?
And for the adrenaline junkies, many are surprised to learn that the Englischer Garten is home to 12-month a year surfing. Check out the amazing Eisbach surfers below, who are riding the waves every day of the year, whatever the weather.
Close by, and for something a little more tranquil, there is a chance to combine the serene nature with traditional Japanese culture, at the Japanese Tea Garden, a gift from the people of Sapporo, who shared an Olympic date with Munich in 1972. Time your visit well and enjoy the annual Japanese festival. Check out the Japanese tea garden and annual festival below.
And for something altogether more social and continuing the Asian theme, the Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower) is one of the most popular spots in the Englischer Garten, with a lively beer garden and excellent restaurant. The park truly is a gem for residents and tourists alike.
The creation of the Englischer Garten dates back to the 18th century, and ironically it was the brainchild of an American (the English aspect of its name refers to the type of garden), Sir Benjamin Thompson, later Count Rumford, the Bavarian Minister of War under elector Carl Theodor. What started out as a project to create some agricultural area for the military to engage in agriculture quickly expanded as the area of Hirschau was decreed a park for the enjoyment of the people of Munich, something the people of Munich have been doing ever since...