The Gardens of Munich: Hofgarten

The Gardens of Munich: Hofgarten

By  Sunday, 22.11.2015, 11:13    Tourist Sites

Short on time but looking to take in as many Munich experiences as possible in one go? While there are many places to visit, a stroll to Hofgarten a short distance north of Marienplatz will give you as much as you might need. A central garden of outstanding beauty, Hofgarten is the gateway to the Englischer Garten and a very popular meeting and relaxing spot in its own right, with its manicured features and surrounded by layers of impressive Munich architecture and history. A nice introduction to the magic of Hofgarten in this video:

But Hofgarten is not all about gardens and history, it is also an important gathering point for many locals and their passions. Traditional life can be observed, with the fiercely competitive Petanque, for example in this video, while there are rarely many free chairs at the biergarten on the edge of Hofgarten.

And if you are looking for some excellent classical music, the quality of the busking in Hofgarten is exceptionally high, as you can see in this video:

Hofgarten dates back to the 17th century and was created by Maximilian 1, Elector of Bavaria, and it was conceived as an Italian-style Renaissance garden, whose centrepiece is a pavilion built for the goddess Diana. There are eight paths in the garden all leading to the pavilion. 

Hofgarten has some impressive neighbours, including Residenz, the Bavarian Staatskanzlei (State Chancellory) to the east, in front of which is the Kriegerdenkmal war memorial built to those who lost their lives in World War I. A further memorial to victims in World War II - members of the White Rose group who resisted Hitler - is in the north-eastern corner. And looking West, the magnificent Theatinerkirche dominates the skyline from neighbouring Odeonsplatz. 

One small garden, many fantastic experiences... To reach Hofgarten by U-Bahn, take the U4 or U5 to Odeonsplatz.

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Paul Bradbury

After 12 years living on the most gorgeous island in the world, Hvar in Dalmatia, I have begun to wonder if there is still life beyond its shores. Prior to discovering Paradise in 2002, I was a world traveller, living and working in Japan, Georgia, Somalia, Rwanda, Russia... and Munich.

After 95 countries and some 25 years have passed, the memories of my year in the hotel industry in the Bavarian capital (fired by the Sheraton for losing our pet snake, the first male chambermaid at Hotel Arabella, and a truly eye-watering introduction to five-star living in  my days as a bellboy in luxury Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten) are strong, and the call of Munich has been a constant theme over the last quarter century. 

And so here I am, answering the call some 25 years later. Twelve years of island living have changed me for sure, but also left me curious about life in a big city, and whether or not I could adapt to it after such an insular decade. 

I was surprised to see that for such a magnificent multi-cultural city, English-language blogs and regularly updated information are not that available. Static tourism information, such as that provided by the excellent tourist board website yes, but accounts of daily life delivered daily? Hard to find.

And so I have decided to take a break from my idyllic island and see if I could live in a city again. And what better way to try than to discover modern Munich in all its facets after so many years. It is a journey of discovery which I am relishing, and I hope the site proves to be of interest for Munich residents and its numerous visitors.

About Paul Bradbury

Author of Lebanese Nuns Don't Ski, Lavender, Dormice and a Donkey Named Mercedes and Hvar's first comprehensive guidebook, Hvar: An Insider's Guide to Croatia's Premier Island, as well as co-author of Split: An Insider's Guide with Mila Hvilshoj, I have lived in Dalmatia full time since 2003. In addition to running Total Munich, I also run Total Split (, Total Hvar ( and Total Inland Dalmatia (, as well as being an accredited Google News journalist for Digital Journal in Canada.

I also have various blogging clients, including the Central Dalmatia Tourist Board, European Coastal Airlines, Touristar TV and Andro Tomic Wines, and print clients include Qatar Airways inflight magazine, Out! magazine from New York, and Croatian Hotspots. 

In December 2014 I was delighted to receive the Marko Polo 2014 Award from FIJET Croatia (Federation of International Travel Writers and Journalists)  at a ceremony for the Croatian Journalists Society for the best international tourism promotion of Croatia. More here.

Ongoing writing projects:

A History of Hajduk Split, co-author with Frane Grgurevic - in 2015

Around the World in 80 Disasters - out in 2015

Total Hvar in the Media:

Interview of the Month, Croatian Embassy in Washington (May 2013)

Special Feature in Globus Magazine (May 2013)

Featured on Croatian TV show, More (2012) - watch the report here

Interviews in Slobodna Dalmacija, Dalmacijanews, Radio Split

I am available for writing services. Please contact me on [email protected] or visit my main writing website, 

Website: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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