Finally the days are getting longer and the temperatures are rising. With that said it is about time to spend more time outdoors.
Explore Munich by bike
Munich is a city with lots of open space and green and offers a bunch of outdoor activities. My favorite way to move around town is my bike. In the “Englischer Garten” or along the river Isar there are lots of bike paths which enable you to enjoy mother nature right in the heart of this big city. And maybe you have heard of our famous beer gardens. I just love them. Sitting under old trees in the shade and enjoy a beer or two, that’s what I call relaxing. In this post I will be telling you about my personal favorites. And most of the time I use my bike to get there.
If I am in the mood for a half day tour, I will ride north along the Isar to a place called Sankt Emmeramsmühle. It is a bit of a hidden gem and not easy to find, if you don’t know Munich. But it is worth the search. You sit under huge chestnut trees with a view over a meadow where every once in while you can even spot grazing sheep. This gives you the feel of an oasis in the city. Since there aren’t that many parking spots I don’t recommend to get there by car. If you are just visiting you will find rental bikes everywhere and take a nice ride along the river to get there.
South of Munich
From time to time I am in the mood of taking a longer excursion and then I ride southward along the Isar. Across from Grünwald (Munich’s Beverly Hills) in a town called Pullach is the Brückenwirt. Here you have a great view of the river. The food is typically Bavarian and very good. And on top it is decently priced, well at least for Munich terms. This restaurant also features its own theater, where they have shows. Here are a few shots of the beergarden and the surrounding:
Historical facts about beer gardens
If you don’t feel like riding a bike and rather take the public transportation to get to one of the beer gardens, here is a list of some, that are in the heart of the city. But before I name them a bit of history. The first beer gardens opened in the 19th century. Back in the old days the breweries were only allowed to brew during the winter months because beer wasn’t storeable and there was a danger that the hot kettles could set fire to the neighborhood. At one point the breweries came up with the idea to store their product in caves outside the city. To make those caves even cooler they planted chestnut trees on top of them. This lead to the idea to sell the beer right there without having it to transport back into the city. So they started putting out benches and the people loved it. But there was still a small challenge at hand. They had only beer, but no kitchens to prepare any food. The visitors would therefore start to bring their own food and the breweries were happy. And what can I say this right exists up to today. Don’t be surprised when you go to a beer garden and see other patrons bring tablecloth, plates and cutlery along and start picnicking. Whenever I do this I prepare a salad made of sausage, tomatoes and cheese. Along with a Pretzel and a beer this makes a perfect summer evening. This is heaven.
My favorite beer gardens in the city
And now I will talk about my favorite beer gardens. My number 1 is the one at Wiener Platz in the neighborhood of Haidhausen. It is easy accessible by public transport, not as big as many others and very shady and cool due to the huge chestnut trees. The food in the self service section is really great. Typically you would eat a broiled chicken with potato salad. And yes here you are allowed to eat the chicken with your fingers.
My number 2 is the Taxisgarten which is hidden in a residential area. This is also more of a midsize garden with lots of huge trees. The typical Bavarian cuisine is rather fat, but hey, you only live once. And as long as you don’t overdo it, you can taste the specialties. At the Taxisgarten I often opt for their spare ribs. Not very Bavarian, but very tasty. I just love it.
For most of the locals the best beer in Munich is the Augustiner. Originally founded by monks this brewery dates back to 1328 and is therefore the oldest brewery of Munich. If you want to try their beer, you should go to Augustinerkeller which is very close to the main station. This is one of the bigger beer gardens, but this is really where you get the best beer and very delicious food. And if you are traveling with children you will find a nice playground for them.
To complete my list 2 beer gardens where you are not allowed to bring your own food. On an evening that is a bit on the chilly side, I recommend the Max-Emanuel Brauerei in the famous Schwabing neighborhood. This one is surrounded by residential buildings, so in the evening it doesn’t get cold here. At times it’s difficult to find a space right away, but if you are patient you’ll get your spot rather fast. And there is a good chance that you will meet interesting people.
My last recommendation is a place called Osterwaldgarten situated on the border of the Englische Garten. This a rather small place and you have to be ready to wait a bit before you will find a table. There is no self service section. But this garden is so peaceful and romantic. Just the perfect place to hang out and you are only 10 minutes by foot from the famous Leopoldstraße.
Ok. Writing this post made me thirsty and hungry, so I guess I have to jump on my bike now and just ride to one of those locations.
P.S.: Whenever I enter a link in my posts, I do try to link the English page so that you can understand what I am talking about. Unfortunately not all of the places I talk about do have an English site. That’s why you will end up on a German site instead. And I will have to get used to take my camera with me to be able to post my own pictures.