Tips for days out in and around Munich

Muenchen Ausflug Baden Starnbergersee160Starnberger See

If you live in Munich, you don’t necessarily have to leave the city to see fields and forests or to go on a day out to a bathing area. Water, forest and public parks make up about 20 percent of the municipal area, offering many possibilities for recuperation, relaxation, games and sports. The huge (3.7 sq km) English Gardens, the Olympic Park, the Hellabrunn zoo, the Nymphenburger Schlosspark (Nymphenburg Palace Park), many swimming lakes, as well as the relaxation areas and many kilometers of cycling and strolling paths along the Isar make Munich a true leisure paradise. And if the possibilities within the city aren’t enough, one fabulous destination for day trippers after the other lines up in every direction beyond the city limits. The lakes Starnber­ger See, Ammersee and Chiemsee, the mountains Brauneck and Zugspitze, romantic castles such as the Märchenschloss (fairy-tale castle) Neu­schwanstein, constructed by the storied King Ludwig II, as well as waterfalls, ravines and forests are more or less at Munich’s doorstep.

The best addresses at a glance

Neuschwanstein: Once upon a time...

schlossOnce upon a time there was a fairy tale castle called Neuschwanstein. It nestled neatly on a steep cliff next to the 2,000-meter high mountain of Tegelberg, 100 kilometers south west of Munich. Behind the castle, a waterfall thundered down a gorge called Pöllatschlucht and before it lay the Alpsee. Bavaria’s fairy-tale king Ludwig II laid the foundation stone for this dream castle in 1869. Sadly the king didn’t live long enough to see his dream come true with the completion of this magnificient building in 1892.

Tegernsee: The picture-book valley

tegernseeBeautiful Tegernsee rivals any romantic picture postcard. Only 60 kilometers south of Munich, the lake and village that share the same name, are nestled in a picturesque valley. You’ll enjoy a walk round the lake’s promenade as much as a shopping spree through the town center. Tegernsee is home to a Benedictine monastery which has its own brewery and St. Quirin Church. The villages around the lake are all served by regular ferry services. Naturally you can also explore the lake by hiring a sailing, rowing or pedal boat.

Chiemsee: Island attractions

chiemseeHead 80km south-east of Munich and you’ll reach the ocean. Chiemsee, a sprawling lake, is known as the Bavarian Ocean because of its huge size. The lake is large enough to accommodate three islands: the Herreninsel (gentlemen’s island), the Fraueninsel (ladies’ island) and the Krautinsel (cabbage island – uninhabited). One of the most visited attractions is Castle Herrenchiemsee on the Herreninsel built around 1880. The castle grounds house gardens, wells, fountains and the König-Ludwig-II-Museum.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen & Zugspitze: Land of adventure

partnachklammIf you’re still fit enough after a New Year’s Eve party in Munich, why not start January by visiting the traditional New Year’s Ski Jumping Competition in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, only 100 kilometers from Munich? The traditional winter resort is also well worth a visit during the summer months. Especially recommended is a walk through the Partnachklamm, a spectacular narrow gorge with thundering waterfalls. The height of adventure is a trip up the Zugspitze, which at 2,964 meters, is Germany’s highest mountain, only 10 kilometers east of Garmisch-Partenkirchen.