The Best Gardens of Munich: Where to Spend a Perfect Day?

Munich is a wonderful city full of gardens. Just walk in the streets, feel the freshness coming from all around, find a garden and get lost in it.. There are a lot of gardens here, small or big, full of people or more quiet. Perfect places to spend some time in beer gardens, or have a picnic on the weekends. But everywhere you will see people sitting under the tree and reading a book. Let’s make a small journey on some of those gardens and see which one is close to you from those.
One of the most amazing gardens in Munich is the Botanical Garden, which is located near the Nymphenburg Palace. It has 2 entrances, one of them is from the Nymphenburg gardens (this will be another story we’ll talk about), on the right sight once you come out from the Palace. Prepare yourself to stay here for more than was planned as time will stop in this colorful paradise. In this amazing garden full of collections from different parts of our world every tree and flower is well kept.

Tip: Make sure to bring cash to pay for your ticket, as credit cards are not accepted at ticket office. The admission fee is just 4.5€. Don’t be afraid to miss anything as with your ticket you’ll get a map of the garden showing locations of each collection.

All that trees and flowers, smell of freshness and fragrance of flowers, these make your heart bloom. In all open air and glass covered areas you’ll see plants, flowers and tress from all over the world and sometimes you’ll even feel that you’re transferred to another part of the world.

Time will run fast, but you shouldn’t be worried. Here you’ll have several toilets on each side of the garden, as well as a cute café inside the garden, in case you’re hungry or need a coffee. If you’re here end of April, don’t miss unbelievable beauty magnolia trees 💮

How to get there:

Take Tram 17 and Bus SEV 17, direction – Amalienburgstraße, and get off at station “Botanischer Garten”, Bus 143 Freiham Möbel Höffner – Olympia-Einkaufszentrum, again our station is “Botanischer Garten”.

Now let’s jump to another park, which you should definitely include in your list. It doesn’t matter you’re traveling alone, with friends or with kids, you should find time for visiting Munich Zoo (Tierpark Hellabrunn). This is a 40 hectare zoological garden, more close to natural reserve, than a zoo garden. It was founded in 1911 as the first Geo-zoo worldwide. It is situated on the right bank of the river Isar, in the southern part of Munich near the quarter of Thalkirchen. By the way, you are free to take your dogs with you, as this is one of the very few zoos that allows visitors to bring dogs.

Tip: As the zoo is very large, plan to spend a full day here, before its closure, so you can enjoy the garden with its animals fully without any rush. The zoo is open from 9am till 5-6pm depending on the season. Don’t believe to those who’ll say that few hours will be enough. Believe me, better to stay longer and enjoy every area.

When you come here, you will see that this is a zoo where animals live according to their geographical distribution, means everything is made very close to their natural living conditions. The zoo has a map, which will be given to you with tickets, and if you follow the visitors’ path, you will feel how you travel around the world.

Here are some examples where you can feel how everything is made there:

In the middle of the garden there is a Bat cave, also known as “Dracula’s villa”. It is a rock-cave, all dark inside (only some colorful lights come time to time to make the feeling mystical) where bats fly all around. If you are afraid of them, better not to get inside, as they might “hit” you.
Aquarium, where you can see different “exhibits”, starting from small cute fishes to sharks, jelly-fishes, coral rocks and many other examples of sea life. There is also a special breeding time for piranhas!

But watch out carefully, you can find some unexpected creatures of sea life that you even didn’t know they exist. They can look scary or funny, or it would be hard to find them at all, because they have the best defensive look. But when you find them, you’ll stick next to their “home” and look at them with a big smile, just like they do 🤭
Another perfect example is Aviary, which is tent-like area, with grid-covered roof and many colorful and special birds inside. They walk and fly freely. You can also try to walk close to them, if they allow of course.

Polarium area will show you a home of penguins, polar bears and seals, as the jungle world and pavilion shows you how wild cats and apes live in nature.

Even if you see this big cat in a closed room starring at hundreds of people around, that doesn’t mean he lives there. No, this is just a small part of his Jungle world, where he can have a roof above his head on a rainy or cold winter days.
At the end of your zoo tour you’ll see Mühlendorf Village: exciting interactive learning stations that invite animal lovers to discover fascinating facts, such as how wild species evolved into domestic animals.
Even if the zoo is this large, you won’t get tired or stay hungry. There are a lot of sitting areas everywhere, nice clean toilets (yes, we all need them😆), many kiosks, cafes and beergardens, where you can buy different kind of snacks, drinks for you and your kids. Next to one of those cafes is located the pink flamingos’ area.. I didn’t know they’re so noisy ))

The admission fee for adults is 15€, but if you’re visiting with your kid (considering a small family) or with a family (both parents and kids), then better to buy Small family or Large family tickets for 19€ and 33€ accordingly (as of 2019). You may think that this is too much for just a garden, but no, it’s worth to pay this money to spend a day in this fantastic zoo.

How to get there:
The easiest way to reach the Zoo is to take metro line U3 to underground station “Thalkirchen (Tierpark)”, then follow the signposted footpath in order to reach the “Isar Entrance”. This won’t take more than 5 minutes walk.

It’s time to check other famous big gardens of Munich, with less activities than above described ones. One of them is the biggest garden in Munich, Englischer Garten (English Garden). This is a large public park in the center of Munich, created in 1789, stretching from the city center to the northeastern city limits. It’s also one of the largest urban parks in the world, and indeed, it seems endless! The park called Englische Garten because it was laid out in the style of an English country park. Here you can see cyclists and joggers training on the 78km network of paths(!), a lot of people just enjoying their time on the grass, etc.

Very close to one of the many entrances to the park, at the south end of it, you’ll see this beautiful tree (yes, it has red leafs!) with a simple building behind on an artificial island. This is a Japanese tea house from 1972. It’s a famous place for Japan fans who meet there regularly for the traditional tea ceremony. If you also are a Japan fan, remember that on the third Sunday of July, the “Japanfest” is rising around the tea house, must be an exciting fest, so don’t miss it 😉

But perhaps this is not the most famous Japanese building in this park. There is a 25 meters high Chinese Tower designed from 1789. This is a pagoda construction in imperial-Chinese style, which was burned out several times over the years but it was always rebuilt true to the original. Around this tower you’ll see Munich’s second largest beer garden which has around 7000 spots. Just imagine the view here in a hot summer day!
Another famous place where you should also “check-in” is the temple-like rotunda Monopteros, which was added to the park landscape along with the hill in 1836. Probably from here you can have the best panoramic view of the city (inside the park), so just climb few steps, sit down and enjoy.
But it’s not only people you can see in the park. Of course there are a lot of dogs running, playing around, but you can also meet some cute ducks or geese somewhere on the grass or swimming in the river. They are home and they feel good and safe in the nature. So good to feel this connection, when you’re so close to them and they’re not afraid of you. So amazing 😍
But the garden can surprise you in different ways. Have you ever seen surfers in the city? Here you can! As already mentioned, the garden is too large and has several entrances from each side. Here, next to the Haus der Kunst, close to one of the entrances you can see some surfers on the Eisbachwave. Surfing has been legalized in the summer of 2010, however, this permission is only for experienced surfers. When I was there, I saw around 10-15 surfers which were trying to stand on continuous waves of Eisbach river. This was a fun place to sit, relax and watch people surfing.

I took one of the entrances (or exits) to leave the garden, which was somewhere in between of Chinese Tower and Monopteros and I saw a small building hidden in the trees. This was a small Orangerie, where periodically different exhibitions were being organised. The entrance was free. No one around, except a nice woman watching it over. I entered to the bright room all covered with beautiful paintings. Believe me, I was feeling so lucky that I took exactly this exit and had a chance to see this beautiful piece of art in the garden. Try your luck too and see whose paintings will be on shown your visit.

How to get there:

It’s a bit hard to mention all the stops close to the garden considering it’s huge size, but here are the most comfortable ones close to the city center:
Bus 54, 58 & 154, station Hirschauer Straße or Chinesischer Turm
Tram 16, station Tivolistraße (next to Orangerie), Paradiesstraße or Nationalmuseum (next to Haus der Kunst)
Metro lines U3, U4, U5 & U6, station Odeonplatz, but be ready to walk another 7-10min until you reach the park.

Now it’s time to talk about the last, but not least famous parks in Munich – Olympiapark.
This is another huge park which I visited after enjoying time gazing at luxury cars at BMW Welt.

The Olympiapark is an Olympic Park which was constructed for the 1972 Summer Olympics. It consists of several sub-areas which are the following:

  • Olympic Area, which includes the Olympic sports facilities such as the Olympic Stadium and the Olympic Hall with Olympic Tower. Here are also the Aquatic Center and Olympic Event Hall. 
  • Olympic Village, which was separated into two villages for male and female and was used to house the athletes during the games. 
  • Olympia-Pressestadt, today the home of the Olympic Shopping Center (didn’t go there, seems it’s out of the park area at all). 
  • Olympic Park, which includes the Olympic Mountain and Olympic Lake.

The park is well known also for its blooming trees all around, so if you’re here in the middle of April, don’t miss your chance to admire the most beautiful view of countless sakura trees here. I was a bit late for this, but still found several wonderful trees full of flowers.

One of the most famous landmarks of the park (and not only) is the Olympic Tower, AKA Olympiaturm, the city’s highest building, opened in 1968, that has an overall height of 291 m and a weight of 52,500 tonnes. At a height of 190m there is an observation platform. But this is not all. Here you can visit a small rock’n’roll museum opened in 2004 housing the tickets, pictures, newspaper articles, as well as some stage outfit and instruments of stars like Freddie Mercury, Pink Floyd or the Rolling Stones. Also the tower is much famous with a revolving restaurant located at height of 182m, which seats 230 people. You can reserve your table here and enjoy 360° panoramic view during 53m turn. The tower is open for visitors from 9am till midnight. For 9€ admission fee (for adults) you can take an elevator and in 30sec only you’ll be on top.

Olympiapark is also well known for its Munich Olympic Walk of Stars (MOWOS). This is a place where the world’s famous faces come together and left their messages here making the place as a home of the stars. You’ll see this pathway on the banks of the Olympic Lake, documented since 2003. You’ll see more than 170 everlasting marks of national and international legends with hands and signets in the concrete that take their place on the Olympic Park’s MOWOS. But it’s not only the popularity that’s needed for having a place here. To be included in the Walk of Stars, the celebrities must have achieved successes in the Olympic Stadium, the Olympic Hall, the Olympic Swimming Pool or in the Olympic Ice Sports Centre, or have earned their place around the Olympic Park. Along the 800m of path you can see signs of famous persons from different areas. For example, look carefully and you can find the signet of His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama. But here is another fun signet for you left by amazing rock and blues singer Chris Rea.
After walking along the Olympia Lake you can climb up the Olympic Mountain, a small hill, which will offer you another panoramic view of the city and Alps (if you’re lucky to have a clear weather). Don’t be surprised if you’ll be “followed” by these cute crows, especially if you have some food to offer them. These ones stuck with me during all my time spent in this park. They were very “handy”, eating my piece of croissant from my hands! Lovely smart birds 🐦
The park is quite large and nice place to spend a beautiful day, staying on a grass near the lake or enjoying some cold beer in its beer gardens. But if you want more, you can visit the Sea Life Center of Munich which contains exhibits with a variety of sea creatures. Must be fun for kids (and not only!), but as I already had chance to get in touch with sea life in Munich Zoo, I skipped this one.

How to get there:
U3 & U8 to station Olympiazentrum (also perfect to visit BMW Welt & Museum!) Recommended option!
U3 and U8 to station Petuelring (it’s a bit far then Olympiazentrum, needs a bit walk)
Bus 173, station Olympiapark Eissportstadion (also next to BMW Welt)
Bus 144, station Olymiasee or Olympiaberg
If you don’t mind to walk a bit, you can also take the train 27 to stations Gartenstraße or Petuelring

Okay, this was my list of parks visited in Munich with some descriptions and tips. Hope this could be useful for your next trip to Munich if you plan to spend some time in its adorable parks. If I get a chance to return, I’ll do that for sure😉

Stay tuned 😊


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