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A green oasis in the heart of Munich with one of the most popular beer gardens of the season
Along with Olympic Park and Frauenkirche, the English Garden is one of Munich’s famed landmarks. For many residents, the garden designed by Friedrich Ludwig von Sckell in the 18th century is more than just a local recreation area; it’s part of Munich’s identity, where freedom and peace live in the heart of a pulsating metropolis. Hardly any other city can boast such a large, accessible green area right in the middle of the city.
With a surface area of 375 hectares, there is a lot to see and do here. The most appreciated waters are the Kleinhesseloher See at the southern end and the Eisbach, a man-made canal. The green area is often used for meetings with friends, picnics or sunbathing – so you shouldn’t be surprised if you find some underdressed people on the meadows. On the premises, there are two beer gardens and several stands which provide refreshment and snacks. And like most parks, The English Garden attracts plenty of joggers.
Of course, no beer garden could be missing from the area. One of the best known is the beer garden at the Chinese Tower. Standing in the centre, the 25-metre-high pagoda was destroyed and rebuilt several times during the war. It was rebuilt for the last time in 1952, and since then it has been the landmark of the beer garden, which can accommodate around 7,000 guests. On Sundays a Bavarian brass band plays in the building.
If you stroll along the English Garden, you will be surprised at the peculiar, antique structure, which stands a little elevated on a slope. It’s the Monopteros – a sort of Pantheon, which was originally intended to serve as a sanctuary and to honour various people from Munich. Today it is often used as a meeting place and is a frequently photographed Instagram motif.
The Eisbach canal weaves through the English Garden from the south to the north. It also lives up to its name because it is freezing cold, thus making it a wonderful refreshment on hot days. But be careful because the current is very strong and there have already been numerous accidents. The greatest spectacle can be seen at the Eisbachwelle where daring men and women surf on a standing wave. Even Jack Johnson is said to have been spotted there.
Most of the English Garden is in the form of green, sprawling meadows. On sunny days, the lawn is littered with people bathing in the sun, having picnics with friends or engaging in sporting activities such as football, slacklining or badminton. But for the most part, people just come for a stroll to enjoy nature, fresh air and peace in the centre of the city.