I love Munich in summer – which is quite unusual I think. Mostly summer in big cities sucks, it is hot, there is no swimming pool or lake to refresh around and normally people prefer being on the beach than in the city on a hot summer day. But Munich is different. I’ll take you to the best lakes to swim in Munich and around (or more Bavaria) and show you how pleasant a summer in the city can be.
# 1 Lake Eibsee: Clear winner of the best lakes to swim in Munich (and around)
My darling <3 This is the most stunning and extra-ordinary lake close to Munich. It is also known as the Caribbean of Bavaria and truly it is. It is especially famous for the little islands within the lake. Just see yourself:
The lake is a mountain lake located at Zugspitze, the highest mountain of Germany. Therefore the water is refreshing but luckily not too cold. There are plenty of things to do at this lake: sipping a coffee at the terrace located directly at the lake, walking around the lake (which is around 8 kilometres), renting a boat or a SUP or hiking in the area. But also just having a swim there and tan is very pleasant.
You should definitely walk around the lake in order to see the whole beauty of it. See my article about Eibsee for the best places to go.
How to get there:
Only around 90 kilometres away from Munich. Unfortunately, there is no direct train connection and you need a car to go there. But it is so worth it to rent a car for this purpose.
# 2 Lake Walchensee: Second winner of the best lakes to swim in Munich (and around)
Number 2 among the best lakes to swim in Munich is Walchensee. This one became my second favourite just last weekend because the water is sometimes even more clear and turquoise than of Lake Eibsee. See yourself how clear the water was on that day:
This lake is also located in a beautiful mountain scenery and you have plenty of beach options. The closest to Munich and most popular ones are the beaches and the sunbathing area of the town „Walchensee“. However, on weekends and during school holidays in August these beaches are very crowded.
The best and quieter beaches are located along the South banks of the lake. The street to get there is with costs (4 Euros) but it is totally worth it. There are many little beaches and mini-bays to choose and due to the costs of the streets, fewer people go there. Therefore if you are lucky you can find your very private spot just for yourself.
If you are interested in renting SUPs you have to go to the last beach of the street in the South. Make sure to reserve your board in advance at http://www.sup-walchensee.de/verleih.html
How to get there:
The best way to get there is by car. If you don’t have a car, you can take the train from Munich to „Kochel am See“ from there you need to take a cap to Walchensee.
# 3 Chiemsee: the relaxed one
Lake Chiemsee is located in the South of Munich and one of my personal favourites among my list of the best lakes to swim in Munich and around.
There are plenty of official swimming places with some infrastructure like restaurant, toilets, etc. Find an overview on the following map:
1. Strandbad Rimsting
2. Strandbad Hofanger
3. Strandbad Gollenshausen
4. Strandbad Chiemseepark Seebruck
5. Strandbad Chieming
6. Strandbad Übersee
7. FKK-Strandbad Schwögler am See
8. Strandbad Chiemseepark Felden
9. Strandbad Schraml Prien
10. Prienavera Strandbad
But there are plenty of unofficial, hidden swimming spots – just find your favourite one. The island „Herreninsel“ in the middle of the lake is, for example, one good spot to find your personal little beach to enjoy the lake.
One great place not to miss is the beach bar „Sundowner“, located in Übersee, This is a great place to watch the sun setting into the lake, with a cocktail in your hand, chilling in one of the sun loungers – a perfect end of a relaxed day.
How to get there:
You need a car to get to lake Chiemsee.
# 4 Lake Starnberger See: the family option among the best lakes to swim in Munich
Starnberger See has the perfect balance between untouched nature and decent infrastructure. Plus you can get there by S-Bahn from Munich. The lake is around 20 kilometers long and there are plenty of swimming possibilities, such as in the towns of Percha, Tutzing, Seeshaupt or Possenhofen.
The most famous big beach (to pay for) with many facilities, like a little restaurant, a playground for kids, etc. is in the town “Starnberg”. Find more about it here. Although it gets very crowded during weekends and summer holidays.
If you are looking for a quick escape from Munich, then the beach in Percha might be the quickest option. Percha is located in the North of the lake and can be reaches within 25 minutes from Munich (depending on where you stay of course). It is a bit smaller, but very nice installation with a small restaurant. There is a footbridge leading in the water and you can choose if you want to settle down there (which many people do) or ly in the grass areal. Here some impressions of Percha beach and its installations:
If you fancy an easy hike (flat) close to Lake Starnberg with a wonderful restaurant to end the day, then read my article about an easy spring hike at Starnberg.
How to get to Percha beach:
Take the S-Bahn S6 to “Starnberg Nord”. Then you can either walk (2 kilometers!) or take bus 961 to Percha which will drop you close to the lake.
How to get to Lake Starnberg in general:
You can either go there by car or just take the metro S-Bahn 6 from Munich to whichever town or beach you chose, like Starnberg, Feldafing, Possenhofen or Tutzing.
# 5 Lake Wörthsee: lesser frequented & reachable by public transportation
The last one in the list of the best lakes to swim in Munich is Wörthsee. The good thing about Lake Wörthsee is that it is reachable by S-Bahn from Munich and it is not as popular and busy as for example Starnberger See or Tegernsee. However, it is not a very special lake either. But there are some beautiful spots and you can also rent SUPs or boats there.
Go by car to „Oberndorf“ where three long docks lead into the water or to „Seefeld“ where you can rent the SUPs.
How to get there:
If you want to take the S-Bahn, you have to go to „Steinebach“ and walk around 10 minutes to the lake. Here are 3 spots to choose from.
#6 Lake Tegern: the posh one. But I found a quite place there.
This one is actually not my favourite lake, because the popular towns, like Tegernsee can get very busy and touristy. This lake is well-known, sometimes a bit posh and the one populated the most with the most infrastructure around the like (compared to Lake Walchensee and Eibsee where is almost no infrastructure around the lake). However, Tegernsee is attractive for other reasons: the charming villages, the restaurants located at the lake, the hiking or MTB options in the area, but also for the swimming. If you prefer having a Spritz at a pretty terrace than actually jumping in the lake, then this is your place to go. You might even feel like at Lake Garda in Italy.
However, last weekend I discovered a more quite place off the crowds and tourists which I just added to this list now. It is “Standbad Kaltenbrunn” or Beach Kaltenbrunn, a small beach with small beergarden style restaurant in the North of the lake. Here are some impressions of the place:
The area around this beach also invites for a little walk and in May and June the fields are full of beautiful flowers:
How to get there:
The good thing about this Lake Tegern or Tegernsee is also that you can get there by train (BOB) from the central station of Munich. To get to Strandbad Kaltenbrunn you have to take the train to “Gmund” and walk 900 meters. It is located here:
#7 Isar river: Natural paradise within the city
Actually not a lake therefore not part of the best lakes to swim in Munich, but I still want to mention it: Isar river might be a great option within the city of Munich if you don’t want to travel far. Isar is the river which goes through Munich and it is a great place to walk, run, chill, meet friends, swim or even have a barbecue. You can easily reach it by bike or public transportation in Munich and especially on hot weekends, when many of the above-mentioned lakes are crowded, the tsar is a great option. Me personally I love being there because within a few minutes you are surrounded by nature and don’t have the feeling to actually be in a city.
The area of the Isar within the centre is normally crowded as well on summer days. Therefore go to the U-Bahn station „Thalkirchen“ and walk or cycle further South. After only 2 kilometres you will find yourself in beautiful little swimming spots or little beaches and not too many people. A bit further South you can actually find spots just for yourself – just cycle along the river (it doesn’t matter on which side) and pick your spot.
How to get there:
By bicycle, walking or public transportation of Munich (e.g. U3 to Thalkirchen). It might get very busy in some areas of the Isar. The area between Isartor and all the way down to Thalkirchen are often very crowded. The metro station “Thalkirchen” and the area of the Isar called “Flaucher” are very popular in summer for having BBQ. For me it is way to crowded there. However you can take the metro U3 to Thalkirchen and then either take a bike (bike rental available at the metro station) or walk 1 or 2 kilometers more South and you will find many more quite spots to stay. This is where the Flaucher area is located:
#8: Sylvenstein dam: an epic place, but cold to swim
This lake is actually one of my favorites and on my personal list very close to Eibsee because it is just epic. But as it is not the best one to swim, it is unfortunately only at the end of this list. However, this is a very stunning place in summer as well as in winter. It is great for having a walk or for hiking. You can swim in the lake but it is very cold. It is an artificial water reservoir which should protect the area from being flooded. And as it is located 767 meters above sea level the water is really cold. But swimming and having a picnic and sunbathing is possible. And now have a look at this stunning place:
You might have realized that all the lakes I mentioned are a bit far away (around 1 to 1.5 hours) from Munich – except Isar river which is in the city center and Lake Starnberg and Lake Tegern. The reason is that depending on where you are staying in Munich the lakes I suggested (all in the South of Munich) might be closer to you than lakes located within Munich (mostly in the North). Plus the lakes in the South of Munich or Bavaria are way more epic than lakes in Munich city. And if you are staying in the south, they are as easy to reach as the lakes within Munich.
However, if you are looking for a lake to swim within Munich you might consider the following. But be warned, they are standard lakes, nothing special, and most likely crowded on hot summer days. They are all located in the North of the city. So if you are staying more North, these are definitely closer options for you.
Lakes in Munich: Feringasee
More information can be found here: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feringasee
Lakes in Munich: Riemer See
More information about the lake:
Lakes in Munich: Langwieder See
More information about Lake Langwieder: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langwieder_lake_district
Lakes in Munich: Fasaneriesee
I hope you liked my list of best lakes to swim in Munich? Drop me a comment and let me know about your experience!
And don’t forget to explore the new places you go 😉