As I already live in Munich for 8 years now I thought I am capable of publishing a list of real insider tips in Munich in summer. Because my favorite time of the year to enjoy the city is summer. Munich is a very green city with many outdoor activities, parks and other things to do when it is hot outside. In general, the climate in Munich in summer is (apart from few exceptions) very enjoyable and between 20 and 30 degrees. I personally can’t stay inside the house when the weather is nice and it is sunny outside. If you feel the same then you will love the list.
Overview of all Munich insider tips:
- Watch the surfers
- Jump in the ice river
- Swim in the Isar river
- Go to a beer garden
- Enjoy the parks
- Listen to a concert in Olympic Park (without buying a ticket!)
- Go to an open-air cinema
- Join an outdoor music event
- Have a drink at Munich’s beach bar at the river
- Go to the Tollwood Festival
- Go to the rooftop bar of the University „Café Vorhölzer Forum“
- Have a drink in a boat – „Alte Utting“
- Go to a flea market
- Join the street flea markets
- Go to a street festival
- Go on a boat tour in the Isar river
- Have a BBQ at the Isar river
- Join sports and yoga classes in the park
1. Watch the surfers
I’m pretty sure you’ve already heard or read about the surfers in Munich. Yes, there are actually people surfing in Munich. But it is a completely different kind of surfing than you might expect. Not kite surfing or windsurfing, no surfing the waves like in the sea. People in Munich surf a wave in the ice river which is located in the English garden in the city center. The wave is naturally formed by rocks in the river bed. However, don’t dare to „just try it“. People surfing there are very experienced and probably practices one or two seasons on a smaller river wave in the South of Munich before they started to surf the famous wave in the English garden. However, it is always a spectacle to watch them. When I accidentally pass this place I always stop for some minutes to watch. It’s really stunning and fun.
This is the location of the wave and the surfers:
2. Jump in the ice river
If you are not a pro surfer you can swim in this exact same river instead. The ice river runs through the English garden and there are various spots to swim in.
For example here, is a very shallow part where even kids can have a dip:
But what is especially fun is to jump in at the spot below, where is a strong current and swim with the current all the way till the beginner’s surfer wave. Make sure to get out where the people in front of you get out of the river, otherwise, you will get into the surfer wave which might not be fun for you (due to rocks in the water), nor for the surfers.
This is where you have to jump in to swim with the current:
And this is where you have to get out the latest:
3. Swim in the Isar
But these were not all swimming possibilities in Munich. The big river which is running from South to North of the city is called Isar. And there are various spots where you can take a swim in the shallow water. Flaucher is a very famous spot to swim due to its very shallow water and little natural water basins which are especially suitable for families, as well as its gravel beach for having barbecue:
Besides this spot all the way from Reichenbachbrücke to Flaucher are good spots to swim:
However, all the area described above is really crowded on hot summer days, weekends and school holidays. If you are looking for a more quiet spot, just take your bike and cycle further South along the Isar and just a few kilometers after Flaucher you will find many spots in the grass just for yourself. But be warned, people in Munich (especially elderly ones) love to sunbath naked, so don’t be scared when suddenly a naked grandpa is standing up in the high grass.
Do you prefer to swim in a lake? Then check out my article about the best lakes in Munich and around.
4.Go to a beer garden
A must-do in Munich is spending an afternoon or evening in a beer garden. These are traditional Bavarian outdoor restaurants which will introduce you in our beer culture. Delicious (unhealthy) Bavarian food included. I wrote a list with the best beer gardens in Munich as well as beer garden rules – Just click here to get to the article.
5. Enjoy the parks
I mentioned in the beginning that Munich is a very green city. Not only because of the natural river Isar running through the city and the various lakes in the surroundings of Munich, but also due to its parks. The biggest and most famous park is the English garden. You can have a walk there, swim in the river, sunbathe in the grass, have a picnic or meet for a beer or wine in the evening.
A very popular spot for your people and students is the area around Odeonsplatz and University. There is a small kiosk called „Milchhäusl“ where you can buy drinks and take them to the garden. Also around this area, it is easy to refresh in the ice river because in this area it is very shallow and not so much current.
A great place to go for dinner after spending an afternoon in the English garden is a restaurant / bar with a little cute terrace called Café Königin 43. It is located on your way between the park and the metro station Universität or Odeonsplatz
But there are other huge parks in Munich like west park. In summer many outdoor yoga and fitness classes take place there. Also for a little cycle tour this park is perfect. This park also brings me to my next point.
6. Listen to a concert in Olympic Park (without buying a ticket!)
The Olympic Park is another huge park in Munich. It was established for the Olympic summer games in 1972 and today it is hosting concerts, football games, public viewing events. There is also the aquarium of Munich and changing exhibitions. Often concerts of world stars like Robbie Williams, Pink or recently Rammstein take place in the Olympic stadium and Olympic hall. As these kinds of concerts might cost up to hundreds of Euros and the one or the other might not be able affording it we Munich people just sit somewhere in the park and listen to these concerts without actually paying any entrance fee or tickets. The best spot to do so is the Olympic hill. From here you can watch the sunset, sit down with your picnic and wine and kind of be part of the concert as well.
7. Go to an open-air cinema
In Munich are various open-air cinemas – but mostly with German movies only, unfortunately. Find a list of the outdoor cinemas of Munich in the following:
Kino am Olympiasee
This one is located in the North of Munich in the Olympic park at a lake. There are different seat option. There are tables where food is served. There are sun loungers which require a special ticket. But you can also just bring your blanket, pillows and snacks and place yourself in the grass. You can check the program here.
Kino, Mond & Sterne in the West Park
This outdoor movies is like a little amphitheater but the steps can get a little uncomfortable. Therefore bring pillows or even better a beanbag to survive a 2 hours movie without being uncomfy. Click here for their program.
Viehhof-Kino Open Air Kulturfestival
This is the alternative one among the outdoor movies. It is located in a little backyard and besides movies, there are also other events, like flea markets or live music. The exact program can be found here.
8. Join an outdoor music event
In Munich, there are many outdoor music events in summer. On the one hand, there are big, one-day festivals, on the other hand, many many smaller events, like on a little island on the Isar river, called „Praterinsel“. Here, for example, every year an electronic outdoor music festival called „Isle of summer“ takes place. You can check the official website of Munich for the latest events of the island Praterinsel.
As I am not so much into music and not sure which kind of music you are looking for, I’ll better provide you with this link which is displaying a calendar of all outdoor events in Munich: https://www.muenchen.de/veranstaltungen/events/open-air.html
9. Have a drink at Munich’s beach bar at the river
Munich is really a great place in summer (as you might have realized when reading through this insider tips in Munich in summer). The only thing missing to make it the perfect city for me is the sea. But luckily the city of Munich also realized that and created a cute beach bar next to the Isar, called „Kuturstrand“ (culture beach). This place is not only a relaxed bar with sun loungers and sand (!) but also hosts regular small music events. Check their website for the latest events.
10. Go to the Tollwood Festival
This one is for all vegan, hippies and alternative people, but also to people who love international food. Tollwood festival is a big outdoor market with products from all over the world, international food, various bars, and music events. There are a summer and winter festival. The summer festival takes part in the Olympic Park. If you are interested in music events, you can check their program here.
11. Go to the rooftop bar of the University „Café Vorhölzer Forum”
This place is not a secret anymore but still, we all love to go there. It is a bar on the roof of the university and it is so lovely to enjoy the sunset there with an Aperol Spritz. On hot summer evenings it can be very crowded there, but it is always worth it. You can also just come for one drink, enjoy the stunning view a bit and then head to a nearby restaurant for dinner. For example to “Heinrich Matters” a very delicious restaurant with modern food (and the best bowls in Munich!)
12. Have a drink in a boat – „Alte Utting“
Other than you might expect this boat is not in a river or lake but has been placed on a bridge in the middle of Munich. Why? This boat was an excursion boat in former times and was built in 1950. Therefore its good times on the water were over and initially it was supposed to go to the junkyard. Till somebody had the idea to make a bar out of it and now there it is close to metro station Implerstrasse and they don’t only serve drinks but also food and since its opening in 2017 some more little food places settled down next to the boat, have a look at the places & their menu here.
13. Go to a flea market
Maybe they are not comparable to „El rastro“ in Madrid but we still have quite some flea markets in Munich and especially big ones. The two biggest are the one at the Olympic Parc in the North of Munich which takes place several times a month (you can find the exact schedule here https://www.muenchen.de/veranstaltungen/event/10438.html) and at Theresienwiese, where Octoberfest takes place.
14. Join the street flea markets
Another really cool thing we have in Munich are the private street flea markets. They take place in spring in summer in various districts in Munich. Every weekend they take place in another district and people can just sell things they don’t need in front of their house, in their backyard or at their street. You can combine discovering a new district, shopping and meeting new, interesting people. Here you can find the schedule and find out where and when the next one will take place.
15. Go to a street festival
In some popular districts in Munich, like Schwabing, there are street festivals in summer, which means for one day some streets are closed down and there are many pop-up bars, food stalls, live music and everything else you expect from a street festival. If one takes place you’ll find it in the events calendar of the city of Munich.
16. Go on a boat tour in the Isar river
This one is for those who really want to do what people from Munich do. On hot summer days, especially on the weekend, we take our inflatable boats, go by metro all the way down South and go back on the Isar river to the city center by boat. This is incredibly fun and the perfect thing to do on a hot day because the Isar is very refreshing. On some parts on your way, it feels like in Canada rather than in Bavaria. We usually take drinks, snacks, maybe even a barbecue and go the whole day on the boat with some swimming stops, some stops to tan and warm-up and it is just an incredible day of fun.
However, I have to warn you, there are certain rules to be followed:
- Think about the environment, don’t through your trash in the river or nature
- No alcohol! (Ok, maybe a little bit 😉 )
- Check if the weather conditions will be stable the whole day
- Check if the water level is fine. If there is flood water it can dangerous to life. (You can check here. If the dots are green, you can usually go)
- It is only allowed to go to Flaucher / Thalkirchen / Tierpark. It is not allowed to go further into the city.
- There are 3 places where you have to stop your boat and carry it around a watergate. Do not go with your boat through the watergates – it is dangerous to life!
Are you interested in more information about this boat trip? Where to rent a boat? Where to start? Where to end? Where are the watergates? Let me know in the comments and I’ll publish a blog post about everything you need to know about a boat trip on the Isar river.
17. Have a BBQ at the Isar river
Another thing I personally love to do is having a BBQ at the Isar river. As I live quite close to the river, this is the obvious thing for us to do instead of cooking dinner. And it is so relaxed and almost feels like holidays. For example, you can go to Flaucher (metro station Thalkirchen / Tierpark) and find your preferred spot at one of the gravel beaches. Please be aware that BBQ is only allowed on the stones (gravel beaches) and not in the grass in order to protect the environment. In addition please please take your trash home or throw it in the provided bins (sad that it has to be mentioned, but there are too many people just leaving their trash at the river).
Many people just go to the supermarket next to the metro station and buy their stuff for BBQ there, then you don’t need to carry it all your way to the river.
18. Join sports and yoga classes in the park
If you like to do sports and you want to stay fit on your holidays, you should consider joining and outdoor fitness class. There are many independent personal coaches and yoga teachers hosting classes outdoors in one of the parks, mostly West Park or English Garden and you should definitely prefer these over just going to a gym in summer. Let me know if you are interested in joining a class, and I will link you with a personal trainer (doing HIT classes) or a yogi for yoga classes.
Wow, this list of insider tips in Munich in summer became pretty long. Initially, I planned to write about 5-8 things to do. But while writing so many more things came to my head and I really realized how beautiful Munich is and how worth it it is to live here. I couldn’t imagine any other city where I’d like to live instead in Germany. But many many others in the world 😛
Never stop exploring, guys!