The English Garden // Munich, Germany

May 22, 2015

The English Garden, or "Englischer Garten" in German, was one of my favorite spots in Munich. Maybe it was because my hotel was right next to it, but I stopped by there at least once a day. The English Garden is a large public park in the middle of Munich with an area of 910 acres, making it bigger than New York City's Central Park and London's Hyde Park. 

One popular activity in the park is surfing the Eisbach, a man-made river that runs through the English Garden. At any given time, you can walk by and find at least one person surfing the 1 meter high standing wave. I woke up early one morning (to head to Neuschwanstein Castle) and saw surfers doing their thing as I passed by. During the afternoons/evenings and on the weekends, you can find a crowd of people along the sides of the Eisbach and on the bridge just watching these surfers. I talked to a local and he said, "You either love watching it or hate it and just walk by," and I definitely loved it.

Supposedly, it's a pretty big subculture and sometimes there are open conflicts between local and foreign surfers.               


Besides surfing, the English Garden also offers a little something for everyone. You can bike, run, play soccer, go boating on the lake, and of course hang out in one of the many beer gardens. I even saw a group of people play kickball, one of my faves! 

I had lunch at the beer garden at the Chinese Tower. With 7,000 seats, it is the second largest beer garden in Munich. If you purchase a beer there, they will charge you an extra euro per mug and hand you one token per mug, you can later trade in your token and mug and get your euro back. Since I didn't purchase a mug at Hofbrauhaus, I opted to keep my mug... I mean for 1 euro, it's a steal. 

The atmosphere was amazing at the beer garden. They had a live band playing and everyone was in a great mood. The rain and clouds from the days prior had finally disappeared and the sun was shining down on Munich. I spent the rest of the afternoon just walking around the park, eating ice-cream and people watching. Crazy story, I sat next to a group of American college students studying abroad in Spain while at Hofbrauhaus my first night in Munich. They were really cool (and made me feel old, ha) and told mr about Springfest and how I should check it out (which I did) and then they left and we went or separate ways. Fast forward two days and guess who I ran into while walking around the English Garden? Yup, the same group of Americans! 

As I was leaving the park, I thought to myself "I could do this every weekend"... another reason why Munich is creeping up my list of favorite cities in the world.          


What is your favorite urban public park?

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47 comments

  1. Fancy being able to surf on a river like that! The World is so full of fun to be had if you just look for it hard enough!

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  2. Oooh such a nice looking place! I love a good patch of green on the map :)
    If Kris and I go to a new place and we forgot to look anything or make any plans, our go to thing is to head to patches of green on the map and check out the nature.


    Can't really go wrong with nature.


    Still, the surfing thing is strange but I'd happily stand and watch for a bit because it's strange.

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  3. Wow those surfers look SO intense! I love that final photo of you sitting beside the brook. I think of gardens in Europe as being so peaceful and lovely!

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  4. Thanks Daisy! I love parks in Europe! Such a different feel than parks here in the States (both great in their own way though). And those surfers were definitely intense... some serious river surfing going on :P

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  5. Exactly Holly! I wonder who was the first surfer who walked by and said, "You know what, I can surf that!"

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  6. I'm totally not into surfing or that "scene" but it was memorizing to watch... surfing on a river? Who would of thought? But I'm like you, I love a good park!

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  7. Oh wow, this looks SO fun!! I'd love to try that surfing. I really love when cities have parks, they feel like an oasis and a moment to take a breath :) We are so lucky to have lots in London!

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  8. Awesome! I visited Munich two summers ago and loved that park. Those images capture the essence and vibe of Munich well! I'm absolutely loving your blog and happy I can follow along on your adventures!

    Xx, Tiffany | www.sunshinedaydreamphotography.com

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  9. Victoria@celebratetheweekendMay 23, 2015 at 3:29 PM

    English Garden is on list for our German road trip this summer. The pictures are beautiful!

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  10. I bet this is a must see while in Munich, lucky that you were so close! (and we didn't get to visit central park while in NYC, so we have to go back ;) ).

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  11. There's no question that this is one of the most beautiful urban parks! Just love Munich!

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  12. Haha, love the story! Definitely super Hollywood! Great pictures too :)

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  13. Me too! I love having some nature in a middle of a busy city! It's a great place to get away from everything.

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  14. Lol thanks Isabel! I was cracking up when he was telling me his movie plot... I could totally see it being a movie

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  15. Munich is a great city... definitely one of my favorites :)

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  16. Thank you Tiffany! We absolutely loved Munich! Definitely one of our favorite cities in Europe!

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  17. Thanks Victoria! I wish I could road trip to Germany :)

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  18. Awe yeah definitely go back! I love NY! I'll meet you guys there :P

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  19. That place looks wonderful! And to surf on that, I can only imagine, it looks fun. But i'd be too scared to actually do that lol

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  20. Such a fun post! And I had no idea this place existed...but I'm glad I do since I'll be visiting Munich in just a few weeks :)

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  21. I love the English garden! I visited while in Munich some years ago!! But I didn't come across the surfers...Love the scenario though!!

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  22. It was very unexpected to me that this place would be known for surfing! I absolutely loved the plot of your rom-com, brilliant! heehee!

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  23. Great photos! I loved the English Garden in Munich! We went there with a bike tour I did during Oktoberfest and stopped for a few beers and food in one of the beer gardens. Also, I can totally see that movie plot working out, haha! Definitely try to sell that!

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  24. This place looks amazing. I can't believe people surf in the river. How fun. I think I'd of loved watching it too.

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  25. Andrea On VacationMay 27, 2015 at 6:52 PM

    Very fun! Surfing in a river would be awesome!

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  26. omg your screenplay idea is amazing. Please make it happen! ;)

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  27. I love Munich too and was blown away coming across surfers in a park in the middle of the city! The beer gardens are great too, I wish I had kept my mug...

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  28. That's an awesome film idea! I'd go watch it. Who would star in it? I love an urban park. They're definitely the lungs of a city.

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  29. Brilliant film idea! I'd never heard of this park before but it looks lovely. I always love city parks - I think it's the contrast between the calm green space and the chaotic streets beyond it!

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  30. That's what I wondered. Just can't imagine looking at it and thinking that!

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  31. I can see why you would want to do this every weekend. I will have to make sure if I ever visit that my hotel is close by here I think, and that I leave room in my suitcase for a mug ;)

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  32. Haha thanks Julie! Who should play the California new kid? And his love interest? lol

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  33. You and me both! lol When we were watching them, I was so scared one of them might hit their heads on the side walls!

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  34. Jealous, take me with you! lol Is this the same trip as Hallstatt? :)

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  35. You'll have to check them out the next time you're in Munich! Are you back in Athens now?

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  36. Lol thanks Rachel! Who doesn't love a good rom-com? I had no clue you could "river surf" but it's like cult in Munich.

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  37. Lol who doesn't love a good rom-com? I'm thinking Zac Efron as the California new kid? lol I saw a lot of bikers while in the park and wanted to rent one but my husband didn't like the idea as much as me lol. I thought it would be a great way to work off the beers!

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  38. It was almost mesmerizing! I had no clue you could "river surf" before the trip... but supposedly, if you're any good at surfing any where in the world, you know about this little surfing spot

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  39. I had no clue you could surf a river but it would be fun! Too bad I can't surf and would probably hurt myself! lol

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  40. I didn't even think about keeping our mugs until my husband suggested it. He was like technically, we already paid for it lol. Guess he was right!

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  41. I was just thinking about that ha... maybe Zac Efron? But he's too good looking to be the sky new kid. Or Theo James as the "bad boy"? lol I would love to be a casting director!

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  42. Oh, you're spot on! It would HAVE to be Zac Efron!

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  43. I love urban parks for the exact same reason! Some calm in the middle of the storm! We have one in Houston but it's nothing like the English Garden, I would love a beer garden or two!

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  44. It was great! I enjoyed just walking over and hanging out for an hour or two and just relax. I hear that houses around the park is crazy expensive... I can see why, who wouldn't want to live right next to this?!

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  45. Yes I'm back in Athens! Landed just a week ago!

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  46. Absolutely gorgeous shots. Such a magical place!

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