Without a doubt, Munich is a city that has its urban green spaces down pat. The Englischer Garten (English Garden) is among the most impressive city parks in the world, offering great historical significance along with its idyllic pathways that are shaded by oaks and maples. This expanse covers an area of 417 hectares, making the Englischer Garten larger than both Hyde Park in London and New York’s Central Park.
The Englischer Garten was commissioned by Elector Karl Theodor in 1789 and designed by American-born scientist Benjamin Thompson, whose creation was – as the name suggests – inspired by country parks in England. The park is home to about 60 species of birds as well as hedgehogs, squirrels, foxes, rabbits and hares, among other common varieties of garden wildlife.
The centrepiece is the Kleinhesseloher See, a large lake in the middle of the gardens where visitors can partake in activities like boating around the three islands that sit in the lake’s centre. Another feature is the Monopteros, an elegant stone building that’s perched on one of the park’s hills. From here, magnificent views of the city of Munich can be enjoyed, as well as the meadows of the Englischer Garten itself, said to be loveliest at sunset.
Visitors can also sample an array of dining and drinking options while in the park. Enjoy breakfast at Seehaus restaurant, located on the banks of the lake, or have a few drinks at the beer garden located adjacent to Chinesischer Turm, a 25-metre-high wooden structure finished in the late 18th century. Continuing the park’s Asian theme, a Japanese tea house, built in 1972, offers gloriously exotic brews along with regular Japanese tea ceremonies. Active visitors can also take advantage of the park’s extensive paths for running and cycling, which include more than 100 bridges and footbridges in this labyrinthine green space.