When people (locals as well as travelers) refer to Schwabing, they most of the time have in mind the two rather different districts of Schwabing and Maxvorstadt, as well as the vast park of Englischer Garten (English Garden). However, Schwabing still is Munich's most versatile area, being home to various theaters, museums, several universities, the largest park in Europe, and shops that cater to those with money to burn. Schwabing's highlight is the Englischer Garten, with endless bike and hiking trails, the Eisbach stream, and the makeshift concerts that are put on for people's enjoyment, which makes this district the perfect place to end a day of sightseeing or a date.
There are next to no signs indicating the areas within Munich. Coming from autobahn A 9 in the north or autobahn A 8 in the west, just follow the signs to the city center and you will automatically get to the Schwabing area.
The main arteries serving the Schwabing area in north-south direction are Ludwigstraße and Leopoldstraße in the east of the district, and to a lesser degree Schleißheimerstraße in the west. The main connections between those are Mittlerer Ring (circular expressway around the extended center of Munich) in the north and the one-way streets Gabelsbergerstraße in western direction and Theresienstraße in eastern direction in the south. However, it is definitely not advisable to go to the Schwabing area by car. Though there is not too much traffic outside rush-hours, parking is very limited and usually only allowed for residents of the surrounding blocks.
By subway (U-Bahn)
- Subway lines U1 (dark green) and U7 (gold) run from Munich Central Station and stop at Stiglmaierplatz in the south-western corner of Schwabing.
- Subway line U2 (red) runs from Munich Central Station in northern direction and serves several stops, including Königsplatz. It covers the western part of the district.
- Subway lines U3 (orange) and U6 (blue) run from Marienplatz and follow Ludwig-/Leopoldstraße to serve the eastern part of Schwabing. Stops include Odeonsplatz, Universität (for the University of Munich LMU and Englischer Garten), and Münchner Freiheit. At Münchner Freiheit the U3 branches off to the west to stop at Petuelring in north-western Schwabing and proceed to the Olympic area, while the U6 continues in northern direction to Fröttmanning (for the Allianz Arena soccer stadium and a huge park-and-ride parking garage).
- Tram lines 20, 21, and 22 run from Munich Central Station along Dachauer Straße with several stops in south-western Schwabing, inlcuding Stiglmayerplatz.
- Tram lines 27 and 28 run from Karsplatz (Stachus) through Schwabing from south to north with a large number of stops along Barerstraße, Nordendstraße and Hohenzollernstraße, including Pinakotheken.
- Tram line 18 runs along the eastern edge of Englischer Garten and stops at Nationalmuseum/Haus der Kunst and Tivolistraße.
- Bus 100 (Museenlinie), with stops at all the museums in Schwabing, runs from Munich Central Station to Munich East.
As Schwabing is very bike-friendly, with bikeways along every larger street, and generally not too much traffic going by bike is probably the fastest way to get to the area. There are a plethora of bike rentals around the city.
Given that the area is rather centrally located just north of the city center, it is extremely accessible by foot. From Marienplatz, just walk north for a few minutes and you will get to Odeonsplatz on the southern edge of the Schwabing area.
Given the area's north-south extent of nearly 5 km the best way to get around the area are Tram lines 27 & 28, which run along the center of the Schwabing area in north-south direction, with several stops along the way. For travellers, who seeks independence from public transportation and are keen to explore the area on their own, renting a bicycle might be a good idea - there are a plethora of bike rentals around the city.
Museums and galleries
- Antikensammlung (State Collections of Antiques), Königsplatz (Subway U2: ''Königsplatz''), ☎ +49 89 59988830, . Tu-Su 10:00-17:00, W 10:00-20:00, closed on Mondays and major holidays. Ludwig I and his architect Leo von Klenze built a large square, Königsplatz, in classical style, including the Antikensammlung. Formerly an exhibition venue (for the first 60-plus years of its life), then a museum of modern art, the Antikensammlung swung back in the exact opposite direction by the 1960s. At that time, the building was restored to hold Ludwig I's vast collection of Greek and Roman antiquities. It has the largest Greek and Etruscan vase collection in the world after the British Museum and the Louvre. Facing the classical arch (Propyläen), the Antikensammlung is on the left and the Glyptothek is on the right. Adults: €3.50, Concessions: €2.50, Sundays: €1.
A masterpiece of Greek sculpture in the Glyptothek
- Glyptothek, Königsplatz (Subway U2: ''Königsplatz''), ☎ +49 89 286100, . Tu-Su 10:00-17:00, Th 10:00-20:00, closed on Mondays and major holidays. Another of King Ludwig's large collections is contained in the Glyptothek: one of the greatest Greek and Roman sculpture collections in all of Germany. The collection is based around a core of sculptures, the Aeginetes, excavated by English and German explorers at the island temple on Aegina early in the nineteenth century. It was built by imperial architect Leo von Klenze for the King and completed in 1830. Though almost entirely destroyed in World War II, the museum was heavily renovated and opened again to the public in 1972. There also is a very nice cafe located here that extends to the lovely courtyard, weather permitting. Adults: €3.50, Concessions: €2.50, Sundays: €1.
- Lenbachhaus, Luisenstraße 33 (Subway U2: ''Königsplatz''), ☎ +49 89 23332000, . F-Su 10:00-18:00. The main building is closed due to construction works until May 2013; the underground gallery is open though.. A very important stop for Expressionist art lovers, this impressive collection in the former villa of Munich aristocracy includes numerous famous examples of the artistic group known as Der Blaue Reiter ('The Blue Rider'). A must see if you have time in the museum district, this gem is located just across the street to the left of the Glyptothek (Königsplatz). Across the street, there is an underground gallery (entrance through the underground station across the street) that often exhibits seldom seen works by renowned names. Make sure to see the outdoor exhibits that are found on the lots facing the Propyläen. The main building is closed due to construction works until May 2013; the underground gallery is open though. Adults: €8, Concessions: €4.
- Museum Brandhorst, Theresienstraße 35a (Tram 27: ''Pinakotheken''), ☎ +49 89 238052286, . Tu-Su 10:00-18:00, Th 10:00-20:00, closed on Mondays and major holidays. Most recent addition to Munich's museum district. A collection of modern and contemporary art including paintings, sculptures and installations with a focus on the artists Andy Warhol and Cy Twombly. Adults: €7, Concessions: €5, Sundays: €1.
- Alte Pinakothek, Barer Straße 27 (Tram 27: ''Pinakotheken''), ☎ +49 89 23805216, . Tu-Su 10:00-18:00, Tu 10:00-20:00, closed on Mondays and major holidays. Contains hundreds of great European masterworks dating from the fourteenth to the eighteenth centuries, including the largest Rubens collection in the world. The Alte Pinakothek recently underwent a major four-year closing and renovation, but now has reopened again. Adults: €7, Concessions: €5, Sundays: €1.
- Neue Pinakothek, Barer Straße 29 (Tram 27: ''Pinakotheken''), ☎ +49 89 23805195, . W-M: 10:00-18:00, W 10:00-20:00, closed on Tuesdays and major holidays. The Neue Pinakothek's collection includes 19th European paintings and sculptures, and has also been recently renovated. Perhaps the most popular of the Pinakotheks, there is also a very nice cafe here. Adults: €7, Concessions: €5, Sundays: €1.
- Pinakothek der Moderne, Barer Straße 40 (Tram 27: ''Pinakotheken''), ☎ +49 89 23805360, . Tu-Su 10:00-18:00, Tu 10:00-20:00, closed on Mondays and major holidays.. Features 20th and 21st century art. Go there if you're interested in frighteningly modern art. The building's architecture is quite interesting. If the exhibition is too modern for your tastes, the other two Pinakotheken are just across the street. Due to major construction works the Pinakothek der Moderne will be closed from February 2013 until September 2013. Adults: €10, Concessions: €7, Sundays: €1.
Parks and monuments
- Alter Botanischer Garten (Old Botanic Garden), Sophienstraße (Subway U1, U2, U4, U5, U7: ''Munich Central Station''). In 1804-1814 originally built to be a botanical garden, Old Botanic Garden was rearanged to serve as a park in 1914. It used to be the site of the Glass Palace (Glaspalast) from its construction in 1854 until this exheibiton center burned down in 1931. Today, the main objects of interest are a clssicistic gate and the Founatin of Neptun (Neptunbrunnen).
- Nördlicher Englischer Garten (Northern English Garden), (Subway U6: ''Dietlindenstraße'' & ''Studentenstadt''), . At over twice the size of New York's Central Park and dating back to 1789, the Englischer Garten begins at the very center of Munich just north of the Residenz museum and Odeonsplatz, and continues north just over 5 km. The park is divided into two distinct sections by the circular city expressway called Mittlerer Ring. The northern half of the park is connected to the southern section by a pedestrian bridge close to the Hirschau beer garden. Whereas the southern section is graced with open meadows and is densely populated, this section has a quieter, rural feel, with forest lots interspersed with fields graced with beautiful wildflowers in summer. You may even come across a herd of sheep, watched over by a shepherd in traditional clothing and his German shepherd dogs. Quiet streams run through the park, as well as many bicycle and pedestrian trails. Indeed, the very best way to see this park is to rent a bicycle and explore. This is also the best way to reach the Aumeister beer garden in the very north of the park.
Chinesischer Turm is one of the main landmarks of Englischer Garten.
- Südlicher Englischer Garten (Southern English Garden), (Subway U3 & U6: ''Odeonsplatz'' & ''Universität''), . The southern section starts near Odeonsplatz and the Residenz museum, and extends north along the students' quarter of Schwabing. More populated than the northern section, a surprisingly high number of people utilize their lunch break to lay in the sun in the Garden. Here you'll see all kinds of activity, such as joggers, cyclists, strollers, skateboard and roller blades, riders on horseback, even surfboarders in wet suits taking advantage of currents under a bridge. Tourists are generally amused - or scandalized - by nude sunbathers, who may be encountered in any quiet section of the park on a warm day, but tend to congregate in the "official" area beside a small tributary of the Isar river that runs through the park. The Chinesischer Turm beer garden is located at the center of this part of Englischer Garten. The southern half of the park is connected to the northern section by a pedestrian bridge beside the Seehaus beer garden. At most times you can see a bunch of people trying to surf on the Eisbach near Haus der Kunst at the very southern tip of the Garden.
- Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower), (Subway U3 & U6: ''Münchner Freiheit''). The Chinese Tower in the center of the English Garden is a 25 m high pagoda with several stories, constructed in 1789 to 1790, and rebuilt after World War II in 1952. Nowadays, it is surrounded by a beer garden and a Bavarian oompah band is performing on the 2nd story during its opening hours.
- Monopteros, (Subway U3 & U6: ''Universität''). The Monopteros is a small neo-classical greek temple on a hilltop, built in 1836 in the English Garden. It provides a great few over the park and Munich with the Bavarian Alps in the background.
- Obelisk at Karolinenplatz, (Tram 27 & 28: ''Karolinenplatz''). The obelisk stands at the center of circular Karolinenplatz square. Due to its location at the intersection of three wide road axis, it is visible from afar. It was errected in 1833 in commemoration of the soldiers, who were killed participating in the Napoleonic invasion of Russia in 1812.
- Walking Man, (Subway U3 & U6: ''Giselastraße''). This 17 m tall sculpture stands besides Leopoldstraße. It embodies a man hurrying down the street - hence the name.
- Königsplatz, Königsplatz (Subway U2: ''Königsplatz''). The Königsplatz is a wide open square, surrounded by European classicist buildings. Planned as the "Athens on the Isar", it was originally framed on three sides by the Doric Propylaea (Propyläen), the Ionic Glyphothek, and the Antikensammlung. During the Third Reich in Germany several structures were added on the once open side of the square, some of which still exist today.
- Odeonsplatz, Odeonsplatz (Subway U3 & U6: ''Odeonsplatz''). The Odeonsplatz is a square at the southern end of the wide Ludwigstraße boulevard and northern beginning of the historic city center. It comprises the Italian high-Baroque style Theatine Church (Theatinerkirche) to the east, the Field Marshals' Hall (Feldherrnhalle) to the south, and the Munich Residence (Münchner Residenz) to the east of the square.
- Siegestor and Geschwister-Scholl-Platz, Geschwister-Scholl-Platz (Subway U3 & U6: ''Universität''). The Siegestor, a triumphal arch originally dedicated to the glory of the Bavarian army, stands at the northern end of the Ludwigstraße boulevard. Heavily damaged during World War II, it was reconstructed as a reminder to peace. Just south of the arch is the Geschwister-Scholl-Platz, a square named after the founders of a resistance movement during World War II. The circular plaza is surrounded by the buildings of the main campus of the University of Munich (LMU).
- Bicycling. Why not go for a bike ride or guided bike tour and explore Munich from the seat of a bicycle? Englischer Garten and the whole of Munich is lined with bike trails. Some bike tour operators offer guided bike tours of Munich, which take you through the Englischer Garten. Some of these tours will stop at a beer garden for a break.
- Surfing on the Eisbach, near ''Haus der Kunst'' (Subways U4 & U5: ''Lehel''; Tram 18: ''Nationalmuseum/Haus der Kunst''). Who needs the ocean or a beach when you can surf in the Englischer Garten? Near Haus der Kunst, the Eisbach creates a standing wave. During the summer time, there are always a lot of surfers at this spot. As the wave is not created intentionally, there is no possibility to rent surfboards. The location is on the north side of Prinzregentenstraße at the intersection with Bruderstraße.
- Alter Simpl, Türkenstraße 57 (Subway U3/U6: ''Universität''), ☎ +49 89 2723083, . M-Th 11:00-03:00, F-Su 11:00-04:00. The Alter Simpl is a traditional restaurant not far from the university. During the early 20th century it used to be one of the main meeting points of Munich's artistic community. Since then its significance declined, but it is still a nice place to grab some decently priced food, some beers and have a chat. Food is served until one hour before closing time.
- Atzinger, Schellingstraße 9 (Subway U3/U6: ''Universität''), ☎ +49 89 282880, . Daily 09:00-01:00. A Bavarian-style restaurant, where you can get traditional food as well as your standart burgers and fries. It was renovated and reopend in 2008. Located just across the street from the University of Munich (LMU) it attracts a lot of students and has an according atmosphere and prices.
- Bistro Cezanne, Konradstraße 1, ☎ +49 89 391805, . Tu-Su from 18:00, closed on Mondays. Authentic Gallic restaurant in the heart of Munich's bohemian quarter, chef Patrick Geay serves fine, tasty produce with a French flavor. Professional service by smartly attired waiters. Reservations are recommended for this highly sought after restaurant.
- Tantris, Johann-Fichte-Straße 7, . Tu-Sa 12:00-15:00 & 18:30-01:00, closed on Sundays, Mondays, and public holidays. With one of Germany's best chefs at the helm, expect to be impressed with an array of delectable dishes at Tantris. Consistently ranked one of the top five dining establishment in the country, prepare to pay a high price for nouvelle cuisine, but once you have a bite of one of their specialties, you'll be assured that the bill at the end is worth it.
Beer halls & Pubs
- Löwenbräukeller, Nymphenburgerstraße 2 (Subways U1 & U7: ''Stiglmaierplatz''), ☎ +49 89 54726690, . Daily 10:00-00:00. Traditional beer hall with an adjoining beer garden in the Maxvorstadt district.
- The Shamrock, Trautenwolfstraße 6 (Subways U3 & U6: ''Giselastraße''), ☎ +49 89 331081, . Tu-Th 19:00-02:00, F 18:00-04:00, Sa 18:00-04:00, closed on Sundays and Mondays. Atmospheric Irish pub, with live music playing frequently. Fridays and Saturdays tend to get very crowded, with locals wanting to get a taste of the Irish.
- Aumeister, Sondermeierstraße 1 (Subway U6: ''Studentenstadt''), ☎ +49 89 18931420, . Tu-Su 09:00-23:00. Located at the very north end of Englischer Garten, Aumeister is considered to be one of Munich's most beautiful beer gardens. It is a favourite of locals and mostly unknown to tourists. The restaurant on site dates back to 1810 and was originally one of Prince Regent Luitpold's hunting lodges. Large playground on site. It is a 10 minute walk from the Studentenstadt or Freimann stations on the U6 subway line, but the very best way to get there is by bicycle through the park.
- Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower), Englischer Garten (Subway U3 & U6: ''Universität''), ☎ +49 89 38666390. One of the best-known beer gardens in Munich is the Chinesischer Turm in the center of the Englischer Garten. This piece of chinoiserie doesn't seem out of place at all after a few good beers. Oompah bands play from the second story of the pagoda on summer weekends. Beer (1L): €7.
- Hirschau, Gyßlingstraße 15 (Subway U6: ''Dietlindenstraße''), ☎ +49 89 3221080, . Daily 11:00-23:00. With a live jazz band playing at weekends, this is not a typical beer garden. It is not too crowded and a good place to linger over a drink or two.
- Max Emanuel Brauerei (MaxE), Adalbertstraße 33 (Tram 27 & 28: ''Schellingstraße''), ☎ +49 89 2715158, . Daily 11:00-23:00. This hidden beer garden in the heart of the Maxvorstadt district is very popular among the locals. It's the place, where students and professors of the nearby universities gather to have a few beers and a friendly chat among the shade of chestnut trees. Beer (1L): €7.20.
- Seehaus, Kleinhesselohe 3 (Subway U3 & U6: ''Münchner Freiheit''), ☎ +49 89 3816130, . Daily 10:00-01:00. A lovely beer garden at the shore of a small lake in the center of Englischer Garten. The beer garden and surrounding structures (artistically configured boathouse) were designed by the locally famous architect Gabriel von Seidl in the late 19th century. Enjoy a beer and great Bavarian fast-food on the banks of a lake while boaters drift by.
- Wintergarten, Elisabethplatz 4b (Take 27 & 28: ''Elisabethmarkt''), ☎ +49 89 27373134, . Daily 10:00-01:00. This is a very small beer garden, where mostly locals go and tourist are virtually unheard of. It has a small playground with swings, a slide and sand close enough for you to be able to watch your kids playing. It is located next to a grouping of market stalls where you can buy fresh and locally produced fruits and vegetables or freshly caught fish. Sometimes live music is played there, which is usually Bavarian music.
Clubs and Discos
- Crash, Ainmillerstraße 10 (Subways U3 & U6: ''Giselastraße''), ☎ +49 89 391640, . Th 20:00-01:00, F-Sa 21:00-04:00. Currently an "in" disco for youngsters. One of the few discos where there is something happening before midnight. You can get in from 16 onwards (but are chucked out at midnight, or refused entry if it's too full if you're under 18). You need your some photo ID to get in, otherwise there's no entry. Best to get there before the opening time, because the queue can get really long.
- Park Café, Sophienstraße 7 (near ''Munich Central Station''), ☎ +49 89 51617980, . M-F from 11:00, Sa-Su from 10:00. The Parkcafé is Munich's magnificent "dance temple", situated behind the picturesque Old Botanical Garden. It has a relaxing chill out area in the form of a beer garden (which closes at 23:00). The in-crowd, who appreciates and perpetuates the little refinements of this club, meet here. The bar in the rear is decorated bright red, in front are comfortable sofas and a golden chandelier in the entrance flatters the illustrious guests. The music stretches from black to house music.
- Podium, Wagnerstraße 1 (Subways U3 & U6: ''Münchner Freiheit''), ☎ +49 89 399482, . Su-Th 20:00-01:00, F-Sa 20:00-03:00. Looking for some live classic rock? This may be your place. Located a block away from the bustling Leopoldstraße/Münchner Freiheit, there's almost always a live rock band on stage - usually playing 60's/70's/80's rock and sometimes you may be fortunate enough to catch some original material. Also there is the occasional live jazz.
- Fleming's Hotel Munich, Leopoldstraße 130-132 (Subways U3 & U6: ''Münchner Freiheit''), ☎ +49 89 2060900, . This 4 star hotel showcases a contemporary design, with a high standard of elegance in all rooms. Fleming's Brasserie offers dining and a range of take-away dishes. Double from €130. Early bird rebates.
- Hotel-Pension Theresia Regina, Luisenstraße 51 (Subway U2: ''Theresienstraße''), ☎ +49 89 521250, . Budget hotel that delivers a clean and comfortable stay. Decor is a bit dated but for the rate and considering the location, it's good value. Double (shared lavatories) from €52, Double (own lavatories) from €70.
- Café Netzwerk, Luisenstraße 11 (Subway U2: ''Königsplatz''), ☎ +49 89 54832700, . M 11:00-18:00, Tu 11:00-15:00, W-F 11:00-18:00. A stylish internet cafe, where you can rent desktop computers. It normally has a rather young patronage, because the owner focuses on teaching kids how to critically handle the media.
- Coffee Fellows, Leopoldstraße 70 (Subway U3 & U6: ''Münchner Freiheit''), ☎ +49 89 38898470, . M-Th 07:00-22:00, F 07:00-23:00, Sa 08:00-23:00, Su 09:00-22:00. The Schwabing franchise is the parent house of the German coffee bar chain Coffee Fellows. It provides a free wireless internet access. free WiFi.