Schwabing is one of Munich's most bohemian districts and most expensive residential areas. The large number of shops, restaurants, and cafés along the district's main boulevards Leopoldstraße and Hohenzollernstraße cater mostly to those with money to burn. The hamlet of Schwabing was originally founded in the 8th century and therefore is much older than Munich itself, which was founded in the 12th century. It was incorporated in the city of Munich in 1890. In the 19th and 20th century, Schwabing reached its zenith of cultural importance. Many famous litterateurs and painters were living in the area by that time. Schwabing was also location of the Schwabing riots in 1962, the overture of the student revolt in Germany in the late 1960s. The English Garden (German: Englischer Garten), a large public urban park, created in 1789-1792, is directly east of Schwabing. With an area of 370 ha (910 acres) it is bigger than New York's Central Park or London's Hyde Park. It is designed as a informal landscape park, which was popular in the late 18th century. Following the style, the English Garden has a number of eye-catchers like temples, a teahouse, pavilions, and a pagoda, but the main features still are meadows, a gently rolling terrain, ponds, and a forest background. Since the 1966 the English Garden is devided into a southern and northern part by the Mittlerer Ring expressway. On days with fine weather Munich's English Garden nowadays is the main recreational area of the locals (and especially the students of the nearby universities) to sunbath, relax, and have a beer or two. Vast open meadows, nearly 80 km (50 mi) of biking trails, hiking trails, and bridleways make it a perfect place for any kind of sports activity. During summertime it is also the venue of makeshift concerts and gratis performances. The area of Schwabing and English Garden is bounded roughly by the Isar river to the east, Georgenstraße to the south, Schleißheimerstraße to the west, and Petuelring (B 2R), autobahn A 9, and Föhringer Ring to the north.
Being one terminus of autobahn A 9, the area is easily reachable by car from the north by using the exits Frankfurter Ring (75) or Schwabing (76). From all other directions, the most convinient way to get to the area is Mittlerer Ring (B 2R), Munich's circular city expressway.
The main arteries serving the Schwabing area in north-south direction are Leopoldstraße and Ungererstraße in the east of the district, and Schleißheimerstraße in the west. The main connections between those are Mittlerer Ring (circular expressway around the extended center of Munich) in the north, Rheinstraße/Karl-Theodor-Straße in the center, and Franz-Joseph-Straße in the south. However, arriving in the area by car isn't the best idea. Though traffic outside rush-hours is mosly low, parking is very limited and usually only allowed for residents of the surrounding blocks with special parking permits.
By subway (U-Bahn)
- Subway line U2 (red) runs from Munich Central Station in northern direction and serves several stops, including Hohenzollernplatz and Scheidplatz. It covers the western part of the district.
- Subway lines U3 (orange) and U6 (blue) run from Marienplatz and follow Leopoldstraße north to serve the eastern part of Schwabing and the English Garden. Stops include Universität (for the English Garden), 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 27 and 28 run from Karsplatz (Stachus) through Schwabing from south to north with a large number of stops along Nordendstraße and Belgradstraße, including Kurfürstenplatz, Scheidplatz, and Petuelring.
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.
English Garden is directly adjacent to the north of the historic city center of Munich and therefore very easily reachable on foot. To get to Schwabing proper on foot, you'll need to walk approx. 20 min north along Ludwigstraße to reach the southern tip of the district at the University of Munich.
Given the area's not too small north-south extent the best way for the not too sporty traveler to get around in the area are Tram lines 27 & 28, which run along the center of the Schwabing area in north-south direction, or subway line U6 for the English Garden and the easternmost parts of the district. Tram line 23 runs in the very north and serves the rather residential neighborhoods there. For travellers, who seeks independence from public transportation and are keen to explore the area on their own, renting a bicycle is the best idea - there are a plethora of bike rentals around the city and there are bike lanes along every larger street.
Parks and monuments
- Northern English Garden (Nördlicher Englischer Garten), (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.
- Southern English Garden (Südlicher Englischer Garten), (Subway U3 & U6: ''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.
- Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm), (Subway U3 & U6: ''Münchner Freiheit''). The Chinese Tower in the center of the English Garden is a 25 m (82 ft) 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.
- Walking Man, (Subway U3 & U6: ''Giselastraße''). This 17 m (55 ft) tall sculpture stands besides Leopoldstraße. It embodies a man hurrying down the street - hence the name.
- Nordfriedhof (Northern Cemetery), Ungererstraße 130 (Subway U6: ''Nordfriedhof''), . Nov-Feb 08:00-17:00, Mar 08:00-18:00, Apr-Aug 08:00-20:00, Sep-Oct 08:00-19:00. Nordfriedhof is known for its many formerly famous patrons like Johannes "Jopi" Heesters, its impressive funeral home and morgue, and a so called grove of honor for the victims of the World War II allied air raids. free of charge.
- 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.
- Dancing at ''Kocherlball'', Chinese Tower in the English Garden (ubway U3 & U6: ''Münchner Freiheit''), . 21 Jul 2013, 06:00-10:00. Each year on one early morning in July, young people gather at the Chinese Tower in the English Garden to perform a Bavarian folk dance. And the best thing is: everbody can participate. Originally a dance for servants and house maids, the event was revived in 1989 for the bicentennial of the English Garden. An insider tip for the first years, the Kocherlball today attracts up 15,000 participants and spectators. free of charge.
- 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.
Christmas fairs (Christkindlmarkt)
- Christmas fair at the Chinese Tower (Weihnachtsmarkt am Chinesischen Turm), Englischer Garten (Subway U3 & U6: ''Münchner Freiheit''), ☎ +49 89 38387320, . Beginning of December until Christmas Eve: M-F 12:00-20:30, Sa-Su 11:00-20:30. The Christmas fair at the heart of the English Garden is probably the most romantic of Munich's Christkindlmärkte.
- Schwabing Christmas fair (Schwabinger Weihnachtsmarkt), Münchner Freiheit (Subway U3 & U6: ''Münchner Freiheit''), . End of November until Christmas Eve: M-F 12:00-20:30, Sa-Su 11:00-20:30. Schwabing Christmas Fair is a rather artistic Christkindlmarkt at Münchner Freiheit. Enjoy some mulled wine while browsing the market for some art or admiring the elaborate architecture of the newly built tram terminal at the square.
- Bistro Cezanne (French), 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.
- Garbo (Italian), Kaiserstraße 67 (Tram 27 & 28: ''Kurfürstenplatz''), ☎ +49 89 349359, . Su-W 11:00-01:00, Th-Sa 11:00-02:00. A cozy restaurant with a real Italian flair and very polite and attentive service personal. The pizzas (prepared in a wood stove) will make you feel as if you actually were in Italy. Pizza €9.50, Pasta €9.
- Seerose (Italian), Feilitzschstraße 32 (Subways U3 & U6: ''Münchner Freiheit''), ☎ +49 89 4613314 20, . M-F 11:30-01:00, Sa-Su 10:00-01:00. The restaurant embodies the typical combination of Schwabing and Italian restaurant - cozy atmosphere, jovial service personal, and authentic Italian food. You get the feel of a real Tuscan restaurant Pasta: €18.
- Tantris (Haute cuisine), 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.
Bars & Pubs
- Schwabinger 7, Feilitzschstraße 15 (Subway U3 & U6: ''Münchner Freiheit''), ☎ +49 89 348470. Su-Th 20:00-01:00, F-Sa 20:00-03:00. The Schwabinger 7 has a reputation of one of Munich's worst drinking holes (probably not without reason) and one of the best palces to party if music isn't a factor. Due to the low prices, the pub is very popular among students. Fun fact: the pub had to move after 60 years at the same position to make space for a new housing project. After the old building was torn down, workers found and old unexploded World War II bomb underneath it. In a failed attempt to defuse it, the surrounding houses took considerable damage. Beer: €3.
- 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. It offers 2,500 seats.
- 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. Offering 7,500 seats Chinesischer Turm is the second biggest beer garden in Munich. 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. The 1,700 seats normally don't get too crowded and that makes Ausmeister a good place to linger over a drink or two.
- Seehaus, Kleinhesselohe 3 (Subway U3 & U6: ''Münchner Freiheit''), ☎ +49 89 3816130, . Daily 10:00-01:00. A lovely beer garden with 2,500 seats 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
- De Niro, Leopoldstraße 27 (Subways U3 & U6: ''Giselastraße''), ☎ +49 171 1119407, . W 22:00-05:30, F-Sa 22:00-05:30. The club was refurbished in 2012 and opened at the center of Schwabing. The music style is varies between RnB and hip-hop. On Saturdays larger groups of guys have a hard time getting beyond the bouncer. Beer (0.33L): €3.50.
- 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.
- Zum Jennerwein, Belgradstraße 27 (Subway U3: '' Hohenzollernplatz''), ☎ +49 89 3087221, . Su-Th 20:00-01:00, Fr-Sa 20:00-03:00. Established in 1962, the Jennerwein hasn't changed much since then. It still has the same interior and also kept the special offer - 3 Jägermeister for a bargain. The music styles vary, with a focus on rock, indie, and alternative (but always far from the mainstream). The club normally is very well frequented.
- Frederics Serviced Apartments, Hohenzollernplatz 7 (Subway U2: ''Hohenzollernplatz''), ☎ +49 89 45243895, . These are basic apartments with nice furnishing and a kitchenett in the heart of Schwabing. Appartment from €49.
- Cosmopolitan Hotel, Hohenzollernstraße 5 (Subways U3& U6: ''Münchner Freiheit''), ☎ +49 89 383810, . The city hotel is centrally located in the heart of Schwabing at Leopoldstraße, with only a 5 minute walk to the English Garden. The breakfast will be served as a buffet and guests can use the wireless Internet for free. Double from 135.
- 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.
- Mövenpick Hotel Munich Airport, Ludwigstrasse 43, ☎ +49 811 888 0, . 4 star hotel with 165 modern and upscale hotel rooms located only 8 minutes from Munich Airport.
- 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 free wireless internet access. free WiFi.
Olympic Park - If you liked hanging around English Garden, you might want to see the Olympic Park, a more modernly landscaped park, built for the 1972 Summer Olympics, to the west of Schwabing.
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