Doreen and I spent the Easter weekend visiting Munich for the first time. While the weather was occasionally wet and cold, we managed a very fun 50-kilometre bike ride on Saturday.
We had planned to use the bike-share program – but walking Friday evening we never saw a single station. I downloaded an app for their “nextbike” program and the nearest place with bikes was several kilometres away. Disappointing. But we found an excellent rental store in the hauptbahnhof (Main Train Station) beside track 33. For just € 14,50 each, we rented hybrids for the entire day. More comfortable than the standard heavy bike-share bike found in many cities. Excellent.
This is our seventh “city-bike weekend” in a big European city. I would rate Munich as an excellent place to visit on a bike. The other six with links to details – Excellent: Paris, Torino, Vienna, and Berlin. Good: London. Better without a bike: Rome.
Munich is full of signed bike routes, and most big roads have a dedicated bike lane. It’s a comfortable place to ride. Our plan – see map below – was simple. Visit the Olympiapark (1972 Olympics), ride through the Englischer Garten, and search for routes along the Isar river.
The Olympiapark was a great surprise. It is wide open parkland, with bike paths past stadiums, fields, river/lakes, etc. Lovely.
At Olympiapark we found a signed cycle route to the Englischer Garten, one of the largest urban parks in Europe. It was several kilometres to the park on bike paths beside city streets. Good urban planning. We even passed a little market: Apple dumpling cake snacks (woohoo)!
We entered the north part of the park and headed further north away from the main sites. We left the park and joined a series of wooded, smooth gravel roads (no cars permitted) that ran alongside the Isar river. We crossed a couple of bridges to explore both sides. Fantastic. And we could have gone much further on these great roads. But hunger turned us around to enjoy a tasty Bavarian lunch back in the park.
After lunch, we explored more of the park. There are paths everywhere, clearly signed as either pedestrian-only or fine for bikes. It’s a lovely place. We even saw some guys river surfing – see photo below.
Next, we left the garden and briefly explored the Isar river to the south. Again, it’s a signed bike path, along the river passing the Deutsches Museum.
Finally, we cut through the centre of the city (better explored on foot) as we returned to the station where we started.
Sunday, given a very wet forecast, we decided to take a train to Nürnberg (Nuremberg). They have a city-bike program but we decided to stay on foot. But we loved the historic town. So beautiful, and surprisingly quiet on Easter Sunday.
This was a very fun weekend. I have no doubt there are lots of other excellent cycling possibilities around both cities but I can happily recommend our mapped route below.
A few more photos: