Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Surf's Up in Munich

We have some friends heading to Munich soon and I'm thinking of offering travel advice in exchange for a few souvenirs from the Sport Münzinger Munich on Marienplatz in downtown Munich. This football (soccer) superstore has three floors of everything you need to support your team, with a huge section dedicated to the reigning German champions and obsession of Little C&G, Bayern Munich. They're steamrolling their way through Europe and Little C&G might grow out of his jersey before the UEFA Champions League game in May.

I've already advised our friends to take Neuschwanstein Castle off their list. They had been planning on making the two hour drive from Munich to check it out, but after describing the whole experience (read my review here) they agreed a castle completed in 1884 wasn't the historic adventure they were looking for.

For a truly amazing and actual historic palace you don't need to leave Munich. Somehow the Residenz Museum didn't come up in their planning, but that's what I'm here for and now they're looking forward to touring the opulent home of Bavaria's last royal ruling family. You can check out our visit here and here, and I've also given them the name of the wine restaurant just outside the doors of the Residenz. There's only so much beer one can drink, even in the center of Munich.

One must-see attraction in Munich doesn't show up in most guidebooks and you certainly wouldn't know to Google "surfing" and "Munich" if you didn't read C&G. But hundreds of miles from the nearest ocean waves you'll find daredevils in wetsuits carrying their surfboards to ride the waves in the center of Munich and it's a sight you don't want to miss.

Water flows through the Eisbach canal into the Englisher Garden and the calm waters attract mostly naked (and sometimes totally naked, because you're in Europe) swimmers on warm days. At the southern tip of the garden the water rushes in just under the bridge on Prinzregentenstrasse and creates some incredible standing waves. It's purely experts only as they take turns leaping onto a wave and staying upright for as long as they can. When they tumble the current carries them down the stream into the calmer waters where they'll climb out and queue up for another run.

The Nationalmuseum/Haus der Kunst tram will drop you nearest the bridge and you can't miss the crowds watching the surfers. Blend in with the locals and bring picnic supplies and beverages to enjoy alongside the man-made canal. Or continue into the garden for something from one of the many biergartens. There aren't too many spots in the world where you can have schnitzel and raise your stein while watching the natives catching a few waves. Cheers to that, and now I'm headed to the bank to get some Euros for my Bayern Munich order.


  1. Wow, that's awesome! Surfing in Germany, who would've thought? I'll be sure to look out for that if I ever make my way to Munich in the (hopefully near!) future. Great post!

    1. It's definitely a unique experience! Hope you get to Munich very soon, it's a wonderful city. Bring your bathing suit! Cheers, Laura