Barbecue and sunbathing in Munich

The summer has finally arrived in Munich. After three weeks of awful weather, the time for some outside fun has come. In summer barbecue, sunbathing and swimming are three of the best things one can do in the city. No matter if you live in Munich or you are just visiting. You have to try them all.

Read below for more information on how and where to do them all right in Munich:

The official site of the city of Munich provides information on the only six public areas where you are allowed to barbecue in the city. If you use common sense then you should be fine… or not?... since you are in Germany, your common sense might not reach to fulfill all the German rules… so read and follow their rules if you want to avoid a fine and an embarrassing situation with the local police. 

Some of the rules include:
Use only gas or charcoal barbecues, bonfire is not allowed (fair enough); 
Keep a distance between your fire and the trees, bushes, dried up grass and other flammable surfaces (ok, this is common sense); 
Be careful with the “flying” fire sparks (also common sense);
Organized parties are not allowed (this one I do not get). You need to coordinate with your friends to meet at a place and bring all that it is needed for a BBQ… so it is going to be an organized get-to-together any way… do they refer then to not to invite too many people?... or do they mean not to be loud like in a “party loud”?... or do they say “please do not hire a Dj”?... still not sure about this one. If you do, please let me know;
And of course the last rule: clean up after, but not only that, dispose the trash at the designated places or (as they suggest) take the trash with you home (!) so you can dispose it (recycle it properly) when you get home.

The places were a barbecue is allowed:
At the lakes around the city: Feldmochinger See, Fasaneriesee, Lerchenauer See; Langwieder See and Lußsee/Birkensee
In the Hirschgarten
In the Ostpark
In the Westpark
At the Isar (north and south areas)

Check the maps on the official site to make sure you do your BBQ where it is allowed. If you do not understand German, just click in the links: the red area in every map is where you are allowed to barbecue.

So far I have only tried the Isar-south area. On a weekend was crowded, but we managed to find a spot. So go for it! It was great and it would be great when you do it, just keep in mind that there is a distance between where you park your car and where you barbecue. This means that you and your friends, like me and mine, will need to be able to carry all stuff for a 10 minute walk before you reach the destination. Just keep that in mind…

Barbecue in your terrace:
I live in a third floor and have a balcony big enough to fit two chairs and a small table. Is my balcony big enough to be allowed to make a barbecue on Munich? Does the size matter?

No. After a year of reading about this in articles, comments in forums and news, I have come to the conclusion that the size does not matter. It is not the fact that my balcony is small, it is the fact that I have neighbors above and that my balcony comes out to a private small patio that connects to many other neighbors. 

My understanding is that under those conditions you are not allowed to barbecue in your balcony (with charcoal). I should probably check with the city council before going for a full no, and I will, but in the meantime, let me tell you that:

Apparently you are allowed to use an electric barbecue in your balcony but not gas or charcoal. And in some buildings, you need to check with your tenant and neighbors before. Gas/charcoal are not allowed because of the smoke. 
However I see people hosting barbecues all the time in their small balconies and they use charcoal… so I conclude that if it is not allowed people do it anyway. I guess that if the neighbors do not complain, they get away with it… 
There is an official site explaining where you can barbecue outdoors in the city in Munich, but there is not or it is very very difficult to find one that explains regulations about a barbecue in your balcony. I have not been able to find it, in English nor in German. The city offers an email service where you can write and post your questions about BBQ in Munich. I will email then with the question and as soon as I get an answer, I will let you know. (The email is:

If it is sunny you can find people sunbathing in every green spot in the city. A few suggestions in the city center:

Englisher Garten: anywhere along the river Isar in the Englisher Garten. 

Gärtner Platz: this one not in a bikini but it is the best place to go on a Saturday/Sunday afternoon to sit on the grass, to enjoy a drink, the sun on your face and a good conversation with friends. And if the evening arrives and you are still there, just enjoy the atmosphere of so many locals gathering around.

The Isar riverbank south from the Deutsches Museum: in the “Frühlingsanlangen”. This is for me THE BEACH of Munich. North there are also some spots you should try.

The Munich beach bar changes its location every year. In 2012 is located in Haidhausen, crossing the Zweibrückenstrasse-Ludwicksbrücke. 

Any biergarten in the city. If it is sunny, they will pull out tables and chairs.
The roof terrace of the Mandarin hotel in Munich is amazing! You just need to be prepared to pay a lot for a drink. If you are, the view is unbelievable. 

There are also other roof terraces where you can sit and enjoy a drink and the sun in your face without paying so much… one is in the department store Oberpollinger two minutes from Stachus and five from Marienplatz.

In the city center:  I only know about the Isar bank, south the Deutsches Museum, a metro station away from Marienplatz. I am unsure if it is allowed, I can only say everyone does it and if you go there, you will not be the first nor the last in getting into the water.

I need to investigate and learn more about the outdoor pools in the city. I will soon, but in the meantime, please let me know other places you know to sunbath or swim in the city. 

Where do you go on a sunny day in Munich?

Related posts:
The River Isar I and II


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