13 Of The Breathtaking Lakes Near Munich You MUST Visit
We visited, enjoyed, grilled, rode bikes and more near best Munich lakes.
Looking for the best lakes in Munich to have a relaxing time? Don’t worry, we’ve been to some of them and wanted to share the best ones and give our unique insights into each of them. Number 13 is our favorite.
Whether you’re seeking perfect summer swims or cozy winter wonderlands, you can dive into our list of the region’s top lakes and discover the essence of Bavaria.
Keep reading to find out how to reach these stunning destinations and plan your next-day trip (Insider tip: all the lakes in this guide are reachable from Munich’s Hauptbahnhof).
Did you know that you don’t have to drive far to find a beautiful lake in Bavaria? What’s more, you don’t even need a car. Munich is uniquely situated within a lake district, so even staying in the city to enjoy a day at a lake is an actual option here.
But before we jump into the top three lakes within the city limits, here is the first of many insider tips:
The health department tests all lakes in Munich for their water quality, and you can find the current stats on Munich’s official website.
#1 Feldmochinger See – the quickest escape
Surprised by an unexpected sunny day and have yet to make plans? Then head over to the Feldmochinger See, it’s the perfect oasis for a quick escape. More than 400 shade trees frame the body of water, which is the largest of Munich’s municipal lakes.
Route U2 to Feldmoching [15 minutes]
Best lake for groups as there are lots of spots for barbecuing, a large playground for kids, and a swimming area designed to accommodate people with disabilities. (Insider tip: this lake has a nude bathing section on the south-west shore, so dress, or undress accordingly.)
Here are some more impressions of the Feldmochinger See
#2 Fasaneriesee – the relaxing time-out
Do you want to escape the hectic city life and finally relax? Then this quaint and homey lake, framed by a winding path, might be just what you’re looking for. The green lawns are large and numerous so that even on the hottest days, when everyone flocks to water, you won’t have to fight for a spot.
Route S1 to München Fasanerie [15 minutes]
Best lake for families as the shallow shores and its playground options make it perfect for younger children. The restaurants around the lake are casual and comfortable. There are places to barbecue here too.
#3 Feringasee – the sporty alternative
Are you more the active type?
Well then the Feringasee is a great option. Even though it’s family friendly and unassuming, its pièce de résistance is the beach volleyball courts, which attract many active and sporty people.
Route S8 to Unterföhring [20 minutes]
Best lake for outdoor sports fans. The eastern shore has all the athletic fields and volleyball court, as well as a playground for kids. Swimming and water sports are accessed on the north side. And if someone joining you needs a nap, there is an area with grass and trees that is perfect for relaxing too.
Check out this family friendly walk around Feringasee
Lakes just outside of Munich
We’re sure you have heard of the next two lakes, as they are the most famous lake destinations amongst Müncheners. Keep reading to find out why.
#4 Starnberger See – where you can bathe in luxury
Are you looking for a place to impress your date? Or perhaps somewhere to take your relatives when they come to visit? Starnberger See with its summer tour boats and fancy restaurants is perfect for those special occasions. The 12 km long glacial lake and its shores are clean and well-kept, the views of the Alps (and the Zugspitze) are immaculate. So no matter the weather, this lake never disappoints.
Photo: Maurits Bausenhart
Route S6 to Starnberg – note: the lake is the stop after Starnberg Nord [30 minutes]
Best for half-day trips because you can enjoy a short walk and a swim as well as good dining at one of the restaurants in town or on the shore.
But if you have a whole day, we recommend combining your swim with a bike trip along the lake paths or a tour boat (April-October) to Berg, Seeshaupt or Tutzing.
(Insider tip: Be sure to make time for ice cream at the Eiswerkstatt on Kirchplatz or Gelatokay, two blocks from the train station.)
Here is a TripAdvisor review of the best restaurants on the Starnberger See.
#5 Ammersee – the all-in-one option
Are you unsure what you are looking for? Or maybe you just want a bit of everything?
Ammersee is more laid back than the Starnberger See, but offers similar luxuries. On top of that, it is the perfect space for all kinds of activities in and next to the water.
Route S8 to Herrsching [50 minutes]
Best for water sports such as rowing, sailing, and windsurfing. It is also great to visit with a bike, as the path around the lake takes you to many different little towns. (Insider tip: One of the perks of working in Munich is the option to commute in from some of Germany’s most beautiful nature).
#6 & #7 Wörthsee and Weßlinger See – commuters paradise
Formed by the same glacier that is responsible for the Ammersee and the Starnberger See, these two lakes are two more great options for a quick but worthwhile commute. In the summer, you can even enjoy a Venetian gondola ride on the Wörthsee. The Weßlinger See, on the other hand, is smaller and more intimate than the other three and therefore a quieter option.
Route S8 to Weßling or S8 to Steinebach/Wörthsee [30-40 minutes]
Best for seeing how nice being a commuter could be. Check out where the locals swim. Rent a paddle boat or SUP and enjoy the intimacy of these small lakes and lakeside communities.
Best lakes in Bavaria
If you are looking for lakes worthy of a field trip, some of Bavaria’s most breathtaking and picturesque lakes are still only an hour or so away from Munich.
#8 Chiemsee – aka the Bavarian Sea
If you feel a little landlocked in southern Germany, then check out the Chiemsee, Bavaria’s largest lake and home to three picturesque islands. Steeped in marshland and history, this lake definitely offers a majestic, one-of-a-kind atmosphere.
Photo by: http://mhphotographys.de/
Route RB to Prien am Chiemsee [1 hour]
Best for a cultural day trip visiting any or all of the three islands (ferry runs year-round)
The Krautinsel is the smallest island on Chiemsee. It is uninhabited but offers a great view of the other two islands.
The Fraueninsel is home to a Benedictine convent, where nuns make and sell their famous cloister liqueur and marzipan. (Insider tip: This island is also famous for its Christmas market.)
Finally, the Herreninsel is where you can visit one of King Ludwig’s famous opulent castles. (Insider tip: many of its rooms are open to tourists including some unfinished ones, take the tour and find out why.)
Read this article to help plan your activities while at Chiemsee
#9 Tegernsee – the one with the brewery
Do you want to experience a Bavarian tradition at its finest?
Then raise an authentic beer stein at the Tegernsee, where one of the royal breweries has been crafting beer here for more than a thousand years. Tegernsee is deeper and colder than the other lakes but it is the perfect setting for a several charming Bavarian villages.
Route BOB train to Tegernsee [1 hour]
Best for after a hiking trip in the fall or spring when the mountain air is at its most crisp and refreshing.
#10 & #11 Walchensee and Kochelsee – the two-in-one Alpine brothers
Are you looking for a rewarding hike with breathtaking views?
Well, the Walchensee and Kochelsee are two of the most spectacularly turquoise lakes in the world. They are in the same area, surrounded by mountains and best viewed from one of several hiking trails. Be sure to put the Bavarian Caribbean on the top of your bucket list.
Route: RB to Kochel and then train to Walchensee [1 hour and 20 minutes].
Best for intermediate and advanced hikers. The most popular trails are Jochberg, Heimgarten and Herzogstand, which all offer panoramic views of the crystal-clear waters from the top. Herzogstand also has a gondola for beginner and intermediate hikers who want to bypass the steep terrain to the alpine restaurant. (Insider tip: Kochelsee is also home to Therme Trimini, a wellness spa with a sauna that can seat about 300 people.)
#12 Eibsee – for the most photogenic view of the Zugspitze
Do you want to visit the Zugspitze without having to suffer through a steep hike or a costly cable car ride?
Then the Eibsee which is right at the foot of Germany’s tallest mountain combines the best of both worlds. This hidden gem of a lake offers a moderate 2 hour walking trail with breathtaking views of the Zugspitze and surrounding alps, all for the price of a small parking fee.
Route RB to Garmisch-Partenkirchen and then bus to Eibsee [2 hours].
Best for a picnic with friends especially when combined with a walk or bike ride along the flat loop trail.
Here is a vlog of a day at the Eibsee (if you want to visit it virtually first)
#13 Königsee – Bavaria’s most famous lake
Do you want to spend a couple of days surrounded by unparalleled natural beauty?
Then start planning an extended visit to the Königsee. Everyone has to see it at least once in their lives. It is a beauty to behold and as it’s included in most Bavarian travel guides, we recommend visiting during the off season, when it is less crowded.
Route Trains (with transfers) to Berchtesgaden and RVO bus to Königsee or Schöngau [2 hours and 15 minutes]
Best for a long-weekend getaway. Königsee is located in a national park and surrounded by rocks and mountains, which makes it harder to hike around. That said, there is a ferry ride that anyone can take to fully enjoy the pristine scenery.
Here is a detailed description of one of the best hikes near Königssee
We hope you found this guide to Munich’s lakes useful and inspiring. All of these destinations are unique and worth visiting. Depending on how much time you have, the season of the year, and the activity you are looking for, we hope you will make time for each one of them – and then tell us about your adventures.