Munich is the place for elite sports: football, basketball, tennis, rowing and horse riding championships attract large numbers of international visitors. It's also a leading destination for skiing, climbing and (river) surfing. Munich provides the perfect venue for pros, amateurs and sports fans alike.
A visitor coming out of the exhibition at the Haus der Kunst rubs his eyes in disbelief. Was that someone walking by with a surfboard under his arm? In December? His curiosity piqued, he pulls his hat down over his brow, puts his hands in his coat pockets and follows the mysterious figure dressed in a wetsuit. The spectators are crowded in amazement around the bridge over the Eisbach right next to the Haus der Kunst. On the waves beneath the bridge there's a surfer who looks like he's dancing on the water. The other river surfers wait patiently until it's their turn to ride the waves. Hardy joggers complete their circuits in the adjoining English Garden. If there's enough snow, they're joined by cross-country skiers. From the Monopterus, you can hear the children laughing and shouting as they speed downhill on their sledges. There are sledging hills and cross-country skiing trails all over the city, as well as jogging routes. Some of these can be found along the Isar, which, having been re-naturalised, now provides an even more ideal setting for active pursuits – running, cycling or even skimming stones! The Olympic Park is another inspiring venue that is extremely popular with amateur athletes. The local enthusiasm for sport first reached its pinnacle here over 40 years ago in 1972, when the Olympic flame was lit. Munich already had its fair share of football fans. However, since the 2006 FIFA World Cup fans of the beautiful game have flocked to the Allianz Arena to watch top matches. Munich's football players are great international ambassadors for the city. Schweinsteiger, Lahm and Robben are well-known names, even in far-off places. Beckenbauer as well, of course. On a tour behind the scenes at the stadium, a visit to the sensational Bayern Munich museum gives fans an opportunity to experience the world of their heroes close up. Other fantastic sports venues to visit include the indoor Olympic swimming pool, whose architecture still appears futuristic, and the Müller'sche Volksbad with its magnificent art nouveau ambience.
Guided cycling tours are a great way to get some exercise and discover fascinating facts about the city, while a tour of the tented roof at the Olympic Stadium is a truly Alpine experience – you can even catch a glimpse of the mountains in the distance.