In September, the crowds descend on Munich for the legendary Oktoberfest. The beer tents are bursting with stein-cradling merrymakers from all over the world. So if you’re headed to the city for Oktoberfest or any other reason, Munich travel is fascinating and full of surprises.

From the Lindehorf Palace to Oktoberfest celebrations, the city of Munich is a place of culture and discovery. So when you need a break to nurse that hangover, here are 6 lesser known but uniquely Bavarian experiences that you should include in your Munich travel plans to really get the pulse of this fascinating city:

Kanshoan Tea House

Tucked away in the Japanese Garden of the Englischer Garten (a large public park), the Kanshoan Tea House is a tranquil part of Munich that is a lesser-known, but stunning attraction. The teahouse was a gift from Japan as a gesture of friendship after World War II, with the purpose of introducing the tradition of the Japanese Tea Ceremony to Germany.

Munich, Germany

Englischer Garten. Photo: Polybert49 via Flickr

The main house shares philosophical practices rooted in the Buddhist religion, a center of the teahouse that embodies peace, solitude, and good will. You’ll be able to explore its history through demonstrations as you travel across its terrain; they’re open every second weekend of the month from April to October for the Japanese Tea Ceremony. It’s a beautiful place as a whole, ideal if you want to include a new experience in your Munich travel plan.

Munich, Germany

Kanshoan Tea House. Photo: Roger Walch via Flickr

Hirschgarten

Previously the Königlicher Hirschgarten, this historic restaurant in Munich is famous for having the largest beer garden in the city. The restaurant accommodates up to 500 guests in six beautifully decorated rooms, perfect for enjoying a traditional Bavarian dish. This Munich travel jewel is a must-see.

Munich, Germany

Hirschgarten Biergarten. Photo: giesing via Flickr

The rustic beer garden, on the other hand, seats up to 8,000 guests in an outdoor park. You can either sit at one of their traditional tables or under the shady chestnut trees. You can also select from five beverage bars. A popular one is their Augustine beer, one that’s directly from the barrel and is the best beer brewed in Munich.

Munich, Germany

Hirschgarten Biergarten. Photo: Nick Sheck via Flickr

Eisbachwelle

Surfing doesn’t exactly mean that you have to travel all the way to the ocean. At Eisbachwelle, you can surf all you want in this 2-kilometer man-made river, open all year round. Since 1972, the wave has been open to visitors and locals, and surfing competitions have also been held here. It’s such a cool place if you’re looking to satisfy your adrenaline-rush cravings.

Munich, Germany

Eisbachwelle. Photo: Thomas Stüven via Flickr

There’s also a second wave further down the stream where the water flows more slowly, which helps surfers begin to develop their surfing skills. However, it’s not recommended for beginners to surf here, as waves can be aggressive at times. The Eisbachwelle is definitely one of the more unique and thrilling sights to see on your Germany travel adventure!

Munich, Germany

Eisbachwelle Surfer. Photo: Polybert49 via Flickr

Olympiapark München

As the site of the 1972 Summer Olympics, Olympiapark offers several exciting activities. This urban centre sits on the highest hill in Munich and serves as a recreational travel site for the entire city. Joggers, runners, cyclists, and other athletes come here for training, while visitors come for leisure. And, it’s architecture is unparalleled with a design futuristic of its time – sweeping transparent canopies of acrylic glass and eye-catching tensile structures that dominate the park! To travel here is to be carried to the future.

Munich, Germany

Olympiapark München. Photo: Michel Mrazek via Flickr

You can see a magnificent 360-view of the entire city on the viewing platform of the Olympic Tower or go ice skating at the Olympic Ice Stadium, the stage for the showdowns of Germany’s Ice Hockey team.

Munich, Germany

Olympiapark München. Photo: stvmasters1 via Flickr

Kaltenberg Knight Tournament

Every year in the village of Kaltenburg is one of the biggest knight tournaments in the world – the Kaltenburg Knight Tournament. Hosted during every weekend in July, the tournament attracts more than 120,000 travelers. As soon as you enter the small village, you’re taken back in time to the Middle Ages. You’ll promenade past medieval maids, story narrators, jesters, and musicians on street corners, as they showcase their talent to the German world and beyond.

Munich, Germany

Kaltenberg Knight Tournament. Photo via Wikipedia

The highlight of the event is the actual tournament, of course. Bold knights storm the arena with courage and fire with light and music enthralling you until the very end. It’s a spectacular live performance with the tournament centering itself around a different theme each year. Travel to Germany to be center-stage amid the action!

Munich, Germany

Kaltenberg Knight Tournament. Photo: Konstantin Milenkovic via Flickr

The Westpark

This tranquil park is a beautiful, serene haven in the heart of Munich. Although not as well known as the Englischer Garten, the Westpark is the perfect epitome of abstract modernism, decorated with various herbaceous plants. There’s a fragrant rose garden that has over 20,000 roses from 500 different species.

Munich, Germany

The Westpark. Photo: Polybert49 via Flickr

The very first authentic Chinese garden can also be found in this park, along with Japanese and Thai gardens complete with a pagoda. The lake on the western side hosts open-air movie screening, theatre, and live music shows during the summer. Munich’s Westpark is full of variety and landscape, a place to capture a serene moment.

Munich, Germany

The Westpark. Photo: MichaelHofmann2703 via Flickr

Your Munich travel will be all the more richer for these amazing experiences.

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Check out our Travel Ideas section for more travel adventures in Germany!