Of all the lakes in Munich’s lake region, Starnberger See is the most popular, being practically on the city’s doorstep. It is also the largest body of water in the region – 21 km (13 miles) long, 5 km (3 miles) wide, and up to 125 m (415 ft) deep – and offers attractive spots for bathing, sailing, and surfing. Members of the nobility built their summer residences here; Empress Elisabeth (Sisi) spent her summers at Possenhofen, while her cousin Ludwig II resided at Berg. The best way to experience the lake is to take a steamboat trip.

Buchheim Museum

  • Bernried, Am Hirschgarten 1

  • 081 58 99 700


  • Open Apr–Oct: 10am–6pm Tue–Sun; Nov–Mar: 10am–5pm Tue–Sun

  • Adm: €8.50 (reduced €3.50); children under 5 free

Bayerische Seenschifffahrt (Bavarian Steamboat Company)

The Mysterious Death of Ludwig II

Was it a murderous plot, suicide, or a heart attack in the frigid waters? On the evening of 13 June 1886, Ludwig II set out for a walk with Dr von Gudden, his personal physician. Later, both were found floating dead in the lake – von Gudden bore scratch marks on his face. Conspiracy theories have abounded ever since, a posthumous confirmation of Ludwig’s remark: “I wish to remain an everlasting mystery to myself and to others.”

Starnberger See

Zum Häring (Midgardhaus) in Tutzing lies directly on the lake and offers scrumptious homemade strudel. (Midgardstr. 3–5, 081 58 12 16)

The “Weißblaue Flotte” offers various themed boat tours.

You can circumnavigate Starnberger See by car, bicycle, or on foot. The distance is 55 km (34 miles).

In good weather, hot-air balloon rides depart from Starnberg- Landstetten; for information call 0 81 57 91 04.

  1. Starnberg

    In the 19th century, this former fishing village developed into a popular summer resort. Over the past decades, Munich’s elite has settled here, building on land that can make access to the lake difficult. A walk on the promenade is still a very pleasant experience and there is a good golf course not too far from the town.

  2. Possenhofen

    Possenhofen boasts a beautiful beach and many old villas. The castle Possenhofen, with its four battlement towers built in 1536 and reconstructed in the 17th century, was a refuge for Sisi – Empress Elisabeth.

  3. ”Weißblaue Dampferflotte”

    The fleet of the Bavarian Steamboat Company offers theme tours and excursions, as well as providing public transportation.

  4. Roseninsel

    A romantic destination for daytrips, this small island off the town of Feldafing was settled as far back as prehistoric times. In 1853 Peter J Lenné and Franz J Kreuter built a casino with a park and a formal rose garden on the island.

  5. Schloss Tutzing

    This horseshoe-shaped palace surrounded by a landscaped park is home to the Protestant Academy. From Tutzing station, it is just a short walk to the Ilkahöhe and a restaurant of the same name. On clear days, the view of the Alps is magnificent.

  6. Buchheim Museum

    Nestled in a park north of Bernried, Buchheim Museum houses an impressive collection of Expressionist art as well as folklore and ethnological exhibits, more than 3,000 paperweights, African masks, and much more.

  7. Seeshaupt

    Attractively located at the southern tip of Lake Starnberg, with a harbour full of yachts and a lovely lakeside promenade, Seeshaupt has managed to preserve its rural character. From here, it is just a short trip to the Osterseen nature reserve.

  8. Schloss Ammerland

    King Ludwig I bequeathed this castle to the musician, author, and illustrator Franz von Pocci. Built between 1683 and 1685, it is beautifully located on the eastern shore of the lake,

  9. Schloss Berg

    Berg is the birthplace of author Oskar Maria Graf. The palace served as the summer residence of the Wittelsbach dynasty and of Ludwig II, the fairy-tale king who died in the nearby lake.

  10. Commemorative Cross for Ludwig II

    A cross on the shore of the lake marks the spot where Ludwig II was found dead in the water. Fans of the “Kini” meet here every year on the anniversary of his death.

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