Inside the Oldest Civilian House in Munich

Inside the Oldest Civilian House in Munich

By  Sunday, 18.1.2015, 10:10    Tourist Sites

Munich is of course rich in museums, but one I had not come across before was one of its newest - and oldest - right in the centre of town.

The Beer and Oktoberfest Museum at Sterneckerstrasse 2. is not the easiest to find, but it is superbly located between Tal and Marienplatz - just look out for the first tiny side street from Tal and you will see the sign on the street corner, as below.

So why the oldest and one of the newest? 

The house itself dates back to 1340, and was built after the great fire at Isartor in 1327, and it is now regarded as the oldest civilian house in Munich. Check out the picture at the top of this article for the layout. While it previously had 12 living units, the building had seen much better days before it fell into disrepair, until it was transformed into its new persona, the Beer and Oktoberfest Museum. 

After careful and extensive renovation, the house was reopened as a museum in 2005, making it one of the city's youngest cultural attractions, and there is an excellent video (unfortunately in German only) in the museum on the process of the extensive renovation. Tradition has been adhered to, and the museum is a wonderful collection of rooms where it IS possible to get lost.  

 Perhaps the must unusual feature of the house is the main staircase which goes in one direction only, as was apparently the practice at the time.

 The rooms are cosy and well-decorated with various materials from Munich's rich beer history.

 There is plenty of authentic traditional furnishings, and a walk around the two floors of the museum gives one an intimate feel of life all those years ago. 

While the museum is on the higher floors, arguably the more popular attraction is the bar downstairs, a collection of homely rooms, offering a warm Bavarian welcome at an affordable price. I had been expecting the place to be a tourist trap, but with a 0.5 litre costing 3.10 euro, prices were probably a little cheaper than in the immediate neighbourhood.  

The only slight catch is if you want to experience pub and museum at the same time, as opening times differ. The museum, which costs 4 euro for adults, is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 13:00 - 18:00, and the pub and restaurant is open from 18:00 - 24:00 from Monday to Saturday, so the sensible thing would be to time your visit for about 17:15 to enjoy both aspects of this delightful house. 

Check out the video below for a more comprehensive video tour.

Bier and Oktoberfestmuseum,

Sterneckerstrasse 2


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Paul Bradbury

After 12 years living on the most gorgeous island in the world, Hvar in Dalmatia, I have begun to wonder if there is still life beyond its shores. Prior to discovering Paradise in 2002, I was a world traveller, living and working in Japan, Georgia, Somalia, Rwanda, Russia... and Munich.

After 95 countries and some 25 years have passed, the memories of my year in the hotel industry in the Bavarian capital (fired by the Sheraton for losing our pet snake, the first male chambermaid at Hotel Arabella, and a truly eye-watering introduction to five-star living in  my days as a bellboy in luxury Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten) are strong, and the call of Munich has been a constant theme over the last quarter century. 

And so here I am, answering the call some 25 years later. Twelve years of island living have changed me for sure, but also left me curious about life in a big city, and whether or not I could adapt to it after such an insular decade. 

I was surprised to see that for such a magnificent multi-cultural city, English-language blogs and regularly updated information are not that available. Static tourism information, such as that provided by the excellent tourist board website yes, but accounts of daily life delivered daily? Hard to find.

And so I have decided to take a break from my idyllic island and see if I could live in a city again. And what better way to try than to discover modern Munich in all its facets after so many years. It is a journey of discovery which I am relishing, and I hope the site proves to be of interest for Munich residents and its numerous visitors.

About Paul Bradbury

Author of Lebanese Nuns Don't Ski, Lavender, Dormice and a Donkey Named Mercedes and Hvar's first comprehensive guidebook, Hvar: An Insider's Guide to Croatia's Premier Island, as well as co-author of Split: An Insider's Guide with Mila Hvilshoj, I have lived in Dalmatia full time since 2003. In addition to running Total Munich, I also run Total Split (, Total Hvar ( and Total Inland Dalmatia (, as well as being an accredited Google News journalist for Digital Journal in Canada.

I also have various blogging clients, including the Central Dalmatia Tourist Board, European Coastal Airlines, Touristar TV and Andro Tomic Wines, and print clients include Qatar Airways inflight magazine, Out! magazine from New York, and Croatian Hotspots. 

In December 2014 I was delighted to receive the Marko Polo 2014 Award from FIJET Croatia (Federation of International Travel Writers and Journalists)  at a ceremony for the Croatian Journalists Society for the best international tourism promotion of Croatia. More here.

Ongoing writing projects:

A History of Hajduk Split, co-author with Frane Grgurevic - in 2015

Around the World in 80 Disasters - out in 2015

Total Hvar in the Media:

Interview of the Month, Croatian Embassy in Washington (May 2013)

Special Feature in Globus Magazine (May 2013)

Featured on Croatian TV show, More (2012) - watch the report here

Interviews in Slobodna Dalmacija, Dalmacijanews, Radio Split

I am available for writing services. Please contact me on [email protected] or visit my main writing website, 

Website: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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