For over 200 years, 204 to be exact, the people of the world’s beer capital are allowed to drink their beer outdoors at one of the city’s countless beer gardens (Biergarten). We are introducing the largest and the most popular beer gardens of the city bellow. A beer garden is the best place to experience, understand and enjoy Munich’s and Bavaria’s beer culture. The map at the end of the article shows many more beer gardens in Munich.
Beer Garden at the Viktualienmarkt
The beer garden at the central Munich Viktualienmarkt is the youngest beer garden of the ones in our list, it was established in 1970. Due to its location and since the Viktualienmarkt is one of the most frequented sights of the city, most of its clientele are tourists, but many Munichers are also fans of the 2,000 capacity beer garden. Just like at all of Munich’s traditional beer gardens – you can bring your own food and order a beer. This is a real treat here, since you can get fantastic food from the nearby food stands. Another interesting fact about the beer garden at the Viktualienmarkt is that the beer served changes every six weeks. So you never know whether you’ll get an Augustiner or a beer from one of the other traditional Oktoberfest breweries.
Augustiner Beer Garden
The looks of the oldest (founded in 1812) beer garden of the Bavarian capital hasn’t changed since 1895. The 5,000 capacity Biergarten under the shade provided by over 100 old chestnut trees at the Arnulf Street serves beer from Munich’s most popular brewery, Augustiner, and the beer is still being delivered in wooden barrels. If you can’t find a place to sit at first, don’t be too shy to ask people to slide closer together and let you join their table - “Z'samrutschen” (to slide closer together) is the traditional Bavarian reservation system. It ensures that the guest still finds a place, even at completely crowded places. The new guests will be integrated after Z'samrutschen in table fellowship, as if you were to know him/her for 100 years.
Beer Garden at the Chinese Tower
The beer garden at the Chinese Tower at one of the world’s biggest inner-city parks, the Englischer Garten, with a 7,000 beer drinkers at once capacity is the second is the second largest beer garden of the city. During the summer it is probably the best place for a Brotzeit – a snack that you take in Bavaria when the breakfast already was too long ago, or it’s too long to wait for dinner. As a hungry Bavarian tends to become a grumpy one, the invitation to a Brotzeit should be accepted without protest at all times. The beer served at the Chinese Tower beer garden is Bavarian state owned Staatliches Hofbräuhaus in München (public Royal Brewery in Munich, also Hofbräu München). Hofbräu and Augustiner are the only major Munich based breweries which aren’t part of large international beer conglomerates.
Hofbräukeller Beer Garden
The Hofbräukeller Beer Garden is situated at the Innere Wiener Straße at one of the city’s trendiest districts, Haidhausen. A lot of young people visit the 1,700 capacity beer garden which was founded at the grounds of former horse stables after the legendary Hofbräuhaus at the Platzl in central Munich became too small to host everyone thirsty for a Maß of Hofbräu beer. A Maß (1l) is, as the Bavarians see it, the only true consumption unit for beer.
Paulaner am Nockherberg Beer Garden
The Paulaner am Nockherberg beer garden is inseparably linked to the lifestyle and the beer culture of the city at the Isar River. The Paulaner beer garden has been voted the most beautiful beer garden of the city multiple times and it’s also popular for its location in the heart of Munich, a nice place to have a beer and a Brezn and if you are bringing your kids along, they can play at the beer garden’s playground. A well with a monk’s head reminds of the founders of the brewery, the Minim monks. The beer served at the 2,000 capacity beer garden is of course Paulaner, one of the six official Oktoberfest beers.
Hirschgarten Beer Garden
The Hirschgarten beer garden is the biggest of the city and probably also in Europe. It offers seating for 8,000 people under the crowns of chestnut trees and is located at the rim of a park at the Munich district of Nymphenburg. The Königlicher Hirschgarten (Royal Deer Garden) was founded in 1791 and served as a hunting lodge for the Royal Wittelsbach family. The meadows surrounding the Hirschgarten and the deer reserve with 30 animals, located next to the Hirschgarten are the reasons why many families with kids love to visit the beer garden, as do many dog owners. The beer served comes from the Augustiner and Kaltenberg breweries.