Beer gardens in Munich
Tips for the perfect beer garden visit
The sun is shining; you’re hungry, thirsty and have some time on your hands. You are looking for the ideal spot to relax with a bottle of beer and some good food. Here are 11 tips for visiting beer gardens in Munich:
1. Finding the right beer garden
Let's go - but where? We will tell you! Munich has the highest number of beer gardens in any city around the world. From the smallest to the largest, every one of these spots have got something to suit your taste. If you already have a few favorites, then you're good to go. However, you might want to try something new. Take a look through our site for a list of beer gardens. You not only see the best beer gardens around and the closest S- or U-Bahns, but also all they have in store.
On a side note, do you know that more beer gardens have opened up in Munich, due to the 2020 Summer in the City event? If you thought you were missing out due to the cancellation of Oktoberfest due to corona, then worry no more! There are no tents, but you can find several beer gardens at Coubertinplatz, the Olympia Tower, Orleansplatz, Wittelsbacherplatz and Mariahilfplatz, also a small guest garden with few seats at the Königsplatz. At the festival grounds in Olympia Park, there is a beer garden without food and one with food offers. Of course, the Munich breweries also brew your Oktoberfest beer, which is then served in the city.
2. Preparing for the weather
There is almost no right or wrong weather for enjoying a glass of beer, but many people say beer gardens are best on warm days with a lot of sunshine. Regardless, it is important to prepare for the weather before you head out, as the sky might have its own plans. Check the weather forecasts of the day and know if you would be needing a jacket, an umbrella or just a T-shirt and shorts. What matters is you're having your Maß (1 litre beer mug), and nothing can stop you!
3. Going with the right company
One of the most important things for a perfect 'beer garden day' is going with the right people. They can be family, friends or even colleagues at work, but a friendly environment adds to the fun. A beer garden is also a good place to go on dates. Who knows, she might just say 'Yes' when you take her to the right spot. Good thing is that every beer garden has food and other kinds of drinks. Therefore, there is always something for everyone.
4. Knowing the rules
There are a few unwritten rules that make visits to beer gardens even better. For example, you may save a table for friends if you get there first - but not for hours, especially if the beer garden is almost full. Other customers understand privacy but also won't want to stand the whole night. However, if you come in late and there are no completely empty tables, you can join others at theirs. Simply ask, "Are these chairs free?" or "Do you mind if I seat here?". You would not only get an affirmation, but a smile to go with. There is also a written law: the Bavarian Beer Garden Ordinance stipulates that you are allowed to bring your own snacks with you to the beer garden. Drinks must be brought from the bar though.
5. Picking the right spot
Every beer garden has a lot of people seated and standing at different spots around. If you see a group of people having a discussion at the entrance to a beer garden, don’t worry, they’re not having an argument. They probably just can’t agree on the best table to seat or what to drink. So here are a couple of tips. When the sun is shining, you might want to seat under it to get some warmth. On the other hand, when the sun goes down, where the lights shine brightest might be your best choice. With children - and if the clouds are looking a little threatening - a sheltered table under a chestnut tree is an ideal spot. The serviced area is a good spot to sit at, but can’t eat your food there. All in all, sit where makes you feel comfortable.
6. Making the right order
Most beer gardens have a lot of customers and the bartenders do not like being slowed down. That is why it's best to decide what you want to drink before getting seated. A Maß (1 litre) of pale beer is a popular choice, and just saying “Oane!” (to the waiter) gets you one! You can also hold up fingers to show how many you want. There is a wide variety of drinks for your fancy. From the standard pale beer, non-alcoholic and wheat beers, to non-alcoholic alternatives such as lemonade, juice spritzers and water, you can never go wrong in a Munich beer garden.
7. What to eat
Most beer gardens have something in their menu for any taste and diet routine you might have. Sticking to a snack you are used to, isn't thrilling enough. Perhaps after your 294th chicken, you might be ready to try some other dishes. There’s something for small and large appetites, meat lovers and vegans, sour and sweet tooth. You can have proven classics like Obazda (bavarian cheese delicacy), Steckerlfisch (fish grilled on a stick), barbeques with fresh burgers or steaks and spare ribs. Not forgetting, you can also bring your own snacks.
8. Knowing how much you can handle
According to an urban legend, while drinking, you should resist the urge to urinate as long as possible to avoid ‘breaking the seal’. Only when you’re about to burst, the you can take a leak. This is because once you go on a toilet break, you won’t be able to stop. In fact, scientifically, alcohol reduces the release of the hormone ADH, which normally causes fluid to stay in the body longer to filter nutrients. If this is suppressed, you have to go more frequently. Since beer gardens are all about comfort, we recommend visiting the well-maintained toilets before it gets too uncomfortable.
9. The right atmosphere
As the Haindling song goes, “Bavarians, that’s what we are!”, how do you think we are? Despite the stereotyping of Bavarians as grumpy and Munich natives as snooty, we are actually some of the nicest people you will ever meet. If you’re friendly to a seemingly bad-tempered bartender, you’ll usually get utmost friendliness back! Your table neighbours too will chat with you amidst a lot of “Cheers!” - besides, nobody likes to drink alone. Some of the best fun you can have is in a beer garden in Munich, no doubt!
10. Enjoying Bavarian tradition
The beer garden is the best place to experience tradition. Many beer gardens regularly host brass bands and other musicians from Munich and its surroundings. Feel free to dance and sing along. Bavarian card games like Schafkopfen or Watten are also welcome - but please ask the staff in the serviced area if you are allowed to play for money. Dirndls and lederhosen are usually worn by natives and lovers of the culture. Dressed-up girls and boys make the beer garden experience even better for all visitors.
11. Prepare to have fun
The main reason for going to a beer garden is to have some fun. Preparing for that can be done is several ways but we could suggest a few. Wear some shoes and a jacket in case it gets cold. Go with some friends or sit at a table you feel comfortable at. Engage in conversations, try some new beers and food, and drink responsibly. We hope you have an excellent beer garden time in Munich!