Beer gardens in Munich
Tips for the perfect beer garden visit
The sun is shining, you’re hungry, thirsty and have some time to kill? Then get yourself to a beer garden! From arrival to last orders: Here are 11 tips for the perfect trip!
1. The right beer garden
Let’s go - but where? Munich has the highest density of beer gardens of any city in the world. From small to large, there’s something for every taste. You probably already have a few favourites. But sometimes it’s nice to try something new. It might help to take a look at our beer garden travel guide: it shows you the best beer gardens around the S and U-Bahns and all their features.
2. The right weather
Of course, beer gardens are best in warm sunshine. Yet many people think it’s not a real summer unless you’ve been caught in a summer storm at least once. If you prefer your Maß (1 litre beer mug) undiluted, check several weather apps beforehand - taking the average of all predictions is usually reasonably reliable. Won’t melt in the rain? Pack a rain jacket and an umbrella and sit out the heavy, but usually short downpour.
3. The right company
The most important thing for a perfect beer garden day is the people you go with. And the best thing is: Our beer gardens are suitable for any occasion. lunch with the family, a Maß after work with your colleagues, a first date or a long afternoon with friends. No-one has time? No problem! If you’re after company, just sit down next to a couple of friendly faces. And if not: it’s great to just sit on your own in the beer garden and watch - there’s always something to see.
4. The right rules
There are a few unwritten laws 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 already quite full. But equally, if there are a few places left at a table, you can usually just join with a friendly ‘Are these free?’. 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. The right place
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 just can’t agree on the best place. It’s not easy. A couple of tips: When the sun is shining, it might seem nice to bask in it - but after an hour it might just be too warm. On the other hand, when the sun goes down, you want somewhere where the rays will shine for the longest. With children - and if the clouds are looking a little threatening - a sheltered table under a chestnut tree is a great choice. In the serviced area you don’t have to worry about a thing - but you also can’t eat your picnic there. And it's worth taking a look at who’s around you as well: the stag party from Cologne, for example, could get a bit noisy - but they may also provide good entertainment.
6. The right order
At the bar, there’s often crowds of visitors after a beer and some bartenders can get a little impatient if there are delays in the process. If you don’t want to slow down the service and risk getting a telling off, decide what you want to drink before getting to the bar. A Maß of pale beer is the most popular choice and doesn’t need many words to order: Order an “Oane!” and you’ll get a Maß. Just hold up fingers to show how many Maß’n you’re after. Otherwise, as a rule of thumb, everything else must be specified as precisely as possible, in size and content. And there is a varied selection: As well as the standard pale beer, there are usually also non-alcoholic and wheat beers - and non-alcoholic alternatives such as lemonade, juice spritzers and water. Speaking of water: An ever-surprising beer garden phenomenon is that while the daily recommended two litres of water seems totally unmanageable - two litres in a beer garden are quickly gulped down. Cheers!
7. The right food
Perhaps after your 294th chicken, you might be ready to try some other dishes, and menus have grown significantly in recent years. Most beer gardens now have something for every taste and diet. There’s something for small and large appetites, for meat lovers and vegans, from hearty to sweet. Alongside proven classics such as Obazda (bavarian cheese delicacy) or Steckerlfisch (fish grilled on a stick), the current trend is for barbeques with fresh burgers, steaks and spare ribs. As mentioned, you can also bring your own snacks.
8. The right strategy
Are there people wriggling away on the benches with a concentrated expression - but no music that would explain their rhythmic movements? Then they’re probably trying to maintain their seal. According to urban legend, you should resist the urge to urinate as long as possible, which increases after the first litre, to avoid ‘breaking the seal’. Only when you’re about to burst, should you take the relieving journey to the toilet. Because, as the saying goes, once you go break the seal, you won’t be able to stop. There is actually scientific proof to this: 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. But as 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!” Now, when you think of Munich natives, do you think Bavarian and friendly? Too right! Despite the stereotype of grumpy Bavarians and snooty Munich natives: Basically we are all nice - as long as you are nice to us. Try it out: If you’re friendly to the seemingly bad-tempered bartender, you’ll usually get utmost friendliness back - in this case, it would be a subtle upturned corner of the mouth. Otherwise, your table neighbours will be happy with the occasional compulsory “Cheers!”, because nobody likes to drink alone. Often, you’ll get chatting. And the best fun in a beer garden happens when there’s a good atmosphere.
10. The right tradition
The beer garden is the best place to experience tradition. Many beer gardens regularly host brass bands and other musicians, feel free to dance and sing along - but just be aware of the subtle distinction between singing and bawling. Bavarian card games like Schafkopfen or Watten are usually also welcome - but please ask the staff in the serviced area if you are allowed to play for money. Dirndls and lederhosen are always happy when they’re allowed out of the wardrobe: Jauntily-attired girls and boys make the beer garden experience even better for all visitors.
11. The right attitude
We could philosophise until the cows come home about how to perfect your beer garden visit. But most importantly, have fun! Plenty of time, good company and great conversations under blue skies or a shady chestnut tree, a cool drink and something good to eat - that's often all you need. We hope you have an excellent beer garden summer!