Chinesischer Turm: A landmark in the English Garden

Biergarten am Chinesischen Turm im Sommer, Foto: muenchen.de/Michael Hofmann
Foto: muenchen.de/Michael Hofmann

At Chinesischer Turm, Munich meets with the rest of the world

In the heart of Munich's English Garden, the Chinesischer Turm rises from the treetops. It is reminiscent of a Chinese temple, but with some exquisite Bavarian flair.

The Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower) at a glance

  • Location: In the middle of the English Garden, accessible by bus lines 54/154, streetcar 18, U3 and U6, among others
  • Height: 25 meters
  • Special feature: The adjacent beer garden with 7,000 seats and brass band music is a place of Bavarian coziness.
  • History: First opened in 1790, then as an observation tower, it burned down several times and was rebuilt - most recently in 1952.

Restaurants and beer gardens near the Chinesischer Turm

Chinesischer Turm

With 7,000 spaces, the Chinesischer Turm beer garden is the second largest in Munich, after the Hirschgarten. Tourists from all over the world come together here to drink Munich's Hofbräu beer.

For Munich's inhabitants, the Chinesischer Turm is a popular meeting point for enjoying brass band music on summer evenings. As is traditional with beer gardens, you can bring your own food along. All drinks, however, must be purchased at the bar.

Anyone who wants to try a few typical Munich dishes - such as grilled roast chicken, fish grilled on a skewer, or the blend of cheeses known as "O'batzdn" - can also find these delicacies in the self-service area.

Alongside the beer garden, there is also a restaurant at the Chinesischer Turm, for anyone who likes having their food cooked and served for them.

The Kocherlball: Traditional Bavarian dances in summertime

Once a year in July, hundreds of men and women in traditional Bavarian dress stream towards the Chinesischer Turm. From 6am, they dance along to excellent waltz music and other folk dances.

This traditional event is known as "Kocherlball", and is so named because of the old custom of cooks, maids and attendants, who met to enjoy a dance every Sunday before work during the summer.

The Christkindlmarkt

There is hardly another Christmas market in Munich that is as picture-book perfect as the one that is held at the Chinesischer Turm. When the first snow lies upon the trees, paths, and market stalls, the square around the Chinesischer Turm becomes a picturesque backdrop.

Here, you can escape the hectic feel of the inner city in the run-up to Christmas, and enjoy a mulled wine in the peace and quiet of the snowy park. You might even find one or two Christmas presents on the many stalls selling artistic and hand-crafted wares.

A children's merry-go-round since 1913

Weihnachtsmarkt am Chinesischen Turm

Many generations of Munich's inhabitants have taken a seat on the woodcut animals or inside the old-fashioned carriages of the merry-go-round at the Chinesischer Turm throughout its history. For more than 100 years, its traditional characters have revolved around the sound of the barrel organ and polyphonic music.

For children, the merry-go-round is still the highlight of a trip to the Chinesischer Turm - as it has always been. Afterwards, they can continue the fun on the little playground in front of the merry-go-round.

History of the tower

In 1789/90, the Chinesischer Turm was erected by Baptist Lechner following a design by Joseph Frey. The pagoda in the Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew, in London - which is twice as high - served as a model. This British tower, in turn, is an imitation of a majolica pagoda in Beijing.

Munich's woodcut tower burned down repeatedly but was always newly built - most recently in 1952 after the Second World War.

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