Touring Munich Beer Halls

Augustiner Exterior Munich

More than any other place in the world, Munich is known for its beer halls. As beer drinkers, we had to try at least a few! So here’s what it’s like touring Munich beer halls.

Touring Munich Beer Halls

There are options to go on beer hall tours, but we found it very easy to do on our own. Find a beer hall, walk in, and find a seat and order. The hardest part was finding a seat. Seriously, a self-guided tour of Munich beer halls is easy.

I read that there are over 180 beer gardens in the city of Munich. Other towns in Germany have beer halls and breweries, but they are traditional to Bavarian culture, and as the capital of Bavaria, Munich carries the weight.

Here is a round-up of the beer halls we visited last weekend in Munich.

Augustiner Bierhalle

This is one of the “big 6” Munich breweries, the original beer halls of the city. Augustiner was founded by monks, but there’s no trace of them now! With a few branches right near the town centre, we went to the one near Marienplatz, known as Zum Augustiner or Augustiner Restaurant.

For us, it was super convenient, right near the centre and our hotel, so we stopped in on our first day. Our first day in Munich happened to be New Year’s Eve, and the place was bumping in the afternoon. We soon learned that these places are always busy! It’s not just tourists either; the locals go too, and people of all ages.

This beer hall was pretty typical of what we’d see for the rest of our stay in Munich: large, with lots of long wooden tables and tons of people drinking from steins of beer.

Spatenhaus an der Oper

We went here after a long day walking around outside in the cold, and only because it was the first beer hall we passed. It wasn’t the best. This one was way more formal and “restauranty” than we wanted. No communal tables and tablecloths!

The server also wasn’t great. He probably wanted us to order actual food. Instead we had beer and pretzels, both of which were pretty good, but it wasn’t the atmosphere or the service we had in mind. Maybe our fault, because if you want a fancy beer restaurant, this would be perfect.

Schneider Weisses Bräuhaus

Not one of the big 6, Weisses was apparently bought by Schneider Bräuhaus which is a big operator in Germany, so the feel was very similar to most Munich beer halls. We stopped in after our disappointing visit to Spatenhaus and felt instantly more comfortable. This was a favorite when touring Munich beer halls.

Here we enjoyed a few beers, sat at a communal table, and even tried some of the authentic Munich cuisine, like sausages and pork knuckle (which had been recommended by our tour guide earlier in the day). The pork knuckle – known as Schweinshaxe – was fabulous!

Hofbräuhaus München

The most iconic of all the brewhouses, the official Munich beer, we saved this beer hall for our last day. The Hofbräuhaus is massive with three floors and a gift shop. There was an oompah band playing and people racing each other to get seats the second others vacated them. It was busy and fun.

One thing about the Hofbrauhaus that was different from the other beerhalls is all the beers come in very large glasses – at the other spots, you could get a small, but not here. I opted for the shandy, which is basically beer watered down with lemonade, good for pacing yourself. Brian just went for a full on beer.

I would definitely go back to most of these – and there were a few we didn’t even get to try! Next time we’ll definitely do more touring Munich beer halls. Have you been to any of these or other ones? Let me know in the comments!

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Author: Mel

Living aboard a sailboat, blogging about the places we visit and the adventures we have. Love hiking, cycling, scuba, animals and adventure.

5 thoughts on “Touring Munich Beer Halls”

    1. I would love to go for Oktoberfest, but we were there for the Tollwood New Year’s Eve which is held at the same place. Have a blast when you go, Kristin!

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