Having been living in Munich for 8 years, I want to share my insider tips with you and show you the best beer gardens in Munich. Some not even Munich people know. Ok let’s go with the first and most secret one:
Best beer gardens in Munich #1: A real insider tip: Beer Garden in Nussbaumpark
This beer garden is a real insider tip and not even many people in Munich know it. It is a very cozy little place in the city center in a park with laid-back, backpacker kind of atmosphere: Beer garden in Nussbaumpark (in a park called „nut tree park“) close to Sendlinger tor. This is a pop-up beer garden and only there from June till the end of August (so you have to hurry because August is almost over)
Besides beer, they have small snacks from all over the world like Arabic Hummus or German Käsknödel (some kind German boiled dumplings made with bread, eggs, and cheese). But you won’t find the traditional German beer garden food you might expect, like sausages or Schnitzel. But the big advantage of this beer garden is really that it is very small, not crowded at all and therefore very relaxed in a shadow part of a park just tucked into the grass. So this was the first and my favourite one of the best beer gardens in Munich and I promise a real insider tip!
Website of the beer garden: https://www.nussbaumpark.de/
How to get to beer garden im Nussbaumpark:
Best beer gardens in Munich #2: One of the classics: Beer garden at the Chinese Tower
The Chinese Tower is a famous sight in Munich located in the English garden. It is actually a 25 m high pagoda-style tower which was constructed in the 18th century as part of a new park area for the population. This beer garden is especially nice because it is tucked in the English garden and you can combine your visit with a walk through the garden, a little bicycle tour along the Isar river and through the garden or a swim in the freezing cold ice river which is running through the English garden as well. The beer garden is big, however, it feels like you’ll always find a place here, even with a bit bigger group. Just be there early and reserve your tables (in case you are a bigger group), because getting table reservations is not common in a beer garden. The usual rule is: first come, first serve.
In the beer garden at the Chinese Tower you’ll get all the traditional German food you’ll expect and of course beers and its variations (like „Radler“ which is beer mixed with sprite – also see my beer garden rules below by the way).
Website of beer garden at the Chinese Tower:
How to get to the beer garden at the Chinese Tower
Best beer gardens in Munich #3 Where you can say hi to deer: Beer garden am Hirschgarten (which means deer garden)
Yep, there is a deer park next to the beer garden and yes you can watch the deer while drinking a beer. I didn’t know that for a long time because this beer garden is quite far away from where I live in Munich. But the fact that deers live in this park makes it quite charming and especially a great choice for families with kids.
Besides the deers, this is a traditional Bavarian beer garden. It can get very crowded in summer and it is very big. But this ensures that you should always find a place. And in case there is no empty table, you can just join a group. This is normal in a Bavarian beer garden. Just ask politely if you can join and who knows maybe you’ll even make new friends?!
Website of the beer garden am Hirschgarten: https://www.hirschgarten.de/biergarten-muenchen-koeniglicher-hirschgarten-der-groesste-der-biergaerten-in-muenchen.html
How to get to beer garden am Hirschgarten:
Best beer gardens in Munich #4 My home base beer garden: Flaucher beer garden.
Next one on the list of the best beer gardens in Munich (and real insider tips) is Flaucher beer garden. “Flaucher” is the name of a specific part of the Isar river where it is especially convenient to swim or sunbath in summer because the water is shallow, there is almost no current, and little water basins which make swimming even for little kids fun and safe. There are some gravel beaches next to the river which invites for a picnic or barbecue. This area is like the garden I don’t have and I spend a lot of time in summer there.
However, coming back to the beer garden: This one is a way smaller beer garden than the one at the Chinese Tower or the Deer Garden. It is tucked in the forest around the Isar river and therefore feels a bit remote and normally it is not too crowded. A great choice on hot weekends when the big beer gardens located more in the center are overcrowded. And you can combine it with a bicycle tour along the Isar river (you can go for kilometers to the South along the river which is really nice and sooo much nature so close to the city center), or a relaxed day of swimming and tanning at the banks of the river.
Sometimes there is live music and open stage events (where you can just go to the stage and sing or play your guitar or whatever you are talented at). However, it seems like there is no regular schedule for these events. The best is to check their Facebook page in case you are interested in live music or open stage (https://www.facebook.com/ZumFlaucher/)
Website of the beer garden „Zum Flaucher“: https://www.zumflaucher.de/
How to get to the beer garden „Zum Flaucher“:
Best beer gardens in Munich #5 A classic: Augustiner beer garden
This beer garden is a real classic and serves Augustines beer, our favorite brewery from Munich. Therefore you just have to come here to try our delicious beer. And it is located quite central at Hackerbrücke very close to the central bus station. So in case you are visiting Munich by bus, there is no excuse for not visiting this beer garden.
It is big, traditional, they serve all the Bavarian specialties there are (for all vegetarians I recommend to try „Käsespätzle“ a kind of pasta with cheese originally from Austria or „Obazta“ a traditional Bavarian cheese prepared with Camembertk and Pretzel)
Website of the Augustiner beer garden: https://www.augustinerkeller.de/biergarten/
How to get to Augustiner beer garden:
Best beer gardens in Munich #6 For nature lovers: Brückenwirt in Pullach
This place is not only a beer garden in summer but also a normal restaurant. It is located at the Isar river in the South of Munich and is officially not in the city of Munich anymore but few kilometers south in a village called „Pullach“. You can get there by car or what makes this beer garden so nice by bike along the Isar river. It is perfect for a little Sunday excursion with your friends and family.
They serve traditional Bavarian beer garden food here as well as other dishes, like fish or (German) soups.
Website of Brückenwirt in Pullach: http://www.brueckenwirt.de/
How to get to Brückenwirt:
Best beer gardens in Munich #7 The relaxed one: Michaeligarten
Last but not least on the list of the best beer gardens in Munich (and real insider tips) is one located a bit out of town, but its location is quite nice and therefore it made it to the list of the insider beer gardens in Munich. It is also located in a park, next to a little lake. In addition, it is very big and you won’t have any hassle to get a table, but at the same time, it doesn’t feel as crowded and busy as the other big beer gardens in the city center (like Augustiner beer garden or the one at the Chinese Tower). It is also located next to a swimming pool in case you plan a little day excursion with your family (https://www.swm.de/privatkunden/m-baeder/schwimmen/hallenbaeder/michaeli-hallenbad.html)
Website of Michaeligarten beer garden: https://www.michaeligarten.de/biergarten/
How to get to Michaeligarten beer garden:
So this was my list of the best beer gardens in Munich including real insider tips. When writing this article about the best beer gardens in Munich I realized that there are quite some special rules or habits which are normal for people from Munich but which might not be for visitors or tourists. Therefore I collected the most important beer garden rules in the following list.
Beer garden rules: Do it as the locals do!
Beer garden rule #1 You can’t get a reservation
Other than in normal restaurants, you can’t get a table reservation in a beer garden. First come, first serve is the common rule. However, most of the beer gardens are huge and you’ll find a spot.
Beer garden rule #2 Don’t even dare to ask for a small beer
One beer in a beer garden is usually served in a 1 liter glass called „Maß“. In traditional beer gardens, they really might not have any smaller size. However, restaurant owners adapted to the needs of their guests and nowadays small beers (which means half a liter in Bavaria“) are served. But don’t even dare to ask for a smaller size than half a liter.
Beer garden rule #3 You can bring your own food
A great thing which I love about beer gardens is that you are allowed to bring your own food. However, the beer and drinks, in general, have to be purchased.
Beer garden rule #4 It’s self-service.
Of course, food is also served in a beer garden, very delicious, Bavarian (unhealthy) food. Usually, you have to get your food and drinks on our own from various counters. In smaller beer gardens or more restaurant like gardens (like Brückenwirt in Pullach), you might be served.
Beer garden rule #5 Share your table or just join other people on their table
Typical beer garden tables (we call it „Bierbank“ which means beer bench) can fit up to 10 people and of course, it might be that you’re there with less. If a few people ask if they can join your table and use your empty space, let them. And this also works the other way round: if you visit a beer garden on a sunny Sunday it might be crowded. Don’t be afraid of kindly asking at a table where you see enough seats left for you and your friends.
Beer garden rule #6 You can mix your beer with Sprite.
On hot summer days, a beer might be too strong for the one or the other. What is traditional Bavarian and especially women like is beer mixed with Sprite, called „Radler“ (which actually means cyclist). Sometimes it is served at the bar. Sometimes you have to order a beer and a Sprite and mix it on your own.
Beer garden rule #6 Bring cash
Often it is not possible to pay by credit card in beer gardens (especially the smaller ones, but not even in Hirschgarten for example), therefore make sure to bring cash.
So this was my list of the best beer gardens in Munich including some real insider tips. Did you discover any better one which should be part of this list? Let me know in the comments and share it with others.
You might also be interested in the best lakes around Munich:
And don’t forget: never stop exploring the world out there!