Briefly deviating from our focus on food, we have decided to do a feature on the Gartens of one of our most favourite, laid back, beer drinking cities – Munich. To clarify when we say Garten – we naturally are referring to gardens of the bier variety.
One of us Vacationists spent a few months in Munich as a college student on a shoe string budget. And the first and most useful thing we learnt was that in Germany; beer is cheaper than water. One of the great things about these biergartens, apart from the fabulous beer of course, is that you can spend hours here without the constant pressure of continuously ordering something. Plus, they are extremely lively through the day, have a good mix of locals and tourists and are often located in some of the prettiest parts of the city.
Below are some of the stand outs.
Address: Platzl 9, 80331 München, Phone # +49 89 290136100
Raucous American tourists, standing on the benches and belting out off tune renditions of Summer of ’69 was our first introduction to the German beer house culture. An institution in its own right – The Hofbrahaus is centrally located and is almost always packed solid. Try and get a table in the courtyard because the inner hall can get extremely noisy. We are also proud to say that this was the venue for the first additions to our limited German vocabulary. “Ein Mass” or “one litre” is the most important thing you need to know how to say in this German city. I will admit that it took us a few sessions to learn how to lift and drink a 1 litre glass of beer given our limited upper body strength but it is an art we quickly mastered in the coming weeks.
Grab a warm pretzel from the ladies walking around with baskets of these strung around their necks and wash it down with a litre of the Hofbrau Original – a slightly bitter concoction or the Muncher Weisse- a refreshing wheat beer.
A litre of beer with a pretzel will cost you 10 Euros.
Address: Kleinhesselohe 3, 80802 München, Phone # +49 89 3816130
Seehaus is one of two biergartens located within the confines of the Englisch Garten – Munich’s answer to Central Park. Located on the banks of the lake, we visited a few times just around sunset and loved the super chilled vibe of the lake side pavilion which paired perfectly with a cold Radler (a beer and lemonade mix). For those seeking out Paulaner’s famous beers, this is also the place to visit with the wheat beer (dark) being our favourite. The place also serves up some decent, standard German fare of wiener schnitzel (breaded veal cutlet) and pomme frites (French fries). Despite many attempts, the side of sauerkraut that accompanies every dish is the one thing I couldn’t acquire a taste for.
A meal with a drink will cost you Euros 35. Be prepared to pay a deposit for that one litre glass you are served in because tourists are known to decamp with those mugs. Deposits are returned when you return your glass.
Address: Englischer Garten
This pagoda style, Chinese tower was first built in 1790 but was raised to the ground during World War II. It was then rebuilt in 1952 in the form that it stands today. With that sort of history tied to it, the Chinesischer Turm is a must visit.
History aside, this bier garten is also the second largest in Munich with a small (in comparison) serviced area and a large self service area (7000 seats) so you can almost always expect to find a place to sit on one of the many benches. We made it a point to visit over the weekends when a brass band performs live on the first floor of the tower. Sitting in the midst of a dense garden with new friends, a cold beer and the band playing in the back ground, we couldn’t but help but be grateful for that moment in time.
We also spent an evening here during the football world cup as all major tournaments are shown on a large screen and the ambience was electrifying with the ‘Deutschland’ chants of 7000 people resonating across the park.
The food here is limited to traditional beer garden food such as roast chicken and roast pork and the beer served is Hofbrau and MaS Hell.
A litre of beer will cost you Euros 9.