Deeper Munich: Secret Beergardens

Deeper Munich: Secret Beergardens

Pretzels and Beer in Munich

You can find a lot of “Most beautiful beergardens of Munich” lists. We want to show you the smaller, not crowded ones. The places where we enjoy ourselves drinking a cool beer on hot summer days.

There is no written law that tells us how an authentic beergarden has to look like. But we – and many other Munich citizens – have still a clear idea about it. Munich´s beergarden tradition dates back to the 19th century. At that time, beer was stored in deep cellars and cooled with ice. On the surface gravel enhanced the cooling effect. And the dense foliage of chestnut trees provided shadow. From 1799 the brewers were allowed to serve beer there. So they put some tables and benches beneath the trees and founded a tradition. These beer gardens soon became a popular destination for Munich people. Since serving dishes was forbidden to brewers, everybody brought his own food.

Therefore we think that an authentic beergarden needs to meet the following criteria:

  1. There must be chestnut trees.
  2. We want to sit at beer tables and benches.
  3. You have to be allowed to bring food.
  4. Beer is delivered by one brewery only.
  5. If all other conditions are met: There should be gravel on the ground.

Small Beergarden No 1.: Max-Emanuel-Brewery

The small beergarden in the university area called Maxvorstadt is popular among students and the young at heart. This has been a classic for many years. But many Munich residents have just heard of it or don’t know it at all. On warm evenings sitting under the many lights towering old chestnut trees is very pleasant. We highly appreciate this aspect about this beergarden. We like the guests and the casual atmosphere there. The beer garden is close to our apartment That is why we like going there for a relaxed summer evening. But we dislike the fact that the delicious oriental food, which was special about this place, is no longer available.

Stylish Checkout Max-Emanuel-Brewery Munich
Stylish Checkout
Balmy Nights in the Maxvorstadt
Balmy Nights in the Maxvorstadt

2. Tannengarten

A hidden gem in Sendling. This friendly and small beergarden is located in a beautiful area. In its neighbourhood you can still see the heart of the former village Sendling. Very close there is both a beautiful church and a historic farmhouse.

Tannengarten Munich
Idyllic Tannengarten

3. Laimer’s

If you don’t live nearby, you are not likely to discover this beergarden. Laimer’s beergarden is located hidden in a neighbourhood of row houses. The restaurant is also worth seeing due to its Art Nouveau architecture and beautiful interior. Next to it there is also a small cinema showing arthouse movies.

Welcome to Laimer's Munich
Welcome to Laimer’s
Chilly times at Laimer's Munich
Chilly times at Laimer’s Munich

4. Michaeligarten

Pure idyll. Sit down on the bench just next to the water and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere in the Ostpark (park in the eastern part of Munich)! Due to its lakeside location the Michaeligarten looks similar to the Seehaus Beergarden in the English Garden. But it’s much more relaxed here. People just enjoy socializing and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Watching people and being watched, which in some areas is a favorite Munich pastime, is not relevant here. We are big fans of this alternative.

Enjoying Views on the Lake

5. Alter Wirt

We’ve been visiting Alter Wirt for some time, both the authentic Bavarian restaurant and the shady beergarden. The origin of the Alter Wirt dates back to a restaurant opened in 1692. Pilgrims stayed here, when worshipping at the nearby Maria Ramersdorf church. By the way, this Roccoco church is very much worth a visit. The significant onian-domed Bavarian-style tower can be seen by drivers arriving at Munich from Highway A8. Inside this church looks like a treasure. You can find relics of the former villages at many places in Munich. But here in Ramersorf the old village still looks complete.

An Original
An Original
Alter Wirt Beergarden
Alter Wirt Beergarden

6. Die Inselmühle

Our dear friend Ralf told us about the fabulous Inselmühle beergarden. He was our food coach at the Viktualienmarkt recently. You can learn more here about our breakfast in the “Heart of Munich”.

We visited the Inselmühle only one time and already we found our new favorite beergarden. What we like most is that you can sit right at the river “Würm”. We also enjoyed the cycling tour to our destination, always following the Würm. Inselmühle was the first stop of our beergarden tour. We would have loved to linger, but there was still lots of work to do.

Lingering at the Würm
Lingering at the Inselmühle Munich

Not only adults were having a great time there. Everyone’s enjoying in one’s own way:

Beergarden Floating at Inselmühle Munich
Beergarden Floating

After presenting our personal favorite small beergardens to you, we would also like to give you a

6. Temporary Extra recommendation

In Munich currently the Oktoberfest is under construction. Few locals know the “Octoberfest Cafeterias”. There are two options: One in the east and one of the west of the Theresienwiese (Oktoberfest area). The recommendation would be in the west. There is not only a nice beergarden for good weather days, but also a mini-Oktoberfest tent with typical Bavarian deco (white-blue). All social classes visit the cafeteria. This is how it should be in a beergarden. The mood is good. It’s a bit like a Munich “Boazn” (translation: something like a cosy pub, but you have to experience it yourself). It’s an atmospheric and special place to have your lunch.
You find the “Oktoberfest Cafeteria in the west right below the Bavaria statue during the time of construction.

Way to the Oktoberfest Cafeteria
Way to the Oktoberfest Cafeteria
Mini-Oktoberfest Tent
Mini-Oktoberfest Tent
Beergarden of the "Octoberfest Cafeteria"
Beergarden of the “Octoberfest Cafeteria”
Text:    Christian und Ricarda C. Hollweg
Fotos: Ricarda C. Hollweg

This post is also available in de_DE.

23 thoughts on “Deeper Munich: Secret Beergardens

  1. Lovely post! Planning for our next trip to Munich in October and hoping we’ll have a few warm days and some will still be open! Wish I was there now…

    1. Ricarda Christina Hollweg

      Thanks very much for your kind comment. Keeping my fingers crossed that the weather will be pleasant enough then. Chances are high: We use to have sunny days here in October.
      Enjoy my city!

    1. Ricarda Christina Hollweg

      Thanks very much, Tara. Yes, this is one of the great things here.

  2. I’d love to visit Munich and explore the beer gardens. It’s funny that you have a really clear idea of what a beer garden will be like, and the ones pictured really do fit the bill. I’d love to hang out under the chestnut trees trying some of that wonderful beer. I like the one where the children can take a dip!

    1. Ricarda Christina Hollweg

      Thank you for this wonderful comment, Amanda. Yes, this is also my favorite beergarden 🙂 It’s very idyllic there.

  3. Never knew there were so many nice beergartens in Munich. Next time I will visit Munchen I will definetly visit some of them.

    1. Ricarda Christina Hollweg

      Thanks very much, Ellis. Beergardens are everywhere in Munich. You fill find them in each single neighbourhood. You should not miss them, it’s really a pleasure to visit them.

  4. This is a really awesome guide you’ve put together! This is amazing and definitely helpful for anyone who’s interested (me!) and traveling there in the future. Thanks for organizing this!

    1. Ricarda Christina Hollweg

      Thanks for this lovely feedback, Laura! Glad you found it helpful. For me it was fun to share one of my favorite things in my city.

  5. I love beer gardens! Sadly though, based on the criteria you’ve given – I haven’t been to an authentic one yet. I would love to go to one though!

    1. Ricarda Christina Hollweg

      Dear Noemi, thanks for your nice comment. Also many Munich residents don’t know much about the traditon of a real beergarden. Anybody can put a beergarden sign at his or her restaurant, where outside seating is possible. It’s confusing…

  6. I don’t drink, but I can see that your post will be very useful to beer-lovers. Finding good places to eat and drink while in an unfamiliar destination can be a huge challenge! 🙂

    1. Ricarda Christina Hollweg

      Dear Punita, Thanks for your thoughtful comment. There is no need to drink alcohol in a beergarden, soft drinks are always available.

  7. I so want to visit Munich. To sample all the beers. This is a good list and will help me plan better when I actually go.

    1. Ricarda Christina Hollweg

      Great to hear that, Roota. Thank you so much!

  8. Wow, beer gardens are a very different thing in Munich compared to the UK! I wish we had beer gardens as lovely as these! I love the one where you can go swimming right next to it! And that first picture, with the beer and pretzels? Amazing!

    1. Ricarda Christina Hollweg

      Thank you! Come and visit Munich, Danielle, it’s lot of fun exploring all the different places.

  9. Beer gardens are absolutely one of the best parts of visiting Germany! We mostly stuck to the big ones, but will definitely try some smaller ones next time 🙂

    1. Ricarda Christina Hollweg

      Thanks for commenting 🙂 I actually like both types. The small idyllic ones are an experience of its own value.

  10. So glad to have found this post while on a train to Munich for Oktoberfest 🙂 I will have to check some of these out!

    1. Ricarda Christina Hollweg

      Hi Jessica, I’m very happy about this fact. Enjoy Munich, have lots of fun!

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