Is it because the three-week Oktoberfest in Munich started on Sept. 22nd and is going to end on October 7th? Maybe. Clinking steins of beer, listening to local bands and seeing drindle and well-worn leather pants winding around is fun and approximately 7,000.000 people think so, if we look at statistics.
With the typical long tables and sharing benches, seatings’ options are not missing. Still, it is important to consider that locals have priority and they often have tables reserved for family and friends. Arriving early is advisable both to secure a spot and to experience the opening ceremony, where the Mayor of Munich taps the first barrel of Oktoberfest beer and opens the consumption of about 7.5 million Liters.
If you are not a big fan of crowds though, beer gardens are probably the best location where to savour the effortlessly smooth German beer. Munich has about 200 of them and the first one opened in the early 19th-century; this means that no matter where you end up asking for ein Bier, you will taste no less than greatness.
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Still, have these names in mind:
Built at the end of the 18th century, Seehaus means house by the lake. Originally there were only small wooden houses here and no beer, nor food, was sold at the time. The first mention in official documents that beer was served at Seehaus, are rental payments made by a park guard in 1811. The famous architect Gabriel Seidl built a boat house in 1882 with a connected restauration enterprise, which was replaced by a new building in 1935. Years went by and things changed, but the Seehaus, as we know it today, was built in 1985.
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Close to the picturesque Nymphenburg Palace, the Hirschgarten literally translates into "Deer Garden". The name could be a tribute to King Ludwig's stag-hunting parties, which were supplied with 200 litters of beer, or to the wooden casks used to store the brew called Hirsche. No matter the reason, it seems to be the largest beer garden in the world seating 8,000 people.
The Olympiaalm originally was a kiosk for the workers on the construction site of the Olympic area, which later turned into what today is – one of Munich’s (if not the) nicest and cosiest beer garden. Located at 564m high, the incredible view comes together with Bavarian delicacies and grilled specialties. This is a great spot to check both during summer and winter days, don’t forget to keep an eye at the concerts taking place, with good weather, in the nearby Olympic stadium.
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You'll find Munich’s most centrally located beer garden in the heart of the city’s oldest farmers market, the Viktualienmarkt. Founded in 1970, it offers 600 seatings for a mixed crowd of both tourists and locals. You can bring your own food (we suggest doing some shopping at the market and enjoy them here) so that you can fully embrace the surrounding bustling scene. Most of Munich's breweries showcase their specialty beer here; from Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Löwenbräu, Hofbräu, Paulaner and Spaten– you name it.
Voted the city's most beautiful beer garden, Menterschwaige is located along the banks of Isar River. Up to 2,500 guests come to drink and relax over Bavarian specialties daily. End your gluttony trying one of their seasonal cakes, or visit the crêpe stand. For young visitors, there is a massive pirate ship and playground that are as fun as beer; wheras craft activities can be organized for the youngest on Sundays, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
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