Germany is well known for its beer, and it’s iconic Hofbräuhaus in Munich is quite possibly the most famous tavern in the world!
This famous beer hall was first built in 1589 on the demands of Duke of Bavaria, Wilhelm V who was unhappy with the quality of the local beers in Munich- up until the brewery was built, he was importing beer from Saxony! In under 20 years, the demand of the brewery could not be met within the original location and thus Wihelm’s son, Maximilian I, had the beer relocated to just off Marienplatz where it still stands today.
Though much of the beer hall was destroyed during World War II, the iconic Schwemme survived the bombings and is a much beloved attraction for tourists with high fresco ceilings and a friendly atmosphere.
I made sure to time my visit for an off peak time of the day and still found the tavern to be incredibly busy. I wouldn’t hold out hope for a private table- it’s very common to grab seats where you can and make friends with your seat mates! Don’t worry, the beer helps.
One of my favorite things about Hofbräuhaus is that it is visited by both tourists and locals alike. Many tavern regulars famously have their personal beer mugs locked away in tiny lockers behind the bar for easy storage, and the longest running reserved table has been ongoing for nearly 70 years!
Despite the busy comings and goings of the tavern, within five minutes of finding a seat a waitress had made her way over and I had a pretzel the size of my torso with a beer on the way. I have absolutely no idea how she spotted us amongst the crowd but I was impressed both by her awareness of the room and her ability to haul huge numbers of these massive beer mugs around. The standard size of beer in Munich is a liter!
Hofbräuhaus serves a variety of beers but getting the original brew is an absolute must. I was traveling with friends so we got a few of traditional Bavarian food to share as we enjoyed the atmosphere. Traditional Bavarian music is played live daily and its a wonderful way to experience the city- especially while working your way through literal liters of beer.
There’s plenty to enjoy at Hofbräuhaus for all ages- drinking or not, and is definitely worth a visit for people watching alone!