A bar may be just a bar, but a beer garden is like the mothership for beer connoisseurs: sprawling indoor halls and outdoor gardens that can seat upwards of 8’000 people, guzzling brews made using centuries-old recipes. From the world’s most celebrated beer gardens to the largest and the most scenic beer lover’s spot, I have picked the best once for you. Raise your mug for a toast – but be careful, you might just need both arms to lift that massive beer stein!
Hofbrauhaus, Munich, Germany
Hands down the world’s most famous beer garden, the Hofbrauhaus began brewing in the 16th century. Today, more than 400 guests can sit outside at its wooden, picnic-style tables and guzzle gigantic mugs of beer served by dirndl-wearing waitresses.
Luong Son, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Make like a local in Ho Chi Minh City and visit Luong Son. At this bustling open-air beer garden of sorts, join hundreds of other patrons and pull up a plastic chair, throw back a cold Saigon beer, and order from a menu of grill-it-yourself meats (grills are provided!).
Chinesischer Turm, Munich, Germany
On a warm summer afternoon, it’s all but impossible to resist Chinesischer Turm and its namesake, the pagoda-like Chinese Tower. This massive beer garden seats 7’000 and lies in the heart of Munich’s English Garden. Plan to do your drinking on a weekend, when a brass band plays.
Café Vlissinghe, Bruges, Belgium
Escape the tourist-choked streets of Bruges in this pleasant beer garden. The city’s oldest bar opened in 1515, and patrons can quaff their drinks inside a charming room with dark oak rafters and wooden tables or on the peaceful outdoor terrace, where you can also play a game of pétanque.
Letna Beer Garden, Prague
Enjoy your brew with a view. Prague’s most scenic beer garden is located in the Letna Park, overlooking the old city and the Vlatna River. You can grab a beer in a plastic cup and discover the park’s trails or just relax on the terrace.
Brouwerij ‘t IJ, Amsterdam
Patrons of this former bathhouse enjoy its enviable location adjacent to the city’s De
Gooyer windmill. You can tour the brewery or head straight to the bar. Here you can
order a draft or bottled beer and snack on cheese and sausages.
Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, Astoria, NY
Bohemian Hall is proof that good beer gardens can be found in unexpected places. For more than a century, this beloved spot in Queens has helped New Yorkers get sloshed with their friends in a sea of trees and twinkly lights. Live music, table tennis, and hearty Czech fare sweeten the deal.
Koniglicher Hirschgarten, Munich, Germany
Hofbrauhaus may be Germany’s most popular beer garden, but Hirschgarten is far and away its biggest. Set in the midst of a 100-acre park, it seats up to 8,000 thirsty souls.