Nightlife in Munich: Best Bars, Clubs, & More

Oktoberfest prost

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For some people, the name Munich is synonymous with beer. After all, the German state with the most breweries, the region where the Rheinheitsgebot stands strong, and the hometown of Oktoberfest. But there is much more to nightlife in Munich than just great brews—the city also boasts a wealth of upscale bars and clubs to go with its beer halls. Nightlife in Munich is more restrained and expensive than bohemian Berlin, but it is still active and safe with revelers staying out late every weekend.

So put on your drinking shoes and get ready to yell, "Eins, Zwei, g’suffa!" (One, two three, chug!). Here is the best of Munich's nightlife.

Bars in Munich

  • Die Goldene Bar: Located within the Haus der Kunst museum, the walls of this bar are plastered with maps from the 1930s. An eclectic crowd mingles here under modern furnishings, enjoying the bar's signature cocktails. This location is truly lovely when the terrace is open and you can enjoy Munich's (occasionally) beautiful weather. Be warned: even on the rainiest first Thursday of the month, art lovers will crowd the bar after enjoying Munich museums' monthly free entry day.
  • Schumann's Bar: Named after Germany’s most famous bartender—as well as movie star, model, and author—Charles Schumann, the vibe at this institution changes from restaurant to bar every night around midnight. Expect classic cocktails and an elegant clientele. Those in the know will find themselves in Les Fleurs du Mal, a bar within a bar.
  • Zephyr Bar: Zephyr provides a top shelf gin experience with local favorites like Duke Munich Dry Gin to Monkey 47 Schwarzwald. The drink menu is ever-changing, fresh, and quirky with names to match.
  • Trisoux : Synonymous with award-winning design, everything here is tasteful, from the organic wines to the carefully curated cocktails and funky lights.
  • Zum Wolf: This unique take on a Bavarian speakeasy is a go-to location for visitors to the area of Glockenbach, home to Munich's LGBTQ+ community. There are imported liquors from the American south, a thoughtfully selected cocktail menu, beer, wine and a blues-filled soundtrack straight from the ’50s and ’60s.
  • The Boilerman Bar: Located within the upscale hotel chain of 25hours Hotel The Royal Bavarian, this is a great hotel bar. All rich texture and gold lighting fixtures (are those pineapples?), this hipster haven is the perfect after work hang.
  • The High: This bar is peak hipster with plants fighting for space among the liquor bottles and a younger, trendy crowd sipping everything from coffee to bourbon.
  • Cocktail House: A standard in Munich's bar scene, this is the place for a date or a sophisticated group outing before things get wild.
  • Negroni Bar: For a drink and a bite to eat, this place is hard to beat—particularly for Negroni fans. There are seven different types on the menu, best enjoyed in the comfort of the bar's dark wood and leather-clad interior.
  • Keg Bar: This rowdy sports bar is just the place if you want to catch a live sporting event or meet up with the foreigner community in Munich. Order a beer and some pub grub and be ready to make friends.
  • Café Kosmos: Cheap drinks and an alternative vibe combine to create a one-of-a-kind hipster dive bar.
  • Das Labor: German for "laboratory, this bar sticks to the theme with bartenders in lab coats and radioactive shots in test tubes.

Breweries in Munich

Beside the traditional breweries you will find at the massive tents at Oktoberfest, Munich has a few interesting up-and-coming breweries for you to consider.

  • CREW Republic: This crew isn't afraid to call it like it is and do things a little differently. Known for their variety of inventive ales, they also step outside German tradition to create some truly experimental brews.
  • Giesinger Bräu: This brewery takes a departure from traditional Bavarian beer with a studious approach. Mostly famous as a local brewery, their beers are still hard to find outside of Munich - so drink up!

Biergartens and Beer Halls in Munich

Biergartens and beer halls are a thing in Germany, particularly in Munich, and they get their very own article.

Wine Bars in Munich

  • Weinhaus Neuner: Munich’s oldest wine bar has been in operation since 1892. This legendary location features a restaurant, pub, and bar with a wine list focused on Teutonic labels. Ask the knowledge staff for their recommendations and pair it with their lovely food offerings.
  • GRAPES Weinbar: Housed within hotel Cortiina in the center, this wine bar features a huge collection of great wines and events like regional tastings.

Distilleries in Munich

  • Munich Distillers: This interesting startup is all about the booze. They offer finely crafted gin, vodka and even German rum. Grab a drink onsite and buy a bottle as a unique gift from Munich.
  • Duke Gin: Started by two students, this distillery is now one of the main suppliers of quality gin in Munich. Everything is bio, made from local ingredients.
  • SLYRS: You may not have heard of German whiskey, but that is about to change. This small, locally-owned distillery is outside of Munich but provides world-class whiskey crafted from
    the area's Alpine water and nurtered into maturity in views of the Alps.

Clubs in Munich

  • Harry Klein: This Munich club is always in good standing with an upstairs and downstairs and dance floor that is always moving. Their is an eclectic list of DJs and even a focus on regularly featuring females DJs.
  • Blitz : Located in what was once the Deutsches Museum, this massive location is optimized for sound. There are several bars and high security where you have to in your phone to enter certain areas.
  • Barschwein : Downstairs is a lively bar where chatter and drinks create a commotion. Upstairs the energy explodes with a dance floor and a crowd that doesn't stop.

Festivals in Munich

Oktoberfest: You can't talk about anything Munich without mentioning Oktoberfest. The world’s largest folk festival, known primarily for the beer, is the can't miss festival in the city for two weeks every September. More than six million visitors converge on the city to consume over seven million litres of beer every year.

Munich Christmas Markets: Munich's many Christmas markets are a hallmark of the holiday season. A place to shop, eat, and be merry, the good cheer can run unto the night with endless orders of Glühwein (mulled wine) and Wurst (sausage) to stay warm as you chat and listen to yuletide carols.

Starkbierfest: Munich's strong beer festival has been called the "Insiders' Oktoberfest". Held every year at the end of winter, this is beer created by monks who drank these very strong, heavy beers to make it through the last of the dark months and Lent before spring. Beware! This is the strong stuff.

Frühlingsfest: The sister festival of Oktoberfest takes place takes place in the same fairgrounds as the larger festival and celebrates the spring. It shares many of the same activities from beer tents to Tracht (traditional clothing) to songs.

Kocherlball: This oddball event got started by the working class wanting to enjoy their own party... even if that was at 5 am. Today the event takes place on a Sunday in July in the Englishergarten's Chinese Tower in the very early hours of the day.

Tollwood Festival: Taking place every summer and winter, this festival just outside the city features international music acts and two weeks of festivities.

Tips for Going Out in Munich

  • The legal drinking age in Germany is 16, but hard liquor is only available from the age of 18. These laws are laxly enforced, especially if the minor is the presence of their family.
  • Entry into clubs is usually only available for 18 and over. IDs will be checked at the door.
  • It is uncommon for bars in Germany to have a “last call.” Businesses usually have a suggested closing time, but may close earlier if there are not enough customers or stay open as long as there are patrons.
  • Clubs open late. Most don't even open until 11 p.m. and can be quiet until 12:30 a.m.
  • Bars may be closed on Sunday or Monday, so always check hours if you’re in town on those two days.
  • Munich has a well-connected public transport system, MVV, as well as readily available taxis in the center.
  • Munich is the most expensive city in Germany and the nightlife reflects that in drink prices and cover prices. Beers in restaurants are about 4-6 Euros, wine is about 6-7, and craft cocktails can cost 9-10 Euro. Water might be your most expensive purchase, but try to stay hydrated.
  • Munich is a more conservative city than places like Berlin so expect to dress up for a night out, but with tights and limited cleavage. It is all about the preppy/yuppie vibe here.
  • Open-container laws are uncommon in Germany and you may see people drinking in the parks, by the river, or on the go with a Wegbier. However, in Munich it is looked down upon to be drunk on the street and may out you as a tourist.
  • Don't drink and drive. Your punishment will include high fines and losing your driver's license.
  • Tipping is typically optional in Germany, but if you want to leave something in a restaurant or a bar/pub with table service, the range is between 5 and 15 percent. Taxi drivers don't expect tips, but you can round up your fare to the nearest euro.
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