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Hofbräuhaus München

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Hoffrauhaus band photo

ABOVE: The Hofbräuhaus München oompah band makes its rounds of the Schwemme, or main taproom, on the ground floor.

Location of the Munich Hofbräuhaus

The Hofbräuhaus is on the Platzl, within a couple of minutes' walking distance of the Marienplatz in downtown Munich. For maps (including an easy-to-print PDF version), see the Hofbräuhaus Web site's "How to get here" page.

Hours and venues

The Hofbräuhaus opens daily at 9 a.m., including Christmas and other major holidays. Closing time is 11:30 p.m.

The Schwemme or main taproom is open throughout the day, as is the 400-person beer garden in favorable weather. It's the heart and soul of the Hofbräuhaus, with long tables, an oompah band, Bretzl ladies wandering the aisles with baskets of pretzels, and a capacity of 1,300 people. (A smaller connecting room, Stadelheim, was once reserved for staff from Munich's prison of the same name.)

On the first floor, the Bräustube offers "cultured hospitality" to guests who prefer a slightly more refined atmosphere than the hubbub of the main taproom.

The "Bavarian Evening " in the Festival Hall begins at 6:30 p.m., when the doors open and beer is served. The band starts playing at 7 p.m., when the buffet is served, and the folklore show beging at 7:45 p.m. Plan on staying several hours. Reservations are essential; phone +49 (0) 89 290136-10 or e-mail [email protected]

The Festival Hall also has a "senior dance party"  Tuesday afternoons. The event is geared to locals, but if you're half a century over the age of consent, you might phone ahead to see if tourists are welcome.

Finally, the Hofbräuhaus München has a gift shop on the main floor, where you can buy everything from traditional stoneware beer mugs to Hofbräuhaus t-shirts and trinkets.

Table etiquette

In the taproom and beer garden, it's customary to share tables. If you feel awkward sitting down with strangers, try visiting when the Hofbräuhaus is less crowded (e.g., outside of normal meal hours or after 10 p.m.).

Important: Don't sit at tables that are marked "Reserviert." The Hofbräuhaus has many drinking associations, clubs, corporate groups, etc. that meet on a regular basis, and you won't be welcome if you plop yourself down at a table reserved for German Patent Office workers or police pensioners.

Web links

Hofbräuhaus München
The official site has historical anecdotes, photos, restaurant menus, and more. Text is available in German, English, and Russian.

Beer Drinker's Guide: Hofbräuhaus
Larry Hawthorn, author of The Beer Drinker's Guide to Munich, deplores "the arrogance of the management and the service crew" (a not altogether fair judgment, in our opinion), but he still gives the Hofbräuhaus a 4-beer rating on a scale of 5 for "one of the wild-and-craziest evenings you'll spend in Munich."

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Hofbräuhaus München
Location, hours, Web links

Also see:
Munich Guide - Beer
Munich Beer and Oktoberfest Museum