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Munich Beer Halls- is it really 3 hr wait time?

Hallo! Visiting Munich next week for first time to experience city and markets. Visiting Hofbrauhaus and Augustine-Keller for fun experience and great beer are on the must-do list…but it looks like (per google) the wait times to be seated most evenings (except Sundays?) can be 2.5- 3 hours long. Are these lengthy wait times accurate? I am expecting these popular beer halls to be packed, but I guess I imagined there being enough seating availability to squeeze into a bench. If wait times are multiple hours…then what do people do while waiting?

Posted by
2589 posts

It's a beer hall. You have a beer. We visited Hofbrauhaus in the summer, and were seated quickly. This was in 2015, so don't know about now.

Posted by
336 posts

Those charts are good to show you when a place is busy, but NO I don’t believe I would trust Google maps data on how long it thinks people wait. My understanding is the data collected is how long people are in a location total, which is helpful for when a place tends to be busy not much else.

Posted by
1291 posts

When we visited the Hofbrauhaus in summer 2018, it was empty at lunch time. That was a good time to wander around all the various rooms - it’s huge. We wanted to experience a livelier vibe, so we returned for dinner. We were seated outdoors right away, which was better for our family. But we did stop indoors for the music. It was exactly what I had envisioned. It looks like they take reservations for groups of 4 or more online. https://mobil.hofbraeuhaus.de/en/welcome.html

These places literally seat thousands, but staffing is most likely an issue, as it is here.

Posted by
223 posts

I would make reservation for the evening. But nevertheless for sure you do not have to wait that long even without a reservation.

Posted by
823 posts

I'd never wait 15 minutes, let alone longer. There are way too many good beer halls in Munich to put up with that. And if the tourists are as thick as that then you're not going to get a "true" experience. Augustiner has half a dozen places in Munich (not all in the old town); if there's a line at the Keller, go to the Klosterwirt (which I prefer, and where tourists are much less likely to be).

I quit going anywhere near the Hofbrauhaus decades ago, because it's a tourist trap. The food is nothing special, and neither is the beer. Lowenbraukeller is a good alternative. Also Spatenhaus (by the Opera).

I will also recommend Schneider Beirhall, a block from the Marienplatz and across from McDonalds. It's a student hangout.

For a scenic place try the beerhall by the Chinese Tower in the English Gardens.

Posted by
223 posts

Agree with KGC

Hofbräuhaus could be interessting to just walk throug but not more.

I'm not going to a real beer hall quite often but when I do so I go to Augustiner Bräustuben, Landsberger Straße 19: https://www.braeustuben.de/en/ - best beer in town (at least best among the big Munich brewerys).

Still many locals there and the fun fact is that you are drinking your beer directly where the brewery is located. The beer hall is located in the former horse stable. Well part of it is still used as horse stable during Oktoberfest :-)

Maybe fun to watch Augustiner's historical photography collection: https://www.augustiner-braeu.de/en/home/historische-galerie.html

Posted by
6373 posts

We were last there at the start of Oktoberfest in 2017, and even then, we had no issue getting into most any beer hall or garden. However, the weather may force those that would be in the gardens inside, but overall tourism should be down, so I really do not think there will be a long wait. Of course if you are a group, make reservations. Hofbrauhaus can get crazy busy, it is worth a stop for a beer, maybe save a meal for someplace else, like one of the Augustiner halls.

I also like Schneider Weiss, but I like to go there for breakfast, Weisswurst, a pretzel and a hefeweissen, a great way to start the day.

Posted by
4672 posts

When we went to Hofbrauhaus we were seated quickly, but that was years ago and in May.

Posted by
1 posts

Dec 4 - We’re just wrapping up a weekend in Munich for the Weinnachtmarkts. Friday afternoon at 2:14 we walked into the Augustiner Stamm wandered around for about 3-4 minutes and found a table with just a few cups on it that had not yet been cleared. Sat down, welcomed the young couple that asked to sit at the other end of the table and all was good. Got a great lunch/dinner. Just before we left a man walked around dropping reservation table tent cards on tables.. ours was reserved for a party of five at 4:30 pm… in a little less than an hour. Timing is everything?

The Hofbrauhau was a zoo early afternoon on Saturday, we didn’t even bother for a beer, as we’d been there before. Went to the Ratskeller at ~7:45 pm Saturday and stood in line for roughly 15-20 minutes, and our party of two had no trouble getting seated.
Best wishes…

Posted by
376 posts

I'm not going to a real beer hall quite often but when I do so I go to Augustiner Bräustuben, Landsberger Straße 19: https://www.braeustuben.de/en/ - best beer in town (at least best among the big Munich brewerys).

Went there the day we arrived ... was hoping for a brewery tour but they don't give them, so went in for a late lunch ... got a dunkel vom fass (on tap) and you could taste the freshness ... the haxen with kartoffelknödel was to die for ...

Augustiner Stamm

Went there our second night ... not crowded and found a table right away ... had been there once before on our first trip to Munich (pre-covid) and it was great ... this time, only average

Posted by
18552 posts

As Yogi Berra said, "Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded."

Posted by
223 posts

"was hoping for a brewery tour but they don't give them"

In Munich I know that Giesinger Bräu is offering tours. Giesinger is a rather new and very hip brewery.

Posted by
909 posts

We are in Munich now. We went to Hofbrauhaus on Sunday night. It was packed!!! We found a table in a corner just as others were leaving so got lucky. Otherwise it looked like a long wait.

On a prior trip, we had a great meal at Augustiner Stamm so booked a night there for this trip. Very disappointed in the food and our server. The other servers appeared to like their jobs, but not ours. Last night we went to Der Pschorr which was very good. We went about 5 pm and had no wait.

Posted by
909 posts

Btw, the Chinese tower is closed as was everything right there except the gluhwein stand. We knew that, but wondered past there this week.

Posted by
26 posts

For Hofbrauhaus, the lengthy wait times are for the small number of reserved tables. In the main part of the beer hall it is seat yourself, so you just wander around until you find a spot and sit there. Meeting the others at the long tables is part of the experience. I was there on a Friday evening in October, and it was packed to the rafters, but I found a spot after 10 min. of walking around.

It is undeniably a tourist trap, but it also easily the most famous beer hall in the world, so worth visiting anyway, even if just for a drink.