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June 2006

On the Terraces

Enjoy the World Cup on big screens in Munich’s beer gardens

If there are two things that Munich does particularly well, there are beer and football. Combined, of course, they’re even better. So when the World Cup hits town this month, where better to catch the action than in one of the city’s beer gardens? We can’t promise you’ll get a seat, or that you’ll actually be able to see the screen beyond the glare of the sun, but we can guarantee you a great atmosphere. What’s more, between June 8 and 13, beer garden opening hours will be extended until 1 am, giving soccer fans plenty of chance to celebrate when the final goals have been scored.

Munich’s oldest Biergarten, the Augustiner Keller, is likely to be one of the busiest spots, given its central location, on Arnulfstrasse near the Hackerbrücke, just a short hop away from a bevy of hotels and youth hostels. Though sure to be crowded, there are a few big plus points about the place, not least the fact that you can quaff Augustiner throughout—and even if the game’s not worth writing home about, a Mass of what is arguably Munich’s finest brew certainly is! Foodwise, you’re looking at standard Bavarian fare at standard, city center, beer garden prices. On the practical side of things, the substantial shade provided by the lush forest of chestnut trees here just might ensure viewers can see what’s going on! And, should the weather prove uncooperative, fans can head for the main entrance and seek shelter in the Augustiner restaurant, where, importantly, the beer will still be flowing!
Arnulfstrasse 52 (S-Bahn 1/8, Tram 16/17 Hackerbrücke), Tel. 59 43 93

If you can’t find a free bit of bench there, best head to Hirschgarten, the former royal deer park in the vicinity of Nymphenburg castle. Munich’s largest beer garden, it boasts some 6,500 seats. The house beer here is also Augustiner, although you’ll occasionally find Tegernseer Helles on tap as well. As far as viewing goes, Hirschgarten also offers good shade and is no stranger to offering outdoor broadcasts of sporting events. During the European Championships in 2004, for example, a number of games were screened here quite successfully, directly in front of the restaurant, located at the main entrance. Culinarily-speaking, the Hirschgarten offers traditional fare from standard, self-service booths, while, at its restaurant, catering to those whose idea of good grub is something more upscale than picking at a sticky Hendl—and, all of this at fair prices. It’s also one of the few beer gardens at which you can count on getting a decent glass of wine. What’s more, should you (or the kids) be completely gripped by football fever, there’s plenty of surrounding parkland, and nothing to stop you getting up and kicking a ball around—a fine way to work off those Knödel!
Hirschgarten 1 (S-Bahn Laim), Tel. 17 25 91,

Waldwirtschaft, in the Isar valley in Grosshesselohe, meanwhile, is another spot where you’ll find slightly more than your average Bavarian gut-busting dishes. In fact, it’s one of the few beer gardens considered worth going to for the food, rather than just the atmosphere. Here, you’ll find a creative selection of food, one the owners like to describe as “elegant Bavarian.” Reasonable meal prices here range from € 8 and € 16. As you savor your Mass of Spaten, and while away the hours until closing time at 1 am, remember to raise your glass to those who sparked the infamous 1995 Biergarten Revolution, when, right here, they launched a protest against earlier beer garden closing times. Although it has just 2,500 seats, Waldwirtschaft is far enough outside the center of Munich to prevent it from overflowing with folk. However, if it does prove too busy on the night of a big match, it’s still worth a try on a quieter day, as the garden is renowned for its daily, high-caliber live jazz performances.
Georg-Kalb-Strasse 3, Grosshesselohe (10 mins. from S-Bahn 7 Isartalbahnhof-Grosshesselohe), Tel. 74 99 40 30,

Back in town, the Muffathalle, with its small, slightly more modern-looking beer garden, offers an intimate feel. In fact, you’ll have to get there in good time if you want a seat at this cool little spot on the banks of the Isar. The food here is far from traditional—choose your piece of organic meat form the barbecue and enjoy a selection of exotic salads. There are also organic sausages, potato salad and organic Brezen. Drinkswise, there’s plenty on offer for wine lovers—take your pick from a number of Austrian and Italian classics. On the beer front, there’s Hofbräu on draft and, what’s more, this is one of the few places to actually serve Helles by the half liter, as well as by the Mass, during peak season. Zellstrasse 4 (S-Bahn 1/8 Rosenheimerplatz; Tram 18 Gasteig), Tel. 45 87 50 73

The following is a list of other beer gardens where World Cup matches will be screened live on big, outdoor screens. As the weather is not entirely predictable, and as not all beer gardens show all games, we suggest calling ahead. Alter Wirt Ramersdorf, Aribonenstrasse 8, Tel. 689 18 62
Aumeister, Sondermeierstrasse 1, Tel. 32 52 24
Chinesischer Turm, Englischer Garten 3, Tel. 38 38 73 20
Flaucher, Isarauen 8, Tel. 723 26 77
Franziskanergarten, Friedenspromenade 45, Tel. 430 09 96
Fürstenegger, Würmtalstrasse 2, Tel. 714 18 50
Hirschau, Gysslingstrasse 15, Tel. 322 10 80
Hofbräukeller Biergarten, Innere Wiener Strasse 19, Tel. 459 92 50
Laimer’s, Agricolastrasse 16, Tel. 546 64 01
Menterschwaige, Menterschwaige 4, Tel. 64 07 32
Paulaner am Nockherberg, Hochstrasse 77, Tel. 459 91 30
Seehaus, Kleinhesseloher See im Englischen Garten, Tel. 381 61 30
Detailed maps for all these beer gardens can be found at: <<<

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