Hofbräuhaus München: Visit the World’s most famous Beer Hall!

Visit the Hofbräuhaus, Munich’s iconic beer hall located in the historic old town!

I share all the things that you need to know to help you plan your visit successfully. Including the pros and cons to visiting, fun facts, food and drink recommendations, how to get there, when to visit and much more.

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📕 What is the Hofbräuhaus?

The Hofbräuhaus is a famous brewery and beer hall in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. It’s perhaps also the most well-known beer hall in the world.

Its popularity is attributed to its history, the quality of beer and food, the Oktoberfest and its expansion across the globe in the last decades.

Established in the 16th century by the Bavarian duke Wilhelm V, it has since been a prime place to experience Bavarian and German beer in Munich.

When Bavaria turned into a kingdom in the 19th century, the brewery and beer hall became known as the” Königliches Hofbräuhaus” (the kings’ brewery). King Ludwig I received the right to admit the local population in 1928.

King Maximilian II in 1852 relinquished it then to the free state of Bavaria and in 1939 Hitler ordered a name change. Today, this iconic establishment is known as the Staatliches Hofbräuhaus München, and it is owned by the state.

The state-owned brewery has its headquarters just outside the city. What you get to experience when in Munich is the Hofbräuhaus beer hall Platzl, which is near the Marienplatz square in the old town.

The Hofbräuhaus is one of the major attractions in Munich and you shouldn’t miss this place when you are visiting Munich.

Hofbräuhaus am Platz in Munich
Hofbräuhaus am Platz in Munich

👍 Reasons to visit, or not

As an iconic establishment and the most famous beer hall in the world, the Hofbräuhaus is not only an inn but also a landmark in itself.

Yet, due to its popularity, it can get very touristy. I have listed my candid perspective, with pros and cons on why you might want to visit or not.


  • It’s a landmark with an interesting history.
  • The beer hall, called Schwemme, is beautifully decorated with painted murals in the traditional Lüftlmalerei technique.
  • The Hofbräuhaus beer counts as one of the best in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, and the world.
  • You can try local food specialties here.
  • Most food and beer hall guided tours take you to the Hofbräuhaus, and they take care of the reservation during busy times.
  • You will get a wonderful, and perhaps once in a lifetime, atmosphere in the beer hall which comes with local brass music.
  • If you are not visiting during Oktoberfest, the Hofbräuhaus is your next best choice.
  • Come during the off season and just sit and pick an empty table.
Ceiling paintings in the Hofbräuhaus, called Lüftl paintings (Lüftlmalerei)
Ceiling paintings in the Schwemme Hofbräuhaus, called Lüftl paintings (Lüftlmalerei)


  • It’s very touristy, and it can feel like a tourist trap. You will hardly meet locals or people from neighboring regions that have ever been to the Hofbräuhaus.
  • Getting a table during the peak season, such as the Oktoberfest period, is almost impossible, and you will have to book a table in advance. You will get a table as a walking visitor outside meal times.
  • Tables during meal times are prebooked by tourist guides, and the demand and scarcity is the reason for expensive tours.
  • Getting good service and the waiters’ attention is very difficult. It can take forever to order food or just a drink.

My verdict: I still recommend visiting the Hofbräuhaus because it has appeal, but visit in the afternoon hours when it’s less busy or pay a guide to get you there during lunch or dinner time.

If you are traveling on your own without tour guides, I recommend checking out other beer halls for a traditional Bavarian meal experience and to make the most of your trip to Munich.

📜 Fun Facts

Over 400 years and the world’s most well-known beer halls has not been without controversy. The iconic establishment is tied to the history of Munich.

The Hofbräuhaus was getting very popular among visitors and locals and beer hall and brewery owners took HB to court in 1815, as they were facing a loss in business due to the popularity of the king’s establishment. This court case dragged on for years, until the Wittelsbach (the former Bavarian royal ruling family) turned the Hofbräuhaus into a state-owned establishment.

The Logo, HB with a crown, is the short form of Hofbräuhaus, and it was registered in the German patent office in 1879. Several private brewers, perhaps as a retaliation, were copying the HB logo style for their logo to somewhat mislead and lure tourists into their beer halls.

Thanks to its size, popularity and set up, the Hofbräuhaus is the largest tent and beer seller at the Oktoberfest. It’s located near the Bavaria Statue.

Beer garden of the Hofbräuhaus am Platz Munich
Beer garden of the Hofbräuhaus am Platz Munich

Adolf Hitler came to power in the Hofbräuhaus, and the NSDAP (Nazi party) organized party rallies in the old beer halls. The original building was heavily bombarded and destroyed due to air bombings during WWII and was completely rebuilt in the following years after the end of the war.

The large colorful entry hall on the ground level, when entering the Hofbräuhaus in the old town, is known as Schwemme. A Schwemme is traditionally the area where large quantities of beer are served in an inn. These are usually vaulted rooms with large tables. The name also means, in German, a large quantity of people or a Schwemme can also be a large broken open barrel loosing masses of beer.

The building not only consists of the Schwemme, but also extends much further. One can book the traditional festival hall for a wedding on the third floor or hangout in the adjoining Bräustüberl or Wirtsgarten with the age-old chestnut trees. There is even a fan shop on the premises!

Place where the regulars' hangout at the Hofbräuhaus
Place where the regulars’ hangout at the Hofbräuhaus
HB Fan Shop in the Hofbräuhaus beer hall
HB Fan Shop in the Hofbräuhaus beer hall

Regulars to the establishment can lock their glasses and bier cups in a locker.

You can buy your beer with beer tokens in the beer hall. Back in the day, servants, and employees were paid in beer tokens. It’s seen as a currency, and locals like to joke that it’s the most stable currency in the market. You can buy 10 beer token in the Hofbräuhaus and you will get 1 for free with that!

Many famous people have been coming to HB over the ages, including Vladimir Lenin, John F. Kennedy, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Sissi).

Bavarian 1 liter beer glasses on shelves at the Hofbräuhaus am Platzl
Bavarian 1 liter beer glasses on shelves at the Hofbräuhaus am Platzl

During the thirty years war, King Gustavius of Sweden promised not to invade Munich in exchange for 600,000 liters of Hofbräuhaus beer

As per tradition and beer laws, the Hofbräuhaus produces only beer as per the Reinheitsgebot (Bavarian purity law). This beer law only allows for 4 ingredients, which are water, malt, yeast, and hops and the law dates back to the Holy Roman Empire era.

The Hofbräuhaus is a franchise and various establishments have been opened across the world. Some of the most noted Hofbräuhaus locations include Cleveland Ohio, Las Vegas, Columbus, Buffalo New York and Cincinnati in the United States. Smaller restaurants and bar places can also be found in Dubai, Tokyo and at the Bangkok airport.

Barrel of Königliche Hofbräuhaus München
Barrel of Königliche Hofbräuhaus München

🗺 Getting there

Subway Metro aka U-Bahn

The nearest subway station, the Marienplatz square, is 5 minutes away from the Hofbräuhaus and that’s the city center.

Go to the Marienplatz on one of the many subway routes and get out at the Marienplatz stop and walk to the Hofbräuhaus via the Sparkassenstrasse road. The area is safe anytime of the day with police patrolling constantly.


The nearest tram stations are the Nationaltheater and Kammerspiele and that’s the closest you can get via public transport to the Hofbräuhaus am Platzl.

From here it’s a 3-minute walk.


I don’t recommend coming by car to Munich because it’s a busy city and your car needs to have a German environment sticker.

The closest parking option is the Contipark at the Marienplatz, which is conveniently located right in the center of the city. Yet, the parking fee is rather steeply priced at €5 per hour, with a maximum total of €35 per day.

Marienplatz view to the old town hall
Marienplatz view to the old town hall

🥨 Food Recommendations

Being a quintessential Bavarian beer hall means that you will be served typical Bavarian food in the Hofbräuhaus am Platzl.

I recommend checking out our Oktoberfest Food Guide, as most dishes can be found at the Oktoberfest as well.

Furthermore, our Austrian German food translations might be helpful because Bavarian and west Austrians share a food and language culture.

There is no children’s menu because it’s not a family space.

Keep in mind that they have a seasonal menu too. For example, in autumn they have a venison ragout with braised red cabbage and also the Tyrolean Kaspressknödel on the menu and the winter Zwickl beer is also available. I loved the white chocolate mousse with cinnamon and apple ragout!

Fall Hofbräuhaus Menu
Fall Hofbräuhaus Menu
Hofbräuhaus menu card cover design
Hofbräuhaus menu card cover design
White Mousse with Cinnamon Apple Ragout
White Mousse with Cinnamon Apple Ragout
Obatzda Cheese Dip
Obatzda Cheese Dip
Weisswurst, Munich White Sausage
Weisswurst, Munich White Sausage
Giant "Brezn" Pretzels
Giant “Brezn” Pretzels

You can get other non-Bavarian specialties to such as Austrian and German foods.

These areas share certain food specialties, including:

Wiener Schnitzel with Lemon slices and lingonberry jam
Wiener Schnitzel with Lemon slices and lingonberry jam
Semmelknödel Dumplings, Sauerkraut, Sausage and Ribs
Semmelknödel Dumplings, Sauerkraut, Sausage and Ribs
Potato Dumplings (Erdäpfelknödel)
Potato Dumplings (Erdäpfelknödel)

🍺 Beer Types and Sizes

This is a quick translation of all the major terms that you might see in the Hofbräuhaus Menu. This includes types of Bavarian beer and the various sizes.

Hofbräu OriginalThe original classic beer from the HB.
Weisses or WeizenClassic high quantity wheat malt beer also called a Weißbier.
DunklesTraditional Bavarian dark brown full flavoured beer.
ZwicklCloudy and unfiltered beer. The Hofbräuhaus offers a summer or a winter zwickl and each are available only for a certain period in the year.
Schwarze WeisseA special only found at the Hofbräuhaus. It’s a dark wheat brewed beer.
Oktoberfestbier or MärzenThis beer is traditionally brewed in the month of march, which is known as März in German, therefore its name is Märzen beer. Incidentally, this beer type can be stored longer and therefore they would drink it at the last possible date, for the Oktoberfest celebrations. Hence why the name Oktoberfestbier.
Bock BierStrong malty dark lager beer. It was specially created about 400 years ago by a master brewer.
RadlerShandy prepared with beer and lemonade. Great refreshment on hot days.
Alkoholfrei0% alcohol, that means it’s alcohol-free and suitable for non drinkers.
Maß (spelled Mass)1 liter/ 1 quart glass beer
Isarseidl or Halbe0.5 liter/ 16.9 fl oz glass beer (not to be confused with the Austrian Seidl, which is 0.3 liter)
Stamperl40 ml/ 1.35 fl oz small shot glasses for Schnapps
A small Hofbräuhaus beer
A small Hofbräuhaus beer

⌛ When to visit?

The beer hall in the city center is open daily from 11 am to midnight.

Food is served last at 10 pm, and the last beer order is taken at 11:30 pm.

Live music from a brass band is played daily between noon and 4 pm and sometimes in the evening as well between 6 or 8 pm until 10 pm.

You can enter the beer hall and freely take a seat in the Schwemme (the main large room when you enter) without reservation, as long as there is no reservation board on a table.

During peak season and prime tourist hours, it is advisable to book a table if you intend to visit with more than 3 people. Peak season in Munich are the summer months, the Oktoberfest weeks, the Christmas advent period, new year’s and carnival.

We visited mid october at around 3 pm on a weekday and in the video below you can see that it’s not all that busy at that time.

👁️ Alternative Beer Halls and Gardens in Munich

The Hofbräuhaus can be very touristy and busy. Here are some great, equally amazing beer halls and gardens that you should visit when in Munich.

  • Augustinerkeller – The Augustiner beer hall and garden near the main train station. Here you will get Augustiner beer.
  • Löwenbräukeller – The original and one of the oldest establishments with stunning inner and outer architecture.
  • Paulaner am Nockherberg – The Paulaner beer garden and restaurant, located to the south of the city.
  • Hofbräukeller – The Beer garden at the Wiener Platz in Munich, owned by the Hofbräuhaus.
  • Pschorr – Hacker-Pschorr brewery and typical Bavarian restaurant just outside the Viktualienmarkt, and they also run the historical Hackerhaus near the Sendlingertor.

If you are looking for a brewery tour, take a look at the Spaten-Franziskaner brewery. They produce major beers for the German and international market.

Augustiner Bräu in the old town
Augustiner Bräu in the old town

💭 FAQs

What does Hofbräuhaus mean?

The word Hofbräuhaus consists of 2 words. Hof means court as in royal court and Brauhaus means brewery. Therefore, Hofbräuhaus means court’s brewery.

How to get a table at the Hofbräuhaus?

Most of the time you can just enter the main building and Schwemmer area (public drinking room) and sit wherever you get a spot to sit. During peak seasons, such as Oktoberfest, you should book a table, especially if you are visiting with more than 3 friends or family members. Getting a table during major meal times such as lunch and dinner time can be a challange too.

How to order in the Hofbräuhaus?

It’s difficult to get the attention of the waiters because they seem to be busy running around all the time. I recommend sitting at one of the centrally located tables to get into the view of the waiters. The menu can be taken right from the paying station/ mise en place area. To get the attention of a waiter, make signs with your hands and say excuse me until someone finally comes by. Ordering food and drink at the Hofbräuhaus is not easy!

How much is a beer?

On average, a 1 liter beer or radler (shandy) is about €10,40 ($11.30). It’s still cheaper than at the Oktoberfest, where a 1 liter beer costs at least €14.

Does the Hofbräuhaus take credit cards?

Yes, they take all major credit card brands. They also take international debit cards, but depending on your bank or country, debit cards are less likely to work at the POS. I recommend paying with a credit card. Keep in mind that the waitresses selling giant pretzels need to be paid separately and directly in cash only.

What’s the Hofbräuhaus song?

“In München steht ein Hofbräuhaus“ (In Munich stands a Hofbräuhaus) composed by Wilhelm Gabriel, nicknamed Wiga, and “oans, zwoa, g’suffa” (one, two, drink it) are sung by a oompah band.

Do I have to tip the server?

No, you don’t have to tip the server, BUT you can tip. It’s optional, and you only tip the serve if they did their job really well. You can tip 5-10% of your bill. If they ask you to give a tip when paying via credit card, THIS IS NOT A THING IN EUROPE.

What’s the minimum drinking age for beer in Germany?

The minimum drinking age is 14 for beer and wine if accompanied by a guardian or parents. The purchase of beer and wine is only allowed at the age of 16 and for hard drinks such as Schnapps, Whiskey, and Rum it’s 18 years.

What’s the Angel in the HB?

The angel is Aloisius, the beer hall’s eternal regular. Ludwig Thoma a writer from Munich, wrote the short story: “Ein Münchner im Himmel” in 1911. The story goes that Aloisius was a porter and faithful regular at the Hofbräuhaus. He dies and gets into heaven, but things didn’t work out, so Peter and god send him back to earth with a holy message for the Bavarian government. But Aloisus went straight to the Hofbräuhaus, and he is still there drinking his beer, while the Bavarian government is still waiting for the godly message.

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