Best Beer Gardens

The world's first beer gardens emerged in 19th-century Bavaria, and the rather brilliant idea of sprawling, outdoor beer-drinking establishments soon took hold and spread across the globe. From Munich, Germany, to New York City and even Vietnam, here are the world's best beer gardens.

Photo By: BBMC Tobias Ranzinger

Photo By: Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau

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Photo By: Koeniglicher Hirschgarten

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Photo By: Brouwerij 't IJ

Photo By: Augustiner Bräu Kloster Mülln

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Hofbrauhaus, Munich, Germany

Hands down the world's most famous beer garden, the Hofbrauhaus began brewing in the 16th century. Today, more than 400 imbibers can sit outside at its wooden, picnic-style tables and guzzle gigantic mugs of beer served by dirndl-wearing waitresses.

Mount Takao Beer Mount, Tokyo

If you somehow manage to hike nearly 2,000 feet to the peak of Tokyo's Mount Takao, at the very least, you deserve a beer. With that in mind, one of the world's highest beer gardens opened here (at just over 1,600 feet), and it offers stunning views of Tokyo's skyscrapers and sprawl. Less athletically inclined visitors can still get their drink on at high altitudes, thanks to a cable car.

Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, Astoria, NY

Bohemian Hall is proof that good beer gardens can be found in unexpected places. For more than a century, this beloved spot in Queens has helped New Yorkers get sloshed with their friends in a sea of trees and twinkly lights. Live music, table tennis and hearty Czech fare sweeten the deal.

Koniglicher Hirschgarten, Munich, Germany

Hofbrauhaus may be Germany's most popular beer garden, but Hirschgarten is far and away its biggest. Set in the midst of a 100-acre park, it seats up to 8,000 thirsty souls.

Café Vlissinghe, Bruges, Belgium

Escape the tourist-choked streets of Bruges in this pleasant beer garden. The city's oldest bar opened in 1515, and patrons can quaff their drinks inside a charming room with dark oak rafters and wooden tables or on the peaceful outdoor terrace, where you can also play a game of pétanque.

Letná Beer Garden, Prague

Enjoy your brew with a view. Prague's most scenic beer garden is located in Letná Park, overlooking the Old City and the Vltava River. Grab a beer in a plastic cup and wander the park's trails, or relax on the terrace.

Brouwerij 't IJ, Amsterdam

Patrons of this former bathhouse enjoy its enviable location adjacent to the city's De Gooyer windmill. Tour the brewery or head straight to the bar, where you can order a draft or bottled beer and snack on cheese and sausages.

Luong Son, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Make like a local in Ho Chi Minh City and visit Luong Son. At this bustling open-air beer garden of sorts, join hundreds of other patrons and pull up a plastic chair, throw back a cold Saigon beer, and order from a menu of grill-it-yourself meats (grills are provided!).

Augustiner Bräu Kloster Mülln, Salzburg, Austria

Mülln keeps as many as 1,500 thirsty revelers at a time happy with its secret beer recipe. First brewed by monks in the 17th century, the beer is still served from wooden barrels into traditional steins.

Chinesischer Turm, Munich, Germany

On a warm summer afternoon, it's all but impossible to resist Chinesischer Turm and its namesake, the pagoda-like Chinese Tower. This massive beer garden seats 7,000 and lies in the heart of Munich's English Garden. Plan to do your drinking on a weekend, when a brass band plays.

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