With everything from the biggest and best breweries in the world, to beer festivals attracting millions of hop-lovers from across the globe – Europe sure knows a thing or two about beer. We have teamed up with stag and hen party planners, Last Night of Freedom, to round up our top recommendations for beer cities in Europe.
You can’t talk about beer in Europe without giving a big shout out to Munich, the Big Daddy of all beer swilling countries. Not only do those Germans know how to brew the perfect pint, they also know how to celebrate in style. One word – Oktoberfest. Seeing an average of six million people descend upon its hallowed turf, this 16 day festival sends the city into Bavarian bedlam. Around six million litres of beer are drank over the festivities, which is a pretty big session, even by your standards.
People living in the Czech capital drink more beer per capita than anywhere else in the world (more than 320 pints per person, each year, to be precise), so it’s no wonder Prague has made this list. The city offers a beer festival which rivals the German Oktoberfest, lasting 17 monumental days and serving up 150 different craft brews from beer tents as far as the eye can see. Plus, beer prices in Prague are less than half what you would expect to pay back in the UK, making your cash stretch that bit further.
There are so many different ways to enjoy beer in Hamburg, the German city couldn’t fail to make this list. Whether it be lapping up the atmosphere in an authentic bierhaus, taking in the sights whilst necking gallons on a beer bike or visiting one of the many breweries in the city, Hamburg has free-flowing beer in every possible guise. Speaking of breweries, Hamburg is known for housing some of the very best. The German brewing industry used to be governed by purity laws intended to keep beer as natural and free from impure ingredients as possible – meaning that the only ingredients which could be used were water, barley and hops – which many breweries in Hamburg still abide by today.
Just because you can get pints for less than a quid in most Budapest bars, does not mean those Hungarians scrimp on quality. Budapest is undergoing a craft beer revolution; hipster-esque craft ale pubs, bars and even microbreweries are springing up all over the city, attracting a vast and dynamic crowd, and there’s never been a better time to visit (check shirts, beards and ironic glasses optional). Whether you’re after a light and refreshing fruit beer, or some heavier IPA, stout or wheat beer, Budapest boasts everything you’re looking for and more.
Apart from the huge array of traditional beer halls and authentic pubs lining the streets, Berlin is also home to The International Berlin Beer Festival. Housing the world’s longest beer garden, this two day extravaganza takes place in the heart of the city, where around 300 breweries come together to showcase their unique brews (and get you drunk) from all over the world. In true German flavour, this beer fuelled fiesta sees live Oompah bands, plenty of lederhosen and blonde plaited hair, as well as an average of 750,000 people drink, dance and party the night away.