7 European cities for beer lovers

From Dublin to Budapest, to Munich and Valencia, discover seven European cities perfect for lovers of that golden brew.

If there’s nothing you enjoy more than a cold glass of quality beer, then there are some places that you have to visit at least once in your life. Of course, we’re talking about Munich with its world-famous Oktoberfest and Dublin with its creamy black Guinness. But we’ve also included a few places you might not expect in our round-up. For example, what would you say to a beer spa in Budapest or a visit to some family breweries in Valencia?

Discover seven beer-loving European cities below and see which one will quench your thirst. And if beer doesn’t hold you or your travel companion in its thrall, there are still plenty of incredible things to do in these destinations.

1. Munich, Germany

We all know, Munich means Oktoberfest. And Oktoberfest means lederhosen, dirndls, brass bands and, of course, beer. This German folk festival takes place every year from mid-September to early October. Although it’s been cancelled for a few years, the long-awaited party returns in 2022 and is a great excuse to visit this city. But even if you don’t go during the festival, you can still indulge yourself as a beer lover. The city has more than 100 biergärten (beer gardens) where you can enjoy hearty Bavarian dishes and a cold glass of German beer at long wooden tables. The most popular are the beer gardens of local breweries such as Augustiner, Hofbräu and Paulaner.

2. Dublin, Ireland

If there’s one country that’s known for its pubs, it’s Ireland. And a drink in an Irish pub should not be missed even if you’re not the most avid beer drinker. Ireland’s most famous beer is, of course, Guinness and the Guinness Storehouse gives beer lovers the opportunity to learn more about the history and the making of that delicious black stuff. At the end of the visit, tap your own pint and sample Ireland’s largest export product. Or if you’d rather explore the Irish brew on your own, head to the city center. They’ll be more than happy to serve you a cold pint in Temple Bar and surrounding pubs with live music.

3. Valencia, Spain

When you think of Spain you naturally immediately think of wine, but Spaniards also love to indulge in a refreshing beer on a terrace in the sun. Valencia in particular is an excellent city for beer enthusiasts. So if you’re in the city of paella and the City of Arts and Sciences, add a brewery visit to your list. The city has a number of breweries where you can take guided tours and of course sample a beer. A few must-see breweries are Tyris and Alegría. Otherwise, if you’d rather go straight to the beer-drinking part head to any bar and try Turia, Valencia’s most popular local beer.

4. Pilsen, Czech Republic

The name Pilsen says it all; this place belongs in any round-up of the best cities for beer fans. An hour and a half drive from Prague, Pilsen is the namesake of the pilsner. The malty mixture was first produced here in 1842 and has since become a world-famous concept. Pilsen has a number of major museums, a cathedral and a synagogue, but visitors mainly come for the brewery museum. This museum, owned by beer brand Pilsner Urquell, shows its guests the history of beer brewing and the laboratories where the beer is produced. And of course, you’ll have the chance to taste their fine golden ale.

5. Budapest, Hungary

Budapest may not immediately come to mind as a beer city, but it’s on the list for a special reason. You can enjoy a beer bath in the Széchenyi Spa. Yes, you read that right. You can literally bathe in beer. It’s not 100% beer, but the thermal water is mixed with dry hops and yeast. And while bathing in beer, you can also drink a beer (or two). Sounds too good to be true, right? But even if it’s not your cup of tea, the Queen of the Danube has plenty to offer. You can admire the Hungarian Parliament Building, Buda Castle or the Chain Bridge. And should you get thirsty afterwards you can always get a drink in the iconic ruin bars or go for a beer and pizza river cruise on the Danube.

6. Brussels, Belgium

Brussels is not only the capital of the European Union, it’s also an important center for beer. No fewer than 600 beer varieties are produced in the city, from white beer to dark ale and a traditional cherry-flavored type. The city is also home to the cafe with the largest beer selection in the world: the Delirium Café. Just three minutes from Grote Markt, here you can choose from more than 2000 types of beer. But if that sounds a touch overwhelming to you, simply pop into any of the hundreds of other cafes, where they’re certain to pour you a nice cold beer.

7. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Although opinions may differ about which Dutch beer is best, there’s no denying that this city is world-famous for beer. It’s the home of Heineken and a visit to Amsterdam isn’t complete without visiting the Heineken Experience. Not only will you learn about their brewing process, you’ll discover how the brand became so successful and also get to taste their beer. Outside of the brewery you can also visit the many beer cafes in Amsterdam, like the Beer Temple and Proeflokaal Arendsnest. More than 100 beers are waiting for you!

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