Slide into a deep leather booth and heft the thick cocktail book. The mixed drinks here often nab the title of Munich's best and the golden shakers above the bar are trophies honoring this. The strong blends pack a punch, especially the Long Island Ice Tea (pin your hotel address to your sleeve). A kitchen provides simple, stomach-lining fare. The crowd is 20's to 40's, mostly German professionals. Although this is not where tourists usually go, this part of town has now become the most trendy and professional. If you want a place with elegance and class, this bar in Haidhausen (the East side of the river) has you covered.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Quite possibly the best bar in Haidhausen, the cocktails are spectacular.
Mike's expert tip: Reservations are almost required on weekends and weekdays are not empty either, so call early.
Calm and laid-back jazz bar that draws an older, more middle class crowd of regulars to hear the line-up of renowned musicians. Can be relied upon for good live music in a casual environment. Reservations recommended during high season. This place is hard to find for locals and tourists alike, but for those that do you are rewarded. Then venue has been around for a long time and a reputation as being the first and only stop for jazz music in Munich. Local musicians and international travelers share the stage and sooth the soul for the weary traveler. Just be sure to come early and stay late.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Live music and a very different atmosphere to most places in town.
Mike's expert tip: Check the website before going down there to see who is playing.
This traditional Irish pub has a German flair and is the oldest pub in the city. Sit at the bar, order from the more than 70 whiskeys or the extensive beer menu. If you're hungry why not try the bacontoast and strike up a conversation with the regulars. U-BAHN: Giselastrasse. There are many Irish pubs that come and go in Munich just like any city, but this one is old and grimy like an Irish pub should be. Owned by a German rather than an Irishman makes this one intriguing to the newcomer and yet fascinating to see how Germans view the Irish.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: A very German Irish bar that is popular with students and not so much tourists, it is unique.
Mike's expert tip: The Guinness is good, but the locals still drink Augustiner here.
Chill in a comfortable lounge setting. On one of the main shopping streets, the bar is easy to reach by subway or walking from Marienplatz. Mondays feature all-night happy hour; choose from a large selection of cocktails while sitting on built-in red couches. Though elegant, the atmosphere is conducive to conversation. The music selection is a combination of house, electro, bootleg, and R&B. This is your standard lounge type club in Munich, but its location right downtown is what makes it on the list. For tourists it is easy to get to and easy to get back to your hotel.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: It's a large popular bar with good atmosphere and a great location.
Mike's expert tip: Make it there before 6pm or make a reservation.
Named after the Cuban rum, Havana Club boasts a menu featuring over 100 different varieties. The friendly and capable bar staff serve up a diverse selection of cocktails (from the traditional to the avant garde) in this splash of the Caribbean in Bavaria. Close to Isar Tor, Havana Club is central, but escapes the tourist hordes. Mostly a hang out for locals, this is a great place to meet Bavarians. The clientele ranges from business suits to bike-tour guides, late 20s to 40s. Although this is certainly more of a cocktail lounge than pub, it also offers local beer and great specials.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: A good cocktail is hard to find in Munich, but this place gets the job done right.
Mike's expert tip: This is a cocktail bar first and foremost. Still with the cocktails.
Synonymous with creative expression, Substanz is in an artistic section of town. As well as a program of live music and DJ's, the club hosts the Munich Poetry Slam and the English Comedy Club. Easy to find, the bar is ten minutes from Marienplatz on the U3/U6 subway lines. Occasionally, the bar shows German sports, too. If visiting for your first time, it is best to check the website for program details as every night of the week is something different. Substanz also hosts the English stand up comedy night which attracts comedians from mostly the UK and Ireland, but also includes expats.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The Substanz is an eclectic bar that is very Bavarian and yet bizarrely not at all.
Mike's expert tip: The comedy nights almost always sell out, so make sure to buy your tickets online ahead of time.
One of Munich's most popular Irish bars stands only a few steps behind the altar of the Frauenkirche (Munich's Cathedral). The food is better than the usual pub grub, and includes pizza, burgers and fish and chips. The nightly specials can sparkle: ostrich steak or carrot-ginger soup. The live music program will keep you entertained with everything from rock, blues and R&B, to traditional Irish folk bands. A big-screen television shows sporting events and the place is usually standing room only on the weekends. Kilian's rents its terrace from the neighboring church, so there's a 10.30pm curfew for outdoor seating.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Kilian's is the most popular Irish pub in town because it does everything right. So right that it's always busy.
Mike's expert tip: If you are coming to watch a sporting event, make sure to reserve a table as it will be impossible to get a seat.
In the Feierwerk complex you'll find some of the best venues for live music in the city - the Orangehouse, Sunny Red, Kranhalle and Hansa 39. Get your fill of local and international hip hop, punk, hardcore, metal, electronic, ska and indie bands. In the summer, the club expands events into on-site tents. Almost every night of the year there are events scheduled in at least two of the Feierwerk locations and usually two very different genres. This is one of the best known and most popular live music venues in the city. It is always best to check the website for program details.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The Feierwerk is one of the best known live music venues in Munich with four separate stages hosting events.
Mike's expert tip: Bands almost never start on time at the Feierwerk, so it may be best to be fashionably late.
Put on your most stylish designer ensemble and head to P1 for a glamorous night in one of Munich's most famous clubs. This trendy European dance club is known for its strict door policy, expensive drinks, and elite celebrity clientele. Should you be lucky enough to get through the doors, you will be dazzled by the high-tech video projectors and elaborate lighting systems that surround the expansive dance floor. The club often hosts live DJs who spin the latest techno mixes that keep the upscale crowd coming back for more. To find the place, go to the art museum Haus Der Kunst, and follow the drive way around the back of the building.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: This is the club that everyone tries to get into at least once. All the stars come here when in town.
Mike's expert tip: Wear the best clothes you have or get on the list before you arrive as it is sometimes near impossible to get into this place.