Munich’s hard partying reputation centers around the annual Oktoberfest festival, with the city’s famous beer gardens pumping a steady stream of German beer, but if it’s heaving dance floors and blaring music that gets you going, Kunstpark, or Kunstpark Ost (KPO) is the place to be.
A former industrial area, the Kunstpark is now crammed with bars and clubs, keeping the party going long after the pubs and beer tents have closed their doors. The area doesn’t just hold a few bars though – the Kunstpark encompasses a mind blowing 80,000 square meters, stretching behind Munich’s Ostbahnhof train station and housing everything from Latino dancehalls to hip hop clubs.
Designed by Wolfgang Nöth, the Kunstpark complex takes the place of a former potato factory in East Munich, and since opening up in 1996, has become one of Europe’s largest event areas. Today, it’s renowned as a paradise for party-goers with bars and clubs open seven nights a week, clubs blasting music until dawn and a roster of renowned bands, artists and DJs taking the stage at various live venues.
Kunstpark nightlife in Munich, including over 50 clubs, bars and music venues, is split into two complexes – Kultfabrik, where a younger crowd occupies the theme bars, discos and techno clubs and Optimolwerke, where lavish clubs and pricey wine bars cater for a more refined audience. The former is also home to the ‘canteen’, where an all-night food court serves everything from fast food to wood-fired pizzas to hungry revelers.
Nightlife isn’t the only thing on offer in the Kunstpark. Film, photo and music studios are hosted on-site; public graffiti walls showcase local artworks; a huge flea market sprawls through the complex on Friday and Saturday mornings and the complex is home to the unique Potato museum, in homage to the buildings’ former incarnation. It’s also home to Europe’s highest indoor climbing wall – a 30-m-high wall inside Heaven’s Gate, where amateur scrambling takes place to a soundtrack of blaring rock music – and a 2,000-square-foot ‘beach’ complete with volleyball court at the Munich Beach Club.