How Old Do You Have To Be To Go to a Bar?

How Old Do You Have to Be to Go to a Bar

The required age to get into a bar depends on where you are, but it is generally between 16–21. The legal drinking age is similar, but there are some exceptions, such as under parental supervision. In some cases, going into a bar as a minor is permitted, but you can’t drink alcohol. If a minor gets caught in a bar, they will be asked to leave and may be removed from the premises.

Bars are great places to wind down after a long week. To visit a fine establishment with a couple of mates and crack open a cold one is truly one of the greatest little joys we can experience.

In fact, bar visiting is such a great prospect that some minors just can’t wait to finally be of legal age. But how much would you need to wait? How old do you have to be to visit a bar? And can you drink alcohol before that age? What if you go with your parents?

These and more questions will be answered during this article, where we explore the intricacies of clubs and public alcohol drinking.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Go to a Bar?

Depending on where you are, you have to be at least 16–21 years old to enter a bar. As some places only require ID cards after a purchase, you can get away with entering a bar underage, but it is highly unadvised.

Most countries settled on the legal age for bar visiting at 18, but this may range from anywhere between 16 and 21. Specific places may have a separate age requirement as well, like an upscale bar only permitting 21+-year-olds, even though it may be in an 18+ area.

Although some places require an ID card on entry, most places will only ask for it upon purchase. As such, even minors can enter some bars if they don’t buy a drink, but as these places tend to be quite volatile and hectic, they should be avoided until they can make well-informed decisions.

Legally, minors aren’t permitted to enter bars in most places, but laws change from place to place. If you are traveling to another state and intend to visit a bar, you should always look up the local laws about the legal drinking age and if it applies to bar visiting.

Here are some countries and their legal bar visiting ages:

16Germany, Austria
18China, France, Spain, the UK, Russia, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Canada*
19South Korea, Canada*
*Canada has different drinking age laws in its provinces and territories

Can You Go To a Bar Without Drinking?

As stated above, many places will only ask for ID if you are ordering, so you can get away with getting into some bars. Even though it is possible, it shouldn’t be done, as bars tend to be explicit places, so anyone who can’t navigate in it, especially in their formative years, should stay away from them.

Minors might also try to go into a bar with an adult and ask them to order. This could lead to an observant bartender refusing service and notifying the authorities. Contributing to underage drinking is punishable by law and should be discouraged.

In some places, minors can enter bars under special circumstances. In Germany, 14-year-olds may enter bars under parental supervision.

What Happens If a Minor Goes Into A Bar?

How Old Do You Have to Be to Go to a Bar

If a minor goes into a bar, they will be asked to leave or get ushered out. If a bar serves a drink to a minor, the establishment may get fined, and the bartender can get a fine or jail time.

If a minor goes into a bar or club where they ask for ID on entry, they won’t be let in. If they get asked for an ID at purchase, they will be asked to leave by the bartender. If they do not leave, security will usher them out.

Serving alcoholic beverages to minors is an unlawful offense. An establishment that participates in underage drinking will be fined. Bartenders who serve alcohol to underage people get fined individually and may get up to 60 days of jail time.

If a minor fools the bartender with a realistic fake ID, the establishment won’t be fined. Minors who are caught in possession of a fake ID will get a warning and get the card confiscated. Repeated offenses will result in juvenile detention.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Drink Alcohol?

You have to be at least 16–21 years old to drink alcohol. Some places have different legal drinking ages for fermented and distilled drinks. Some countries or states may allow underage drinking under parental supervision or for religious practices.

The most common legal drinking age is 18, but it ranges between 16 and 21. Some countries have different drinking ages for different types of drinks. In Germany, a 16-year-old can drink beer, wine, and cider (14 if accompanied), but stronger drinks require 18 years of age. Other places draw the line at the alcohol percentage. In Denmark, drinks below 16.5% ABV can be consumed by 16-year-olds, but drinks above are 18+.

Some countries do not have a legal drinking age. Rather, they have an age requirement for purchasing alcohol. It is important to check up on the local laws to avoid any unfortunate situations.

There are exceptions to the drinking age laws in some places. Here are some circumstances where a minor can legally drink alcohol:

  • Under parental supervision
  • Within household premises
  • For medical purposes
  • For educational purposes
  • For research purposes
  • For religious purposes


The minimum age to enter a bar is between 16–21, depending on where you are. If you don’t get, ID’d upon entry, you can get away with getting into a bar, but you can’t purchase drinks. Minors who get caught in bars will be asked to leave and be ushered out.

The legal drinking age in most places is between 16–18. Under some circumstances, like parental supervision, minors can legally drink alcohol. Using a fake ID and contributing to underage drinking is an offense that may result in a fine or jail time.

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