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Project Expat
  • Project Expat
  • Oct 21, 2021

Munich City Guide: Heart of Bavaria

The city of Munich is not only Bavaria’s capital but also an extremely liveable metropolis. That’s why moving to Munich is on the top of the cards for many expats coming to Germany. The approximately 1.43 million inhabitants of this city can fall back on a lively cultural scene and the most diverse restaurants offering a wide range of international dishes. In addition, there is, of course, the English Garden, where you can relax in the summer and the annual Oktoberfest, which attracts several million tourists to the city.

oktoberfest Munich

The cityscape is characterized by numerous centuries-old buildings, such as the neo-Gothic Town Hall with its carillon. According to the London lifestyle magazine Monocle, Munich is one of the most liveable cities in the world. It is growing fast and has a strong economy. Unfortunately, this circumstance ensures that the cost of living, such as rent or a visit to a restaurant, is more expensive than the German average. Still, in return, one usually earns well. Munich’s universities are some of the best in Germany. This is important for the city’s industries, like BMW and Siemens.. All of this makes Munich an attractive place for investors.

BMW Munich

Why Choose Munich

Another aspect that makes living in Munich so attractive for Germans and foreigners is authenticity. The people of Munich live and love their traditions and are very open to modern lifestyles and things. The ability to combine these aspects is one reason that makes Munich special. Many Munich residents refer to their city as the largest village globally because, unlike in other metropolises, you meet people more often.

A City for Nature Lovers

In addition, the proximity to nature is a reason that attracts so many people to Munich. The city is surrounded by numerous lakes, for example, Lake Starnberg, Lake Chiemsee, and Lake Tegernsee. They can be reached within an hour, at the most, and are therefore a welcome destination for weekend excursions. Another advantage is the city’s proximity to the Alps and Italy. Lake Garda is also popular and frequently visited by the inhabitants. Munich is nicknamed the “northernmost city in Italy” because of its climate and the locals’ love for Italy.

Starnberg Lake Munich

An Architectural Delight

Munich is also dotted with many sights and attractions. The Marienplatz, the Hofgarten, and the English Garden are probably the most famous places in Munich that attract tourists from far and wide. But there’s much more on offer beyond these. If you make an effort and explore the various districts of the city centre, you will find small hidden gems that will inspire you, like in the Glockenbachviertel. Here, you will find small but fine manufacturers that offer individual products. What makes Munich unique is its village-like atmosphere, with each district having its own charm. But what really brings the city together are the inns, which are spread out all over and offer typical Bavarian dishes like roast pork and white sausages with mustard.

Hofgarten Munich

A Beer Culture

In Munich, during spring and summer, life shifts outdoors to the many beer gardens found in almost every neighbourhood. Some beer gardens are large, while others are smaller. But all offer a chance to enjoy the warm weather with friends while sampling some of Munich’s famous beers. However, one must not forget that self-service is the rule in most of them. Many people are drawn to the English Garden to picnic, swim. The garden provides a beautiful and relaxing setting for these activities. And in the English Garden, you can even surf on the Eisbach!

Outdoor Beer Garden Munich

If you consider moving to Germany and maybe living in Munich, you need a little list telling you where to go and where to eat. To help you, we will start with the most impressive sights in town. We suggest checking out other guides and local expat communities, too, because such a list is never complete and it’s also more fun to explore together with other people!

Must visits

The Marienplatz

The Marienplatz is Munich’s central square with its two city halls- the old and the new one. From there, it is a short walk to the traditional Viktualienmarkt, another interesting place to visit. The mighty New Town Hall on the north side dominates the quadrangular square.

Viktualienmarkt Munich

In the tower of the Town Hall, you will find a viewing platform. Below it is the historic carillon that sounds twice a day. At the fish fountain, the people of Munich meet to socialize.

The Old Peter, Munich’s oldest parish church, is just a stone’s throw away and offers a great view over the Old Town. There are stores and restaurants around Marienplatz, and the pedestrian zone begins here.

The Nymphenburg Palace

Nymphenburg Palace is, of course, located in the district of Nyphenburg. For a long time, it was not only the summer residence of the Wittelsbach family but also their favourite castle. You should definitely stopover at the museum and take a walk in the huge park to get an impression of the impressive complex.

Nymphenburg Palace Munich

The Frauenkirche

The Frauenkirche is the landmark of Munich. It is located near Marienplatz and is the burial place of several monarchs who have ruled Bavaria. If history and architecture interest you, you should definitely visit it!

The Frauenkirche Munich

Deutsches Museum

The Deutsches Museum is a great place for those interested in technology and natural sciences. It is one of the largest museums of its kind in the world and perfect for families since children are allowed to touch many of the exhibits. This allows them to have their own unique experiences. Besides, you should know that it is impossible to see everything in one day. So, the Deutsches Museum is the ideal place for rainy days!

Deutsches Museum Munich

The three Pinakothek museums

For art lovers, of course, a visit to the three Pinakothek museums is a must. The old Pinakothek has over 700 paintings in its permanent exhibition. The illustrious names of the artists range from Dürer to Da Vinci and Rembrandt. Another highlight is the Rubenssaal with its more than six-meter high walls!

The new Pinakothek is unfortunately closed until the end of 2025 due to a general renovation and cannot be visited during this time.The Pinakothek der Moderne offers its visitors art from the 20th century onwards, which means you can see both paintings and selected design pieces that have become classics over the years.

Though we cannot mention all the amazing sights Munich has to offer, I am sure everybody would find the thing for him/her with some research on the internet. We have the same problem with dining too as everybody prefers a different kind of food. Therefore, we can only offer a shortlist of restaurants that we can recommend in Munich, which would help if you plan on living in Munich for long.

The three Pinakothek museums Munich

 

Typical Bavarian food

If you move to Munich, whether for a longer or a limited time, you should definitely try the typical Bavarian cuisine. In addition to the international restaurants, there are numerous traditional pubs and especially beer gardens in Munich that offer these delicacies. But it is important to know, it is a very meaty kitchen, so vegetarians have to pay attention.

Of course, you have to eat the famous white sausage with sweet mustard. However, following the Bavarian tradition, this is only offered until 12 o’clock. The typical Munich drinks a white beer with it, maybe two.

White Sausage and Beer Munich

For individuals relocating to Munich (Zugroasta) who are unfamiliar with the local customs, it is important to note that the skin of sausages should be removed prior to consumption, rather than being eaten along with it.

Munich Favourites

The Leberkäse is best eaten with sweet mustard. Actually every butcher’s shop in the city has its own Leberkäse, because this specialty has nothing to do with cheese. A Helles, a Bavarian beer, is of course drunk with Leberkäse. Roast pork with dumplings a hearty classic of Bavarian cuisine. Juicy pork with crust and potato dumplings. Every good Bavarian inn serves this meal fresh every day. The pork knuckle is also a pig specialty, known as Stelze or Eisbein outside of Bavaria. The side dishes are similar to roast pork potato dumplings, bread dumplings, sour cabbage or red cabbage.

Hendl (Chicken) is a traditional dish of Bavarian cuisine served grilled or deep-fried. Side dishes are usually potato salad and lamb’s lettuce. It is an alternative to the otherwise very meat-heavy Bavarian cuisine.

For vegetarians, an alternative to the Obatzda is a small dish consisting of Camembert with onions and peppers, served with brown bread.

Steam noodles are perfect for those with a sweet tooth. They are made from yeast dough.

Reibedatschi are also known as potato pancakes or Reibekuchen. The sweet version is usually served with apple sauce.

Bavarian Food

Modern, traditional Bavarian cuisine now often varies the old familiar side dishes, but as a rule the tradition and history of the above-mentioned dishes remain. There are so man more  delicious dishes like meat salad, Presssack a sausage in a pressed stomach sack and so many more. Everyone who moves to Munich should try one of the traditional dishes!

Restaurants

For lovers of traditional food with a modern touch, we recommend the Xavers. This restaurant mainly uses organic ingredients and offers both typical Bavarian dishes, i.e. roast pork etc., as well as dishes for vegetarians and vegans.

The Menage Bar convinces with a modern and innovative cuisine combined with creative drinks. So, this location is something for open-minded and spontaneous people who would like to embark on a culinary journey.

Neni, on the other hand, combines Israeli cuisine with influences from Romanian and Spanish cuisine. Those who are open to experimentation must pay a visit to the restaurant.

Last but not least, if you like to stay longer in one place, and prefer to try many small dishes instead of a traditional main course, you have to visit Usagi. Many small dishes are offered here, which allows you and your date to virtually eat your way through the Japanese menu together!

Public Transportation

Munich’s public transportation system is very well developed. There are, of course, enough suburban and subway trains, which make daily progress very easy. Ten so-called streetcar lines provide fast connections on the surface. In addition, various regional buses and the inner-city bus service transport citizens from A to B.

The “Franz Josef Strauß” airport is the second largest in Germany. With approximately 44.6 million passengers annually, it is among the top ten in Europe. Munich is an international hub with some of the best transport connections in the world, making it ideal for business travellers.

Franz Josef Strauß airport Munich

Dialect

Munich residents are basically proud of their language, or rather their dialect. It is part of daily life and therefore one should be open to it if one wants to feel at home in Munich. If you try to understand the dialect spoken in Munich, you will be respected by the locals. By the way, this rule applies to all major cities in Germany. Of course, it is difficult for an immigrant to understand these local dialects.

Bavarians are proud of their tradition and language. Bavarian is spoken on occasions which makes it difficult for foreigners to understand the meaning. It is best to ask for the translation as a new citizen of Munich, this will make it easier to understand the mood and the conversation. Because the Bavarian dialect (like the German language in general), sounds harsh rough and unfriendly. You shouldn’t be discouraged by this, because it’s just “typical Bavarian”–a hard exterior with a soft interior. With time, you’ll get used to the language, or your colleagues and friends will adapt and speak High German for better communication.  So the motto should be “stay tuned and do not lose heart! Good luck and patience!

But if you want to impress, here are some typical Bavarian terms:

  • Servus = Hello/ Goodbye
  • Pfiad di = Goodbye
  • An Guadn = Enjoy your meal
  • Prost = Salut
  • Bua = Boy
  • Madl = Girl

We hope this informational guide would help a lot when you execute your plan of moving to Munich and settling in this beautiful city.

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