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.
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 considered to be among the best in Germany, which is important for the local industry like BMW or Siemens. Of course, Munich is very well-connected to the road network and has the Franz-Josef Strauß Airport, the second-largest in Germany, making the city interesting for investors.
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.
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 also called the northernmost city in Italy because of its climate and the love they have for Italy.
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. These stores are why the residents of Munich speak of a village, where each district has its own charm and stands out from the crowd. But what unites them all are the inns. They are spread all over Munich and offer their customers typical Bavarian dishes such as roast pork or white sausages with mustard.
Beer gardens can also be found in almost every neighbourhood though sometimes, they are larger, while at other times, they are smaller, because during spring and summer in Munich, life shifts to the outdoors. 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, or surf. And in the English Garden, you can even surf on the Eisbach!
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!
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.
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.
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!
If you are interested in technology and natural sciences, the Deutsches Museum (or the German Museum) is the right place for you. It is one of the globe’s largest museums of its kind. It is an ideal destination for families because children are allowed to touch many exhibits and thus, make their very own 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!
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!
Unfortunately, the new Pinakothek is 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.
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 vegeterians 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…
What one must know as a Zugroasta ( person who moves to Munich), the skin is not eaten along, but it is removed before one eats the sausage.
Likewise, the Leberkäse is 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. Of course, a Helles, a special Bavarian beer, is drunk with the 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 from the pig and outside Bavaria this specialty is also known as Stelze or Eisbein. The side dishes are similar to roast pork potato dumplings, bread dumplings, sour cabbage or red cabbage.
Hendl (chicken) is another traditional dish of Bavarian cuisine. It is served either 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.
An alternative for vegetarians is the Obatzda. This small dish consists of Camembert with onions and peppers and is served with brown bread.
Steam noodles are just the thing for those with a sweet tooth. These are made from yeast dough.
Reibedatschi are also known as potato pancakes or Reibekuchen. The sweet version is usually served with apple sauce.
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!
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. Here, many small dishes are offered, which allows you to virtually eat your way through the Japanese menu together!
Public transportation in Munich 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. The international hub, which is one of the best in the world, so that business travelers can be connected to their destinations. so you see in terms of transport Munich is very well positioned.
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. The dialect is quite peculiar and difficult to understand, but if you try to understand it, you will be rewarded with the respect of the people of Munich. 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. Bavariansare proud of their tradition and language. They are generally very international, but there are always occasions when Bavarian is spoken, which makes it difficult, especially for foreigners, to grasp the meaning of what is being said. 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. However, you should not be deterred by this, because it is just “Typical Bavarian”, hard shell, soft core! With time, you get used to the language or work colleagues and friends 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 typcial 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.