Munich

by Drew on March 13, 2014 5 comments

*I’ve been to Munich three times a total of 2 weeks spent in the city.  It’s one of my favorite cities in Europe and a must-visit if you’re going to Germany.  Inside of this Munich Guide, you’ll not only learn interesting things about the city, but you’ll also get my recommendations for things like — culture, food, nightlife, and things to do.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, and please check out my other related posts on Munich:
10 Things to do in Munich
5 German Foods to Try
Ultimate Guide to the Nightlife in Munich

Best Beer Gardens in Munich
Top 10 German Words

General Thoughts

Munich is one of the most fun and hipster cities in Germany.

The first time I visited Munich (April 2012), it was only my 3rd European city behind Prague and Rome.  From first impressions, I was instantly amazed by the extreme modernism of the buildings, subway system and the streets.  It felt like I was in a time machine to 5 years in the future.

But I just visited again in August 2015 and I was reminded by how amazing this German city is.

Like most other German cities, Munich is clean, well-kept and has an extraordinary quality of life. The city actually ranks as the #4 most attractive city in the world for expats (Mercer Quality of Life Survey 2014).  If you are interested in technology, then the savvy areas of Munich might blow you away.  It’s quite impressive.

I hope the weather is nice when you visit Munich so you can enjoy the beautiful parks and beer gardens around the city.  My favorite beer tent to hang out was called the Hirschgarten, which just happens to be the largest beer garden in the world.  I recommend renting a bike, or going on a biking tour, because Munich is best to see on two wheels.  The city is very biker-friendly city, so you can cover a lot of ground!

Let’s look at some quick facts.

Quick Facts

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 5.19.09 PMCurrency: Euro (EUR)
LanguageGerman
Population: 1.6 million people
– Munich is the capital of Bavaria, Germany
– It’s native name “Munchen” comes from the German word “Monche” meaning “Monks”
– Munich is the 3rd largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg
– Traces of the city was first documented in 1158
– The entire area of Munich spreads across 310 square kilometers
– Munich is home to the BMW Headquarters and the 1972 Olympic Statium

Culture & People

I had mixed experiences with the people in Munich.

Some of the younger people that I met were kind and truly delighted to speak with a foreigner like myself. But on the other hand, several grumpy old me scoffed at me because they didn’t want to be bothered.

My general consensus is that the younger generation is more open and willing to make new friends, while the older generation would rather live their lives without knowing you.

The most surprising thing about Germans was their proficiency in English.  I heard that everyone in Germany has mandatory English classes throughout primary schools. It’s amazing how accurate their pronunciations are and how fluently they can speak.  Besides the Scandinavian countries, Germans take the crown for the best English speakers from a non-English speaking country in Europe that I’ve seen.  Having no language barrier made life a bit easier for me to get around.

I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and make some new German friends! If you want to learn a few German words, then check out my post on the Top 10 German Words to keep in your back pocket 😉

What to Do?

Munich is the host city of the one and only Oktoberfest– the biggest beer drinking festival in the world.   More than 6 million people worldwide flock to Munich during Oktoberfest, where they eat, drink and sing in the 17 various ‘beer tents’ around the area.

However, if you are in Munich during the spring instead of autumn, then you can attend Springfest, which is a smaller version of Oktoberfest .  I went to Springfest and had one of the wildest weekends of my life.

Don’t stress if you can’t make any of the beer festivals, because you can still experience the fun beer drinking at a number of beautiful beer gardens located around the city.

Aside from the drinking culture, there are lots of fun things to do around the city.   Some of Munich’s popular tourist attractions include a visit to the BMW headquarters, Olympic Park, The English Garden and more. Like I mentioned before, I advise you to rent a bike so you can explore more of Munich, while hitting these main attractions.

If you like to go shopping, then you can find anything from affordable street goods to the most expensive brands of fashion and design.  All of the good shopping is located on the Kaufingerstrasse, which is just nearby the Marienplatz (center of the city).

Lastly, the area surrounding Munich is amazing and well worth a day-trip.  There are a few world-famous castles, like the Neuschwanstein, that you can tour around.  The mountains and forests around the area are magnificent.  You’d never expect nature to be this amazing just a short train ride away from the city center.

Munich is also home to the biggest science and technology museum in the world, the Deutsches Museum, and I can tell you that it is phenomenal.  This museum is so damn big that you need multiple days to see everything inside.

For a more complete list, check out my post on 10 Things to do in Munich.

The Food

Munich is home to some of the best German dishes in all the mainland. It’s also the heart and soul of Bavarian cuisine.

Bavarian food is very hearty and mostly consists of meat and potatoes.  My favorite dishes was spatzle (a mac and cheese dish), and I also really enjoyed the big German soft pretzels.

If you want the most classic German Food, then go to the Hofbrauhaus. Despite being overloaded with tourists, it is the most well known beer-garden and restaurant in Munich.  The experience at the Hofbrauhaus goes beyond the food and into German culture itself.

No matter where you are in Munich, you will be able to find authentic Bavarian dishes to soak up all the beer you will be drinking.  I honestly wasn’t expecting the food to be as delicious as it was. It’s just another reason why Munich is such an awesome city!

If you want to learn more about the best local dishes, please view my post on 5 German Foods to Try.

The Nightlife

The nightlife in Munich is trendy and up-and-coming.

There are a few areas with a high volume of bars and clubs which mostly cater to the young and fashionable generation.  Personally, I found the bar scene to be more fun than the club scene, because I had difficulties getting into some of the clubs.

I must tell you that the club bouncers were NOT friendly to foreigners.  If you are a guy reading this, then you should try to bring a few girls with you (or local Germans).  If you are a girl, then you shouldn’t have any problems getting into the clubs.

If you want to learn about the best clubs in Munich, then read my Ultimate Guide to the Nightlife in Munich!

Thanks for reading! Please comment below with any questions or comments 🙂 

Related Blog Posts
10 Things to do in Munich
5 German Foods to Try
Ultimate Guide to the Nightlife in Munich

Best Beer Gardens in Munich
Top 10 German Words

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Drew

Hello! Since 2012, I've been traveling and partying my way around 74+ Countries. Shortly after I graduated from The University of Wisconsin-Madison, I took a job as an English Teacher in South Korea for 18 months. Now, I'm traveling and blogging full-time on a never-ending voyage around the world. Please comment with any questions you have, and feel free to join me on Snapchat & Instagram @drewbinsky :)

DrewMunich

5 comments

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  • Paul Adrian - February 3, 2016 reply

    Totally stoked! Headed to Munich in late September for Oktoberfest! How is the night life? It’s my first trip out of the USA!!!

  • Moriah - July 9, 2014 reply

    Do it! Never have really given much thought to Seoul but your blog told me otherwise 🙂 looks so awesome!

    Drew - July 9, 2014 reply

    Yeah it’s SO much fun!! I’d be happy to show you around 😀

  • Moriah - July 8, 2014 reply

    Hi Drew!
    Just wanted you to know I stopped by your blog (found it randomly pinned on Pinterest!) and thought it was great. Loved reading about all the cool things around Munich. I’m moving there next month and will definitely use your tips when I get there.
    Thanks for the interesting info! Fun blog idea too!

    Moriah

    Drew - July 8, 2014 reply

    Moriah, Thanks for the comment!! That’s so exciting that you’re moving to Munich! It’s definitely one of my favorite cities in Europe.. I might just have to come visit 🙂

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