Cost of Living in Munich
To be in a city within driving distance of the stunning Alpine mountains and within walking range of magnificently designed buildings is an incomparable experience.
In this case, finding a home in Munich should be your top priority. The city has different neighborhoods you can settle into depending on your preferred environment.
The busiest neighborhood and maybe the most convenient location for the expatriate who wants a city life would be the city center. This area is defined as the section within the old walled city now more known for the traffic loop called Altstadtring that goes around the city center. The monthly rent for an apartment in this area is about 625 Euros for a one-bedroom apartment, and 1,000 Euros for a two-bedroom.
The Schwabing and Maxvorstadt areas are considered the upscale academic district. Schwabing in particular is considered one of the most popular expatriate neighborhoods because of its shady, tree-lined streets and its trendy selection of stores and coffee shops.
Neuhausen and Nymphenburg are two areas that make for peaceful family living. A few minutes' ride from the city center, these neighborhoods have a relaxing atmosphere and yet offer a selection of good restaurants and the world's largest beer garden. If you do not mind a commute, then you can surely get a less expensive one-bedroom apartment for € 250 and a two-bedroom apartment at € 927.
The best way to experience Munich is through its local dishes which are typically Bavarian. Bavarian cuisine is made up mostly of meat, prepared and eaten mostly with dips and sauces.
A most popular Munich delicacy is the Weißwurst, which is a breakfast sausage usually eaten as late breakfast together with beer made of wheat. It is served with grayish-white mildly spicy mustard. You may also want to try the Schweinsbraten (roasted pork) or Schweinshaxe (roasted pig's knuckle); definitely dishes you'd grow to like. A great meal in an inexpensive Munich restaurant costs about 7.50 Euros.
Despite the wide popularity of meat dishes in Munich, one can also enjoy the most sumptuous breads, cakes, and tortes available in bakeries spread all over the city. Fresh bread costs about 2.20 Euros, definitely a treat to both the palate and the pocket.
If you prefer home-cooked meals then basic food items such as milk cost about 0.80 Euro per liter, a dozen eggs cost around 3 Euros, a kilo of potatoes cost about 1.50 Euros, and fresh fruits like apples and bananas cost 2.50 and 1.50 Euros respectively.
Transportation and Utilities
There are three main means of public transport in Munich and that is through trams, buses, and the U-Bahn (subway) system.
Germany's subway system is one of the most efficient and effective rail transport in the world. You may check the Munich MVV Website for the listings and comprehensive info on schedules and fees of Munich's public transport system.
If you have an established route then you may want to purchase a monthly pass for € 64.
If you prefer to take the laid-back road, then take a bike ride around the city. Munich has about 200 kilometers of bike trail and this is actually one of the best ways to explore the city.
The cost of utilities like water, electricity, gas, and garbage collection would cost around 80 Euros monthly. Internet or DSL services are also available at an average cost of € 20 - € 30 monthly.
Munich is the home of the annual world-famous event called Oktoberfest.
Living in Munich you can actually experience your own little Oktoberfest anytime you want in the numerous beer gardens or beer halls that can be found around the city.
These are usually found under chestnut trees (Kastanienbäume) for shade. And unlike bars or pubs anywhere else in the world, these beer gardens not only allow you to bring your own food (picnic style), these places are actually family-friendly and even have play areas for children.
A half-liter draught of local beer costs about 2 Euros and the imported variety costs about 3 Euros per bottle.
The city is an arts center like no other in Germany with its extensive array of museums. If you're an auto enthusiast, the BMW museum must be a priority on your list. Another museum you should make sure to visit the City Museum of Munich which offers a visually enriching peek into the city's rich history.
For those living in Munich with their family, the city's numerous parks are also great weekend destinations.
The cost of living in German cities can be expensive, but despite that, Munich remains widely popular with expatriates. No wonder, for the city matches the price tag with the best that a European life can offer.
Photo: Mariano Mantel