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Transportation

Public Transport

There are two rapid-transit systems: the "U-Bahn" (covering the city region) and the "S-Bahn" (connecting the city to the outskirts). Within the city, there are additional light rail ("Tram") and bus services. The monthly ticket is called "IsarCard". It costs 55,20€ for the M-Zone, which covers most of Munich. Recommended apps for calculating the routes are "MVG Fahrinfo" and "MVV App". Both apps can be set to English.

S-Bahn Stammstrecke

The core section of the S-Bahn is called "Stammstrecke", because all S-Bahn lines go through here: Ostbahnhof, Rosenheimer Platz, Isartor, Marienplatz, Karlsplatz (Stachus), Hauptbahnhof, Hackerbrücke, Donnersbergerbrücke.

Official plans also count Hirschgarten, Laim, and Pasing to the Stammstrecke, although not all (but most) lines go through them.

While the concept of a "Stammstrecke" is nice for people having to board or get off one of these stations, it has turned into a bottleneck. As there is only one tunnel in each side, if something happens to one line, all lines will be affected and have delays. The problem is set to be solved by the "2. Stammstrecke" in 2028.

Background Knowledge

U-Bahn, Tram, and Bus service inside Munich is provided by the MVG. S-Bahn is provided by the DB (Deutsche Bahn). Both MVG and DB are member of the MVV, an association of transportation groups to provide service for Munich and around.

Car

Contrary to cities like London, there are no extra fees for driving a car in the city. The only extra cost is parking. Either you have free parking in the streets where you live (less likely in the inner city), your house-provided garage spots (around 100€/month), or you apply for a resident parking permit ("Anwohner-Parkausweis"; very cheap at around 60€/year), which gives you the right to use the parking spots in the streets near where you live. Application for an "Anwohner-Parkausweis" here.

Generally, the allowed maximum driving speed inside the city is 50km/h, outside the city 100km/h, and on the Autobahn unlimited (with a recommended speed of 130km/h). Always except otherwise noted.

Munich has two major ring streets. The "Mittlerer Ring" with a general driving speed of 60km/h, and the "Autobahnring".

Flying

Munich Airport (also "Flughafen Franz Josef Strauß", shortcode: MUC) is the second-busiest airport in Germany afer Frankfurt, and frequently one of highest-rated airports worldwide. It is reachable by S-Bahn (S1, S8) and by car. Lufthansa also offers an airport bus with a one-way price of 10,50€ (two-way: 17€). It is available to customers of all airlines, not just Lufthansa. easyJet & Eurowings are notable budget airlines that frequent this airport.

At Memmingen "Allgäu Airport" (also: "München West", shortcode: FMM), Ryanair offers cheap flights. There are regular shuttle bus transfers between Munich and Memmingen that take around 1.5h.

Bike

Munich is bike-friendly and is constantly working on making cycling more attractive. Many streets have bike lanes, many one-way steets may be used in both directions by cyclists (special street sign required). You can find information & rules for cyclists in this info document (German) by the ADFC (General German Cycling Club).

The MVV offers a nice bike route calculation website: http://rad.mvv-muenchen.de The bike option in Google Maps is also pretty good.

The official city website muenchen.de has a list of bike route suggestions through Munich.

With MVG Rad, the MVG offers bike sharing services (for use with the "MVG More" app). There are bike stations, but bikes can be rented and returned outside of stations (inside the city radius).

Other means of transport

The main car sharing providers are Share Now and Sixt Share. For long-term car rentals, you can compare prices on Check24 or billiger-mietwagen.de. There are taxi services, as well as both Uber and Free Now (formerly "MyTaxi") ride hailing services available. Additionally, several e-scooter companies are competing for market share.

Shopping

  • All stores close until 20:00 and are closed on Sundays. Some notable exceptions: The Edekas at Hauptbahnhof & Ostbahnhof (Mo-Su, until 23:00), and "REWE to Go" supermarkets, that are located at Hauptbahnhof and at several gas stations (open 24/7).
  • Typical grocery stores are:
    • Discount: ALDI, LIDL, Penny, Netto, Norma
    • Supermarket: Edeka, REWE, Feneberg
  • There are grocery delivery services, such as REWE Lieferservice and Bringmeister (by Edeka).
  • Viktualienmarkt is the most famous food market in Munich - in a variety of small independent stands, you can get very high quality foodstuff.
  • The largest shopping street is Kaufingerstraße, which connects Marienplatz and Stachus. Other shopping sights like Konen, Hofstatt, and Karstadt are close-by as well.
  • If you are looking for luxury goods like Chartier, Gucci, Armani etc., turn to the Maximilianstraße.
  • The largest shopping malls are "Olympia-Einkaufszentrum" and "Pep" in Neuperlach. Shopping malls like these are mostly frequented by people who either live there or come from the outskirts, not really from people from the city center.
  • A 1h drive north is Ingolstadt Village, a collective of brand outlet stores.
  • MyDealz is a German shopping community where its users share, rate, and discuss shopping deals. When deals get upvoted, they turn "hot". It is possible to set keyword alerts incl. limiting the alerts to deals that have already turned hot.

Living

  • So-called "warm rent" comprises: Rent + utility costs (especially heating and water). Usually, you will pay a monthly lump-sum for the utility costs. At the end of the year, the landlord is required to do a "Nebenkostenrechnung" (calculate the actual exact utility costs for the year). Then, either the renter gets back what was paid too much, or has to pay what was paid too less (then, the future monthly lump-sum should be adjusted)
  • Usually you need to take care of electricity costs, internet access, and landline phone yourself.
  • Besides rent, every household is required to pay a monthly fee for the public broadcast services (colloquially still known under the old term "GEZ Gebühr"). More information
  • In case you don't want to receive advertisements that are put into your mailbox, you can order a free "no-ads" sticker at AWM.
  • Trash: At every house, there are trash bins for "normal waste", paper, and organic ("bio"). You are supposed to use recycling spots to throw away plastic, glass, and cans. Other trash can be be brought to a "Wertstoffhof" (free of charge). Find the next Wertstoffhof here.
  • Munich's tap water is very good, one of the best in Europe. As such, it is suitable for baby food (source: municipal utilities). As the water mostly comes from the area of the alps, it is quite calcareous/"hard". Contrary to popular belief, hard water does not "calcify" the body, but is perfectly healthy without any filtering. In fact, the municipal utilities (SWM) officially recommend drinking tap water instead of bottled water - it is much cheaper & more environmental-friendly (source: municipal utilities). For longer durability of your home appliances, you should add a descaler when using a washing machine & regularly descale your water kettle & water taps.

Finances

Banking

  • Free accounts (no conditions) at direct (online) banks:
    • N26 is a German fintech bank, smartphone-based, great app
    • DKB is less modern, but offers more services
    • comdirect is a subsidiary of the branch-based bank "Commerzbank"
  • Branch-based banks (free only with conditions): Commerzbank, Hypo-Vereinsbank, Deutsche Bank, Stadtsparkasse

Taxes

For filing tax reports, you can use the free government-provided software ELSTER. Alternatively, there exists paid software like WISO Steuern that helps optimizing the tax report.

Insurances

In Germany, there are two mandatory insurances: Health insurance, and car insurance in case you are owning a car. Generally recommended are "Haftpflichtversicherung" (often mentioned as "should definitely have it"), "Hausratversicherung", and "Berufsunfähigkeitsversicherung".

Health Insurance

Germany has a two-class health insurance system: There is the statutory health insurance ("gesetzliche Krankenversicherung"), and private health insurance.

Statutory health insurance is the default, there is a legally fixed fee (x% of your salary, capped at a certain amount). Although the fee is the same and the whole statutory insurance industry is heavily regulated, there are multiple offerers for statutory health insurance. They distinguish themselves mostly by some extra benefits and services, and differences in a small additional fee that they are free to set. The most popular one is "Techniker Krankenkasse". But you cannot go too wrong with either.

Only people making more than 60k€/year or who are self-employed are allowed to switch into private health insurance. In contrast to statutory insurance, the monthly fee is not a percentage of your salary, but a fixed fee depending on your age and which services should be covered to what extend. Private health insurance services can be customized to a great extent (in both directions: very good coverage, or very cheap fee). When you are young, private health insurance is generally much cheaper than statutory health insurance. But as fees increase with age, it is not clear whether you will save money in the long run. The switch back to statutory insurance is not easily possible - you likely need to again earn less than 60k€ to switch back.

Internet & Phone

  • Internet for Home price comparison: Check24 DSL
  • Mobile phone:
    • In Germany, there are three network providers: Telekom, Vodafone, Telefonica. Telekom offers the best network, but is the most expensive. Vodafone is comparable to Telekom. Telefonica is the cheapest, but the network outside of larger cities is not very good. Inside Munich it's fine.
    • Discount providers such as Lidl Connect, Aldi Talk, winSIM, PremiumSIM, and congstar are cheap and use the networks of the above-mentioned providers.

News

Süddeutsche Zeitung with headquarters in Munich is a world-class newspaper, arguably the best German daily newspaper. They took part in uncovering the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers. Their online presence is on https://www.sueddeutsche.de/. They also have really good coverage what is happening locally in Munich: https://www.sueddeutsche.de/muenchen

The local newspapers are Abendzeitung, tz, and Münchner Merkur.

Leisure

Notable parks

  • English Garden (especially around Monopteros & Flaucher)
  • Olympiapark

Notable regular events

Others

  • From mid of March till the beginning of April, there is the so-called "Starkbierfest", where lots of restaurants provide you with special stronger beer from local brewery. The most famous restaurant for this event is the Paulaner-Nockherberg.
  • Later in spring (April/May), there is the "Frühlingsfest" at the Theresienwiese
  • From Mid/End of September till beginning of October, there is the world-famous "Oktoberfest" at the Theresienwiese.
  • In summer and winter, there is the "Tollwood" festival. In summer, it takes place at the Olympiapark. In winter, at the Theresienwiese.

Sports

Work in Progress - Contributions are Welcome!

Entertainment

TV & Radio

  • There are a number of Free-TV and Pay-TV channels in Germany
  • Channels like ARD, ZDF, and BR are publicly financed ("Rundfunkbeitrag")
  • There are two large TV groups in Germany: RTL Group, that operates RTL, RTL2, Super RTL, VOX, n-tv, as well as a couple other Pay-TV ones. And ProSiebenSat.1, that operates ProSieben, SAT.1, kabel eins, sixx, and ProSieben MAXX.
  • There are a number of local radio stations. On state level, the most popular stations are Bayern 1 and Antenne Bayern. Bayern 1 (adult contemporary, a bit retro), amongst with its sister-channels Bayern 2 (lots of moderated formats & more niche music), Bayern 3 (adult contemporary with focus on younger adults), Bayern 4 (classic music), and Bayern 5 (news), are publicly financed. Antenne Bayern (adult contemporary) is the most popular private channel in Bavaria, and also Germany. On city level, popular stations are Gong 96.3, Energy München, Charivari München, and Radio Arabella.

Movies

  • The two largest cinemas in Munich are mathäser and CinemaxX.
  • "Cinema" at Stiglmaierplatz is specialized in showing movies in OV.

Concerts

  • Notable concert halls and areas are the Gasteig (mostly for classical music), Zenith, Muffathalle, Tonhalle, Backstage
  • Bayerische Staatsoper is is the largest opera house in Germany & offers regular opera, ballet, and orchestra performances.

Day trips

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