Munich Travel Tips
Keep in Mind...
- Munich’s beer is strong German beer has a higher alcohol content than American brews: U.S. guzzlers should pace themselves. Also note that at Oktoberfest, beer is sold in liter quantities.
- Munich is expensive The leafy biergartens, the baroque architecture and the nearby Alps give Munich its great beauty but also inflate its cost of living, and unfortunately, cost of visiting.
- Münchners speak German Many speak English too, but do be polite to locals and begin your conversation with "Sprechen Sie Englisch?"
Munich, the most expensive city in Germany, is also very quaint -- and perhaps it's this dual personality that visitors find so charming. Although München plays host to the country's 200-year-old intoxication-bacchanalia, Oktoberfest, it's also highly modern -- and the unofficial European capital of publishing and technology. Nuzzling the Bavarian Alps and resting beside the River Isar, the city is rife with natural beauty and yet its streets are also lined with manmade marvels, in the form of designer retail shops and shiny BMWs. In short, you should visit for both the provinciality and progressiveness.
How To Save Money in Munich
- Bring your own food You can BYOF to many biergartens (if you buy drinks there), so head to the market and buy your picnic wholesale.
- Take public transit Because the city's systems are so good, a rental car is unnecessary -- even if you’re traveling elsewhere in Bavaria, you can take a fast, efficient train.
- Visit museums on Sundays Admission to most state museums is free on this day.
Munich Culture & Customs
Part of a culture that values planning and formalities, Germans are generally reserved. Punctuality is greatly prized. In fact, this concept is such an important part of German culture that buses and trains in the country are rarely late. Rules are extremely important to Germans. Do not jaywalk or litter, as you may be subject to a fine.
Although many people speak English in large cities like Munich, it is helpful to purchase a German phrasebook and learn a few words. Remember to say bitte (please and you're welcome), as well as danke (thank you), and you'll make a good impression.
You should also limit your mannerisms. The symbol for OK in the U.S. is considered obscene in much of Europe, and whistling at the end of or during a performance is considered a sign of displeasure. When dealing with people one-on-one, remember that touching during conversation or standing less than an arm's length apart on first meeting is considered an invasion of privacy.
Bavarian fare is extremely hearty -- bowls brimming with thick stews and plates piled high with sausage and potatoes. Munich visitors looking to imbibe in some of this robust fare should try the traveler-recommended Spatenhaus and Haxenbauer, both of which are located in Alstadt. However, other cuisines abound, and we recommend visiting the Haidhausen neighborhood for Italian as well as other international foods.
For a more low-end culinary experience, try popular biergartens like Seehaus Biergarten and Augustiner- Keller. Alongside your stein, order a Weisswurst or pretzel.