Everybody has their own opinion and experiences adventures in different ways. That’s why there are two articles about Munich – one of Simone, one of Tobias. Enjoy reading!
What was planned to be a three-month stay, turned out to be five years. Isn’t it always that way? There is one event after another, your job career runs fine and you get to know great people and friends. And suddenly you feel so comfortable that you have forgotten that you actually wanted to go somewhere else. I came to Munich (at that time this was the nothernmost German city I’d ever been to :)) after a longer stay in New York City. Of course, you can’t compare these cities with each other, but there was one thing which confused me a little bit: as easy as it was getting in touch with the natives in NYC as difficult it was in Munich. I’ve never felt that lonely before – mainly because I have four siblings and was used to having no privacy, I guess. All of a sudden I had tons of privacy. But when it happens that the Munich residents open their heart for you, they are serious with their friendship!
And in the end I definitely found some friends for life.
But that wasn’t the only thing I got – on top of many friendships I even learned a new language: proper German. In my first job interview, I’ve been asked: “Do you speak proper German as well?”. (For explanation: in Germany and Austria you are speaking the same language: German. But most Austrians aren’t able to speak proper German, because they are used to talk in their dialects.) “Of course I am” was my hasty response. In fact, it took me some time until I got used to it. I quickly noticed that my Austrian dialect is not transferable into proper German so easily – on the one hand because the grammar is different and on the other hand there are diverse vocabularies and sayings. So that you know what I’m talking about there are a few examples. Following are five sentences, the first is in Austrian German and the second one in proper German. Although it means the same, it sounds like two different languages. Just click and listen!
Sackal vs. Tüte (“bag”): Do you need a bag for your shit?
Mistkübel vs. Mülleimer (“trash”): It’s unbelievable – this trash smells so nasty!
Schlagobers vs. Sahne (“cream”): Do you want to have a bit of cream into your white coffee?
Trafik vs. Kiosk (“corner store”): Would you be so kind to get me a pack of cigarettes when you are going to the corner store?
Topfen vs. Quark (“dessert”): Your dessert has tasted better once!
I had a great time living in Munich, but there were some things I didn’t like and that’s why I carried the thought with me to leave this city at one point
That’s not the city I wanna get old in
The apartment rents are crazy, most of the people are too much oriented on their career and the city in general is a bit too „completed“ for my taste.
I have previously lived in Vienna and one day I realized something and asked myself: whenever you are walking around in the city of Vienna you ran run into punks automatically. But guess what? It rarely or never happens to you in Munich. Everything is clean and tidy – and probably the punks don’t really fit into these perfect picture. Where are all those people? Maybe the city is simply too expensive for subcultures.
But to focus on the good stuff: After five years, there are also a lot of things which are great. Here are my TOP 3 places in Munich:
1. Freiluftkino im Viehhof (Open Air Movie theatre in an old stockyard)
They do have the best sweet popcorn in town and the atmosphere is amazing! My first visit to a German movie theatre started with a bizarre question of my friend: “What kind of popcorn do you like? Sweet or salty?”. So far I just knew salty popcorn, that’s why I was wondering what sweet popcorn is. “What’s wrong with you Austrians?” my friend asked. Full of risk I ordered popcorn with sugar and the more I ate the better it was. Since then I order the sweet version!
The restaurant was built in an old cable car garage! I love the urban atmosphere and the fantastic pizza. The owner is a real Italian who is also very charming. At least when you are female. The pizza does not come on round plates, instead it is served on a wooden, one meter long, board! It’s definitely worth trying!
After a long night going out you will end up in this club. When everything else has already closed you go there for the „last“ drink. A lot of different people are hanging out there and you definitely will have some fun.
Great is the prejudice binding force (Johann N. Nestroy)
Munich. The northernmost city of taly. The most expensive and safest city in Germany. The “Weltstadt mit Herz” (the cosmopolitan city with lots of heart). The city with the most arrogant people, the city with an average scene-life and the city with the most beautiful parks. The city with the most expensive cars, the city with the most annoying and also bored police officers, the city with the most complicated housing market and the best festival in the world: Oktoberfest. This could go on and on. There are many prejudices about Munich. Some are true, others aren’t – like always in life you should take your time to get your own opinion! In December 2004 I moved from South Tyrol to Munich. With nothing more than an internship at one of the biggest TV broadcasting companies in Germany called “ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG” and the promise to get a room in the apartment of my best friend who moved there a while ago. At least having a place to sleep isn’t such a bad start after all.
South Tyrol and Bavaria – related in the heart
As a South Tyrolean you get easily in touch with other fellow countrymen. Because Bavaria is very close to South Tyrol. And after a while I got to know many nice German people at work. In general, working in the television industry was very exciting, versatile and I got in touch with a lot of interesting and crazy people. Working on numerous TV shows as an editor and chief editor the first thing I had to understand was the well known phrase…
„There is no business like show business“
…(from the Song von Irving Berlin). I experienced all the positive and negative aspects first hand. And I would repeat this experience anytime! But although you always need to be flexible there is some sort of routine which is kind of overwhelming every now and then. I started questioning the whole industry and at one point I lost my desire doing all this stuff. I definitely needed to change something – that’s why I started my own business, which turned out to be very successful.
In all these years (which were more than ten! Crazy!!) it felt very good to live in Munich. Sure, there are always some bad days and you’d like to leave Munich immediately but basically I like this city. The standard of living is above average, you are able to enjoy the Alps very easily as well as numerous of lakes which provide you with huge variety of sports and leisure activities. No matter if you like skiing or cross-country skiing, mountain biking or riding your racing bike even more there is also the possibility to go surfing (on the Eisbach).
Also you can have a barbecue, chill, swim or sunbathe in the English Garden or at the Isar – everything is easy to reach within a few minutes. So it is really easy to have a healthy work life balance.
But what are the disadvantages of Munich?
“The city is very expensive!” This is one of the first sentences you hear when you are talking to a resident of Munich. The second one is: “It takes months to find a suitable and beautiful apartment!”. And both are true – the city is bursting at the seams. The Bavarian economy is booming, especially in Munich. With BMW, Siemens, Microsoft, Linde, Allianz etc. there are very good and wealthy employers which are needed for a good economic stability. There are many innovative medium-sized companies which offer attractive and well-paid jobs. That’s why a lot of people move to Munich.
Wos wuisdn, Zipfi, ha? (What’s wrong with you, dude?)
One negative aspect is that people here are rather concerned with their own business. There are lots of groups of friends that are self-contained. To join them as an individual is quite difficult. This is not the fault of the stolid, Bavarian local (which is anyway hardly to find in Munich Centre) but the fault of closed circle of friends and the general skeptical attitude towards new faces.
I was lucky enough to get in touch with diverse circles of people and to find good friends. With some I still maintain a good friendship. So it was quite easy for me, I already knew some people. When you are a completely isolated newcomer it can be very difficult in Munich to find new friends. A lot of new people are complaining about that – maybe it is a cultural problem. But at the end it is always up to you!
An advantage of Munich is definitely the international employer environment. A lot of nationalities are represented in Munich. For example I have friends who grew up in Italy, Austria, South Africa, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Spain, France, Australia, US, Switzerland, (…).
My friends are a great enrichment to my life
… and a big reason why I stayed in Munich for so long.
You thought, in this article you get to know Munich?
Oh yes, I just wanted to give you some personal tips and recommendations for your next trip to Munich. If you want an overview of the city, go to Marienplatz and climb up the old church called ALTER PETER.
After 306 steps towards the sky you are standing 56m up high and with an amazing view on the busy people walking on the Marienplatz or Viktualienmarkt. Far away you can see from the Palace of Justice to the Angel of Peace, from the soccer stadium Allianz Arena to the Wiesn (by the way, in Bavaria they say “Wiesn”, not “Oktoberfest”!!!)
1) A man driving a car is a peacock who keeps his wheel in his hand. (Anna Magnani)
The view of the old Peter leads me already to the next tip: because from up there you can also see the so called BMW WELT.
As a major automotive fan, like me, a visit is a must-do. The spectacular architecture (from the Austrian office Coop Himmelb(l) – what a crazy name) of the building – inside and outside – should be visit also for non-car fans. In the BMW Welt you can touch current models, take a seat in the cars, play technical games and of course you can test drive some models (don’t forget to make a reservation!). There is also a restaurant and a bar.
2) Macht’s nur weiter so! (literally “Go on like this!”)
(it is the title of Monaco Franze, a Bavarian TV series, episode 8)
As a nature lover, I often went to the green areas in Munich. Monaco Franze, the great role model of each Munich playboy, already knew this exactly: the prettiest women can be found in the English Garden. He’s right.
Munich offers more than just the English Garden – in spring and summer I often cycled to the FLAUCHER to barbecue there with friends. The Isar flows gently next to the people, you can cool off and relax – there is no trace of the city noise. Having a Barbecue is allowed in the area of the Flaucher and there are many small sandbanks.
Munich beer and meat.
What more could you want on a hot summer day?
Alternatively, the natural swimming pool MARIA EINSIEDEL in Thalkirchen is a good tip. It is a bit outside of the city and very large. A really ice cold river provides the necessary cooling. Only the heroic venture into the really, really cold water. But with outside temperatures of over 30 degrees also a wimp jumps into the running water of the little river.
3) Incorrect: “A Maahs beer please!” – Correct: “A Maß beer please!” (with a short “a”)
The best beer in the world come from Bavaria, that’s for sure. It tastes good. Very good. The majority of the people drink AUGUSTINER or TEGERNSEER. I also like the CHIEMSEER very much. After a party night with LÖWENBRÄU I always have a headache, so don’t try that one. But: as everything in life especially the beer issue is a matter of taste!
4) Pizza, Pasta und Amore
I could give you a lot of good tips for cool bars and clubs. But I will give you the best advice for eating a real Italian pizza. You can enjoy the best and most authentic (Italian!) Pizza at Mimmos place near Goetheplatz. There he is running his pizzeria „MIMMO & CO.“ The place doesn’t look very nice and stylish, but the taste of the pizza is undisputed and unique in Munich.
When I read this article again, I feel like I have left out a lot, I have at least 20 more tips in my mind. After more than ten years in a city there are so many beautiful places, memories and special moments so that it’s really hard for me to pick something out for you. From this point of view, these tips are a very personal, but incomplete excursion through “my Munich”.
If someone wants to argue about the beer topic or has a different opinion to one of my statements, please contact me! I will write you back!