My initial impression of Munich, which I formed some five years ago, was that it was a small traditional-looking Bavarian town. I don’t know if my impression was totally off or they’ve modernized in the past couple of years. But this time around, Munich felt completely different. And like almost all cities I’ve visited in Germany, I could totally live there.
Munich has a really laid back feel. Even the bustling streets of Old Town aren’t quite as dense and suffocating as some other European tourist spots. Just outside of city center, you can live a cozy, quiet life. You’re just a short walk or U-Bahn ride to a great dinner or a liter of beer. Outside of the Oktoberfest fairgrounds, Munich itself maintains a healthy level of composure throughout the festivities. But if you’re in the mood to get piss drunk, you can always go to Hofbräuhaus where it’s basically Oktoberfest all year round. Maybe my favorite thing about Munich is its proximity to the Alps, where you can go hide away in the mountains away for a couple of days.
I feel poor anywhere I can’t get groceries for $15 now, but as far as German cities go, Munich is not the worst. The great thing is that even if you’re paying 700 Euro per month for an apartment, you can probably offset the cost of that by renting out your place on AirBnB for all of Oktoberfest. With hotel rooms 20 miles out of the city going for $300-400 a night, you can make a killing hosting visitors if you live anywhere near Theresienwiese.
Munich is surprisingly simple to navigate by car. Though I usually prefer to walk or use public transportation, I have to commend a city that doesn’t become a gridlocked mindfuck during a major event. The streets are ample and easily accessible, and unless you’re driving right into city center, you won’t encounter much traffic. But if you prefer to take the train or walk, you’re in luck. You can get anywhere on bus, tram, or by train.
The same German precision that goes into making cars goes into making food. I didn’t have one bad meal in Munich. To be honest, I was so drunk most of the time that they were all spectacular, but that assessment is probably somewhat inflated. You really can’t go wrong with sausage and potato dumplings. My only problem with the food in Munich is that the portions are huge everywhere. Does one person really need two steaks? Why is that even an option?
Maybe it’s all the drinking, but I think the people of Munich are some of the friendliest in the entire country. Everyone’s in a good mood, they’re helpful, and they’re fun. I appreciate the fact that they commit 110% to their culture. It’s refreshing to be around. Like all Germans, they’re also obnoxiously attractive.
Total Livability Score: 8/10
Munich is pretty fabulous! If I didn’t live close enough to visit every once in a while, it would be a strong contender for relocation.