Munich, Germany Report of what it's like to live there - 05/18/16
Personal Experiences from Munich, Germany
1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?
No, I've lived as an expat in Giessen, Germany, Ottawa, Canada, and Vienna, Austria prior to living in Munich.
2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?
Florida, USA -- about a 9-hour flight
3. How long have you lived here?
4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?
Housing, Groceries & Food:
1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?
For Consulate Munich employees there are two main housing areas, and a few scattered units throughout the city. One main area is a 3-minute walk from the Consulate and the other is a 45-minute commute on public transport.
2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?
Everything is available. Cost is comparable to DC, but in Euro.
3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?
Nothing -- everything is available here.
4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?
Fast food -- Burger King, Subway, KFC, Pizza, Kebab. Every type of cuisine is available here.
5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?
1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?
2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?
Available -- about 10-12 Euro per hour.
3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?
There is a gym in the Consulate free to employees and family members. There are many gyms for a fee on the economy.
4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?
Major grocery stores and many restaurants accept both. Smaller stores are often cash only.
5. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?
Some is helpful although many people speak English and Munich is accustomed to many American tourists.
6. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?
Many places are wheelchair accessible, but not all. Some older buildings may not have elevators, or have very small ones only.
1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?
2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?
Smaller is better for parking and narrow streets.
Phone & Internet:
1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?
Yes. 80 Euro/month
2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?
Consulate issues a cell to employees. Family members can purchase a low-cost plan on the economy.
Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:
1. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?
Health & Safety:
1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.
No more than any other European city.
2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?
None; medical care is excellent
3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?
Good to very good.
4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?
Winters can be cold, summers can be short. Weather is generally mild.
Schools & Children:
1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?
There are two international schools; Munich International (MIS) and Bavarian International (BIS). Both are excellent. Older students tend towards MIS because they have a more robust sports program.
2. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?
Yes; no personal experience
3. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?
Yes, through the schools and on the economy.
1. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?
Yes, this is a good city for everyone.
2. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?
Yes, large, open, gay community.
3. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?
4. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?
Travelling within Germany and Europe.
5. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?
Too many things to list: Visit a Biergarten; take the S-bahn to Andechs Monastery for the day, or to Tegernsee; visit one (or all) of the many fests (Oktoberfest, Fruehlingsfest, Starkbierfest); wander through Christmas markets and sip hot, mulled wine and nibble on freshly roasted chestnuts. Visit Garmisch for skiing, the Englisch garden for sun bathing, go white-water rafting, hiking, biking, etc.
6. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?
BEER! But seriously, beer! Travel, culture, history.
7. Can you save money?
If you don't eat out, don't travel, don't have household help, yes. Otherwise, maybe.....
Words of Wisdom:
1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?