Kingpin's Guide to Living and Working in Munich
Munich, Germany’s 3rd largest city, is also one of the country’s most popular places not just among tourists but also expats. Situated in Germany’s south-east, Munich is the capital of the Bavarian state. Known for its historic value and famous beers, the city is now home to many foreign expats. It has a healthy economy combined with an abundance of things to do, which makes the city a very appealing place to live and work.
An aspect that people in Munich love, particularly those working in the city, is the extremely reliable and affordable transport system. The city boasts an extensive bus network, tram system and underground metro that help keep the city connected. It is said that every household in Munich is within 400 metres of an underground, bus or tram stop. Furthermore, the city has an urban electric railway which provides yet another stress-free way of getting around. It also has excellent rail links to other major German cities such as Berlin and Frankfurt, which take just over 6 hours and 3.5 hours respectively, as well as other European destinations like Zurich and Vienna.
What to do
There is no shortage of things to see and do in Bavaria’s capital, meaning your days off will never be boring:
Arguably what Munich is most renowned for, the famous Bavarian beer festival draws locals and tourists alike. The festival showcases Bavaria and more importantly, its beers and breweries with visitors encouraged to dress up, sing, dance, and tuck into local delicacies. Everyone is welcome and even those who don’t like beer would enjoy the festival atmosphere! Oktoberfest is free to enter and is well worth the visit. The festival runs for around 2-3 weeks and is scheduled to start this year on the 16th September to the 3rd of October (2017).
Sports & Leisure
The city is one where sports lovers will thrive. There is a wealth of opportunities to participate in sports and fitness, as well as the chance to watch top-level sports. Regarding the latter, the city is home to Germany’s current football champions, Bayern Munich. Withstanding ticket prices at the spectacular Allianz Arena starting at just €15; this is as cheap as you’ll find anywhere in Europe to watch one of the world’s biggest and most successful clubs. On a more practical level, there are a variety of gyms and sports clubs across the city, providing expats with the chance to meet new people and get active. There are also many parks, which are great places to go out and walk, jog or workout.
History & Culture
The city has a variety of cultural landmarks and architecture to discover. The real symbol of Munich is the Frauenkirche. This Gothic cathedral was first constructed back in the 1400’s and its twin towers remain a true landmark of Munich and provide fantastic views of the city. In addition to beautiful churches, the city was once home to Bavarian Dukes, Princes, and Emperors. The Residenz (palace) was their castle and is now open to the public for guided tours of its magnificent interiors and exteriors.
Munich is home to a number of museums across a variety of fields. Pinakothek der Moderne is the biggest museum for modern art in Germany, displaying work from the past and present. There is also the BMW World and Museum, which shows the evolution of the famous German car manufacturer into one of the leading car companies in the world. For science and technology lovers, the German Museum is the place for you, showcasing the evolution and wonders of technology and building. A very hands-on museum, the German museum is one that will enthral the whole family, along with over a million other visitors during the year.
Wining & Dining
If history does not whet your appetite, one of Munich’s extensive selection of restaurants surely will. The city offers several hotspots to experience not only the best of Bavaria’s culinary treats but cuisine from around the world. It boasts a range of down to earth, typically Bavarian eateries, as well as fine dining international restaurants. Bavarian food and beer go hand in hand, therefore, many of these restaurants also have beer gardens, giving you the best of both worlds. Beer gardens have grown popular across Europe; however, it is in Munich where this custom is engrained in the culture with the streets awash with tables and chairs in the summer months. Not to worry if you’re not a beer lover as there are other drinks available from Bavarian wines to soft drinks. There are also a plethora of indoor bars and nightlife destinations for when the weather is not so good.
From shopping malls to department stores, to market stalls then Munich can satisfy the needs of any shopaholic. The Munich Christmas Market is certainly a hotspot during the festive season, with a visit undoubtedly going to get the whole family into the Christmas Spirit. One of the popular places is the daily food market, Viktualienmarkt, which is a wonderful place to sample the best of Bavarian produce. In contrast to bustling markets, Munich also has streets for more luxury and high-end outlets.
It must be conceded that Munich is not the easiest or most affordable place to find accommodation. If it is a central location you are looking for then your search may be restricted to apartments, with larger family homes situated in suburbs outside the city. Some of the most popular suburbs are Neuhausen and Maxvorstadt. Expats have the options of using agents, searching online property boards or local newspapers to find a property. It is advised to start your search early due to demand. Also, if you find a suitable place, it is important to express your interest or accept an appropriate offer quickly to avoid disappointment.
Many expats send their children to international schools, ensuring they are taught in their first language. Munich does not boast as many International Schools as other German cities such as Berlin, therefore, it is imperative to apply early to ensure your child gets a space. Alternatively, children could attend public schools, where education is a lot more affordable. However, the language of tuition is German, which can be extremely difficult for pupils who have been taught in another language.
If you are interested in a move to Munich or anywhere else in the world and would like to speak to Kingpin International about International Tax Opportunities, please contact a member of the team. Alternatively, please browse our current International Tax vacancies.