Saunders 1865 | Moving to Munich

Moving to Munich

Are you moving to Munich? The capital of Bavaria, this city of contrasts is a large city, a province, a metropolis and a high-tech stronghold.  Art, culture and beer are amongst its more popular attractions.  It is both modern and rich in culture, while still preserving its heritage.  Buildings such as the town hall in Marienplatz Square in the Old Town – or Altstadt – date back centuries, with nearby exciting and innovative projects by renowned international architects, adding to the charm.  The country has had one of the most robust economies on the continent for decades, with Munich and Frankfurt offering the best job prospects.  The continued skills shortage ensures good opportunities for qualified candidates.

Our free, in-depth Moving to Munich report includes info on:

• The best areas to live
• The good schools
• The average monthly rental prices
• The excellent public transport system in the city

Putting Munich on the Map

Located in the south of Germany, Munich is around 30 miles north of the Alps.  The Isar River flows right through the city centre.  Occupying nearly 120 square miles, Munich has the third largest population in the country.  It became a city in 1175, named after a local chapter of monks, and in 1506 Munich became the capital of the province of Bavaria.  The city, with six Autobahns feeding cars and truck traffic into the centre, isn’t really a car town, despite BMW’s world headquarters being inside the city limits.  The sophisticated, efficient public transport network makes commuting quicker and cheaper, with far less aggravation.  The local authority, MVV, operates an integrated system, covering all forms of transport.  These tickets include single and group, and daily, weekly or monthly passes on buses, trams, U-Bahn and S-Bahn trains.  Tickets can be bought at U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations and many other outlets.

  • Franz Josef Strauss International Airport is 18.6 miles north-east of the city and handles more than 40 million passengers per year.
  • The airport can be reached by train, taking around 45 minutes from the centre.
  • Munich prides itself on well-planned autobahns and roads. However, frequent road maintenance makes travelling by car tedious, especially during rush hours.
  • The U-Bahn is the underground train mainly within the city, the S-Bahn is an over ground train that covers a wider area into the suburbs. Both types of trains are faster and more efficient than other forms, with extensive coverage and are accessible all over the city.  They operate regularly from 5am until 2am.
  • The bus network reaches outlying areas that the trains don’t reach. But they are less regular, albeit operating 24 hours per day, and travel times are subject to delays caused by heavy traffic.
  • The tram network consists of 13 daytime routes and 4 night routes. They are generally used to travel short distances.
  • Munich is a cyclist friendly city, with many cycle paths running throughout the city, alongside the picturesque river and through the many leafy parks.
  • Two features of the road network make car ownership justifiable, the Mittlerer Ring circles the city centre, and the Autobahn, with multiple lanes, links Munich to other destinations. However, unless parking bays are allocated by the employers, parking spots are rare and expensive.  The local drivers are courteous and patient.
The Areas

With demand outstripping supply, finding suitable accommodation can be trying.  Rental costs are high and vary depending upon the time of year.  There is a high demand for student accommodation given that that it is a university city and generally, the standard of accommodation is excellent.

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Small, luxurious, modern apartments are the order of the day in this chic, central area close to the amenities of the city.  Great transport links reach the city and suburbs, and proximity to the Nymphenberg Palace Grounds ensure that runners, cyclists and dog-walkers have all the space they need.  Needless to say, being this central comes at a price, and thus Neuhausen is popular with more affluent professionals and singles.


Being so close to the centre makes this neighbourhood extremely desirable, with access to the vibrant social scene within the city, along with great shops.  The U-Bahn ensure that transport is readily available making the need for a car negligible.  This is a high-demand and expensive area, inhabited mainly by singles earning top dollar.


With a more rural feel, this trendy area attracts the younger generation.  It is close to the centre of the city with good public transport and enjoys a lively pub culture in Pariser Platz and Weisenburger Platz.  Fitness enthusiasts will enjoy jogging or cycling along the banks of the Isar River, or taking the dog for a stroll, enjoying the scenery.


Slightly more distance from the city centre ensures that accommodation is more affordable, with high quality and standards not being comprised.  More of a family centred suburb, the English garden and the river are close-by, and both forms of trains ensure easy links to work


Close to both Haidhaussen and Bogenhausen, this south-eastern neighbourhood is quieter, with spacious accommodation, large green areas, close to good bilingual and international schools.  With its variety of shops and restaurants, this is a prime area for young families, with a U-Bahn station ensuring quick access to the city.


Perched on the banks of the Isar River, right on the edge of the city, this is a diverse and cosmopolitan area made up of many established immigrants.  More affordable, infinitely more spacious, this family-centric district has a few bars and restaurants, and public transport will have commuters at work in around 20 minutes.


With larger, albeit dated, housing this affordable area is south of the city and popular with families.  With a number of bars and restaurants, but not much in the way of nightlife, one of the many U-Bahn stations or bus services will get you to the city with its nightclubs and bars.  Supermarkets and smaller shops service the community.


40 minutes outside Munich, this quieter, more suburban area is great for families and students alike.  The main square has an assortment of restaurants and shops, negating the need to travel to the city centre.  The University of Applied Sciences is here, along with good bilingual schools.  The houses are large, some with good sized gardens, and it all adds up to a really good area for expat families.

Who Lives and Works in Munich

With a population of 1.5 million living in the city, this number is bolstered with a metropolitan area of around 6 million people and is the third largest city in Germany.  Munich has the highest standard of living in the country and is the second migration choice in the world, after the USA.  23% of the population is of non-German descent.  In the metropolitan area of Munich, 17% of the population have university degrees.

Hosting numerous multinational business headquarters in the fields of finance, media, automotive and aerospace industries, the top employers are Allianz, BMW, Infineon, Linde, MAN, Munich Rd and Siemens.  Munich is known as the Silicon Valley of Germany.

22.4% of the working population are employed in property, consultancy and business services, 18.6% in transportation, catering and retail, and 13.5% in manufacturing.  Munich has the highest per capita earnings out of all the major German cities.

Communication technology, manufacturing, biotech, automotive and mechanical engineering are included in a broad range of high-tech industries involved in R & D.

Expats have access to both private and public healthcare and are obliged to have health insurance. Munich is home to many surgical centres and specialised practitioners, with some of the most advanced hospitals in the world.

The Best Bits
  • The Alps are so close, it is a quick drive to the ski slopes, such as Kitzbuhel and Garmish, in a winter wonderland. In the summer head for the same slopes for a sunny hike, or to the lakes of Bodensee, Starnberger and Tegernsee.
  • The city dates back centuries. The handy pedestrian precincts will take you to the South German late Gothic Frauenkirche, the symbol of Munich with its twin towers. The Neues Rathhaus or the New City Hall, located at the Marienplatz has a highly ornate neo-Gothic façade, and it is here that you can listen to the Glockenspiel twice daily.
  • Munich still celebrates the 16th-century wedding of one of its dukes, Wilhelm V, twice daily. 43 bells and 32 figures in the Glockenspiel, 260 feet above ground, come to life in the massive mechanical clock.  The same duke founded the city’s first brewery, the Hofbrauhaus a couple of blocks away.
  • The Viktualienmarkt, or Victuals Market, has a wide variety of products, from a vast selection of cheese, exotics fruits and herbs, to freshly baked cakes and bread.
  • Nymphenburg Castle, the royal residence, is found right in the heart of the old town and was home to princes, dukes and kings for more than 500 years. It is one of the best example of the baroque style in Germany, showcasing six inner courtyards, banqueting halls, art galleries and highly ornate rooms, the Treasure Chamber and the Cuvillies Theatre.  History and art buffs can immerse themselves in King Ludwig I’s Gallery of Beauties.  Or take a walk through the 900-acre English garden, a green space with winding paths and meadows, a man-made lake, streams and the Chinese Tower with a beer garden.
  • With over a hundred galleries and museums, the three Pinakotheken are the most famous. Rubens, Rembrandt and many other old masters are on display.  The Deutsches Museum is the largest technical and scientific museum in Europe.
  • Umschreibung, or the stairway to nowhere, located on the KPMG premises, is an art installation comprising a double-helix winding staircase.
  • With musical traditions harking back to Strauss, Wagner and Mozart, it is no surprise that there are two lavish opera houses and three world renowned symphony orchestras. Numerous concert halls cater for followers of jazz, modern, classical and open-air concerts.  Freddie Mercury, of Queen fame, had an apartment near
  • The famous Oktoberfest is the biggest beer festival in Europe. German beer, oompah bands, roast chicken, spit-roast fish – this is a huge tourist draw.
  • Munich Christmas Market, or Christkindlmarkt, is held in the shadow of the town hall, with a massive array of décor and nativity scenes.
Bringing the Kids

With only four international schools in Munich, if this is your choice of school then early application is advised to secure a place.  Schooling is conducted in the language of choice, with various curricula and special programmes, helping students fit into their new life in Munich.  International schools are expensive, but guarantee that the students can continue their education without any hassles.

Public or private schools are another option.  Schooling is conducted in German, which would suit younger pupils, but older students would be advised to learn the basics of the language before starting their new school.  Depending on your choice, the fees are either affordable or completely free from kindergarten to university.  There are 11 colleges and universities – including applied science.  Smaller institutions focus on specific skills.

The German education system allocates different education streams to each child, dependent on the student’s strengths.

Relocating to Munich

Rich in history, with the lowest crime rate in Germany, Munich has twice been ranked as the most liveable city in the world.  The excellent quality of life, with a wide range of exceptional amenities, make Munich a great place to live for all residents.  Beautiful accommodation options in a variety of unique locations, great educational facilities, a surfeit of culture and typical German efficiency, along with quick links to the rest of Europe make this a destination of choice for expats.

It can be both exciting and daunting to be relocated to a foreign country.  Trying to choose the best suburb, close to schools and amenities, with all the strange red tape and form filling could be a nightmare, without the experience and help of a relocation specialist.  Smooth the way for yourself and your family with invaluable assistance from Saunders 1865, the experts in their field.


City Centre
Family friendly
Great Transport
Museums & Galleries
Pretty Villages
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Young Professionals
Average Monthly Rent - Munich
Apartment (1 bedroom) in city centre €1,084
Apartment (1 bedroom) outside of centre €840
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in city centre €2,139
Apartment (3 bedrooms) outside of centre €1,576
Contact us for a free initial consultation about your specific situation.
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