City of Parties
Perched on the North of the Bavarian Alps lies the magnificent city of Munich. Voted ‘best German city to live in’ by Germans themselves, you’d be crazy not to give this gem of a place a try. Being the third largest city in Germany
, with more than a million inhabitants, it’s neither too overwhelming nor too insignificant to set up a home in.
Why should I choose Munich for my year abroad?
One of the reasons many people, German folk and foreign, flock to this city is because it has managed to retain some good old village charm, with whole quarters showcasing beautifully nurtured and restored Rococo and Baroque buildings. Each district of this place has its own charm; but you’ll most probably want to pave the streets of Schwabing due to its affiliation with the university, as well as Haidhausen for a bit of clubbing hellraising! Neuhausen and Nymphenburg are known for their relaxed vibes and distinct lack of tourists—head there for some quality chill out time, with the Schloss Nymphenburg Gardens to look forward to.
Quite a green city at heart, you might even want to try out one of the many bike routes in Munich, getting a real feel for the windy streets and topsy-turvy nature of some areas. Culture and architecture will undoubtedly be high on the agenda; you can a walk around taking in the ornate and intricate buildings and monuments, or head out to some museums of international repute. Even the least techie amongst you cannot help but be in awe of the Deutsches Museum, a veritable eye-opener for the world of engineering, science and technology, with lots of interactive pieces to boot.
The Dachau Concentration Memorial Camp is an experience like no other—extremely moving and worthwhile. Munich’s own city museum is a necessary port of call, should you wish to see how past events helped shape the city we behold today. Lenbach House, of the Blauer Reiter (art) school of fame, holds an impressive collection of German Impressionist Art; the Brandhorst Museum holds more contemporary pieces, including some inspiring installations.
But how could we include Munich without mentioning Oktoberfest, one of the best folk music festivals known to mankind? Music, good beer and lashings of unadulterated fun, all in one place! Make sure you get there early, as tents often fill quickly.
If rocking out isn’t really your, erm, cup of tea (?) or pint of beer, then don’t forget to give the Carnival a go: it might just perhaps be the most impressive festival Germany
has to offer; for this is the time that images of old German fairy tales come alive. Don’t be surprised if you see witches, gnomes or elves passing by in the streets. It’s not your mind playing tricks on you (or too much beer and currywurst...)!
If that’s not enough to make you shake a leg in the direction of Bavaria, let us not forget to mention that Munich has some of the best markets in Germany
(Christmas and other), plus it’s really close to the Alps (grab those skis before you go) AND rather more civilized beer gardens... As well as some pretty decent clubs (Night-Flight with its eight different bars and pool is enough to keep you happy for quite a while but great other venues are also scattered across the city). If the welcoming, fun-loving spirit of Munich sounds likes your ideal place for your year abroad then you’d better start planning your costume!