While Germans and expats alike may complain of Munichs ever-increasing prices, a good job market and higher-than-average German wages mean that the Bavarian capital remains an attractive city.
The proximity to Alpine vacation bliss cant hurt either. And the rest of the world agrees: in 2019, Munich tied for third in Mercers “Quality of Living” rankings.
Munich residents boast about safety, too. Spanish blogger Elena from My Adventures in Munich, an expat blog, marvels that even her bike is safe in Munich: “You can park it outside the supermarket while you shop and even leave your stuff in the basket. All will still be in the basket when you come back," she says.
Housing, bills and insurance
There is no way to get around it: housing in Munich is incredibly expensive, as the Statista graph below shows. The cost of buying an apartment in 2018 is an astronomical €8,340 per-square-meter; Meanwhile, a new renter could easily pay upwards of €20 per square foot.
Graph translated for The Local by Statista
Besides searching for odd deals on the usual sites, try Wohnungsboerse, where you can search apartment listings posted directly by landlords, which saves you money working through a middle-man.
You can also verify with this price check tool if you think your potential landlord might be charging higher than the 10% above the neighborhood average that the Mietpreisbremse law allows.
According to housing data gathered by Wonungsboerste, Munichs most affordable district is Perlach, so you can try looking for deals in the inner neighborhoods of the borough, like Giesing. Allach-Untermenzing, Am Hart and Hadern also average under €17 per square meter, so try keeping your housing search within these lower(er) cost boroughs.
Even students are beset by high housing costs in the Bavarian capital. That said, WGs (shared flats) are definitely the way to live cheaply, and can be found on many websites and Facebook groups. Beyond that, students can use their status to get discounts on other city services, which is something you can take advantage if taking language courses.
Graph translated for The Local by Statista
Low-income individuals and families can also apply for a München-Pass, a free service through the Office of Housing and Migration, for discounts on city services (like transportation) and help finding social housing. This pass opens up an abundance of cost-saving options.
There is a difference in energy prices when choosing providers. Munichs main electricity provider, Stadtwerke München, is the default option if you sign a lease in the city. But they are also the highest-cost energy provider. If you qualify for low-income rent, you can request Stadtwerke München for a free energy-saving kit for your home. Or, you can also switch to a cheaper provider, like E Wie Einfach.
Internet providers vary too, from the cheap and basic to fiber-optic cable for speedy, but more expensive service. Compare prices based on your usage and needs with Check24.de or another price comparison tool. Munichs public libraries are another great place to get free WiFi.
Personal health insurance, a mandatory cost for all German residents, is a monthly expense that is usually non-negotiable. To help you navigate the options, weve created this handy guide. Keep in mind that some insurers offer discounts or rebates for participating in health-conscious activities, like using a gym membership or going to yoga.
Like elsewhere in the country, Munichs city infrastructure supports cyclists with more than 1,200 kilometers of cycling lanes and city maps that direct cyclists to the most efficient routes.
Its pretty easy to buy a bicycles at many new and used bike shops in the city, but you might get a better deal on Facebook groups or through shadier, friend-of-friend dealings.
Keeping in mind Munichs reputation for low crime, well assume your unknown used bike dealers for-sale bike is not stolen. Nonetheless, be sure to test the brakes and give the bike a mini drive before turning over any cash.
The Radlflohmarkt, an annual flea market just for bicycles, is coming up on April 13, so it may just be the perfect time to compare deals and find your wheels. Oh, and you should definitely buy a bike lock.
If you dont spend that much consecutive time on a bike, it may be more affordable to rent a bicycle by the hour. Sign up for Next Bike and pay 1 euro per half hour to ride their bikes through the city, with a daily maximum of €9.
If you must ride public transport, weekly and monthly transit passes are organized by different fare zones. You could also use a bike-bahn combination to save on transport by biking into a nearer zone and purchasing a discount two-ring monthly pass for only €55.20 instead of the regular €79.10 for the standard four-rings.
A tram in Munich. Photo: Depositphotos/Leonid_Andronov
Obviously, youll save money by cooking and eating at home rather than eating out. But where you shop is also important. Grocery stories like Lidl, Aldi, Penny or Netto are best for bargain-hunters. You can also take advantage of low-budget restaurants in student neighborhoods, too. In Maxvorstadt and Gärtnerplatz, the Studentenfutter goes beyond trail mix.