What You Need To Know
Munich is the capital and most populous city of Bavaria. With a population of 1,558,395 inhabitants as of July 31, 2020, it is the third-largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg, and thus the largest which does not constitute its own state, as well as the 11th-largest city in the European Union. The city’s metropolitan region is home to 6 million people. Straddling the banks of the River Isar (a tributary of the Danube) north of the Bavarian Alps, it is the seat of the Bavarian administrative region of Upper Bavaria, while being the most densely populated municipality in Germany (4,500 people per km2). Munich is the second-largest city in the Bavarian dialect area, after the Austrian capital of Vienna.
The city was first mentioned in 1158. Catholic Munich strongly resisted the Reformation and was a political point of divergence during the resulting Thirty Years’ War, but remained physically untouched despite an occupation by the Protestant Swedes. Once Bavaria was established as a sovereign kingdom in 1806, Munich became a major European centre of arts, architecture, culture and science. In 1918, during the German Revolution, the ruling house of Wittelsbach, which had governed Bavaria since 1180, was forced to abdicate in Munich and a short-lived socialist republic was declared. In the 1920s, Munich became home to several political factions, among them the NSDAP. After the Nazis’ rise to power, Munich was declared their “Capital of the Movement”. The city was heavily bombed during World War II, but has restored most of its traditional cityscape. After the end of postwar American occupation in 1949, there was a great increase in population and economic power during the years of Wirtschaftswunder, or “economic miracle”. The city hosted the 1972 Summer Olympics and was one of the host cities of the 1974 and 2006 FIFA World Cups.
Today, Munich is a global centre of art, science, technology, finance, publishing, culture, innovation, education, business, and tourism and enjoys a very high standard and quality of living, reaching first in Germany and third worldwide according to the 2018 Mercer survey, and being rated the world’s most liveable city by the Monocle’s Quality of Life Survey 2018. According to the Globalization and World Rankings Research Institute, Munich is considered an alpha-world city, as of 2015. It is one of the most prosperous and fastest growing cities in Germany.
Munich’s economy is based on high tech, automobiles, the service sector and creative industries, as well as IT, biotechnology, engineering and electronics among many others. The city houses many multinational companies, such as BMW, Siemens, MAN, Linde, Allianz and MunichRE. It is also home to two research universities, a multitude of scientific institutions, and world class technology and science museums like the Deutsches Museum and BMW Museum. Munich’s numerous architectural and cultural attractions, sports events, exhibitions and its annual Oktoberfest attract considerable tourism. The city is home to more than 530,000 people of foreign background, making up 37.7% of its population.
Area: 310,4 km²
Population: 1,540 million (2020)
- The national currency in Germany (and in the European Union ) is the Euro. U.S. dollars are not accepted in most establishments; however, some hotels, shops and restaurants may accept your U.S. dollars at an agreed upon exchange rate.
Bills: 500€ / 200€ / 100€ / 50€ / 20€/ 10€/ 5€
Coins: 2€ / 1€ / 50 cents / 20c / 10c / 5c / 2c / 1c. The Euro is divided into 100 cents.
- Currency exchange can be made in most banks (look for a sign indicating Change) and post offices as well as in some large stores, train stations, airports and exchange offices near major tourist sites. Remember that even though exchange rates are fixed, agent commissions vary: they must be clearly displayed. Exchange rates vary from bank to bank . Large cities in the U.S. generally have banks specialized in foreign exchange with lower exchange rates. The same applies in France. In general, it is best to find a larger bank or exchange office in the center of town or in a financial area. If only a small amount of money is being exchanged, the hotel’s money exchange rate may be adequate.
Use your home bank ATM/cash card to withdraw euros from French distributeurs des billets (ATMs/cashpoints) or Retrait (cash witdrawal). Check with your bank to see if this will work without problems. You may also want to check the exchange rate, charges and fees imposed by your bank on foreign currency withdrawals, which may amount to 3% to 6% of your money.
- Use a credit card, widely used for purchases in France, but only if it is a credit card with a computer chip in it (carte à puce).
If you plan to withdraw cash via your credit card, check the exchange rate, charges and fees imposed by your credit card company on the transaction(s). These may add up to a substantial amount. You may want to apply for a card that imposes fewer fees on foreign withdrawals before you travel.
By Köppen classification templates and updated data the climate is oceanic (Cfb), independent of the isotherm but with some humid continental (Dfb) features like warm to hot summers and cold winters, but without permanent snow cover. The proximity to the Alps brings higher volumes of rainfall and consequently greater susceptibility to flood problems. Studies of adaptation to climate change and extreme events are carried out, one of them is the Isar Plan of the EU Adaptation Climate. The city center lies between both climates, while the airport of Munich has a humid continental climate. The warmest month, on average, is July. The coolest is January. Showers and thunderstorms bring the highest average monthly precipitation in late spring and throughout the summer. The most precipitation occurs in July, on average. Winter tends to have less precipitation, the least in February.
The official language of Germany is German, but Munich’s languages are Austro-Bavarian, a dialect mostly similar to German using the trema on the vowels and the ß symbol for ss (as in Weißwurst).
Health and security
German medical facilities are among the best in the world. If a medical emergency arises, your hotel staff can usually put you in touch with a reliable doctor. If not, contact your embassy or consulate; each one maintains a list of English-speaking doctors. Medical and hospital services aren’t free, so be sure that you have appropriate insurance coverage before you travel. The water is safe to drink throughout Germany; however, do not drink the water in mountain streams, regardless of how clear and pure it looks.
If you suffer from a chronic illness, consult your doctor before departing. Pack prescription medications in your carry-on luggage and carry them in their original containers, with pharmacy labels — otherwise they won’t make it through airport security. Carry the generic name of prescription medicines, in case a local pharmacist is unfamiliar with the brand name.
Crime & Safety
Overall, the security risk to travelers to Munich and the Bavarian Alps is low. Germany experiences, however, a number of demonstrations every year on a variety of political and economic themes. These demonstrations have a tendency to spread and turn violent, and anyone in the general area can become the victim of a random attack. Prior police approval is required for public demonstrations in Germany, and police oversight is routinely provided to ensure adequate security for participants and passersby. Nonetheless, situations may develop that could pose a threat to public safety. All foreign visitors are cautioned to avoid the area around protests and demonstrations and to check local media for updates on the situation
Jaywalk Recycle wrongly Show the Nazi salute Throw out bottles Drive on the middle lane on the Autobahn Be late Enter a home wearing shoes Walk in bicycle lanes Address strangers with their first names Sing the first verse of the national anthem Get on public transport without a ticket Speak English and expect no one to understand Disrespect quiet hours Be loud and obnoxious Expect credit cards to be accepted
You can surf here sans ocean Prepare for the ‘Millionendorf’ atmosphere No Sunday shopping The Bavarian dialect can be tough Take a hike A car is unnecessary in Munich We’re pretty direct Sometimes museum visits are just one euro You might actually see trachten (traditional German garments) All about that bread Carry cash Try a group tour Don’t overlook the airport Music is everywhere Check out a castle Keep an eye out for street art Treat yourself at an Apotheke Don’t stop at Oktoberfest Peruse the outdoor markets We’re bananas for Boazn