Have you booked your first ticket to Germany? Or have you been before but not to Munich or Bavaria for that matter? If that’s the case count on me (and this post) to fill you in on some of the most useful things to know before visiting Munich.
I will try to sell you all the tips I’ve learned throughout the years and that you need in order to have a great vacation in Munich 🙂
Check out also How to travel fast and easy in Munich
Also, if you don’t choose one of the options I gave you in my article and are thinking about taking a taxi, it will surely be easy to recognize the cars since they are all beige with the Taxi sign on top. Just bear in mind that the basic fare for a ride is 3.7 EUR with additional 1.9 EUR/km for the first 5 km, 1.7 EUR/km for 5 to 10 km and 1.6 EUR/km for every km above 10. That being said, all these mone will soon add up and for example, a taxi from the airport to the city center will exceed 50 EUR.
Do’s and Don’ts in Munich
DO have cash with you. And if you don’t it will be surely easy to find an ATM and withdraw some because in many places you will be able to pay with your card only for amounts higher than 5- 10 EUR. At restaurants as well, depending on the place, you will have to pay cash for amounts up to 15 – 20 EUR or they won’t accept credit cards. The same goes for the public transportation ticket machines, some accept only certain cards ( Visa for example but not Mastercard).
DO use the right side of the escalator when using the Ubahn. Everything is very organized here and people really respect these rules, which makes the traffic also at rush hour more bearable. Thus obey this simple rule: left is for passing, right is for standing still.
DO live a tip, usually 5 – 10% depending on the level of service (even though I can tell you from experience that it can happen that people won’t be necessarily friendly or customer oriented as you might be used to if you are from the States for example, but that’s not a rule).
DON’T travel without a ticket in the public transport. Even if there are no means of controlling who enters or who exits the Ubahn or Sbahn, controls are very frequent and you will most certainly get fined ( 50 EUR).
DON’T expect stores to be open late or on Sunday. All supermarkets and stores (including the ones in shopping malls) close at around 8 PM and are closed on Sundays, thus find a way of doing your shopping until that time.
DON’T walk in the bicycle lane. And this is very important because otherwise, you will get run over.
Check out also 10 things to do in Munich
Other useful things to know before visiting Munich
- Munich weather – that’s a tricky part indeed. Knowing what to expect and what to pack for a vacation to Munich. Except you are visiting during winter when everything is clear: it will be cold so don’t pack light! Because of its proximity o the Alps, Munich has a rather cold climate and also somewhat unpredictable. I’ve experienced days in late June with around 10 degrees, very shortly followed by temperatures up to 37 degrees (at just one week apart). As the Germans say: there is no bad weather, only being badly dressed for it, thus make sure to check the forecast before visiting and packing accordingly
- Telephone – Germany’s country code is 0049 and Munich area’s code is 0089. If you are from the EU you won’t have to worry about the telephone charges on your mobile phone, but if you are not, make sure to pay attention to the rates you receive via SMS.
- VAT ( Value Added Tax) – depending on the product you buy the VAT can be either 7% or 19% and it is always included in the price you see. If you are from outside the EU you can claim a tax refund upon your return home.
- Dirndl and lederhosen – the traditional clothing for women and men, worn not only at Oktoberfest but also for special occasions (it is often that you will see people wearing them during the weekend and at beer gardens). I personally love the dirndl but never bought one since they are usually pretty expensive, but still a lovely memory to have from Tyrol.
- Beer gardens – you will find these great oases of fun and relaxation all over town, but the rules are the same wherever you might go. Usually, there are tables to be shared with other people, but there are also areas where you can book a table if you want to spend the time with certain people only. In the first area, you can bring your own food from home and buy only the beer from the self-service counter (where you will also find food if you chose not to cook), while in the second area you will have to order from the waiter without having the possibility of bringing food from outside. Two of the most popular beer gardens you will have to check out: Augustiner Keller (really close to the train station and even closer to the bus station) and Chinese Tower ( in the heart of the English Garden).
- The “Urban Naked Zone” – imagine this: we were having a walk in the English Garden one (not so sunny) June day and my boyfriend noticed someone lying naked on the grass, sunbathing. My friend and I refused to believe this guy was naked since he was quite at a distance from us, but shortly after checked the internet to see if that was really possible. It turns out it is. So, keep this in mind when visiting the city, the Germans have a very permissive mentality which I really like.
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