Just over a year ago I was starting my final year of my BSc and worrying about what will happen after I graduate and next thing I know I am on a plane headed to Munich. Thinking about leaving my comfort zone “London”, having to make new friends and getting used to a new country made the weeks before the move quite difficult. I am a planner and I love to have control over all aspects of my life, so you can only imagine how I felt with all the uncertainty swirling around. Despite this, I knew things would work out somehow. After 3 weeks of being here, I decided to write about my first impressions of Munich.
My first 10 days consisted of flat hunting and as much as I heard about how difficult it is, I still thought it would be fine since I had lived in London, ( boy, was I wrong ! ). I stayed in a room that I booked through Airbnb at the beginning because I did not manage to get a room in student accommodation and was put on a waiting list. During the day, I would attend induction events at the university and my evenings consisted of sending hundreds of messages online and receiving no response. Around the 8th day, I got lucky and found a room ad on Facebook that had just been posted a few minutes ago. I messaged the person and managed to get invited to a viewing ( which also included an interview with the current flat occupants ). It all went well and I am now living ( with two lovely flatmates ) just 30 minutes from my campus, instead of the 2 hours it took me before.
My experience of the city so far:
Huge Pastries & Marienplatz: After wandering around the city centre on my first day, I came across a cafe (Rischart) that had huge bagels, pastries and all sorts of cakes ( This made my day ). A few minutes later outside the cafe, I noticed that the square was suddenly full of people and that’s when the Glockenspiel started chiming. I was lucky and happened to be there at the right time, as I later found out it only takes place at 11am, 12 and 5pm. That moment was the first thing I loved about Munich and from then I knew I would grow to love this city.
Short Buildings: The second thing I noticed about the city was how short all the buildings were. I later found out that this was because Munich residents voted on a law to preserve the Bavarian capital’s skyline.
Environmentally Aware Community: In supermarkets, there are two prices for all drinks in plastic bottles. This is because they charge you 25p for using a plastic bottle, but then you can return your plastic bottles to the shop and get your money back. What a great way to force people to recycle.
Public Transportation: On my first ride using the underground, I felt like I was in a 70s film. That’s how old-fashioned some of the trains are in Munich. The best thing about being a student here is that your student ID also works as a semester ticket, which allows you to use all sorts of public transportation from 6pm to 6am on weekdays and all day on weekends/holidays. You pay a little extra to get to travel 24/7, but it is totally worth it ( Transport for London should take notes ).
Store Closing Times & Sundays: I like doing my grocery shopping late in the evenings after coming home from lectures or on weekends, but sadly in Munich shops close at 8pm and they do not open on Sundays. I was slightly annoyed by this when I first arrived, but it has forced me to get all my shopping done early in the day, which in turn made my evenings more productive and my Sundays more relaxing.
There is so much more to see and do in Munich so I will be trying to go out and explore the city whenever my schedule allows it. It really has exceeded my expectations and I can not wait to share more of the city with you in the next blog.
Auf Wiedersehen! ( Goodbye )