Moving to Munich?
Accommodation for Expats in Munich
Whether you decide to live in the city itself or in the suburbs surrounding the city proper, you will be spoilt for choice. However, moving to Munich does bring challenges. No matter your exact destination, you will likely face stiff competition in this competitive rental and property market. As such, your choice of neighborhood may well depend on the amount of money available to you.
You can compare the average Kaltmiete (rent not including bills) for a 70 square meter flat across all the areas of Munich city on the immobilienscout blog. Rents in Munich have been steadily rising, with an average of 17.40 EUR per square meter in September 2016, so be sure to factor this into your cost of living!
Munich’s Most Popular Neighborhoods
Lehel, the historical city center (Altstadt), and certain areas of Bogenhausen and Schwabing are Munich’s most exclusive neighborhoods. If you can afford the property prices for an art deco apartment near the English Garden or a chic loft in the heart of Munich, go for it!
The gradual process of gentrification has led to rising rents in such areas as Haidhausen, with its village flair, and many parts of Isarvorstadt, especially near Gärtnerplatz and in the Glockenbach neighborhood. If you’d like to enjoy the advantages of a nearby club scene or the gay-friendly atmosphere of the Glockenbach at a lower price, then the area along the Au, close to the river, might be just the place for you.
There are several upmarket residential areas in Nymphenburg-Neuhausen, Obermenzing, and Alt-Harlaching. These neighborhoods feature a variety of beautiful mansions, quiet streets, and lots of green space. However, among families with children, more affordable, middle-class neighborhoods at some distance from the city center — such as Thalkirchen, Pasing, and Forstenried — are a more popular choice.
Furthermore, newer developments like the Ackermannbogen or the Messestadt Riem tend to attract younger residents and couples with small children, too. These neighborhoods are located more or less on the outskirts, and they can sometimes still feel somewhat sterile. On the upside, they have been planned with a decent infrastructure in mind. There is usually a bus stop or an underground station in the vicinity, and shopping malls, doctor’s offices, etc. within walking distance.
Freiham, a new district far from the city center, is currently under construction. So far, it houses a commercial and industrial area, but it will also provide room for up to 20,000 new residents.
Less Desirable Neighborhoods
Even as beautiful a city as Munich has its less attractive sides. Unless you are on a tight budget, you might want to avoid a couple of neighborhoods for various reasons: Feldmoching, Hasenbergl, and Neuperlach have become synonymous with dreary apartment blocks from the 1960s and 1970s. However, these low-income neighborhoods have improved far more quickly than their unfortunate reputation.
While rents are comparatively cheap for such a central and well-connected location, the area around the main train station is not a desirable place to live, either: it features quite a few seedy bars, strip clubs, and sex shops. In Freimann, you should make sure to check how far your prospective apartment is from the sewage treatment plant and the local landfill.
And in general, anything too close to the Mittlerer Ring (Munich’s major ring road), an important thoroughfare like the Dachauer Strasse, or an access road to the expressway may suffer from traffic jams, noise, and air pollution. Choose your new home in Munich wisely!
Top Tips for Flat Hunting in Munich
Be aware that the real estate market in Munich is both expensive and very competitive. Families with more than two kids or with one stay-at-home parent, as well as expats on short(ish) assignments, may face some difficulties during the housing search. High-income households, tenants who are going to stay for several years, and those couples who both work and have no kids have a certain advantage on the housing market.
Always bring a proof of income and, if possible, references from previous landlords to your appointments. You may be asked to hand in a Schufa-Auskunft (personal credit history) as well. You’ll find some useful resources for the apartment search in Munich below. Good luck!
You can also find general advice and tips on renting or buying property in Germany, as well as in-depth information on utilities, in the Housing & Accommodation section of our Extended Germany Guide.
Online Resources for Finding Accommodation in Munich
- Immoscout 24
- Wohnung Jetzt
- WG Gesucht (flatshares for students, interns, trainees, and young singles on a budget)
- Süddeutsche Zeitung
- Kurz & Fündig
If you prefer to hire an agency to help you with the housing search, these are some of Munich’s biggest real estate agents: