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Munich, Germany’s third largest city and a major European cultural center, is home to 1.5 million people and some of the best universities in Europe, making it a popular destination for students. There is plenty of world-renowned art, music, theater, museums, galleries, parks, cafes, and over 180 biergartens to explore and discover here.Unlimited use of the efficient and widespread public transportation network -- trains (S-Bahn), subways (U-bahn), trams, and buses -- costs a student around 220 EUR per semester. Transportation operates during all hours, except between 1:00-4:00 AM on weekdays and 2:00-4:00 AM on weekends.
How to find student housing in Munich
Finding student housing in Munich can be difficult, particularly in the Fall at the beginning of the winter semester (September-November). If possible, avoid this timeframe, as the student housing market gets very competitive. Either way, it can take several months to find the right place.
Only around 13% of students in Munich actually live in student dorms (mostly managed by Studentenwerk München). These student residencies have limited space and wait times are generally between one and five semesters. The average monthly rent for a single student dorm in Munich is around 280 EUR.
Thus, the majority of students in Munich live in private rooms, apartments, or flat-shares (also known as “Wohngemeinschafts” or “WG-s”). The average cost per month of such a private living situation is between 400-650 EUR, depending on the location.
When it comes to finding the right student accommodations in Munich, there are a lot of excellent neighborhoods to choose from.
Maxvorstadt is a district directly north of the historic city center that is chock full of student apartments in Munich. There are over 100,000 students living here, in part because there are seven universities located in this region of the city. Because of this, the neighborhood is nicknamed “The Brain of Munich.” The top three here are Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU), Technische Universität München (TUM), and Hochschule München or the Munich University of Applied Sciences.
founded in 1472, is the oldest and largest university in Munich and one of the leading research facilities in Europe, boasting 18 faculties and 50,000+ students, around 15% of whom are international. It’s Medical Center is one of the most prestigious and largest institutions in Germany of it’s kind. While there are university buildings located throughout the city, the heart of campus and the historic main building is located on Leopoldstraße, just west of the infamous Englischer Garten, in Maxvorstandt.
Founded in 1868, Technische Universität München (or TUM) is an applied science university famous for cutting-edge interdisciplinary research. With 14 academic departments, 40,000+ students, and over 500 professors, this institution is ranked by many as the top technical university in Germany and within the top five technical universities in Europe. The school has three important epicenters; the downtown campus at Arcisstraße in the Maxvorstandt district, the university hospitals, and the facilities of the 1972 Olympic Games, which are home to the Sports and Health Sciences departments.
Founded in 1971, the Munich University of Applied Sciences, or Hochschule München, hosts 17,000+ students over 2,500 of which are international. With 14 departments and over 80 academic programs in the areas of technology, engineering, economics, social sciences, and design, the university also offers some courses taught in English. The main campus is located at Lothstraße on the west side of the Maxvorstandt district. There are two additional campuses, one in a historic 1950s building on Karlstraße, also in the city’s museum district, and another that hosts the Business Administration and Applied Social Sciences departments on the western side of the city.
There are also plenty of museums and art galleries in Maxvorstandt, and although it is typically a bit more expensive, the crowd there is young and hip.
For food in the area, visit Atzinger for typical, well-priced Bavarian-style cuisine. Located right across the street from LMU, this restaurant attracts a lot of students. Visit Café Vorhoelzer Forum on the top floor of the main building at TUM for student-friendly prices and a large outdoor rooftop area. On a clear day, expect a great panoramic view of Munich with the Bavarian Alps in the background.
Cadu is a student-friendly cafe on Leopoldstraße with free WiFi, a casual clientele, and reasonable prices. Also, try Schall Rauch on Schellingstraße for a relaxed, homey, cafe atmosphere.
Go to Augustinerkeller, one of the largest and first beer gardens in Munich for some of the best beer in the city. Here you’ll find a relaxed, friendly atmosphere and there are over 5,000 seats. Biergartens in Munich are BYOF (bring-your-own-food), so feel free to picnic, but make sure you sit in the section where ordering food is not required (usually the tables without the tablecloths!).
Also, there is a cinema showing films in their original language at Nymphenburger Straße 31 -- this can be hard to come by in Germany!
Altstadt is in the center of Munich, and one of the most popular destinations for tourists. Just south of Maxvorstandt, this area is also popular for student residences in Munich because of its' close proximity to campuses.
The heart of the Altstadt neighborhood is Marienplatz. Here you can see the city’s Rathaus and the famed Glockenspiel. Be sure to catch the clock strike the hour as it’s a remarkable display! This neighborhood is also home to the city’s oldest churches, including Frauenkirche, the largest Gothic brick church north of the Alps and the largest church hall in the world. Many tourists come to this district to shop, eat, and drink.
Just north of Maxvorstadt is Schwabing, Munich’s bohemian, artistic district. This is also a popular place for students to live, for those who can afford it, (it’s one of the most expensive residential areas in the city). Here, there are tons of tempting, high-end shops, restaurants, and cafes, especially along the long boulevard of Leopoldstraße and on Hohenzollernstraße. Check out the daily food market on Elisabethplatz for fresh, locally sourced breads, meats, and cheeses.
This district is bordered by Olympic Park on the west, a more modernly landscaped park built for the 1972 Summer Olympics, and the Englischer Garten on the east. The Englischer Garten is one of the world’s largest public parks, over twice the size of New York’s Central Park, and dates back to 1789. A favorite of the locals, the Aumeister biergarten is at the very north end of the park. It is considered one of the city’s most beautiful beer gardens, with 2,500 seats and a restaurant on-site that dates back to 1810.
Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt is a vibrant residential area to the south of Maxvorstandt and one of the most international districts in Munich. Here there are immigrants from over 150 countries. It is also the epicenter of the LGBT community in Munich and there are many gay bars and clubs along Müllerstraße.
Gärtnerplatz, the centerpiece of the quarter, is a favorite place for young people to gather outside during warm summer evenings to socialize and drink beer. The square is also surrounded by lots of bars and clubs and hosts one of the prime theatre locations in the city. The neighborhood is also home to St. Paul Church, the site of the infamous Oktoberfest, and the Augustiner brewery.