Munich: The Best Neighborhoods to Live In

Bas

Updated on Sep 14 • 8 minute read

Many guides tell you what to do and where to live in Munich when you visit it for a couple days. But, what if you’re here to stay? Maybe you're moving here to study abroad, start an internship or make moves in your career?

As soon as you know Munich is your destination, the next step is to find the perfect accommodation for your new life in this bustling city.

In this guide, we'll help you find the best Munich neighbourhood for your new home!

Where should I live in Munich as an expat?

Munich is a beautiful city with numerous districts that all have their own distinct character and charm.

As most Germans will tell you, Munich is also one of the more expensive cities in Germany. So, regardless of where you'll go, pricing is going to be above the national average.

Thankfully, most internships and jobs have salaries to match!

Besides your budget, the best neighbourhood to live in in Munich for internationals like you is going to have different requirements at different stages of your adventures abroad.

So let’s zoom in on the best neighbourhoods for:

  • international students,
  • young professionals and
  • veteran expats moving to Munich with their families.

The best Munich neighbourhoods for students

As a student, the requirements for the best neighbourhood mean finding a fine balance between affordability (as far as that’s possible in Munich), the distance to your academic institution and the city’s entertainment.

We recommended these Munich neighbourhoods:

  • Schwabing
  • Glockenbachviertel (Isarvorstadt)
  • Garching

1. Schwabing: the bohemian neighbourhood of Munich

Quality of life

Schwabing, to the north of the Altstadt City centre, is a district in Munich that’s captured the hearts of many artists. Its streets are filled with a bohemian air, boutiques and small art galleries.

The Schwabing neighbourhood is quite popular among students due to the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) campus, the Technical University of Munich and the Munich Academy of Fine Arts located in the neighbouring district Maxvorstadt.

Though it’s somewhat far from the city centre, this area of Munich is easily accessible by metro or tram. You can also easily explore Schwabing with its various bars, restaurants and other hangout spots as well as its neighbouring areas by bike or walking.

The area of Schwabing spreads between Olympiapark and English Garden - both lovely destinations for a walk in nature. Here, you’d also be close to Südliche Fröttmaninger Heide, a beautiful nature preserve.

Schwabing is well known for its historic architecture called Altbauwohnungen, giving the neighbourhood its classic look favoured by the hipster crowd. This has led to gentrification in recent years, making Schwabing a more and more coveted residential area.

Here you’ll find a wide range of accommodation options, from some of the most exclusive residencies to old-style student apartments.

Internationality

Schwabing in Munich’s social and creative hub, attracting heaps of students and creatives, both local and international. You won’t have issues finding a fellow expat here!

Safety

Schwabing is one of the quietest and safest areas in Munich.

2. Garching: an affordable suburb of Munich

Quality of life

If you feel like you can’t afford Munich's high price tag you’re not alone. Luckily for students like you, Munich has lovely suburbs!

Garching is a university town that is only 20-30 minutes away from Munich city centre by U6. It has a large academic campus, housing several departments of the Technical University as well as the LMU. Additionally, this Munich’s suburb is home to some advanced research facilities, including a research nuclear reactor!

Though the town itself doesn’t compare to Munich in terms of nightlife, it has the necessary restaurants, bars, a park and, no surprise with so many students nearby, a biergarten.

Internationality

Due to its research facilities and affordability, Garching attracts many international students, young professionals and families.

Safety

Munich's suburbs are considered a very safe and quiet area.

3. Glockenbachviertel (Isarvorstadt): the gay district of Munich

Quality of life

The Glockenbachviertel is an upcoming and popular district, officially part of Isarvorstadt.

With its position close to the river Isar and the city centre, an abundance of bars, shops and restaurants as well as its lively nightlife, this Munich neighbourhood has everything you dream of as an international student in Munich.

For some, this area offers something extra, as it’s also the jewel in the crown for the LGBTQ community in Munich! Additionally, Glockenbach is relatively close to the various academic institutions in the city, meaning a bike ride or a 15 minute trip by public transport can get you where you need to be.

Internationality

This residential and trendy area of Munich is a melting pot of culture and diversity.

Safety

People from any walk of life feel safe and equally at home in this neighbourhood.

The best neighbourhoods in Munich for young professionals

Are you moving to Munich to kickstart your career?

There is a big chance that your inner student might still rear its partying head. So as a young professional with some money to spend you might be seeking a place around the bustling city centre, or an up-and-coming neighbourhood close to your new job.

We recommended these Munich neighbourhoods:

  • Ludwigs-Isarvorstadt
  • Au Haidhausen
  • Maxvorstadt

1. Maxvorstadt: the cultural heart of Munich

Quality of life

If you want to be at the heart of everything, Maxvorstadt is the place to be. Lined with quaint shops, cafés and art galleries, the district has become the intellectual and cultural heart of the city.

It’s home to the city’s major universities, including the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Kunstakademie and the Technische Universität. They are neighbouring the art quarter, Kunstareal, where you’ll find the famous Pinakotheken (museums). The district also boasts the city’s best Biergarten, at the Augustiner-Keller, which is the perfect location to cool down after a long day at work.

It’s not completely a concrete jungle, though. In Maxvorstadt, you’ll be surrounded by greenery that fulfils all your jogging, picnicking and outdoor fitness needs.

Towards the west of the Maxvorstadt neighbourhood, the iconic historical buildings are replaced by modern offices and apartment buildings.

If you set out to get a place in this district, you better start making arrangements as far ahead as possible - it’s one of the most coveted districts of Munich!

Internationality

Due to its saturated cultural scene, Maxvorstadt has one of the highest concentrations of foreigners in Munich!

Safety

This centrally-located Munich district is always buzzing with life. You can walk safely through the streets any time of the day!

2. Au Haidhausen

Quality of life

Au Haidhausen is situated on the opposite side of the river Isar, where its inhabitants spend their summers picnicking in the sun along the water, in riverside parks or unwinding in shade-kissed Biergartens.

This former workers’ quarter became a central redevelopment area from the 1970s onwards, turning into a suburban district with beautifully-furnished apartments.

It’s a very trendy neighbourhood with a bit of a French flair, filled with cinemas, theatres, clubs and terraces. You’ll share these terraces with a mix of young families and hipsters, as well as the many tourists who stray from the city centre.

If you don’t feel like cooking, you'll have the luxury to choose anything from American bars and Mediterranean cuisine to pubs where you can pop in for a few pints and some grub.

Just like most of Munich, this neighbourhood is very well connected with public transport. A train station and many subway and tram stops cover the area.

Internationality

Being located close to the centre of Munich, this district is quite popular with middle class young and senior expats.

Safety

This area is very safe day and night!

3. Ludwigsvorstadt & Isarvorstadt: a bustling multicultural hub

Quality of life

We’ve already taken a look at the Glockenbach neighbourhood, but the whole Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt area too offers many exciting housing opportunities for young expats. It’s urban, with plenty of residential and office buildings, co-working spaces as well as numerous entertainment options.

The district is home to the main central station of Munich, allowing speedy connections to the rest of Bavaria and wider Germany. Perfect if you need to commute for your job!

But of course, the main reason to consider living in Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt is to experience the bustle of the city. This central district is known for its variety of authentic restaurants and a large number of unique bars.

But don’t worry! There’s also room to escape that same bustle, simply by visiting the nearby Südfriedhof, where you’ll find plenty of greenery, joggers and tombstones. Yep, it’s a park and an old graveyard, full of statues and tombs. A great place to gather your thoughts and contemplate life!

Internationality

This Munich district is known for its multiculturalism. It’s often called ‘Little Istanbul’ because of its large Turkish community!

Safety

Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt is generally pretty safe, but it’s recommended to stay vigilant around the central station at night.

The best neighbourhoods in Munich for expats with families

You’ve been at it for a while and this is probably not your first time moving abroad. This time, though, you’re bringing your family along!

Of course, that makes you set some different expectations. Instead of clubs and bars, you’re looking for something a little more suburban, with a nice park and a nearby school.

We recommended these Munich neighbourhoods:

  • Berg-am-Laim
  • Neuhausen - Nymphenburg
  • Giesing

1. Berg-am-Laim: a laidback working-class neighbourhood

Quality of life

From 1996 to approximately 2018, Berg-am-Laim was actually one of the nightlife centres of Munich. In recent years, however, many of those clubs and bars have been demolished to make space for calm, suburban residential areas.

Now a mostly working-class neighbourhood, the area attracts expats and young families with its affordable housing and laidback surrounding. It has ready access to areas of greenery and some of the city’s international schools.

Berg-am-Laim also features the München Ost train station, as well as U-Bahn, tram and several bus lines, making getting around very easy, even if you work outside Munich city centre.

Internationality

Berg-am-Laim is one of the favourite neighbourhoods among Munich’s expat communities. You won't feel alone here!

Safety

This safe residential area is perfect for a family with kids.

2. Neuhausen - Nymphenburg: a green upmarket neighbourhood with a royal feel

Quality of life

If you’re looking for quiet, well-off areas with free-standing houses or sleek modern apartments, Neuhausen and Nymphenburg are just the places for you.

The name Nymphenhausen is borrowed from the nearby Palace Nymphenburg, the former summer residence of Bavarian royalty. However, many homes in this neighbourhood are like palaces of their own!

The area around Rotkreuzplatz brings the district vibrancy with its department store, little shops and cafés, and an English-speaking cinema. That’s also where you can take a metro to the city centre. Other options for travelling to different parts of Munich are tram and bus, and if you need to commute to other cities, the district borders the S-Bahn train line.

If you’re just planning to start a family, you’ll be delighted to know that there also are multiple kindergartens and nursery schools in the area.

Overall, the upper-middle-class character, as well as the rich variety in greenery, allow for a very high standard of living in Neuhausen - Nymphenburg. It’s no surprise that this quiet residential area is one of the most expensive and exclusive in Munich. But, if you’ve got the salary to match, this could be the perfect place for your family to settle.

Internationality

The percentage of foreigners in Neuhausen - Nymphenburg is average. Your neighbours would be mostly upper-class German and some senior expat families.

Safety

Neuhausen - Nymphenburg is one of the safest and family-friendly places to live in Munich!

3. Giesing: a cosy suburban area that won’t break the bank

Quality of life

Giesing can be found in the south park of Munich, below the river Isar.

It’s relatively far from the city centre, resulting in a quieter suburban area. Far is still a relative term, as the city centre is only 15-20 minutes away by public transport.

The Giesing district is cheaper than the other family-friendly neighbourhoods in Munich that we recommended. This area offers spacious accommodation options and an almost village-like feel. But worry not, you’ll spot enough good restaurants and cosy bars for a fun night out with your family!

You’ll also find many playgrounds and parks to get those daily steps and fresh air in.

Internationality

Giesing is known to be something of an expat enclave, with numerous international and expat communities in the area.

Safety

Often, the cheaper areas of a city mean that you need to compromise on safety and security. Lucky you! Munich happens to be the safest city in Germany! So, even super far south, you should have no worries bringing your family along.

Conclusion

Despite its reputation as one of the most expensive cities in the country, Munich has something to offer for every walk of life. This makes it an interesting choice for many expats.

What's more important is that even the more affordable areas of the city are among the safest places in Germany! So the city is particularly attractive to those relocating with their family.

Now that you're armed with all that knowledge, take your pick of the neighbourhood that sounds the most inviting to you, and we’ll see you at the Biergarten!

P.S. Don't forget to register in Munich within 2 weeks of moving in!

Please reach out to content@housinganywhere.com if you have any suggestions or inquiries about the content on this page.

Related Articles

Find your home in Munich

Browse hundreds of verified rental properties across Munich's neighbourhoods. Search smart, search safe.

Search Now