The best neighbourhoods in Munich for internationals

Wondering where to live in Munich? Our guide zooms in on the best neighbourhoods for internationals like you.


8 minute read
Updated on 30 May 2024

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 to Munich to study, 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 in Munich for a new life in this bustling city.

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

Where to live in Munich as an expat

Every district of Munich has its own unique charm, but one thing most Germans agree on is Munich is one of Germany's most expensive cities. Regardless of the neighbourhood you decide to live in, you should expect to budget quite a bit for your rent.

Budget aside, the best neighbourhood to live in Munich will vary depending on your situation. We're going to zoom in on the best neighbourhoods for:

  • International students
  • Young professionals
  • Families

The best Munich neighbourhoods for students

As a student, the requirements for the best neighbourhood mean finding a fine balance between affordability, the distance to your academic institution and the area’s entertainment.

In short, the best neighbourhoods in Munich for students are:

  • Maxvorstadt
  • Garching
  • Glockenbachviertel (Isarvorstadt)

Let's take a closer look at all 3.

1. Maxvorstadt

Maxvorstadt is Munich's social hub, particularly ideal for students who want to live at the heart of the action.

Aside from being a social hub, Maxvorstadt is also home to many of the city’s major universities, including the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Kunstakademie and the Technische Universität. The area has plenty of shops, cafés, galleries, bars and restaurants. You’ll always find something interesting happening in Maxvorstadt.

Maxvorstadt has many modern office and apartment buildings towards the west, which can make it seem like a bit of a concrete jungle. To counter this, this city has installed plenty of green spaces, parks and outdoor fitness facilities, which make the area feel much less industrial.

Finding student accommodation in Maxvorstadt might be tricky. Because it’s a safe neighbourhood, close to universities and full of internationals— Maxvorstadt is a very popular spot to live. You’ll have to prepare ahead of time and keep an eye on student accommodation in Munich to get a place in or around Maxvorstadt.

2. Garching

Ideal for students wanting to live on a budget in Munich, Garching is a lovely neighbourhood a little outside the centre of Munich.

Garching is home to a large academic campus and several housing departments of the Technical University as well as the LMU. There’re also a number of research facilities in Garching, even including a research nuclear reactor! While it doesn’t compare to the buzz of the centre of Munich, Garching still has a number of restaurants, cafés and a biergarten to keep you busy outside of class.

In Garching, there’s also a beautiful green park to take in some fresh air between classes and ornate churches to enjoy in the classical architecture. You'll also have plenty of connections to the rest of Munich with public transport links in Garching.

With its proximity to universities and research facilities, Garching attracts both international students and young professionals. It’s also one of the safest and most affordable neighbourhoods in Munich.

3. Glockenbachviertel

Glockenbachviertel is the life of Munich’s party scene, perfect for students and young professionals wanting to be at the heart of it all!

Glockenbachviertel's proximity to the city centre allows it to have a phenomenal nightlife with plenty of bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from. It’s also the jewel in the crown of the LGBTQ community in Munich! Aside from the vibey party scene, Glockenbachviertel is also super close to Munich central station. So, if you want to explore other parts of Germany you’ll be en route in no time living so close to one of the country’s busiest train stations.

Glockenbachviertel is also close to a number of academic institutions based in Munich. Whether you prefer to travel by bike or public transport, you can be on most campuses in about 15 minutes.

Because of its lively nightlife and close-by universities, Glockenbachviertel is very popular amongst young people— but especially amongst students. However like many party spots, it can be a little shady at night. Be careful and vigilant and you’ll be totally fine though, crime is pretty minimal throughout Munich.

The best Munich neighbourhoods for young professionals

Are you moving to Munich to kickstart your career? Then you’ll want to find a place in Munich that let’s you enjoy the city vibe, while also pursuing your career goals. We’ve looked at some of the best up-and-coming spots that Munich has to offer, while still keeping you close to the action.

The best neighbourhoods in Munich for young professionals are:

  • Au Haidhausen
  • Ludwigs-Isarvorstadt
  • Schwabing

1. Au Haidhausen

An area redeveloped to provide beautiful waterside living, Au Haidhausen is perfect for expats who love living in the heart of the city.

Au Haidhausen was redeveloped in the 1970s and plenty of beautiful apartments were built. Located along the river Isar, Au Haidhausen has plenty of waterside restaurants, cafés, and biergartens where you can bask in the summer sunshine. This trendy neighbourhood has so much to do year-round. From cinemas and theatres to clubs and terraces— living in Au Haidhausen will help you embrace German life with ease. It’s centrally located, so you’ll be in short reach of plenty of office and workspaces. You’ll never have to commute far while living here.

Still, excellent public transport links will keep you well connected to the rest of Munich via train, metro, and trams. Au Haidhausen is also a very safe neighbourhood to live in, day and night. Expats, in particular, flock to Au Haidhausen, so finding a place to live can be tricky. You’ll need to give yourself time to find the right spot.

2. Ludwigsvorstadt & Isarvorstadt

Ludwigsvorstadt-Isavorstadt is a neighbourhood abundant with opportunities, entertainment and convenient transport links.

Ludwigsvorstadt is an urban hotspot filled with plenty of residential and office buildings as well as co-working spaces. It’s also home to Munich Central Station, so if you’re going to be commuting to work or travelling frequently— this is the spot for you! Work and travel aside, Ludwigsvorstadt is known for being the central place to live in Munich. You’ll have so much entertainment on your doorstep and plenty of chances to integrate into your new neighbourhood and community.

Naturally, given its central location, Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt is incredibly popular amongst internationals. It’s even been given the label “Little Istanbul” as it’s home to a large Turkish community. However, it’s not the safest neighbourhood at night. Violent crime is extremely rare, but occasionally, you might find pickpocketers lingering around the central station at night.

3. Schwabing

Popular amongst artists and professionals alike, Schwabing has plenty of galleries, bars and restaurants to enjoy.

Schwabing is easily accessible by metro or tram despite being a bit outside the city centre. You'll also find plenty of bars and restaurants in Schwabing and the neighbouring areas that you can reach by bike or walking. There're plenty of open spaces and parks to explore in Schwabing, so you'll always find a nice spot to have a drink or picnic outside.

Property development in recent years has transformed Schwabing a coveted place to live, especially among expats. As Munich's social and creative hub, you'll meet plenty of other internationals living and working around Schwabing.

Schwabing is also one of the safest areas to live in Munich. With so many advantages to living here, it can be tricky to find a place to live in Schwabing. Be sure to give yourself time to find accommodation here. You can set search alerts for Munich, so you'll know as soon as something new pops up.

The best Munich neighbourhoods for families

Deciding to move abroad with your family can be overwhelming, so let’s guide you through the best neighbourhoods in Munich for you and your family. For families, we’ll look at factors like schools, parks, and safety in Munich's more suburban neighbourhoods.

For families, the best neighbourhoods in Munich are:

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

1. Berg-am-Laim

Previously the party place to be, Berg-am-Laim is now a peaceful, well-connected suburb of Munich Ost.

Berg-am-Laim attracts many internationals and young families due to its affordable housing and laidback surroundings. It’s close to plenty of green, open spaces and some of the city’s most popular international schools. Berg-am-Laim has grown a sizeable community of expats, so you’ll be surrounded by like-minded people to help you create your new community.

Berg-am-Laim is home to the München Ost train station, as well as U-Bahn, tram and bus lines to keep you connected to all of Munich. Such public transport connections allow Berg-am-Laim to be an excellent location for commuters too. So even if you have to go a little further to find a job, you’ll get to and from work with ease.

With excellent transport links, access to international schools and a high level of safety, Berg-am-Laim is an ideal spot for families moving to Munich.

2. Neuhausen-Nymphenburg

One of Munich’s boujier neighbourhoods, Neuhausen-Nymphenburg is an incredibly desirable spot for families looking to have a beautiful place to call home.

Close-by to the Palace Nymphenburg, internationals looking to embrace Germany’s royal architecture often look for a place to live in Neuhausen-Nymphenburg. Taking a stroll through this elegant Munich neighbourhood you’ll see plenty of houses that could be palaces themselves. Fear not though, if you’re not prepared to commit to a full palace yet, Neuhausen-Nymphenburg offers plenty of sleek and modern apartments too.

This area has all the essentials; with plenty of shops, an English-speaking cinema, cafés and restaurants galore, you won’t have to stray far from Neuhausen-Nymohenburg to keep yourself busy. More essentially, there’re plenty of kindergartens and nursery schools in the area— as well as plenty of open green spaces for your kids to enjoy the outdoors.

From Neuhausen-Nymphenburg you can comfortably reach the centre of Munich on the U-Bahn, but tram, bus and train lines will keep you connected to all parts of the city.

While Neuhausen-Nymphenburg is one of Munich’s most elegant and well-equipped neighbourhoods, it comes with a steep price tag. It’s very safe to live in, and with plenty of German neighbours you’ll find yourself integrating into German culture with ease. You’ll also meet international families living here too, so you’ll really have the best of both worlds living here.

3. Giesing

An affordable neighbourhood for families offering spacious housing and a village-like feeling, Giesing is ideal for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Located south of Munich, below the river Isar, Giesing is a quiet suburban neighbourhood about 20 minutes outside of Munich via public transport. It’s distance from the pricey centre allows accommodation in Giesing to be a little more affordable and spacious. There’re also a number of schools and kindergartens in the area for your kids.

Despite being outside of the busy city centre, Giesing still has plenty to offer in terms of entertainment. There’re a number of good restaurants and cosy bars to spend some down time with your family. It also has plenty of playgrounds and parks to get out in the fresh air.

Giesing is one of the safest and quietest neighbourhoods in Munich, giving it a village-like vibe. This makes it a coveted spot for internationals looking to live close to Munich with their families. You’ll encounter lots of fellow internationals living here, but also have plenty of opportunities to integrate with the local Germans.

Even with 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 excellent choice for many internationals looking to live in Germany.

What's more important is that even the more affordable areas of Munich 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, you're ready to explore rental homes in Munich. Good luck!

This article is for informational purposes only.

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