Cost of Living in Munich

The greatest psychological barrier with life in Munich is the cost of living.  It rates among one of the most expensive cities to live in, in Europe.  However, it certainly is one of the safest and most organised to be in, in Europe.  I guess you could say that a level of “compliance cost” was built-in to maintain the level of discipline in life.  Of yes, another psychological barrier.  The Value-added Tax (VAT) or MwSt (Mehrwertsteuer) in German is a whopping 19%.

Lets start with the bare necessities and that is food, clothing and shelter followed by transport and entry fees for sightseeing.

Average Daily Allowance for  
    Food € 21
    Lodging € 180
    Transport € 4.60
    Entertainment € 15


€ 40.60 living + € 180 lodging



Please note that in Germany, cash is most used with most establishments not accepting credit cards.  Electronic Cash (using the EC Card) is also often used in place of cash.  This card is issued by a bank in the European Union and transacts directly from your bank account.



Roast pork, served with German dumplings (knudel) and blaukraut (cabbage... in this case, the blue variety).

Food is plentiful in Munich, with eateries ranging from the €1.50 semmel (sandwich roll) to the full served restaurant meal hitting the €99.00 (or beyond, these days).  For local meals such as the schweinehaxe (roasted pork knuckles), schweinebraten (roasted port) or entebraten (roasted duck), they range from €6.50 to about €9.50 depending on location.  The average meal and a soft drink will set you back €16.00

Asian meals are expensive and scarce.  Jade, our favourite Chinese restaurant in the Munich eastern suburb of Neuperlach, serves a good variety of noodles, rice mixes and Cantonese a-la-carte style dishes.  Our meals at Jade cost a minimum €35.00 for two people, including soft drinks with us regularly spending €50.00 for meals which include their tasty sweet-corn and chicken soup, half a roasted duck, some fried vegetables and another dish of some sort.  Lunch is slightly cheaper on most days, with specials costing half the price than it normally would during dinner time.  Fast food outlets have their packaged meals ranging around the €4.50 to €6.50 mark.

Given all of the above to be the case, a budget daily of allowance of €37.00 is allocated for meals.  This would be two averaged meals of €16.00 each and an additional €5.00 in more drinks for the day.


A good winter shoe
Kickers Sportstar gives is an example of a shoe that gives you good support and protection from the snow in Munich's winter months.

With Munich sharing the “fashion capital of the world” status with Milan, Paris, London and New York it is again no wonder that fashion (or mode in German) can get rather pricey, depending on how in style you want your clothing to be.  For most people who have become used to 32°C tropical climatic conditions, fall and spring in Munich can be rather cool and its winters downright freezing.

Germans tend to dress well as they go about their daily lives, so you might want to do the same whilst in Germany just to be part of it all.

For Melbournians, Munich can be rather cold in winter as -7°C temperatures are quite common then.  The summers can become warm (over 35°C) and rather humid (~ 99%).  Although these conditions during summer are supposed to be few and far between, global warming has produced a straight month worth of these warm and humid climatic conditions in Munich in the summer of 2006.  Having said all of this, I checked the weather report for the start of Spring (called frühling in German, meaning "the early") and it said "snow showers".  The weather can be unpredictable, so use this as a guide.

In winter, as temperatures drop below 0ºC you will need to keep warm with gloves, scarves, a good jacket, good walking (and snow protected) shoes, headwear and appropriate clothing.

Indicative pricing for gloves is about €12, a good scarf around €15 and hat a further €20.  A good jacket can set you back €70 in the local C&A store, while winter shoes such as the Kickers Sportstar is about €65.

Therefore, budget around €180 to protect yourself from the winter.


Rothenberg ob der Tauber


Lodging certainly do not come cheap here in Germany with the average price of a hotel room around €180 a night.  This price tend to more than double during festive and convention seasons in Munich.  In recent times, budget hotels began popping up all around town, bringing the average price of a good clean room down.  Large chain budget hotels like the Mercure or Accorhotels Group,  Best Western and the Ibis were primarily responsible for the competition and thus, the reduction in hotel prices of late.


No longer used for commercial transportation, horse rides are a novelty

Munich has a great automated transport network but unfortunately, this luxury does not come cheap.  Most trains, trams and busses have information screens within them displaying where you are stopping next so there's little need to panic, searching for the all-too-familiar road name you wish to disembark from. 

Tickets for travel are purchased according to the number of sectors you wish to travel (normally, for short distances) or the number of zones you wish to travel between.  Once this is decided, you will need to decide on the travel duration - single trip, daily or monthly. There are several other variations of what you can purchase but generally, that's it!  Tickets must be validated at a ticket stamping machine once you commence travel and can be used on trams, busses or trains.

For the best value, the single day ticket (called the Single Tageskarte) costs €4.60 and gives you the opportunity to travel all around Munich in the inner city area for the entire day.  By contrast, a single journey ticket in the same zone costs €2.20 and a monthly ticket €38.50


Neuschwanstein Castle
Built by King Ludwig II - the fariy tale king.  This caslte is perhaps better known as the model to which the Walt Disney"s Cinderella"s Castle was built

Gold statue outside
Linderhof Castle

Setting an allowance for Entertainment such as visiting museums, galleries, castles etc. would be a very good idea.  Some places like the Neuschwanstein or Lindehof Castles can not be easily reachable by normal public transport, so car rental or joining a tour bus would be a good idea.  That is, of course, if the tour is conducted in English.

Munich has really good museums like the world renowned Deutsches Museum and 3 art museums, namely the Altes Pinakothek, the Neues Pinakothek and the Pinakothek der moderne.  Entrance fees for these places, starting from that of the Deutsches Museum are €8.50, €5.50, €8.00 and €9.50 respectively.  The Lenbach House, City Museum, National Museum of Bavaria, The House of Art and Haus der Kunst are a string of impressive museum names within Munich to visit.

Castles such as Schloss Nymphemburg, which is located in the city is accessible via tramcar with visit costing €5 or  €10 if you also wish to visit the parks and museums that are on-site.  Within Munich, there are some more castles but as you drive out of the city, more castles, churches and quaint but fantastically interesting cities await you.  Most of King Ludwig II (The fairy tale king) castles are located outside of Munich as are castles belonging to the barons and dukes of the medieval times.

One shouldn't forget too that beyond castles and museums in Bavaria and Austria, they are also very beautiful lakes (Lake Starnberg, Lake Tegern and Lake Chiem to name but a few) to take excursions on, theme parks, caves, parks, beergardens, historic churches, medieval cities etc etc... the list simply goes on and on..

For the purpose of planning, a budget of €15 per tour day should be put aside.