Tips for finding a flat in Munich

Tips for finding a flat in Munich

So you have managed to take the leap and move to Munich but now are in search of the second essential piece; a flat! And I’m certain as you have heard-or experienced- it is a double doozy trying to find accomidation in this sweet little city.

However, my dear expats, Aspen is here to help. I shall provide you with some of my best resources and advice to kill the 089 housing game.

  1. Know German ( or someone who does)

When in Germany, speak German! Most ads are in German and most landlords prefer a German speaker. When applying it is far more effiencent to write applications in German-you get much better and more feedback.

2. Types of rent

Unlike in the United States, rent is not such an easy topic to break apart, so here are some key words you should keep in your flat hunting vocabulary:

Kaution: The deposit. Typically in Germany the deposit will go into a special bank account held by your landlord that requires signatures from both parties. Although sometimes it is just transfered over with your first months rent payment, in which case it is always smart to keep bank statements tracking these transactions.

Kaltmiete: Literally ” cold rent”, this describes a contract in which utilities are not included in the rental price.

Warmmeite: The price of rent which includes utilities and Nebenkosten.

( Warmeite does not include internet,  or Rundfunkgeb├╝hr)

Nebenkosten: These are basically building management fees. So anything associated with the building such as trash removal, cleaning services or elevator maitenence can be included in the NK. This will cost will change due to how much heat you use, in addition once a year you should recieve a seperate water bill. You will have to pay for the water bill if youve gone over your allowence, but sometimes if your under you can get a refund.

The Kitchen: This, to me, was always a strange topic. In Germany you can rent flats that don’t have kitchens, i.e bring your own stove. Coming from America where kitchen is not counted as furnishing I have had quite a few disapointing experiences. It is important to read ads well as sometimes there is a kitchen, sometimes not and sometimes you must even pay extra for the kitchen that is already there.

Wohnungsbewerbung: The rental application. Sort of similar to applying to a job, when applying for housing you will need a cover letter, CV and proof of income.

3. Rental Abbreviations to know:

2 Zi. Whg : 2 Zimmer Wohnung :2 room apartment

WG :Wohnung Gemeinschaft : Flatshare

Mobliert : furnished

EBK : Einbaukuche :Kitchen is included (stove, cabinets, fridge, sink)

EBK (Abl VHB____) : Kitchen include, but for a cost (VHB; verhandelbar; negotiable)

Parkett Wood floors

Laminate: Laminated floors

Tiefgarage : Car garage, usually an additional cost associated

2 OG m. Lift : 2nd Obergeschoss: Third floor (English) , with elevator

Spulmaschine : Dishwasher

ca. 100 qm (or m2) : About 100 square meters multiply by 10 to get square feet

Nachmieter: Someone who is looking to leave a lease earlier than scheduled

Untermieter: Sub-letter

ab. 1 Juli: Available 1st of July

ab sof. :sofort frei : Available right away

 

4. Websites to find housing

IMMOBILIENSCOUT24

IMMOWELT

 S├ťDDEUTSCH ZEITUNG IMMOBILIENMARKT

WG-GESUCHT,

AIRBNB

Hopefully this can be a helpful start to your search. As always, feel free to contact me if you need some more advice or have some to share.

Best wishes little fishes

xxA

 

How to kill it in the Munich expat game

How to kill it in the Munich expat game

One topic I hear a lot is about Americans not being able to make it abroad. Namely in Munich. Germany in general is a very different cultural climate but Munich is the cream of the crop when it comes to culture shock on us Americans.

We all know how reserved Germans are and how this, in the start, is different for Americans. However, In Munich it is much starker. It is a very conservative city and the people are a bit more closed off then in some of the other major German cities, but honestly I feel these are just excuses. Sure there are cultural differences everywhere, you wanted to be abroad and now you are, so this brings me to my first point:

Get a thicker skin

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From my expat friends the thing I hear the most is the endless complaining about how cold Germans are. Well, tough deal babycakes. Maybe don’t be so sensitive. You are an expat for a reason, mainly being you wanted to live abroad. And with that comes cultural differences you must a just to in order to thrive ( if this is what you want). My first and biggest tip would have to be simply avoid sweating the small stuff. Don’t try to stay in your comfort zone. Embrace the difference, not be offended by it.

 

Find your social circle

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We as humans are very social creatures, not having a circle of like-minded individuals to share with can be rather devastating. A lot of my expat/ attempted expat friends have said this fact was the make or break to the whole game. Which I toootallly agree. My first year here I was rather miserable. I chose to hit the books and work constantly, so next to being the odd American out I was also  flooded with feelings of loneliness. Which did not help my adjustment one bit. It really made me doubt my ability to strive and thrive. I know people who had similar situations and eventually went home, blaming it on the city and saying they just weren’t allowed to make it. Honestly though, you need to try to work on finding your peeps first thing. It makes alllllll the difference on your progress. There are so many resources for meeting people. Meetups, expat groups, expat-german groups, sports groups, language exchanges..it’s endless. You just need to go out and search.

 

Find your purpose

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toughened up, CheckÔťô

Friend circle, CheckÔťô

Whats next? Finding something you enjoy. I’m not talking like go grab some hobby, jog or knit a scarf. Find something that gives you a reason to wake up in the morning. Most of us expats are here to study or work ( or if you are a spouse, same samesies) but that is not enough to be a happy camper. We have so much work here adjusting, learning the language, adapting cultural practices,  sometimes we face the fact we’ve lost ourselves a bit by trying to be an other person in this new life. Essentially you need something to combat all the work, and balance it out. For me, I found running. It’s great because it allows me to have a routine by myself but there are also many group in Munich where I can combine multiple things I enjoy; running and speaking German. So get on out, take a cooking course, get your sporty spice on, travel,  volunteer a bit. Just focus on finding something for you.

 

Find out how to do stuff

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Last but not least, let me remind you to get down to business. There is nothing more alienating than not know how to do basic life tasks in your new home; setting up a bank account, finding a language school, knowing what store to go to, filing taxes etc etc.. It drove me bananas. At first arrival I felt so limited and lost. You cant expect to branch out and hit your full potential, you’ve gotta go forth and find those resources,  be independent and learn how to get things done. Youre self-esteem will shoot up and everything else will be a breeze. I mean, honestly, yea it’s a bit intimidating at first, but three years in now everything is eassyyy peassyyyy.

I’d recommend googling some blogs, or checking out these sites for some help on day-to-day Munich questions:

Toytown

Expat in the City

Internations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best online resources for new expats in Munich

Best online resources for new expats in Munich

Moving abroad it a task, boy oh boy do I know. Once you have made the leap there are still so many questions that need answering.

  • Where to find a flat?
  • What language schools are best?
  • What areas of the city have the most night life?
  • How much do Germans ( if they do) tip?
  • Why are Germans so into recycling everything?
  • How and with whom to make friends?

etc.. etc..

Lucky for us we live in a time when all the answers we need are just a hop, skip and a google away. The question then however is, what are the best resources? Here are my top 5 picks for Munich’s online solutions.

InterNations

InterNations is an excellent place to connect with others abroad. It is a social media site created epecially for expats. They organize events and meetups, have resources for jobs, and have groups for nearly everything.

All you need to do is sign up for basic membership( free!) state your country of origin and choose the location for the community you would like to join.

Blogs

Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Congrats youve already found one. I find expat blogs perfect because there exists so many of them. They dont just answer basic questions but provide many different solutions to everyday problems people face living in a foriegn country, combined with great ( or not so great) opinions about it. I think its always refreshing to hear another persons point of view on the matter. Sometimes I dont agree but sometimes Im just like yas, spot on, you got it girl.

Toytown

Toytown is a good online resource for the local english speakers community. It has many different discussion boards and forums for information on everything from childcare to questions on where to find the best hairstylist. However, I must add FYI,  for some topics it can be a bit outdated and the posts quite old.

 Facebook groups

ahhhh yes good ole Facebook. Last but not least we have the king of social networks. For me this has been a great resources for finding groups and information. There are many groups such as: sale , housing,Stammtisch, aupair etc… one in particular you may find helpful is the Munich International Friends group.

Wish you were bier

Wish you were bier

As the early summer sun shines on Munich, the locals flock out to enjoy it after a long hard winter-before the typical long hard summer.Engaging in the favourite bavarian past time of sitting around with friends drinking copious amounts of beer.And what better place to do so then in one of Munich’s many and a plenty biergartens.

So be prepared to pack up and go get your prost on, here are eight of the great.

Seehaus Im Englischer Garten

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As it is one of the most well known and beloved destinations, we’ll begin our biergarten tour with the Seehaus. Literally named lake house, this charming pavillion sits cozily aside the Kleinhesseloher lake in the middle northern tip of the Englischer Garten. Open for breakfast through dinner, this resteraunt/ garten is prepared to offer you options for all your dinning and day drinking needs.

Adress| Kleinhesselohe 3, 80802 M├╝nchen

Chinesischer Turm

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Direct in the middle of Englisher Garten sits one of the biggest biergartens in Munich; Chinesischer Turm. Apply named for its large chinese tower, this biergarten has over 7000 seats and regularly delights its geusts with day long brass band performances from within the tower. Easily accessable by bike or foot, this touristy hub of a biergarten is good for those looking to get social and enjoy a long day filled with oompah music.

Adress | Englischer Garten 3, 80538 M├╝nchen

 

Aumeister im Englischen Garten

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The final noteworthy Englischer garten beer spot is the Aumeister. This little biergarten is located up in the norther edge of the Englischer garten and often refered to as a bit more of a local spot than the others. A good place to hide away from the summer crowds and heat, the Aumeister terrace has an excellent selection of tradition Bavarian food and beers.

Adress |Sondermeierstra├če 1, 80939 M├╝nchen

 

Waldwirtschaft

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Down near Gro├čhesselohe, the Waldwirtschaft garten is looking to offer you a modern mix on the timeless tradition. As you relax on your spacious outdoor seating, under the bathing shade of chesnut trees you can enjoy your beer and obazda whilst being treated to some live jazz music ( particularly nice on weekends when the bands play all afternoon). In addition to the outdoor patio, WaWi offers four different indoor resteraunts.

Adress:| Georg-Kalb-Stra├če 3, 82049 M├╝nchen

 

Gutshof Menterschwaige

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Over on the edge of Munich, headed towards Gr├╝nwald youll find this nestled away biergarten. Just above the banks of the Isar river, Mentnerschwaige is the perfect place to spend your day. Previously voted most beautiful biergarten in Munich, it offers over 2.500 seats, so if your interested in a visit its best to get there earlier in the day. However, theres always the indoor option if you need to beat some of the crowd.

Adress | Menterschwaigstra├če 4, 81545 M├╝nchen

Augustiner Keller

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If your looking for an authentic biergarten experience, I’d recomend you head down to Auugstiner Keller. As one of the oldest biergartens in Munich, it is garenteed to give you an authentic Bavarian experience. Not only does it have a great outdoor area, but a large indoor beer hall as well.

Adress | Arnulfstra├če 52, 80335 M├╝nchen

L├Âwenbr├Ąukeller

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Right in the middle of Munich L├Âwenbr├Ąukeller offers a good summer escape. This traditional biergarten is the perfect place to get posted with a picnic and enjoy a nice pint or beer or a refreshing Radler ( beer mixed with lemon soda). However, if picnicing isnt your thing, they do offer a lot of delicious alternatives.Such as Flammkuchen ( a pizza esk treat) or a standard hendl ( roast chicken).

Adress | Nymphenburger Str. 2, 80335 M├╝nchen

Hirschgarten

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Looking to enjoy a beer and a deer? Hirschgarten has you covered. This greenery and scenery is the perfect mixture of relaxation and entertainment. This wildlife reserve also happens to be an excellent option for families. Bring your kids, let then run around while you enjoy a cold one. Pretty ideal oder?

Adress | Gy├člingstra├če 15, 80805 M├╝nchen

 

 

 

 

Top five Summer activities in Munich

Top five Summer activities in Munich

Ahhh yesssss, finally the days of snow are through and the temperature is headed up. Summertime is starting in Munich, and what better way to enjoy it then hurry on outdoors.

But wait! what is this you say? You don’t know what fantastic activities Munich holds for this season? Well then my dear, let me give you a little help.

  1. Englischer garten

Known as one of the biggest urban parks in the world, the englischer garten is by far one of the first attractions youll want to hit up in the Munich Summer months. It stretches on throughout Munich with its many wooded trails and chill  sunbathing friendly greenery. People come from all over to lay by the river, play volleyball, do sports and spend their whole days in the sun.

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They even have a part of the river where people surf. I knowww right? bananas.

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2. Open airs

Another popular summer activity in Munich is to attend an “open air”

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An open air is a bit of a loose term. Its like any sort of gathering event, with music and drinks outside. It ranges from big music festivals to smaller outside gatherings and even outdoor cinemas. Below I’ve added a couple standard open airs that would definitly be a good option to see for the new to Munich:

and here are some bigger note worthy festivals around the area

3. Cafes and Roof top bars

 

Now on to on of my favourite activities…eating and drinking! The long sunshine hours of summer create the perfect opportunity to sit outside, enjoy the weather and some treats. Whether you choose to brunch, lunch or go out for a drink the options are endless. Since I tend to post about my favourite cafes, right now I will just tell you about to great rooftop bars.

Flushing Meadows | http://flushingmeadowshotel.com/bar/

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This hotel bar sits in Fraunhoferstra├če between the Reichenbackbr├╝cke Isar and G├Ąrtnerplatz. They serve amazing smoothies and A├žai bowls from Super Danke and have a fabulous list of drinks and cocktails ( my current favourite being the Flushing Meadows Spritz) Its a wonderful place to go anytime of the day, but particularly evening I find lovely.

Caf├ę Vorhoelzer Forum | http://www.vf.ar.tum.de/cafe/

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Located above the Technical University of Munich ( TUM or TU) is another great-and super popular- roof top bar. Naturally as its above the university, finding a spot there can be difficult but when you are lucky or have put your weight in it is worth it. The food is not someting extra ordinary and the drinks are standard but the atmosphere is really what catches you. And the view of the city is really great.

 

4. Glockenbach

Glockenbach is one of the more popular districts in Munich ( coincidently also my home). However it has two main areas that are great local attractions:

G├Ąrtnerplatz

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A small enclosed roundabout between Marienplatz and Sendlinger Tor is host to a wonderful mini garden park. People often come and sit on its benches and stairs under the central fountain for the day. Drinking a beer or radler, eating some ice cream or even just sunbathing with friends. The area is always very well manicured and the plants are changed out for each season.

Reichenbackbr├╝cke Isar

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The part of the Isar flows under the Reichenback bridge near Fraunhoferstr. ( just a few minutes walk from G├Ąrtnerplatz) Its a great place to go and relax in the sun. It doesnt quite have the swimming capabilities as the Englischer Garten, but its more for just chilling in the grass or running along the paths.

5. Lake trip

Now this is a bit far off, but any proper Munich inhabitant will know it is one of the best ways to spend some free summer time. And with the amazing German public transport system, its pretty easy as well. All around Bavaria there are many great lakes or in german Sees to visit. Here are some of the most popular:

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