As I sit here on the banks of the Isar River on a Friday afternoon in the first week of September, I reflect on my past 5 years here in Munich. I originally chose this city in order to build a relationship with my boyfriend. But as the years have passed, I have realized just how amazing IT IS, and why I am so lucky to live here.
For the Müncheners, it is the last official weekend of Summer before the kids go back to school. I am on a tiny island in the middle of the river overlooking the cities bridges and water lovers. The man next to me, a thin bearded, German looking Ray Charles, plays casually at an outdoor piano. Approximately 10 people hang around to watch, listen and drink a beer on their way home from work. The falling water and the piano drown out the noise of the cars crossing the nearby bridges, and I am content. A man swims by in the cold river. A group of teens dance beside their friends laying in hammocks in fallen trees. Two boys skateboard down the cement pier toward the water. Late Summer in September is my favourite time of year.
As an ode to Munich, and to Europe, and to my 5 years living here, I have written this list.
My TOP 5 Reasons Why I Love Living in Munich
- Everyone speaks more then one Language. The majority speak 2-3. And they speak, read and write them almost perfectly. Some of the many languages spoken are German, French, English, Turkish, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Russian and Croatian. And those are only the major ones.
- Art and Culture is everywhere. It is hundreds of years old as well as new and growing. Museums, outdoor exhibitions, film and theatre fill the city and are ever-changing. This includes paintings, photography, sculpture, architecture, music, ballet, theatre, opera, cinema, and so much more. There is always something new to see. And so much of it is for free, especially for students.
- Public Transportation is so easy. I bike and walk and ride trains everywhere. And this is in a city supported by companies like VW & BMW. If you want to venture a bit further and explore; Austria, Switzerland, The Czech Republic, Poland, Denmark, France, Belgium, and Holland all border Germany. You are close to so many other European cultures! Taking the train to these places is easy and beautiful ( For more thoughts on this see my post on trains here: https://andreasenyk.net/2016/05/19/riding-the-rails-may-2016/ )
- The German standards for Food and Agriculture are very high. So much of the food grown and imported into Germany is organic, which is right up my alley. I do not want to eat pesticides. As Joni Mitchell once said. „ Give me spots on my apples, and leave me the birds and the bees … PLEASE! „ The restaurants, markets, bars, cafes, bakeries and ice cream parlours fill every neighbourhood. So many of them are tasty and made with fresh local ingredients! Fast food chains are present, but are few and far between.
- Water is very important to me. The Great Lakes are large and magnificent freshwater sources that were right out my back door. In Munich, the Isar River runs South to North, and flows fresh and cold straight from the Bavarian Alps. Almost the entire river is surrounded by parks and green space, making it a perfect place to swim, fish, walk, jog, picnic, read or relax. All year long people flock here for leisure. I currently live 200 meters from its banks, and am so thankful for all it offers. When you get tired of the river, there are many lakes surrounding Munich for boating, sailing etc. These are even reachable by public transit!
If you need a change. What to move. Need a semester abroad. Are taking a sabbatical. Or just want something new in your life, I would highly recommend Munich as a destination to live and travel from. It’s beauty, people, and location offer so much. 5 years ago, at the age of 22, I packed up my belongings in 2 suitcases and flew here to start the next chapter of my life. I have not only learned a language, but so much about myself and others. I do not regret moving here, not one bit.
Ps. By the time I finished writing this. Four different men in there 20’s & 30’s have sat down and played the piano. And they have played way better then I ever could or would. Probably even better then I have ever heard before. Thank you Munich!