ESL tips - Don't miss out on what the city has to offer!
Get sporty in Munich
Munich’s Olympic stadium, Olympiapark, is the perfect place for adrenaline junkies. Strap on a harness and climb the stadium’s curvy metal rooftop and then zip line across the entirety of the field – a guaranteed rush! And, there are great discounts for students. If that’s too adventurous for you, you can always just ride to the top of the Olympic Tower for some of the best views in Munich.
Cheer for FC Bayern Munich
Munich’s prestigious football team is so popular with the locals that their home games sell out about as soon as they go on sale. If you’re dead set on seeing a match, you can go through ticket reseller websites, but a better option is heading to one of Munich’s sports bars where you can cheer on the team surrounded by locals! Try Stadion an der Schleißheimerstraße, adorned with football jerseys and memorabilia, or Champions Sportsbar near the Schwabing neighbourhood and the Englischer Garten. Make sure you make a reservation for important matches, especially the ones against Dortmund!
Visit a Disney-like castle built by a mad king
The breathtaking Neuschwanstein Castle is about a 2-hour drive from Munich and arguably one of the world’s most stunning palaces. It’s what Walt Disney used as his source inspiration for the fairy tale castle in Disneyworld’s Magic Kingdom. But the fact that it was built for the mad king Ludwig II makes it especially interesting!
Save money on your day trip by renting a car and splitting the cost between your fellow classmates, or take the train to Füssen followed by a short bus ride. If you do go by train, make sure to get the Bayern-Ticket day pass – it costs €25 for the first traveller and only €6 for every additional traveller. You’ll save over 50% on your round-trip train ticket!
Spend the weekend in Austria
Arguably one of Austria’s most beautiful cities, romantic Salzburg is less than 2 hours away by train from Munich! Spend the day exploring Mozart’s birthplace where The Sound of Music was filmed and feast on Sachertorte, Viennese coffee and Wiener Schnitzel. This is a great way to see another country while on your language trip in Munich and practise speaking German in another atmosphere!
Watch, read, listen
Watch Rossini (1999) Director: Helmut Dietl
This popular satire pulls back the curtain on the film-making industry in Munich, against the backdrop of the ritzy restaurant Rossini, the place to see and be seen. Fun fact: the film is actually about the producer’s quest to turn Munich-born writer Patrick Süskind’s novel Perfume into a movie.
Munich (2005) Director: Steven Spielberg
The 1972 Munich Olympics were marred by the horrible tragedy of the Munich massacre, in which Israeli athletes were taken hostage and eventually killed. It’s the subject of this critically-acclaimed film.
Beerfest (2006) Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
This is the story of two brothers who travel to Munich to spread the ashes of their German grandfather on the grounds of Oktoberfest and are then roped into a secret beer society. Pure comedy with the backdrop of Munich’s famous beer festival!
Cinema in Munich
For all you cinephiles, don’t miss the Museum Lichtspiele, an indie cinema which, along with showing independent and classic films, has been playing The Rocky Horror Picture Show for 40 years. At the Cinema Filmtheater, you can enjoy films in their original language in a huge, modern cinema, right in the centre of Munich. Most cinemas offer discounts on Mondays and/or Tuesdays, so make sure to take advantage!
Read The Book Thief (2006) by Markus Zusak
Set in a fictional German town on the outskirts of Munich, this historic WWII novel has been dubbed a modern classic and was turned into a major Hollywood film.
Not So Happily Ever After: The Tale of King Ludwig II (2012) by Susan Barnett Braun
The dichotomy of one of the most brutal and mentally unbalanced German monarchs living in one of the world’s most beautiful fairy tale castles is the subject of this fascinating non-fiction novel.
Journey to Munich: A Maisie Dobbs Novel (2017) by Jacqueline Winspear
An intriguing little detective novel and quite the page-turner, this takes place in the Munich of WWII.
Listen Also sprach Zarathustra (1896) by Richard Strauss – Arguably the most famous composition by this Munich-born composer.
“Blame it on the Rain” (1989) by Milli Vanilli – Did you know this scandalous R&B duo was from Munich?
“Rome Munich Rome” (1998) by Robbie Williams – Even the famous English pop star wrote a song mentioning Munich!
Live music in Munich
Students will find their happy place at the cosy Lost Weekend, a coffee shop/bookshop that hosts the Munich Sessions every two weeks, with performances by international and local musicians. If you like the romantic notion of listening to live classical music, head to Bar Gabányi on the aptly named Beethovenplatz. If a die-hard party scene and cheap drinks is what you’re in the mood for, head to The Euro Bar, housed in a youth hostel, to catch its weekly live band.