• Germany edition
 
My Germany - Munich
'Munich is still just a village for many people'
Liang Li (left) and a friend. Photo: Liang Li

'Munich is still just a village for many people'

Published: 22 Feb 2013 07:09 GMT+01:00
Updated: 22 Feb 2013 07:09 GMT+01:00

Despite being busy working on his science PhD, 29-year-old Li made the time to fill us in on his experience of the Bavarian capital - how to choose between sausages, beer and how to best have fun for free. Although the Oktoberfest is less exciting than it used to be, he still finds more than enough in the city and its environs to keep him busy and happy.

What do you like best about living in Munich?

I love the access to nature. I live in the south-western part of the city, right next to the Westpark. In the summer and spring it's very beautiful. There are also a lot of lakes around the city. If you enjoy sports, there are loads of things you can do. In the winter you can ski and go snowboarding. In the summer I particularly like doing cycling tours in the Alps. I try to do a tour every month when the weather permits. Hiking is equally popular - it's so easy to get out of the city. Munich is surrounded by Bavarian villages, where you really can feel at ease.

How do you find the people?

Although Munich is the second biggest city in Germany, it's still just a village for a lot of its inhabitants. Many people aren't all that interested in what's going on elsewhere. They are just happy with Munich and with Bavaria. For this reason they aren't always necessarily very open to outsiders. But around a fifth of the population are newcomers. You hear a lot of different languages everywhere. So you can say that Munich is now an international place, and I think this has also made it more open.

There's no escaping traditional Bavarian culture in Munich, though. Are you are fan of the beer and sausages?

I don't actually like sausages much, but I enjoy drinking beer. I can't decide which kind I like best. I went through a stage of drinking a lot of white beer, which is quite sweet and delicious, but you can find such a huge variety here.

Where is your favourite place to drink it?

In the summer a beer garden is definitely the best place to sit back and enjoy a beer with friends and pass the time.

What about eating out?

Sometimes I spontaneously go to a local Bavarian pub. It isn't exactly healthy - there's a lot of meat and fat - but I find the atmosphere good. In general, though, I don't eat out much in Munich, because it is quite expensive.

Is there anything you can do in the city for free?

You can do all sorts of sports in the English gardens for free - football, volleyball, jogging and so on. And you can always just walk along the river. In the summer you can do salsa dancing outside in the Hofgarten for nothing. I really enjoy doing that.

Are you a fan of Oktoberfest?

My interest has fallen, largely because there seem to be ever more party people going. But it's a traditional highlight for Munich, and if you are a visitor here, it's fun to see the traditional Bavarian costumes - the Lederhosen and the Dirndl.

Where do you get your favourite view of the city from?

All the tourists go to the church on Marienplatz. I prefer the view from the TV tower in the Olympic park. But my top tip though would be to go to the university where there's a terrace with a beautiful view for free. There's also a nice café there.

What would be your ideal Sunday in Munich?

I'd grab my bike and go for a cycling tour - with lots of stops for beer along the way!

Can you tell us something about the city which only locals know?

Where to have a barbecue! Not many tourists know where, or realise that you can. You need to go to the Westpark, or head southwards along the River Isar.

Pippa Wentzel

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Fourth time lucky for free Berlin WiFi?
Coming soon? Photo: DPA

Fourth time lucky for free Berlin WiFi?

Berlin's bid to set up a free city-wide wireless network has so far come to nothing. But city bosses are now trying for a fourth time - and hope to have the project running next year. READ  

Opinion
Do German unions have too much power?
Lufthansa passengers rush to change their flights at Frankfurt Airport on Monday. Photo: DPA

Do German unions have too much power?

Germany's pilots and train drivers are taking it in turns to bring the country to a standstill with strikes that have cost the economy tens of millions of euros in the last two weeks. Are unions abusing their power or standing up for their rights? READ  

Older workers can have extra days off, court says
Photo: Workers in a German shoe factory. Photo: DPA

Older workers can have extra days off, court says

Older workers in Germany are allowed more time off than younger ones, a court ruled on Tuesday, saying the difference was not discriminatory. READ  

Expat's family battles for answers four years on
Matthew Fitzpatrick died in 2010 in Mannheim. Photo: Fitzpatrick family

Expat's family battles for answers four years on

In 2010 an Irish computer engineer was found dead in his apartment in Baden-Württemberg. Four years on, his family are still pressing the German justice system for answers. They feel badly let down by police who they say have refused to examine evidence of foul play. READ  

Court: Germany can keep arms deals secret
The judges of the Supreme Court announce their decision about weapons exports on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Court: Germany can keep arms deals secret

The government can keep arms deals secret and only tell the public about them after contracts have been signed, the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday. READ  

Tourist finds €7,500 instead of cheesecake

Tourist finds €7,500 instead of cheesecake

Just how honest would you have to be to return €7,500 that you found in a box supposed to contain your favourite cheesecake? READ  

Tanker fills up gas station with wrong fuel
Photo: DPA

Tanker fills up gas station with wrong fuel

Around 160 car owners are stuck after a gas station's storage tanks were filled with the wrong fuel, causing an estimated €100,000 in damage. READ  

Lufthansa strike hits 1,500 flights
Photo: DPA

Lufthansa strike hits 1,500 flights

UPDATE: In the second day of their strike, Lufthansa pilots have, as promised, extended their industrial action to include long-haul international flights until the end of Tuesday. READ  

Merkel tells allies to pay Ukraine's gas debts
Chancellor Angela Merkel in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Monday. Photo: DPA

Merkel tells allies to pay Ukraine's gas debts

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday called on Ukraine's allies to help the war-scarred nation pay off its gas debts to Russia, amid concern over gas supplies this winter. READ  

Steinmeier wants epidemic task force
Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaks at the World Health Summit in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Steinmeier wants epidemic task force

At the World Health Summit in Berlin, the Ebola crisis took centre stage at talks meant to create plans for how to handle future outbreaks. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Robbers blow up Berlin bank
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: Facebook
Society
German motorcycle gang joins Isis fight
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: World's biggest erotic fair opens in Berlin
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Sponsored Article
International School on the Rhine: a legacy
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The ten richest people in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd