Munich is not only known for the Bavarian culture, but unfortunately also for being quite the expensive city. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about studying abroad there. As a matter of fact, Munich is a busy student city with several different universities. If you want to settle in the Bavarian capital but don’t have a big budget to do so, fear not! Here is how to live in Munich on a student budget.
Fear not, you are not alone. Not only students, also working people have problems to find affordable housing. As a student, you have the possibility to get accommodation in a student dorm. You can find these dorms amongst others via “Deutsches Studentenwerk”. If you’re not into the dorm experience, you can also join a shared apartment. Naturally, rents might get a bit pricey depending on the neighbourhood — Bogenhausen and Giesing are a couple of affordable choices. There are also several non-profit organisations and student associations that offer housing. But of course, you can always try to get a good deal via Uniplaces. In any case, the golden rule is: start looking early enough, otherwise all the good places are gone!
Dealing with money
If you’re planning to get a local bank account, don’t just run into the next bank and get it over with. Many banks offer good deals for students and it’s worth it to take the time to look into the offers. Check if there are monthly costs or if certain offers have an added value like a free credit card or free money withdrawal.
You won’t always take your home-cooked lunch with you to university, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend tons of money just to be fed. Universities have a lot of offers like their own cafeterias. Just remember to bring an ID for the student discount! Shopping for your home cooking on the other hand doesn’t always have to result in you going to the discounter supermarket. Good products can be obtained at affordable prices. One such possibility is to go to a weekly market. Towards the end of the day, many sellers are willing to give you vegetable and fruit for less money. Also bakeries and butchers have a happy hour these days.
If you feel you need to leave the city and explore, there are several options on how to do that within a financial limit. If you want to explore the rest of Germany or go abroad, taking a BlaBlaCar or buses like Flixbus is the cheapest way to do so. If you want to explore Bavaria by train and have four friends who will join you, you can buy the Bayern-Ticket which takes you across the province for little money. If you travel alone and know so way in advance, check Deutsche Bahn for Sparschiene tickets. If you want to take a plane somewhere, the Memmingen airport has cheap flights during summer.
Food and clothes are a bit more expensive in Munich than in other places. But there are nice places outside of the city centre that you can go to. There are affordable shops in the districts Schwabing and Glockenbackviertel. The general rule is always: the further outside the centre, the cheaper. Don’t hesitate to go to outer districts or maybe the surrounding countryside. If you don’t need something shiny and new, second-hand and flea markets are excellent ways of saving some money. You can even sell some stuff you’re not taking home with you after your Erasmus and make some additional money! However, make sure you know when the next one is around the corner, as they only happen with extended breaks.
Many clubs have special student discounts. For example, in some party locations, you get a cheaper entry or free welcome drinks if you arrive before 11pm. Also, the best parties are not always in the city centre. There are a lot little bars and clubs in the outer districts where partying is just as much fun. And last but not least, never forget that most bars also have a happy hour!
If you want to do a sports class, every student can get an ID at the Zentraler Hochschulsport (ZHS), with which you can take part in several sports classes and pay basically nothing. They have a wide variety of sports to offer and there are courses during the entire semester.
Never automatically assume a price is a given; always try to find out if a service or an event has a special student discount. Here are some examples: the public transport has a student ticket; getting a library card will allow you to read books without obtaining a whole new collection for only a few months; if you want to go see a play, you can get cheaper tickets at the Theaterjugendring; many museums have cheaper student tickets or special discounts on Sundays; and, of course, movie theatres have student discounts too or cheap sneak preview. The university cinemas offer movie events to meet new people and you pay as little as €2. If you need special IT programmes, your university might offer them at a cheap price. Just never stop looking up discounts!
Related post: 12 Facts About Munich You Probably Didn’t Know
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Can you think of other ways of how to live on a budget in Munich? Let us know in the comments. And remember: if you need student accommodation, you’ll find the student home you’re looking for on Uniplaces.