How Safe Is It to Visit or Live in the Bavarian Capital? Is Munich Safe?
Munich is probably most famous for its annual Oktoberfest celebration, celebrated since 1810, and it’s the original home of it. The festival attracts more than six million people each year throughout September and October to take part in the festivities, soak up the atmosphere, and, of course, enjoy some beer! But, with so many people from everywhere coming, one could wonder: is Munich safe?
Munich, or Munchen, as the Germans call it, is a city in southern Germany. It is the capital and most populated city of the state of Bavaria and rivals Berlin in attracting tourists. Munich is also much more lovely than Berlin (the German capital is one of the least beautiful capitals in Europe).
The name Munchen means “home of the monks” as its origins lie in the Benedictine Monastery (the city’s coat of arms also features a monk).
Aside from its brewing fame, Munich is a thriving, international city with a rich history and one of the world’s highest quality of life. The high quality of life comes with a price tag, though, as Munich is one of the most expensive cities in Germany to live in.
After reading this article, we strongly recommend you check our list of the most dangerous cities in Europe in 2023 (relax, Munich is not there).
The Crime Rate in Munich, Germany
You will be pleased to hear that Munich has a very low crime rate and was voted the eighth-safest city to live in the world in 2021. The highest crime rate in the city was for crimes such as vandalism and theft. Munich is by far the safest city in Germany.
There are gorgeous parts of Munich that deserve a visit, but some tourist sites unfortunately also have scammers. We wrote a special article about common (and creative) scams targeting tourists in Europe. Read it before your next travel
According to Numbeo, almost all of the different types of crime that occur in the city are at a low, or even a very low level. Safety on the streets when walking at night is extremely high, and violent crimes are also very low. There has been an increase in crime over the past few years, but even with this increase, crime rates are still in a low range.
Of course, if you are visiting the city, then you should still stay streetwise and be aware of your belongings at all times. Pickpocketing and small thefts are common in cities with a lot of tourists, especially when there are a lot of people there, like during Oktoberfest or the Christmas season.
Even in a city that’s been voted one of the safest cities in the world, there are likely to be some areas to avoid or places that tend to have more occurrences of crime. So yes, Munich is safe, but let’s have a look at some of the worst areas of Munich.
Bad Areas of Munich
Most of the city of Munich is generally a safe and pleasant place to live, but there are a couple of places that are considered worse than others in the city. However, crime rates here are still relatively low.
This area, located in the south of the city, is a mainly residential area where most of the non-German foreigners live. There are higher levels of unemployment and lower incomes here than in other parts of the city, but the housing is more affordable.
It doesn’t have as much hustle and bustle as other parts of the city, and the buildings and architecture are a little worse for wear. Although the area is considered one of the worst areas in Munich, this is in strict comparison to some of its more desirable and popular areas. The crime levels here are relatively low, and it is the lack of interesting things to do that classifies this area as one of the worst in the city.
This area, located in the north of the city, is similar to Neuperlach in that it houses more non-German foreigners and has higher levels of poverty than other areas of the city.
Similarly to Neuperlach, this area is considered “worse” in relative comparison to its other more desirable areas of the city because of its association with being a poorer area. The area itself doesn’t have much in the way of obvious crime, and it is likely that any crime that does occur is between the locals and won’t affect any visiting tourists.
The Best Areas to Stay in Munich
There are some wonderful places to visit and live in Munich. From bustling inner-city spots to greener, quieter, more urban areas, you really can take your pick of safe, interesting, and lively districts to explore.
Located southeast of the city, this area is one of the trendiest districts in the city and is a food lover’s paradise. From independent restaurants to fine dining, this area is jam-packed with fabulous eateries. It’s got a vibrant nightlife too, with plenty of bars and clubs to enjoy.
Berg ‘n’ Laim
Berg am Laim is a district in the southeast of the city, a bit further afield from the main city hub. It is a family-friendly area (, being situated close to good international schools, and its quiet, leafy streets are perfect for raising a family. It has a good selection of restaurants, cafes, and shops, and it has good transport links to the centre. It’s the perfect location for young city lovers who are looking to raise their family a little further away from the main hustle and bustle of Munich.
The “old town” is the heart of the city. With stunning architecture, the main tourist attractions, and plenty of places to eat and drink, it’s a must-visit area and is popular with first-time visitors to Munich. It has an incredible shopping scene, many fantastic bars and restaurants, and comes with all the vibrant energy that a city has to offer. Its popularity comes with a price tag, though, and it is one of the more expensive districts to live in.
Straddling the River Isar, located just to the east of the old city, this trendy spot is popular with young people who want to take advantage of the riverside living whilst still enjoying what the city has to offer. It is a place to enjoy in the summer. Relax in green, riverside spots. Cool off in picnic areas packed with families, and enjoy a cold beer in the vast selection of funky bars whilst basking in the sun.
Things to Do in Munich in Winter
If you are visiting Munich in the winter months, don’t let the bracing cold and snowy weather put you off! Wrap up warm, embrace the cold, and enjoy Munich’s enchanting winter wonderland!
Here’s a list of five incredible things to do in Munich during winter:
- Ice-skating-get your thickest socks on, grab some skates, and get ready to slip and slide your way around the ice rink. Ice skating is one of the best wintertime activities, and Munich has numerous rinks that open up during the colder months. Don’t forget to warm up afterward with a hot drink in the Alpine bar!
- Explore the Christmas Markets: Germans just know how to do a good Christmas market, and Munich’s iconic market is open from late November into January. Feast your eyes upon the foodie delights, sample some traditional German food, and wander around, taking it all in. It’s sure to get you in the festive spirit!
- Do some Christmas shopping: Munich is known for its incredible shopping areas. From luxury shops to independent boutiques and quirky Christmas pop-ups, you will be able to tick off your Christmas shopping list in one go!
- Thermal bath and sauna: if the cold is getting to you, then warm up with a visit to Therme Erding. The thermal bath boasts the title of the largest thermal spa in the world!
- Climb St. Peter’s Church: marvel at the snow-topped buildings of the city from the top of St. Peter’s Church with a 360-degree view. Snap some pictures and make everyone back home jealous with your winter wonderland views.
Things to Do in Munich in Summer
Munich in the summertime is a traveller’s paradise. Wander around the picturesque streets, grab a drink in a bar or on a rooftop terrace, or simply people-watch and soak up the sunshine. Temperatures rise in Munich during the summer months, and there is plenty to do to make the most of the glorious sunshine.
Here’s a list of five wonderful things that you can do in Munich during the summer:
- Relax by the river: Munich sits on the river Isar, and during the summer it attracts locals and tourists alike, all enjoying the joyful summer weather. BBQs, picnics, and sunbathe snoozing are all the order of the day here-although watch out for naked sunbathers as it’s a nudist area and has been since the 1960s!
- Enjoy a drink in a beer garden: Munich is home to some of the largest breweries in Germany, so it is no surprise that they have a considerable number of beer gardens too. There are over 200 beer gardens in the city, so find one you like and enjoy a drink or two!
- Explore Glockenbachviertel: take a stroll through the streets of this trendy neighbourhood, wandering into chic independent stores and enjoying the buzzing atmosphere. There are plenty of unique bars and stylish cafes to grab a drink at and soak it all up.
- Do some shopping: Viktualienmarkt is a 200-year-old open-air farmer’s market with over 100 stalls brimming with traditional German delights such as sausage, cheese, pickles, and many more. Take a stroll around the stalls and pick out something delicious to take home.
- Hire bikes—what better way to explore the city than on a bike? You will be able to cover far more ground on bike than on foot, and there are plenty of bike trails that show you the best sites in the city. So saddle up and get peddling!
Conclusion: Is Munich Safe?
Munich, Germany’s third-largest city and state capital of Bavaria, is one of the safest cities in Europe, safer than Berlin for example. Despite being a major city with high levels of international travel, Munich maintains a low risk for travelers.
According to crime statistics, incidents of violent crime are extremely rare, and Munich is generally considered a very safe city for solo female travelers. This is largely due to a visible police presence in public places and the city’s excellent health care system ready to provide medical assistance when needed. However, as with any foreign country, it’s important to follow the usual precautions (see our further tips below).
The city’s public transportation system, including trains, taxis, and buses, is generally safe and reliable. Solo travelers can easily navigate the city day and night without any major concerns. Munich’s Central Station and the city center are particularly well patrolled, making them safe for solo female travelers even during the night.
However, there is always the risk of pickpockets, particularly in crowded places like the Central Station or during Oktoberfest, the city’s annual beer festival that attracts numerous tourists. It’s advisable to keep an eye on your belongings, avoid displaying valuable items, and practice common sense.
Munich’s safety also extends to its surroundings. The city’s beautiful architecture, parks, and attractions like the Bavarian Alps are great places to explore without worry. The city is also well equipped with multiple safe accommodation options. However, fake disabled beggars and fake inspectors have been reported, though they are not common. Check some of the most tourist scams in Europe here.
It’s best to always check your ticket and change and to remain aware of your surroundings. Remember, using common sense and being vigilant is the best way to protect yourself, and check the other safety tips we give some paragraphs below.
Compared to other cities in Germany like Berlin, Frankfurt, or Hamburg, Munich stands out for its safety. Its welcoming and respectful local community, combined with its reliable public services, ensures that Munich is a city where visitors feel comfortable and secure. Nevertheless, it’s important to purchase travel insurance that covers trip cancellation (check in the next section), lost luggage, and health emergencies.
Despite its safety, Munich, like any other city, is not free from all risks. But, with the right information, precautions, and a little common sense, travelers can enjoy all that Munich has to offer.
Other Tips for Visiting Munich Safely
Now that you know that the question Is Munich Safe has a positive (except for the two districts mentioned before), some extra tips (just in case 🙂 ).
1st — If you are visiting the city, there are plenty of options in terms of luggage storage, so you don’t need to walk around with your carry-on bags. Reliable, convenient, and inexpensive luggage storage services you can find at Radical Storage.
2nd — Areas surrounding airports and train stations can be dangerous. Book a transfer in advance from the Munich (MUC) airport (or from any station) to your destination and vice versa, so you can avoid scammers and criminals. I often used Get Transfer for that and it always worked fine. Additionally, one of the cheapest ways to visit Munich if you live on another continent is to fly to Frankfurt.
3rd — If you want to walk around and see some historical spots without the risk of getting lost or wasting your time, hire a guide. You can find some amazing and reliable guides and tours at Viator. They will give you insider information about historical facts and curiosities, and also warn you of risky areas and keep you safe.
4th—Stay in a good hostel. Hostels are usually in the safest parts of cities (at least in Europe and South America), unlike hotels. Most hostels have private rooms that are as comfortable as a hotel, plus a friendly staff to give information. When looking for hostels, I visit Hostelworld and filter for those above grade 7.
5th — As travel insurance for visiting European cities, we recommend Ekta.
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Levi Borba is the founder of the Expatriate Consultancy, creator of the channel The Expat, and best-selling author. Some of the links of this article may be affiliate links, meaning that the author will have a commission for any transaction.