As Munich developed and grew, more and more suburbs and villages of the surrounding area have become an integral part of the Bavarian capital and the third largest city in Germany. Today, the city extends to an area of some 31.1 hectares. The largest expansion of the urban area is 20.7 kilometers from north to south and from east to west 26.9 km. The extent of the city limits is 119 km. Munich is divided into 25 administrative boroughs (districts) which are further divided into sub districts and neighborhoods. You can find a map with all of the 477 neighborhoods here. The table below shows all of the city’s 25 districts, as well as their respective surface and population. The table also shows the percentage of foreigners living in each of the districts and the density of the population in each of them.
|14||Berg am Laim||6.31||44,002||6,971||29.9|
|None of the above||3|
Source: Die Bevölkerung in den Stadtbezirken nach der Einwohnerdichte. Statistisches Amt der Landeshauptstadt München (November 2015)
To know a few facts about each of the districts/boroughs of the city might come in handy is you are apartment hunting from abroad. Each of the boroughs is also further divided and the smaller parts are often known by name from when they were villages. For example, the Glockenbach quarter is part of Isarvorstadt. The centre is very popular- both with tourists and locals. It is home to most shopping areas, and also to theatres, museums and parks. Like any European city, however, the very heart of the city tends to have hardly any housing, being the main business and cultural area. If you wish to live in the centre, the usual thing to do in Germany is to rent a flat; however, the further you move away from the centre, the more houses there are, especially in areas that used to be separate villages and were only incorporated in the last few decades. Here is a brief introduction to all of the city’s districts.
1 Altstadt-Lehel - The district/borough covers the historical area of Altstadt (the old town, also Zentrum) and the Lehel area, which is attached to Altstadt in the north east. It also covers the Isar in the east and the Englischer Garten as well as Prinzregentenstraße, in the north. Most of the city’s landmarks, such as the New City Hall, the Frauenkirche, the Hofbräuhaus and the Viktualienmarkt are all located here, as well as well as the main shopping streets of the Bavarian capital.
2 Ludwigsvorstadt – Isarvorstadt - It consists of the districts Ludwigsvorstadt, located south of Munich Hauptbahnhof and east of the Theresienwiese, and Isarvorstadt, which is situated north-west of the River Isar and southeast of Munich's Old Town. The Lindwurmstraße serves as a divider for the two districts. Ludwigsvorstadt is where the Theresienwiese is located at, the grounds at which the Oktoberfest and other Munich festivals take place. It is one of the most attractive parts of the city with residential and office buildings, as well as restaurants, cinemas, museums and theatres. The same goes for Isarvorstadt with its almost Mediterranean flair and many small cafes, restaurants and in-places. The most popular quarter of Munich, Glockenbach, is located here.
3 Maxvorstadt – Maxvorstadt is another one of the most popular districts of the Bavarian capital. It is located north-west of the Altstadt and is characterized by a mixture of beautiful classical residential and university buildings. The very lively district includes the Odeonsplatz, Königsplatz, and Ludwigstraße. The western part of the district, with newer buildings, lacks in flair compared to the other parts. Both of Munich’s largest universities, LMU and TUM, are located here.
4 Schwabing-West – Schwabing used to be known as Munich's bohemian quarter and remains popular with both tourists and locals, especially young people (Leopoldstrasse), for its numerous bars, clubs, and restaurants. Another popular location is the Englischer Garten, or English Garden, one of the world's largest public parks. Schwabing is still one of the most popular bouroughs of Munich. The shopping area between Münchner Freiheit, Siegestor, and Hohenzollernplatz offers many interesting shops. The Ludwigstrasse connects the Schwbing with the Altstadt borough.
5 Au-Haidhausen - The 5th borough of the city is made up of Au and Haidhausen. Au lies opposite the Altstadt of the city on the easterly plain tract of the Isar. Haidhausen is above Au on the Isar's uplands. Au-Haidhausen borders Bogenhausen to the north, Berg am Laim to the east, Obergiesing to the south, level with the flow of the Isar at Untergiesing, ending in the west at the river. Many of Munich’s old breweries were located on the banks of the Isar River. Au and Haidhausen are very popular with the younger generations of the city’s population and many interesting clubs, music and cultural venues, as well as small shops and restaurants are located here. A part of Haidhausen is also known as the "French Quarter". The only reason for this is that many of the streets are named after French cities. Haidhausen these days ranks high among the most desirable places to live at in Munich.
6 Sendling - Sendling is located south-west of the city centre and is mainly a residential quarter, with shops and businesses straddling the Plinganserstraße around the historical core of Sendling. It is a multicultural quarter, having one of the largest rates of foreigners among the population. It is traditionally a working class neighbourhood. In the east, there is one of Munich's most popular recreational areas: the "Flaucher", with its beer garden and many small islands on the Isar. The Wholesale Market Munich is situated in the eastern part of the borough, it is Europe's third-largest grocery market.
7 Sendling-Westpark – the things said for the population in the previous district also apply for Sendling-Westpark. Sendling-Westpark is located south west of Munich and expands into the North/South extension from the 8th borough Schwanthalerhöhe as far as Obersendling. In the southern part, accommodation typically consists of detached and semi-detached houses built in the Interwar period. In the vicinity of the main traffic arteries, blocks of flats were built after 1948.
8 Schwanthalerhöhe – Munich’s Schwanthalerhöhe district is also known as Munich Westend. It occupies the smallest area of the 25 districts, but has one of the highest population desities of the city. This is due to the multi-storey apartment buildings which were mostly built for workers. It is Munich’s district with the highest percentage of foreigners living in it, following only Milbertshofen-Am Hart district.
9 Neuhausen-Nymphenburg - Nymphenburg borders in the north-west with Obermenzing, in the southwest with Pasing in the north with Moosach, while Neuhausen lies in the southeast. The ninth district ranges from the Mars-field at the inner edge of town to the Nymphenburg Palace in the west and extends from the Olympic Park to the railway tracks of Pasing. It is one of the most popular and posh districts of the Bavarian capital. It has some of the highest quality housing and is one of the most desirable places to live in Munich. It is named after the Nymphenburg Palace, former summer residence of the Bavarian kings. Today the castle along with the Nymphenburg Palace Park is one of the most popular sights of Munich. The percentage of foreigners Nymphenburg is low, in Neuhausen it is average. Nymphenburg is about a 20-minute tram ride away from the city centre.
10 Moosach – the Moosach District consists of Hartmannshofen, Pressestadt and Borstei and was named after the Moosach, an affluent to the city’s Isar River. The district is home to Munich’s oldest tree, the Röth-Linde - Röth-Limetree, and predominantly families with kids.
11 Milbertshofen-Am Hart – Milbertshofen-Am Hart is Munich’s district with the highest percentage of foreigners living in it. The northern city district consists of Milbertshofen, Am Riesenfeld and Am Hart between the Ingolstädter und Schleißheimer streets. The largest part of the Olympia Park and the BMW Welt are located here. BMW also has its main plant and its Research and Innovation Centre located here. This explains the middle class living in the Olympia Park. The Petuel-tunnel connects Milbertshofen with Schwabing.
12 Schwabing-Freimann – The district consits of the eastern part of the former City of Schwabing, the former municipality of Freimann and Frottmaning. In the south, the district begins at the Siegestor, and extends northwards on the left bank of the Isar River. Some of Munich’s newest landmarks, the Allianz Arena and the Highlight Towers, are located here. All in all, not a bad neighbourhood with a high number of researchers and professors living here due to the Max-Planck-Institut für Physik. The Studentenstadt (student city) Freimann is also located here.
13 Bogenhausen - It is the geographically largest borough of Munich and comprises the city's north-eastern quarter, reaching from the Isar River on the eastern side of the Englischer Garten to the city limits, bordering with Unterföhring in the north, Aschheim on the east and Haidhausen on the south. One of the city’s poshest districts consists of Alt-Bogenhausen, Priel, Herzogpark, Arabellapark, Cosimapark, St.Emmeram, Oberföhring and Johanneskirchen. Herzogpark is a quiet, secretive and highly exclusive residential area north of Alt-Bogenhausen, enclosed between the Isar River to the west and the Isarhochufer. It is considered the most expensive and classy of Munich's numerous upscale residential districts. Priel and Oberföhring are two residential quarters north of Alt-Bogenhausen and up the slope from Herzogpark, straddling Oberföhringer Straße, the districts' main traffic artery. The housing mostly consists of apartment buildings, affording a great view across the city. Alt-Bogenhausen is the oldest part of Bogenhausen and is enclosed between the river Isar to the west, the Prinzregentenstraße to the south and the Mittlerer Ring to the east and north. Alt-Bogenhausen is one of Munich's most desirable residential districts and has some of the highest quality housing in town. Bogenhausen is one of the districts with the lowest percentage of foreigners living in it. It is also home to some of the best and most beautiful beer gardens of the city. The other parts of the Stadtbezirk are a relatively newly developed mixture of commercial and residential areas. Landmarks, such as the Friedensengel and the Prinzregententheater, as well as picturesque winding streets add to the special charm of the Bogenhausen area.
14 Berg am Laim - Berg am Laim is a nice residential district bordered by Haidhausen to the west, Bogenhausen to the north, Trudering to the east and Ramersdorf to the south. For Munich standards, property in Berg am Laim is fairly reasonably priced.
15 Trudering-Riem - In the west the borough borders the boroughs Berg am Laim and Bogenhausen, in the south Ramersdorf-Perlach, in the north Johanneskirchen and in the east the municipalities Aschheim, Feldkirchen, Haar and Putzbrunn. After the airport moved north, the Trudering and Riem neighborhood became a popular residential area, especially for families. A large part of the district is still being developed.
16 Ramersdorf-Perlach – The sixteenth Munich district used to be a social problem hotspot and the housing projects weren’t the nicest places to live. This is steadily changing for the better and now there are also nice family houses and other positive developments in the south-eastern border district of the Bavarian capital.
17 Obergiesing-Fasangarten – While Obergiesing is traditionally a working class area with large multi-storey apartment houses, Fasangarten has always been an area with detached and semi-detached houses. Fasangarten has been added to the name of the district for this reason in 2009.
18 Untergiesing-Harlaching – Alt-Harlaching is traditionally a upper-class neighbourhood, Neuharlaching is middle-class and Untergiesing a traditionally working class neighbourhood. The lines have been blurring in the past decades. The Stadion an der Grünwalder Straße is home to the first Munich football club, TSV 1860 Munchen, to bring a German football championship to the Bavarian capital. The club is the counterpart to the posh FC Bayern and also traditionally a working class club.
19 Thalkirchen-Obersendling-Forstenried-Fürstenried-Solln – The nineteenth district of Munich holds the record for the longest name and you won’t have any trouble guessing from which former towns and municipalities it consists of. Thalkirchen is located on the river Isar and is a mostly residential district. Sights include the Flaucher, a part of the Isarauen ("floodplains") and the Munich Zoo (Tierpark Hellabrunn). Obersendling is located up-slope from Thalkirchen and north of Solln. It is also known as the Siemens district and the Siemens plants and buildings. Forstenried is mostly a residential area, with some shopping, restaurant, and entertainment opportunities. It is also known for the Forstenrieder Park, a large, protected forest. Solln is a mostly upscale, low-density residential area, recognized as one of the nicest in Munich.
20 Hadern - Located in the south-west of Munich, Hadern was originally a farmer village. This part of town is known for its huge hospital complex with some 14 clinics. Another large part of Hadern is the Waldfriedhof, the largest cemetery in the city. The rest is mostly taken by upscale residential buildings and renovated old farm houses. An interesting part of the city.
21 Pasing-Obermenzing – The twenty-first Munich district consists of the former city of Pasing and the former municipality of Obermenzing. Some of Munich’s highest quality housing is located in Pasing, but both parts of the city are nice to live at. Obermenzig is often the choice of small business owners and academics with families. This suburban area is about 40 minutes away from Munich’s centre.
22 Aubing-Lochhausen-Langwied – Munich’s twenty-second district is by far its largest, but also the one with the lowest population density of all the Munich boroughs. Up until very recently, ther hasn’t been much to say about the former village of Langwied, but since last year (2015), one of the big six traditional Munich breweries has moved there. Langwied is now home to the Paulaner brewery. Aubing and Lochhausen are also former villages and have kept some of the Bavarian rural flair. What also makes this part of the Bavarian capital attractive are the Aubinger Lohe recreational zone and the Lanwieder See (Lake). Currently there is a new new development in the south-western part of the district, so the density is about to rise in this district also.
23 Allach-Untermenzing – The name Allach roots in the words for forest and water in some long forgotten language and the north-western part of the Bavarian capital still reminds of some more rural areas in many parts. The middle class has discovered this part of Munich for themselves some decades ago. Detached family houses dominate the scenery in Untermenzig and a large part of Allach, but the likes of MAN, MTU und Krauss-Maffei have large industrial complexes there too.
24 Feldmoching-Hasenbergl – The two former villages and Lerchenau and Ludwigsfeld, which are also part of the northern Munich district have preserved some rural touches and the area surrounding Feldmoching is a popular recreational zone, especially in the summer, because of the bathing lakes of the Dreiseenplatte. The lakes are Lerchenauer See, Fasaneriesee and Feldmochinger See. The lakes have excellent bathing water quality and huge, well-kept zones for sports and sunbathing.
25 Laim – Laim is not to be mistaken for the 10 km away Berg am Laim, the 14th District of Munich. Laim itself is older than Munich and became an integral part of Munich in 1900. Laim is almost exclusively a residential area with all kinds of housing types close to Munich’s city centre.