Munich, and Germany in general, are cited as some of the safest places in the world. However, there are a few cultural norms that travelers need to take note of, to avoid any dangers or ill consideration with their locals.
1. Seasons change, and so does Munich
Munich in the summer, versus during the winter, versus during Oktoberfest, versus during Christmas gives this city wholly different experiences altogether. Winter is very cold, dark, quiet, and you would find yourself with hardly any locals out on the street. Christmas time features the "Christkindlmarkt", the oldest Christmas Market in the world.
Summer features a lot of color, and festivals. One of Munich's most-sought after festivals is the Oktoberfest.
2. Get drunk at the Oktoberfest, but don't pick any fights
One couple tells Virtual Tourist, " I'm not sure if there is an official drinking age on the books, but in Germany it's acceptable for 16-year-olds to be drinking beer. And in Bavaria, it's expected. Let's say for example you're 17, drunk and insecure about your relationship with your girlfriend when some dude you don't know starts talking to her. Wham! You smash a beer stein over his head. Then his friend cranks you in the mouth and the next thing you know a security guard has you in a headlock and you and all your friends are being shown the exit."
Despite the craziness of the scenario, events like this always have enough security detail, so it's best to wait for them to take care of these incidents, instead of getting involved, and getting kicked out or hurt.
3. Biergartens and Wirtsgardens are not the same
According to Crave Online, "a biergarten is one of those awesome outdoor pavilions that are sometimes attached to bars or restaurants where you can self-serve food and drink and get rowdy. A Wirtsgarden, however, is fancier - with tables set with table clothes and waiters and waitresses taking orders."
Both are great experiences though, so be sure to visit both for the chance to experience some local culture.
4. Sunday is called "Ruhe Tag", which means "day of rest"
This means everything is closed on Sundays, with the exception of churches, ice cream shops, gas stations, and, yes you guessed it, beer gardens.
5. Recycling is a requirement
Take note of public bins: blue for paper, brown for organic waste, and grey for "everything else". As a great tip for a little extra money, exchange plastic and glass bottles at supermarkets for a return of 10-20 cents. Be aware though, that some plastic bottles are "non-refundable" and go into the grey bin.
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