Munich / Berlin
July, 2015
City Population : 1,388,308
City Area : 310.43km²
Urban Population :
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Districts/Wards : 25 Boroughs
Nicknames : World City with Heart
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Why Munich / Berlin??

I must be honest. Munich was not initially a concrete choice. It wasn’t a city that stood out to me, a city I had daydreamed about since childhood. Instead, as I stated in the About page, the choice of Munich has a very World in Twelve feeling to it, and was decided by many varying factors.

When choosing cities to reside in for the World in Twelve, a German city was a must. Germany (Deutschland), is a country that has always interested me. The history, where ever since the Prussian days, it had been the buffer between Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Russia. It is the country that instigated two World Wars (maybe not something to be proud of, but an important fact none the less). It owns the symbol of “communism” and “the end of it” with the Berlin Wall. All of this was very fascinating and made me wonder, “what is up with this country, Germany?” Then there is the economic side where, when Japan (and later many East Asian Nations) jump-started their economy post-war through manufacturing, and most European nations shifted to tourism and farming, Germany held on strong. With its luxury car brands (Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, Audi, etc.) and its footwear apparel (Adidas, Puma), and even niche markets (Leica Camera, etc.), Germany has numerous global maker brands, and is the main economic force behind the European Union. All of this fascinates me, and it was only natural for me to think, “I’ve gotta live there once!”

But the question was, where? Berlin, the capital, was an obvious choice, being both the economic and cultural center of Germany. Then there was Frankfurt, the financial center, where almost every airline for some reason has a hub. Munich was an option, located in the south, with its own economic and cultural blend. Hamburg, the second largest city, and Köln, with its famous cathedral, were possibilities too.

I ultimately decided on Munich because of all the recommendations. Firstly, it was highly ranked on MONOCLE Magazine’s “The World’s Most Livable Cities” list. Also, Germans I meet in Japan all praise Munich highly (although they praise Berlin too, which made things difficult. Urrggghh). The deciding factor was that the girlfriend of my good friend happened to be from Munich. And so Munich it was.

*(I will most likely be taking trips to Berlin and maybe Vienna too, though. Munich is very conveniently located.)