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What do you wish you would have known?

Kansas City...
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What do you wish you would have known?

My husband and I are about to take our first trip to Munich in a couple weeks. We are frequent travelers who currently live in the United States, and was curious if you had any advice.

For those of you who have already experienced Munich:

1) What do you wish you would have known before you went to Munich for the first time?

2) Do you have any must-do, must-see, must-eat places that you will do on your next trip to Munich?

Did anyone give you advice that you found helpful that you'd be willing to share? Anything like:

1) communicating

2) how to deal with scammers,

3) public transport

4) public toilets

5) supermarket etiquette (negotiate?)

6) restaurant behaviour

7) cultural "quirks" particular to Munich, or

8) how to generally not annoy the locals and be a good visitor.

Many thanks to anyone who shares their thoughts on any of the above.

Frankfurt, Germany
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1. Re: What do you wish you would have known?

That's got potential! :o)))

2) Scammers? Scammers???

3) reliable and comfy

4) I hate them and go at restaurants or cafes when I had something to eat and drink

5) No! (!!!) It's a supermarket and not a bazaar, prices are fixed! You can negotiate at flee markets

6) Don't make a scene when the waiter declines to serve tap water

I'll leave 7) and 8) to the tourists in order to have maximum fun with the answers ;o)

Charleston, South...
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2. Re: What do you wish you would have known?

1) communicating - most people spoke English and I actually knew more German words than I realized;

2) how to deal with scammers, - no scams. Just use the same degree of care that you would in any city. If it looks like an area you should avoid - don't go there;

3) public transport - we bought a several day pass and did not use it except for going from the airport into town and then back to the train station when we were leaving via train;

4) public toilets - go to a restaurant or bar while you are there as a customer;

5) supermarket etiquette (negotiate?) - it is like an American grocery store. The prices are marked. I bring a very small nylon collapsable bag when I travel for use at the grocery store;

6) restaurant behaviour - It is like anywhere and depends on the restaurant, pub or beer hall;

7) cultural "quirks" particular to Munich, or - ???

8) how to generally not annoy the locals and be a good visitor - ???

San Jose, CA
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for Wengen, Jungfrau Region
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3. Re: What do you wish you would have known?

>restaurant behaviour<

Well, not exactly behaviour but some things good to know.

- In beer halls & gardens, tables with tablecloths are generally reserved for menu service/full-service only, those without tablecloths are open for bringing your own food (of course, you cannot bring your own beer!) or buying food from the food stalls and making your own picnic that way. Of course, if there are no food stalls and only waitstaff service it doesn't matter if there are tablecloths or not -- it's all full service/menu.

- Look for the “Stammtisch” signs on or over tables – those tables are reserved for regulars.

- The baskets of pretzels on the tables are not free for the taking, you will be charged based on how many you eat.

- Per Quiltneedle's note, the rules around tap water vary from place to place. Some eating establishments will serve free tap water if you also are buying drinks. Some will charge you for tap water regardless of what else you are ordering. Some won't serve it at all.

>public transport<

It's fantastic but takes a bit of getting used to if you are not accustomed to subways, busses, trains, etc.

>cultural "quirks" particular to Munich<

Not exactly a "quirk" nor particular to Munich, but stay out of the bicycle lanes when you are out strolling around the city. You need to be heads up about this. Bicycles are a common means of transport for the locals and standing around/walking in the bike lanes goofs things up for everyone.

>Do you have any must-do, must-see, must-eat places that you will do on your next trip to Munich?<

After 25+ trips there, for sure. I have a pretty lengthy write up of recommendations, including tips on working the transport system. If you would like a copy send me a private message with your email address.

Boston...
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4. Re: What do you wish you would have known?

We just returned from our first time to Germany and found it very welcoming and easy to get around.

I had a few German expressions and ability to ask rudimentary questions but as soon as I said (in German) I didn't understand German everyone spoke English.

Didn't see anything whatsoever related to scams, peddlers, nothing like, for example, in Paris or Rome.

Supermarkets are the same as everywhere. Perhaps you mean the Viktualienmarkt? They have set prices also for their beautiful fruits, veg, and other goods.

We stayed near the Hauptbahnoff and basically walked everywhere, only took the train for the Olympic Park and to Dachau. Super easy if you have the train map, and again, everyone was very helpful with diections.

No different behavior you would need in a restaurant that I can think of.

There are communal tables in biergartens, which was very enjoyable and we got to chat with many Germans from elsewhere, vacationing in the city.

I think being pleasant and going with the flow puts you in good stead anywhere.

As to quirky, we did notice Germans eat a lot of lovely cakes, especially scrumptious apple ones. So, of course, we joined right in. If that's 'quirky' sign me up!

Since we're home, Im desperately missing my afternoon cake ;-(

Las Vegas, Nevada
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for Stuttgart, Baden-Wurttemberg
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5. Re: What do you wish you would have known?

In Germany, there is usually no attempt to rush you out of a restaurant. Therefore, you usually sit there until you ask for the check. It won't automatically be brought to you.

Rayleigh, United...
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for Seoul, Rothenburg
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6. Re: What do you wish you would have known?

Restaurant toilets- do expect to pay an attendant.

Free public toilets exist- eg at Marienplatz subway station. The men's is passable.

Scammer doesn't translate into UK English. We use the word but your meaning diverges from ours, I guess.

I've scanned through others- may already have been said!- don't be surprised if others come to sit at your table in a restaurant. Don't assume that if all tables have people seated at them you won't be served- after being seated by waiting staff.

How you work out whether to just sit down or wait to be seated eludes me. I know myself which it will be, but only from experience.

Frankfurt, Germany
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7. Re: What do you wish you would have known?

>>>Restaurant toilets- do expect to pay an attendant.<<<

I never saw these ladies at restaurants (maybe a regional thing?) but at shopping center toilets. Only pay when the toilets are clean!!!

One other thing! Ask for "toilets", few people will get what you mean by "restroom" or "bathroom"

>>>How you work out whether to just sit down or wait to be seated eludes me. I know myself which it will be, but only from experience.<<<

Most of the time you choose your own table without being seated, an exception are upscale restaurants. If you feel unsure, just wait a moment and look around if no one approaches you, choose your seat.

Rayleigh, United...
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for Seoul, Rothenburg
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8. Re: What do you wish you would have known?

There's a good eating place in Munich,with toiletten in the basement. The attendant has a saucer for your half euro, or whatever.

As you stand at the urinals, a newspaper is secured to the wall ahead of you, one for each urinal. My German friend was astonished out of his full flow, as it were, when a hand appeared before him to turn the page. Clearly Germans are expected to have unusually large bladder capacity or very fast reading skills

Karlsruhe, Germany
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for Baden-Wurttemberg
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9. Re: What do you wish you would have known?

>>>Restaurant toilets- do expect to pay an attendant.<<<

No. Restaurants can be expected to provide free toilets for their patrons. They are obliged to by law. Requesting payment is not allowed. They can put up the saucer and hope for tips but they cannot force you to pay.

sydney
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for Cambodia
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10. Re: What do you wish you would have known?

bike lanes are usually a different coloured pavement - do not walk in bike lanes and if you hear a bell behind you - move quickly .. bikes have right-of-way if you are in the designated lane.

make use of the wonderful little bakeries if breakfast is not included in your hotel rate .. under 4 euro will get you a coffee & some yummy kind of roll (sweet or savoury) - it's serve yourself and pay the cashier

you will quickly learn the words for left & right - the trains have an announcement to tell you which side the platform is on