To say Munich is conservative would be a major understatement. It's definitely the wealthiest city in Germany. Comparatively, Berlin had more edge, more funk, more life to the city than Munich does. It was bustling with people even on the second day of Christmas, which is a public holiday here. I’m sure if we had more time in the local neighborhoods to explore unhindered by numb feet and steamed-up glasses, I’d have more examples for you of Berlin's general coolness.
A few other differences:
- Trash situation. Munich is super clean and I love that about the city. Yes, Berlin had trash on its sidewalks. But I should add that saying Berlin has trash on the streets when compared to Munich is like saying an OCD person has a cleaner house than someone who’s simply tidy.
- Snow all over Berlin's sidewalks. Let’s just say the only shoes I wore all week were my snow boots. But again, Munich is obsessive about snow removal among other things. However, the snow on the sidewalks in Berlin allowed some industrious Berlin citizen to create a human-sized igloo we stumbled past one night. Any full-sized igloo in Munich wouldn't last very long against the sidewalk snow plows.
- Differences in mass transit. Berlin’s s-bahns were mostly outside and not as frequent or as useful as the trams or buses. Plus, they were not punctual most of the times we took them and when you’re cold, an on-time train is a lifesaver. Our favorite buses were the # 100 or 200 because their routes covered most of the sights we wanted to see. Plus, they were double-deckers so we got to see the city from above while toasty warm.
I think we both loved aspects of Berlin and wished we could bring a touch of the edginess back to Munich. But there also are parts of Munich and the way of life in Munich we love.