Being a geeky expat or traveler in Munich is tough. As a certified geek who has lived here for over two years, I’m just now breaking into the scene with enough German to dig into the dark depths of the internet and find the events. With hardly any documentation of what geeky and nerdy things there are to do in Munich I had all but just settled into a life of normality. But, who wants to be normal when you can be a geek?! After a lot of hunting, digging and awkward encounters I have compiled a list of geeky, nerdy and unusual things to do in Munich. This list includes something for everyone from video and board game geeks, tech geeks, car geeks, history buffs and much more. So, no matter how far from home you are, you’ll feel right at home with your type of people and this geek and nerd guide to Munich to give you a helping hand.
Geek Out in Munich: Geeky and Nerdy Things to Do
1. Visit The Item Shop in Munich
Your go-to sundry shop in Munich for geeky things. This two-story shop has everything from board and card games, to geeky trinkets, household items, and clothing. You’ll find a nerdy little souvenir to take home if you so desire, and it is fun to pick up something like a German card game, so you can take it home and be thoroughly confused by the rules and concept! This is a really welcoming place and people come just to hang out and chat. The owners usually speak some English and have always been friendly to me.
2. Explore The Deutsches Museum
The ultimate playground for geeks and nerds alike, this is the largest science and technology museum in the WORLD. You heard me right, the world. Housed in a gorgeous historic building, you can explore floors and floors of nerdy goodness- starting in the basement with a mining exhibit, traveling through naval and air flight, physics, maths, and astrophysics exhibits all leading up to a planetarium dome and a sundial garden on the roof. Make sure you check what the rotating exhibits are, and the daily schedule for fun interactive presentations like the high voltage show. There is something for everyone here. You could easily spend all day, if not several, so plan accordingly. Make sure you check out their shop, for awesome geeky gifts to take home.
3. Visit Other Museums
If visiting the largest science and technology museum in Munich is not enough to satisfy your never-ending need for education then check out any of the other museums from Geology to Ancient Egyptian and all types of art. Munich has more than 50 museums in total and a large portion of them are discounted to 1 Euro, or free on Sundays. Check out the full list of discounts, here.
4. Read at Comic Book Stores in Munich
I visit a comic store in just about every city I visit. There is something about buying a comic in the local language that makes a unique addition to your comic collection. Munich isn’t overflowing with comic books but the small selection it has is quality. Check out:
Comic Company is a small independent shop featuring graphic novels, a wonderful collection of Disney comics, Tin Tin, Manga and action figures. When you walk in the section to your right is all in English and the rest of the store features mostly German books. This is the best comic store in Munich and if you go anywhere I suggest Comic Company for the staff and selection. If you live in Munich the owner will order comics for you, as their selection is often missing certain numbers in sequences.
Hugendubel, which has a few stores around Munich has a shelf dedicated to comics and graphic novels. I picked up The Legend of Zelda in German from there and it has been fun learning German by reading Zelda comics.
Neo Toyko Stuck in Munich, but wishing you were in Japan? Neo Tokyo is your place to go. They have everything you need to obsess over Manga, K-pop, Anime and dress up in cute costumes for your night out at the Japanese Disco. This is a cozy shop with a decent selection and the people who work there are just lovely.
Comic Dealer This isn’t exactly recommended by myself or the other 10 people that gave them a 2-star review on Google and I haven’t actually been there, since I stick to Comic Company. Word on the street is the people who work there are not the friendliest and are more in line with German customer service than geek-o-service. So, only head here if you can’t find what you are looking for in any of these other spots and be prepared to feel unwelcome.
5. Buy Games at a Video or Board Game Store
Germans are quite into board games, so there are a few places you can buy, trade, or swap new or used board games or pick up figurines for your next DnD campaign. Even though you can get a lot of video games online these days, I still enjoy going to a physical store from time to time and coming home with a new or used PS4 game.
Warhammer A great place to buy figurines for board games, especially if you are into painting your own. They also have a wide selection of fantasy style board games.
Game Stop There’s a Game Stop in just about every city, so I know it’s a bit basic, but they are a staple in my video game life. No matter where I go I know there is a Game Stop with the latest games. The store in Munich is run by some great people and I like to head there on the weekends in winter to pick up a video game to get me through the snowy months.
Nippon Dreams I know I think of the Nopon when I read the name too. Sadly they are not Xenoblade themed, but they do know how to take care of vintage games and have a selection of new and old video games and staff who know their shit. They usually have someone there who can speak English.
Heimspeil Games This is another spot I have yet to check out, and they have mixed service reviews with some people very happy and others disappointed. They have a selection of used board games alongside their new inventory and might be worth checking out.
6. Participate in Quidditch Training
Support Munich’s own Quidditch Team at one of their matches, or join in one of their training sessions! The Munich team came in 4th in the German national tournament, so they’re pretty fun to watch. You can find their games and training sessions on their Facebook Page. Seeing one of their games or joining in on training depends on when they are playing a home game and when the season is. Thanks to Munich Quidditch for the photo!
7. Get Weird at Kaizoku Club
When I say get weird, I mean get weird. This Japanese Disco, gaming, cosplay, event venue is for everyone from furries to cosplayers and Japanese J-Pop fanatics – depending on the night. Check out the events over at Kaizoku Club. The massive geek event happens about 1-2 times a year, so if you are in Munich for one of these epic parties you are in for a weirdly good time. The rest of the time this event space is reserved for a Japanese style disco.
8. See the MVG Museum
Didn’t I already cover museums, twice? Well, yes, but I know you train geeks are in a league of your own, so here is a section just for you. Now that I offended you by calling a public transportation museum a place for train geeks, let’s move on. This museum is for all things public transportation in and around Munich, new and old. Explore over 25 real trams, subways and buses. There is a cinema and a subway simulator. If you’re like me and find trains and public transportation a bit boring, you can check out their annual whiskey festival held in the museum so, you can get drunk and look at tram cars. More information about that is in my nightlife guide.
9. Go Trainspotting
MVG museum not geeky enough for you? Watch real trains head off into the sunset at Hackerbrücke. A popular activity in Munich is to grab a beer and hang out on the bridge over the main set of train tracks and watch arrivals and departures as the sun sets over the tracks.
10. Attend a Board Game Convention
Have you ever heard of “Spiel des Jahres?” If you love board games I bet you have played one of these award-winning games. Well, this award and name are of German origin, so it is no doubt Germans love their board games. If you are in Munich for the Board Game Convention happening every year in the middle of November you’re in luck. This convention features new games you can buy and there are games you can play on location. This is a family-friendly event with lots of games for children and adults, alike. You can book tickets, here.
11. Catch Pokemon in Pokemon Go
The city of Munich is an on-going battleground for trainers and pokemon. While it might not be as popular a city to play as some, we still have great finds and some tough gyms. The best places to catch and battle pokemon are some of the major tourist sights including the Hofgarten and Stachus. There are even some obscure areas that are great like the Rosegarden along the Isar and the Old South Graveyard (alter südfriedhof.)
12. Attend German Comic-Con in Munich
Get your costume ready and head to the Munich Comic-Con. With celebrity appearances, art displays, cosplay contest and everything you find at any other comic-con. This usually happens once a year in Munich and you can check out their website for tickets. If going once a year in Munich isn’t enough, feel free to travel to Berlin, Frankfurt, and Dortmund for more geeky goodness. If you live in Munich and need some suggestions for places to get a costume together, send me an email and I’ll share my favorite sewing and craft stores. If you’re traveling to Munich for this event bring your favorite cosplay outfit or put something together once you’re in Munich from one of our thrift stores, but either way, you’ll have a great time.
13. See a Geeky Show at the Theater
Harry Potter in Concert!
The Gasteig, or Munich concert hall, has some pretty nerdy showings that come through. My latest obsession has been watching the Harry Potter movies to a live symphony. The first four movies rolled through, and I hope the rest follow. Final Fantasy in concert and Kingdom Hearts in concert also played this year and they were both equally amazing. 2018 might have just been an epically nerdy year at the Gasteig, but it is always worth checking out what they have showing.
14. Attend a Board Game Meetup
Finding a solid group of gamers is hard in any city. Trust me I just went through a failed attempt at putting together a DnD group here in Munich, fingers crossed it actually works out. Attending a boardgame meetup might be just the thing you need to meet some great people and get consistent gaming experience. They welcome people from all skill levels and interests, so it is worth checking out.
15. Attend Munich Geekettes Event
Calling all geeky ladies! This event is for YOU. Munich geekettes host regular events, talks, meetups and gathering for women in tech, including engineers, startups, UX/UI, founders, students, investors, and even digital social media. If you are interested in tech, this group is for you. Like their Facebook page to stay up to date, and if you’re really interested in the community, you can join their Facebook group.
16. Experience BMW World
If you haven’t seen a car made from start to finish, well you are missing out. No matter what kinda geek or nerd you are, the BMW world will blow your tiny, tiny mind. The factory is run almost entirely by robots, so if you haven’t seen how far robotics has come, then you’re in for a surprise. This books up far in advance, so if you’re planning on going in the next 3 months, you will want to look at tickets now. Make sure you book the BMW world tour, however, the museum is pretty cool and is always free and available to walk in.
17. Learn about WWII and the History of Munich
This is for any of the history geeks in Munich who want to learn more about the history of Munich or any war buffs, who are curious about Munich’s significance in World War II. I always suggest taking a walking or guided tour, as you can learn more than on a self-guided tour. Check out these top picks:
Or visit Dachau on your own, with my guide.
18. Attend the Makers Fair
Sadly this event only happens about every other year, but it is insanely cool. Check out everything in the world of makers from design, technology, robotics, hydroponics, sound, and art. The next one is happening in 2019, so plan ahead, now.
19. See the Castle that Inspired Disney
This day trip from Munich is well worth it, if you’re a Disney geek, a castle geek, or just love awesome things. Read more about this day trip, here. Or check out these tours:
20. Watch the Rocky Horror Film
The Museum Lichtspiel has shown the OV Rocky Horror, every Saturday, for the last 30 years. There is no better place to watch this cult classic in one of the oldest theaters in Munich, dating back to 1910. It is located in a lovely part of Munich near great restaurants and along the Isar. It is a great way to geek out on a Saturday night.
21. Check out Munich’s Stunning Libraries.
Munich has some of the most amazing libraries. While most of them, like the Bavarian state library, is practical in design, they are teaming with top-notch journals, math and science books, and great working and reading spaces. Some of them like the legal library (pictured) are housed in the bones of the New Marienplatz Townhall and are stunning to look at. Most libraries are free and easy for the public to enter, but you do need to have some money to check your bags at the down and some wits about you to pretend you’re a legal student. Just walk with confidence in the legal library and you’ll be fine.
22. Attend Comic Festival
Did you know that Bayern has its very own com comic book hero? Tracht Man. He makes an appearance at Munich’s Comic Festival, your go-to festival for all things comic related including meet and greets with artists, workshops, comic book sales, and art exhibits. This event is usually in July and you can find out more information on the Munich Comic Fest website.
Share the Geekiness!
Make sure you pin this to your favorite Germany, Munich, or geeky board so you can remember all these great spots. Also, I am always looking to increase the number of geeky and nerdy things you can do in Munich, so if you have a suggestion, send it my way. Lastly, if you’re a fellow geek or nerd in Munich, let’s meet up for a beer or board game!