Münster, Germany | Travel Tips & Stories

Aasee in Münster Germany during fall

Date visited: Oct. 29, 2015

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Our Perspective of Münster

Münster is where our story of living together begins. After we had traveled together, he decided to move to Germany in order to live with her. She was already living in Münster due to her studies when he booked the flight and eventually moved. After that, we lived in Münster for a few months during winter. This part of our lives was an experiment of whether we would stay together or not since many couples decide to split after they had moved in together. We guess you can imagine the outcome.

Münster itself is a beautiful town with many sights and a lot of history. Consequently, there is a lot to see, many old churches, old buildings, the castle, but also nature like the famous lake called Aasee. Münster is especially nice during winter time because of the christmas market. The christmas market in Münster is very big and spread all over the city center. We definitely recommend visiting Münster and experience the city mainly consisting of bikes and bicyclists on your own.

Tips & Tricks for Münster

Food/Restaurants:

Places which are very cheap and where we usually went to eat are Papa George and Peperoni in Münster. These restaurants are outside the old town and therefore very very cheap. Moreover, the food at both places is delicious. Papa George is a Greek restaurant whereas Peperoni serves vegetarian and very healthy food. We recommend both and you can choose whether you prefer to eat healthy or hearty. Luckily, both restaurants are located in the same street called Wollbeckerstraße. Only a few houses separate those two tasty restaurants. This is also a very popular street for students to eat in general, since there are many restaurants and cafes which offer cheap meals. So, maybe you will find another restaurant that you will like! If you do, tell us all about it and your experience in Münster! 😉

Transportation:

Never use the bus or a car. Münster is a town where the bike is the major means of transport. All streets are bike friendly. Therefore, it is very easy to get very quickly to your destination. If you don’t have your own bike, don’t worry, there are multiple places where you can rent a bike.

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City Tours:

You don’t need to pay for a city tour in Münster. Why? You can create your own free tour by using the promenade as an orientation point. The promenade leads you all around the city center and will show a sign whenever there is something worth seeing. The signs will lead you to the castle, the dome, various churches, the Aasee and so on. It will only take you a few hours and you will get to see everything! Moreover, walking the promenade is another thing you should do in Münster. It’s a really enjoyable and pretty footbpath covered in trees. However, you can also rent a bike (which is possible on literally every corner in Münster, since it is the city of bikes) and ride your bike on the promenade. This will take you less time and wil give you the extra experience of having ridden a bike in Münster, which is actually a must as well. 😉

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General Tips:

  • Be sure to stick to the German bicycle laws. We are not kidding. We’ve seen and experienced it ourselves plenty of times that us or someone else got pulled over by the police because of violating the bicycle rules. The city of Münster takes this issue quite seriously.
  • Münster is much nicer in summer. So if you can, take a trip in summer or at least in spring. Fall and winter are pretty ugly.
  • One weekend in Münster is definitely enough to see everything. You can even do it in one day because as we said earlier, it only takes a few hours to walk the promenade and discover all worth seeing sights.
  • Watch out for all the cyclists. They are everywhere and if you’re not careful you’ll probably bump into one and get yourself hurt.

If you have any recommendations or more tips, please let us know! 🙂

He Said

Münster, Germany is a rather large city located in the German state of North Rhine-Westfalia and it is also the city that I first moved to during my second/final stay in Germany. At the time I moved to Münster, she was starting her Master’s program. Aside from being together, the goal was for me to find a job, while she was doing her studies. Before finding a job that required us to move, we also had some time to really experience Münster like a local. When I think of Münster, the first thing that comes to mind is the promenade, which is an approximately 4-5 kilometer, tree-lined path encompassing the heart of this historic city. A walk along the Münster promenade is accompanied by a plethora of joggers, bikers, and people walking their dogs. Despite directly surrounding the main hustle and bustle of the city, the promenade is a pleasantly quiet path with room for everyone. This is also truly a sight to see on a crisp autumn day with beautiful, colorful falling leaves.

Next to the Münster Promenade in late Autumn
Next to the Münster promenade in late Autumn

Moving into the city, one sees the typical expectations of German cities i.e. stone streets, modern shopping centers integrated into the historic old town and, of course, catholic churches; of which there is no shortage in Münster. Although I have already seen many German cities and one can often expect much of the same, it would be false to say that each city does not have its own special charm. This certainly does not exclude Münster. In addition to the promenade and the extensive Münster old town, one can also spend time at the Aasee Lake or the harbor, which offers an extensive nightlife for those in or reliving their younger years. It is also noteworthy to mention that Münster, Germany was named the most livable city in the world in 2004 and it is consistently in the running for the European Green Capital award.

During my stay here, I also had the privilege of taking part in the spirit of Christmas, by visiting the Münster Christmas markets. If you’re unfamiliar with Christmas markets, I will try to give a brief explanation: the name itself is pretty self-explanatory, but Christmas markets are usually designated to town squares and pedestrian zones and are full of decorated wooden stands, where vendors sell Christmas presents, specialty foods and hot wine. These last throughout the month of December and are the ideal place to go to eat, drink and be merry. Münster does not only have one Christmas market, but rather they have multiple markets spread throughout the city and we made it a point to visit them all. Hidden in one of these markets is also where we found, and tried for the first time, hot beer. As a beer lover, it just sounds wrong to not drink beer at an optimally cold temperature, but I was too intrigued not to try it. It is safe to say I was not disappointed. Considering the cold weather, a hot beer was just the thing to warm me up.

Münster Old Town at Night during Christmas Season
Main street in the Münster old town at night during the Christmas season

Shortly after the Christmas season is when we moved from Münster to be closer to my new job. Sadly, that means we did not get to experience Münster during the other seasons of the year. Regardless, it is still a destination worth recommending. If you’re just passing through, you should not need more than a day or two to see the sights, but if you’re thinking of a more long term stay, then you would find yourself well in Münster. Read more from someone who spent even more time there than I and find out what she said about Münster.

She Said

There is a lot more to Münster than just the city itself. There is an entire story around this part of our lives. I recommend reading through our “About” page in order to understand the full story. However, after finishing our trips to Washington D.C., Florida, Kansas and Colorado, he decided to leave the U.S. so that we could live together in Münster. The plan was to find a full-time job for him while I was starting my Master’s program in Münster. This plan took a long time to finally work out and involved moving to a different city called “Trier” and a complicated university change on my side.

Apart from this part of the story, we had a lot of free time to explore Münster and its nice places since he wasn’t working yet and I was studying on only 3 days a week. Together we lived in Münster for about 2 months in total. Moreover, it was the first time that we lived together. Therefore, it was more like a test for our relationship, but I always knew it would work out just fine (because I’m the best girlfriend). It was also during winter which means that I can mostly tell you about Münster’s awesome Christmas markets and the non-existing snow .

Aasee in Münster Germany during fall
Aasee Münster

So let’s start with some positive things. Münster is a small but really nice town in the north of Germany. There is a lot to see since the town is pretty old (like everything in Germany). Many places in Münster have a cathedral, a dome or some kind of church, which makes them look majestic. The pretty and trees covered promenade takes you all around the city center and leads you to the important places with signs guiding the way. Therefore, I suggest to walk the 4km promenade (I know that’s really long) in order to see everything. It will take you to Münster’s center (if you want to) with all the nice places, to the castle (which is also part of the university) outside the immediate center and to the famous Aasee (that’s a lake right next to the center). As you can see, there is a lot to see in Münster. So, you might need an entire day to visit all these places. But it’s definitely worth it, especially during winter time because of Münster’s Christmas markets.

Church and market place in Münster Germany
Lambertichurch in Münster

Münster offers a big Christmas market that has its stands on every single market place. The ones that are right in the city center are more expensive than the ones that can be found on the edge. For example, Glühwein (very famous German hot wine) is about 1 Euro cheaper at these stands. The only negative thing about Münster’s Christmas market is that on the weekends and in the evenings there are so many people that you sometimes can’t even get passed them. So make sure to arrive early in order to experience a non-crowded Christmas market. And it usually doesn’t snow in Münster.

Christmas markets in Münster Germany
Christmas markets Münster

The reason for the missing snow is that Münster is located on really flat land that is not high above sea level. Therefore, it usually doesn’t stay cold enough. But snow in cities isn’t nice anyway (it becomes dirty and grey and turns into water too quickly). Another negative thing about Münster is the university. This is just a personal opinion, so don’t judge me. I don’t like the fact that there is no campus. Every single field of study is in a different building somewhere in the city of Münster. Therefore, you mostly get to know the people from your department which is kind of boring. However, the teachers were really nice and the University of Münster gives you all the freedom you need.

Another thing that I like and don’t like about Münster is the amount of bicyclists which is ridiculous. I’m pretty sure there are more bicyclists than cars in this town. It’s a good thing because of the environment but it’s dangerous too, especially because some idiots just don’t know how to ride their bikes properly. I hated riding my bike in Münster because it just meant chaos every day.

However, for insider tips regarding food etc. look at our “Tips and Tricks for Münster” section. There is a lot to tell due to the amount of time we spent there! So don’t miss out on them. This was just a small summary. But all in all, if you consider visiting Münster, a day might be enough, but a booking a weekend might be better. It’s definitely worth your time.

Dome or Cathedral in Münster Germany
Cathedral/Dome in Münster

Münster Facts and History

The most important fact about Münster is that in 2004, it was the most livable town in the world. This tells us how particularly nice Münster is, in every respect. Münster was founded in the 6th century showing how old the city actually is. Therefore, history is omnipresent. Moreover, Münster is located in the very north of North Rhine-Westfalia meaning that it is also located in the north of Germany. This further indicates the flatness of the landscape. You will have a hard time finding any hills or mountains which also makes it difficult to find any overlooks. However, the promenade and the lake Aasee offer an escape from the city life.

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He Said or She Said