Relocating to Munich from San Francisco; looking for advice

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I am relocating to Munich on October 2 from San Francisco with my family (wife and 2 kids - son 10 yrs, daughter 7 yrs). Needless to say, I am jittery :D. I would like to know what kind of weather to expect in the first few months of landing. I know that these are probably going to be the coldest months with temperatures going as low as 14, but I would appreciate more details based on experiences. Should I expect Chicago style cold winds or SF's cold wet weather? Would you recommend that I buy jackets and warm clothes for the family here in the US, or should I just buy them in Munich.

 

And any pointers to what kind of winter clothing, brands, etc. whether here or in Munich, would be greatly appreciated.

Will I need to buy snow boots for the kids - how much snow can I expect in October, November - the first few months when I would still be exploring the city and not yet know where all the stores are?

 

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

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Thanks Jeba.

 

Interestingly the link shows that January too is hardly -2 C. Not too bad, I was told it can go down to -10 C.

What kind of cold is it in Oct- Feb? Snow with sunshine, or cold wet European winters?

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It can go even much lower than -10 C. The values given there are only averages. I used to live in Northern Bavaria and I can remember temperatures of -23 C. But that was before climate change became obvious. Sorry, can´t help with specifics about Munich as I ever only paid short visits there.

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1 hour ago, GoldenLizard said:

I am relocating to Munich on October 2 from San Francisco with my family (wife and 2 kids - son 10 yrs, daughter 7 yrs). Needless to say, I am jittery :D. I would like to know what kind of weather to expect in the first few months of landing. I know that these are probably going to be the coldest months with temperatures going as low as 14, but I would appreciate more details based on experiences. Should I expect Chicago style cold winds or SF's cold wet weather? Would you recommend that I buy jackets and warm clothes for the family here in the US, or should I just buy them in Munich.

 

And any pointers to what kind of winter clothing, brands, etc. whether here or in Munich, would be greatly appreciated.

Will I need to buy snow boots for the kids - how much snow can I expect in October, November - the first few months when I would still be exploring the city and not yet know where all the stores are?

 

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

 

It doesn't really snow in October and even in November is not likely nowadays. It can rain a lot and the temperatures are also uncertain; in October you can go from temperatures of a couple degrees under zero in the early morning to 20° or more during the days sometimes.Days will be getting shorter fast. Overall, if the sun is shining September and October are still great months to explore the city and the lakes and mountain trails nearby. November as well for that matter. The Winter is ski season, if you're into it or your children would like to take part in Skiing or Snowboarding courses. Temperatures below -10°C are rare nowadays in Munich. Temperatures approaching -20 are very rare. An average of 0 to -2 in January sounds about right.

 

If transportation to Germany is not a problem, I'd buy all  winter clothing  in the US - it's significantly cheaper . The children (and you) will defnitely need and want proper winter clothing and shoes during the winter months.

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19 minutes ago, mtbiking said:

I'd buy all  winter clothing  in the US - it's significantly cheaper

Even after factoring in the excess baggage charges? When I was visiting my sister in Pennsylvania last year I wasn´t under the impression that cost of clothing was cheaper. But YMMV, of course.

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If you're used to wearing sandals a lot and your feet are comfortable year-round, be prepared for your feet to be stared at when you wear your sandals past September and before May. And be prepared to buy slippers for your kids to wear at school. 

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48 minutes ago, jeba said:

Even after factoring in the excess baggage charges? When I was visiting my sister in Pennsylvania last year I wasn´t under the impression that cost of clothing was cheaper. But YMMV, of course.

 

Jeba, when a family father relocates from SF to Munich with his family it's usually because of his job (and/or to take over an even better job) and the company pays for the move.

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2 hours ago, GoldenLizard said:

I would like to know what kind of weather to expect in the first few months of landing. I know that these are probably going to be the coldest months with temperatures going as low as 14, but I would appreciate more details based on experiences. Should I expect Chicago style cold winds or SF's cold wet weather?

 

Depends a lot. In October you can either have temperatures around 5C or 20C. Winter here is not wet nor windy, IMO it is quite easy to handle, coming from a seaside area.

What you need are proper clothing. And that does not mean 5 layers of super hot clothes! I usually stick with the 3 layer system.

https://www.wiseworksafe.com/blog/view/the-garment-layering-system-3-layer-principle

 

Remember that working places and homes are always above 20C even in winter, so you need to be able to strip down to a single or 2 layer easily. Actually, I use shirts all year long, a warm layer above it and then a protective layer. I only change it when I do winter outdoor activities. Be careful that the down jackets are extremely hot for Munich, I only use them if I plan in staying outdoor doing nothing, i.e. nothing intensive.

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1 hour ago, mtbiking said:

I'd buy all  winter clothing  in the US - it's significantly cheaper . The children (and you) will defnitely need and want proper winter clothing and shoes during the winter months.

It’s cheaper and there’s a great deal more variety of quality outdoor clothing, especially coming from SF.  And it eliminates having to get over here and immediately figure out where to go.   

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Actually, you can go in one or two big departments stores in Munich and outfit the whole family. Sort of buy as you see needed. You must have some warm clothes, sweaters, jackets already.

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Given that it snowed on the only time I got to visit San Francisco/San Jose (snow in the palm trees bizarre) I am almost tempted to say it is not too much different here in Munich.

On the other hand it has snowed here on the Oktoberfest, generally though we don't usually get any snow till November and typically Christmas is sunny and mild and as others have mentioned it can get very cold in Jan. and Feb. with considerable snow (a dry cold with usually little wind so warm in the sun), beyond that the weather tends to be changeable but June can be very wet. The last two winters have been very mild and last year for the first time since I have lived here (a long time) there was no lying snow in the city at all but the potential for a cold winter is still there. Important is warm, waterproof shoes with really grippy soles, if it is cold and snows the pavements (side walks) may just be ploughed and gritted leaving a layer of snow/ice and can be very slippery. Same is also true for the streets and if you drive in snow you are legally required to use winter tyres.

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6 hours ago, keith2011 said:

...and typically Christmas is sunny and mild and as others have mentioned it can get very cold in Jan. and Feb. with considerable snow ...

 

I remember when we spent a year in Munich (Ottobrunn) 1966/67 that we went to bed Christmas Eve with everything green and woke up next day to find almost a metre of snow!

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12 hours ago, mtbiking said:

if the sun is shining September and October are still great months to explore the city and the lakes and mountain trails nearby. November as well for that matter. The Winter is ski season, if you're into it or your children would like to take part in Skiing or Snowboarding courses. Temperatures below -10°C are rare nowadays in Munich. Temperatures approaching -20 are very rare. An average of 0 to -2 in January sounds about right

 

Thank you for the temperature ranges. This doesn't seem so cold. I guess skiing is an option for next winter; next few months we just want to settle in to the new country, language, culture etc. I see from some other comments that it would be rainy as well, so I guess waterproof jackets, shoes and raincoats (for kids to go to school) might be needed

 

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12 hours ago, katheliz said:

If you're used to wearing sandals a lot and your feet are comfortable year-round, be prepared for your feet to be stared at when you wear your sandals past September and before May. And be prepared to buy slippers for your kids to wear at school. 

 

Haha, I get what you mean. Yes, I have visited Germany (not Munich) many times outside the summer season and didn't see too many people wearing sandals. Surely something to get used to after living in the Bay Area. But I didnt really understand what you meant by kids having to wear slippers to school.

 

12 hours ago, mtbiking said:

if the sun is shining September and October are still great months to explore the city and the lakes and mountain trails nearby. November as well for that matter. The Winter is ski season, if you're into it or your children would like to take part in Skiing or Snowboarding courses. Temperatures below -10°C are rare nowadays in Munich. Temperatures approaching -20 are very rare. An average of 0 to -2 in January sounds about right

 

Thank you for the temperature ranges. This doesn't seem so cold. I guess skiing is an option for next winter; next few months we just want to settle in to the new country, language, culture etc. I see from some other comments that it would be rainy as well, so I guess waterproof jackets, shoes and raincoats (for kids to go to school) might be needed

 

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11 hours ago, MikeMelga said:

What you need are proper clothing. And that does not mean 5 layers of super hot clothes! I usually stick with the 3 layer system.

https://www.wiseworksafe.com/blog/view/the-garment-layering-system-3-layer-principle

 

Remember that working places and homes are always above 20C even in winter, so you need to be able to strip down to a single or 2 layer easily.

Very good advice. I am going through the blog now. I guess the schools too are warm like the working places and homes.

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8 hours ago, keith2011 said:

Important is warm, waterproof shoes with really grippy soles, if it is cold and snows the pavements (side walks) may just be ploughed and gritted leaving a layer of snow/ice and can be very slippery. Same is also true for the streets and if you drive in snow you are legally required to use winter tyres.

Oh wow, not having lived in a place where it snows, I didnt think of it. Any footwear brands you can suggest that have grippy soles? Especially for kids. I heard that unlike the US, kids walk to school and are not dropped by car.

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11 hours ago, mtbiking said:

 

Jeba, when a family father relocates from SF to Munich with his family it's usually because of his job (and/or to take over an even better job) and the company pays for the move.

You are right; I should have mentioned that in my original post. My company is bearing the costs for relocating items, but it will take 6 to 8 weeks to arrive in Munich and that means I would be well into November by the time stuff arrives. So we need to be able to carry in our suitcases (that come through the flights) at least clothing that carries us through October and November.

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22 minutes ago, GoldenLizard said:

Oh wow, not having lived in a place where it snows, I didnt think of it. Any footwear brands you can suggest that have grippy soles? Especially for kids. I heard that unlike the US, kids walk to school and are not dropped by car.

They drop the kids by helicopter, GoldenLizard!

Advanced country this Germany place!😂

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Basically, GoldenLizard, in general , streets are safe for kids, they have pavements/ sidewalks everywhere and schools are not the other side of town.

And if the kids have to take public transport- it is all there.

Germany has wonderful infrastructure. And the public health insurance for you and your family will blow your mind out. It is first class.

I sincerely hope you will enjoy your time there.

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