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Munich - How to Shop

The idea of a supermarket hasn't really taken off in Munich. Although there are a few (very few!) large premises selling all types of groceries, most people buy meat from the butcher, bread from the baker, fruit and vegetables from a greengrocer or the local market, and cleaning products from a drug store.

Shopping in Munich is quite a different experience if you are used to frequenting large shopping malls that open seven days a week. There are few shopping malls in Munich, and few large supermarkets. Smaller, specialty shops are more common for both food and other goods. The exception to this rule is two large department store chains, Kaufhof and Karstadt, which are scattered throughout the inner city and suburbs.

Shopping hours are generally 9am to 8pm Monday to Saturday, and only shops at train stations and petrol stations are allowed to do business on Sundays. There is no such thing as a 7-11 or other convenience stores except at petrol stations and the larger train stations.

Most shopkeepers prefer you to pay in cash. Some shops accept the EC debit card. Very few accept credit cards. If a shop does accept payment by card, they frequently demand to see some additional form of photo ID.

All stores, except grocery stores, freely dole out plastic bags with their logo on them, so when you go food shopping you must take your own carry bags with you. If you need additional carry bags you must pay for them at the check-out.

Don't think that other shoppers are deliberately being rude if they push in front of you while browsing, or reach out and pick up an item that is only inches away from your slower-moving hand. This is just the way they are! On the plus side, many people will let you jump ahead in the supermarket queue if you have fewer items than they do.

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