Münster town hall
© Presseamt Münster / MünsterView

Living in Münster

The following introduction will give you a first idea of life in Münster. If you want to find out more go to Münster's international web site or watch the university's videos.

With a population of 280,000 the city of Münster is situated halfway between Cologne and Bremen. Münster is characterized by its historic city center and a strong influence of academic life with almost 50,000 students.

Münster is multi-faceted. It is Germany's capital of bicycles, it is the city of the famous Westphalian Peace Treaty which ended the Thirty Years War, it is a green city in every respect and - Münster is authorised to call itself "The World's Most Liveable City" since it came first at the International Awards for Liveable Communities LivCom-Award in 2004.

Academic life in Münster

Münster is a city of science. The University of Münster (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, WWU) is one of Germany's largest universities with 38,000 students and 15,000 employees. Its University Hospital is outstanding and strongly dedicated to research. Renowned scientific institutions such as the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine and the Center for NanoTechnology (CeNTec) complement the scientific community in Münster. Naturally, these institutions have strong interactions as exemplified by several "Collaborative Research Centers, so-called SFBs", in which they all participate.

Münster's cultural life

Münster is buzzing with culture. It has everything you would expect from a city of its size: theaters, concerts, festivals, cinemas and museums. Perhaps outstanding are the Pablo Picasso Museum of Graphic Arts housing 800 prints by Picasso and the LWL State Museum of Art and Cultural History LWL State Museum of Art and Cultural History with its paintings by Macke, Liebermann and others.

"Münster's "Sculpture Projects" are a cultural magnet and a large variety of festivals and gigs speed up the pulse of the city with bands and performances.


Münster is full of bars, restaurants, "Kneipen" (pubs) and beer gardens. A variety of parks and Münster's Aasee lake area invite for walks and jogging. The lake is still famous for the black swan who fell in love with a swan-like pedal boat several years ago. The university offers around 100 different kinds of sports for everyone, from aikido and sailing to underwater rugby and yoga hsp-ms.uni-muenster.de


Münster is a city of bicycles. More than 100.000 citizens use their bikes every day. There are lanes and traffic lights for bicycles wherever you go. No wonder that Münster has been voted "Germany's most bicycle-friendly city". Biking is easy here since the landscape is flat. People love their bikes. Statistically, each "Münsteraner" owns almost two bikes.

The region

Münster is imbedded in romantic Münsterland, a countryside which is charaterized by a mixture of farmland, forests, rivers and 100 (!) castles, ample reason for excursions by bike (4,500 kilometers of cycling network), car, train or boat.

Some 60 kilometers to the south Dortmund and the busy Ruhr area (Ruhrgebiet) offer uncountable opportunities to spend one's spare time. The "Münsteraner" also likes to visit the Netherlands which are just a few kilometers to the west.

International Münster

Around 23.000 foreign citizens from over 160 nations live in Münster. The city tries a lot to make foreigners feel at home in Münster. Since more than 20 years the advisory board for foreigners represents the foreigners' interests in the city council. More information on international life in Münster can be obtained from www.muenster.de/en.


CiM-IMPRS will assist new PhD students in finding accomodation with information, translations, and (depending on availability) booking of dormitory rooms.


It is fairly easy to get to Münster. Münster has its own international airport (Flughafen Münster-Osnabrück, FMO) FMO which is connected with Münster by bus (busses S50, R51 or D50). Other suitable airports which are not far away are Dortmund, Düsseldorf and Köln (Cologne). ICE, IC and EC trains stop at Münster main station and the city is directly connected with the A1 motorway, one of Europe's main transit roads. Within Münster bus lines form a tight net that takes you everywhere.