Getting into the city
Franz Joseph Strauss International airport or Flughafen Munchen (MUC) is located 38 kilometres Northeast of Marienplatz (Munich City Centre). This airport is operational since 1992 and has 2 terminals. Over 80 passenger airlines operate to this airport. This place is a hub of Lufthansa, Lufthansa City Line, Air Dolomiti and Condor Flugdienst. There are multiple options to get into the city from the airport.
S-Bahn: The urban train service (commuter train) S-Bahn is one of the best options to reach Marienplatz. The S-Bahn train station is located between terminal 1 and 2 at the basement level. Follow the white ‘S’ signage in green circles after getting out of arrival hall. Two lines S1 and S8 continuously operate from 4:04am to 1:44am alternatively at an interval of 10 minutes. S1 line goes via Munich West while S8 line connects Marienplatz via Munich East.
Both the lines also connect Munich Central Station (Hauptbahnhof). Journey time is roughly 35 minutes. A single journey ticket costs 11.20 Euros by any line. You can purchase your ticket either from the manned ticket counter at the station or from the ticket vending machines.
Bus: Lufthansa Express Bus is another option to reach Munich City Centre. The bus leaves from outside the Munich Airport Centre (MAC). The bus stop is only a few minutes’ walk from Terminal 1 and 2. This nonstop bus journey takes around 40 minutes to the city centre and the fare is 10.50 Euros per adult, if booked online. Ticket can also be purchased from the service centre at level 3 of Munich Airport Centre or from the bus driver… fare is 11 Euros. There is a bus every 15 minutes. The first bus leaves MAC at 6:36am and the last one departs at 10:36pm.
Taxi: There is a Taxi Rank outside the airport building. Taxi takes around 45 to 50 minutes and the fare is around 55 to 60 Euros. Alternatively, you can travel to New Munich Exhibition Centre on a flat rate of 63 Euros. Taxis are available 24X7. Apart from taxis, there are options for renting a car… see details under Car Rental section below.
You can choose from a wide range of private transport and transfer services (including airport transfers) and book online from this Viator site.
U-Bahn is the underground metro railway system in Munich. You can reach virtually every part of the city by U-Bahn trains and the overground rapid transit system S-Bahn complements this service. Look for a white ‘U’ sign on a blue background to locate your nearest U-Bahn station. U-Bahn has 8 lines and covers a railway network of 103.1 kilometres connecting 100 stations.
Operation hours on weekdays is from 4:15am until 1:30am (it may vary slightly for some lines) and on weekends from 4:00am to 2:00am (for detail time table visit MVV website). Parts of U5 and U6 lines come overground for certain distances. All U-Bahn trains pass through the city centre area. Service frequency of U-Bahn is around 5 minutes during peak hours. The underground architectures of Munich U-Bahn stations are great attractions by themselves, for this reason, subway stations are also known as ‘Subterranean Museum’.
S-Bahn is the overground rapid transit system (Commuter trains) or the urban railway system of Munich. Hauptbahnhof or Central Station is the main railway station in Munich. This station connects Munich with other German destinations as well as international destinations like Amsterdam, Venice, Salzburg, Milan etc. There are 9 S-Bahn lines out of which two lines S1 and S8 connect the airport with the city centre.
S-Bahn service is open from early in the morning till post-midnight during weekdays and 24 hours on weekends. Service frequency is usually 20 minutes but in some areas, you will get a train every 10 minutes during peak hours. S-Bahn connects 150 stations in and around Munich. S-Bahn network has 442 kilometres of track and its average running speed is 50 kilometres per hour. Look for a white ‘S’ signage on a green background to locate an S-Bahn train station.
Bus network in Munich is vast and it extends to over 460 kilometres. Apart from covering inner city it also connects suburbs with the city centre. Within the city area, these buses help connect with U-Bahn, S-Bahn and tram stations. Apart from regular services, there are night lines as well that connect the city centre. Look for capital ‘H’ signs to spot a bus stop or a tram station.
Metro buses are available every 10 minutes during peak hours and every 20 minutes during off-peak. You will find dedicated bus lanes and priority signalling within the city. Most bus lines within the city enjoy priority signals and there are more than 60% signals out of 784 traffic lights that have priority signalling systems for buses. Wheelchair accessible buses ply both day and night.
Trambahn network in Munich complements other modes of transport such as bus, U-Bahn and S-Bahn. Tram network spans more than 80 kilometres and has 148 stops. Service is available from early morning till post-midnight. There are also night lines connecting the city centre. Service frequency is 10 minutes during peak hours.
There are designated taxi ranks at all important points. These taxi ranks are also marked on the city’s tourist map. The base fare of a metered taxi is 3.70 Euros, thereafter the rate per kilometre is 1.90 Euros for up to 5 kilometres, from 5 to 10 kilometres the rate per kilometre is 1.70 Euros and over 10 kilometres 1.60 Euros. 28 Euros per hour is the waiting charge. Calling taxi over the phone will incur an additional charge of 1.20 Euros. Luggage in the boot is 0.60 Euros per piece. Following are a few taxi calling numbers…
- Taxi-Munchen eG- +49 8919 410, +49 8921 610
- IsarFunk- +49 8945 0540
Tickets and Passes
Munich’s integrated public transport is controlled by MVV and they offer one ticket for multiple modes of transport. You can ride S-Bahn, U-Bahn (subway/metro), Tram and Bus with one ticket within the validity period and zone.
Single Ticket is valid for a single trip; break journey and switching transports are permitted (within the validity period) but a round trip or return journey is not permitted. You can purchase a Short Trip Single Ticket (1.50 Euros), Single Tickets for 1 zone (2.90 Euros), 2 zones (5.80 Euros), 3 zones (8.70 Euros) or 4 zones (11.60 Euros). It can be purchased from ticket vending machines. Short Trip Tickets are valid for 1 hour while a Single Zone Ticket is valid for 3 hours, and more than 1 zone tickets are valid for 4 hours. Ticket validation is not required if you purchase tickets from ticket machines on trams or buses, otherwise, you need to validate them before your journey.
Stripe Ticket is slightly economical than a single ticket. It is available in 10 stripes pack and every stripe is as good as one single short trip ticket. For a short trip validate one stripe. For a single zone for one person you need to validate two stripe tickets and travel within Munich. Stripe Ticket costs 14 Euros (so a stripe costs 1.40 Euros) and can be purchased from ticket vending machines. Validity period is the same as Single ticket. You need to validate your ticket. Remember unused stripes do not expire.
A Single Day Ticket is very useful for tourists. For a single day, you can take unlimited rides on MVV transports within the stipulated zones. This ticket is valid for a person over 15 years age (for children there is a children day ticket for the age group between 6 to 14 years at 3.20 Euros). Single Day Ticket is valid for the inner district, outer district and for the entire transport network of Munich while a 3 days ticket is valid for the inner district of Munich only.
The ticket validity period is activated from the first validation until 6:00am next day. Inner district Single Day Ticket costs 6.70 Euros, an outer district day ticket is 6.70 Euros, a day ticket for Munich XXL is 8.90 Euros and for the entire network, it is 13 Euros. A 3 days ticket is 16.80 Euros. Tickets can be purchased online or from ticket vending machines. To know more about the different zones visit This Page.
*Note that all the above-mentioned tickets can be purchased through MVV mobile app as well.
City TourCard is a good tool for a tourist visiting Munich. It offers unlimited rides by MVV transports either for the inner district (Munich city area) or for the entire network of Munich public transport. Additionally, you can enjoy discounts at more than 80 tourist attractions. The validity of City TourCard varies from 1 to 6 days. Following are the prices… City TourCard for the inner district- 24hours is 12.90 Euros, 48hours is 18.90 Euros, 72hours is 24.90 Euros, 4day card is 26.90 Euros, 5day card costs 32.90 Euros and a 6day card is 38.90 Euros.
City TourCard for the entire network- 24hours is 22.90 Euros, 48hours is 33.90 Euros, 72hours is 44.90 Euros, 4day card is 46.90 Euros, 5day card costs 56.90 Euros and a 6day card is 66.90 Euros. Tickets can be purchased from ticket machines, ticket offices or online at The Easycitypass Website. There are also group City TourCards available for 5 persons (2 children between 6 to 14 years are considered as 1 adult).
A Munchen Card too is designed for tourists with loads of discounts and free rides by public transports. Like City TourCard it too has designated zones of travel but the discounts here are much higher. It offers up to 70% discounts at various attractions, shopping, dining and tours (with turbopass.com’s partners only). It is available for adults, children and a group of 5.
Following are the prices… For inner district (Munich city area)- 1day card is 9.90 Euros, 2day card is 15.90 Euros, 3day card costs 22.90 Euros, 4day card is 27.90 Euros and a 5day card costs 33.90 Euros. For the entire network- 1day card costs 15.90 Euros, 2day card is 26.90 Euros, 3day card is 39.90 Euros, 4day card costs 49.90 Euros and a 5day card is 54.90 Euros. Munchen card can be purchased from ticket machines at U-Bahn stations, MVG customer service centres at Marienplatz and Hauptbahnhof, and online at www.turbopass.com.
*Note that for both City TourCard and Munchen Card, validation is must although cards purchased online or through mobile app do not require validation.
Getting To Major Attractions
The starting point is considered Marienplatz for all the journeys below.
Munich Residenz can be reached within 2 minutes by U6 and U3 lines of U-Bahn. You will get a train every 5 minutes and you need to disembark at Munchen Odeonsplatz station.
Asamkirche can be reached easily by U6 and U3 lines of U-Bahn within a couple of minutes. Get down at Sendlinger Tor. Alternatively from Rindermarkt, Marienplatz, take a bus (line 62) and get off at St. Jacob Platz.
Englischer Garten requires one change, take a U3 U-Bahn train for Giselastrasse and from there take a line-54 bus for Hirschauer Strasse. Total journey time is around 8 minutes. You can also take a line-58 bus from Giselastrasse to Tivoli Strasse. In both cases, you need to walk for 200 to 300 metres at the end.
For Nymphenburg Palace take an S-Bahn train (S3) from platform 2 to reach Laim. It is a 10-minute ride but from there you need to walk for almost one and a half kilometres. Alternatively, you can take bus 151 from Laim for Hirschgartenallee, which will take another 4 minutes and then walk for around 800 metres.
BMW Museum can be easily accessed by U-Bahn train U3. Disembark at Olympiazentrum station. Journey time is around 12 minutes and from there it is a 4-minute walk (300 metres).
TierPark Hellabrunn or the Hellabrunn Zoo can be reached either by U-Bahn or by bus. But using U-Bahn here has a disadvantage… You need to walk for 1 kilometre at the end. Take a U3 train for Thalkirchen station and the journey time will be around 8 minutes, from there you need to walk. You can take a line-52 bus from Rindermarkt and travel straight to TierPark stop. It will take 20 minutes by bus. Walk for around 300 metres to reach at the gate of the zoo.
For Munich Olympic Park take line-21 Tram from Theatiner Strasse, Marienplatz and disembark at Olympia Park West. It is a 16minute ride.
Note that many attractions are located in and around Marienplatz within one to one and half kilometres distance, and are quite walkable.
Nuremberg– If you are a history buff you should visit Nuremberg which is full of Medieval and Gothic style architectures. Take a train from Munich Hauptbahnhof station (Platform number 22) for Nuremberg Central station. Journey time is around 1 hour 10 minutes. There are several trains that leave Hauptbahnhof daily for Nuremberg. Fare is around 20 Euros (without discounts). You can also choose a pre-booked guided day trip. The cost will be around 50 Euros per person and the total tour time is around 10 hours.
Bamberg– Bamberg is known as little Venice of Germany. Bamberg is also famous for its beer. It is approximately 1 hour 45 minutes journey by direct train from Hauptbahnhof. You will get a train every hour during peak time. There are also pre-booked tours available for Bamberg. The cost of the tour is around 150 Euros per person.
Neuschwanstein Castle– This is a top attraction and visiting this place is like entering the world of fairytale. Book the castle entry ticket online in advance. Take a train from Hauptbahnhof to Fussen; it will take around 2 hours. You need to then take bus number 78 from Fussen which will take 10 minutes to reach the nearest stop. From there you need to walk uphill to reach the castle. You should report to the castle’s ticket centre at least 90 minutes before your allotted time, otherwise, your time slot might be cancelled.
Salzburg– A day trip to Salzburg (in Austria) from Munich could be a great idea particularly if you are a music fanatic wanting to visit the hometown of Mozart. You will love this ‘Sound of Music’ town. It takes nearly 2 hours by train from Hauptbahnhof to Salzburg. There are trains almost every hour. Pre-booked tours are also available for this day trip. Both Germany and Austria are Schengen Countries, so the same Schengen Tourist Visa will work for both Munich and Salzburg.
Munich is a biker friendly city with several dedicated cycling routes. Over 17% of all traffics here constitute of bikers. Munich is known as the ‘Bicycle Capital of Germany’with over 1200 kilometres of biking tracks. You can choose to explore on your own (use MVV’s biking route planner) or even cycle on guided trails.
The best way to hire a bike in Munich is by downloading the ‘Call a Bike’ app on your smartphone. Deutsche Bahn Company’s bike rental scheme is known as ‘Call a Bike’. This is a dockless service. You can locate a bike with the help of the app and also get the lock opening code. Returning the bike is also simple… just lock the bike with a fixed object and inform Deutsche Bahn through the app, that’s it. The hiring rate is 8 Cents per minute and 15 Euros per day.
Following are a few other well-known bike rental companies…
- Radius Tours (www.radiustours.com/en/bike-rental/information-and-prices.html)
- Munich Bike Tours & Rentals (www.biketoursmunich.com/)
- MUC bike (www.mucbike.de/)
- Segway Munich (seg-to-rent.de/#regdl=kategorien)
Following are some interesting bike trails…
- Take the M-Water trail and find out Munich’s source of drinking water.
- Munich’s circular cycle route is an interesting one. Total route length is 170 kilometres and it can be split into 20 separate trails.
- The Isar Bike Trail is along the River Isar. You can see Isar merging into the Danube.
- Mangfall Bike trail connects Munich with Rosenheim. Enjoy the trail through an old industrial town.
One can drive in Munich with a valid home-country driving license for the first 6 months, age must be minimum of 18 years. There are however many rental companies that do not allow drivers below 21 years. You do not require an IDP in Germany. The lowest car rental rate starts from 17 to 18 Euros. Following are a few well-known car rental companies…
- Sixt Rent a Car (www.sixt.com/car-rental/germany/munich)
- Enterprise Rent-A-Car (www.enterprise.de/de/home.html)
- Europcar Munchen- (www.europcar.de/)
- AVIS Autovermietung Munchen (www.avis.de/rund-um-avis/mietwagen-stationen/europa/deutschland/münchen/)
There are numerous companies renting scooters/motorcycles in Munich. Be it a 50cc scooter or BMW or Harley Davidson, almost every model is available for hire. To ride a scooter/motorcycle you must be more than 16 years old and have a valid 2-wheeler license. The rental rate varies… you can hire a Vespa for 59 Euros per day or a BMW G650GS for 89 Euros per day. Following are a few rental companies…
- Vespa Munich (www.vespamunich.com)
- AdMo (www.rental-motorcycle.com/europe/germany/munich_rental.html)
- Bike Travel Service (www.bike-travel-service.de/)
- Allround car and bike hire (allroundrent.de/)
- Remember Einzelfahrkarten is a single ticket, Streifenkarte is strip ticket and Tageskarte is a day ticket.
- Do not forget to validate your ticket prior to your journey, failing which there can be hefty fines.
- Most public transports have low floors thus wheelchair accessible.
- Most buses and trams have ticketing machines on board. Keep enough coins to purchase tickets onboard.
- Bills (i.e. banknotes) will not work on ticketing machines placed on-board the trams, only coins are accepted.
- After purchasing tickets online, take a printout (A4 size) and keep it with you with a proper photo-id. Although validation is not required for online tickets, bus driver or an inspector might ask you to show the printout or voucher.
- Group tickets are economical. Go for group tickets if you are travelling in a group. Visit the MVV website for details.
- Munich’s transport system is barrier-free, but that does not mean you do not purchase a valid ticket or validate them. Remember ticket checkers in Munich do not wear uniforms.
- Keep an eye on the electronic display boards at the U-Bahn platforms to know whether your train is a normal one or a shorter one (during off-peak hours, trains often have only 2 compartments).