How to travel fast and easy in Munich

  Munich – a city in which I find myself almost every month (or every other month) and where it is still complicated getting around at times, especially if I get out of my comfort zone.  And that is why I thought about lending a hand to all those in need and write this article.

 

1. Getting from the airport to the city center

    This one should be easy you say? Just recently I have arrived at a different terminal than the one I was used with and I walked around in circles for almost 20 min until finding the way to the S-Bahn. But then again, maybe I am clumsy than most since there are only 2 terminals. T1 where flights such as Airberlin, Tarom, Iberia, easyJet and so on land and T2 which is the Lufthansa terminal (but also other companies such as Emirates, Etihad, KLM just to name a few land here).

   Getting out of the airport is easy, just follow the green signs showing you the way to the S-Bahn (German abbreviation for Stadtschnellbahn – meaning urban rapid rail). I would recommend buying a ticket from within the terminal since the ticket machines in the train stop are usually very crowded with people who are not familiar with the process and this might lead to high waiting times.

    And what kind of ticket do you need? There are 2 versions of doing it:

  • From the ticket machine select the point of departure (Munich Flughafen) and the stop where  you are heading to (Munich Hauptbahnhof – main train station – for example) – you will receive a single ticket at the cost of 10.8 EUR, which you will have to validate at the machine before getting on the train. The ticket is valid for S-Bahn and U-Bahn up to your destination of choice.
  • The stripe ticket – it is a blue long ticket, with 10 stripes. You should validate 2 stripes for each zone you are planning to cross in your trip. Munich has 4 zones and since the Airport is in the red outer zone, you would need to stamp 8 stripes. You are allowed to change and interrupt your journey and it is also valid at the U-Bahn. Return and round trips, however, are not permitted and the cost of a stripe ticket is 10.8 EUR.

 

munich-zones
Source: mvv-muenchen.de

 

The white zone represents the Inner District. Adding the green zone to that, you will have Munich XXL. The green, yellow and red zones make up the Outer District. Finally, all the zones make out the Entire Network.

munich-areas
Source: mvv-muenchen.de

 

What train to take? The S1 and S8 S-Bahn lines connect the airport with the center of Munich, with departures every 10 minutes. Check the map and choose the most convenient train depending on the side of the city you are heading to.

munich-airport
Source: mvv-muenchen.de

 

Please note that when getting back to the airport, if choosing the S1 train, the passengers heading to the airport must sit on the rear side of the train. Why you ask? Well, simply because the train splits at Neufahrn Bahnhof, the rear side heading to the airport, while the front side heads to Freising. You wouldn’t want to lose yourself just before leaving.

2. Moving around in Munich

The cheapest and easiest version is buying a single or group multiday ticket, depending on the number of days you are planning to spend in Munich. You can easily do that at the ticket machines. The costs for a single day ticket for the Inner City (the white zone) is 6.6 EUR, a 3-days pass is 16.5 EUR and a weekly single ticket is 18.2 EUR for 3 rings.

You just need to buy it once, validate it before getting in the U-Bahn and have it with you in case someone will control you during one of your trips. It is good to know that the ticket is valid for all means of transportation within the selected area (S-Bahn, U-Bahn, tram or bus).

Where do you find validation machines? 

  • on the U-Bahn and S-Bahn platform and at the entrance of the platform
  • inside the tram
  • inside the bus

3. Moving around in the outskirts of Munich

Do you want to take a day trip to Dachau or one of the lakes around Munich but you only have a ticket (day ticket or week ticket) for 2 or 3 zones? Simple. You will only have to buy a single ticket for 1 or 2 additional zones (depending on where you are heading to).

4. City Tour Card 

Like every touristic city, Munich has its own City Tour card, which permits you to link public transportation to entrance fees, helping you save money. This ticket for discoverers is available as a day ticket for the Inner District or as a 3-day-ticket and as a 4-day-ticket for the Inner District or the Entire Network. The CityTourCard includes discounts for more than 70 tourist attractions from theatres to museums, sights to sightseeing trips. The CityTourCard is available as a Single or Group Ticket (for a group of up to 5 adults or 10 children between 6 and 14 years of age). You can buy the ticket from ticket machines, at customer centres and the points of sale.

Cost: Single Day ticket for Inner District (white zone) – 11.9 EUR

           Single 3-Day ticket Inner District (white zone) – 19.9 EUR

           Single 3-Day ticket entire network – 34.9 EUR

For more prices and options you can chek out the MVV site here.

map_mvv

oatmeal cookies

Author: IngridZenMoments

I am Ingrid, a 29 year old woman (even if it still feels funny to say this, I am a child at heart) living in Bucharest, Romania who is trying to blend in travelling (whenever and wherever possible), reading and yoga into the boring corporate life of a financial controller.

20 thoughts

  1. Thanks for all the public transport tips. I will bookmark this post for our return visit. A couple of years ago we had a white Christmas in Munich and that, and the Christmas markets, made for a wonderful and memorable experience.
    It is such a great city to walk around too – so much to see in a small space. Thanks, Mel

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is very valuable for anyone who goes to Munich. I’ve been there once many years ago but I think I managed may way pretty well because I just had to get to the city. However, if I’ll go to Munich again, I’ll definitely reread this post to save time and just to know how it works.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for such a useful guide. Most of the city guides are very generic and contain the obvious information. But you have given such intricate details that only a genuinely experienced traveller can provide.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I wish you wrote it before I went there in 2012 it was just crazy stuff happened. I travel there for 3 days always with the same metro ticket, I didn’t found where to valid it. Also didn’t know about the day, or 3 days tickets, would save money with that! Next time will follow your tips for sure, i loved the city and want to go back 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. For someone living in the Southeast, this place is quite unfamiliar. Thanks to your entry I got a short but concise guide on how to maneuver around Munich should time permit and allow me to visit such place. This is a must-considered guide indeed! 😀 😀 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sure, you just need to pay attention because there are 2 types of machines and some of them don’t accept all kinds of cards. I also prefer paying by card and I have used Visa or Master Card in the past and it worked.

      Like

  6. I am going to Munich next month. Your information id definitely worthful. Have you used Regional day tickets for traveling outside Munich for Day trips ?

    I really want to know your take on City Card, is it worth ?

    Like

    1. Hi there, yes I have used the Bayern ticket for trips to Nuremberg and it is really worth it, especially if you are travelling in a group and the price gets split. Honestly I have never bought the City Card but I guess it depends on what it is you are planning to do while staying in Munich, if you are planning to visit many museums per day I think it is worth it buying the card. Hope this helps and enjoy Munich in Spring!

      Like

  7. What wonderful tips for getting around and to Munich. When we went we arrived by bus to the central station so it was quite easy to find our way. We also had a friend who lived there that was kind enough to guide us around. I think the hardest part was figuring out how to buy our 3 day passes! Your guide is great, and very easy to understand.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is very useful. Sometimes, even when it appears easy to others, I find myself looking for some guidance to pick the right route. Particularly when I am in a new location. I am sure if I were to land at that new airport terminal I would be in a similar situation like yours 🙂

    Like

  9. This is such a detailed and valuable guide for travelers to and in Munich. You have well mentioned all the small details also from where to buy tickets and what to buy if you are for longer vacation. I will really need this once i am travelling to Munich. Thanks for writing and sharing this awesome post.

    Like

  10. Super useful post. Loved that you went to every detail, even posting the local transport maps. Never been to Munich, but I’m definitely going to bookmark all this information and tips. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  11. Oh what a very useful and detailed post, Ingrid! I should’ve read this before I went to Munich the first time. 🙂 I was looking for an article like this, but thought against it later and just decided to learn from experience. The maps are quite helpful! Can I include your post in my website? I write about my exchange program in Germany as well as travel tips in the country.

    Like

  12. It’s great to hear that the City Tour Card includes discounts for over 70 attractions. I am always happy to buy such a card when I visit a city and not to worry about paying additional for public transport. The way the airport tickets work is also very interesting, I probably wouldn’t have known how many stripes I need to stamp in order to get into town.

    Like

  13. Thank you for this detailed post. I did a read a lot about public transport system and its tickets when I was planning a trip to Berlin recently. I heard a lot about the great connectivity of public transport in Germany.

    Like

  14. Thank you for this detailed post. I did read a lot about public transport system and its tickets when I was planning a trip to Berlin recently. I heard a lot about the great connectivity of public transport in Germany.

    Like

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