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Transportation in Munich

Are you preparing to relocate to Munich? The green city by the River Isar will surprise you with its great quality of life. To make the most out of life in Munich, you need to take care of the practical issues, too. Our expat guide helps with info on leisure, healthcare, schools, and transportation.
Look out for the blue-and-white U sign to find the nearest station of the Munich underground!

First Stop: Munich Airport

Fortunately for expatriates, Munich is a well-connected transport hub in Southern Germany. If you come from outside Europe or overseas, you will arrive at Munich International Airport, about 30 km north of the center of town. With about 41 million annual passengers and direct flights to dozens of countries, it is Germany’s second busiest airport.

The only disadvantage is that there is no express connection to the city center. Unless you are extremely exhausted or in a terrible hurry, you should save the expensive taxi fare, though. The S1 or S8 suburban trains will bring you to the main train station in about 45 minutes. In September 2016, a  single ticket for the journey between the airport and city center cost 10.80 EUR — 10.40 EUR if you end up using a strip ticket of which you will have to validate 8 strips.

However, if you are planning on at least one more journey by bus, tram, subway or suburban train on the same day, a single day ticket is your best bet: for the entire public transport network in Munich, such a day ticket costs 12.40 EUR. If you are traveling with company, a single day group ticket costs 23.20 EUR and is valid for up to five people, with children under six riding for free and kids between 6 and 14 years of age counting as half a person.

Commuting and Exploring Germany by Train

The central train station (Hauptbahnhof) is located in the heart of town, serving as Munich’s main transport hub. Since it offers international connections to other European cities, especially in Southern and Eastern Europe, expats from Venice, Budapest, or Paris could arrive in Munich via overnight train if they prefer not to fly.

Every morning, lots of people commute to Munich from places such as Augsburg, Freising, or Landshut by train. If you are among them, ask at the ticket counter of the station for information on discount commuter passes. The homepage of the German railway company Deutsche Bahn has a journey planner and plenty of foreign-language info on cheap regional tickets and the German rail pass. However, further details concerning commuter travel are only available in German.

We have, however, gathered more in-depth information on Trains in Germany in our Extended Guide, so be sure to check this article out if you are planning on getting around Germany via train.

Munich’s Top Local Transportation Network

Public transportation in Munich includes buses, trams, underground lines, and suburban trains. If your home, your office, or your kids’ school is located near an underground (U-Bahn) station, you’re in luck. This is probably the most convenient form of local transport. Buses can get caught in traffic jams, and trams and suburban (S-Bahn) trains can be delayed by rough weather, especially in winter. However, it’s still a well-developed network, even though residents of the rural hinterland may rather rely on their car.

Public transportation runs from 04:00 until the early hours of the morning. The last journey times will depend upon the day of the week but when the rest of the network stops, four trams and 14 bus lines provide an all-night service across parts of the city. If your journey is not covered by these lines, you will have to call a taxi. The two main taxi providers in Munich are:

  • Taxi-München eG: Telephone +49 (0) 89 21 610 or +49 (0) 89 19 410
  • IsarFunk: Telephone +43 (0) 89 45 0540

If you need more information on the public transportation schedule or fares, please

  • visit the MVG homepage,
  • ask at one of the three local customer service centers (in the underground stations of Marienplatz, Sendlinger Tor, and Hauptbahnhof) or one of the smaller info points found at major stations across the city, or
  • call +49 (0) 800 344 22 66 00.

Frequent passengers should definitely enquire after the Isar Card, a monthly pass for various fare zones.

Driving in Munich

If you would rather drive your own car while living in Munich, have a look at our guide on driving in Germany for an introduction to road conditions, driving licenses, and importing or registering a car. You can also contact the Kreisverwaltungsreferat (if you live in the city) or the Landratsamt (for rural residents). They provide further information on driving permits in Germany, as well as import regulations for motor vehicles.

Their contact details are as follows:

Kreisverwaltungsreferat (KVR)

Kfz-Zulassungs- und Führerscheinstelle des Landratsamtes München

Further Information

In case you are looking for more information on owning and driving a car, or the public transport system in Germany, be sure to also check out the articles in the Transport & Driving Section of our Extended Guide to Germany.

 

We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

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