As one of Germany’s major cities, Munich has no lack of transportation options. Like Frankfurt, Munich has an international airport, so you can fly there directly from the U.S. and the U.K., and is easily accessible from anywhere within Germany or Europe.
By Plane -- Munich’s Franz Josef Strauss International Airport (tel. 089/9752-1313; www.munich-airport.com) is located 29km (18 miles) northeast of the city center. Opened in 1992, the airport is among the most modern and efficient in the world. The S-8 S-Bahn light-rail train (tel. 089/4142-4344) connects the airport with the Hauptbahnhof (main train station) in downtown Munich. Trains leave from the S-Bahn platform beneath the airport every 20 minutes daily between about 4am and 10:45pm, less frequently through the night. The fare for the 40-minute trip is 10€ adults. (If you are going to be using public transportation once in the city, you’ll save money by buying an All-Zone Tageskarte/Day Ticket for 11€ and using it to get into the city.) The Lufthansa Airport Bus (tel. 0180/583-8426; www.airportbus-muenchen.de) runs between the airport and the main train station in Munich every 20 minutes from about 6:30am to 10:30pm The trip takes about 40 minutes and costs 11€. A taxi to the city center costs about 70€ and can take more than an hour if traffic is heavy.
By Train -- You can easily reach Munich by train from any city in Germany or Europe. Daily trains arrive from Frankfurt (trip time: 3 3/4 hr.) and Berlin (trip time: 6 hr.). Munich’s Hauptbahnhof, on Bahnhofplatz near the city center, is one of Europe’s largest train stations, with a hotel, restaurants, shopping, and banking facilities. A train information office on the mezzanine level is open daily from 7am to 8pm; you can also call Deutsche Bahn (German Rail; tel. 11861 for train information and schedules [an English speaker will be available to help you]; www.bahn.com). Connected to the rail station are the city’s extensive S-Bahn rapid-transit system and the U-Bahn (subway) system.
By Car -- Think twice about driving to or in Munich. Most of downtown is a pedestrian-only area—wonderful if you’re a walker, a nightmare if you’re a driver. Traffic jams are frequent, and parking spaces are elusive and costly. If you plan on making excursions into the countryside, renting a car in the city center instead of trekking out to the airport is more convenient. Car-rental companies with windows at the main train station include Avis (tel. 089/1260-000; www.avis.com), Hertz (tel. 089/1295-001; www.hertz.com), and Sixt Autovermietung (tel. 089/550-2447; www.sixt.com).