Navigating the city of Munich is extremely easy. There are several ways in which to get around the city: by walking, by taking the metro, by taking the tram, and by taking the bus.
Walking Around Munich
Munich is a very easy city to walk around in and many of the city’s attractions can be reached by foot. It seems that all roads lead to Marienplatz, and from this central location in the city, you can reach most of the places that you might want to visit by walking.
The Metro System, Buses, and Trams in Munich
There are two different kinds of trains that operate in Munich: The S-Bahn and the U-Bahn.
The S-Bahn (S for ‘Suburban’) runs both within the city of Munich and to the suburbs of Munich, including to the heavily visited Dachau, located about thirty minutes outside of the city.
The U-Bahn (U for ‘underground’) runs within the city limits underground and is very easy to navigate.
The trams and buses operate on the same tickets that you use for both the S-Bahn and U-Bahn.
Transportation Tickets & Prices
There are a number of different ticket options that you can buy to use for commuting around the city.
There are single trip tickets, day tickets, and multi-day tickets. If you are staying for a long period of time, there are also weekly and monthly options available. Finally, there are also discounted tickets for children and young adults up to age 20.
I found that the three day ticket was a great value and let me travel as often as I liked on the public transportation (I used the U-Bahn, S-Bahn, and tram) unlimited for three days at a time.
Validating Tickets in Munich
It is very important that you validate your train ticket when you are traveling around Munich just in case a ticket inspector asks to see it.
You must only validate each ticket one time and it can be done at the little blue machines on the trams or buses or before entering the U-Bahn or S-Bahn.
Munich has a system that seems to primarily be based on trust, so you may never see an inspector during your entire trip to the city, however, you should still buy a ticket and validate it just in case.
The fine that will be levied if a ticket inspector catches you on a train without a ticket or without a validated ticket is €40 (~$53 USD).
The U-Bahn, or underground railway is a fast and convenient way to move around the city. With the exception of line number 6, the railway only travels within the municipal border. There are eight lines in the U-Bahn system that serve a total of 96 stations.
The S-Bahn, or suburban railway, is a convenient way to move both within and outside the city limits with 150 stations over ten lines. These trains operate in intervals of between 40 and 60 minutes.
For both the S-Bahn and the U-Bahn, you can find television screens located on the train platforms with train arrival times.
Entering and exiting the train is very easy, you just push the button and the doors open. If you don’t press the button, the doors won’t open.
The final way to move around the city is on the trams and buses, which are also very easy to navigate.
FTC Disclosure: A big thank you to the Munich Tourism Board for covering my transportation costs for the week that I spent in the city. As always, all opinions are my own.