Munich has an excellent public transportation system, and within it, many signs are in both English and German. We found getting around Munich to be easy and fun!
Anytime you’re traveling in a place you’re not familiar with, it can be pretty daunting. It is amazing how many major cities of the world do not have an easy way to navigate around town. Having limited means to get around can be frustrating, and render you feeling defeated at the end of your traveling day.
Yet if you go to some parts of Germany, you might be pleasantly surprised. Munich, in particular, has developed an excellent public transportation system. The Ubahn, SBahn, and bus system make getting around Munich easy and efficient.
This is the underground subway system of Munich – think “U” for “underground.” Its 170 stations span across 10 lines, creating a network of tunnels to get you on your way throughout the city. There are many different sorts of tickets you can purchase to suit your needs. The short-term tickets, long-term tickets, and tourist passes are all doled out by the BVG according to your length of stay or distance of travel. The UBahn is one of the quickest ways to cover large distances. Use it as a proximity tool, whereupon exiting the terminal you can use other modes of public transportation to reach your final destination. If you have a Eurail pass, you can use it on these trains, as well. (Note: In two trips to Munich spanning over more than a decade, never did we see a ticket check while riding the UBahn. Use this information as you deem appropriate.)
This is actually integrated into the UBahn railway network as well. Some of its lines may run above ground however. Think “S” for “surface.” Using the SBahn to get around is essentially the same as using UBahn. You purchase a ticket and look for a station that is as close to your destination as possible. SBahn trains traditionally run every 20 minutes. However, during peak times they might run in 10 minute increments. This makes traveling in Munich so convenient and easy. There are no lengthy waits on taxis, or prearranged shuttles to share that might make 10 other out of the way stops before they reach your destination. Both the SBahn and The Ubahn are direct destination rides.
The term bus is actually a bit misleading. Munich offers several different types of buses depending on what your needs are. You might take a quick tram, or choose to ride a bus that runs along a longer dedicated line to get you from point A to B. These lines intersect at different points in the city and are very easy to navigate. Bus maps may be picked up at most local hotels. However, you can download an easy PDF map to your smartphone. The lines are clearly marked and the routes are differentiated by color. As with the railway system, the bus system also has its share of ticket packages that you can purchase according to what your needs are. Simply decide if you are going to need the bus for one day, a week, or longer, then buy your tickets or bus passes accordingly.
The integrated public transport systems make for getting around Munich very easy. As a tourist, or on an extended stay, once you use their public transportation system you will admit that it is hard to find anything that even remotely compares. We found the information desks in the Ubahn to be very helpful in selecting a route to get to our intended destination. In all of your traveling through Munich you can be assured of one thing: You might not know where you are at times, but you always know you can keep going!