Train from Munich Airport to City Center Instructions + Tips

This is a simplified guide on how to get from the Munich airport to the city center by train.

We took this line a few times and wished we had this guide with instructions and tips to save us time searching out info from the web.

Train from Munich Airport to City Center Instructions + Tips pin image

📕 Quick Overview

  • The public transport lines from the Munich international airport to the Munich city Center are known as S1 and S8 S-Bahn lines.
  • They are a reliable, safe, clean and budget-friendly option of transportation to travel from Munich Airport to the city center.
  • A train runs every 10 minutes directly from the airport terminal to the city center. A ride typically takes about 30–50 minutes.
  • The first train from the airport to the city starts at 4:30 am, and the last travels at about 1:24 am.
  • A day ticket per adult from the airport to the city costs €14.50 for the Zone M to 5.
  • The main railway station and the eastern station can be accessed by either the S1 or S8.
  • A viable alternative is the Lufthansa Airport Shuttle bus and taxi are typically priced at €95.
Munich airport center
Munich airport center

🚈 Which trains to get?

The easiest and most straightforward way to get via public transportation from the Munich international airport to the Munich city center is via the S line.

The airport is about 18 miles (30 km) away from the city center. In fact, it’s located near the city of Freising.

This line is also known as S-Bahn in Germany, and it is Munich’s own rapid urban rail line. Two lines are available as a transit route between Munich airport and the city center:

  • S1
  • S8

Both stop at the Munich central station (Hauptbahnhof) and the main old town square (Marienplatz).

Only the Eastern train station (Ostbahnhof) can be accessed via the S8. Incidentally, the Munich east train station with the S8 is the closest train station to the airport.

LineAirport to the Munich central station ETAAirport to Marienplatz square ETAAirport to Munich east station ETA
S145 minutes, 14 stops50 minutes, 16 stopsNA
S840 minutes, 14 stops38 minutes, 12 stops30 minutes, 9 stops
Marienplatz underground station entry point with subway and S-Bahn connections
Marienplatz underground station entry point with subway and S-Bahn connection

The difference between the S1 and S8 is that the S1 covers stops in Western Munich and the S8 takes you to the Eastern S-Bahn stations. Travel time and the number of stops to get to the Munich city center varies.

Munich old town and all major hotels are all located within this area. Therefore, in most cases it won’t matter which S line you get, both the S1 or S8 will get you to the city center.

Locate your hotel or accommodation to stay in advance so that you can check if you can use both lines.

🗺 Map and Stops

Here is a map of the S1 and S8.

All major old town attractions and metro stations are at the Marienplatz and central station.

Train from Munich airport to city center map
Train from Munich airport to city center map

S1 Stops:

  • Flughafen München (all airlines)
  • Besucherpark
  • Neufahrn
  • Eching
  • Lohnhof
  • Unterschleißheim
  • Oberschleißheim
  • Feldmoching
  • Fanaserie
  • Moosach
  • Laim
  • Hirschgarten
  • Donnerbergerbrücke
  • Hackerbrücke
  • Hauptbahnhof München (Central Station)
  • Karlsplatz (aka Stacchus)
  • Marienplatz (Old Town Square)

S8 Stops:

  • Flughafen München
  • Besucherpark
  • Halbergmoos
  • Ismaning
  • Unterföhring
  • Johanneskirchen
  • Engelschalking
  • Daglfing
  • Leuchtenbergring
  • Ostbahnhof (Munich East Station)
  • Rosenheimer Platz
  • Isartor
  • Marienplatz (Old Town Square)
  • Karlsplatz (aka Stacchus)
  • Hauptbahnhof München (Central Station)
  • Hackerbrücke
  • Donnerbergerbrücke
  • Hirschgarten
  • Laim
  • Pasing
Marienplatz view to the old town hall
Marienplatz view to the old town hall
Karlstor medieval city gate
Karlstor medieval city gate at the Karlsplatz

⏳ Train Timings

You can get a train every 10 minutes from the airport to the city center and vice versa.

Airport to City

The last S8 train from the airport to the city center runs daily at 1:24 am from the Flughafen München station. The S1, on the other hand, has trains going up to 12:11 am from the airport to the city.

You can catch the earliest daily S8 train at 4:04 am and the S1 line starts at 4:30 am.

Central Station to Airport

You will always get a connection at the central station (Hauptbahnhof) to the International airport anytime of the day. However, be aware that the trains drive less frequently, hourly or half-hourly, at odd night hours.

Central Train Station
Central Train Station

🛫 Train Platforms at the Airport

The Munich airport has two major train stations, the underground Flughafen München, Munich airport station, and the Besucherpark (visitors park) station. You can catch a train from both stations to get to the city center.

Arrivals and departures are assigned to the main Munich airport S-Bahn station (Flughafen München).

The visitor’s park station (Besucherpark) is a smaller outdoor platform located near the Novotel Munich airport and the Visitors park recreational waiting area.

Terminal 1 and 2 can be accessed via the main Munich airport station. Yet, the station is slightly closer to Terminal 1.

Airport underground train platform
Airport underground train platform

🎟️ Which Tickets to get

The Munich public transport network is set up in zones. The airport is in Zone 5 and the old town is in Zone M. Anything between the station Laim and the Eastern Train station is located in the Zone M.

You need to purchase a ticket that is at least valid between Zone M and 5 from the MVV ticket options.

Electronic ticket counters are located on every platform, and you can also book tickets online. Just known that there is a 2-minute rule during a ticket conductor control. So, if you purchase your ticket 2 minutes before a control, you will have to pay a fine. Every S-Bahn train is controlled.

An adult ticket, valid for any number of journeys on that day for the zone M to 5 will cost you around €14.50.

We tend to get a group day ticket, even if we are just the two of use, which is valid for up to 5 adults for the same 24-hour zone ticket. It’s only €27.80 (slightly cheaper than getting two separate adult day tickets).

They also offer an Airport-city -Day-Ticket, which is valid for Zone M to 6, but it costs €16. The regular adult day ticket at €14.50 is the better option.

The CityTourCard is a tourist ticket option which is a bit pricier but if you intend to visit landmarks and museums, it might be the better choice, as you get a discount on every entry.

If you are going to get a connecting train at the central station or east train station, you might want to look at the Bayern Ticket or the Deutschland Ticket from the Deutsche Bahn.

Those tickets can give you a price advantage if your destination is in Bavaria, somewhere else in Germany or even in Europe.

Tip: You have to validate your paper ticket in one of those clipping machines. These are at every entry point, and usually, you will find them right before an escalator.

Validated public Transport group day ticket for Zone M in Munich
Validated public Transport group day ticket for Zone M in Munich
In the S8
In the S8

🇩🇪 German to English Terms

If this is your first time in Munich, Germany, you will come across unknown German terms on your first journey from the airport to the downtown.

Here is a quick translation overview to help you on your trip.

Flughafen MünchenMunich airport (short MUC)
AltstadtOld town
HauptbahnhofCentral Railway Station
OstbahnhofEastern Railway Station
BahnhofTrain Station
AusgangWay out
einsteigenenter, get in
aussteigenget out
Deutschebahn or DBThe German national railway company
U-bahnMetro, Subway, Tub
Straßenbahn or TramTram
TageskarteDay Ticket
Hier EntwertenValidate Here
MingaBavarian German dialect name for Munich

Learn more German to English words for your upcoming trip to Germany.

💭 FAQs

Are there escalators at the Munich international airport S-Bahn station?

Yes, you will find a few escalators at certain intervals between the airport terminal area and the underground S-Bahn platform.

Can I take a large piece of luggage on the S-Bahn?

Yes, we always travel with 30-40 kg luggage each one of us, and we never had any issues getting into the S-Bahn.

What is the closest station to the Munich Airport?

The Munich east station is the closest station to the Munich airport. With the S8 you’ll get there within 30 minutes, anytime of the day.

What transportation alternatives are there besides the S-Bahn?

The Lufthansa Express Bus is a great budget option to get to the city center. You can also book a taxi outside the airport for a private transfer to get into the centre of Munich, but it’s a minimum €95 one way journey taxi fare. Uber does not operate anymore in Munich, but you can carpool with BlablaCar. Flixbus is another bus option. You can also get a rental car, but be aware that parking is expensive in the city center and during certain times of the year (such as during the Oktoberfest) you can’t drive into the city.

What’s the cheapest way to get from the airport to the city center?

With a single ticket priced at €11, you can get with the Lufthansa Express Bus to the center of Munich. It stops at 4 different places at the airport and at two stops in the city (Hauptbahnhof and Schwabing/Nordfriedhof stop) but it’s just a one-way ticket. You can get a bus every 20 minutes, and they do provide Wi-Fi, and it comes with a little more comfort than the S-Bahn. Yet, the S-Bahn is also a citywide public transport ticket.

Is the airport area and is Munich in general safe at night?

Yes, Munich is known to be a safe city, but common precautions should still be taken when traveling at night. If you find yourself having to wait overnight at the airport, I can recommend booking a hotel at the Munich international airport. The Hilton is the only hotel located between terminal 1 and terminal 2 in the airport.

Which station can take me to other cities?

Both, the Hauptbahnhof and Ostbahnhof, station offer regular connections to all major cities and neighboring German cities, such as Regensburg, Rosenheim, Augsburg, Nuremberg, and Frankfurt. You can also get trains to Austrian and Italian cities, such as Kufstein, Innsbruck, Salzburg, and Verona with the ÖBB or the Westbahn.

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