Cheap Public Transportation to Munich Airport (MUC)

Transportation to Munich Airport (MUC) from downtown München Hauptbahnhof is easy on cheap S-Bahn trains or Lufthansa Airport Express buses. Taxis and private airport shuttles run to many Bavarian towns.

Munich Airport Train Station

The easiest and cheapest way to get to Munich Airport (MUC) in Bavaria, Southern Germany, is by S-Bahn train while the Lufthansa Airport Express buses are also a very convenient option. For some destinations, buses may also offer a useful way from Flughafen München. Driving is easy but taxis are not particularly cheap especially when compared to the railway service. Private airport shuttles are available to Munich and many towns in Bavaria and often make sense for small groups, young families, and the infirm especially when traveling at odd hours or with lots of luggage. Book private airport transfers in advance and compare prices as fares vary widely. The Bavaria Ticket is a great option if traveling further than Munich on public transportation.

Munich Airport (MUC) is some distance to the north of München. Transportation from downtown takes around 45 minutes. Although trains and buses are available to other towns, most travelers will have to travel via Munich to catch public transportation connections to further Bavarian and Austrian destinations.

Railway maintenance work on the lines to the airport may cause delays and less frequent trains especially late at night and over weekends. Most passengers won’t be affected but the Lufthansa Airport Express bus is a very good alternative.

Trains from Munich Airport (MUC) to Downtown München Hauptbahnhof City Center

S-Bahn commuter trains are the most common way to travel to Munich Airport. Long-distance and high-speed IC and ICE trains do not stop at the airport.

S-Bahn Commuter Trains from Munich Airport

S-Bahn commuter trains S1 and S8 connect München Flughafen (Munich Airport) and Munich downtown. These two lines encircle the north of Munich from opposite directions with traveling time to the main station about the same on either line but a 20-minute difference when traveling to for example the Ostbahnhof. These S-Bahn trains generally run every 20 minutes meaning in effect a train to downtown stations every 10 minutes.

  • S-Bahn line S8 runs from Munich Airport to Passing (50 minutes) and stops en route at the Ostbahnhof (33 minutes), Marienplatz (38 minutes), and Hauptbahnhof (41 minutes).
  • S-Bahn line S1 runs from Munich Airport to the Ostbahnhof (53 minutes) with stops amongst others at the Hauptbahnhof (45 minutes) and Marienplatz (48 minutes).

Note that S-Bahn S1 trains to Munich Airport split in two at Neufahrn. If traveling to Munich Airport, use only wagons towards the rear of the train.

The cost of traveling by train from Munich Airport to downtown is €13.60 one-way — a Zone M-5 Day Ticket at €15.50 is often better value (and only €29.10 for a group of up to five). This ticket is usually advertised as the Airport-City-Day-Ticket and is valid from the moment of purchase until 6 am the following morning. The Bayern Ticket is often great value when traveling elsewhere in Bavaria.

Check German Railways schedules — use MUC as a shortcut for Munich Airport and M for München Hauptbahnhof. Options requiring a transfer or trains other than S1 or S8 are rarely worth the additional hassle.

German Railways Trains (Deutsche Bahn)

Long-distance trains of Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) currently do not stop at Munich Airport. As a result, most train passengers have to travel to Munich Main Station (München Hauptbahnhof) to transfer to long-distance trains.  Some long-distance trains also stop at Passing in the west of Munich or Ostbahnhof in the east of Munich (handy for connections to Salzburg, Berchtesgaden, and Chiemsee) allowing for faster and easier transfers than at the Hauptbahnhof.

Passengers for Regensburg, Landshut, and Freising may use the hourly RE22 train (ÜFEX Flughafenexpress Airport train) directly from Munich Airport. It is a regional train so the Bayern Ticket is valid.

Passengers for Regensburg, Nürnberg, Passau, and Bamberg may also use the bus to Freising and change from there to local trains. Transferring at Freising often saves time over going to the Hauptbahnhof and allows for the use of the Bayern Ticket, which is valid on local trains only.

Check German Railways schedules before traveling — in case of delays and cancellations far more alternative options are available from München Hauptbahnhof than from Freising.


Traveling by Car to Munich Airport (MUC)

Munich Airport is on Autobahn A92, which connects Autobahn A9 (Munich to Nürnberg) and Deggendorf on the Danube. For the airport, use exit 6, Flughafen München.

Driving time from downtown Munich can be as little as 40 minutes but depends on traffic. Taxis cost around €70. Taxis to Freising take around 15 minutes (€40).

For small groups, private airport shuttle services may be of interest. These airport shuttles are available to most towns in Bavaria and many different service providers operate from the airport. Compare rates as fares can services can vary widely.

Traveling by Bus to Munich Airport (MUC)

Buses run to Munich Airport from both downtown München and several Bavarian towns. Flixbus intercity coaches provide direct connections to 62 destinations in Europe and Germany from Munich Airport but many may require an actual bus change en route.

Buses from Downtown Munich to Munich Airport

The Lufthansa Airport Express Bus runs up to four times per hour from Munich Airport to München-Nord / Schwabing (25 minutes) and München Hauptbahnhof (45 minutes). The one-way fare is around €12 but a return at €20 is cheaper than using the S-Bahn (but not if continuing the journey by public transportation). The München-Nord stop is directly at the U-Bahn U6 stop Nordfriedhof, which provides faster connections to many parts of Munich rather than continuing to the city center by bus.

During quiet periods, the bus may only operate to / from the Munich Nord stop and not from the Hauptbahnhof.

The Lufthansa Airport Express Bus is open to all travelers — flying on Lufthansa, or any other airline for that matter, is not required. Public transportation tickets and railway passes are not valid on the Lufthansa Airport Bus – buy the Express Bus ticket online.

During major events, buses are available from the airport directly to the Messegelände (Show Grounds) – traveling time is around 45 minutes.

Buses from Bavarian Towns to Munich Airport

Scheduled bus services are available directly to some towns in Bavaria and are quite convenient as they avoid transiting via Munich itself. Two bus services are worth noting:

  • MVV Bus 635 connects Munich Airport and Freissing up to three times per hour in 20 minutes (and often hourly in 10 minutes on a Regional Express train too). Freising has handy regional train connections to Regensburg, Passau, and Landshut. This option sometimes works to Nuremberg (Nürnberg) as well but most travelers will have to change at München Hauptbahnhof.
  • The Ingolstädter Express Bus X109 connects Munich Airport in an hour up to 13 times per day with Ingolstadt, the home of German luxury motorcar manufacturer Audi, with some buses stopping en route at the Ingolstadt Fashion Outlet Village.

Bus services to other destinations are surprisingly limited with Flixbus the most likely service provider. Direct services are sometimes available from Munich Airport to Prague and to Salzburg but it is often faster to travel via downtown Munich than to wait hours for a direct connection.

A Lufthansa Express Bus is sometimes available to Nürnberg (Nuremberg) but is only available to Lufthansa passengers — book the bus at the same time as booking the Lufthansa flight.

Munich Airport is the second-largest airport in Germany and serves more European destinations than Frankfurt International Airport. Both low-cost and full-service airlines fly to Munich Airport. Alternative airports in the region include Salzburg (SZG) in Austria and Nürnberg / Nuremberg (NUE).

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About the author:

Henk Bekker

Henk Bekker is a freelance travel writer with over 20 years of experience writing online. He is particularly interested in history, art, and culture. He has lived most of his adult life in Germany, Switzerland, and Denmark. In addition to, he also owns a travel website on the Lake Geneva region of Switzerland and maintains statistical websites on car sales and classic car auction prices. Henk holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School and an MSc in Development Finance from the University of London.

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