Europe > Central Europe > Germany > Bavaria > Upper Bavaria > Munich Airport
Munich's Franz Josef Strauß Airport (MUC IATA) (German: Flughafen München Franz Josef Strauß) is the primary international airport serving Munich. It is the second busiest airport in Germany and one of the busiest in Europe, serving as Lufthansa's second base and a Star Alliance hub. The airport offers flights to most domestic airports within Germany and serves a vast range of cities and leisure destinations throughout Europe and many intercontinental destinations, predominantly in North America, the Middle East and Asia.
The airport features two Terminal buildings, Terminal 1 (sections A-F) and Terminal 2 (sections G, H, K and L) which are connected by a central landside area Z and altogether form an H-shape.
The airport and its out-of-the-way location are a result of growing air traffic and a need to replace the old airport. For most of the 20th century, Munich's airport was in the district of Riem, which was a lot closer to the city centre than the current airport. However this site caused numerous problems, including one incident where a plane crashed into a tram in downtown Munich, so in 1992 the airport was moved to its current location to meet the demand for more capacity and more modern facilities.
When the airport opened in 1992, it had a long term plan for future expansion. It is thus more consistent and logical than Frankfurt Airport which had to deal with imperfect existing decades-old infrastructure in every expansion, or the unmitigated mess that are Berlin airports.
The Riem site was converted into a residential area, a park and numerous other uses. Munich's trade fair also moved there.
The airport is named after a longtime conservative (CSU) Bavarian politician, who was a member of the Bundestag from 1949, minister in several governments, candidate for chancellor in 1980, and prime minister of Bavaria during the last years of his life. He died in office in 1988. While he is revered by conservative Bavarians, he remains a controversial figure for non-conservative Bavarians and for those outside of Bavaria. The 1980 campaign was run - and won - by the Social Democrats and Helmut Schmidt (after whom the Hamburg Airport is named) almost entirely on a "stop Strauß" platform.
The airport faced NIMBY-based and environmentally based opposition from the earliest planning phase and there is a long-standing controversy over whether or not a third runway should be built. As of 2020 the debate on a third runway is "frozen" as Bavarian leader Markus Söder has said "it won't happen during my term" which satisfied both sides for the time being. Söder's pre-predecessor Edmund Stoiber had lobbied hard for the construction of a "Transrapid" Maglev line to the airport giving a now legendary incoherent speech in support which became a staple of German political comedy. However, ultimately no Transrapid was ever built and instead of Stoiber's famed "ten minutes" it still takes almost three quarters of an hour to get from the central station to the airport by public transit.
Munich Airport consists of two main passenger Terminals, 1 and 2, with an additional satellite building connected to Terminal 2. Both are connected landside, meaning before security by central area Z and after security by a shuttle bus in case of connecting flights departing from different terminals. The airport station is located between both but they each have separate driveways coming from the Autobahn, so make sure to check ahead where your flight departs from when arriving by road.
Terminal 1 is the older of both, inaugurated in 1992. It serves all carriers of the oneworld and SkyTeam alliances (e. g. Air France, British Airways, KLM, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines) as well as most non-affiliated airlines, the major ones being Emirates, Qatar Airways, easyJet, SunExpress, TUIfly and Condor.
The terminal is segmented into six modules: A, B, C, D, E and F. Modules A-D provide all facilities required to handle departures and arrivals, including landside drive-by lanes and parking, whereas module E is only equipped to handle arrivals. This design essentially makes each module a self-contained sub-terminal of its own, small and comfortable despite the total size of the terminal. However, not all flights are handled in the same module where check-in takes place. Module F is a separate module north of Terminal 2. This module has a special status. The check-in for high-security flights is here. This includes El Al flights and other flights going to and from Israel. It has a separate baggage handling section and taxis are not allowed to drive all the way to the building. Check-in counters are also located above the S-Bahn station, this area is labeled Z and mostly used by low-cost and charter airlines.
The terminal has several levels: the train station is on level 2; the passenger transport system, which connects the modules, on level 3; check-in counters, security checkpoints, arrival areas, customs and most restaurants are on level 4 (ground level); level 5 is used by passengers with connecting flights.
Terminal 2 opened in 2003 and is the secondary home for Lufthansa and its Star Alliance partners and affiliates including Etihad Airways and Oman Air, with the exception of Turkish Airlines which is handled in Terminal 1C. Lufthansa's low-cost subsidiary departs from here but uses check-in facilities in central area Z.
Terminal 2 consists of a T-shaped main building featuring the check-in facilities on the ground level (for some Star Alliance and partner airlines which maintain their own check-in, e. g. United Airlines) and the main hall above it (for Lufthansa itself and all others), where the security screening area and the main airside waiting area with most of the shops is also located. The actual gates are in two levels (G for Schengen, H for non-Schengen departures) in the north and south pier, which together are almost 1 km in length. In recent years a satellite bulding with a similar level structure (Gates K and L) has been inaugurated which is connected to Terminal 2 by a short underground ride with an automated train, which can be reached from the middle of the Terminal 2 main building after security.
There are direct flights from most European capitals and many cities to Munich as well as flights to major cities in the Americas, Middle East, Africa and Asia. The airport is the secondary hub of German flag carrier Lufthansa, offering almost as many destinations as their primary (and traditional) hub at Frankfurt Airport
The airport has a list of the airlines flying to the airport, and like every other major airport real time flight information is available at the airport's website.
The airport's out-of-the-way location is not helped by its mediocre rail access. It is about 40 km by road from downtown Munich, and has no high-speed train service — only commuter S-Bahn trains which take 50 minutes to get downtown. You'll usually have to double back via Munich when arriving by train from the north, despite some regional trains from Regensburg now somewhat mitigating the situation on some routes.
The airport is connected to Munich by suburban train (S-Bahn) lines(via western districts) and (via eastern districts). The train station is located in Terminal 1 on level 2 (underground). If you are heading downtown or to Munich Central Station (München Hauptbahnhof), take whichever train is leaving first, as both take about 45 minutes to reach the city centre. Trains run every 10 min or so daytime; they run all night at reduced frequency.
The journey costs €11.60 for a Single Ticket (4 zones). If you expect to make a further journey within Munich that same day, buy a Single Day Ticket (Entire Network) for €13.00. If there's two or more of you, buy a Group Day Ticket (Entire Network) for €24.30, which is valid for up to five people.
There's also an "Airport City Day Ticket" which costs exactly as much as the "Tageskarte Gesamtraum", is only sold at certain stations and comes pre-validated.
Make sure that your ticket is validated once (and once only; not twice etc.) before you enter the train. The machines for validating the ticket are at the top of the escalator to the station and at the station itself (right beside the ticket vending machines at the platform); there are no machines for validating the ticket inside the train. Also make sure that you validate your ticket at the right side of the ticket (which is marked with "HIER ENTWERTEN"), since validating the ticket at the wrong side invalidates the ticket. Entering the train without a validated ticket is like having no ticket at all!
There's sometimes a hint to combine two separate tickets together for a slightly cheaper journey, however this is NOT allowed as per the operators T&Cs and will be treated as travelling without a valid ticket. You can combine two tickets, but you have to leave the train at the station that intersects with both travel zones and validate your second ticket there, forcing you to take the next train - validating both of these tickets at once violates the usage conditions.
The regional day ticket for Bavaria (Bayern Ticket) is valid on the S-Bahn as well. It costs €25 for one person and €6 for each additional person (with a maximum of 5 people in total). You have to write the name of each passenger on the ticket. If you buy it from the machine for a specific date, it does not have to be validated again.
The airport has no long distance train services while regional trains only run north and not towards Munich. For Nuremberg, Regensburg, Würzburg and Bamberg, it is not necessary to go downtown to the central station: the geographically shortest way to reach these destinations by public transport is to take Bus 635 from the airport to the city of Freising (which takes about 20 minutes), and catch a train from there. Don't worry about locating Freising railway station. The bus stops right next to it. However, despite having to "double back" for 45 minutes on the S-Bahn, taking the ICE from Munich main station gets you quicker to Nuremberg, Würzburg and Bamberg than the option via Freising. Additionally, there is an hourly regional train departing the airport via Freising and Landshut to Regensburg, from where you can head further north. For Regensburg this is the quickest option.
The Deutsche Bahn counter is open daily, 07:30-22:00. If the counter is closed or there is a long line, buy your ticket at one of the machines. While the price system is famously complicated and even Germans like to make jokes about it, the machines are switchable to most major European languages and usually do explain all the pitfalls of buying a ticket. Just make sure to buy a long distance ticket if you intend to take a long distance train.
The bus stations are in the front of the central area at level 03, in the front of the areas A and D of Terminal 1 on street level, and at the northern entrance to Terminal 2 at level 04. Other bus stops are in the Holiday parking area (Urlauberparkplatz) P41 at the Modul A/B of terminal 1 and in front of terminal 2.
- The Lufthansa express bus runs from Munich main station via the Schwabing quarter to the airport for €11 one-way or €17 return. It operates every 20 minutes between 5:15 (first departure from the city) and 22:30 (last departure from the airport) and the journey takes approx. 1 hour, depending on traffic. This connection can be used by all passengers, you do not need a Lufthansa or Star Alliance ticket for it. Tickets can be bought online or from the driver.
- INVG runs an Airport Express between Ingolstadt, the Ingolstadt Village outlet mall and Munich Airport, with departures every three hours in either direction. The journey from Ingolstadt to the airport takes an hour and costs €32,50 return when booked online. Ingolstadt station is a stop for regional as well as ICE high-speed trains towards the north.
- MVV runs regional bus line 635 between Freising station and several stops on the airport grounds, including both terminals, the long-term parking areas and other facilities every 20 minutes during the day. Tickets can be bought from the driver or via the MVV and MVG apps. From Freising you can take regional trains towards Munich as well as in the direction of Regensburg and Nuremberg, omitting the journey via Munich.
In addition, the German long distance bus company FlixBus runs seven services between Innsbruck, Austria and the Munich Airport via Munich Central Bus Station from €19.50, one-way. Other operators include Regiojet.
There are taxi poles outside Terminal 1 at the arrivals and departures level E04 right in the front of modules A-E. You can also find taxis at Terminal 2 at the bus and taxi stop north of the arrivals level E03 and departures level E04 and north of the central area/MAC at level E03. The fare for a ride into central Munich is around €60.
From Munich, drive towards Deggendorf along Autobahn A 92. Exit the Autobahn at exit 6, Dreieck Flughafen. If you are coming from Passau, drive along B388 or along Autobahn A 94 and the eastern airport road (Flughafentangente Ost).
There are many parking lots and parking garages to choose from. Immediately next to the terminals there are short term parking areas (for those who are meeting arriving passengers). Near the terminals you can find parking garages numbered P1-P5, P7, P8, and P20. There the fee is €175 for 7 days, €30 for each additional day. The clearance in all parking garages is at least 2.0 m.
There are "parking lots for vacationers" (Urlauberparkplatz) numbered P41, P80 and P81 next to the road Flughafenallee. From there you can take a shuttle bus to the terminals which is free for parking ticket holders. 3-7 days of parking costs €35, additional days cost €2 each.
Walking is the easiest option inside one terminal. There's no option to walk from one terminal to the other without leaving the security area, but airside there are shuttle buses connecting the terminals (https://www.munich-airport.com/transit-260553). Depending on the time, the airside bus leaves about every 10-20 minutes. Due to the increasing numbers of large jets (such as Emirates' A380) there are times when buses run at full capacity.
- 1 Visitors centre and plane spotting hill (Besucherzentrum) (S-Bahn S1, S8: Besucherzentrum). Mar-Oct: daily 09:30-18:00; Nov-Feb: daily 09:30-17:00. Historical planes on display, and a 28 m high hill with a view over the runway. The hill is not wheelchair accessible. Entrance to the tower €1.
- 2 Plane spotting hill north (Aussichtshügel Nord) (next to Hallbergermooser Straße near Attaching). North-west of the northern runway, next to Hallbermooser Straße is a second plane-spotting hill. It's not as high as the one next to the visitors' center, but it is free of charge. free.
- 3 Plane spotting hill south (Aussichtshügel Süd) (next to Kreisstraße ED 30 near Franzheim). South-east of the southern runway, next to Kreisstraße ED 30 is a third hill with a possibility for plane-spotting. It's not as high as the one next to the visitors' center, but it is free of charge. free.
- 4 Skywalk (Terminal 2, level 05). A terrace with view over the apron of Terminal 2 and the satellite. free of charge.
- 5 Munich Airport Center (MAC) (between terminals 1 and 2). A recreation- and service-centre at the airport between terminals 1 and 2. It includes a shopping mall, restaurants, a medical centre, the conference centre, municon and the MAC-Forum. The MAC-Forum is Europe's largest roofed outdoor area, which is used for various events like a Christmas fair and ice-skating in winter and a beach volleyball tournament in summer.
- 6 Free newspapers. In Terminal 2 (airside only) there are racks with free newspapers (mostly German, but some in English can be found too) provided by Lufthansa to all passengers.
Besides the Lufthansa Star Alliance lounges scattered throughout Terminal 2, there are dedicated lounges for some airlines as well as open-access ones operated by the airport found in Terminal 1:
- Airport Lounge Europe (Terminal 1D, level 5 (after security)). Open-access lounge for Schengen-destinations operated by the airport, entrance from €38.20 as well as for business class passengers of Condor, airBaltic and Icelandair.
- Airport Lounge World (Terminal 1B, level 6 (after security)). Open-access lounge operated by the airport, entrance from 49,90€ as well as for business class passengers of British Airways and American Airlines.
- Emirates Lounge (Terminal 1C, level 5 (after security)). Lounge exclusively for First and Business class passengers of Emirates and its status members.
- Air France KLM Lounge (Terminal 1D, level 5 (after security)). Lounge for Air France and KLM business class guests and status members as well for cooperating SkyTeam member airlines.
Eat and drink
- 1 Airbräu (between terminals 1 and 2), ☏ . Daily 08:00-01:00. Bavarian brewery-restaurant in the MAC between the terminals 1 and 2 and the world's only airport brewery. Outdoor beer garden between May and September. €4.60 for a maß of the beer of the house.
- 2 Dallmayr, T2, Airside (approximately near gate 26). The famous Munich delicatessen store operates a bistro in Terminal 2 with about 20 mains to choose among from Bratwurst on Sauerkraut to Thai curry.
- 3 Seafood Sylt meets Asia, T2, Airside (approximately near gate 30). As the name reveals, this restaurant serves seafood dishes, Asian dishes and fusion dishes. If you want something smaller, they have a range of nice sandwiches too.
- McDonalds / McCafé (Located in the forecourt of Terminal 2). Well known fast food outlet, usually open 24/7 but closed over night since the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Starbucks (Next to the Terminal 2 arrivals area). Branch of the famous coffee chain with long opening hours.
- Brioche Dorée (Located next to the Lufthansa Economy Class check-in in Terminal 2). Branch of the French bakery chain, opens early.
- dean&david (Located at the G-gates of Terminal 2). Healthy-ish food outlet serving wraps, bowls, smoothies.
- Hans im Glück (Located in the central court of the Terminal 2 satellite, K-gates). Branch of the famous German upscale burger chain. Lots of vegan and vegetarian options.
- 4 URBS (Located next to the central shopping area of Terminal 2). Self-service restaurant featuring an international menu.
The airport offers a large selection of stores from up-scale clothing to food. While Terminal 1 offers a relatively sparse selection, most stores are found in Terminal 2 after security and landside around central area Z and the Munich Airport Center between both terminals. Due to Bavarian law, the stores here are one of the very few that are allowed to stay open after 20:00 and on sundays.
- 1 EDEKA (Between Terminal 1 and 2, close to the Munich Airport Center, before security). Daily 05:30-24:00. A large regular supermarket of the EDEKA chain with a broad range of products. A small selection of chilled beer and other beverages is available. It is among the very few shops in Bavaria that are allowed to open on Sundays. A second much smaller outlet is located next to Terminal 2 arrivals.
- Müller Drogeriemarkt (Located in the central area Z, directly next to the S-Bahn station). Branch of the widespread German drug store chain.
Munich Airport offers free Wi-Fi for 24 hrs operated by Telekom. Connect in either terminal or the MAC. In addition to this, there are also computers available for 20 min/each user at different spots in both airside terminals.
- AirportClinic M, Terminalstraße West (Terminal 1, Module E, Level 3), ☏ , fax: . The airport clinic has facilities for orthopaedics, gynaecology, urology, dentists and anaesthesia. It offers also several other medical services, so it is popular.
- Metropolitan Pharmacy, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. There are three outlets at the airport. In Terminal 2 at level 4 & 5 and in MAC at level 3.
There are two hotels directly on the airport's grounds, one next to the terminals, the other one near the open-air parking areas. And there are several additional hotels in the vicinity of the airport.
- 1 Hilton Munich Airport (formerly Kempinski Munich Airport), Terminalstraße 20 (Next to Munich Airport Center and Terminal 2), ☏ , fax: . Turn left when facing the Terminal 2 entrance, When you follow the signs to Terminal 1F, you will cross the hotel's basement entrance hall.
- 2 Moxy Munich Airport, Eichenstrasse 1 (in Oberding, east of the airport), ☏ . This design hotel is part of the Marriott group and accessible by shuttle bus.
- 3 Novotel Munich Airport, Nordallee 29 (Next to Parking area P41), ☏ , fax: . From the terminals, take a short ride on bus 635 towards Freising for the "Parkpl. P41/Novotel" stop directly in front of the hotel.
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