Getting around Munich (Unterwegs in der Stadt)
Public transport links in Munich are surprisingly straight-forward, especially if you have the DB app. I cannot recommend this enough. The DB (Deutsche Bahn) Navigator App shows you all of your travel options and tells you exactly how to get from A to B, whether that be by train, bus or tram. I use it 5 or more times every day and it makes navigating this busy city so easy (and if I can navigate Munich then literally anyone can).
What ticket should I get?: Well, that depends (kommt darauf an). It depends on whether you are staying in the city for a week or more and also on where are you staying. An IsarCard is an excellent choice for language students. With an IsarCard, you can select tickets that last for a week (die Wochenkarte) or a month (die Monatskarte) and these are valid for unlimited journeys within your chosen number of zones. What do I mean by zones? Munich is divided into zone with the central city area (and BWS Germanlingua) being in Zone M. From there, if you go further from the centre of Munich, you may pass through Zone 1, 2, 3 and so on (und so weiter)… The price of your IsarCard will depend on how many zones you want to travel through frequently.
For example, my host family lives in Zone M and the school is in Zone M as well. I will not often be travelling outside of this zone so I will buy a Wochenkarte that is valid for Zone M only. This costs me around €18. If I was staying for a month or more, I would buy a Monatskarte and receive a small discount for the 4 weeks.
Check out the link at the bottom to find the price for your IsarCard.
Travelling further afar
So what if you want to take a day trip? There are many options for day trips around Munich so take a look on the DB or MVV websites for recommendations. That said, if you are planning to travel outside of Munich itself, there is a fantastic option available. The Bayern Ticket! For €25 you can travel around Bavaria and visit Nuremberg, Regensburg (I would highly recomend!) and even to select areas of Austria including the beautiful city of Salzburg! It even gets cheaper if you travel with friends and there is a slightly discounted Bayern-Ticket Nacht option for if you’re just taking an evening trip. Be aware that the Bayern-Ticket does not include ICE (InterCity Express) or IC (Intercity) trains and you will be expected to write your name on your ticket before your travel.
To find out more about the Bayern Ticket, see the link below.
Taxis: Uber seems to be quite in use here in Munich but I am not much of a taxi-goer and so I cannot comment too much on this. If you prefer to travel by cab then I have heard excellent things about the FreeNow app.
Quick Note 1: There is an S-Bahn AND an U-Bahn. When following a travel schedule, be sure not to mix the two up (as I have done several times…).
Quick Note 2: Wait for the green man. As pedestrians, we British (and also some Americans) love to rush though gaps in the traffic. We are impatient and unrestricted! However, it was interesting for me to observe that, in Germany, it is widely expected that pedestrians will use the zebra crossings, always wait for the green man and never try to skip through traffic. This is especially important to remember when there are children around who might be tempted to copy unsafe behaviour.
Quick Note 3: Watch out for bikes! They are everywhere and they have they own special lanes next to the pedestrian sidewalk. It is very easy and potentially very dangerous to wander into the cycle lane when you have your eyes glued to your smartphone.
A very useful app: My final tip is about MAPS.ME. This app is especially advantageous for those without data or a German SIM card. You can use the MAPS.ME app just with GPS and it is very helpful for navigating your way through the city or in fact anywhere when you’ve run out of data. Just remember to download the maps for Munich or whichever region you’re traveling through when you have wifi and you will always have a back up plan for if you get lost without internet.
Happy travels! 😉
Some useful phrases for if you’re always on the go (immer unterwegs!)
Gehen wir den richtigen Weg? (Are we going the right way?)
Entschuldigung, ist das der richtige Zug, um in die Altstadt zu fahren? (Excuse me, is this the right train to go to the Altstadt? – A very useful question for me)
Lass uns gehen! / Los geht’s! (Let’s go!)
Wie lange wird die Reise dauern? / Wie lange ist die Reise? (How long is the journey?)
by Megan Herbert