Last Updated: May 2018.
Consistently rated as one of the finest airports in the world, Munich Franz Josef Strauss International airport (MUC) is among my favorite airports for a layover. In this guide i would like to share a couple of ideas on things to do while in transit in the MUC airport.
Your key concern would be to make it on time to your connecting flight. Previous experience showed me that unless weather conditions are adversary (for example: heavy snow), 45 minutes connections are generally doable in MUC for Schengen flights.
When connecting towards your Non-Schengen flight, plan to allow 30 extra minutes to clear passport controls and security. Once landed, look into the departures monitor to identify your departing gate. If you are flying with Lufthansa or one of the Star Alliance members, you have most probably landed and should remain in Terminal 2.
Free WIFI (network name is telekom) is available upon registration (you’ll need to provide your email details) and relatively fast. Outlets for charging your mobile devices is readily available. Lufthansa typically offers free coffee to passengers waiting for connecting flights. Miles and More silver and gold members can relax in Business/Senator lounges.
Note that smoking is only allowed in designated cabins at the gate concourses.
If you have less than 5-6 hours, my recommendation would be to stay at the airport terminal.
Catching a nap is generally possible in MUC, either in the newly available nap cabins, seating areas near the gates or in one of the VIP lounges in terminal 1 and 2.
Showers are available at the MAC (Munich Airport Center) or Terminal 2 (Arrival gates) for 15 Euro. Note that you’ll need to leave the international area and go through security on your back.
Shopping is readily available, however relatively expensive.
If you are in MUC for a long layover, you might want to consider renting a nap cabin, getting an hotel room for day use or go for a short sightseeing tour in central Munich.
People often ask me whether they are able to leave the airport during their layover. It’s a complex topic which i recommend you’ll take the time and find out before your trip. European citizens are obviously allowed to enter Germany. Other nationalities (including USA/Canada/Australian citizens) are able to enter Germany for transit or tourist purposes without a Visa. Other nationalities, require a visa for transit through German airports.
Note: Allow at least 5-6 hours to customs and passport control, travel to the city center,complete the essential tour outlined below and go through security to your flight.
Once you clear passport controls and customs you should be heading towards the regional train (S-Bahn) stations, which is strategically located in between the two terminals. If you are coming from Terminal 2, note the amazing MAC forum, which often hosts events and specially wild during Oktoberfest (Beer festival starting mid September). You might want to consider a stop at the EDEKA supermarket at MAC forum for some drinks and snacks at reasonable prices. Other option is to visit the nice Beer Garden in the airport (restaurant AirBrau).
Luggage storage is available in the service centers located in terminals 1 and 2.
(Note: Taxis are VERY expensive in Munich. A one way ride to the city center could go up to 80-90 Euros. Therefore, we recommend to use the ultra efficient train system.)
Once you reach the S-Bahn station, go ahead and buy a return ticket that will take you from Flughafen (airport) to the City Center. Board trains S8 (shorter) or S1 and allow roundabout an hour to get into the Marienplatz station. Trains are typically available at 20 minutes intervals. Use the Munchen train system website to plan your journey.
Here are a few essential visit sights (will take 2 hours to complete approximately):
You could either go for the itinerary above and stay in the city center or in case you need to rest, meet colleagues or just get some work done, consider booking an hotel near the airport.
MUC hotels are located in the nearby towns of Hallbergmoos , Schwaig and Erding; many of them offering courtesy shuttles from Terminals 1 and 2.
Did we forget anything? Feel free to let us know so we can update our Munich essentials layover guide.