If you are coming into Germany from the Munich Airport or simply visiting another city close to Munich, the chances that you will have to stop at the Munich Hauptbahnhof are pretty high!
The München Hauptbahnhof (Munich Central Station) is the largest station in the city, followed by the Ostbahnhof (Eastern Station). It is one of the city’s main crossroads for different public transportation modes, be it an intercity train or the subway.
The station has a total of 32 platforms, divided among three main sections:
- Holzkirchner Bahnhof (Holzkirchen wing station), platforms 5-10
- Hauptbahnhof (main concourse), platforms 11-26
- Starnberger Bahnhof (Starnberg wing station), platforms 27-36
Since the station is quite big, the Deutsche Bahn recommends planning for a minimum of walking time between the sections. It recommends 10 minutes from the Hauptbahnhof to Starnberger Bahnhof or Holzkirchner Bahnhof, 15 minutes between Starnberger and Holzkirchner Bahnhof, and 15 minutes between the S-Bahn station and Holzkirchner Bahnhof.
Buying a ticket is really easy. You can either stop by the ticket office or purchase at one of the dozens of machines spread throughout the station.
Important: there is a ticket that allows you to travel within the whole state of Bavaria from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. of the following day with Regional Trains and also use the S-Bahn (Suburban Train). It is called “Bayern Ticket“, and its price is €25 for a single passenger adding €7 for each additional person.
But please keep in mind that the only train type allowed for the Bayern Ticket is the Regional and S-Bahn. Trying to use it in another type of train may cause you to pay a fine!
The Deutsche Bahn Trains
It is not difficult to identify the Deutsche Bahn trains at the station based on color, as the short distance trains are red and the long distance ones are white. Those are then further divided into 5 categories:
- EC (EuroCity) – International, Regular Speed
- IC (InterCity) – Long Distance, Regular Speed
- ICE (InterCity Express) – Long Distance, High Speed
- RB (Regional) – Short Distance, Many Stops
- RE (Regional Express) – Short Distance, Few Stops
The ticket prices vary depending on the train type, even if going to the same destination. Many places allow for buying the ticket inside the train, but in Bavaria, it is very important to have them beforehand. Not having the tickets can cause you to pay a fee of €60.
If you have been through a long journey already, you will probably be hungry. If you have a long trip ahead, it is best to be prepared and get some food ready, especially if the next stop is in 3 hours.
Thankfully, the Munich HBF provides with many options. There are dozens of kiosks all around the station with a wide variety of foods, here are some of my favorite.
Does your next train depart in 5 minutes? No worries, that is enough time to get a nice sandwich and some juice at Yormas. This convenience store can be found in most of the main stations of Germany and offers very cheap food ready to go.
You don’t necessarily need to eat sandwiches and drink soda. At the Rubenbauer Genusswelten, you can find a wide variety of fruits and smoothies to enjoy while staying healthy.
Aching for some sweets? Close to the station’s main entrance and in front of the ticket office, there is the Münchner Zuckerl, the best place in the station to get local sweets.
Starbucks needs no introductions. The world-known coffeeshop is also at the Munich Central Station, offering from the classic Expresso Roast to specialties such as the Colombia and Guatemala Antigua coffees.