The majority of exchange students to Munich are likely to come by plane. If you do, it’s usually worthwhile travelling to Munich Airport rather than Memmingen; it may be a bit more expensive, but there’s a 2-hour bus after landing at Memmingen which costs €16 euros at its cheapest. Unless it’s a substantial saving, I’d recommend biting the bullet and taking the hassle-free journey.
Getting to Munich by bus or train from the airport is easy, as there are direct services for each which roll right up to the middle of the city. Tickets are around €10 and the journey lasts about 45 minutes, during which you can enjoy the free Wi-FI and build your excitement!
High speed trains feed Munich from all around Europe, so it’s usually pretty easy to travel across. You can even do London to Munich by getting the Eurostar to Paris and a TVG through Frankfurt and into town. Services like Rail Europe are great for finding good deals on inter-city train journeys.
The public transport system in Munich is fast, affordable and one of the most punctual and efficient in the entire world. You can use the U-Bahn (metro), S-Bahn (trains), buses and trams. Both tram and bus stations are marked with a green "H" inside a yellow circle, and U-Bahn and S-Bahn are intuitively indicated with a “U” and “S” respectively.
By employing a unified ticket pricing system, passengers can now travel on any of the city’s transport using a single pass or card. Transport is run by MGV, so you can visit their website for any travel updates, closure announcements and any other useful info.
There are a few different ticket types for Munich public transport: single, stripe and day tickets. I’ll jot the prices of each down and then explain they actually mean...
Single journey ticket, €2.80 (valid 3 hours)
Short distance ticket (Kurzstrecke), €1.40 (valid 1 hour)
Single day ticket, inner zone, €6.60
Single 3-day ticket, inner zone, €16.50
Group day ticket, inner zone, €12.60 (up to five adults!)
Group 3-day ticket, inner zone, €29.10
Basically it’s always cheaper to travel in a group, and if you’re going to be making a bunch of journeys (like showing family around) day tickets usually pay for themselves eventually. Stripe tickets allow you to take multiple journeys, but are generally considered more hassle than they’re worth, with people opting for either day or single tickets.
There are more options if you want to travel outside of the city proper. Well, the same as those above but more expensive.
Weekly and monthly passes called IsarCards can be bought, ranging between €15-61.50 and €54.50-222.90 respectively, depending on how many zones you wish to cover.
With so many options to choose from, it’s easy to make your way around the city. Travel tickets are valid across the board, but most people tend to find their preferred mode of transport and stick to that more often than not. The trams are nice, because they’re out in the open, but you can’t beat the munich underground for speed and efficiency.
With the option of trams, trains and subway carriages to choose from, it can get a little complicated. To help you out, here are the network maps provided by MVV - they cover all three of these modes of transport including night services, for those all-important trips home from the club.