Munich's Franz Josef Strauß Airport (IATA: MUC) (German: Flughafen München Franz Josef Strauß) is the primary international airport serving Munich. It is the second busiest airport in Germany, and is a major hub for Lufthansa and its Star Alliance partner airlines. Unfortunately it is quite some way (~40km road distance) from downtown Munich and sees no high-speed train service, only commuter S-Bahn which take fifty minutes to go downtown.
The current airport and its out of the way site are a result of growing air traffic and a need to replace the old airport. For the biggest part 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. The site of the former airport was converted into trade fair, a park and numerous other uses. However, in 1992 the airport was moved to its current location to meet the demand for more capacity and more modern facilities. Due to the constantly increasing number of flights, the airport has continued to expand since then and now offers connections to most airports in Germany and Europe, as well as many intercontinental destinations. Incidentally, the airport grounds in Riem were transformed into the new Munich fairground, which moved from the city centre. 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 live. He died while in office in 1988 and is revered by conservative Bavarians, though a controversial figure elsewhere.
Currently there are two terminals in use and a satellite terminal is under construction, which is scheduled for opening in 2015. Most of the airport's facilities, including its two terminals, are in the area between the two runways.
In 2011, Munich Airport was named the winner of the "Best Airport in Europe" award for the third year in a row based on a worldwide survey of close to eight million passengers. Passengers also ranked Munich #4 in the global rankings behind three Asian hubs.
All airlines that are not members of Star Alliance are based in Terminal 1, the older terminal, with the exception of Turkish Airlines, a Star Alliance member which uses Terminal 1C. Lufthansa's main competitor Air Berlin and its Oneworld partners occupy the biggest part. 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. Module F is used only for high-risk flights, particularly to Israel. 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.
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.
Terminal 2 hosts Lufthansa and its Star Alliance partners, e.g., Air Canada, Air China, All Nippon Airways (ANA), Austrian Airlines, Egypt Air, SAS, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Swiss, Thai, and United Airlines. It is also used by additional Lufthansa partners such as Qatar Airways, PrivatAir and some regional airlines. Terminal 2 consists of the central Plaza, Pier North, and Pier South. Terminal 2 has several levels: The arrival area and some check-in counters (e.g., United) are on level 3; all other check-in counters, the security check-points, and duty-free shops are on level 4; the visitor deck as well as restaurants and art exhibitions are found on level 5.
There are direct flights from most European capitals and cities to Munich as well as flights to major cities in the Americas, Middle East, Africa and Asia.
The airport has a list of the airlines currently flying to the airport, and like every other major airport real time flight information is available at the airport's website.
The airport is connected to Munich by suburban train (S-Bahn) lines S1 (for eastern districts) and S8 (for western districts). Trains run every 5–20 minutes. If you are heading downtown or to Munich Central Station (München Hauptbahnhof), take whichever S-Bahn train arrives first, as both take approximately the same 50 minutes to reach the city centre.
In 2013, the journey costs €10.40 for a single ticket (or €11.20 for a day pass) or €20.40 for a partner ticket (day pass valid for up to five people). A slightly cheaper option is to buy a Tageskarte Außenraum (day pass for the city's outskirts; single: €5.80, partner: €10.60) and then an additional single ticket (€2.60 per person) for the trip within the inner city. Validate both tickets when starting your trip.
Unlike for instance Frankfurt Airport, there are no local or long distance trains going to the airport's railway station. For Nuremberg, Regensburg, Würzburg and Bamberg, it is not necessary to go downtown to the central station: the quickest 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.
The Deutsche Bahn counter is open daily, 07:30-22:00. If the counter is closed or there is a long line, just buy your ticket at one of the machines. While the price system is (in)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, as well as at the northern entrance to terminal 2 at level 04. Other bus stops are located at the Holiday parking area (Urlauberparkplatz) P41 at the Modul A/B of terminal 1 and in front of terminal 2.
Lufthansa runs an airport bus to/from Munich Central Station for €10.50 one-way or €17 return. There is also a Lufthansa Shuttle Service to Regensburg. INVG runs their line X109 as Ingolstädter Airport Express between Ingolstadt and Munich Airport, with hourly departures in either direction in the hours the flights operate. The complete journey from Ingolstadt to Munich Airport lasts an hour as well. RVO (Regionalverkehr Oberbayern) operates buses to nearby towns and villages and Airport-Linie connects the airport to Landshut and Moosburg.
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, but airside there are some buses that connect the terminals. Depending on the time, the airside bus leaves about every 10-20 minutes. Due to the increasing numbers of large jets (e.g. A380 by Emirates) there are times when buses run at full capacity.
- 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.
- 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 free of charge. free.
- 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 free of charge. free.
- Munich Airport Center (MAC) (between terminals 1 and 2). A recreation- and service-centre at the airport located 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.
- Free hot beverages and newspapers. At least in Terminal 2, there are racks with free newspapers (mostly German, but some in English can be found too) as well as coffee and tea machines that don't require payment. No, they are not inside a lounge with access limited to holders of certain tickets, but airside on several places next to the gates.
Eat and Drink
- Airbräu (between terminals 1 and 2), ☎ +49 89 9759-3111. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Stores at the airport are open every day of the year. Many of the stores are located in the aforementioned MAC.
- Edeka (Between Terminal 1 and 2, close to the Munich Airport Center, before security). Daily 5:30-24:00. A regular supermarket of the Edeka chain with a broad range of products. A small variety of chilled beer and other beverages is available. It is the only supermarket among the very few shops in Bavaria that are allowed to open on Sundays.
- Internet. Munich Airport offers free Internet access for 30 min. Connect within both terminals or the MAC. In addition to this, there are also computers available for 20 min/each user at different spots, at least in Terminal 2.
- AirportClinic M, Terminalstrasse West (Terminal 1, Module E, Level 3), ☎ +49 89 9756-3315, fax: +49 89 9756-3306. The airport clinic has facilities for orthopaedics, gynaecology, urology, dentists and anaesthesia. It offers also several other medical services, so it is popular.
- Pharmacy, ☎ +49 89-978 802 200, e-mail: email@example.com. Metropolitan Pharmacy has three outlets at the Airport. In Terminal 2 at Level 4 & 5 and in MAC at level 3.
- Hilton Munich Airport, Terminalstrasse 20 (Next to Munich Airport Center), ☎ +49 89 9782-2530, fax: +49 89 9782-2610. The Hilton Munich Airport (formerly Kempinski Hotel Airport Muncih) is only hotel on the airport premises.