Welcome to our guide to using Munich's main train station, it won't be on any 'Most Stylish Stations' lists, but the central station in Munich is a highly practical rail terminal - packed with passenger facilities, most of which are on one level.
However, München Hbf is to be completely re-built so some of the usual pedestrian routes through the station may be subject to alteration.
It's difficult to avoid Munich's central station when exploring Europe by train, more international destinations can be reached by train from here than any other station in Europe.
Fortunately if you're lucky enough to be taking a train to the likes of Austria, Croatia, Czechia, France, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia, or Switzerland, then Munchen Hbf is a fairly easy station to navigate.
On the main concourse, the main access to the S-Bahn/U-Bahn platforms is to the left.
All of the large numbers of platforms/tracks/gleis used by the long distance trains are at street level, so unless you're transferring to trains to/from the city centre, you don't have to use stairs, escalators or lifts.
When arriving by express train you simply have to walk ahead of you, to the main concourse in order to access the exits, taxis and all public transport connections.
It's not a beautiful station, the area in front of the main building is particularly grotty, but this will change over the coming years.
Buying food/drink at Munich's main station:
Large stations can resemble shopping malls, airport terminals or cathedrals, but München Hauptbahnhof/München Hbf is akin to a giant food court.
It must hold the world record for the number of food/drink outlets in a station.
If you have time, then the best place to have a meal is L’Osteria, it’s a chain restaurant, but rather fabulous.
The multiple food/drink outlets include those scattered across the main concourse, so when first arriving by train, the station can seem somewhat chaotic.
The food available from the food court on the main concourse is superior (and often cheaper) than that which can be taken away from a bar car on any train that departs from here - so stock up before you hop on board.
München Hbf has left luggage lockers in two locations - when arriving by main line train, one of these is behind the access to the S-Bahn trains.
You will need €6 in coins for a large locker (the lockers are coin operated only).
München Hbf is a terminus station so changing trains simply usually involves simply walking from one platform to another on the one level.
However, the local (S-Bahn) trains, which offer the best connection between Munich's main station and its city centre use a separate, lower level part of Munchen Hbf.
Also worth knowing is that most of the shorter distance Regio trains depart from platforms/gleis 7-10 or 27-36, which located to the left and right of the main station building, and are therefore some distance from the main concourse.
So if you will be taking one of these services, it's a good idea to be at the station at least 7 mins before departure to allow for an easy transfer to the train.
So also allow 10-15 mins when making connections to/from ‘Regio’ trains.
All transfers between platforms at Munchen hbf have to be made via the main concourse - there is no short-cut passage way at the other end of the station, which links all the platforms
So if you want to travel from/to Munchen hbf, which is the main city centre station, be sure to specify this when making a booking.
And be wary of confusing the stations; don’t head for Munchen Hbf if your ticket is for a train leaving from Munchen Ost etc.
in particular ticket agents will see that journeys from Munchen Ost and Munchen-Passing stations are faster, so can assume that travellers would rather board at those stations.
To The City Centre from Munchen Ost:
If you’re heading to the city centre and your train calls at Munchen Ost station - make a transfer to the S-Bahn trains at that station.
You’ll be at Marienplatz (in the heart of the city) around 10-15 mins faster compared to remaining on the train and making the transfer at Munchen hbf.
In common with other major German cities the subway/metro system in Munich/Munchen is named the U-Bahn.
However, the train service between Munchen Hbf and the heart of the city is provided by S-Bahn trains, on which rail passes are valid.
These are local/commuter trains and in Munich/Munchen they use a tunnel to cross the city centre.
There are frequent trains (to a variety of final destinations), you shouldn't have to wait more than 5 minutes for a train on from Munchen Hbf.
The S-Bahn platforms are at a lower level in Munchen Hbf, the main entrance to this part of the station is on the main concourse, opposite platform (track) 26, follow the green 'S' signs.
When facing away from the trains, this main access to the S-Bahn is on the left hand side of the main concourse.
At the other end of this tunnel is Munchen Ost station.
So if you will be heading to/from the city centre, and your long distance train is calling at Munchen Ost - the quickest and easiest end-2-end journey will be to change trains at Munchen Ost and NOT Munchen Hbf.
How you can best access the U-Bahn (Metro) at Munchen Hbf depends on which line you will be taking, so it's best to have worked this out, before your train arrives at the station.
Though the Oktoberfest grounds are 15 min walk from Munich Hauptbahnfof, it’s not worth squeezing on to U-Bahn line U4 or U5 for the one stop ride to Theresienwiese starion.
Even when the Oktoberfest isn’t happening Munchen is one of Germany’s most fabulous cities, some may argue that this particularly applies when the Oktoberfest isn’t occurring.
However, a less obvious attraction of spending some holiday in Munchen/Munich is that it is second to none amongst German cities, as a base for exploring a swathe of other must-see destinations, on day trip trains by train.
Extend the journey time to within two hours and the list of fabulous destinations to visit also includes Berchtesgaden or Füssen (for easy bus connections to the fantasy castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau) or Innsbruck or Regensburg.
Conveniently, the greatest concentration of hotels in Munchen/Munich is the area around the Hauptbanhof, particularly in the streets immediately to the south of Munchen Hbf station.
Hotels within a 5 min walk of Munchen Hbf
Hotel options with direct public transport links to/from Munchen Hbf
Munich/Munchen isn't just a convenient location for changing trains, it's also one of the most interesting cities in Germany, so it can be worth spending a night or two here.
Things To Do (Time Out)
51 Tips From Locals (LikeALocal)
10 Free Things to Do (Loney Planet)
Unusual Attractions (AtlasObscura)
50 Amazing Things To Do (Années De Pélerinage)
This is one of more than 300 station guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.