It is very easy to explore Munich by foot. Or by bike. Or you have others drive you around – by using a cab or public transport, i.e. the subway, the S-Bahn, tramways and buses. But before you enter one of the public means of transport, you have to buy a ticket. Tickets are available at ticket machines, situated at every S-Bahn- and subway station. Right there you´ll also find large posters with a lot of details about the ticket system. But often the carefully phrased explanations are more confusing than clarifying and leave inexperienced users in the dark. Even locals when asked for advice are sometimes confused. At that point, the flustered visitor buys anyone ticket just to get on the train.
To make the use of the Munich public transport system easier for you, we have put together an overview of the rules on who or what you are permitted to travel with:
Rings, zones and districts
There are four zones and 16 rings – four rings make one zone. But: the rings are just relevant for weekly or monthly tickets (Isarcard). So don´t waste time with finding out about the right number of rings.
The inner zone is called „Innenraum“ (inner district). It includes the whole city of Munich and some suburban communities and is shown in white on the tariff posters. The inner zone is surrounded by three more zones, shown in green, yellow and red. These three zones constitute the outer district (= Außenraum).
Tourists usually only need a ticket for the inner zone. There is just one exception: when you travel to the airport, you will need a ticket for the entire network (inner and outer district).
The Single Ticket is for a single trip in the direction of the destination. Return and round trips are not permitted.The fare depends on the number of zones passed. If a single trip passes through the same zone twice, then you must pay for this zone twice. The Single ticket is useful for single oneway-trips, especially when you just want to get from the airport to your hotel. Otherwise, a day or stripe ticket is a better choice.
Short trip ticket
A short trip is classified as any journey of up to four stops from the point of departure – but a maximum of two of those may involve the S-Bahn (urban rail) or the subway. Useful for short breaks on a sight-seeing tour or easy transportation of your shopping bags when your feet hurt and your hotel still is a couple of blocks away.
The Stripe Ticket can be used for several trips by one or more individuals, for children, young persons and adults. For one trip, adults have to validate 2 stripes per person and zone. Young adults under 21 have to validate 1 stripe per person and zone. Children under 14 always validate 1 stripe per trip. Children under 6 don´t have to pay anything, but have to be accompanied by an adult. For multiple trips within the inner district the stripe ticket is the easiest and most flexible choice. Depending on the number of trips and their length, a day ticket or a special ticket might be a more cost effective alternative.
Day-Tickets and Multiday-Tickets are available as single and partner tickets. These tickets allow you to use all means of public transport as often as you like during the chosen day or days within the area of validity. One Partner Day Ticket is valid for up to 5 adults – any two children between 6 and 14 years of age count as one adult. Therefore, up to ten children can use one day ticket. These tickets are a good choice for visitors who want to go to a lot of different places all over the town.
The CityTourCard is a day ticket for use on public transport within the area of validity with discounts for more than 60 tourist attractions in Munich and the surrounding area included. It´s a good choice for visitors who want to visit one or more of these locations.
The Airport-City-Day-Ticket is a day ticket for use on public transport within the entire MVV-network. Useful for people who want to do a trip outside the Inner Area, for example to Freising, a small town north of Munich with a beautiful historic city centre. Both tickets are available as single and partner tickets.
And if you still think that buying tickets is too complicated, just contact the Munich Greeters for assistance .