Getting from Munich Airport to the City Center
MUNICH, GERMANY. With a distance of 36 kilometers, getting to the Munich city center is still a 30 to 45-minute ride from the airport. There were a lot of transportation options available to get to the city center. There's the bus, car rentals, hotel shuttles which you can request from the hotel where you will stay in, taxis (which cost about EUR 70 for a 33-kilometer ride) but we chose the most economical of all without taking too much time and without being so tedious to use: the S-bahn.
The S-bahn or Stadtbahn literally means "city railyway" in German. It is a light railway system that includes segments built to rapid transit standards usually as a part of the conversion to a metro railway.
In Munich's case, there are two S-bahn lines that run from the airport (Flughafen): The S1 which will come from Ostbahnhof (53 mins) and stop via Marienplatz (48 mins), Hauptbahnhof (45 mins), Laim (39 mins), Feldmoching (27 mins), Neufahrn (13 mins), Besucherpark (2 mins) and finally at Flughafen and the S8 which will end at Herrsching and stop at strategic points such as Pasing (50 mins), Hauptbahnhof (41 mins), Marienplatz (38 mins), Ostbahnhof (33 mins), Ismaning (14 mins), Besucherpark (2 mins) and at Flughafen. Yes, reading these words could get a little bit confusing especially if it is your first time to see them (I could not retain it in my memory even for the first few times!) but by studying the metro map and getting acquainted with the names when you have the time to do so, I promise you that it will get easier. The S1 and S8 run alternately every 10 minutes, with the S1 going via Munich West and the S8 going via Munich East.
Finding the S-bahn from both T1 and T2 is a piece of cake. You just follow where the "S" symbol is and it will lead you to the station and the ticketing centers. You can either buy your ticket through the ticketing machines lined up on the station at the airport, which accepts credit cards or cash, or buy it through a ticketing desk if you are not sure yet what type of ticket is the best for you.
Since we planned to stay in Munich for just 2 days and we booked a hotel near the Hauptbahnhof, we bought the airport-city-day ticket which is valid for up to 5 persons and until 6 am the following day for only EUR 22.30 (12 EUR for a single person). This can be used even outside the city center and to key locations such as Dachau and the airport. It also offers the same services as an MVV Day Ticket for the entire network and at the same price. If you are planning to tour around the city or even outside it for 3 days or longer, it is better to get the City Tour Card (if you also plan to visit tourist attractions at a discounted price) or Multiday Tickets as they also have different options available for you depending on where you want to go and if you are travelling solo or in a group.
The Airport-city-day ticket, the CityTourCard and the Multiday Tickets can be used in their buses, trams, U-bahn and S-bahn. You only need to validate your ticket once through the ticketing posts strategically located prior the escalators. You would know if your ticket has already been validated if there is a time and date stamp on the top portion of your ticket. If there is already a stamp there after you get it from the ticketing machines or desks, which is normally done if you buy the Airport-city-day ticket, there is no need to validate it anymore.