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To the Fest!

When in Munich, getting to the Fest grounds could hardly be any easier. The Theresienwiese (Wiesn) is served by several U-Bahn trains. The U-Bahn is the Munich's subway and there are four separate train lines that will get you to the fest. They are the U3, U4, U5 and U6. By far, the easiest is the U4/U5 line which stops at "Theresienwiese." This line actually exits on the Fair grounds and you have only feet to walk to get to the tents. The other stops are the U3/U6 at "Goetheplatz" and the U4/U5 at "Schwanthalerhöhe." Both of these stops are a few blocks walk to the Fest grounds but not far.

From the Airport

Munich's International Airport, Franz Josef Strauß, (MUC) is located about 28km (18 miles) northeast of Munich. As such, I do not recommend a bus or cab to the city. By far, the easiest and most inexpensive way to get to Munich is by utilizing the excellent light rail train system. Munich has a very easy train system, it's just as easy as London's Tube and is also clean and on-time.

At the airport, (Flughafen) follow the signs that say , these are the trains that will take you into Munich. Don't worry about getting on the wrong train. The airport is the end of the line for the S1 and S8 trains and they only go one way, into the City! There are several different ticket options to use but if you are alone, the most economical is the Streifenkarte or "stripe ticket" which currently costs 10 Euro's each. Groups of 2-5 people can purchase a Partner Day Ticket for only 16 Euro's. It's good for travel all day on the entire network.

Purchase the Streifenkarte or Partner Ticket at the automated kiosk or the manned ticket desk. Theres's a picture of a stripe ticket to the right. As you can see, it has 10 segments. You punch a certain number of segments by inserting your ticket into a small blue punch box, called an Entwerter, that is located at the train platform entrance. If you are going to the city center, ie. Main train Station, you need 8 punches. That leaves two segments left. Good enough for a trip to the Festgrounds and back to the main station, they only cost one punch each from the Hauptbahnhof! stripe ticket jpg

At the train Station

MAP If you take the train into Munich from another European City, you will arrive into the city center at a typical looking station with many tracks coterminous. Depending on where you are staying, you may need to find the U-Bahn or S-Bahn lines. They are easily accessible below the main train station. Just look for the and signs. Click on the map here to the left to download a PDF of Munich's local train system.

There are a variety of ticket options available to you in Munich and it's best to plan ahead in order to save as much money as possible. For example; if you are in country for a week or so and plan on seeing other cities at least two or more times, then it probably makes sense to get a Eurail or Bavaria Pass. It's good on not only inter city trains, but on all of Munich's U-Bahn (not Bavaria Pass), S-Bahn, trams and Buses. If you are in a group and only do the odd day trips around Munich on the U-Bahn and S-Bahn lines, then the Partner Day Pass is the best bet and can accommodate up to 5 persons.

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the different ticket types, zones, fares, etc. before you go. And remember, the Munich train system is an honor system. Which means that they rarely check passengers for tickets. But if you get caught without one, you can know that I warned you of a fine of up to 40 Euro's. Don't be a Schwarzfahrer! (Fare Dodger)

Here is the link for the Munich train system: http://www.mvv-muenchen.de/en/index.html

The Autobahn

autobahn gif Driving a car in Europe can be an experience for people who have never been there before. I don't recommend renting a car the first time you are visiting. Road signs, rules and driving customs are quite different than what most non-Europeans would expect. Germany requires you to have an International Drivers License. In the U.S, this can be purchased at AAA for a small fee and is only a translation of your current license. Most rental companies won't ask for it, but if you are in an incident, the police usually will. autobahn gif

Despite the Autobahn's reputation, there are many sections of its 6,800 miles that do indeed have posted speed limits. But if you are lucky enough to hit a long open stretch of the Autobahn, feel free to let it rip. A few words of advice however: