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Layover in Munich

We have a 15 hour overnight layover during our flight from San Francisco to Palermo.
Any suggestions about handy places to stay or what to do in that brief period? Thanks!

Posted by
900 posts

Hi. I have not had to stay overnight near the Munich airport, but I recalled an earlier discussion that I squirreled away in my memory where folks identified their favorite
overnight places close to the Munich airport. Freising looks interesting. I am sure others will chime in with ideas.

Posted by
2700 posts

We stayed in nearby Erding, which is a pretty old town close to the airport. We did stay overnight at the Park Hotel (Best Western) which was very nice and an easy walk to the Erding pedestrian zone.

Posted by
939 posts

Freising is a direct 15-minute train ride from Munich's international airport and is closer than Munich’s town center. Erding is 30-minutes away which is still closer than the town center.

Posted by
769 posts

It would really help to know what the hours are. If you land at 3pm and leave at 6am it's going to be totally different than if you land at 6 am and leave at 9pm.

Posted by
769 posts

OK, with those times here's what I would do.

First, you're going to want a place to sleep, so find a place near the airport and make your reservations. Ideally find a place near the U-Bahn line. Plan to go and check in and drop your luggage. (It would be even better if all you have is a carry on and your larger pieces can be transferred direct to your next flight, then you could call ahead and let them know you're checking in late and just head into the city.)

If you haven't been to Munich before you definitely want to get into the old (touristy) part of the city. I'll assume you're traveling this summer, so it will be light outside until @ 9pm. If you're able to take the U-Bahn to the main Bahnhof it's a easy 10 minutes walk from there into old town. If you can afford it a taxi (from the airport) is better, but they're not cheap. Walk around, see the city, do some window shopping, listen to the buskars playing in the street. (Munich has a very good musical university program and there's a very good chance to hear world class music just walking around.) Find a place to eat, outside should be best if the weather cooperates, walk some more (realize the major tourist stuff closed before you landed) and then head back to the hotel and crash for a good nights sleep.

If you know Munich then you have a choice to stay local (around your hotel) or go into the city. But if you've never been there you should definitely take the time to explore.

I will suggest you avoid the Hofbrauhaus, or any of the "big name" places to eat. They so rarely live up to expectations. You might ask a local (look for a student, they most likely speak English and know the good, cheap, places). Remember the menu and prices are displayed outside so you can look before you decide to enter.

If you pull up a map (google is good) you can easily trace out a path around most of the old city center that shouldn't take more than a couple hours (max) and still let you see the majority of the area. Much of that part of town is closed to vehicle traffic, and after 6pm stores start closing down. Still, old town Munich, like many major European cities, has a life of it's own after working hours.

Posted by
1615 posts

There's a plethora of hotels and Gasthöfe in the villages around the airport; many of them provide shuttle transfer and are way cheaper than the chain hotels at or near the airport. One I have used several times is Runa's Hotel (ex Airport Regent) in Halbergmoos (9km from the airport); prices for a double room start at approx €55. Another option would be to stay in the historical town of Freising (numerous bus and train connections from the airport), e.g. in the excellent Bayerischer Hof.

Posted by
133 posts

Freising will be lower key and closer in. Eat at the Weihenstephan, the oldest continuously brewing brewery in the world. It's on a hill, has a nice orchard, and nice views if the weather is nice and you are in the small beer garden. Its indoor dining also has great atmosphere if the weather is crap. Freising also has a cute old town if you prefer to sit on a square for dinner, but really, go to the beer garden of the Weihenstephan. Save going into Munich for a separate trip.

Posted by
17940 posts

find a place near the airport and make your reservations. Ideally find a place near the U-Bahn line.

It's the S-Bahn, not the U-Bahn that comes out to the airport. The closest U-Bahn station to the airport is Garching-Forschungszentrum, and it only goes into town from there, and you have to take a half hour bus from the airport to get to it.

Halbergmoos and Freising are on an S-Bahn line. However, I think it is easier to take the bus between Freising and the airport.

Posted by
3 posts

Don't want to rain on your parade, but just wondering when you are going and whether even leaving the airport is "allowed" under the current COVID restrictions? My impression was that if you have a layover and are only in the airport, you are not subject to testing etc but if you leave the airport (which they may not even "let" you do unless you have EU citizenship or an "extraordinary circumstance" to be allowed into Germany as a US citizen), you may have to test/ quarantine.
Anyway if you can get out of the airport, I would take the S bahn to Schleissheim and find a hotel, rest up, and take a look at the Schloss etc. 15 hours is whittled away to only a few when you factor in sleep, S bahn travel time, and queuing up at the airport....