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Munich Train Station - Seedy or Safe - esp night

Hi, we will be arriving rather later (10:30 PM flight arrival plus train/shuttle) to Munich. We had booked a room by train for convenience of public transport but I have read it is not just rundown but unsafe - and here we will be disoriented and with luggage. Should we be concerned about the few blocks from the train at that time of night? If not, are there other areas? This is for early early Sept.
thanks

Posted by
8886 posts

James has it right. Many of the train stations in Germany will have areas around them that to tourist eyes look "seedy or shady" but it doesn't mean that they are unsafe. Crime like stealing your bags or purses is not going to happen here. German cities are extremely safe to walk through at night, even the red-light districts and those "seedy" streets.

I am always curious about these kind of things. Where did you read that it was "unsafe"? Those kind of questions interest me, as one never hears about what exactly is unsafe about them. Was a friend robbed? Or were they just shocked seeing sex shops next to the station?

Posted by
14425 posts

Hi,

I stayed at the Wombat's hostel last year in June, located just a few minutes from the train station. I almost always stay near the train station, as long as it doesn't take more than a 5-7 minute walk. The area there could be interpreted as seedy but I would not say it is unsafe. I never had any problems. What hotel/hostel are you going to? What is the street?

The area a few blocks from the Hauptbahnhof is all right, just use common sense

Posted by
32152 posts

cj,

Where did you read that? I've never found the Munich station to be "seedy", "unsafe" (even at night) or "rundown". The Hotel I use in Munich is at least a 10-minute walk from the HBf, and I've never had any concerns about walking there.

Which Hotel did you book? If you're that concerned, you could also take a Cab. If you decide on that, it would be a good idea to have the name and address of your Hotel written on a small card, as not all of the drivers speak English well (that's been my experience).

I assume you'll use the S-Bahn from the airport into the city?

Happy travels!

Posted by
345 posts

The area around the station is not seedy. It's commercial, but that is understandable. I have been to Munich each of the past 5 years and always stay in that area (Hotel Mark, Europäischerhof, and Art Hotel) and NEVER felt the least bit uncomfortable.

Posted by
19022 posts

You have a 22:30 flight arrival? Assuming it's on time, you probably won't get to the Hauptbahnhof S-Bahn station until 23:30. It's a 40 min trip to the Hbf, plus you have to find the airport S-Bahn station. I've never had reason to be around the Hbf at that time of night, but I have been near Marienplatz late at night, and I never felt unsafe. There are several hotels in that area:
Blauer Bock
Viktualienmarkt.

The same S-Bahnen that stop at the Hbf stop at Marienplatz 2 stops before (S8) or 2 stops after (S1) the Hbf.

I would consider spending the night in Freising, about 20 min away by bus. Some people have stayed in Zur Gred and liked it.

Update: the last bus to Freising leaves the airport at 22:55. After that you'd have to take the S-Bahn anyway (or a taxi).

Posted by
811 posts

Munich is pretty safe - i think it's safer than Seattle for sure. i have taken pretty late subway/train rides never a problem (even during october fest).

Posted by
19022 posts

BTW, the last S-Bahn to the Hauptbahnhof leave the airport at 24 and 44 after midnight and at 1:24.

Posted by
48 posts

Found it very safe as we walked to the Hotel Uland a few times late at night..felt fine..just keep a watch as you would here

Posted by
115 posts

I did not find any area I saw in Munich to be seedy. I was at the train station several times..mind you around 5PM or so and it seems always bustling....but you can get a cab to drive you even a half a mile...there is quite a large area for cabs and I would think they are there at night too. If you feel bad just tip the driver....but I had the same concern about a very late train trip to Paris from germany.....and even tho I found an earlier one I still feel I had reason to be concerned about being alone or with my friend and walking to the hotel.....it is definitely more "seedy"in Paris than Munich. What concerned me was the amount of people just "hanging" around some areas...I never saw anything like that in Munich. I was very impressed with how safe I always felt there, and the people there are very helpful/and you can always find someone with decent or very good english.

Posted by
2193 posts

There’s certainly nothing dangerous about the area in the immediate vicinity of the station, but I would agree with some others that a taxi might be your best bet at such a late hour (they’re right outside in the circle drive…can’t miss them). This makes it easy, especially considering that you'll have luggage in tow. There’s the typical sex shop on the street, and you may see a drunk, but that’s all I think you need to be aware of. There are some high-end hotels very close by. I’ll recommend Hotel Uhland…cab ride might be 2-3 minutes. The previous reply mentioned Paris…there are dangers lurking around stations like Gare du Nord late at night. Munich’s Hbf is nothing like that.

Posted by
425 posts

I certainly understand your concern after reading that virtual tourist article! I love the poster that said "avoid the police, they carry big guns"! I walked all over Munich at all times of day and night, and never felt unsafe. If you have ever been around a train station in Europe, you know that it's crowded and a little crazy at times. There are lots of people hanging around. Just keep your eyes open and don't project yourself as a lost tourist. You will be fine.

Posted by
7209 posts

Train station area can be seedy and anybody who says otherwise has just turned a blind eye to the strip joints and beer joints and beggars hanging around. However, I've never personally witnessed any crime.

On the other hand - there are so many NICE places to stay in other areas such as the Viktualienmarkt and Marienplatz why would you want to confine yourself to the seediness of the train station? Maybe because it's close to the train...well the U-Bahn and S-Bahn serves a vast part of Munich quickly and seemlessly delivers you right into the train station.

Posted by
14425 posts

There is a big difference between one's interpretation of an area perceived to be "seedy" and an area that can be or is indeed unsafe. When I went to Munich last summer, it was the first time since 1992; admittedly, I was taken aback at the area outside and across the street from the Hbf....Bayerstrasse. I didn't recall it was like that in the late 1980s. Still, I would trade the train station areas of cities like Munich, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Koeln anytime for "seedy" dumps in the Bay Area. As the poster above correctly pointed out, Munich is much safer than Seattle at night. On Gare du Nord: I always stay there when I'm in Paris and at the same 2 star hotel. True, there are just people hanging about...you see them all the time...so what. To be fair I've never been accosted by them, except those waifs sticking that card in front of you and asking if you speak English...and we all the answer to that question. Gare du Nord was worse in being seedy over 20 years ago at my first time there in 1987, when all that constuction to make it what it is today was taking place. It's safe and convenient...I'll be back there next summer

Posted by
37 posts

Thank you to all who responded. I agree that trains in general can attract a more "transient" population and truthfully, I would not give it a 2nd thought w/out the time of night we are arriving.
Lee - you are an amazing resource. My flight gets in at 10:40 and I had factored in an hour for luggage, etc. I have checked the airport shuttle and the train schedules and we should be okay.
The hotel we are booked at is Hotel Amba, which has good reviews. And yes, the reason to book there was because with the late night arrival, it was close to the train and seemed simplest. We already had two connecting flights to get there and enough travel!
Based on the comments, I feel like we should be okay there - just usual common sense/alertness.
You guys were very helpful.

Posted by
72 posts

the station itself seems very safe. I stayed at a hostel 10 minutes walk from the station and the neighborhood around the station does feel kinda seedy (casinos and strip joints) but I never felt unsafe and I was traveling by myself. I had no problems and in general found that pickpockets aren;t as big a deal in germany as in italy and france. I really wouldn't worry about it. It;s not rundown but just looks kinda crummy. Just act confident and no one will bother you. If someone approaches you, say Nein and keep walking. if they persist yell it in their face and keep going. You;ll be fine.

Posted by
349 posts

Why is it travelers fear spending 10-15 dollars on a cab when that may be the knowledgeable answer

Posted by
5879 posts

I checked out the link you provided to the Virtual Tourist forum, and noticed that the posts that mentioned the "danger" were 6-7 years old - and also contained a few contradictions about the so-called danger. So I would probably take those posts with a very large grain of salt... :)

Posted by
1986 posts

we stayed at two hotels in area of station in 2006. My wife had been apprehensive, but when we were there she commented that she didnt see what all the fuss had been about. One of the hotels- EdenHotelWolf, right across main road from station, is one of best we stayed at in Germany, very nice helpful staff, excellent restaurant (breakfast buffet is superb), very nice rooms. Probably used to dealing with business people. We would highly recommend it. Very short easy walk to pedestrian area and all the sights. Also very convenient for tour busses

Posted by
14425 posts

I agree with the posting stating that pick-pocketing is much less of a problem in Germany than one would find in Italy and France, especially in the Paris Metro. If you got pick pocketed in Hamburg, Dortmund, Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich or Duesseldorf waiting for or getting off/on the U-Bahn, then it's a matter of real bad luck. I am hardly on guard there, don't even wear a money belt, but in Paris, Prague, and Rome it's the total opposite...you bet I am on guard and with that money belt on. I would not spend the 15 dollars on a taxi...not in Munich. What should I be afraid of?

Posted by
2 posts

Hi, My train (CNT) leaves munich at 11.40pm Im worried that it will be dangerous for 2 girls to wait at hbf at that time of night. are station shops still open? will it be safe? Please advise Jen

Posted by
14425 posts

@ Jen...I stay in a Pension basically across the street on the Bayerstrasse side of the station and have been there at night but not quite so late. You're taking the CNL at 1140 pm? Where to? Yes, there are still people around. Most of the eateries at the Hbf. (train station) start closing up at 10pm. The food stores, Reisebedarf, may still be open, depending. It's safe. You may even see DB security or Bahnhofspolizei walking around. With a dep at 1140 I would assume your CNL train is already on the track at 1100 or thereabouts. By 1100 I would wait at the dep. platform, easier to access to your reserved coach (sleeper, couchette, or compartment seat).

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks Fred The CNL is to Venice Its probably better to try and blend in? not look too much like a lost tourist? ive been reading posts about police targeting tourists to see their passports ect.. Thanks again!

Posted by
8886 posts

Where are you reading posts like that? I haven't seen anything like that here on this forum, nor on Trip Advisor, nor on Fodors. If police are checking passports, it means they are looking for someone. To not look like a lost tourist, have a look at the train station maps, pull up some videos on Youtube, look at some Google street views. The Munich station is a dead end station, so all the trains come to one end. You just walk to the track.

Posted by
962 posts

"The CNL is to Venice
Its probably better to try and blend in? not look too much like a lost tourist? ive been reading posts about police targeting tourists to see their passports ect.." Hi Jen, You are departing from a major railway station on an international train, you bet there will be plenty of people around including transport police, so relax! As for police checking passports, why would that be an issue? If anything it should put the muggers off... Jim

Posted by
37 posts

Hi Jen, having lived in the city for a while, my wife and I have been in and through Munich Hbf hundreds of times, dozens of times as late or (much) later than 11 pm. You'll be safe and secure at the station, no worries... Plus there will be plenty of people around, very many of them tourists who may or may not be lost. I think you'll blend in just fine. And you'll be able to find something to eat and / or drink at that hour too, as enough kiosks are open until at least midnight, including that RSteves fave, Yorma's (who just raised coffee prices ten cents to 1,10€ a cup... whatevs). If you have a few extra minutes I suggest the escalator by the Chiquita fruit smoothie stand in the main hall: go up that and you get a nice overall view of hall where the railing kinda zigzags. Friday or Saturday nights you may get some bachelor or bachelorette party groups coming through... they're entertaining. No one'll bother you. Enjoy.

Posted by
10133 posts

The OP posted this about 2 1/2 years ago and someone revived it to ask a new question.

Posted by
14425 posts

Jen, You're welcome. To allay any fears you may have as to looking like a "lost tourist" no need to concern yourself with that. You're not going to look a "lost tourist." The Munich Hbf is very easy to follow. As pointed out here, before going to the departing platform, you'll see numerous eateries or stores to duck into. There is a big cafe bar (it is a bar counter that serves coffee) around the middle of the food court, plus Starbuck's at one end of the station. The WC facilities are downstairs, "Rail and Fresh"...one of the best for such facilities in large stations. The CNL night train is the best I've taken, esp. the armchair seat.

Posted by
32216 posts

anybody looking at the OP with panic and the article referred to should note that the article is >>TEN<< years old.