Heart of Europe location
As Bavarian capital Munich occupies an enviable geographic location at the heart of Europe. A key traffic and transportation node on trade routes from west to east and from north to south, the city boasts an excellent road and local public transportation network, superb rail links and an international airport of European rank.
Rail and freeway links
The Bavarian capital enjoys excellent access to Europe's rail and freeway networks. Due north, since the end of 2017 Berlin can be accessed by high-speed line within less than four hours, serving Nuremberg and Erfurt on the way. Thanks to the high-speed rail network extension LGV Est, the train journey from Munich to Paris has been slashed to just about six hours.
The major cargo ports in Genoa and Venice are both around seven to eight hours from Munich by train. The city on the Isar River is also the ideal springboard to Italy, Austria and the markets of Eastern Europe: Budapest can be reached in seven hours, Prague in five to six hours.
It is no wonder that Munich stands out as an international hub of both passenger and freight transportation. A total of eight freeways, all interlinked by a freeway ring around Munich, guarantee a similar standard of accessibility by truck and private car.
Munich Airport is the second-largest airport in Germany, and is number eight in Europe in terms of passenger volume. 46.3 million passengers used it in 2018 – and were clearly very satisfied with the service and handling they received. In 2018, the respected passenger survey conducted by London-based air travel research company Skytrax has identified Munich Airport twelve times as the best airport in Europe. In addition, it was voted seventh best airport in the world.
Munich Airport also serves an important hub function in European aviation, with 106 airlines offering 264 connections to destinations around the globe. In 2018, some 368,000 tons of airfreight were handled here. International freight and logistics companies can take advantage of ultra-modern facilities; and in 2012, an extra distribution building brought hall space for delivery, sorting and forwarding to a total of 76,000 m2.
The new Terminal 2 satellite facility opened in 2016. Used by Lufthansa and Star Alliance it added significant capacity to handle even more passengers. All the new features – 15 shops, seven restaurants/cafes and three extra duty free areas – are easy to reach via the airport's own short-distance underground link.
Local public transportation
There are currently large building sites and projects to keep Munich's local public transportation system in good shape while the city keeps growing. In large national rankings conducted for examply by Service Value, Civity and Splendid Research, Munich's public transportation is regularly in the top third section regarding passenger satisfaction and efficiency. Its subway, commuter railway, streetcar and bus lines forge effective links between Munich and the surrounding region, carrying two million passengers a day. Since the overall network extends over 1,121 kilometers in the city, virtually every Munich household is within a 400-meter radius of at least one stop.
For those given to healthier, low-carbon ways of getting around, Munich also boasts more than 1,200 kilometers of well-maintained cycle paths. The city's Radlhauptstadt [Cycling Capital] campaign started actively promoting this mode of transportation more than 15 years ago. Bike users now account for 18 percent of the city's modal split. About 300,000 people per day use their bike to move around the city.
Last updated: July 2019