Munich public transport tickets

Tickets, strip cards, and day passes on the Munich public transportation system

Ticket machines in Munich
Both the old (left) and new (right) ticketing machines in Munich. (Photo by Carey)

Useful German
Fahrkarte - Ticket
Streifenkarte - Strip card
Tageskarte - Day ticket
Ringe - Zone

Erwachsene - Adult
Kinder - Child

- Entrance
Ausgang - Exit
Nach - To (as in a destination)

Ein - One
Zwei - Two
Bitte - Please
Danke - Thanks

All forms of public transport—buses, trams, S-Bahns, and U-Bahns—use the same tickets.

You can buy tickets and passes at machines in all S-Bahn/U-Bahn stations.

Ticket zones

Most tickets work on the concept of Ringe ("zones")—a series of concentric rings drawn around the city center and radiating out, like a giant target.

The longer your trip, the more ringen (zones) you'll cross, and the more you'll pay (more on how much below).

One zone covers about two S-Bahn or U-Bahn stops, or four bus or tram stops.

Types of ticket: Single ride, day passes, and strip-cards

In brief:

Single tickets: Expensive

Buy a ticket; be sure to stamp it.
Buy a ticket from a machine. Be sure to stamp it before boarding an S-Bahn or U-Bahn train (or once on board the bus or tram).
The most expensive ride is a single ticket.

Check the chart of stops posted on the machine and press the button for the number of ringe (zones) it says you'll be riding.

  • Short trips cost €1.30. A "short trip" means up to four stops after getting on bus/tram, two stops on the S-Bahn/U-Bahn, valid for 1 hour max.
  • For longer trips, you'll have to start thinking in "zones." Each zone you cover costs €2.60, so sticking within zone 1 will cost €2.60 (and lasts 3 hours); crossing two zones will cost €5.20 (lasts 4 hours), etc.
Streifenkarte: Cheaper, but confusing

A streifenkarte for the Munich transport system.
A Strip Card (or Stripe Ticket) for the Munich transport system.
More economical than single tickets is a Streifenkarte (stripe card), which for €12.50 gives you 10 stripes to use over several rides.

  • Stripe cards save you about €0.10 per zone, but they are midly confusing to use.
  • How to use stripe cards: Fold over the ticket to however many strips your journey "costs." Brief trips cost one strip, but each full zone costs 2 strips.
  • Each time you stamp a set of strips, those are good for unlimited transfers within three hours within one zone (4 hours at two or more zones), so long as you stay headed in the same direction (in other words, it doesn't cover your return).
  • You can also use it for multiple passengers (for two people to ride two zones, simply fold over four strips and stamp it).


Tageskarte (day tickets): Best deal

A one-day, Munich XXL Tageskarte
A one-day "Munich XXL" Tageskarte—from 2009, since when the price has gone up. (Photo by Richard Huber)
An even better deal may be the Tageskarte (Day Ticket), (and, for more than one person, the Partner Day Ticket) which allow for unlimited rides from the time of validation until 6am the next day.

Day Tickets cover an ever-widening set of concentric rings out from the city center (if you stick to just the inner ring, there are both one-day and three-day versions).

  • Inner district: Covers zones 1–4. Cost: €5.80 (or €14.30 for three days).
  • Munich XXL: Covers zones 1–8 (most of the city, including out to Dachau). Cost: €7.80.
  • Entire Network: Covers all Greater Munich (a 50-mile radius, including out to the airport). Cost: €11.20.

There's also a Partner Day Ticket pass version, which is a fabulous value for couples and families: It allows five "adults" to ride anywhere together on a single pass. (Bonus: kids under 15 each count as half an adult!)

  • Inner disctrict (zones 1–4). Cost: €10.60 (or €24.60 for three days)
  • Munich XXL (zones 1-8). Cost: €13.60.
  • Entire network. Cost: €20.40.




The München City Tour Card: Probably not worth it

Do not bother with the München City Tour Card (

It is bascially the Tageskarte (day ticket) transport pass but with some sightseering and other discounts thrown in. It costs (roughly) €4 more than the plain vanilla Tageskarte for the one-day pass, €6.60 more for the three-day.

However, those additional discounts are not all that great.

They are mostly for third-rate sights and activities (plus discounts on a bunch of walking tours, bus tours, and Segway tours).

The only true biggies are €1 off each at the Residenz and various sights at the Nymphemburg Palace.

However, if you're planning to visit the BMW Museum as well, this pass might work out for that day, since the discount on that is €3.

The S-Bahn is covered by Eurail

Note: The S-Bahn is covered by Eurail, so if you have a rail pass, don't buy a separate ticket.



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This article was by Reid Bramblett and last updated in September 2013.
All information was accurate at the time.

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Copyright © 1998–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.