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Explore Munich with Expedia’s Travel Guides to find the best hotels, flights, holiday packages and more!
The Bavarian capital of Munich is a city of elegance and history. The vertiginous Frauenkirche cathedral rises above the rest of the city’s buildings, punctuating the sky with its domes. The Munich opera house and the neighbouring Residenz add cultural depth and some imposing columns, which add to Munich’s reputation for being a bit posh. But there are plenty of beer gardens too, and the bohemian Schwabing area is full of interesting cafes and independent shops.
Organise car hire in Munich and there is a wealth of nearby destinations that open up. Starnberger See is a beautiful lake 45 minutes’ drive from the city, while Ammersee, another lake, is less than an hour by car and is a paradise for windsurfing, boating and fishing.
Fly to Munich Airport, which is half an hour from the city centre by car, a drive of 23 miles along the A9. Driving is the quickest way to travel into the city and it is easy to pick up a rental car in Munich Airport. There are also regular trains. The S1 and S8 S-Bahn lines leave the airport for the city centre every 10 minutes.
To arrange a hire car in Munich city centre try Sixt, Europcar or Hertz, which are among the brands available. Parking is difficult in the city, but head for the A99 ring road for great links to the rest of the country.
At Munich Airport, Keddy, Interent, Thrifty and Dollar are among the brands available. They are open daily from 6.30am until 11.30pm.
So now you have your hire car in Munich, where to next? Stuttgart is two and a half hours west along the A8, a drive of 145 miles. Visit the State Gallery Stuttgart or the Porsche Museum, which are both in the city centre. Palace Square is one of the most impressive areas with its Baroque grandeur and surrounding gardens. There are a number of other historic palaces in Stuttgart’s outlying towns. The Ludwigsburg Residential Palace is a 25-minute drive north, while the beautiful Weikersheim Palace is an hour and a half away by car.
An hour-long drive north of Munich up the A9 is Nuremberg. The 100-mile drive takes you past the pretty towns of Kipfenberg and Beilngries, which make great stopping points. Nuremberg sells itself as a city with a century-long beer, sausage and gingerbread tradition. There is also the Imperial Castle and a huge Christmas market each year. And talking of sausages, Frankfurt, home of the famous frankfurter, is two hours further on from Nuremberg, or four hours from Munich by car. Frankfurt has a big city skyline and a large financial centre, making it feel much larger than its Bavarian neighbours. The river Main winds through its centre, giving space for nice bars and river cruises.
With a hire car in Munich you could say goodbye to Germany and head for Austria - the border is just over an hour’s drive away. Salzburg is an hour and 40 minutes drive (about 90 miles), or head to the ski resort of Ischgl, just under three hours from Munich by car, it offers wide powdery slopes in the winter and wild flower meadows in the summer.
The roads in Munich city centre are busy. There are a number of blue zones where parking along a blue line costs 0.50 euros per 12 minutes from 8am to 7pm.
If you are ready to start planning your break to Munich and other parts of Germany used the Expedia search tool to help you find the best deals on car hire, flights and hotels, as well as researching the best attractions and activities in the area.
The main airport serving Munich is Munich International, also known as Franz Josef Strauss International. Located 25 miles northeast of the city centre, this travel hub is home to a number of car hire agencies, including Budget and Hertz. For ease, it’s recommended that you organise your car hire before you arrive (you can do this quickly by using the Expedia search tool). From this airport, the centre of Munich can be reached by car in just 40 minutes.
It’s also possible to hire a car at the smaller airport of Memmingen, but the drive into Munich from here takes longer (usually around 1 hour and 20 minutes).
Passengers arriving in the city by train or bus can find a number of car rental agencies scattered across the city centre, with most located close to the popular tourist areas. If you are travelling into the city by train and arriving at Munich Central Station, you will find it particularly convenient to pick up a rental vehicle; agencies such as Hertz, Budget and Europcar all have branches next to this station.
Having your own car can be a fantastic asset when visiting Munich since it allows you to explore at your own pace and get out of the centre to tour the more remote attractions. Just be aware that at peak times of day, there is more traffic on the road, so it’s best to drive outside rush hour. Munich also makes the parking situation a little more hassle-free, by providing park and ride car parks on the outskirts of the city, enabling you to leave your car and take public transport.
Once you have arrived in Munich, you’ll want to check out the city centre and visit attractions such as the 14th-century Old Town Hall, the Münchner Stadtmuseum, the Hofgarten and the Munich Residenz.
However, if you’re keen to make the most of your rental vehicle, you’ll want to get out of the city, too. For the Dachau concentration camp, head northwest on the B304. For Augsburg, home of the 11th-century St Mary’s Cathedral, head northwest on the A8. To reach the Alps, you’ll want to drive south on the A95 to the ski resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and for the fairy-tale castle of Neuschwanstein, drive south on the A95 until you reach the market town of Murnau am Staffelsee, and then head west to Schwangau.