The mere mention of Munich, Germany evokes images of the snow-capped Alps and tiny folkloric villages but for many travelers booking cheap flights to Munich in the fall, one word comes to mind: Oktoberfest. This rowdy festival draws millions of travelers to Munich every year for 16 days of beer, brats and Bavarian culture. It’s no wonder Munich is one of Germany’s most festive cities. Home to around 1.5 million people and welcoming millions of travelers a year, Munich flights are packed with people looking for a good time.
There’s more to Munich than festivals however. Munich boasts an impressive high-tech industry and is Germany’s political center. The city of Munich is bustling with commuters heading to factories, manufacturing plants or satellite offices for international companies. Whether your flight to Munich is for business or beer, this city is bound to leave a lasting impression. Here are some tips to help you plan and enjoy the smoothest possible trip.
The seasonal climate allows for quite a few options when booking your cheap flight to Munich. Summers are warm and temperatures average around the mid-60’s (Fahrenheit) with highs sometimes reaching into the 70’s, while winter is cold with temps dropping down into the low 30’s and even the 20’s. Summers typically see the most rain, while winters are usually dry but snow is possible. But fear not – whether you’re there in the summer or winter, tricky winds can always change things up a bit. In the summer, northwest winds called Alpenstau can sometimes bring cold temperatures and more precipitation than usual. Likewise, the winter brings southwest winds that can warm up the daytime temperatures. Late spring and the early fall also bring fairly mild temperatures, but also some rain.
Fortunately, no matter when you book your Munich flight, you’re bound to have a unique experience in this German metropolis. However, here are some details on when the best time to fly to this beautiful city is, and what periods you may want to avoid if you can.
The peak season in Munich normally runs from May through to September, and you’ll notice flights to Munich are a lot more expensive then and the streets will be crowded with tourists. Summer brings warm weather and occasional thunderstorms. Book your flight to Munich during its hottest months, July and August, when temperatures hit in the high 70’s. October is also very busy because of the Oktoberfest that happens every year. You’ll have to secure your flight tickets early if you’re planning on visiting then as the prices will shoot up towards the event. Christmas is a great time to visit Munich as the Winter Festival hosts a very charming Christmas market. While weather is cold during this time and snow is a possibility, it’s a popular event with tourists and flights may be more expensive.
You’ll find the cheapest flights to Munich from November to March, with the exception of Christmas time. Munich does get a lot colder then and snow becomes a threat; tourists are almost non-existent making the off season a great time to visit if you want a quiet getaway. Late November and early December sees the Tollwood Festival which has a bit of something for everyone, from theatre to music to culinary delights. It’s not to be missed if you find yourself in Munich towards December. Booking a flight to Munich during the months of April and May will also get you pleasant weather and fewer tourists.
You’ll find the cheapest flights to Munich around January and February, although sometimes you can find absolute bargains on your flight tickets as late as July. To have the best chances of finding cheap flights to Munich, make sure you book as early as you can. If you can be flexible too then you’ll definitely give yourself the upper hand when it comes to securing cheap flight tickets. You’ll also have to book well in advance if you plan to visit Munich during Oktoberfest, around Christmas, and during the peak of summer.
Although no European flight is particularly short, Munich is one of the more convenient continental destinations. If you’re departing from the East Coast, including New York and Washington, D.C., it’s easy to find a flight that lasts about eight hours. Choosing a major airport in the middle of the country, such as Chicago’s O’Hare, only adds about two hours to the flight time. West Coast residents are looking at longer haul, however, with a nonstop flight from Los Angeles lasting about twelve hours.
Munich’s central location and large size makes it a convenient stop for most European airlines ranging from big names, such as Lufthansa and British Airways, to smaller options, such as Condor and airBaltic. If you’re flying direct from North America, common airliners include Delta, American Airlines and Air Canada.
Munich is a bustling major city, so it’s a good idea to pack at least one or two dressy outfits in case you want to hit a more upscale location. Other than that, casual clothing is fine. German summers are fairly temperate, but summer storms can be chilly so layers are a great idea. Winter weather can be quite chilly, so pack plenty of sweaters and other warm clothing. Munich has an excellent public transportation system, but pack comfortable walking shoes for navigating between stops. Be sure to pack hiking boots and other practical wilderness gear if you plan on venturing into the Alps.
You can find most of the basic toiletries you need in Munich. Remember that popular American brands may not be widely available in Germany, so bring along any particular favorites, as well as any prescription medication you need.
There are a couple of choices to get to the city center from Munich Airport – also known as Franz Josef Strauss Airport in memory of the late former Bavarian prime minister – which is a little over 20 miles away. First there is the S-Bahn (subway service) which is one of the easiest and most convenient if you are carrying luggage. You can get it straight from the airport every twenty minutes. You can also take a Lufthansa bus to the city center from the arrivals terminal of the airport. You can buy a ticket from the driver and the journey takes around thirty-five minutes. You could opt to take a taxi, too, but they are more expensive than the rail or bus services. Lastly, you could rent a car if you plan on doing a bit more traveling beyond your hotel.
Once you’ve settled in to your hotel and are ready to explore the city, you will find that Munich is easy to get around without putting a strain on your wallet. Commuter trains run all around the city and to the suburbs as well. Buses and any of the Mercedes taxis can get you around town. The S-Bahn stops at all the city’s highlights and runs from early morning to late at night. If you’re out late, hop on an all-night train or bus. If you’re traveling in one direction, you only need one ticket for any kind of transportation.
Munich is probably most famous for its annual Oktoberfest celebrations, but it’s a beer-lover’s mecca all year around. Hofbrauhaus is one of the most famous beer halls. Sip a beer in the beautifully landscaped gardens or raise a glass listening to traditional music in the main hall. If Hofbrauhaus is too crowded, scout out one of the numerous smaller halls nearby, or visit Augustiner-Keller, another popular historic beer hall.
Step into the past at one of Munich’s many historic sites. Visit Marienplatz to see numerous historic landmarks, including the famous Mariensaule, a stunning column supporting a beautifully ornate golden statue of the Virgin Mary. Stop in at the gorgeous, Gothic-style Frauenkirche, known in English as the Catholic Cathedral of Our Blessed Lady, and climb to the top of the tower to get an unparalleled view of the city and mountains.
On a more somber note, head a mere 10 miles northwest to visit Dachau, the infamous concentration camp. Take a tour of the site to get a glimpse of what the prisoners experienced as they arrived, and spend time at the visitor’s center and memorial museum to gain a more complete understanding of Nazi concentration camps and the effect they had.
Munich isn’t all about the past, however. Tour the Museum Brandhorst, one the premier modern art museums in the world, or learn more about the world around you at the Museum of Man and Nature, which features engaging, interactive exhibits about natural history. Explore the English Garden, which is larger than New York’s Central Park and features everything from formal floral gardens to sandy river beaches.
Get a taste of hearty, traditional German cuisine at the Viktualienmarkt, where vendors offer a wide selection of foods ranging from international favorites, such as sausages and cheeses, to more adventurous fare, such as pig knuckle. It’s a great place to stock up for a picnic in the Alps.
Conveniently located in the southern part of Germany, Munich serves as an excellent starting point for various European destinations. Take one of the many quick flights to Paris and arrive there in about an hour and a half. London is a mere two hours away if you catch one of the many nonstop flights form Munich. Prague, that perennial romantic favorite, lies less than an hour away by air. You can also fly to many other locations around the world on airlines such as Lufthansa, British Airways and other major carriers. Visit https://www.cheapflights.co.uk for the top flight deals for routes out of Munich.
The Munich airport is easily accessible by public transportation as well. S-Bahn trains arrive at a nearby station every ten minutes, and there are also bus routes operated by Flixbus and Lufthansa. Don’t be afraid to get to the airport a little early if you have some time to kill between your hotel checkout and your departure time. It offers free wireless internet, top-notch restaurants and even inexpensive short-term childcare at Kinderland.
Once you choose a destination, be sure to check out our Munich airport guides for more detailed travel information and helpful tips.