Moving Around Munich: Buying that Travel Card

Moving Around Munich: Buying that Travel Card

By  Wednesday, 7.1.2015, 10:15    Moving to Munich

You have to understand that I have been living on an island for 12 years, an island with no traffic lights or roundabouts.

In my island life that I had, until this year, not been on an aeroplane for some four years, despite the fact I was a world traveller in a previous life and had lived in Russia, Japan, Somalia and Rwanda.

So, although I lived in Munich 25 years ago, the prospect of returning to the city is both exciting and a little terrifying. My German is not what it once was, and adapting to life sharing with 1.5 million people when I am used to no more than 11,000 will be interesting indeed.

Step 1. If I am going to discover this city, I need to get around. How easy is it going to be buying a ticket in this fair city? 

My initial experience of the Munich public transport system has been a complete joy. First the online help, making it a little easier to make the right choice with a little research.  

Then the challenge of buying the ticket itself. I had been planning to throw myself at the mercy of a helpful sales assistant (12 years of island living have given me phobias on dealing with automated machines), but either they did not exist or nobody was working because of the holiday. I need not have worried. 

Easy-to-follow instructions in an impressive 8 languages - German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Turkish - guided me through the various steps required, and then I was presented with a choice of paying cash or by card. All very civilised. 

And one minute later, I am in possession on my 31-day pass to zones 1-4, which covers most of the city. Price 74 euro. Was that expensive? 

I looked up at the map on the wall. 74 euro is 2.5 euro a day to discover all THAT? A total bargain, especially when the bus to the ferry and back on my island is about 8 euro.

It was funny looking at the Munich transport map after 25 years. So many familiar names and memories, but some very unfamiliar ones as well, the most notable of course being the linking to the airport. But there were other changes and surprises. My regular S2 S-Bahn line home to Taufkirchen on the Holzkirchen line was now the S3, and Kieferngarten was no longer the top of the U6. 

I was expecting to be impressed by the standards, and so I was. Emergency response in place and a wealth of information about the practicalities of each destination, including onward travel options.

But it was only when I set off to explore the city (check out our stroll on Three Kings here) that I truly appreciated the value of  the monthly travel card, which offers unlimited travel for a 30-day period. WIth the wealth of choice - tram, bus, U-Bahn, S-Bahn - with a little planning and getting to know the city, moving around will be very simple and quick indeed. And there is a LOT to see and discover. I can't wait to get started.

Rate this
Paul Bradbury

After 12 years living on the most gorgeous island in the world, Hvar in Dalmatia, I have begun to wonder if there is still life beyond its shores. Prior to discovering Paradise in 2002, I was a world traveller, living and working in Japan, Georgia, Somalia, Rwanda, Russia... and Munich.

After 95 countries and some 25 years have passed, the memories of my year in the hotel industry in the Bavarian capital (fired by the Sheraton for losing our pet snake, the first male chambermaid at Hotel Arabella, and a truly eye-watering introduction to five-star living in  my days as a bellboy in luxury Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten) are strong, and the call of Munich has been a constant theme over the last quarter century. 

And so here I am, answering the call some 25 years later. Twelve years of island living have changed me for sure, but also left me curious about life in a big city, and whether or not I could adapt to it after such an insular decade. 

I was surprised to see that for such a magnificent multi-cultural city, English-language blogs and regularly updated information are not that available. Static tourism information, such as that provided by the excellent tourist board website yes, but accounts of daily life delivered daily? Hard to find.

And so I have decided to take a break from my idyllic island and see if I could live in a city again. And what better way to try than to discover modern Munich in all its facets after so many years. It is a journey of discovery which I am relishing, and I hope the site proves to be of interest for Munich residents and its numerous visitors.

About Paul Bradbury

Author of Lebanese Nuns Don't Ski, Lavender, Dormice and a Donkey Named Mercedes and Hvar's first comprehensive guidebook, Hvar: An Insider's Guide to Croatia's Premier Island, as well as co-author of Split: An Insider's Guide with Mila Hvilshoj, I have lived in Dalmatia full time since 2003. In addition to running Total Munich, I also run Total Split (, Total Hvar ( and Total Inland Dalmatia (, as well as being an accredited Google News journalist for Digital Journal in Canada.

I also have various blogging clients, including the Central Dalmatia Tourist Board, European Coastal Airlines, Touristar TV and Andro Tomic Wines, and print clients include Qatar Airways inflight magazine, Out! magazine from New York, and Croatian Hotspots. 

In December 2014 I was delighted to receive the Marko Polo 2014 Award from FIJET Croatia (Federation of International Travel Writers and Journalists)  at a ceremony for the Croatian Journalists Society for the best international tourism promotion of Croatia. More here.

Ongoing writing projects:

A History of Hajduk Split, co-author with Frane Grgurevic - in 2015

Around the World in 80 Disasters - out in 2015

Total Hvar in the Media:

Interview of the Month, Croatian Embassy in Washington (May 2013)

Special Feature in Globus Magazine (May 2013)

Featured on Croatian TV show, More (2012) - watch the report here

Interviews in Slobodna Dalmacija, Dalmacijanews, Radio Split

I am available for writing services. Please contact me on [email protected] or visit my main writing website, 

Website: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
<< Expand >>
>> Collapse <<