By | 16th January 2018

Do you need a car in Munich?

Do you need a car in Munich > Should you rent a car in Munich Germany > Munich ( MUC )
Do you need a car in 4? Is it worth hiring a car in 4? Should you rent a car in 4? Should you rent a car in 4?

Munich Car hire summary

Overall drive rating

Based on a weighted score across all factors, including driving roads, hire and fuel costs, road safety etc. [Full notes - drive rating]


Cheapest rate for one week

Based on cheapest economy car hire deal with no added extras. [full notes - basic costs]



  • Price alone isn't the only factor in determining whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Munich but clearly it's an important one. See our "why" section for more figures.
How much should I expect to pay in the peak season? Based on cheapest deal during the summer holiday season. (Unless otherwise noted) [full notes - seasonal variations]




  • During the peak holiday season, public transport is often better value, as many train and bus fares are fixed throughout the year. See our "whynot" section for more suggestions.
Free parking score Based on the number of hotels which offer free parking.Total 456 - of which 76 have free parking. [full notes - parking]




  • During the peak holiday season, public transport is often better value, as many train and bus fares are fixed throughout the year. See our "whynot" section for more suggestions.

Munich public transport quick facts

"Top trumps" train score

Higher scores go to the systems which take you to the most amazing places.



  • [full notes - top trumps trains]
  • A good rail system doesn't mean you shouldn't hire a car, but it often means you have a decent range of options.

Overall public transport score

This is a more practical rating based on bus and rail travel.



  • [full notes - overall transit] buses | trams | metro | local & regional rail | national rail
  • Is public transport in Munich good value, or is it worth hiring a car just because it is cheaper overall?

Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

This overall rating considers walking and cycling in and around Munich



Take to the waters!

This is a general rating for all types of water travel, including scheduled ferries, sea / rivers cruises and excursions in Munich


Need, worth & should!

Whether you have come here asking "do I need a car in Munich", "is it worth hiring a car in Munich", or whether or not you "should" hire a car here, these are all slight variations on a similar theme:

Do you need a car in Munich?

This is essentially based on whether or not public transport and other "non car" options are good enough to get around and beyond the city.

Is it worth hiring a car in Munich?

Is car hire good value, especially during the peak season? How does this compare with transit fares?

Should you rent a car in Munich?

Weighing up the above questions, if you are here for the first time AND asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?

Munich is famous for the Oktoberfest drinking festival, but there’s a lot more to Bavaria than beer.

Do you need a car in Munich? Introduction

When someone asks "Do you need a car in Munich?", this often breaks down to two key questions:

  1. Can you actually get around using public transport, or is a car all but essential?
  2. Is it worth hiring a car in Munich? Is it good value for money, compared with non-car options?

Over the next few sections, we wil look at the pros and cons of driving in Munich as a tourist, and ultimately weigh these up, so we can answer the key question of Should you rent a car in Munich?

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

However, even when you’ve ticked off your long list of all the interesting palaces and other historic places to visit within the city, and then headed out to some of the other palaces which are outside the centre of Munich, there is still no particular reason to rent a car.

Why should you rent a car in Munich?

What are the main reasons for hiring a car here? Do you just want to drive locally? Do you want to go further afield, or should you even look at taking a road trip?

In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in Munich?

  • Since Munich is the home of BMW, there are a number of car related attractions, but they don’t always need a car to get to them.
  • A car can be useful for driving into the Alps – but it’s not strictly necessary.

Why not? Visiting Munich without a car

What is public transport like in Munich? What about local conditions for walking or cycling? Can you rely on public transport and maybe a few taxis for most or all of your trip? Are there some times of year when it's easier to get by without a car than others? When should you rent a car in Munich?

  • Whether you want to head deep into the Alps, travel elsewhere within Bavaria, or pop across the border into the wonderful city of Salzburg in neighbouring Austria, there are still trains are plenty to do this.
  • Munich also has an excellent network of cycling trails. You can head out of the city towards the south, and the city also has a good network of cycle paths along the major roads, making it reasonably bike friendly, in line with most other German cities.
  • The local suburban (S-Bahn) networks in Munich are supplemented by private railway lines which head into the Alps, and these are ideal for exploring lakeside cycling trails on a day excursion (best to hire bikes when you get there).

If you are here for the fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein, then a hire car starts to make sense, but it’s still just going to be parked up there, and in many senses it’s easier to take an organised bus tour, with regular departures being available right from the heart of Munich.

Even if you prefer to travel independently, you can easily take local train services to Fussen (allow around 90 minutes), from where you can reach the entrance to Neuschwanstein in around 30 minutes of brisk uphill walking. Local shuttle buses are available, but because of the restricted design of the site, it’s not easy to access by anyone with restricted mobility.

Naturally, if you are the sort of visitor who prefers to drive anyway, then a hire car in Munich still makes sense for everywhere beyond the centre of the city itself. It’s just that there’s no need for one here.


Our slider ratings range from 0 (it isn't even possible to hire a car, e.g. Hong Kong) through to 10 (you really must rent a car here, e.g. Phoenix, Tampa). However, most places are somewhere inbetween these extremes, and this is where it gets more interesting! Further ratings breakdowns, including a much more detailed public transport rating, are currently being added. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

Would you hire a car in Munich?

Have you driven in Munich? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Munich?

Do you need a car in Munich? For some or all of the time? 

Tell us what you think using the comments section below:

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