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Europe > Germany > Munich

See: Why rent a car in Munich ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

(All of these pages will look a lot nicer when they are tidied up later in the spring)

Your key questions for any destination:

Do I need a car in Munich?

Strictly speaking, there are very few travel destinations anywhere in the world where it's absolutely essential to rent a car in order to see the main points of interest.

That's why we give you loads of ratings scales from 1 to 10, rather than just yes or no answers!

  • The need question is generally answered by looking at public transport (transit) options. Is it good enough for visitors who are happy to consider using it?
  • How many public transport routes are there, and are they mainly rail or road (bus) based?
  • Is public transport fast, frequent, safe, reliable and cheap?
  • Does public transport actually take you to the places you'll probably want to see?

Is it worth hiring a car in Munich?

This question is usually more about value for money. For this, we look at Munich car hire options, and consider how rental costs compare with using transit.

How far are you likely to drive anyway, and how much might you expect to spend on fuel, road tolls, parking and any other charges. We compare Munich with other destinations locally and around the world.

This is obviously much more of an issue if you are planning a longer road trip than it is on a small island.

Should I rent a car in Munich? 

This is basically a merging of the two questions. Everything else might be about giving certain facts about the costs of car rental or using public transport in Munich, but answering this question is very much a matter of opinion.

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

Please note that is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2022 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. 

We do not intent to include detailed covid information, nor do we intend to suggest hiring a car, just because public transport might still have a mask requirement. Our advice will be based on the same criteria we've always used, ie whether or not you can get a better travel experience, or at least a better value one, by choosing not to hire a car.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Munich is in car rental price band: 4/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Munich? 

Sometimes. Car rental is slightly cheaper than global averages.


Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Munich between the peak and the off peak season?

5/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 6/10

Non car score:8/10

Balance: 3

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -


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? Visiting Munich using a hire car

Why do you need 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

Why don't you need 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.

Ratings: How does Munich compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Munich? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Munich, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?



Do you need to hire a car in Munich? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Munich (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Munich? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel


Car hire basics:


Public transportation basics:


Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):


As you start ....

Does Munich airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No






Has our advice for Munich car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 4

2019 - 3

2021 - 3

Average score - 3



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.


Do you or don't you need a car in Munich ?

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