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Munich has one of the most efficient and comprehensive public-transportation systems in Europe, consisting of the U-bahn (subway), the S-bahn (suburban railway), the Strassenbahn (also called "Tram," streetcars), and buses. Marienplatz forms the heart of the U-bahn and S-bahn network, which operates regularly from around 5 am to 1 am (intermittently otherwise, so check times if you're expecting a long night or early start). The main service counter under Marienplatz sells tickets and gives out information, also in English. The Web site www.muenchen.de has an excellent and extensive transportation section, also in English.
A basic Einzelfahrkarte (one-way ticket) costs €1.20 for a journey of up to four stops, €2.50 for a longer ride in the inner zone. If you're taking a number of trips around the city, save money by buying a Streifenkarte, or multiple 10-strip ticket for €12. On a journey of up to four stops validate one ticket, for the inner zone, two. If you plan to do several trips during one day, buy a Tageskarte (day card) for €10.80, which allows you to travel anywhere until 6 am the next morning. For a family of up to five (two adults and three children under age 15) the Tageskarte costs €19.60. A three-day card costs €13.30 for a single and €22.80 for the partner version. All tickets must be validated at one of the blue time-stamping machines at the station, or on buses and trams as soon as you board (wait till you've found a seat, and if an inspector's around you'll get a spot fine). Spot checks for validated tickets are common, and you'll be fined €40 if you're caught without a valid ticket. All tickets are sold at the blue dispensers at U- and S-bahn stations and at some bus and streetcar stops. Bus drivers have only single tickets (the most expensive kind). Holders of a EurailPass, a Youth Pass, or an Inter-Rail card can travel free on all suburban railway trains (S-bahn). Be forewarned: If caught on anything but the S-bahn without a normal public transport ticket, you will be fined €40, with no exceptions.
Public Transportation Information
Munich Transport Company (089/41424344. www.mvg-mobil.de.)
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