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The Munich Metro, known as U-Bahn München, is Germany's second-largest subway system, inaugurated in 1971 specifically for the 1972 Summer Olympics. Although plans for constructing the Munich subway were initially conceived at the beginning of the 20th century, a variety of political and economic factors delayed its actual construction until half a century later. The first segment, comprised of thirteen stations, linked the heart of Bavaria's capital with the northern Schwabing-Freimann district.
Today, the Munich metro boasts eight lines, with merely five stations situated above ground while the remaining stations are located underground. Functioning as a convenient, efficient, and cost-effective mode of public transportation, the Munich metro serves over a million passengers daily. These metro lines traverse both the city center and its outskirts, facilitating easy access to the main railway station, München Hauptbahnhof, which acts as a central hub for all metro lines.
Numerous Munich metro stations offer seamless transfers to city trains, enabling convenient travel to Munich Franz Josef Strauss Airport (Flughafen München "Franz Josef Strauß"). Exploring Munich via the metro allows for visits to prominent landmarks including Nymphenburg Palace (Schloss Nymphenburg), Frauenkirche Cathedral (Frauenkirche), the English Garden (Englischer Garten), Marienplatz Square (Marienplatz), and the BMW Museum.
Integrated into the unified public transport system, the Munich Underground is managed by MVV, the same company overseeing buses and trams. This system, combined with the S-Bahn München urban rail network, forms the backbone of Bavaria's capital rail transport. Munich's transportation network is divided into fare zones, with ticket prices ranging from 3.70 to 5.60 EUR, depending on the number of zones crossed. These tickets, valid for three hours across all forms of public transport, require validation and must be retained throughout the journey due to potential inspections. Traveling without a valid ticket on Munich's public transport system incurs a 60 EUR fine.
Munich metro stations are easily identifiable by their blue signage featuring the letter "U." Equipped with escalators, elevators, and moving walkways, the Munich metro offers one of the most user-friendly transport experiences in Europe and the world. The stations boast a modern, minimalist, and brightly illuminated interior, often adorned with simple panels and advertising posters. The navigation system is thoughtfully designed, featuring clear information boards, signage, and charts. Various kiosks at the stations offer newspapers, beverages, sweets, baked goods, and snacks.
Most Munich metro platforms follow an island design, although side platforms are occasionally encountered. Many of these platforms serve multiple routes, necessitating confirmation of the train's direction prior to boarding. The Munich metro operates three types of trains. Modern "C" trains consist of a continuous composition of six cars, while older "A" and "B" trains, bearing a resemblance to each other, are composed of 2-6 separate cars. Door operation within the carriages is achieved through levers or buttons positioned on both sides of each door.
The Munich U-Bahn consists of 96 stations and 6 main metro lines that have different number and colour codes: U1 (green), U2 (red), U3 (orange), U4 (turquoise), U5 (brown) and U6 (blue). There are two additional lines, U7 (red-green) and U8 (red-orange). The 1st one is up at the rush hour from Monday to Friday. The 2nd line works only on Saturdays. Total lines length amounts to 103,1 km. Working hours: from 4.15 a.m. till 1.30 a.m.
A ticket bought in the metro is also valid for other modes of transport - tram and bus. A single ticket for a short distance (two stops) costs €1.90. A longer trip within one zone will cost €3.70, within two zones €5.60. There is also a ticket for unlimited trips for 1 day starting from € 8.80. For tourists, special CityTourCard cards are offered, allowing you to travel in transport without restrictions and giving a discount when visiting attractions, restaurants, shops and other partner establishments. The price of the card for 1 day is € 15.50, for 2 days - € 22.50, for 3 days - € 27.50, for 4 days - € 33.90. Children under the age of 6 can use the Munich Underground for free. A one-time ticket for children from 6 to 14 years old is available at a fixed price of € 1.80, a day ticket is € 3.50, regardless of the number of zones.
Tickets can be purchased from ticket offices and ticket machines installed at stations. There are no ticket barriers; tickets are activated in special machines and checked by inspectors. Almost all metro lines are situated within one zone, the inner circle, except for several U6 stations. There are different transit passes.