Although Munich has several suburban stations, for international trains the Hauptbahnhof (central station) is the only stop. Munich’s railway station is massive, housing many shops, service facilities and even its own hotel. It is located on Bahnhofplatz in the heart of the city. From here you can get connections to the city’s entire public transport network. The Munich Tourist Office is located in the Hauptbahnhof, and there is another one in the Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall) on Marienplatz.
There are train connections from Munich airport and Munich’s main railway station can also be reached by frequent ICE high speed trains from all major German cities and also by many other European train connections. This is really the centre of everything and it is worth a visit just to be part of the action.
The development of the station has occurred over a long period. The first railway station on the current site, which was then situated outside the city walls, was built in 1839, with the line from Munich to Lochhausen opening on September 1. This first station was short-lived, however, as it fell victim to a fire in 1847.
The station was then rebuilt from 1847 to 1849 as the Centralbahnhof to plans by Friedrich Burklein. Further lines were soon added to the station and in order to cope with the new levels of traffic, the station saw a major rebuild from 1876 to 1884. In 1893, an outlying station was added to accommodate trains for the line to Starnberg.
The station was renamed München Hauptbahnhof in 1904. It sustained heavy damage from Allied bombings in 1945 and the damaged train shed was torn down in 1949. From 1958 to 1960, the station was rebuilt, integrating parts of the old station. The new train shed was built in a contemporary 1960s style by Krupp.
From 1967 on, the S-Bahn (suburban railway) tunnels and the München Hbf (tief) station which serves them, were built underneath the main station, and this opened just before the 1972 Olympic Games. The U-Bahn (underground) stations were opened in 1980 and 1984.
Today the station is always busy. The eastern part of the main hall features shops and a small food hall. There are also several smaller kiosks in the station hall, selling snacks and newspapers. The access level to the U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations has a full-featured shopping mall and provides undercover access to nearby department stores.