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While many people come to Germany for half timbered houses and Biergartens, there is the complex historical side to Germany’s past as well that shouldn’t be glossed over. And while it isn’t the same as seeing the famous Neuschwanstein Castle, or taking a gorgeous Instagram photo in Rothenburg, I’d argue thatgoing to the Dachau Concentration Camp (or any Concentration Camp) needs to be at the top of your list of Things to Do In Germany. Not because it’s a great thing to check off your travel bucket list but because of the importance of walking the same ground where over 30,000 innocent lives were murdered. Because we absolutely can’t forget what happened. Because we have to see how this came to be and figure out how to prevent it from happening again (spoiler alert, we as humans, have done a terrible job of this last part)
So, that is exactly why I suggest to anyone to do at least 2 days in Munich at the bare minimum. Sure, leave one day for the beerhalls and the Alstad and add a third day trip to Neuschwanstein. But you absolutely need to include a day trip to Dachau from Munich as well.
Getting to Dachau from Munich is actually extremely easy. In this article, I am going to give you literally a step by step guide on how to get from Munich to Dachau by train (which is my top recommended way to get there-but more on why in a bit). I’ll also include information on how to take a Munich to Dachau tour as well as how to get there by car.
Other Articles That May Interest You:
- Visiting Dachau Concentration Camp: What you need to know
- Should My Kids Go To Dachau?
- Munich Itineraries: Munich in 1 Day. Munich in 2 Days. Munich in 3 Days
- 30 of the Best Day Trips from Munich
- 3 Ways to Get to Neuschwanstein From Munich
Where is Dachau Located
The town of Dachau is located just 16 Km (about 10 miles) to the North of Munich and is basically considered a suburb of Munich today. It only takes about 30-45 minutes to get there.
Dachau: How to Get There
A Dachau day trip from Munich is actually really easy and the journey not difficult. The steps below may seem like a lot, but that is only because I’ve spelled it out in excruciating detail for you so that you can feel confident knowing exactly how to get there, especially if you typically shy away from using public transportation.
Important Note: It’s important to know that if you are using the Deutsche Bahn App as well as when listening for the correct stop, you will want to type/ listen for “KZ-Gedenkstätte” which is what Germans call the “Dachau Concentration Camp.” If you just type in “Dachau” it will take you to the train station and not all the way to the actual memorial.
You have two main options for getting to Dachau from the Munich Hauptbahnhof, both will take a train and a bus
1) Take a Regional Train + Bus 726
2) Take the Sbahn + Bus 726
Taking the Regional train is going to get you there slightly faster, but both options require you to get off at the Dachau Bahnhof (Train station) and walk the 3 minutes to the bus. But more on those exact details below.
Which Tickets To Get
You have a few options to choose from based on how many people you are with and how much public transportation you are going to use for the rest of the day. You can get your tickets on the “DB Navigator” App or at the kiosks next to the Sbahn escalators in the Hauptbahnhof (which takes credit cards).
Single Day Ticket: €9.30. This ticket is good for all public transportation within Munich for an entire day (and until 6am the following morning actually) and Dachau is actually covered with this ticket, making it the best option for the day if you are just by yourself.
Group Day Ticket: €17. This ticket is just like the Day Ticket above, but for up to 5 designated adults (2 children between 6-14 years count as 1 adult. Under 6 are free). You can use this ticket for all public transportation within Munich and out to Dachau until 6am the following morning for everyone who is indicated on the ticket.
Stripe Tickets: €9.12. As mentioned in my How to Get from Munich Airport to City Center article, the Stripe Tickets can be a bit confusing, but they are sometimes the best deal. Out of your packet of 10 Stripe Tickets, the Munich-Dachau journey will take 3 Stripes (which is €4.56). However, that is only one way. Therefore, the total will be 6 stripes and a total of €9.12 for your round trip journey. Considering the Single Day Ticket is just a few cents more, you might as well just get the Day Ticket and not worry about figuring out the Stripes.
Note: You may see other blogs saying to get the XXL ticket. This is extremely outdated information and this ticket no longer exists. It is now replaced with the Day Tickets.
Step 1: Munich To Dachau By Train
Option 1: Taking the Regional Train to the Dachau Bahnhof
Time from Munich HBF- Dachau Bahnhof by Regional Train: About 10 minutes plus about 10 minute connection time + about 10 minutes by bus= Approx 30 minutes total
At the current time of writing, the RB16 was the Regional Train that went to the Dachau Concentration Camp. These are the red trains that are in the main hall of the Munich Hauptbahnhof.
Using the “DB Navigator” App, type in Munchen HBF to KZ- Gedenkstätte, Dachau and it will show you exactly what train, what time and what platform (Gleis) to be on.
When I went to Dachau, the RB16 Train was the Munich to Nuremberg regional train in the morning.
Note: Later in the day, the RB16’s final destination was to “Treuchtlinge”
Important: Both of these trains’ final destinations were not Dachau, only stopping in Dachau, so the train platform will not have “Dachau” as the name on the board, so you will need to know the final destination (which both the DB App and Website will tell you)
Both of these trains were the RB16 and both went via Dachau. If you are not sure if it is the right train, on the app if you click “Show Route Details” then it will show each stop and you will see “Dachau Bahnhof” in the list
Also, (usually) when you look at the electronic train board in front of the platform, it will also say “Dachau” in small letters above the final destination (see photo for example).
Option 2: Taking the Sbahn from the Hauptbahnhof to Dachau
Time from Munich HBF- Dachau Bahnhof by Regional Train: About 20 minutes+ 10 Minutes Connection+ 10 minute bus ride= Approx 40 minutes
Leaves every 20 minutes from the HBF
The other option, which leaves much more frequently, is to take the Sbahn from the Hauptbahnhof.
Take the S2 To the Dachau Bahnhof in the direction of Petershausen
- In the main train hall, look for the Green “S” Signs for “Sbahn.” If you are in the main train hall (the one where all the long distance trains go), then look away from the trains and then to the left (in the direction of the “Norma” grocery store). That is the way to the Sbahns (going to the right from the trains (Starbucks direction) will take you out to the city center)
- Take the escalators/ stairs down and you will see all of the DB self kiosks. If you don’t have your tickets yet, this is one option for getting them.
- Next to the kiosks, you’ll see the red pillars lit up and the green “S” sign. These escalators lead you down to the Sbahn.
- You’ll want to be on track (“Gleis”) 2 and the board will say “S2 Petershausen”
It’s an easy train ride at this point. The Dachau Bahnhof is NOT the final stop though, so just make sure you are listening for it about 20 minutes after departure.
Tip: The benefit of taking the Sbahn over the RB train is that depending on where you are coming from in the city, you might be able to grab the S2 easier than going all the way to the HBF. For example, if you are closer to the Marienplatz or Karlsplatz, you can easily grab the S2 there. The best way to know this is to look it up on the DB Navigator App or even Google Maps to know which place to start from.
Step 2: From the Dachau Train Station To the Bus
Once you arrive at the train station, the bus is directly on the other side of the train station. It’s easy to just follow the blue signs that say “KZ- Gedenkstätte.” Most likely you’ll have about a 10 minute connection here, but it really only takes about 3-5 to walk, and even then, the buses come regularly so if you miss it for whatever reason, another will be along in about 20 minutes.
- Both the Sbahn and the Regional Trains will both pull into the Dachau Train station, but will probably arrive at different platforms. Most likely, you will need to exit the train and go down the stairs.
- This will lead you to an “underground tunnel” below the tracks, but there will be signs that say “Atlstadt/Schloss KZ- Gedenkstätte” so you will simply follow those.
- The tunnel will split. Go to the right through the brick tunnel.
- After you get out of the tunnel, you’ll turn to your left and clearly see the bus stops. The one to the concentration camp is almost immediately when you turn left out of the tunnel.
- You’ll see the “726 KZ- Gedenkstätte” sign and most likely a bus already waiting there (note: there is a bus that goes to the Schloss (castle) that stops at this stop as well, so just make sure it is the 726.
Step 3: Take Bus 726 To Dachau Concentration Camp
Even though you have 10 minutes to get to the bus, it’s not a bad idea to get right to it (if you want a seat). Otherwise, plan on standing room only. However, even if it is packed (which it most likely will be) and you don’t get a seat, from the Bahnhof, the 726 Bus to the Memorial site is only about a 7 minute drive. Again, just be on the lookout (and listening) for the phrase “KZ- Gedenkstätte” to know when to get off, as it is not the final stop. However, it’s easy to know where to get off because it is where pretty much the majority of the passengers on the bus are also getting off at as well. Also, there should be an electronic screen towards the front of the bus that tells you exactly what stop you are at and what stops are next, so you can keep an eye on that to know when to exit as well.
Total Time Needed To Get From Munich To Dachau:
- Minutes for RB trains + bus: 32 minutes
- Minutes for Sbahn+ bus: 40 minutes
Step 4: Arriving at the Dachau Memorial
The KZ- Gedenkstätte stop is literally right in front of the Concentration Camp. When you exit the bus, simply cross the road and you will be at the main visitor building, which is where you can get an audioguide, use the bathrooms, or even grab something to eat at the cafe.
Follow the path and it will lead you directly to the main Dachau Concentration Camp and Memorial Site.
Cost: Entrance is free and you can just walk right in. I do highly recommend going inside the Visitor Center though and getting an audioguide (Cost: €4.50) There are also two English guided tours at 11am or 1pm but spots are limited, so you will want to arrive early to get on the free tour. These Dachau tickets for the guided tour cost €4.00.
Getting From Dachau To Munich
It probably comes as no surprise that getting back from Dachau to Munich is just going to be the above direction in reverse. The bus from the memorial site comes about every 10 minutes. If you are taking the Sbahn, it is clearly marked on track (Gleis) 1 as “Richtung Munich” (Return to Munich)
Taking a Car
Time Needed: 30-60 minutes
I don’t recommend having a car in Munich at all.
- It is so incredibly easy (and affordable) to get everywhere you need to be by public transportation
- Even if you need a car for the rest of your Germany trip, I always recommend getting it on your last day in Munich before heading out (or dropping it off as soon as you get to the city).
- Not only is it cost effective to just take public transportation, but driving in Munich can be really stressful for someone visiting Germany. Trust me, it’s best to just take public transportation!
Finally, public transportation is almost always going to be just as fast (sometimes faster!) than taking a car in and around Munich anyway! Getting to Dachau by car is a perfect example of this. It can take anywhere from about 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on traffic. If there is a Stay (traffic jam) you can literally be in stand still traffic for who knows how long.
Ok, so I haven’t convinced you to just take the train from Munich to Dachau? Ok, fine. Just make sure you are up to speed on Driving in Germany and know the rules on driving in the cities, such as always being aware of any bikers, giving way to the right, etc.
Address: 73 Alte Römerstraße is what you’ll put into your GPS. That will take you to the car lot for the Concentration Camp.
Cost: 3 Euro to park
Munich To Dachau Tour
Your final option is to find a Munich to Dachau Day Trip Tour. This can either be a private guide or a group tour. But why am I so against this?
- It is so easy to get to, having a guide lead you there is really unnecessary
- There is very little that the tour guide is going to tell you about the Concentration camp that you won’t get from the free audioguides/ free English tours (they are very in depth at the Memorial)
- You have to go at the tour’s pace (compared to doing the Self-guided audioguide yourself, where you can spend as much time as needed at each place at the memorial)
- It’s free to get into the Concentration Camp and cheap enough to have the Day Ticket for public transportation. Paying a tour just doesn’t make any sense
To sum up those complaints, I basically feel that a tour/guide to Dachau is just a glorified hand holder to get you there. (Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of tours that I DO suggest within Munich, this just isn’t one of them)
Alright, alright, so you don’t want to take my advice? Fiiiine. Here are some tours to Dachau that you can look into.
If you are going to hire a tour for Dachau, then this is probably my top recommendation for one. Your tour group will meet up at the Hauptbahnhof and will all go together to the Dachau Concentration camp where your guide will take you on a tour.
The reason why I suggest this tour though is because after Dachau, you spend the afternoon in the Altstadt of Munich learning about the Third Reich and important spots in Munich that were influenced by the Third Reich. This is an especially good option for people who are interested in WWII history or want to know more about how Hitler came to power as well as what daily life was like in the Third Reich.
I suppose one of the biggest reasons to book a Dachau tour from Munich is for the personalization option of a private tour. For example, with this tour, it is a completely private tour where the guide will pick you up from your hotel, transport you in a car, and take you through the Concentration camp.
Alternatively, here is a private tour, but it is still going by public transportation (so the exact route as shown above)
Almost all the other group tours will meet either at the Marienplatz or at the Hauptbahnhof. These tours are usually a group of people (around 10-20) and the guide will give you information about Dachau (nothing that you can’t read or listen to for yourself at the Memorial) and then lead you on the exact same route as above on the train and bus. They will guide you through Dachau (again, nothing much more than what the Audioguides provide) and then take the bus and train back with you into Munich. Like I said earlier, to me, it’s just a glorified version of hand holding for the public transportation.