I have been a bit of puzzled when I arrived in Munich in late January 2022, learning that the Stammstrecke, the key arterial track section of the city’s public transport, are closed for the weekend due to construction. However, that lead to an increase in frequency of some other connections. One of the lines impacted has been tram line 19, which is known to be one of the best ways to explore the city and some of its key sights by local transport. Staying at Hampton by Hilton Munich East, close to one of the terminal stations of the tram line, even made it an easier choice to take you on a trip across the Bavarian capital. Hope you enjoy that special posting.
Munich Tram 19 – Route and Ticket
Tram line 19 in Munich connects Berg am Laim Bahnhof with Pasing Bahnhof. Berg am Laim is East of city center and also offers a direct connection to several S-Bahn commuter train routes. Pasing is a train station rather on the West of Munich. It connects to all kinds of regional train services, but is also a station for ICE high speed rail trains towards Stuttgart. Typically, the service is operating every ten minutes in each direction with a total traveling time of 51 minutes. I, of course, unboarded the tram several times and walked along the route of the tram instead of riding it (one of the big advantages of a tram compared to a bus… You see its route 😉 )
Most of the tram stations have a small covering and come with displays annoncing the next train. During the special traffic situation in Munich, frequency has been increased to roughly every three to five minutes. Some stops also feature ticket machines. The whole route is within the Munich city center zone M of local transport, so that I would suggest to take this route with a day ticket. A single person day ticket (Tageskarte) is 8.20 EUR at the time of writing. If you manage to finish your trip within two hours, not reverting the route, a 3.50 Euro single ride ticket would be an option as well – but as you want to get away from Pasing or Berg am Laim, you likely go for a day ticket anyway.
All pictures below have been taken along the route of tram 19. However, I sometimes took pictures of trams operating on the same tracks, but on other services. Please don’t be confused by that. Route map is a screenprint from tram schedule. The map is based on OpenStreetMaps and the full design is copyrighted by the MVV.
Munich Tram 19 – Rolling Stock
The Munich local traffic authority MVG is operating several types of tram models. However, all the rides I took with tram 19 that day have been operated by the Tram Type R3.3. The tram is a four section articulated vehicle with a double joint in the middle. This model is active since 1999, serving up to 218 passengers (67 seats, 151 standing) with a four engine total power of 480 kW and a max speed of 60 km/h. The length is roughly 36 meters.
It is actually coming with a quite nice interior design and also features a ticket machine, which is also selling day tickets. There are screens in the wagons which tell you the next stations and, once you approach the stop, possible connections. There is no USB charging or similar facility available.
Munich Tram 19 – The Trip
I took the trip from Berg am Lain Bf to Pasing Bahnhof. I would split the trip into three parts I call prologue, main section and epilogue – hope nobody feels offended by it. The main section is finally the part of the tram ride, which makes it memorable. For that one, I also chose to use the major picture size I typically just use for Pictured Stories.
The first stations from Berg am Laim Bf first take you through a commercial area, before it becomes more residential-alike. However, there are not too many reasons to step out of the tram and explore the city. I decided to step off the tram 19 at Max-Weber-Platz, which is six stations and a some ten minutes ride after the starting point.
Tram 19 – A beautiful trip Through Munich’s City Center
The first picturesque are starts around Maximilianeum, where the tram rails also split and circle around the building, which is also hosting the State Parliament of Bavaria. The Maximiliansanlagen is a beautiful park at the river Isar, which is very popular for recreation among locals (and is, of course, significantly greener in summer). The tram crosses the Isar by the Maximiliansbrücke (“Maximilian’s Bridge”).
Arriving at the West Shore of the Isar, the area becomes really posh. There is for example the beautiful building hosting the Regency of Oberbayern region. The Maximilianstrasse is also home to the likely most expansive shopping opportunities in Munich – you will find a bunch of famous fashion designers and their products around. Tram 19 also passes the Bavarian National Theater and the Residenz, the former residence of the Bavarian kings.
Honoring “The King of Pop” en route
After passing these places, the tram is doing an S curve and runs towards Paradeplatz, which is not only home of one of the most famous hotels in Munich, the Bayerischer Hof. One of the most famous frequent guests in this place has been Michael Jackson. For that reason, one of the status at the Paradeplatz square is, which is in fact honoring the 16th century composer Orlando di Lasso, is nowadays a place of pilgrimage for the “King of Pop”. Right in front of the hotel’s entrance, there are a lot of pictures, flowers and other memories. The tram continues to Lembachplatz and Karlsplatz – or Stachus, as the locals name it. You won’t see one of the most amazing sights of Munich from the tram, but in fact, it hosts an underground shopping mall, which is the largest below-ground construction in all Europe.
If you are a tourist, you may also skip the rest of the tram line 19, which is now passing Munich Main Station and then heads along residential and commercial areas. However, it gives a nice complete picture of Munich. For example, at the Trappentreustrasse stop, it passes the Hilton Garden Inn Munich City West, which you already find in my reviews. Before that, there are rather simple businesses, but also a traditional brewery.
The more you approach Pasing, the more posh the residential areas become. Pasing itself offers some nice shopping opportunities – there is also a quite nice mall close to the terminus station. The tram takes a loop in this area. The center of the borough is actually quite nice – so if you stayed in the tram until the terminus, you will definitely find a nice bar for a Bavarian beer or a nice cafe for a hot drink.
Munich Tram 19 – My View
Even though I split this review into three sections, doing the full 50 minute ride with tram 19 is a great Munich experience. You see very different aspects of the city – and even if you like just leave the tram in the city center, it also gives a chance to look into less touristy parts. There are some alternatives, especially bus line 100, which the locals call Museumslinie (“Museum Line”) – I will definitely go for that one one day as well. If you need a bit of relaxation, I recommend to go for the tram 19 ride – especially as you may have a day ticket for public transport anyway and it is then a “free ride” for you.
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