Location: Dachau (19km North of Munich, map)
Travel Time: 22 Minutes By Local Train Plus 15 By Bus
Time Required: 3-4 Hours For Camp (+2 for rest of the town)
Best Time To Go: In time for the Camp’s 11am or 1pm English guided tours.
Visit Ranking: 10 out of 10
Dachau is a small suburb of Munich with a number of worthwhile attractions. Among the beauty and small town feel it was the ghostly Nazi concentration camp that has really put Dachau on the tourist map. A visit is bound to be moving and educational, but moreover it is emotional way of experiencing history that will stick with you. If you have a extra hour or two make sure to get off the normal tourist track and check out the other sights we have listed below.
How To Get Dachau From Munich:
Trains leave for Dachau from Munich’s central train station about every 10 minutes during the day and every 30 minutes during the night. The local S2 train takes 22 minutes and high speed RB train only takes 11 minutes. The two train lines rotate every other departure, but the slightly slower S train is cheaper as you can you the Munich XXL Pass on it. For the Concentration camp you take Bus #726 from the train station in the direction of Saubachsiedlung right to the camp in about 15 minutes. All of the sights on our list are easy to get to from the Dachau train station and we will have notes after each attraction with the details.
Munich XXL Metro Pass: Save money on your transportation by getting the Munich XXL Pass which not only covers a full day of metro and trams in Central Munich but also covers the round trip travel to and from Dachau. The pass will cover both the S2 Train to the Dachau station and Bus 726 to the Concentration Camp.
XXL Pass Cost: 8.10€ for a Single Adult or 14.20€ for Partner Ticket which is good for up to 5 adults traveling together. Covers 1 full day of metro, bus, and tram travel in Zones 1 & 2 and well as round trip transport to the Dachau Concentration Camp located North of the city.
Alternative Metro Pass: If you are traveling to or from the Munich airport the same day as your Dachau visit you want to get the Entire Network Day Pass which covers both. This pass is 11.70€ for a Single Adult Ticket or 21.30€ for a group up to 5 people.
Visiting The Sights Of Dachau:
1. Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site: Once a Nazi Labor Camp, this sight is now a chilling reminder of the horrors of the Holocaust. Hitler ordered the construction of the camp in 1933 and over the following 12 years it became home to over 200,000 prisoners from 34 nations. The addition of prisoners began with the Jews and quickly escalated to openly gay people, plus anyone with apposing political views such as Socialists and Communists. In the early days of the labor camp Hitler even called it the School of Violence for Nazi SS members. While the gas chambers at Dachau weren’t used, prisoners were crammed into bunks, starved to look like walking skeletons, and the crematorium was used very often to dispose of the fallen.
Luckily on April 29th 1945 the US Army arrived to liberated Dachau’s concentration camp setting the prisoners free. The Camp largely sat empty until it was turned into a memorial site in 1965. Like many other Nazi sights around Germany, the Concentration Camp was turned into a living memorial to remember visitors of the horrors of the past so they are never repeated again. A large plaque inside brings this power message alive as the phrase Never Again is written in 5 languages.
As you the camp enter you’ll be struck by the same gate prisoners walked through marked with the German phrase Arbeit Macht Frei, meaning Work Will Set You Free. This couldn’t have been further from the truth as life in the camp was hell. The old administration building has been turned into a large museum highlighting photos and stories of everyday life in the Camp as well as details on the horrors it involved and the 32,000 people who died here. The short films and personal items from former prisoners are especially moving. After spending time exploring the museum, move on to the cramped labor bunkers, gas chambers (which were never used), and the crematorium (which was used often). As you pass from place to place elements of the original barbed wire fences and death rail train tracks drive home the emotional impact of the historic site. Visiting the Dachau Concentration Camp is often a life-changing experience for tourist and locals a like. While the initial part of your visit can be emotional, overall it is a educational experience that shouldn’t be missed while in Munich.
Visiting Hours: Daily 9am-5pm. Admission Cost: Camp is free, optional audio guide is 3 euro. Dachau Tours: Free English tours are offered at 11am & 1pm. Parking: Cars and Motorcycles: 3€. Museum Website: (HERE).
Other Sights Around Dachau:
2. Old Town Dachau: Historical center with well-preserved town houses
3. Dachau Palace: with wooden ceiling in Renaissance style
4. Court Garden: with magnificent view of Munich and the Alps
5. Dachau Painting Gallery: works by Carl Spitzweg, Max Liebermann, Adolf Hölzel and Lovis Corinth retrace the evolution of facade painting in the mid-19th century
6. Dachau Regional Museum: info coming
7. Former Allach Sub-Concentration Camp Site: info coming