Free newspapers and magazines and 2 euro coffee are available throughout the airport — Photo courtesy of Lois Alter Mark
Although most travelers prefer to spend as little time in airports as possible, frequent flyers often try to plan a layover in Munich Airport.
Named Europe's Best Airport eleven times, Munich Airport is also the only European airport to earn a five-star designation.
Terminal 2 and the satellite terminal are a joint venture between Munich Airport and Lufthansa, and that partnership is a real innovation in the aviation industry. Because Lufthansa is the first European airline to be certified with a five-star rating by Skytrax, it basically means the Munich Airport's Terminal 2 is a 10-star property.
Here are 10 reasons – one for each star – to book a flight with a long layover in Munich.
Airbräu Brewery and Beer Garden
Munich Airport features a beer garden and the only airport brewery in the world — Photo courtesy of Munich AIrport
Munich Airport boasts more than 65 eateries but, if you have the time, you have to experience Airbräu, the only brewery located at an airport. Brewmaster René Jacobsen invites guests to sit around the brewery kettles and observe the process from beer brewing to storage in 530-gallon kettles.
If your layover at the airport is the only time you have in Munich, you’re in luck because Airbräu also features Europe’s largest roofed beer garden, where you can enjoy an authentic Bavarian menu including Weißwürste (Bavarian-style pork sausage), roast pork in a traditional Bavarian beer sauce, and delicious apple strudel.
Fit & Fly SPA at Hilton Munich Airport
Take a swim in the heated indoor pool at the Hilton Munich Airport's Fit & Fly SPA — Photo courtesy of Munich AIrport
Use your layover to stretch, relax or pamper sore muscles at the well-equipped Fit & Fly SPA at the beautiful and super-convenient Hilton Munich Airport.
Whether you do laps in the heated indoor pool, take a sauna, work out on the state-of-the-art machines or opt for one of the best massages you’ve ever had, you'll be relaxed and ready for your next flight.
Dine in a real Alpine cable car at Sportalm — Photo courtesy of Munich AIrport
Even if you never leave the airport, you’ll feel closer to the Alps at Sportalm, where you can dine in an actual gondola once used on a mountain ski lift.
The charming restaurant features homestyle Alpine specialties and tree trunks, traditional knickknacks, an old barn door and a stone trough – all of which will make you feel like you’re a guest at an authentic Upper Bavarian farmhouse.
Events at Munich Airport Center
Munich Airport is turned into a magical Christmas market in the winter — Photo courtesy of Munich AIrport
There’s something special going on at Munich Airport pretty much year-round, from sporting events to car showcases and culinary events.
From the end of November to the end of December, though, the airport is transformed into Europe’s longest-lasting Christmas winter market, and it’s worth making a connection in Munich just to spend time there.
More than 40 market stands are set up under the roof of the Munich Airport Center, featuring Bavarian specialties, handicrafts and, of course, mulled wine. A huge ice-skating rink and more than 450 real Christmas trees give the airport a magical fairy tale feel.
Napcabs are the perfect place to catch a few winks — Photo courtesy of Munich AIrport
Because it can be challenging to fall asleep on planes, Munich Airport developed Napcab sleeping cabins, where passengers can catch a few ZZZs between flights.
These innovative pods, which can be booked by the hour, each contain a comfy bed plus music, lighting and temperature controls which you can adjust to your own preferences. Created in conjunction with TUM, Munich’s renowned university of science and technology, Napcabs offer privacy, comfort and an inexpensive option for those who have to fly in coach.
Before you settle in, heed the reminder to set the alarm, which will wake you up with both sights and sounds.
Your next tropical destination should actually be Germany
Your next tropical destination should actually be Germany
Take in a panoramic view of the airport while exploring the world — Photo courtesy of Munich AIrport
This is a great place for kids – and adults! – to get rid of some of that pent-up energy after sitting for hours, and to also get some fresh air.
A rope slide runway connects five "continents" of jungle gyms, swings and sandboxes so children can travel around the world while parents enjoy the beer garden overlooking the play area. If you climb the 172 steps to the top of Viewing Hill, you’ll get fantastic panoramic views of the planes taking off and landing.
Leave the kids at Kinderland while you explore the airport — Photo courtesy of Munich AIrport
Parents who need a break for a little while can drop off kids aged 3 to 10 at Kinderland, where they can play under the supervision of nurturing, trained staff.
The cheerful atmosphere is reminiscent of a good preschool and is filled with books, toys and board games along with computer and electronic games. There’s a cinema corner where kids can cuddle up and watch movies together in different languages, and a climbing tower that looks like a plane and ends in a ball pit.
Kids are even given their own Lufthansa boarding passes to really let their imaginations take flight.
InfoGates are your new high-tech friends — Photo courtesy of Munich AIrport
Have a question about where to eat, how long it will take to get to your gate or how to fit in a visit to a specific shop on the way? Just stop at one of the dozens of high-tech InfoGates placed conveniently around the airport, push a button and you’ll be connected immediately to an information service representative for a real-time video dialogue on a life-sized screen.
This brilliant system is like traveling with your own personal assistant. You’ll wish there were InfoGates outside the airport, too.
Get a taste of Bavaria at the central marketplace in the satellite terminal — Photo courtesy of Munich AIrport
Literally a 60-second train ride from Terminal 2, the two-year-old satellite terminal is definitely worth a visit.
You can browse in 15 retail areas and choose from seven restaurants, but the real showpiece is the central marketplace which pays tribute to Viktualienmarkt, the renowned open-air market in Munich’s city center, where you’ll get a real taste of Bavaria.
The VIP Lounge will make you feel like an A-lister! — Photo courtesy of Munich AIrport
There are many excellent lounges in the Munich Airport, but the 18,000-square-foot VIP Wing is in a class of its own, with an exclusive Bavarian outdoor beer garden, luxurious resting areas and, oh, the food.
You don’t have to be flying on a specific airline or ticket class, making it accessible to anyone who wants to treat themselves. You can take advantage of individual passport control/immigration, your baggage will be personally handled and you can transfer to/from your aircraft via limousine.
With so much privacy and personal attention, the only downside is you won’t get to experience the rest of the airport!