A local’s list of the most beautiful subway stations in Munich for photography and architecture lovers.
Did you know that Munich has some of the most beautiful subway stations in the world? No? Well, then be prepared to be amazed!
Bavaria’s capital has an excellent public transport system and as a tourist, you will end up relying on it a lot. But you’ll also find some of Munich’s most beautiful photo spots in the underground, which makes it worth it to buy a day ticket or a tourist pass with unlimited rides.
Most of the subway stations in Munich are rather plain-looking. In all fairness, they cannot compare to the historic underground system of Moscow or Tashkent where you’ll find chandeliers handing from stucco ceilings. But for fans of modern architecture and photography, there are some hidden gems that go beyond the most popular tourist attractions in Bavaria’s capital.
Here are my favorite ones.
Note: Make sure to read my 3-day Munich itinerary
By far my favorite subway station in Munich is Westfriedhof on line U1. Gigantic lamps designed by none other than Ingo Maurer illuminate the stark blue underground station in fascinating shades of red and yellow.
Fritz Auer is the architect of the station who also designed a lot of other important landmarks in Munich. He even helped with the iconic Olympic Park and is now responsible for the redesign of the Central Station. It’s quite an exciting place and I feel it’s the only subway station that looks as magnificent in person as it does on pictures.
The bright orange and sheer endless tunnels of the subway station underneath Marienplatz have been featured in quite a lot of mainstream media. In fact, some of them named it among the top 20 most beautiful subway stations in the world.
It’s certainly one of the busiest stations on the line U3/U6 and there’s no denying its unique aesthetics. I do have to say, that most locals would be surprised by the fame of Marienplatz station. For us, it’s actually quite the ugly place not worth noting. But, it does look fantastic on pictures.
Note: If you want to shoot a picture devoid of passengers, then be here very early in the morning or late at night during the week. Avoid rush hours (7-9 am, 12 am-1 pm; 5-7 pm).
If you follow the line U6 from Marienplatz all the way to the end, you’ll get to Großhadern – an otherwise unremarkable suburb of Munich. But the subway station does indeed look fantastic.
Taking pictures of this station is quite tricky, as the nice view is only achievable with ultra-wide-angle lenses (I used a 16mm lens above) and you position yourself in between the many yellow pillars.
If you like colors, then I’m sure you’ll love Candidplatz station. The whole tunnel is painted in the hues of a rainbow.
The tracks follow a slight curve, so you actually get the full-color spectrum into one frame. Sadly, the station is in need of a renovation and some ugly white spots mar the perfect shot these days. But I’m sure they’ll freshen up the paint very soon.
My second favorite underground station in Munich is Olympia-Einkaufszentrum at the far end of the line U1. Huge metal studs are lining the wall, creating a very futuristic look. It’s quite the busy station as a popular shopping mall is right above.
The Subway station Josphsburg on line U2 looks like a scene from Alice in Wonderland. The iconic checkerboard floor in combination with the red walls really makes me think of the famous fairy-tale every time I pass through. These pictures also shows how you can toy around with long exposure times to bring in the movement of the subway.
Note: You are not allowed to bring tripods to the subway without a special permit. I don’t think anyone will complain if you are quick about it and you are not a large group of photographers, tho.
I was a bit torn about listing Oberwiesenfeld on line U1 here. I love the brutalist ceiling and the orange wall, but personally I find the labyrinthine mosaic on the right a bit distracting. Ironically that’s what a lot of other photographers love the most. Decide for yourself, where you want to put your focus. It’s just one station away from Olympia-Einkaufszentraum, so it’s quite easy to visit while you explore Munich’s underground.
Hasenbergl is quite the infamous district in Munich. I’m not going to repeat old prejudices here, but it’s probably really not one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Bavaria’s capital. The subway station, on the other hand, with its huge leaf-shaped overlight definitely is one of the prettier stations on the line U2.
Only a couple of hundred meters away from my home, you’ll find Böhmerwaldplatz station. It’s the only station on line U4 that deserves to be on the list. Call me a dreamer, but I always felt the green pillars look a bit like lotus-stems. No matter if you agree or not, it’s a nice photo spot! If you drive on for one more stop to Arabellapark, you can also take a couple of nice pictures of the skyscrapers and sculptures there.
Munich’s subway network is huge. If you drive a bit further outside, it will actually leave the underground. St.-Quirin-Platz station at the far end of line U1 has some beautiful windows to the outside.
The station is a bit rundown, but I personally feel it does have it’s special kind of allure. The light situation is a bit more difficult here and it can be quite tricky to take decent pictures.
Wondering how to visit all these beauties? Again, I recommend you to buy a day ticket or a tourist pass where unlimited subway rides are included for the day. You’ll probably need around 4 hours to see all stations on this list. Most subway lines run every 10 minutes, so you’ll be able to move around quickly.
I do want to stress that I personally don’t feel any of these subway stations are really beautiful in person. Very few of them are truly impressive. I’m not sure if it’s really worth visiting them just for the sake of seeing them. The true beauty is only revealed through photography if you ask me. But if you are a fan, I’m sure you’ll find exploring Munich’s underground rewarding!
- Umschreibung – Munich’s endless staircase
- Palace of Justice – a photographer’s dream come true
- The gigantic Bavaria statue – a wonderful viewpoint
- The best Neuschwanstein Castle photography spots