Munich Airport has fast become Germany’s second airport following the focus by Lufthansa to make it their main hub after Frankfurt. Whilst Berlin is the capital, and is due to open its delayed new Brandenburg Airport next year, Munich will likely retain its status and popularity.
The current airport, situated to the north east of the city, opened in 1992, following the closure of the older, smaller, Riem airport (the site of which has now been redeveloped).
The airport has two terminals. Terminal 1 handles all non-Star Alliance/Lufthansa flights (except Condor and Germanwings), whilst Terminal 2 is exclusively for Star Alliance and Lufthansa partners.
There are two parallel runways at Munich. Plans for a third runway have recently been put on hold.
Airlines serve Munich from all over Europe, with a dominance by Lufthansa and its partners. There are also links to the Far East, Middle East and North America on a daily basis. Airlines such as Thai, Qatar Airways, Volotea, S7 Airlines, and Mahan Air are of interest.
Where to spot
At the airport itself, there is a viewing terrace on Terminal 2. It is signposted within the terminal, and offers views over the eastern apron and some taxiways.
On the approach road into the airport, the most popular place to spot is the Visitors Park and Hill. This includes a raised hill with views over Terminal 1 and the western apron, as well as aircraft on the runways.
The Visitors Park also houses a number of preserved historic airliners, including a DC-3, Lockheed Constellation and Junkers Ju52.
To reach the Visitors Park by public transport, use the S-Bahn S1 or S8 train and get off at the station named Besucherpark.
Around the southern perimeter there are places to view aircraft on the southern runway, with photography an option.
Airport Spotting Guides Europe
Munich, and many other airports, is covered in my book Airport Spotting Guides Europe 2012. Buy it here.