Dachau: A stone's throw away from Munich, and a fine example of the real Bavaria.
Most people are familiar with the name 'Dachau', which became notorious after Allied troops liberated the concentration camp that had existed just outside the town between 1933 and 1945. Every year approximately 700,000 visitors travel to Dachau to confront this difficult past, and for many of them the regular bus service connecting the site to the train station will be their only contact with the town. But to do so and only visit the camp is to miss out on visiting a prime example of a picturesque Upper Bavarian town, one that has at different times had a reputation as an artists' colony and a favoured royal residence. Most of the locals who are keenly aware of the negativity surrounding the name of their town, are only too willing to share this 1200 year old heritage with visitors.
Situated 18 kilometres northwest of Munich, Dachau's old town is less than a fifteen minute walk from the train station and offers a visitor the chance to wander its small boutiques or try one of the local Bavarian eateries. The royal residence gardens are now open to the public and offer panoramic views across Munich and much of southern Bavaria and the Alps. If you are looking for a simple excursion that can fill that spare half-day of your trip, and you desire something of the Bavarian cultural experience that does not rely solely on crowded beer halls, then the small town of Dachau might just surprise you.
The town can be reached in approximately twenty minutes from Munich Central Station with the S2 suburban train, or an hourly Regional Express. Trains run every twenty minutes from the S-bahn platform, with more frequent services available during the rush hour. Please be advised of service alterations currently in operation at weekends in July and August.