Almost every time I’ve gone to or from the Munich airport in the last few years, I’ve used a route that includes a train between Regensburg and Freising, and bus 635 that goes from the Freising Hauptbahnhof to the Munich airport a few times each hour. One of the stops on bus 635 is the München Flughafen Besucherpark, or Munich Airport Visitor’s Park. I could see from passing by that it had a bunch of old aircraft to look at, and an observation hill that looked over the airport, and I made a promise to myself to actually stop when I had time, instead of just noticing it on the way to or from the airport.
That opportunity finally struck in July, when I had a ticket to go into Munich to see Sarah from Regensblog in the ESME summer concert. The show was in the evening, so I set out a little bit earlier in the day. Instead of taking the train all the way into Munich right away, I stopped in Freising, got on the old 635, and hopped off at the stop for the Besucherpark.
The bus stops are next to the S-Bahn stops, and there’s a little bit of a walk between public transport and the visitor park. If you drive there, you get to park closer, but you miss out on some of the groovy trail decorations. I especially like the nod to the Statue of Liberty in this one.
Getting a little bit closer, there’s a helicopter on a stick! I wonder if this exhibit is sponsored by a roadside assistance company of some sort… maybe ADAC? This air rescue helicopter was stationed at the Munich hospital 36 years ago, and was retired here in the visitor’s park.
This is the bit that got my attention from the bus as it passed by- the Lockheed L-1049 G Super Constellation. This is an original Super Constellation from 1955, with Lufthansa’s classic livery colors. This was the first aircraft to have a pressurized cabin, and it was the first aircraft that Lufthansa used for transatlantic flights.
For a euro, you can go up into the aircraft.
Passengers had quite a bit more room in the 1950s!
There are fewer seats than in a modern aircraft, but the space per seat is much greater.
They left the auto pilot on!
Next up, there’s a Swissair Douglas DC-3. This one was closed up when I visited, but the DC-3 has a reputation for being a great cargo plane.
The Junkers Ju 52 was used for airmail service to South America and for exploration flights in the 1930s.
This is the back of the Junkers Ju 52, also referred to sometimes as Auntie Ju. The obseration hill and stairway are visible in the background.
There were historical broadcasts playing inside the Ju 52, but I didn’t stick around to hear them.
This is the cockpit of the Junkers Ju 52. Vintage 1930s technology!
At the top of the observation hill, you can see all the aircraft from above. You’ll need another euro to get through the turnstiles at the bottom of the hill.
From the observation hill, you can also see the entire airport spread out in front of you. Lots of people brought their kids up here, and there are coin operated telescopes to get a closer view. I saw one guy with enormous binoculars and a notepad writing down every aircraft type he spotted. Interesting hobby, I think.
I watched several aircraft taking off and landing before I climbed back down.
The Besucherpark is designed to be family friendly. It even has a pretty good sized play area for the smaller children.
Naturally, there’s a restaurant and a souvenir shop on the premises.
The restaurant is named Tante Ju’s, which is the German for Auntie Ju’s, named after the Junkers Ju 52 aircraft pictured above.
Once I was done at the visitor’s park, I walked back to where I started and took the S-Bahn the rest of the way into the city for a nice burger and a concert. That’s another story, though.
The Visitor’s Park can be reached by Bus 635 from the airport or Freising, or it can be reached by the Munich S-Bahn (S1 or S8 to Besucherpark, about 40 minutes from the main station.)
The Visitor’s Park and viewing hill are accessible around the clock, year round, and the information center, shop, and historical aircraft have the following hours: March to October, 9:30am-6pm. November to February, 10am-5pm. Tante Ju’s Restaurant is open daily 9:30am to 6pm.
And according to the website, there’s minigolf there too, but I never saw it.
Have you ever been to the München Flughafen Besucherpark?