Travel to ESO Headquarters, Garching

Please note that visitors are received by appointment only.
Media visitors please consult this page.

ESO Headquarters is located in Garching, near Munich, Germany. This is the scientific, technical and administrative centre of ESO, where technical development programmes are carried out to provide the observatories with the most advanced technology.

How to reach Garching and ESO Headquarters

The town of Garching lies about 13 km north-east of Munich. ESO Headquarters are located roughly 2 km north-east of Garching. The ESO building is situated in the "Forschungszentrum" area.

For an interactive overview of the Munich area with the location of Garching and of ESO, please take a look at the Google map above.

Arriving by plane

The Munich Franz-Josef-Strauss Airport is 17km north-east of Garching. The easiest way to get to Garching or ESO Headquarters from the Airport is by taxi. The fare is about EUR 40 and takes roughly 15 to 20 minutes.

Alternatively, if you wish to use Public Transport, you can take the train (S-Bahn S8) from the Airport to Ismaning (20 min.; EUR 6) and from there either a taxi (EUR 12-15) or Bus 230 (first bus at 06:11 and then every 20 or 40 minutes until 18:52 on weekdays). Please note that Bus 230 only goes to Garching-Forschungszentrum on working days (Monday - Friday), with a stop in Garching. There is an hourly taxi service from Ismaning to Garching on Saturdays and Sundays. For detailed information, please check the Bus 230 time table.

To reach ESO from the Bus 230 stop, please see this map.

Arriving by rail

The easiest way from the Main Railway Station is to take a taxi to Garching or ESO Headquarters (the fare is approximately EUR 40).

Alternatively, if you wish to use Public Transport (single fare: EUR 5.20), take the S-Bahn (underground railway) from the Main Railway Station to Marienplatz and then the U-Bahn U6 to Garching-Forschungszentrum. Exit the train in the station Garching for the town of Garching and Garching-Forschungszentrum if you want to get to ESO Headquarters.

Arriving by car

There is a system of motorways (Autobahn) and ring-roads in and around Munich. For details see the schematic map. Follow these to the Autobahn for Nürnberg (A9). To reach Garching there are two turnoffs (Ausfahrt): Garching-Süd (Garching-South) and Garching Nord (Garching North). Both exists lead you directly into the town of Garching.

If you wish to get to ESO Headquarters, you need to take the turnoff Garching-Nord (Garching-North), which leads you directly to the "Forschungsinstitute" area. Go straight ahead at the traffic lights and continue until the road makes a sharp turn to the left. Do not turn left: ESO is straight ahead.

Public transport

Accommodation in Garching

The map on the right gives the location of ESO, and where you can find hotels, restaurants and the most important bus stops in Garching.

Most of the hotels are within walking distance from the U-Bahn station in the center of Garching. For other hotels you can use the bus services 230 (to Ismaning) and 290 (to Garching-Hochbrück).

Below there is a list of hotels in Garching and how to reach them when arriving from Ismaning (airport), Garching, or Munich Main Railway Station. Some more addresses can be found via the Hotels and Guesthouses page of the City of Garching.

The U-Bahn (subway) U6 brings you directly to the centre of Garching (stop Garching) and to ESO (last stop, Forschungszentrum).

  • Guesthouse Park-Residence:  From Ismaning, take Bus 230 direction Garching. From Garching, take Bus 290 direction Ismaning. Stop Wasserturmstrasse. If you arrive by train, take Bus Service 290 direction Ismaning and get off the bus at Wasserturmstrasse. Alternatively you can walk to the hotel (see map; 10 min). Hotel website:
  • Hotel Am Park: From Ismaning, take Bus 230 direction Garching. Stop Garching Maibaum. If you arrive by train, take the U-Bahn exit Maibaum. The hotel is next to the REWE supermarket. Hotel website:
  • Hotel König Ludwig II: From Ismaning, take Bus 230 direction Garching. Stop Garching Maibaum; cross over the main street and go left. After the bakery you enter the pedestrian area (fountain!); the sign of the hotel is now visible behind the underground station. If you arrive by train, take the U-Bahn exit Bürgerplatz. After leaving the U-Bahn station the sign of the hotel is visible. Hotel website:
  • Hotel Hoyacker Hof: From Ismaning, take Bus 230. Stop Garching Maibaum; continue approx. 100m on the Freisinger Landstrasse direction north (Forschungsinstitute); the hotel is to your left. If you arrive by train take the U-Bahn exit Maibaum and continue approx. 100m on the Freisinger Landstrasse direction north (Forschungsinstitute); the hotel is to your left. Hotel website:
  • Hotel Garni Maria's Inn: From Ismaning, take bus 230 direction Garching-Forschungszentrum. From Garching, take Bus 230 direction Garching-Forschungszentrum. Stop Lehrer Stieglitz-Strasse. Cross over the main street at the traffic light, continue approx. 50m on the Lehrer-Stieglitz-Strasse and turn right into the Neufahrner Strasse, where you will find the hotel on your left. Note that this bus service is only available Monday to Friday. Hotel website:
  • Hotel Coro Garni: From Ismaning, take Bus 230. Stop Garching Mailbaum. Then cross the road and take Bus 290 diretion Garching- Hochbrück and get off at stop Keltenweg. The hotel is across the road, about 50m in the direction from which you have come. If you arrive by train, take the U-Bahn exit Maibaum. There you will take Bus 290, like explained before. A time table for Bus 290 is available. Hotel website:
  • Motel 1 Garching-Hockbrueck: two stops on the U6 U-bahn. Motel website:

Food at Garching

There are plenty of restaurants in the town of Garching. A complete list is available here.

While in ESO Headquarters you can make use of the vending machines, located next to the main hall, or visit the Max Planck Canteen and Cafeteria, next to ESO.

ESO facilities in Garching

  • The ESO Headquarters building can be found at the bottom-left on the map on the right (click to enlarge).
  • Some ESO offices are located at Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP). The Site Map shows you where these offices are located. Other facilities are indicated on the map. A map of institutes on the Garching Campus is also available.
  • Some pictures provide some guidance how to reach the ESO/IPP Offices.
  • Max Planck Canteen and Cafeteria next to ESO

Virtual tour

Experience the ESO Headquarters in Garching with ESO's Virtual Tours.

Further information

Please follow the links below for more information about Garching and the Munich area

  • Garching – Official Town Website
  • Munich tourist office – Up to date information for visitors
  • Munichfound – Magazine for English speaking visitors.
  • Munich Airport – Official Website Franz Josef Strauss Airport
  • Toytown Munich – anything you need to know about Munich, events, buy/sell stuff, restaurants, places to go, doctors, etc.

Health & Safety

Weather and Clothing

There are not any special health and safety considerations in Garching. Just remember that winters are very cold, so dress appropriately. Follow the links for climatic information and weather forecasts.