Travel to ESO Headquarters, Garching

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. 

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 a bus service from Ismaning to Garching on Saturdays and Sundays, that also runs into the late evening during the week. Tickets should be purchased in advance and need to be stamped with the date (if they do not already display the date).

Alternatively, the fare is about EUR 40 and takes roughly 20 minutes.

Arriving by rail

If you wish to travel from the main train station (Hauptbahnhof) using public transport, take the S-Bahn (underground railway) to Marienplatz and then the U-Bahn U6 to Garching-Forschungszentrum. Tickets should be purchased in advance and need to be stamped with the date (if they do not already display the date). Exit the train in the station Garching for the town of Garching and Garching-Forschungszentrum if you want to get to ESO Headquarters.

Alternatively, to take a taxi to Garching or ESO Headquarters (the fare is approximately EUR 40).

Arriving by car

There is a system of motorways (Autobahn) and ring-roads in and around Munich. 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

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.


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. It can get quite hot in the summer: sunscreen should be used and it is importantant to stay hydrated. Follow the links for climatic information and weather forecasts.