The icy conditions in Munich during winter can present significant challenges for those unprepared. It is essential to layer up with cozy winter clothing to protect yourself from the freezing temperatures. Additionally, investing in sturdy footwear with good traction is crucial to maintain stability while navigating the icy streets. It is advisable to exercise caution and refrain from venturing out unnecessarily, as the risk of slipping and injuring oneself is considerably higher. Therefore, it is best to prioritize safety and stay indoors if you are not adequately equipped to handle the icy conditions.
Munich Airport (MUC)
There are severe restrictions in air traffic. The flight schedule is severely reduced due to the extreme weather conditions. Please contact your airline before traveling to the airport to find out the status of your flight. If your flight is canceled, please use the airlines’ online services, as there is insufficient capacity available at the airport for rebooking.
Munich Airport website and social media
Flying from and to Munich today may not be the best way to travel. The second largest airport in Munich is warning passengers publishing “legal notices” on its website, on X and on other social media channels for another day to be aware of problems in the air.
The Christmas and Winter Market will be closed until Friday, 8.12.23., and the light rides will not take place.
So what happened?
Due to the icy rain predicted for Tuesday night, flight operations were hindered and restrictions were imposed. Munich Airport experienced a significant number of cancellations on Monday, with approximately 540 out of 880 scheduled flights being affected. The disruptions are anticipated to persist until midweek, as the airport undertook de-icing measures to ensure safe operations.
Notably, there were no take-offs or landings at the airport from the beginning of the operating hours until 12 noon on Tuesday due to the freezing rain.
Last night, more than 1500 passengers found themselves stranded at MUC Airport, with the majority having transit arrangements for long-haul flights. A significant number of these individuals lacked a Schengen visa, rendering them unable to legally enter German territory. As a result, they were confined to the transit section of the airport, where many were compelled to sleep on seats or the floor.
German Rail – Deutsche Bahn (DB)
Rail traffic in southern Germany is anticipated to face significant disruption until Wednesday evening, according to Deutsche Bahn. Additional and substantial limitations are anticipated in the greater Munich region.
Deutsche Bahn (DB) stated that the effects on train travel will persist in the coming days. DB requested that travelers delay non-essential trips until 6 December. DB announced that in numerous locations, overhead lines lost power or pantographs were weighed down by snow. The prolonged power outage in frigid conditions resulted in some vehicles becoming inoperable and requiring towing.
The clearing and repair teams for German Rail are working non-stop. DB has 1,500 employees on the road clearing ice and snow from the tracks and overhead lines.
Stranded passengers at Munich Railway Station are being provided temporary accommodation in a tent due to extensive renovations that will last until 2030. Even under normal circumstances, the station lacks sufficient seating capacity throughout its premises.
DB has faced criticism from passengers and transportation experts for its lack of preparedness and inadequate infrastructure maintenance. The underinvestment in the German railways has become glaringly evident during this recent heavy snowfall. With numerous trains delayed or canceled, frustrated commuters are left stranded and struggling to reach their destinations. The dire situation highlights the urgent need for increased funding and improvements in the country’s rail system.
Red Alert for Southern Germany
The German Weather Service issued a red alert on Tuesday morning for black ice in 20 districts, which includes Munich.
This morning, the A99 motorway experienced a complete closure for several hours due to a major collision. Additionally, the A8 motorway near Munich was shut down for an extended period of time as a result of ice-related accidents in both directions. Consequently, the morning rush-hour traffic in Munich came to a near standstill.
The ongoing absence of the S-Bahn has likely led numerous commuters to opt for cars as an alternative. As a result, all the main routes into Munich during peak hours are experiencing heavy congestion, with significant delays observed on the A995, A9, and A8 (all heading towards Munich). The closure of the A99 further exacerbates the situation, causing widespread traffic disruptions.
Munich is a Winter Wonderland
On Sunday, the English Garden in Munich transformed into a Winter Wonderland under clear blue skies. Crowds of people flocked to the park, where someone had even constructed a sturdy igloo. The individual mentioned that the snow was perfectly suitable for making bricks.
The Bavarian Palace Administration issued a warning about the risk of snow-related damage in Munich’s English Garden and advised against entering wooded areas where trees could collapse or branches could snap due to the snow’s weight. Certain parks, such as Nymphenburg, will remain closed until Thursday.