Dachau is a city with about 44,800 citizens in Upper Bavaria, Germany and has a history of more than 1,200 years, but best known for being the location of the very first Nazi concentration camp. This has cast a pall over the rest of this small and pleasant town 20 km (13 mi) outside of Munich.
The first known documentation dealing with Dachau dates back to the year 805, although earlier settlements go as early as 1000 B.C. and the Romans were maintaining a salt road through the city at the beginning of the first millennium. Dachau first ran to prominence during the Middle Ages, when Duke William IV of Bavaria commissioned the palace of Dachau in 1546-1577. From that time on until the end of the monarchy in Bavaria in 1918 the town had always been a retreat for Bavarian kings, dukes and nobility, which is no wonder as the palace and the surrounding gardens offer a staggering view of the Alps and Munich, weather permitting. Towards the end of the 19th century Dachau became a town famous for its impressionist painters like Carl Spitzweg.
However, the city's history took a turn for the worse with the advent of the Nazi regime: Dachau was chosen to be the site of the very first Nazi concentration camp in 1933. Mostly political dissidents, non-conformist intellectuals and priests were imprisoned in the camp. Although Dachau was mainly used as staging ground to ship prisoners to eastern death camps in Poland, approximately 42,000 people were murdered between 1933 and 1945 in the Dachau camp itself or its 169 sub-camps. After World War II the camp was first used to house displaced persons and then converted into a memorial site, which opened in 1965, to remind visitors of the darkest time in German history. Today Dachau has a big cultural scene as well as a still impressive picture-perfect old town and palace, because it completely escaped Allied bombing during World War II.
Tourist Information Dachauphone: +49 8131 75286address: Konrad-Adenauer-Straße 3
Dachau is conveniently located at several autobahns.
- A 8: Stuttgart - Dachau - Munich (exit 78 Dachau/Fürstenfeldbruck)
- A 92: Deggendorf - Dachau - Munich (exit 2 Oberschleißheim)
- A 99: circular autobahn around Munich (exit 10 München-Ludwigsfeld)
Regional trains from Munich Central Station run three times an hour and take 25 min to reach Dachau. Munich public transport network tickets are valid in regional trains as far as Dachau, too.
By suburban train (S-Bahn)
Dachau is part of Munich's public transport network MVV. To get to Dachau, you have to take S-Bahn line S2, which brings you to Dachau station, close to the center of town. Most city buses stop at the station, including those which take you to the Concentration Camp Memorial Site.
Several tour operators offer tours from the center of Munich to the Concentration Camp Memorial Site, including transportation, for approximately €20 per person.
The historic center of Dachau is small enough to be explored on foot. For destinations that are not located within the center, like the Concentration Camp Memorial Site, the extensive bus network provides and feasible alternative to using your own legs. As Dachau is part of Munich's public transport network, the tickets are also valid in the Dachau buses.
phone: +49 8131 669970address: Alte Römerstraße 75The site is located in north-eastern Dachau. The memorial depicts the Nazi atrocities against Jews, Romani, gays, and political dissidents during the Germany's Third Reich era. Dachau concentration camp in 1933 was the first camp to be established, and served as a role model for other similar, bigger camps. Nearly 43,000 people were killed in the camp between 1933 and 1945. The memorial site was opened in 1965 to commemorate these victims and to remind everyone that such cruelty must never be allowed again. It is visited by approximately 800,000 people from all over the world each year. While entrance to the site is free, there is a small fee for services like audio guides (Adults €4, Concessions €3), a brief introduction (€1.50), guided 2.5 h tours in English for individuals (€3; 11:00 & 13:00), and guided 2.5 h tours in English, French, Hebrew or many other languages for groups (€70 for up to 30 people; book in advance).
phone: +49 8131 87923address: Schlossstraße 7The old castle was constructed around 1100 by the cadet branch of the House of Wittelsbach, but demolished between 1398 and 1403. William IV of Bavaria and his son Albert V ordered the construction of a Renaissance style four-wing palace with a court garden on the site of the old castle. The new building was designed by Heinrich Schöttl. Construction began in 1546 and was completed in 1577. It later became the favoured residence of the rulers of Bavaria. In 1715, Maximilian II Emanuel commissioned a redesign in Baroque style by Joseph Effner.
phone: +49 8131 567513address: Augsburger Straße 3The museum, which received the Bavarian Museum Award in 1993, reflects the cultural history of the town of Dachau and the surrounding county. On three floors you find numerous impressive exhibits illustrating settlement forms and town history, guild and market law, crafts and trade, everyday life and festive traditions and religious folklore. Special exhibitions deal with various aspects of cultural history. There is a discounted combination ticket available for €6 for the Paintings Gallery, the District Museum, and the New Gallery.
phone: +49 8131 56750address: Konrad-Adenauer-Straße 20The gallery shows modern works of contemporary local and European artists, with varying special exhibitions. There is a discounted combination ticket available for €6 for the Paintings Gallery, the District Museum, and the New Gallery.
phone: +49 8131 567513address: Konrad-Adenauer-Straße 3The gallery has a representative permanent collection of typical landscape and genre paintings of the 19th and early 20th century. Dachau was the site of one of the most important German artist colonies in terms of art history at that time, which had a large impact on the development of modern art in the 20th century. Famous painters, such as Christian Morgenstern, Carl Spitzweg, Eduard Schleich the Elder or Adolf Hölzel, Ludwig Dill and Arthur Langhammer prized the moor landscape of Dachau as an attractive motif. Special exhibitions vary. There is a discounted combination ticket available for €6 for the Paintings Gallery, the District Museum, and the New Gallery.
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- Alte Liebe, Im Lus 4, Mitterndorf, +49 8131 667131,
phone: +49 8131 84363address: Muenchner Str. 5
phone: +49 8131 9974207address: Fraunhoferstraße 5Burger place with vegetarian options, close to the concentration camp memorial site.
phone: +49 8131 454396address: Konrad-Adenauer-Str.8
phone: +49 8131 13431address: Alte Römerstraße 45Greek restaurant with a €9 lunch buffet, close to the concentration camp memorial.
- Seven Days, Schleißheimer Str. 12, +49 8131 299877
- The Harp, Pfarrstr. 3, +49 8131 86258
phone: +49 8131 669102address: Burgfriedenstraße 3
phone: +49 8131 32295 0address: Roßwachtstraße 15
Pension Herzogphone: +49 8131 735833address: 85241 Hebertshausen, Walpersthofen 3Bavarian B&B.
phone: +49 8131-539188address: Rudolf-Diesel-Straße 16Quirky hotel with a "safari" theme, located in an industrial area near the concentration camp memorial