Trains from Munich

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This page explains how to travel by train from Munich to other European cities and how to buy tickets the cheapest way.  Train information is current for 2021.

Tip:  For a beer or local Bavarian food before your train I recommend the Augustiner Keller (www.augustinerkeller.de) at Arnulfstrasse 52, to the north side of Munich Hbf, see walking map.

bullet pointBefore you buy your tickets...

Take a moment to read these tips for buying European train tickets.  They answer all the usual questions, "Do I need to book in advance or can I just buy at the station?", "Can I stop off?", "Are there Senior fares?" and that old favourite, "Should I buy an $800 railpass or just buy a €35 point-to-point ticket online?".  Click here to understand how far ahead you can buy train tickets.

bullet pointEuropean train travel FAQ...

An introduction to European train travel

 

Senior fares (over 60)

 

Guide to Eurail passes (overseas visitors)

Important tips for buying European train tickets

Youth fares (under 26)

 

Guide to Interrail passes (for Europeans)

How to check European train times

Child fares & child age limits

 

Couchettes & sleepers on night trains

Do I need to book in advance?

Luggage on European trains

 

Train seat numbering plans

How far ahead can I book?

Luggage storage at stations

 

Wheelchairs & special needs

Can I stop off on the way?

Taking a bike by train

 

Real-time service updates

Should I travel 1st or 2nd class?

Taking a car by train

 

Hotels & accommodation

How long to allow for connections?

Taking dogs & pets by train

 

Changing stations in Paris by metro or taxi

How early to arrive at the station?

Maps of the European rail network

 

What to do when things go wrong...


Munich to Berlin from €17.90...
ICE-T arrived at Leipzig Hbf

Several types of ICE operate between Munich & Berlin including ICE1 & ICE-T (pictured here). More information about ICE trains.

1st class table for two on the Berlin to Vienna ICE train   Lunch in the restaurant car on the Berlin to Vienna ICE train

Table for two in 1st class on an ICE-T, my favourite configuration.  There are also tables for four in both classes.

 

Lunch in the restaurant on an ICE-T.  In 1st class you're served at your seat.  I recommend the Erdinger Weissbier.  See  current month's menu.

ICE-T train, driving cab   ICE-T train, 2nd class

On an ICE-T you can see into the cab at each end.

 

Comfortable 2nd class seats on an ICE-T...

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Munich to Frankfurt, Cologne, Hamburg & other German destinations...

Munich to Rothenburg ob der Tauber...

Munich to Neuschwanstein, Bavaria's fairytale castle:  See here...

Munich to Berchtesgaden for Eagles Nest:  See here...

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Munich to London...

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Munich to Paris from €39.90...
TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de l'Est

TGV Duplex at Paris Est.  These impressive 320 km/h (199 mph) double-deck trains link Munich & Stuttgart with Paris...

TGV Duplex cafe-bar   TGV Duplex upper deck 2nd class seats

Cafe-bar on upper deck in car 4, serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwaved hot dishes.

 

2nd class seats on upper deck.  There's a mix or tables for 4 and unidirectional seating.  360Ί photo.

First class on board a TGV Duplex   An TGV Duplex at Paris Est.

1st class seats on upper deck, a club duo on the left, club quatre on the right.  360Ί photo.

 

A TGV Duplex.  The red near the door indicates 1st class, pale green indicates 2nd class.

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Munich to Lyon, Avignon, Marseille, Cannes, Nice, Monaco...

Option 1, Munich to Lyon, Avignon, Aix or Marseille in a day with one easy change in Frankfurt - the easiest option!

Frankfurt to Marseille TGV

The TGV Duplex from Frankfurt to Lyon, Avignon & Marseille, about to leave Frankfurt (Main) Hbf...

TGV Duplex cafe-bar   TGV Duplex upper deck 2nd class seats

The cafe-bar on the upper deck in car 4, serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwave-style hot dishes...

 

2nd class seats, this is upper deck seating.  There's a mix or tables for 4 and unidirectional seating.  360Ί photo.

First class on board a TGV Duplex   A TGV Duplex at Frankfurt

1st class seats on the upper deck, a club duo on the left, a club quatre on the right. 360Ί photo.

 

The TGV to Marseille, boarding at Frankfurt am Main Hbf.  You enter on the lower deck, with 9 stairs up to top deck.

Option 2, by sleeper from Munich to Milan then a scenic coastal ride to Monaco, Nice & Cannes...

Option 3, by day trains with overnight stop in Verona - a scenic trip with mountains and coastline...

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Munich to Brussels or Bruges from €39.90...

Option 1, by daytime trains... 

ICE3M to Cologne & Frankfurt, boarding at Brussels Midi

An ICE3M at Brussels MidiMore information about ICE...

2nd class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train   1st class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

2nd class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

 

1st class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

Erdinger Weissbier on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE train   Restaurant car on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

Food served on proper china.  I recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!  See current month's menu.

 

This is the 12-seat restaurant on an ICE3M.  ICE3 classes 403 & 407 have a larger restaurant area.  Larger photo.

Option 2, using the Munich-Cologne Nightjet sleeper train - the most time-effective option...

1 or 2 bed sleeper on Nightjet train   en suite shower & toilet in deluxe sleeper   Comfortline sleeping-car as now used on Nightjet trains

2-berth regular sleeper with washstand.  Larger photo.

 

The toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper...

 

A Comfortline sleeping-car, as now used on the Austrian Nightjet train from Munich to Cologne.  More information about Nightjet trains...

    4-berth couchette on Nightjet train

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen.  Couchettes are the economical option, flat bunks with rug & pillow.

 

6-berth couchettes, the cheapest option...

 

4-berth couchettes, ideal for families...

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Munich to Amsterdam from €37.90...

Option 1, by Nightjet sleeper train - the most time-effective option...

1 or 2 bed sleeper on Nightjet train   en suite shower & toilet in deluxe sleeper   Comfortline sleeping-car as now used on Nightjet trains

2-berth regular sleeper with washstand.  Larger photo.

 

The toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper...

 

A Comfortline sleeping-car, as now used on the Austrian Nightjet train from Munich to Amsterdam.  More information about Nightjet trains...

    4-berth couchette on Nightjet train

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen.  Couchettes are the economical option, flat bunks with rug & pillow.

 

6-berth couchettes, the cheapest option...

 

4-berth couchettes, ideal for families...

Option 2, by daytime trains...

ICE3 at Amsterdam Centraal

An ICE3M arrived at Amsterdam CentraalMore information about ICE...

2nd class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train   1st class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

2nd class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

 

1st class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

Erdinger Weissbier on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE train   Restaurant car on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

Food is served on proper china.  I recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!  See current month's menu.

 

This is the small 12-seat restaurant on an ICE3M.  ICE3 classes 403 & 407 have a larger restaurant area.  Larger photo.

Option 3, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Cologne - time-effective with a chance to see Cologne...

  • Day 1, travel from Munich to Cologne by comfortable ICE train, for example leaving Munich Hbf at 17:28 and arriving Cologne Hbf at 22:06.

    Trains leave every hour, so by all means take an earlier train and spend a pleasant evening in Cologne.  The ICE trains have a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

  • Stay overnight in Cologne.  Starting with the cheapest, suggested hotels near to Cologne Hbf with good reviews include the Breslauer Hof Am Dom, Hotel Domspitzen, CityClass Hotel Europa am Dom, Hilton Cologne, Excelsior Hotel Ernst am Dom.

  • Day 2, travel from Cologne to Amsterdam by ICE3 train, for example leaving Cologne Hbf at 06:41 and arriving Amsterdam Centraal at 09:28, but by all means have a leisurely breakfast and catch a later train, they leave every 2 hours.

  • Fares from Munich to Amsterdam start at €37.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

  • Buy tickets at the German Railways website www.bahn.de like this:

    Set up an enquiry from Munich to Amsterdam, but click Add intermediate stops and put Cologne Hbf in the via box with your desired stopover duration in the hh:mm box, say 10 hours.  Why not allow more time for a wander round Cologne, visiting the cathedral right next to the station - you can add a stopover of up to 48h duration.  Adjust the departure time and stopover duration to get earlier or later trains for each part of the journey with a longer or shorter overnight stop in Cologne.

    Booking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or show it on your laptop or smartphone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

  • Tip:  If you have more time, take the scenic route along the Rhine Valley to Cologne, rather than the faster high-speed line.  This takes an extra hour or so.  Simply click Add intermediate stops again and enter Koblenz leaving duration as zero.  You will now be routed via the twisting Rhine Valley line past castles, vineyards, river boats, and the legendary Lorelei Rock.  Indeed, you could make Koblenz the stopover instead of Cologne if you like.  See the Rails Down the Rhine page for more information, photos & video.

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Munich to Luxembourg from €37.90...

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Munich to Zurich, Luzern, Geneva or anywhere in Switzerland from €18.90...
ETR610 EuroCity train to Milan at Zurich HB

A Swiss Astoro train about to leave Zurich HBSee the Munich to Zurich page for timetable, fares, tips & how to buy tickets

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Munich to Venice, Milan, Florence, Rome & Italy from €39.90...

Option 1, by daytime EuroCity train via the scenic Brenner Pass...

The restaurant car on a EuroCity from Munich, arrived at Verona.  You don't need to book a table, just go along and sit down.  Dining on the move as the scenery glides by is one of the pleasures of travelling on trains like this.  More photos & information about these EuroCity trains.

Austrian second class seats   Austrian first class seats

2nd class seats, some in open-plan saloons like this, some in 6-seat compartments with side-corridor...

 

1st class leather seats.  You'll also find seats in classic 6-seat compartments with side corridor....

Austrian restaurant car   Meal in an Austrian restaurant car on a Munich-Verona train

The elegant restaurant car.  See larger photo.

Lunch with wine on board...

Mountains on the Brenner route...

Scenery (and vineyards!) on the Brenner route   Scenery on the Brenner route

Vineyards, mountains and castles south of Brenner as the train heads for Trento & Verona...

Hilltop fortresses seen from the Brenner Pass train

Watch out for hilltop fortresses...  See the Brenner Pass scenery video here.

Option 2, by direct Nightjet sleeper train from Munich to Milan, Florence, Rome, Venice...

The Nightjet train from Vienna to Venice, arrived at Venice Santa Lucia

The Nightjet sleeper train from Munich, arrived at Venice Santa Lucia.  See more nightjet information, photos & video.

Nightjet deluxe sleeper, 2-bed   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   4-berth couchette compartment from Cologne to Vienna

2-berth deluxe sleeper.  More info about Nightjet trains.

 

...en suite toilet & shower.

 

4-berth couchettes...

Sunrise as the sleeper train crosses the causeway into Venice

Sunrise as the Munich-Venice Nightjet crosses the causeway over the lagoon into Venice.  Courtesy of Andreas Wiedenhoff.

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Munich to Sicily

Option 1, day train then sleeper...

Option 2, sleeper train then day train...

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Munich to Barcelona, Madrid & Spain...

Option 1:  Munich to Barcelona in a day, by high-speed train...

  • Step 1, travel from Munich to Paris by TGV Duplex, leaving Munich Hbf at 06:46 (06:23 Sundays) arriving Paris Gare de l'Est 12:38 (12:15 Sundays).

    The TGV Duplex has a cafe-bar, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  It uses the TGV-Est high-speed line across France at up to 320 km/h (199 mph).  I recommend an upstairs seat for the best views, any seat number greater than 60 is on the upper deck.

    Fares start at €39.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

    Book this at the German Railways website www.bahn.deBooking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

Option 2, Munich to Barcelona & Madrid with overnight stop in Marseille...

  • Step 1, travel from Munich to Mannheim by ICE train , leaving Munich Hbf at 10:28 and arriving Mannheim Hbf 13:29.

    The ICE train has a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

  • Step 2, travel from Mannheim to Marseille by TGV Duplex, leaving Mannheim at 14:39 every day arriving Marseille St Charles 21:49.

    The impressive 320 km/h (199 mph) double-deck TGV Duplex has a cafe-bar, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

    Fares from Munich to Marseille start at €49.90 in 2nd class or €79.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

    Book Munich to Marseille at the German Railways website www.bahn.deBooking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

    Important tip:  Before running the enquiry, change Duration of transfer from standard to at least 40 minutes.  This gets you a robust connection in Mannheim with time for a coffee, rather than a risky 11-minute connection.

  • Step 3, travel from Marseille to Barcelona or Madrid by AVE-S100 high-speed train leaving Marseille St Charles at 08:02 and arriving Barcelona Sants at 12:34 and Madrid Atocha at 15:41.

    The AVE train has a cafe-bar, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  You'll pass Bιziers cathedral, flamingos on the lakes in the South of France between Montpelier & Perpignan, the historic Fort de Salses right by the tracks, and get great views of the imposing 2,784m Mt Canigou as the train rounds the southern end of the Pyrenees, see the photos & information here.

    Marseille-Barcelona starts at €25 in 2nd class or €49 in 1st class.  Marseille-Madrid starts at €35 in 2nd class or €59 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

    Book this train at www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com (both sites easy to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or the French Railways website en.oui.sncf (in €, more fiddly, no fee).  Booking opens up to 4 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can select a mobile ticket to show on your smartphone.

  • Step 4, take an onward high-speed train from Barcelona to Madrid, Seville, Malaga etc, for example a daily direct AVE leaves Barcelona Sants at 15:50 for Malaga, Cordoba & Seville, arriving in the evening.

    Check times & buy tickets using www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com (both easy to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or the Spanish Railways website www.renfe.com (in €, much more fiddly, rejects some overseas credit cards, see advice on using it).  Spanish trains normally open for booking 60 days ahead, but it varies.

Option 3:  Munich to Barcelona with overnight stop in Geneva...

  • Step 1, travel from Munich to Geneva, leaving Munich Hbf at 12:55 by EuroCity train, changing at Zurich HB and arriving Geneva at 19:47.

    The bullet-nosed EuroCity train has a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  A later 14:55 departure is also available.

    Fares start at €39.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

    Book Munich to Geneva at the German Railways website www.bahn.deBooking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

  • Stay the night in Geneva.  Hotels with good reviews near the station include Hotel Cornavin Geneve, Hotel Les Arcades, ibis Styles Geneva Gare.

  • Step 2, travel from Geneva to Barcelona by train.  Usually you'll find a TER regional train leaving Geneva at 11:30, change trains at Lyon Part Dieu (arrive 13:25, depart 14:28) onto a direct AVE-S100 high-speed train arriving Barcelona Sants at 19:33.

    It's a comfortable & scenic journey.  Between Valence & Barcelona you'll follow the same route taken by the Paris-Barcelona TGVs, see the photos & video on the Paris to Barcelona page.  You'll pass the Chateau de Montfaucon on the river Rhone, Bιziers cathedral, flamingos on the lakes in the South of France between Montpelier and Perpignan, the historic Fort de Salses right by the tracks, with great views of the massive Mt Canigou in the Pyrenees, visible all the way from Perpignan to Girona.

    Geneva-Lyon costs a fixed-price €29.60.  Lyon-Barcelona starts at €39 in 2nd class or €59 in 1st class, these fares vary like air fares.

    Book this at www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com (both easy to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or at the French Railways website en.oui.sncf (in €, more fiddly, no fee).  Booking opens up to 4 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show a mobile ticket on your smartphone.

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon. These 320 km/h double-deckers link Paris with Barcelona.  See the TGV Duplex video.

TGV Duplex cafe-bar   TGV Duplex upper deck 2nd class seats

Cafe-bar on the upper deck in car 4, serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwaved hot dishes..

 

2nd class seats on the is upper deck.  There's a mix or tables for 4 and unidirectional seating.  360Ί photo.

First class on board a TGV Duplex   An TGV Duplex at Paris Est.

1st class seats on upper deck, a club duo on the left, a club quatre on the right.  360Ί photo.

 

A TGV Duplex at Barcelona Sants.  The red near the door indicates 1st class, pale green indicates 2nd class.

Mt Canigou in the Pyrenees

Mt Canigou & the Pyrenees...  One of the highest peaks in the mighty Pyrenees, the 2,784m (9,137 feet) high Mt Canigou dominates the skyline on the right all the way from Perpignan to Girona, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CanigouMore photos of what to see on the Paris-Barcelona train journey.

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Munich to San Sebastian...

Option 1, Munich to San Sebastian in a day...

  • Step 1, travel from Munich to Paris by TGV Duplex, leaving Munich Hbf at 06:46 (06:23 Sundays) arriving Paris Gare de l'Est 12:38 (12:15 Sundays).

    The TGV Duplex travels at up to 320 km/h (199 mph) on the TGV-Est high-speed line, with cafe-bar, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  Book an upper deck seat for the best views.

    Fares start at €39 in 2nd class or €69 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

    Book this at the German Railways website www.bahn.deBooking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

  • Step 2, travel from Paris to Hendaye by TGV Duplex Ocιane, leaving Paris Montparnasse at 15:52 and arriving Hendaye at 20:28.

    The double-deck TGV Duplex Ocιane has a cafe-bar, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

    Fares start at €25 in 2nd class or €45 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

    Book this train at www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com (both sites easy to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or the French Railways website en.oui.sncf (in €, more fiddly, no fee).  Booking opens up to 4 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can select a mobile ticket to show on your smartphone.

  • Step 3, walk out of Hendaye station and turn right, the little Euskotren station is in a corner of the main station forecourt.  Buy a ticket for €2.75 at the station from the machines or staffed counter and hop on the next half-hourly Euskotren metro from Hendaye to San Sebastian Amara station, journey time 37 minutes.  See the Paris to San Sebastian page for more information, photos & tips.

Option 2, Munich to San Sebastian with overnight stop in Paris...

  • Day 2, travel from Paris to Hendaye on the Spanish border by TGV Duplex Ocιane, leaving Paris Montparnasse at 09:52, arriving Hendaye 14:28.

    The TGV Duplex Ocιane has a cafe-bar, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  There's also an 07:52 departure if you don't mind an early start.

    Fares start at €25 in 2nd class or €45 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

    Book this train at www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com (both sites easy to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or the French Railways website en.oui.sncf (in €, more fiddly, no fee).  Booking opens up to 4 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can select a mobile ticket to show on your smartphone.

  • Day 2, walk out of Hendaye station and turn right, the little Euskotren station is in a corner of the main station forecourt.  Buy a ticket for €2.75 at the station from the machines or staffed counter and hop on the next half-hourly Euskotren metro from Hendaye to San Sebastian Amara station, journey time 37 minutes.  See the Paris to San Sebastian page for more information, photos & tips.

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Munich to Lisbon & Portugal...

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Munich to Andorra...

Option 1, Munich to Andorra in a day...

  • Step 1, travel from Munich to Paris by TGV Duplex, leaving Munich Hbf at 06:46 (06:23 Sundays) arriving Paris Gare de l'Est 12:38 (12:15 Sundays).

    The TGV Duplex travels at up to 320 km/h (199 mph) on the TGV-Est high-speed line, with cafe-bar, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  Book an upper deck seat for the best views.

    Fares start at €39.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

    Book this train at the German Railways website www.bahn.deBooking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone

  • Change stations in Paris by metro or taxi.  Always allow at least 70 minutes between trains in Paris.

  • Step 2, travel from Paris to Toulouse by TGV, there's usually one leaving Paris Montparnasse at 13:52 arriving Toulouse Matabiau 18:10.

    Fares start at €25 in 2nd class or €45 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.  Have dinner in Toulouse...

  • Step 3, travel from Toulouse Matabiau station to Andorra la Vella by bus, taking 4 hours, fare €33.  There are 3 services every day run by Andbus, check times at www.andorrabybus.com.  I'd allow at least an hour between train and bus in Toulouse, just in case of delay.  There's normally a bus leaving Toulouse Matabiau station (bus stand 15) at 20:00 arriving Andorra at midnight.

  • How to buy tickets...

    Check train times & buy a ticket from Frankfurt to Toulouse Matabiau at www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com (both easy to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or the French Railways website en.oui.sncf (more fiddly, in €, no fee).   If necessary, book Frankfurt-Paris & Paris-Toulouse separately, to get sufficient time between trains in Paris.

    Booking for Munich-Paris opens up to 6 months ahead, for Paris-Toulouse only 4 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can choose a mobile ticket.

    Buy the bus ticket at www.andorrabybus.com.

Option 2, using the Paris-Toulouse-l'Hospitalet overnight train...

  • Alternatively, you can travel from Paris to Toulouse on the same night train, leaving Paris Gare d'Austerlitz at 22:12 and arriving Toulouse Matabiau at 06:00.  Have breakfast in Toulouse (I can recommend the breakfast buffet at the Pullman Hotel around the corner from the station), then take a bus to Andorra la Vella.  A bus run by Andbus (www.andorrabybus.com) leaves from outside Toulouse Matabiau station (bus stand 15) at 11:00, arriving Andorra la Vella bus station at 15:00. This is also explained in more detail on the London to Andorra page.

Intercite de nuit overnight train   Intercite de nuit couchette

The intercitι de nuit overnight train from Paris to Latour de Carol has 1st class 4-berth & 2nd class 6-berth couchettes, each with lightweight sleeping-bag & mineral water...

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Munich to Salzburg from €17.90...

Trains link Munich Hbf with Salzburg Hbf at least twice an hour all day.  However, there are three different types of train, Austrian railjet trains (marked RJX), EuroCity trains (marked EC), and slower regional trains run by the Bayerische Regiobahn marked BRB.  I'll explain each type below...

Option 1, by Austrian railjet train or EuroCity train in 1h30...

  • The express trains leave every hour, one hour it'll be a smart Austrian railjet train (RJX) with restaurant car, WiFi & power sockets at all seats taking 1h29, the following hour it'll be a comfortable Austrian EuroCity train (EC) with restaurant car taking 1h42.

  • Fares start at €17.90 in 2nd class or €26.90 in 1st class if you book ahead.  These fares vary like air fares, specified train only, no changes to travel plans, limited or no refunds.  If you buy on the day, the Flexpreis is €32 (EuroCity) or €36 (railjet), good for any train, reservation optional.

  • Buy tickets at the German Railways website www.bahn.deBooking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

Option 2, by Bayerische Regiobahn regional train in 1h47...

  • Regional trains run by the Bayerische Regiobahn run every hour, shown on www.bahn.de as 'BRB'.  They take longer, but they're cheaper and more flexible than the express trains.  They have one fixed-price flexible fare, around €31.60 one-way, good for any regional train that day, no advance reservation necessary or possible, it cannot sell out.  Turn up, buy a ticket, get on, sit where you like and go!  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone.

  • But for regional trains you'd usually buy a Bayern Ticket:  In practice, you'd only ever buy a €31.60 full-price ticket for the regional trains if you needed to leave before 09:00 on weekdays, because at all other times it's cheaper to buy a Bayern Ticket which gives a day's unlimited travel on regional trains across the whole of Bavaria including Salzburg, after 09:00 weekdays or any time at weekends.  This costs just €25 for the first traveller + €7 for each additional traveller in your party up to maximum 5 people.

    For details & online sales see www.bahn.com//en/offers/regional/regional-day-ticket-for-bavaria.

    This would even allow you to make a same-day round trip from Munich to Salzburg!  You can buy a Bayern Ticket online and show it on your smartphone or laptop or you can buy at the station on the day.

Pleasant Bavarian scenery between Munich & Salzburg...

View of Salzburg as the train crosses the River Salzach

Your first view of Salzburg will be from the train, right hand side.  This is the view of the Fortress Hohensalzburg as the railjet crosses the River Salzach & approaches Salzburg Hbf....

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Munich to Hallstatt from €29.90...
  • For Hallstatt, travel from Munich Hbf to Salzburg Hbf as shown above, then take a train to Attnang Puchheim for the local train to Hallstatt, total journey time as little as 4h08.

  • Fares start at €27.90 in 2nd class, €37.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

  • Buy tickets at the German Railways website www.bahn.deBooking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or show it on your laptop or smartphone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

  • Tip:  It's worth checking www.thetrainline.com as well, as this links to the Austrian system and can sometimes be cheaper.

  • Hallstatt Bahnhof is on the other side of the lake from the town.  A small local ferry called the Stefanie links Hallstatt Bahnhof (Hallstatt station)  with Hallstatt Markt (Hallstatt town marketplace) in connection with most train departures, see www.hallstattschifffahrt.at for a timetable.  You pay for the ferry separately at the quayside before boarding, about €3 per crossing,

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Munich to Vienna from €27.90...

Option 1, Munich to Vienna by railjet train - the fastest way...

  • Smart Austrian railjet trains run from Munich Hbf to Linz & Vienna Hbf at 06:23, 07:23, 09:29 then every two hours until 17:30.  Munich to Vienna takes only 4 hours city centre to city centre, with a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

  • Fares start at €27.90 in 2nd class, €37.90 in 1st class or €52.90 in business class (= premium 1st class) if you pre-book.

    A reserved seat is optional and costs an extra €3-€4.  In business class seat reservation is compulsory, but included in the fare.

  • Buy tickets at the German Railways website www.bahn.deBooking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or show it on your laptop or smartphone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

  • To book business class tickets at bahn.de, book 1st class then use the Show seats seat selection feature to select a seat in the low-density Business class car, usually seats 13-55 in car 27 - although they don't label it as business class so you have to engage brain!  It should then add the €15 Business class upgrade to the first class fare when you pay.  You can also buy using www.thetrainline.com.

    Tip:  It's worth checking www.thetrainline.com as well, as this links to the Austrian system.  Although fares also start from €27.90 I've often seen significantly cheaper fares on the Austrian system than bahn.de on the same date & train.

A railjet train about to leave Munich Hbf

A railjet to Vienna about to leave Munich Hbf...

  Premium class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train   Railjet restaurant car

Railjet first class, with black leather seats...

 

Business class...

 

The restaurant...

Railjet train at Vienna Hbf   Railjet train standard class

A railjet boarding at the impressive modern Vienna Hbf.  More photos & information about Railjet trains

 

Economy class on railjet, in open saloons with large windows.  Some seats around tables, most unidirectional.

Pleasant Bavarian scenery between Munich & Salzburg...

View of Salzburg as the train crosses the River Salzach

This is the view of Salzburg's Fortress Hohensalzburg on your right hand side as the railjet crosses the River Salzach & approaches Salzburg Hbf....

Pleasant farmland scenery between Salzburg & Vienna...

Option 2, Munich to Vienna by Regional train & Westbahn - slower, but more flexible, cheaper at short notice...

  • The excellent fast railjet trains take just 4 hours with fares from €27.90 if you book in advance and commit to a specific train with limited refunds & no changes to travel plans allowed.  What if you don't want to stay flexible & not commit to a specific departure way in advance?  Or all the cheap railjet tickets have sold out as you've left it too late?  On railjets, full-price paid on the day is around €95.  Ouch!

  • The solution?

    Every hour a regional train runs from Munich Hbf to Salzburg Hbf, fare just €25 with a Bayern Ticket (not valid before 09:00 on weekdays) + €7 for each additional passenger.  This connects with an hourly double-deck Westbahn train from Salzburg Hbf to Vienna Westbahnhof for €33.50 per person (€1 more if you pay on board).

    The journey is slower at 4h28 overall but the cost is only around €58.50 in total any day, any train, even bought on the day.  Worth knowing about if you need to stay flexible but affordable!

    You can check Westbahn prices & times at www.thetrainline.com or www.westbahn.at, regional train times & prices at www.thetrainline.com or www.bahn.de.  The Munich-Salzburg regional trains are the ones marked BRB in the search results.

  • You can buy the Bayern Ticket at the station in Munich on the day or you can buy it online as shown here.  The Westbahn fare can be paid to the conductor on board the train, or you can save €1 by using a Westbahn ticket machine at Salzburg station or by buying online at www.thetrainline.com.  All these tickets have unlimited availability at these prices - they cannot sell out!

Westbahn train stairs to upper deck   Westbahn train to Salzburg at Vienna

Stairs to upper deck...

 

WESTbahn double-decker train to Salzburg at Vienna Westbahnhof...

Westbahn train buffet car   Westbahn train 2nd class seats on upper deck

Food vending area, 4 in each trainset...

 

Upper deck seats...

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Munich to Innsbruck from €18.90...

Option 1, the fast mainline route in 1h44 from €18.90...

  • Every couple of hours, comfortable EuroCity trains link Munich Hbf with Innsbruck Hbf in just 1h44 Most of these trains have a restaurant car and are on their way to Italy.  This is the fast comfortable option via Kufstein, and it's scenic enough. 

  • Fares start at €18.90 in 2nd class or €27.90 in 1st class, these fares vary like air fares so book ahead.  It costs around €42 full-flex in 2nd class bought on the day.

  • Buy tickets at the German Railways website www.bahn.deBooking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or show it on your laptop or smartphone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

Option 2, the slower but much more scenic route in 2h51 for €27 bought on the day, no reservation necessary...

  • If you feel like something different, there's a slower but very scenic route using regional trains every hour or two.  Several regional trains per day now run direct from Munich Hbf to Innsbruck Hbf via this route, others involve one simple change at either Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Mittenwald or Seefeld in Tirol.

  • The regular full-price fare is a fixed-price €37.30 in 2nd class or €61.20 in 1st class, unlimited availability, it cannot sell out.

    However, www.bahn.de will usually offer you a cheaper €27 ticket, marked Regio-Ticket Werdenfels plus Innsbruck.  With this, up to 3 children under 15 go free, a real bargain.

  • To check train times & buy tickets, go to the German Railways website www.bahn.de, click Add intermediate stops and put Mittenwald in the via box, or simply use this link to Bahn.de which I've set up for you.

    You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone.  No reservation or advance-purchase is necessary, so you can buy tickets at the station on the day if you like, same price, can't sell out.

    You sit where you like on regional trains, going south you'll find the best views on the right hand side of the train.

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Munich to Copenhagen from €39.90...

Option 1, by daytime trains...

  • Buy tickets at the German Railways website www.bahn.deBooking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

Option 2, using the Munich-Hamburg sleeper train...

  • Step 1, travel from Munich to Hamburg by Nightjet sleeper train, leaving Munich Hbf at 22:52 and arriving Hamburg Hbf at 08:47.

    This comfortable Austrian Nightjet train has an air-conditioned Comfortline sleeping-car with nine 1, 2 & 3-berth standard compartments with washbasin and three 1, 2 or 3-berth deluxe compartments with shower & toilet. There are toilets & a shower at the end of the corridor for passengers in the regular sleepers.  The sleeping-car attendant can serve drinks, snacks & light meals from a room service menu.  The train has couchette cars with 4 & 6 berth compartments, and ordinary seats.  A light breakfast is included in sleepers & couchettes, served in your compartment.  See the Nightjet page for a guide to on-board accommodation, travel tips, photos & video.

    Fares start at €49.90 in 6-berth couchettes, €59.90 in 4-berth couchettes, €69.90 in a 3-bed sleeper, €89.90 in a 2-bed sleeper or €139.90 in a single-bed sleeper, all per person per berth.

    Book this train at www.thetrainline.com (easy to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or at the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at (in €, a bit more fiddly, same prices). Booking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket.

  • Step 2, travel from Hamburg to Copenhagen by Danish IC3 Intercity train, leaving Hamburg Hbf at 12:53 and arriving Copenhagen at 17:33.

    Fares start at €27.90 in 2nd class or €59.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

    Book this at the German Railways website www.bahn.de. Booking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

Hamburg-Copenhagen train at Hamburg Hbf

The late afternoon Hamburg-Copenhagen IC3 leaving platform 5 at Hamburg Hbf on a busy summer day.  The yellow stripe above the windows indicates first class, located at one end of both 3-car units.  More information about the Hamburg-Copenhagen journey.

A Danish IC3 train at Copenhagen station...   1st class seats on an IC3 train from Hamburg to Copenhagen

Boarding a Danish IC3 train at Hamburg Hbf...

 

1st class seats on an IC3 train.  Larger photo.

2nd class seats on an IC3 train from Hamburg to Copenhagen   A Danish IC3 train at Copenhagen station...

2nd class seats on a IC3 train.  Larger photo.

 

An IC3 train to Copenhagen at Hamburg.

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Munich to Stockholm, Gothenburg or Malmφ...

Option 1, by daytime trains with an overnight stop in Hamburg:  Munich to Stockholm, Malmφ or Gothenburg from just €56.90...

  • For Stockholm, take a 200 km/h X2000 train leaving Copenhagen at 14:19 and arriving Stockholm Central at 19:36.

  • For Malmφ or Gothenburg, Φresund Link trains run from Copenhagen to Gothenburg every hour taking 3h53 and at least every half hour from Copenhagen to Malmφ taking 39 minutes.

  • How to check times, prices & buy tickets...

    If you want to keep things simple, you can book the straightforward way.  Go to www.bahn.de and book from Munich to Hamburg on day 1.  Then use www.bahn.de again to book from Hamburg to Malmφ, Gothenburg or Stockholm on day 2.

    Booking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

    However, it's usually cheaper to buy a through ticket from Munich to Stockholm, Malmφ or Gothenburg from €56.90, which you can easily do if you pre-programme the overnight stop in Hamburg like this:

    Go to www.bahn.de and enter Munich to Stockholm (or Malmo or Goteborg Central).  Select a mid-afternoon departure time, click Add intermediate stops, enter Hamburg Hbf in the via box and a time of say 11:00 in the hh:mm stopover box.  This will give you an 11-hour stopover in Hamburg.  Click here for a link to bahn.de which I've set up for you.  Adjust the departure time and stopover duration as necessary to get the trains you want. 

    If you're going to Norway, add a connecting Gothenburg to Oslo S ticket using either www.vy.no or www.sj.se.

Option 2, by daytime trains with an overnight stop in Copenhagen:  Munich to Stockholm, Malmφ or Gothenburg from €39.90...

  • Day 2, if travelling to Stockholm:  Travel from Copenhagen to Stockholm by 125mph X2000 train in around 5h11, there are regular departures.  For example there's usually one around 08:19 arriving Stockholm Central 13:35, or have a leisurely breakfast and take a later one.

  • Day 2, if travelling to Gothenburg:  Travel from Copenhagen to Gothenburg (= Goteborg Central) by hourly Φresund train, journey time 3h53.

  • How much does it cost?  You can buy German Railways' Sparpreis tickets from Munich to Malmφ, Gothenburg or Stockholm from €56.90.  The fare varies, book ahead for the best prices.

  • How to check times & buy tickets...

    If travelling to Stockholm or Gothenburg, go to www.bahn.de and book from Munich to Stockholm or Goteborg Central with a morning departure selected, but to see these cheap fares you must click Add intermediate stops, enter Copenhagen in the via box and a time of (say) 12:00 in the hh:mm stopover box.  This will give you a 12-hour stopover in Copenhagen.  Click here for a link to bahn.de which I've set up for you.  Adjust the overnight stopover time as necessary to get the trains you want.

A Danish IC3 train at Copenhagen station...   1st class seats on a Danish IC3 train

A Danish IC3 train at Copenhagen station...  Hamburg-Copenhagen trains are now EuroCity trains worked by Danish IC3 units like the one above.

125 mph tilting 'SJ2000' from Copenhagen to Stockholm, at Copenhagen station SJ2000 2nd class seats

A Copenhagen to Stockholm X2000 train boarding at Copenhagen main station...

 

2nd class seats on an X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm.  Larger photo.

SJ2000 train   SJ2000 buffet car seating area   SJ2000 self-service buffet car.

X2000 bistro car...

 

X2000 bistro car seating area.  Larger photo.

 

Bistro self-service...

Winter scenery fro a Copenhagen-Stockholm train

Winter scenery from a train between Copenhagen & Stockholm. Courtesy of Radoslav Sharapanov

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Munich to Oslo & Norway...

Option 1, via Hamburg & Copenhagen - by train all the way...

Option 2, Munich to Oslo via the Kiel-Oslo Color Line cruise ferry - the most luxurious way to Oslo...

  • Day 1, travel from Munich to Hamburg by Nightjet sleeper train, leaving Munich Hbf at 22:50 & arriving Hamburg Hbf at 08:47.

    This comfortable Austrian Nightjet train has an air-conditioned Comfortline sleeping-car with nine 1, 2 & 3-berth standard compartments with washbasin and three 1, 2 or 3-berth deluxe compartments with shower & toilet. There are toilets & a shower at the end of the corridor for passengers in the regular sleepers.  The sleeping-car attendant can serve drinks, snacks & light meals from a room service menu.  The train has couchette cars with 4 & 6 berth compartments, and ordinary seats.  A light breakfast is included in sleepers & couchettes, served in your compartment.  See the Nightjet page for a guide to on-board accommodation, travel tips, photos & video.

    Fares start at €49.90 in 6-berth couchettes, €59.90 in 4-berth couchettes, €69.90 in a 3-bed sleeper, €89.90 in a 2-bed sleeper or €139.90 in a single-bed sleeper, all per person per berth.

    Book this train at www.thetrainline.com (easy to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or at the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at (in €, a bit more fiddly, same prices).  Booking opens up to 6 months ahead and you print your own ticket.

  • Day 2, travel from Hamburg Hbf to Kiel Hbf by regional train, these leave several times each hour taking 1h10, fixed-price fare around €23.

    In Kiel, the Color Line ferry terminal is just a 5-6 minute walk from Kiel Hbf, but allow several hours between train & ferry for the ferry check-in and in case of delay.

  • Day 2, sail from Kiel to Oslo by luxurious overnight Color Line ferry, with a full range of en suite cabins, suites, bars, restaurants and lounges. 

    The m/v Magic or m/v Fantasy normally sails at 14:00 arriving Oslo at 10:00 next morning (Day 3 from Munich).

    Check times & buy tickets at the Direct Ferries website or www.colorline.com.

    Make sure you're on deck next morning as the ship sails through spectacular scenery up Oslo Fjord.  The ship docks at the modern Color Line terminal about 2 km from the city centre.  Color Line provide transfer buses to Oslo Sentral station costing 55 krone, or there are plenty of taxis.  If you have little luggage it's possible to walk.  See map of Oslo showing ferry terminal.

Germany to Oslo Color Line ferry at Kiel

This photo is taken from the exit of Kiel station, so you can see how close the ferry is.  It's a 5-6 minute walk across the harbour, with a street lift up to a connecting walkway which takes you to the ferry terminal. If you have reserved one of what Color Line call their "5 star suites", check in at the desk rather than the machines and you'll be directed to a special lounge to wait with free tea, coffee, juice, snacks & WiFi.  You'll also have priority boarding of the ship.  Photos courtesy of Andrew Leo.

Boarding the ferry in Kiel

Boarding the Color Line ferry to Oslo in Kiel...

Kiel to Oslo ferry, Color Class suite   Kiel to Oslo ferry, restaurant

A 5 Star Suite on the ferry...

 

More cruise liner than ferry!  The restaurant.

View from Color Line ferry to Oslo

Wake up to this....

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Munich to Helsinki & Finland...

Option 1, using a Finnlines ferry from Germany to Helsinki - the easiest option...

  • Day 1, travel from Munich to Hamburg, leaving Munich Hbf at 13:18, arriving Hamburg Hbf 18:53 (times may vary).

    Fares start at €23.90 in 2nd class or €33.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

    Book this train at the German Railways website www.bahn.deBooking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or show it on your laptop or smartphone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

  • Book onward trains within Finland at the Finnish Railways website www.vr.fi.

Finnlines Star class ferry to Helsinki   Cabin on the Finnlines ferry to Helsinki

One of Finnlines 3 star class ferries to Helsinki.  Courtesy of Finnlines.

 

Cabin on the ferry...

Option 2, by train to Stockholm, then ferry to Helsinki...

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Munich to Prague from €15 - or €35 in 1st class!
  • See the Munich to Prague by train page for details of the train service from Munich to Prague, now increased from 4 to 7 trains per day, now all air-conditioned with minibar & free WiFi in most cars.

  • Fares start at €15 in 2nd class or €35 in 1st class.  These are limited-availability advance-purchase fares.

  • Buy Munich-Prague train tickets at the Czech Railways website www.cd.cz, for English change the Czech flag for the UK flag at top right.  Booking normally opens 3 months ahead.  You print your own ticket.

  • Don't use the German Railways website www.bahn.de on this route, as it cannot sell the cheap €15 fares for these trains, only the more expensive Prague Special and expensive full-flex prices.

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Munich to Českύ Krumlov from €16.55...

Option 1, via Plzen.  Cheapest & easiest to book, but 2 hours slower than going via Linz.

  • This is the cheapest route, although it's the slower one.  For example, at the time I write this, you could leave Munich Hbf at 08:43 and arrive Cesky Krumlov at 18:57 all for just €16.55, with time for a Pilsner beer at the station bar in Plzen and for a wander round Ceske Budejovice!

    Earlier and later departures are also available.  The train from Munich to Plzen is a Munich-Prague Zapadni Express, see the photos & travel tips on the Prague-Munich page.  This train is air-conditioned with a refreshment trolley, power sockets and free WiFi.

  • Step 1, go to the Czech Railways website www.cd.cz, switch it to English and set up an enquiry from Munich Hbf to Ceske Budejovice.

    Now the science bit:  Before running the enquiry, click More options then Travel via and enter Plzen Hl.n. as a via station.  I also recommend clicking Connection parameters then Transfers and reducing the maximum number of connections from 4 to 1.

    In the search results, you should now see various departures with 1 easy change at Plzen Hlavni (Hl.n. = Hlavni = main station).  Plzen - or Pilsen in English - is of course the city where Pilsner beer originates.

    Cheap First Minute fares from Munich to Ceske Budejovice start at just €15, or about 367 CZK, a bargain.  First Minute fares are limited-availability advance-purchase fares, they are only good for the specific train you book, limited or no refunds or changes to travel plans.  If you buy at the station on the day you pay significantly more for a full-flex ticket good for any train.

    Buy this and print out your ticket.  You're now booked all the way from Munich to Ceske Budejovice on one ticket for one inclusive price.  You now just need to add the local train from Cesky Krumlov to Ceske Budejovice...

  • Step 2, now check train times from Ceske Budejovice to Cesky Krumlov at jizdnirady.idnes.cz/vlaky/spojeni.  10 minutes is plenty to change trains, if you miss it you can always have a coffee and catch the next one.  The little green-&-orange GWTR local trains run every hour or so, journey time 44 minutes.  It has luggage space, a toilet, power sockets and free WiFi, it's a leisurely journey on a winding single track branch line past farmland & forest.

  • See more useful information about visiting Cesky Krumlov including photos & info on taxis from the station to Cesky Krumlov old town.

Option 2, via Linz.  Significantly faster, but more expensive and must be booked in 3 stages rather than 2.

  • This is the fastest and most direct route, with the swisher trains.  For example, at the time I write this, you can leave Munich Hbf at 09:29 and arrive Cesky Krumlov at 16:57, all from €40, with time for a beer in Linz.  Earlier and later departures are also available.

  • How to check train times...

    You can check train times from Munich to Cesky Krumlov using the German Railways all-Europe timetable at www.bahn.de.  This holds timetable data for GWTR and for Czech, Austrian & German national railways (CD & ΦBB) so it'll show times for the whole journey, although it won't show fares or sell tickets.  To buy tickets, read on...

    Tip:  I recommend at least 40 minutes between trains in Linz.  When the search results appear, choose the departure you want and click Show details.  If the interchange time is much less than 40 minutes, click Adjust the transfer time against the change of train in Linz and select Later departure from Linz, and at least 40 minutes.

  • The journey...

    Step 1, travel from Munich Hbf to Linz Hbf in 2h45 by swish Austrian railjet train with restaurant car, power sockets at seats & free WiFi.

    At Linz Hbf, changing trains simply means stepping off one train, walking to another train and stepping on, but as you will be on separate tickets I'd allow at least 40 minutes between trains in case of delay.

    Step 2, travel from Linz Hbf to Ceske Budejovice in around 2h02 by comfortable air-conditioned express, with power sockets at seats.  There may be a refreshment trolley, but it's best to take you own food & drink for this bit.

    At Ceske Budejovice you simply step off one train and walk to the other train, if necessary via the underpass between platforms.  Changing trains only takes 3 minutes, if you miss one you have a beer and catch the next one.

    Incidentally, Ceske Budejovice might sound more familiar by its former Germanic name, Budweis.  That's right, where the name of the beer comes from!  The town is worth a look around in its own right.  Why not take an earlier train and have a wander into the old town?

    Step 3, travel from Ceske Budejovice to Cesky Krumlov on the little green-&-orange GWTR local train.  This runs every hour or so, journey time 44 minutes.   The GWTR local train has luggage space, a toilet, power sockets and free WiFi, it's a leisurely journey on a winding single track branch line past farmland & forest.

  • How much does it cost?

    (1)  Munich to Linz:  Cheap Sparschiene fares start at €27.90.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

    (2)  Linz to Ceske Budejovice:  Cheap advance-purchase fares called Sparschiene by ΦBB Austrian Railways or First Minute by CD Czech Railways start at just €9.

    (3)  Ceske Budejovice to Cesky Krumlov costs 40 CZK, about €1.55.

    Sparschiene & First Minute fares are limited-availability advance-purchase fares, they are only good for the specific train you book, limited or no refunds or changes to travel plans - hence the advice to allow 40 minutes between trains in Ceske Budejovice!  If you buy at the station on the day you'll pay the standard price which costs significantly more, but has unlimited availability and is good for any train that day.

  • How to buy tickets...

    (1)  Munich to Linz:  Buy tickets using either www.thetrainline.com (easiest, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or www.oebb.at (in €, same prices, a bit more fiddly) and print your own ticket.

    (2)  Linz to Ceske Budejovice:  Buy tickets using www.thetrainline.com, or Austrian Railways www.oebb.at or Czech Railways www.cd.cz and print your own ticket - buy from whichever is cheaper, they all sell tickets for the same trains.  Booking should open 6 months ahead on oebb.at or 90 days ahead on cd.cz, less than this when the mid-December timetable change is approaching.  But you only need to book weeks ahead to get the cheap fares, there's no need to book months ahead.

    (1)  Ceske Budejovice to Cesky Krumlov:  The local trains on this line are now run by private operator GWTR, so you need to buy this ticket separately, either at the station at Cesky Krumlov on the day or simply hop on the train and buy from the on-board ticket machines which accept cash or (reportedly) contactless Visa & MasterCard.  No reservation is necessary or possible, just turn up and go...

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Munich to Brno...
  • There are two possible routes, Munich-Prague-Brno or Munich-Vienna-Brno, both of which can be done with just 1 change.  The fastest route is via Vienna, total journey time in the region of 6h.

  • Now the catch:  None of the booking sites can book the whole trip at cheap prices.  So you split the booking like this:

    First use the German Railways website www.bahn.de to book from Munich to Vienna.  A fast modern railjet train with restaurant car & free WiFi leaves Munich Hbf every 2 hours, taking 4h to reach Vienna Hbf, with fares from €19.90.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your smartphone.

    Then use the Czech Railways website www.cd.cz to book from Vienna to Brno, allowing at least 45 minutes between trains at Vienna Hbf.  A fast modern railjet train leaves Vienna Hbf every 2 hours, taking 1h27 to reach Brno hl.n. (= Brno main station).  You print your own ticket or can show it on your smartphone.

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Munich to Ostrava...
  • The fastest route is Munich-Vienna by railjet train in 4h, Vienna to Ostrava by EuroCity train in 2h50, total journey time in the region of 7h30.

  • Now the catch:  None of the booking sites can book the whole trip at cheap prices.  So you split the booking like this:

    First use the German Railways website www.bahn.de to book from Munich to Vienna.  A fast modern railjet train with restaurant car & free WiFi leaves Munich Hbf every 2 hours, taking 4h to reach Vienna Hbf, with fares from €19.90.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your smartphone.

    Then use the Czech Railways website www.cd.cz to book from Vienna to Ostrava, allowing at least 40 minutes between trains at Vienna Hbf.  An air-conditioned EuroCity train with restaurant car leaves Vienna Hbf several times a day, taking 2h50 to reach Ostrava hl.n (= Ostrava main station).  You print your own ticket or can show it on your smartphone.

  • You can also take a Munich to Prague express then a Prague-Ostrava train, although this takes longer than going via Vienna.  To book this route, you'd first book from Munich to Prague from €15 at Czech Railways www.cd.cz, then use it again to book Prague to Ostrava.  You can in fact book Munich to Ostrava in one go, but you need to click Travel via then add Prague as a via station before running the enquiry.  Then look for journeys with just 1 change.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your smartphone.

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Munich to Karlovy Vary...
  • There are various departures from Munich Hbf to Karlovy Vary taking between 4h16 and 5h10, with changes of train at Nuremberg & Cheb.  Advance-purchase Sparpreis fares start at €18.90.

  • Check times & buy tickets at the German Railways website www.bahn.de.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your smartphone.

    You can also book at the Czech Railways site www.cd.cz, again you simply print your own ticket or can show it on your smartphone.

    Tip: Look for journeys with 2 changes, and avoid ones with 3 or more.  Check for tight connections in Nuremberg, a 7 minute connection is a bit risky if the Munich-Nuremberg ICE is late, so you might want to use the Adjust transfer time feature to make it show an earlier ICE with a longer more robust connection in Nuremberg, I'd prefer at least 20 minutes in case of delay. 

    Tip:  The journey can in fact be done with just 1 change, via Plzen (where Pilsner beer comes from) but this takes longer, around 7h25, fares from €20.  If you'd like to go this way, book at the Czech Railways site www.cd.cz, but click Travel via and enter Plzen hl.n. as a via station before running the enquiry.  Look for journeys with just 1 change.

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Munich to Bratislava from €40...
  • Fares start at €37.90 in 2nd class or €49.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

  • Buy a ticket at the German Railways website www.bahn.deBooking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket, but in this case can't show it on a mobile device, it must be printed out.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

    Tip:  To avoid it putting you on a train to the less-convenient Bratislava Petrzalka station, select the specific station Bratislava hl. st. as your destination rather than the generic BRATISLAVA.  Then it'll show you trains & tickets to the more central Bratislava Hlavna station.

The train from Vienna to Bratislava, at Vienna Huaptbahnhof...   Inside the hourly train from Vienna to Bratislava...

The hourly regional express train from Vienna to Bratislava Hlavna, about to leave from Vienna Hauptbahnhof.  More about these Vienna-Bratislava trains.

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Munich to Poprad-Tatry & Kosice from €46.90...

Option 1, in a day...

  • There are several possible departures from Munich Hbf early & late morning by smart modern railjet train to Vienna Hbf, hourly regional train to Bratislava Hlavna and air-conditioned Slovakian express train with restaurant car along the scenic route to Poprad Tatry & Kosice, arriving in the evening.

  • Fares start at €46.90 in 2nd class or €59.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

  • Buy tickets at the German Railways website www.bahn.deBooking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

    Tip:  You can use the Add intermediate stops feature to give yourself a few hours stopover (or even an overnight stopover) at Vienna or Bratislava, for the same price.

Option 2, using the Prague-Slovakia sleeper - time-effective, with dinner in Prague...

  • Step 2, travel from Prague to Poprad-Tatry & Kosice by sleeper train Slovakia, leaving Prague Hlavni at 22:15 and arriving Poprad-Tatry around 06:40 & Kosice around 08:25 next morning.

    The Slovakia has Slovakian 4 & 6 berth couchettes, a modern Slovakian air-conditioned sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin, and several modern air-conditioned Czech sleeping-cars with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin, 1, 2 & 3 bed deluxe compartments with en suite shower & toilet.

    Book this at the Czech Railways website www.cd.cz and print your own ticket.  Booking normally opens 3 months ahead.

    Tip:  You can check the formation of this train with car numbers, photos & floorplans at www.vagonweb.cz.  Click en for English, then click Train formations and search for EN443 Slovakia.

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Munich to Budapest from €39.90...

Option 1, by daytime railjet train: 

  • Smart Austrian railjet trains leave Munich Hbf for Budapest Keleti at 07:23, 09:29, 11:29 & 13:29 taking 6h50 city centre to city centre.

    Fares start at €39.90 in 2nd class, €69.90 in 1st class or €84.90 in business class (= premium 1st ).  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

    A reserved seat is optional and costs an extra €3-€4.  In business class it's automatically included in the fare.

    The trains have a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi  In 1st & business class restaurant car orders are taken and food served at your seat, so treat yourself to lunch or dinner.  Look out for a great view of Salzburg citadel on the right as the train crosses the Rover Salzach approaching Salzburg HbfSee more information about railjet trains.

  • Buy tickets at the German Railways website www.bahn.deBooking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

  • To book business class tickets use www.thetrainline.com instead.

A railjet train about to leave Munich Hbf

A railjet to Budapest about to leave Munich Hbf...

  Premium class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train   Railjet restaurant car

Railjet first class, with black leather seats...

 

Business class...

 

The restaurant...

Railjet train at Vienna Hbf   Railjet train standard class

A railjet boarding at the impressive modern Vienna Hbf.  More photos & information about railjet trains

 

Economy class on railjet, in open saloons with large windows.  Some seats around tables, most unidirectional.

Pleasant Bavarian scenery between Munich & Salzburg...

View of Salzburg as the train crosses the River Salzach

This is the view of Salzburg's Fortress Hohensalzburg on your right hand side as the railjet crosses the River Salzach & approaches Salzburg Hbf....

Pleasant farmland scenery between Salzburg & Vienna...

Between Vienna & Budapest it's largely flat, with more wind turbines than you can shake a stick at, allegedly over 200.  This photo pretty much sums up that section of line!

A Railjet train at Budapest

The railjet has landed...  A railjet has arrived spot on time in Budapest's historic Keleti station, built 1881-1884

Option 2, using the Munich-Budapest sleeper train Kalman Imre

  • Fares start at €49.90 with a couchette in a 6-berth, €59.90 with a couchette in a 4-berth, €69.90 with a bed in a 3-bed sleeper, €88.90 with a bed in a 2-bed sleeper or €129.90 in a single-bed sleeper, all per person per berth.

  • Book this train at www.thetrainline.com (easy to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or at the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at (in €, a bit more fiddly, same prices).  Booking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket.

  • Tip:  For a Bavarian dinner & beer or two before boarding, I recommend the Augustiner Keller (www.augustinerkeller.de) at Arnulfstrasse 52, to the north side of Munich Hbf, see walking map.

  • Tip:  If you like, you can check the consist for this train, check car numbers & see in what order cars for different destinations are marshalled using the excellent www.vagonweb.cz.  Change cs to English upper left, then click Train formations, scroll down to Germany & click EN, then look for Kalman Imre.

The sleeper train to Budapest   Sleeper compartment in the Hungarian sleeping-car from Munich to Budapest

The Kalman Imre, about to leave Munich Hbf.  More information about the sleeper train Kalman Imre.

 

2-bed sleeper. Larger photo

6-berth couchettes on train to Budapest   4-berth couchettes on train to Budapest   Couchette car on the Kalman Imre to Budapest

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes

 

Hungarian couchette car at Munich Hbf...

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Munich to Sighisoara, Brasov & Bucharest from €79...

Option 1, by railjet to Budapest and sleeper train Ister to Brasov & Bucharest...  Easily booked online with cheap advance-purchase fares.

  • Step 1, travel from Munich to Budapest by smart Austrian railjet train, leaving Munich Hbf at 09:29 arriving Budapest Keleti 16:19.

    Fares start at €39.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

    Buy a ticket at the German Railways website www.bahn.deBooking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

  • Step 2, travel from Budapest to Romania by sleeper train Ister leaving Budapest Keleti at 19:10 and arriving Brasov at 09:54 & Bucharest Gara de Nord at 12:33 next day.

    This comfortable train has an air-conditioned sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin, and a Romanian couchette car with 4 & 6 berth compartments.  There's no restaurant car (although a bar-bistro is usually attached within Romania) so take a picnic and bottle of wine.  There's wonderful almost Alpine scenery through the Carpathian mountains between Brasov and Bucharest, a real treat.

    Fares start at €39 with a couchette in 6-berth, €46 with a couchette in 4-berth, €69 with a bed in a 3-bed sleeper, €84 with a bed in a 2-bed sleeper or €162 with a single-bed sleeper all to yourself.  All prices per person per berth.

    Book this train at the Romanian Railways website bileteinternationale.cfrcalatori.ro.  Click EN top right for English.  Booking opens 60 days ahead.  For Bucharest type Bucuresti.  It can book seats, couchettes or sleepers.  For Hungary to Romania journeys you print your own ticket.

    You can also normally book at the Hungarian Railways website www.mav-start.hu, see my advice on using it.  For Bucharest type Bucuresti.  You show your ticket in the MAV app on your smartphone.  However, since MAV revamped its website in 2020, it can't book couchettes or sleepers, only seats, though this should be fixed at some point.

    Tip:  If you like, you can check the consist for this train, check car numbers & see in what order cars for different destinations are marshalled using the excellent www.vagonweb.cz.  Change cs to English upper left, then click Train formations, scroll down to Hungary & click IC.

Option 2, by railjet to Vienna and daily sleeper train Dacia Express to Sighisoara, Brasov & Bucharest.

  • Step 1, travel from Munich to Vienna by railjet train, leaving Munich Hbf at 13:29 and arriving Vienna Hbf at 17:30.

    Fares start at €27.90 in 2nd class or €49.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

    Buy a ticket at the German Railways website www.bahn.deBooking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

  • Step 2, travel from Vienna to Romania on the EuroNight sleeper train Dacia Express, leaving Vienna Hbf at 19:42 every evening and arriving next day in Sighisoara 10:34, Brasov 13:35 & Bucharest Gara de Nord at 16:04.

    The Dacia Express has modern & comfortable Romanian sleeping-cars (1, 2 & 3 bed compartments, including a couple of deluxe sleepers with shower & toilet) and couchettes (4-berth & 6-berth compartments).  There's wonderful almost Alpine scenery through the Carpathian mountains between Brasov and Bucharest, a real treat...

    Fares start at €59 with a couchette in a 6-berth compartment, €69 with a couchette in a 4-berth compartment, €79 with a bed in a 3-berth sleeper, €99 with a bed in a 3-berth sleeper or €159 with a bed in a single-berth sleeper all to yourself.  All per person per berth.

    Book this train at the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at.  Booking normally opens 90 days ahead.  In the search results, look for the direct train marked D with no changes.  If it says not available you can't book it, but if a Sparschiene fare is shown you can.  You collect tickets from  an ΦBB ticket machine at Vienna Hbf.

    Tip:  If you like, you can check the train formation, check car numbers & see in what order cars for different destinations are marshalled using www.vagonweb.cz.  Change cs to English upper left, then click Train formations, scroll down to Austria & click D, then look for Dacia.

Dacia Express sleeping-car

The Dacia Express has one or at peak times two air-conditioned Romanian sleeping-cars, seen here at Bucharest.  You can check the train formation at www.vagonweb.cz Courtesy of @PaliparanDotCom

Washbasin   Dacia Express sleeper compartment   Romanian couchette car from Vienna to Bucharest

Sleepers:  Each compartment can be sold as a single, double (as here) or triple.  Most compartments have a washbasin as shown, two compartments have a shower & toilet.  Beds fold away to form a private sitting room for day use.  Larger photo.

 

Couchettes:  4 & 6-berth, bedding is provided.  Larger photo.

Dacia Express couchette car

The Dacia Express has one couchette car, seen here at Bucharest.  Courtesy of @PaliparanDotCom

Scenery in Transylvania

Transylvania:  The Dacia Express crosses rural Transylvania.  Courtesy of @PaliparanDotCom

Dacia Express bar-bistro car

The Dacia Express en route to Bucharest...  Photo courtesy of @PaliparanDotCom

  Couchette car on the Ister EuroNight train from Budapest to Bucharest

Enjoy lunch and a beer in the bar car, as a bar-bistro is attached to the Dacia Express in Romania between Simeria & Bucharest.  Photos courtesy of @PaliparanDotCom & @_DiningCar.

Dacia Express Carpathian mountains

The Carpathian mountains:  Almost Alpine scenery between Brasov & Bucharest...  Courtesy of @PaliparanDotCom.

Option 3, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Budapest...

  • Day 1, travel from Munich to Budapest Keleti in 6h46 on any railjet train you like.

    Fares start at €39.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

    Buy a ticket at the German Railways website www.bahn.de.  Booking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

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Munich to Ljubljana, Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik from €37.90...

Option 1, by daytime trains, the wonderful scenic option...

  • Several trains a day link Munich with Ljubljana & Zagreb:

    The morning train leaves Munich Hbf at 08:17, this is smart Austrian railjet train from Munich to Villach on the Austrian/Slovenian border where there's a simple cross-platform 10-minute change onto a Slovenian & Croatian train to for Lesce-Bled, Ljubljana & Zagreb.

    The afternoon train leaves Munich Hbf at  12:18, this is a direct air-conditioned train with restaurant car to Lesce-Bled, Ljubljana & Zagreb.

    There's a third departure from Munich Hbf at 14:18 to Lesce-Bled & Ljubljana.

    The journey is wonderful, a chance to relax as you cross through the mountains of Austria, then between Ljubljana and Zagreb the train wends its way through the hills along the lovely River Sava, see the photos below.  Highly recommended!

  • Fares start at €37.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class if you book ahead.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

  • Buy tickets at the German Railways website www.bahn.deBooking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

    Tip:  If you don't see any cheap fares from Munich to Zagreb using bahn.de (for example, if it says No special fares available), try going to the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at and booking from Salzburg to Zagreb on the same train (it will leave Salzburg about 1h55 after leaving Munich), then using www.oebb.at again to add a ticket from Munich to Salzburg on the same train.

A railjet train about to leave Munich Hbf

The 08:17 departure is a smart Austrian railjet from Munich to Villach, on the Austrian-Slovenian border...  This is a railjet about to leave Munich Hbf...

Railjet train at Vienna Hbf   Railjet train standard class

Railjet is Austrian Railways premier train...  More photos & information about Railjet trains

 

Economy class on railjet, in open saloons with large windows.  Some seats around tables, most unidirectional.

  Premium class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train   Railjet restaurant car

Railjet first class, with black leather seats...

 

Business class...

 

The restaurant...

Scenery in the Austrian Alps between Munich & Ljubljana

Through the Austrian Alps...  Clinging to the mountainside high in the Austrian Alps, the railjet snakes along between snow-capped mountains, absolutely wonderful.,,

If you use the morning train from Munich, there's a quick & simple cross-platform change of train at Villach onto a Slovenian & Croatian train called the Sava...

  2nd class seats on the Munich-Zagreb train

...along the Sava river in Slovenia.  Now across the border in Slovenia, the EuroCity train runs along the pretty River Sava all the way to Ljubljana & Zagreb...

 

Comfortable seats:  The 2nd class seats in the Slovenian cars are arranged 2+1 abreast, the same as 1st class!

Scenery between Ljubljana & Zagreb

More lovely scenery along the Sava between Ljubljana & Zagreb...

The EuroCity train 'Sava' from Munich to Ljubljana & Zagreb  

The EuroCity train Sava, arrived at Zagreb.

 

More scenery along the Sava between Ljubljana & Zagreb.

Option 2, by Munich-Zagreb sleeper train, the time-effective option...

  • An excellent Croatian sleeper train called the Lisinski leaves Munich Hbf at 23:20 and arrives Ljubljana 05:57 & Zagreb 08:35.

    It has a smart air-conditioned Croatian sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments, and an air-conditioned Croatian couchette car with 4 & 6 berth compartments, see the Croatian sleeper video here.

  • Fares start at €49.90 with a couchette in a 6-berth, €59.90 with a couchette in a 4-berth, €66.90 with a bed in a 3-bed sleeper, €86.90 with a bed in a 2-bed sleeper or €129.90 in a single-bed sleeper, all per person per berth.

  • How to buy tickets:  Book the sleeper at www.thetrainline.com (easy to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at (in €, more fiddly, same fares).  Booking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket.

    If neither site works for you, you'll need to book by phone.  If you live in the UK call German Railways UK number, 00 49 (0)30 311 68 29 04.

  • Tip:  For a Bavarian dinner & a beer or two before boarding the sleeper, I recommend the Augustiner Keller (www.augustinerkeller.de) at Arnulfstrasse 52, to the north side of Munich Hbf, see walking map.

  • Onwards to Split & Dubrovnik...  There are daytime trains and a sleeper between Zagreb and Split, from where buses run to Dubrovnik, for details see here.

The 'Lisinski' sleeper train from Zagreb to Munich, at Zagreb main station   Sleeper compartment in the Croatian sleeping-car from Munich to Zagreb

The sleeping-car on the Lisinski:  The modern air-conditioned Croatian sleeping-car of the Lisinski from Munich to Zagreb has 10 compartments with washbasin, each of which can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth room, with toilets at the end of the corridor.  Above left, the sleeper arrived at Zagreb.  See larger sleeper photo...

4-berth couchettes on Munich to Zagreb train   Couchette car on Munich to Zagreb train, at Munich

The couchette car on the Lisinski has modern air-conditioned 6-berth and 4-berth compartments.  Above right, the westbound train is seen boarding at Zagreb. See panorama photo.

Scenery between Ljubljana, Zagreb & Belgrade

Wake up to scenery like this between Ljubljana & Zagreb, along the river Sava...

Option 2, to Split & Dubrovnik using the Budapest-Split sleeper train Adria, runs June-September...

  • Step 1, travel from Munich to Budapest by railjet train leaving Munich Hbf at 09:29 and arriving Budapest Keleti at 16:19.

    The railjet train has a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

    Fares start at €39.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

    Buy a ticket at the German Railways website www.bahn.de.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone.

    Make sure you allow at least an hour in Budapest between trains to be on the safe side.

  • Step 2, travel from Budapest to Split by direct sleeper train called the Adria.  This runs from mid-June to early September, leaving Budapest Keleti around 18:53 every evening arriving Split around 08:56 next morning.  It has a comfortable Hungarian sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments and a couchette car with 4 & 6 bunk compartments.

    The fare is around €79 with couchette or from €92 with a bed in a cosy 2-bed sleeper.

    Check to see if it is bookable online at the Hungarian Railways website www.mavcsoport.hu, see my advice for using it.  If not, you will need to book at the station or by phone with a ticketing agency in your home country.

  • For Dubrovnik, take a bus from Split.  There are buses every hour or even every half hour, run by several companies.  Journey time between 3h45 and 4h35, fare around €13-€17.  Buy a ticket at the bus station in Split.

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Munich to Belgrade, Sofia & Montenegro...

By sleeper to Zagreb, then day train - The fastest option, especially as the Budapest-Belgrade line is currently blocked by track upgrading work...

  • Day 1, take the excellent overnight Croatian sleeper train Lisinski leaving Munich Hbf at 23:20 and arriving Zagreb at 08:35.

    It has a smart air-conditioned Croatian sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments, and an air-conditioned Croatian couchette car with 4 & 6 berth compartments, see the photos & sleeper video here.

    Fares start at €49.90 with a couchette in a 6-berth, €59.90 with a couchette in a 4-berth, €66.90 with a bed in a 3-bed sleeper, €86.90 with a bed in a 2-bed sleeper or €129.90 in a single-bed sleeper, all per person per berth.

    Book this train at www.thetrainline.com (easy to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or at the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at (in €, a bit more fiddly, same fares).  Booking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket.

  • Day 2, travel from Zagreb to Belgrade by train, leaving Zagreb at 11:04 and arriving Novi Beograd 18:04 & Belgrade Centar at 18:12.

    This train is still currently suspended due to Covid-19.

    This train has air-conditioned Serbian carriages with comfortable 2nd class seats, but no 1st class.  There's no dining-car, so bring a picnic and some beer or wine.

    The fare is around €29 bought at the station in Zagreb or paid on board the train, tickets cannot be bought online.

    Tip:  Although Belgrade Centar is slightly closer to the city centre, you have to rely on a single bus line.  Trams 7 & 9 link Novi Beograd station with the site of the now-defunct old Belgrade station on the edge of the old city every 5-10 minutes so you may prefer to get off at Novi Beograd and take a tram, see the Belgrade station page for more information.

if you're going to Sofia...

If you're going to Montenegro...

The 'Lisinski' sleeper train from Zagreb to Munich, at Zagreb main station   Sleeper compartment in the Croatian sleeping-car from Munich to Zagreb

The sleeping-car on the Lisinski:  The modern air-conditioned Croatian sleeping-car of the Lisinski from Munich to Zagreb has 10 compartments with washbasin, each of which can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth room, with toilets at the end of the corridor.  Above left, the sleeper arrived at Zagreb.  See larger sleeper photo...

4-berth couchettes on Munich to Zagreb train   Couchette car on Munich to Zagreb train, at Munich

The couchette car on the Lisinski has modern air-conditioned 6-berth and 4-berth compartments.  Above right, the westbound train is seen boarding at Zagreb. See panorama photo.

Scenery between Ljubljana, Zagreb & Belgrade

Wake up to scenery like this between Ljubljana & Zagreb, along the river Sava...

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Munich to Warsaw & Krakow from €39.90...

Option 1, by daytime trains via Berlin... 

  • You can travel from Munich to Warsaw in a single day, for example,

    Munich Hbf depart 07:52, change Berlin Hbf, arrive Warsaw Centralna at 19:09.

    Munich Hbf depart 11:56, change Berlin Hbf, arrive Warsaw Centralna at 23:04.

    using a superb high-speed ICE train from Munich to Berlin then a comfortable EuroCity train from Berlin to Warsaw.  Total journey is around 11h50, a long day but take a good book, a bottle of wine and put your  feet up. 

  • Fares start at €39.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

  • Buy a ticket at the German Railways website www.bahn.de.  Booking to Poland opens 60 days ahead.  You print your own ticket or show it on your laptop or smartphone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

    Tip:  Although you're covered for a missed connection with a through ticket, I recommend adjusting the Duration of transfer on bahn.de from standard to at least 40 minutes to ensure a robust connection in Berlin even if there's a delay.  I have taken this into account in the times shown above.

Option 2, by daytime trains via Prague - cheaper, but takes a bit longer... 

  • Step 1, travel from Munich to Prague by air-conditioned express train leaving Munich Hbf at 06:43 and arriving Prague Hlavni 12:21.

    Fares start at €15 in 2nd class or €35 in 1st class.  These are limited-availability advance-purchase fares.

    Book at the Czech Railways website www.cd.cz and print your own ticket.  Booking normally opens 3 months ahead.

  • Step 2, travel from Prague to Warsaw by EuroCity train with restaurant car, leaving Prague Hlavni at 14:23 and arriving Warsaw Centralna 22:18.

    Fares start at €19 in 2nd class or €39 in 1st class.  These are limited-availability advance-purchase fares.

    Book at the Czech Railways website www.cd.cz and print your own ticket.  Booking normally opens 60 days ahead.

Option 3, using the Prague-Krakow/Warsaw sleeper train - the time-effective option... 

  • Step 1, travel from Munich to Prague by air-conditioned express train leaving Munich Hbf at 14:43 and arriving Prague Hlavni at 20:21.

    Fares start at €15 in 2nd class or €35 in 1st class.  These are limited-availability advance-purchase fares.

    Book at the Czech Railways website www.cd.cz and print your own ticket.  Booking normally opens 3 months ahead.

  • Step 2, travel from Prague to Warsaw by EuroNight sleeper train leaving Prague Hlavni at 22:15 and arriving Krakow Glowny 05:41 & Warsaw Centralna 08:33.

    This train has a modern air-conditioned Polish sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin, plus two deluxe 1 or 2 bed compartments with en suite toilet & shower, see the photos below.  It also has a couchette car with economical 4 & 6 bunk compartments.

    Fares start at €39 with a couchette.

    Book this at the Czech Railways website www.cd.cz and print your own ticket.  Booking normally opens 60 days ahead.

Option 4, using the Vienna-Krakow/Warsaw sleeper train - a similar time-effective option, a bit faster but a bit more expensive...

  • Step 1, travel from Munich to Vienna by railjet train, leaving Munich Hbf at 15:30 and arriving Vienna Hbf at 19:30.

    The train has a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  You can also take the 17:30 from Munich, but when catching a sleeper I'd play safe and take the earlier one with time for dinner in Vienna.

    Fares start at €29.90 in 2nd class or €39.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

    Book this at the German Railways website www.bahn.deBooking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone.  I recommend registering when prompted so you can log in & check your bookings or re-print tickets at any time.

  • Step 2, travel from Vienna to Poland by sleeper train, leaving Vienna Hbf at 22:10, arriving Krakow Glowny 05:41 & Warsaw Centralna 08:33.

    The EuroNight sleeper train Chopin has a modern air-conditioned Polish sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin, plus two deluxe 1 or 2 bed compartments with en suite toilet & shower, see the photos below.  It also has a couchette car with 4 & 6 bunk compartments.

    Vienna to Krakow starts at €19, Vienna to Warsaw at €29.  These are the cheapest possible advance-purchase Sparschiene fare, the price varies with limited availability at each price level.  You then need to add one of the following supplements to get a bed:

    €20 for a couchette in 6-berth, €30 for a couchette in 4-berth, €35 for a bed in a 3-bed sleeper, €50 for a bed in a 2-bed sleeper, €100 for a bed in a single-bed sleeper, €70 for a bed in a 2-berth deluxe sleeper with shower & toilet, or €120 for a single-bed deluxe sleeper with shower & toilet (all per person, berths are sold individually).

    Book this train at www.thetrainline.com (easy to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or at the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at (in €, a bit more fiddly, same prices).  Booking opens up to 6 months ahead and you print your own ticket.

Modern Polish sleeper in day mode   Modern Polish sleeper in day mode, set up as a triple   Deluxe 2-bed sleeper in modern Polish sleeping-car   Deluxe sleepers have a private shower & toilet

Standard sleeper in evening/morning mode with seats folded out.

 

Standard sleeper set up as a 3-berth.  It can also be sold as a single or double.

 

Deluxe sleeper, set up as a 2-berth, showing TV & wardrobe.

 

Deluxe sleeper:  En suite shower & toilet.  Click the photos for larger images.

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Munich to Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn...

Option 1, Munich to Lithuania using the Prague-Warsaw sleeper, morning free in Warsaw...

  • Day 2, travel from Warsaw to Kaunas & Vilnius, leaving Warsaw at lunchtime, changing at Bialystok and arriving Kaunas in Lithuania in the evening, with connections to Vilnius, see the Warsaw to Vilnius page for details.  Warsaw-Vilnius costs around €24.

  • Day 3, for onward travel from Vilnius to Riga, see here.

  • Day 4, for onward travel from Riga to Tallinn, see here.

Option 2, Munich to Lithuania with overnight stop in Berlin - faster, Sundays-Fridays only, with a very early start from Berlin...

  • Day 1, travel from Munich to Berlin by ICE train in the afternoon or early evening.  It takes as little as 4 hours.

  • Stay overnight in Berlin.  The 3-star Meininger Hotel or InterCity Hotel are ideal as they are right next to Berlin Hbf and a 10-minute walk from the Reichstag or a 15-minute walk from the Brandenburg Gate, relatively inexpensive and get good reviews.  If you want to push the boat out, try the famous & historic Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin is right next to the Brandenburg Gate, 15 min walk from the station.  More hotels in Berlin.  If you're on a tight budget, see www.hostelworld.com.

  • Day 2, travel from Berlin to Warsaw by EuroCity train leaving Berlin Hbf at 05:43 Mondays-Saturdays only arriving Warsaw Centralna at 11:11.

    The Berlin-Warsaw EuroCity train is a comfortable air-conditioned Polish train with trolley refreshment service and a restaurant car serving drinks, snacks and meals.  Treat yourself to a cooked breakfast the restaurant car.

    Munich to Warsaw starts at €37.90 in 2nd class or €56.90 in 1st class.

    Buy tickets from Munich to Warsaw at the German Railways website www.bahn.de.  To get the overnight stop in Berlin, click Add intermediate stops, enter Berlin Hbf and a suitable stopover duration, say 10 hours.  Adjust departure time & stopover duration to get the trains you want either side of Berlin, a little trial & error may be required.

    Tip: You may be able to buy a through ticket from Munich to Bialystok covering both the Munich-Berlin-Warsaw & Warsaw-Bialystok trains for almost the same price as Munich to Warsaw.  In which case, you just need to buy a Bialystok-Kaunas/Vilnius ticket at the station in Warsaw, or on board the train.

  • Day 2, travel from Warsaw to Kaunas & Vilnius, leaving Warsaw at lunchtime, changing at Bialystok and arriving Kaunas in Lithuania in the evening, with connections to Vilnius, see the Warsaw to Vilnius page for details.  Warsaw-Vilnius costs around €24.

  • Day 3, for onward travel from Vilnius to Riga in Latvia, see here.

  • Day 4, for onward travel from Riga to Tallinn in Estonia, see here.

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Munich to Lviv, Kiev & Ukraine...

Option 1, via Vienna, the recommended and easiest option...

The Vienna-Kiev sleeping-car at Kiev Pass

Boarding the Vienna to Kiev sleeping-car at Vienna Hbf.  Photo courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.

Sleeper to Kiev about to leave Vienna   Ukrainian sleeper corridor   1, 2 or 3 bed Ukrainian sleeper compartment

The Vienna-Kiev sleeper about to leave Vienna Hbf... Courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.

 

The sleeper corridor.  Courtesy Helmut Uttenthaler.

 

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper compartment.

The Vienna-Kiev sleeping-car at Kiev Pass

The Vienna-Kiev sleeping-car at Kiev Pass.  Photos courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.

Option 2, via Warsaw...

  • Step 1, travel from Munich to Warsaw as shown above, either by daytime trains and staying overnight or by railjet and sleeper train.  Either way, you then have a day to explore Warsaw.

  • Step 2, travel from Warsaw to Kiev on the Kiev Express, leaving Warsaw Centralna at 18:20 and arriving Kiev at 11:00 next day.

    This train has comfortable Ukrainian 1, 2 & 3 bed sleepers with washbasin.  There's no restaurant car, so take a picnic and perhaps some wine or beer.  The train is jacked up at the border to have its wheelsets changed from standard gauge to the slightly wider Russian/Ukrainian gauge.

    The fare is around €46 in a 3-bed sleeper if you manage to book via the Ukrainian Railways website.  If you book it through Polrail it costs around €57 including a bed in a 3-berth sleeper, €66 with a bed in a 2-bed sleeper or €110 in a single-bed sleeper all to yourself.

    To buy tickets, first see if you can book online with Ukrainian Railways at booking.uz.gov.ua/en - but please, please, please read the important notes here which explain how to book this train using that website.  If that doesn't work for you, book with reliable Polish agency Polrail at booking.polrail.com. Booking opens 60 days ahead.  Tickets can be collected in Warsaw or (at extra charge) shipped to any address worldwide.  Polrail are also pretty good at arranging the return reservation back from Kiev as they have close contacts with Ukrainian Railways.

The Kiev Express   1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper compartment   Each compartment has a washbasin

Boarding in Warsaw...

 

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper...

 

...with washbasin.

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Munich to Moscow & Russia...

Option 1, using the Warsaw-Moscow sleeper train, every day - goes via Belarus...

A modern Russian sleeping-car of the sort used on the Polonez   A 2-berth or 4-berth compartment in daytime mode

Option 2, using the new Berlin-Moscow Strizh sleeper train, twice a week - also goes via Belarus...

Option 3, via Vienna & Kiev, avoiding Belarus with daily departures...

  • Step 1, travel from Munich to Vienna by railjet train, for example, leaving Munich Hbf at 11:29 and arriving Vienna Hbf at 15:30.

    Personally, I'd take an earlier train and have a bit more time in Vienna.  The railjets have a restaurant car with draught beer on tap, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

    Fares start at €29.90 in 2nd class or €49.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

    Buy a ticket at the German Railways www.bahn.deBooking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone.

  • Step 2, travel from Vienna to Kiev by direct sleeping-car. leaving Vienna Hbf at 16:42 every day and arriving in Kiev at 17:21 next day.

    Introduced in December 2017, this is a comfortable direct Ukrainian sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 berth compartments with washbasin.

    Book this train at the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at.  Tickets must be collected from ΦBB in Vienna.  The sleeper has become popular, it can sell out.

    If you have any problems, you can also book the Vienna-Kiev train via reliable agency www.polrail.com, with tickets posted or couriered to you for a small fee.  Polrail are based in Poland so charge in zlotys, but as they have access to Ukrainian ticketing system they are good for booking this train.

    Booked through oebb.at:

    Vienna to Kiev costs €80.50 in a 3-berth sleeper, €90.50 in a 2-berth sleeper or €152.90 in a single sleeper.

    Vienna to Lviv costs €62.10 in a 3-berth sleeper, €70.10 in a 2-berth sleeper or €119.30 in a single sleeper.

    Booked through Polrail:

    Vienna to Kiev costs around €138 in a 3-berth sleeper €149 in a 2-berth sleeper, or €241 in a single-berth sleeper.

    Vienna to Lviv costs around €120 in a 3-berth sleeper €129 in a 2-berth sleeper, or €207 in a single-berth sleeper.

    Booked at the station in Ukraine, Kiev to Vienna costs around €80, Lviv to Vienna around €60, in both cases with a bed in a 3-bed sleeper.

  • Step 3, travel from Kiev to Moscow by sleeper train, for example Train 6 leaves Kiev at 19:36 arriving Moscow Kievskaya around 10:09.

    The fare is around €92 with a bed in 4-berth kupι or €180 with a bed in a 2-berth spalny vagon.

    You can ask www.polrail.com to book this for you too, or you can book tickets from Kiev to Moscow at the Ukrainian Railways site booking.uz.gov.ua/en/ booking from Kyiv to Moskva Kievskaya.  You collect tickets at the station in Kiev.  Feedback appreciated!

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Munich to Athens, Corfu & Greece...

Option 1, Munich to Athens by train & ferry via Italy - the leisurely option with an Adriatic cruise thrown in...

  • The best and most comfortable option is to pick up a ferry in Bari.  The whole scenic and relaxing journey from Munich to Athens will take around 2 nights & 3 days, depending how the connections work out on your particular date.

  • Day 1, travel from Munich Hbf to Verona Porta Nuova through the scenic Brenner Pass with a restaurant car for lunch & dinner.  There are various departures, journey time 5h18, you can leave in the afternoon.

    Fares start at €37.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

    Check times & book at the German Railways website www.bahn.deBooking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your laptop or smartphone.

  • Stay overnight in Verona.  Hotels near the station with good or great reviews include the Sole Hotel Verona right next to the station, Corte Merighi Rooms & Breakfast, Novo Hotel Rossi, Guesthouse Verona or (a little closer to the centre but with fab reviews) the Relais Empire.

  • Day 2, travel from Verona to Bari, leaving Verona Porta Nuova around 07:50.

    Fares start at €29.90 in 2nd class or €39.90 in 1st class.

    Book this at either www.italiarail.com (they'll refund their small booking fee if you email them at seat61@italiarail.com afterwards) or www.trenitalia.com.  Booking normally opens 120 days ahead.  It's ticketless, you just quote the reference on the train.

    In Bari it's a 10 minute taxi ride or 25 minute walk to the ferry terminal next to Bari's pleasant old town.  I'd allow at least 3 hours between train and ferry in Bari, including the 2-hour ferry check-in.

  • Day 2, sail from Bari to Patras with Superfast Ferries.  The ferry normally sails at 19:30 daily except Sundays arriving Patras at 13:00 the next day (day 3).  On Sundays the ship sails at 13:30, too early to make connections from Verona.

    Check ferry times, dates, prices & buy tickets using the Direct Ferries website or at www.superfast.com or www.ferriesingreece.com

    The ship is modern and comfortable, with restaurants, bars, lounges and sun decks.  You can book a deck place (a nice cheap option in summer if you have your own sleeping bag) or a reclining seat or a berth in various types of cabin, including luxury cabins with private shower & toilet.  Strolling the decks in the morning sun as the ship cruises past the islands of Cephalonia and Ithaca is the nicest part of the trip, and it's a wonderful way to arrive in Greece.

    In Patras, the ferry arrives at the new South ferry terminal a few km from the town centre.  Bus number 18 links the port with the town bus station every hour on the hour, fare €1.20 or you can hop in a taxi for around €7, journey time 15-20 minutes.

  • Day 3, from Patras it's 3 hours to Athens by bus/train combo.  There's a bus/train combined timetable from Patras to Athens on www.trainose.gr but it takes a bit of finding.  Buy the bus ticket when you reach Patras, it costs around €18.

A 2 or 4 berth cabin on the Italy-Greece ferry  

2 or 4-berth cabin with private toilet & shower.

 

Relaxing on deck...

The ferry from Bari to Greece at sea

At sea, passing Cephalonia & Ithaca.  This is what travel to Greece should be like!

Option 2, Munich to Athens overland by train via Munich & Belgrade - a rail adventure across the Balkans...

  • You can also travel overland by train from Munich to Athens via Belgrade & Thessaloniki.  It'll take 3 nights, with the romance and adventure of an epic train ride through the Balkans.  But it now only works properly from June to September.

  • In Munich you pick up the London-Munich-Belgrade-Thessaloniki-Athens route explained in detail on the London to Greece page.  Just disregard the London-Munich part.

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Munich to Istanbul & Turkey...

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bullet pointFind hotels in Munich & other cities

Find hotels at Booking.comMy favourite hotel search site: www.booking.com

www.booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site and I generally prefer booking my hotels all in one place here.  You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.  I never book hotels non-refundably.  I have also come to trust their review scores - you won't be disappointed with anything over 8.0.

Tip:  It can pay to compare prices across multiple hotel sites:  HotelsCombined.com is a price comparison site which compares hotel prices on Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, Accor, Agoda and many others.  Though if there's not much in it, I prefer keeping all my bookings together in one place at www.booking.com.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

  • www.tripadvisor.com is the place to find independent travellers' reviews of all the main hotels.

Backpacker hostels...

  • www.hostelworld.com:  If you're on a tight budget, don't forget about backpacker hostels.  Hostelworld offers online booking of cheap private rooms or dorm beds in backpacker hostels in most cities at rock-bottom prices.

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