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 2020.

Tip:  For a beer or local Bavarian food before your train try www.augustinerkeller.de at Arnulfstrasse 52, on the north side of Munich Hbf.

Before 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.

European 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 €29.90...

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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 details here...

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

ICE2 first class ICE2 second class High-speed ICE train from Cologne to Berlin, at Berlin Hauptbahnhof

ICE2 1st class.

ICE2 2nd class.

ICE2 at Berlin.  More info about ICE

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Munich to London...

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Munich to Paris from €39...
TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de l'Est

TGV Duplex at Paris Est. These impressive 200 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 Nice, Cannes, Monte Carlo, Marseille, Avignon..

Option 1, by sleeper from Munich to Milan then a scenic coastal ride...

Option 2, by day trains with overnight stop in Verona - a scenic trip with mountains and coastline...

Thello train from Marseille & Nice to Milan, at Marseille St Charles   1st class seats on Thello train from Nice to Milan

A Thello train to Nice about to leave Milan Centrale.  See more photos & information about these Thello trains...

 

1st class seats on Thello.  More space per person than 2nd, with seats arranged 2+1 across the car width.

2nd class seats on the Thello train from Nice to Milan   Cafe counter on the Thello train from Nice to Milan

2nd class seats on the Thello train.  Very comfortable, seat arranged 2+2 across the car width.

 

The small cafe-bar counter on the Milan to Nice & Marseille Thello train serving tea, coffee, wine, beer, soft drinks and snacks.

Coastal scenery from the Thello train from Nice to Italy

Views from the train, along the Ligurian coast between Milan and Nice.  Photos courtesy of Lucas Martin.

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

 

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

Option 2, Munich to Brussels by direct Nightjet sleeper train, twice a week - the comfortable & 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...

Option 3, by using the Munich-Cologne Nightjet sleeper - on days when the direct Munich-Brussels sleeper isn't running...

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Munich to Amsterdam from €39.90...

Option 1, 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 with metal cutlery.  I recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!  See current month's menu.

 

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

Option 2:  Using the time-effective Munich-Cologne Nightjet sleeper train...

  • Step 1, travel from Munich to Frankfurt or Cologne by Austrian Nightjet sleeper train, leaving Munich Hbf at 22:52 and arriving at Cologne Hbf at 08:15 next morning.

    This modern Austrian Nightjet train has an air-conditioned sleeping-car (1, 2 & 3-berth compartments with washbasin, plus three deluxe compartments with 1, 2 or 3 beds with private shower & toilet), couchette cars (4 & 6 berth compartments) & ordinary seats.  The sleeper & couchette fares include a light breakfast with tea or coffee in the morning.

    Fares start at €49.90 in 6-berth couchettes, €59.90 in 4-berth couchettes, €89.90 in a 3-bed sleeper, €109.90 in a 2-bed sleeper or €159.90 in a single-bed sleeper.  Deluxe sleepers with en suite toilet & shower are also available.  There's a shower at the end of the corridor for passengers in the regular sleepers.  A light breakfast is included in sleepers & couchettes, served in your compartment.

    Book the nightjet at www.thetrainline.com (in €, £ or $, overseas payment cards no problem) or Austrian Railways own site www.oebb.at.  Bookings can open up to 6 months ahead and you print your own ticket.

    The sleeper train makes a lovely morning run along the scenic Rhine Valley between 06:04 & 07:05, past the legendary Lorelei Rock and many castles, vineyards & river boats.  A real treat!  the river will be on the right hand side of the train.

    Tip:  For a Bavarian dinner & beer before boarding, try www.augustinerkeller.de at Arnulfstrasse 52, just on the north side of Munich Hbf.

    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 nj.

    Advance information:  I'm delighted to report that from 13 December 2020, this sleeper train will be extended run direct from Munich to Amsterdam, with no need to change in Cologne.

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...

Option 3, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Cologne.  Comfortable & time-effective...

  • Day 1, take a comfortable ICE train from Munich to Cologne.  Trains leave every hour or so, for example you can leave Munich Hbf at 17:28 and arrive Cologne Hbf at 22:05, but by all means take an earlier train and spend a pleasant evening in Cologne.

  • Stay overnight in Cologne.  Starting with the cheapest, suggested hotels near to Cologne Hauptbahnhof 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, catch a morning train to Amsterdam.  For example, the 06:41 ICE3 train from Cologne Hbf arrives Amsterdam Centraal at 09:28, but by all means have a leisurely breakfast and catch a later train, they leave every couple of hours.

  • Fares from Munich to Amsterdam start at €39.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class if you book as below...

  • Buy tickets using 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.  You print your own ticket or simply show it on your smartphone or laptop screen.

  • 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 €39.90...

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Munich to Zurich, Basel, Geneva & anywhere in Switzerland from €19.90...
EuroCity train between Munich and Zurich

A EuroCity train between Munich and Zurich, at Zurich HB.

2nd class seats on Munich-Zurich EuroCity train   Restaurant car on Zurich to Munich train

2nd class seating...  Larger photo.

 

Swiss restaurant car:  Treat yourself!  Larger photo.

Scenery from the train   1st class seats on Munich-Zurich EuroCity train

Scenery from the train.  Courtesy Discoverbyrail.com.

 

Normal 1st class seating...  Larger photo.

Swiss panorama car, Munich to Zurich train   1st class seats in panorama car, Munich to Zurich train

1st class panorama car...

 

1st class seats in the panorama car...

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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 second class seats   Austrian first class seats

Second class seats, mostly in 6-seat compartments with side-corridor like this, but some cars are open-plan saloons...

 

First class leather seats.  On a few trains you'll find 6-seat compartments too....

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 sleepe 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 & Spain from €79...

Option 1:  Munich to Barcelona in one day, by high-speed trains...

  • Step 2, travel from Paris to Barcelona by high-speed TGV Duplex, leaving Paris Gare de Lyon at 15:08 and arriving Barcelona Sants at 21:46.

    Fares start at €39 in 2nd class or €59 in 1st class.  Book this at Raileurope.com (can be used by anyone from any country, print-at-home tickets) or www.thetrainline.com (can be used by anyone from any country, print-at-home tickets).

    What's the journey like?  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.

  • Step 3, take a high-speed train from Barcelona Sants to any Spanish destination next morning, check times & book at Raileurope.com.

    For Madrid:  AVE-S103 high-speed trains link Barcelona Sants with Madrid Atocha every hour or two in as little as 2h30 from €35.

    For Cordoba, Seville & Malaga:  An AVE-S112 high-speed train leaves Barcelona Sants at 08:30 arriving Cordoba 13:12 & Seville Santa Justa at 14:02 with a separate portion going to Malaga Maria Zambrano arriving at 14:30.

    Alternatively, or why not spend a morning in Barcelona and take the afternoon 15:50 AVE S112 high-speed train to Cordoba, Seville & Malaga arriving in the evening?  Fares for all these trains start at €45. 

    For Granada:  A direct AVE S112 high-speed train leaves Barcelona Sants at 06:50 arriving Granada at 13:15.

    For Valencia & Alicante:  EuroMed trains link Barcelona with Valencia & Alicante regularly through the day, for example one leaves Barcelona Sants at 08:15 Mondays-Fridays arriving Valencia Joaquin Sorolla 10:55 & Alicante 12:45 or at 10:15 every day arriving Valencia Joaquin Sorolla 12:55 & Alicante 14:48.  Fares from €23.

Option 2:  Munich to Barcelona with overnight stop in Geneva...

  • Step 1, travel from Munich Hbf to Zurich HB on the 12:13 EuroCity train & onward by Swiss InterCity train to Geneva.  You can book from Munich to Geneva from €39.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class at the German Railways website www.bahn.de.  Tip:  In the search results, look for journeys marked EC, IC and avoid anything marked BUS.  You print your own ticket or simply show it on your smartphone or laptop screen

  • Stay the night in Geneva and enjoy a morning there.  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.

    Fares start at around €69 in 2nd class.

    Book this at Raileurope.com (can be used by anyone from any country) or www.thetrainline.com (anyone from any country, with seating options).  You usually print your own ticket.

  • What's the journey like?  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.

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon. These 200 mph double-deckers link Paris with Barcelona.  Watch 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 Lisbon & Portugal...

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Munich to Salzburg from €19.90...
  • Trains link Munich with Salzburg at least twice an hour all day.  However, there are three different types of train, Austrian railjet trains (marked RJX), EuroCity trans (marked EC), and slower regional trains marked M for Meridian.  I'll explain each type below...

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

  • The express trains run every hour or so taking as little as 1h28.  They are either a smart Austrian railjet train (RJX) with restaurant car, WiFi & power sockets at all seats, or a comfortable Austrian EuroCity train (EC) with restaurant car.

  • These trains have dynamic pricing from €19.90 if you book in advance (specified train only, no changes to travel plans, limited or no refunds) rising to €34 (EuroCity) or €38 (railjet) standard price bought on the day and good for any train, reservation optional.

  • Buy tickets & check train times at the German Railways website www.bahn.de.  You print your own ticket or simply show it on your smartphone or laptop screen.

Option 2, by Meridian regional train in 1h47...

  • The regional trains run every hour, branded Meridian and shown on www.bahn.de as 'M'.  They take 1h47, but they're cheaper and more flexible than the express trains.  They have one fixed-price flexible fare, around €32 one-way, good for any Meridian train that day, no advance reservation is 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 simply show it on your smartphone or laptop screen.

  • But for regional trains you'd usually buy a Bayern Ticket:  In practice, you'd only ever buy a €32 full-price ticket for the Meridian 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 (including Meridians) 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.de/en/view/offers/regional/regional-day-tickets.shtml.  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 station....

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Munich to Hallstatt from €29.90...
  • For Hallstatt, travel to Salzburg as shown above, then take a train to Attnang Puchheim for the local train to Hallstatt.

  • Simply check times & buy a ticket from Munich to Hallstatt at www.bahn.de from €29.90, total journey time as little as 4h08.  You print your own ticket.  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 €29.90...

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, 07:24, 09:30 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 €29.90 in 2nd class, €39.90 in 1st class or €54.90 in deluxe Business 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.de.  You print your own ticket or simply show it on your smartphone or laptop screen.

    I recommend registering when prompted, rather than booking as a guest, so you can always log in and check or re-print all your bookings.

  • 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 €29 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 station....

Pleasant farmland scenery between Salzburg & Vienna...

Option 2, Munich to Vienna by Meridian/Westbahn - slower, but more flexible, cheaper at short notice...

  • The excellent fast railjet trains take just 4 hours with fares from €29.90 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 €100.  Ouch!

  • The solution?

    Every hour a Meridian regional train runs from Munich Hbf to Salzburg, fare just €25 with a Bayern Ticket (not valid before 09:00 on weekdays) + €6 for each additional passenger.  This connects with an hourly double-deck Westbahn train from Salzburg 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, Meridian times & prices at www.thetrainline.com or www.bahn.de.  The Meridians are the ones marked M 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 €19.90...

Option 1, the fast mainline route in 1h44 from €19.90 booked in advance or €42.40 bought on the day...

  • 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 just €19.90 in 2nd class or €29.90 in 1st class if booked in advance, or around €42 full-flex in 2nd class bought on the day.

  • You can check times and buy tickets at www.bahn.de.  You print your own ticket or can simply show it on your smartphone or laptop screen.

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

  • If you feel like something different there's another 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 €36.60 in 2nd class or €60.10 in 1st class, unlimited availability, it cannot sell out.  However, the system 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.

  • You can check train times & buy tickets for this route using www.bahn.de if you 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.  No reservation or advance-purchase is necessary, so alternatively you can buy tickets at the station if you like, for the same price, it cannot 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.

  • You might like to read up on the Mittenwald Railway here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mittenwald_Railway.

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Munich to Prague by bus? No thanks!

Busse? Nein Danke!

Train tickets from €15 www.cd.cz...

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.

  • Buy Munich-Prague train tickets from €15 (around 386 Czech Koruna) in either direction at the Czech Railways website www.cd.cz, for English change the Czech flag for the UK flag at top right.  You print out your own ticket.  Or go 1st class from just €35....

  • Do not 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, and it tries to put you on the DB-run motorway railway-replacement bus, which of course you don't want, you want a train.

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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 09:30 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 €29.  The price varies, book early for cheaper 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, international payment cards no problem) or www.oebb.at (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 Bratislava from €40...
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 Budapest from €39.90...

Option 1, by daytime railjet train: 

  • Smart Austrian railjet trains leave Munich Hbf for Budapest Keleti at 07:24, 09:30, 11:30 & 13:30 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 first class) if you pre-book.

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

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

  • Buy tickets at the German Railways website www.bahn.de and print your own ticket.  I recommend registering when prompted, rather than booking as a guest, so you can always log in and check or re-print all your bookings.

  • To book Business class tickets at www.bahn.de, book 1st class and 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 add the €15 business class upgrade to the first class fare when you pay.  You can also book at www.thetrainline.com which can easily book business class.

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 station....

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 in a 6-berth couchette, €59 in a 4-berth couchette, €79 with a bed in a 2-bed sleeper or €139 in a single-bed sleeper.

  • Book this train at www.thetrainline.com (in €, £ or $, overseas payment cards no problem) or Austrian Railways own site www.oebb.at.  Bookings usually open up to 90 days ahead and you print your own ticket.

  • Tip:  For a Bavarian dinner & beer or two before boarding, try www.augustinerkeller.de at Arnulfstrasse 52, to the north side of Munich Hbf.

  • 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 09:30 and arriving Budapest Keleti at 16:19.  Fares start at €39.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class.  To check train times & fares and buy tickets online use www.bahn.de

  • Step 2, take the EuroNight sleeper train Ister leaving Budapest Keleti at 19:10 and arriving Brasov at 09:53 & Bucharest Gara de Nord at 12:30 next day.  This comfortable train has 4 & 6 berth couchettes and a modern air-conditioned sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin, also deluxe sleepers with 1 or 2 beds and shower/toilet.  Fares start at €39 with a couchette or €59 with a bed in a sleeper.  There's no restaurant car so take a picnic and bottle of wine.  There's great scenery through the Carpathian mountains beyond Brasov, a real treat.

    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.

  • To book the Budapest to Bucharest train, use the Hungarian Railways website www.mavcsoport.hu, clicking 'EN' for English top left.  You collect your tickets from the yellow self-service ticket machines at Budapest Keleti station.

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

  • Take the 13:30 railjet train from Munich arriving at Vienna Hbf at 17:30, from €29.90 booked at www.bahn.de.  You print your own ticket.

  • A direct air-conditioned train called the Dacia Express leaves Vienna Hbf every day at 19:42 and arriving next day in Sighisoara 11:22, Brasov 14:05 & Bucharest Gara de Nord at 16:35.

    It 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...

    You can book this train at the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at which can sell cheap sparschiene fares from Vienna to Bucharest for as little as €49 with a couchette in a 6-berth compartment, €69 with a bed in a 3-berth sleeper, €89 with a bed in a 3-berth sleeper or €149 with a bed in a single-berth sleeper, all to yourself.

    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 in Vienna.

    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 Austria & click D, then look for Dacia.

Dacia Express at Vienna   Romanian couchette car from Vienna to Bucharest

The Dacia Express boarding at Vienna Hbf.  Always book a couchette, not just a seat.  Couchettes convert from bunks at night to seats for day use.

4 or 6 berth couchettes.  Larger photo.

Sleeper on the Dacia Express   Dacia Express at Sighisoara

A 1, 2 or 3-bed sleeper with washbasin.  Larger photo.

 

The sleeping-car of the Dacia Express arrived at Sighisoara.  Sleepers convert from beds to private sitting rooms for day use.  Courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

Couchette car on the Ister EuroNight train from Budapest to Bucharest  

Enjoy breakfast in the bar-bistro eastbound, or an evening beer westbound, as a bar-bistro is attached in Romania to both the Ister & Dacia ExpressBar-bistro photos courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

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

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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 from just €39.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class 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.  For example,

    Munich Hbf depart 07:52, change Berlin Hbf, arrive Warsaw Centralna at 19:29.

    Munich Hbf depart 11:56, change Berlin Hbf, arrive Warsaw Centralna at 23:26.

  • You can buy a ticket from Munich to Warsaw as a single transaction at the German railways website www.bahn.de.  You print your own tickets.

    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 leaving Munich Hbf at 06:43 and arriving Prague Hlavni at 12:19.  Book this from €15 in 2nd class or €35 in 1st class at www.cd.cz and print your own ticket.  Have lunch in Prague.

  • Step 2, travel from Prague to Warsaw by air-conditioned EuroCity train with restaurant car, leaving Prague Hlavni at 14:23 and arriving Warsaw Centralna at 22:18.  Book this from €19 at www.cd.cz and print your own ticket.

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

  • Step 1, travel from Munich to Prague by air-conditioned express leaving Munich Hbf at 14:43 and arriving Prague Hlavni at 20:19.  Book this from €15 in 2nd class or €35 in 1st class at www.cd.cz and print your own ticket.  Have dinner in Prague.

  • Step 2, travel from Prague to Warsaw by EuroNight sleeper train leaving Prague Hlavni at 22:15 and arriving Krakow at 06:22 & Warsaw Centralna at 09:40.

    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.

    Book this from €29 with couchette at www.cd.cz and print your own ticket.

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

  • Step 1, take a comfortable afternoon railjet train leaving Munich Hbf at 15:30 and arriving Vienna Hbf at 19:30.  The train has a bistro-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.

    Book this train from €29.90 in 2nd class or €39.90 in 1st class at www.bahn.de and print your own ticket. 

  • Step 2, take the EuroNight sleeper train leaving Vienna Hbf at 22:10 and arriving Krakow at 06:22 & Warsaw Centralna at 09:40.

    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.

    Book this train at the Austrian railways website www.oebb.at.   Fares from €39 with a couchette, from €79 with a bed in a 2-bed sleeper.  You collect tickets from the self-service machines at Vienna Hbf.

Modern Polish sleeper in day mode   Modern Polish sleeper in day mode   A deluxe sleeper on the Amsterdam to Warsaw train   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...

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Munich to Ljubljana, Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik from €39.90...

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

  • Use the German railways website www.bahn.de to check times & buy tickets from Munich to Lesce-Bled, Ljubljana or 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.

    Fares start at just €39.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class if you book ahead.  You print your own ticket.

    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!

  • Booking 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.

  • 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.

  • Suggested hotels in Zagreb & Split, suggested hotel in |Ljubljana.

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 direct 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 with couchette in a 6-berth compartment, €59 with a couchette in a 4-berth compartment, €89 with a bed in a 2-bed sleeper, €129 with a bed in a single-bed sleeper.

  • How to buy tickets:  Book the sleeper at www.thetrainline.com (in €, £ or $, overseas payment cards no problem) or Austrian Railways own site www.oebb.at.  Bookings can open up to 6 months ahead and 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, 08718 80 80 66.

  • Tip:  For a Bavarian dinner & a beer or two before boarding the sleeper, try www.augustinerkeller.de at Arnulfstrasse 52, to the north side of Munich Hbf.

  • 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 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.  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 with couchette, €89 with a bed in a 2-bed sleeper or €129 in a single-bed sleeper all to yourself.

    You can book this sleeper at the German Railways website www.bahn.de and print your own ticket.  Or you can try www.thetrainline.com, which links to the Austrian Railways system and also offers print your own tickets.

  • Day 2, travel from Zagreb to Belgrade by train.  Until 4 October 2020 it leaves Zagreb at 11:03 and arrives Novi Beograd at 18:00 & Belgrade Centar at 18:07.  From 5 October 2020 onwards it leaves Zagreb at 13:04 and arrives Novi Beograd at 20:17 & Belgrade Centar at 20:25.

    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 Moscow & Russia...

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

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...

  • Step 1, travel from Munich to Berlin from €29.90 in as little as 3h58.  For example, the 13:47 from Munich Hbf arrives Berlin Hbf at 18:25, but by all means take an earlier train and have dinner in Berlin.  Book this at www.bahn.de and print your own ticket.

  • Step 2, travel from Berlin to Moscow by direct Russian sleeper train, leaving Berlin Hbf at 20:08 on Mondays & Saturdays, arriving at Moscow Belorussky station at 21:24 next day.

    This train is an articulated Spanish-built Talgo train branded Strizh (Russian for swift) which started running in 2016.  It has ordinary seats, 2nd class 4-berth sleepers, 1st class 1 or 2 berth sleepers with washbasin and deluxe 1 or 2 berth sleepers with en suite shower & toilet.  There's a restaurant & bistro car.  See photo of 2-berth sleeper on this train.

    Russian track gauge is 5', but most of Europe (including the UK) is 4' 8½", so at Brest on the Belarus frontier the Talgo train runs through a special gauge-changing shed and the axles automatically adjust to the new gauge.  Once in Russia, the scenery is rolling hills, birch tree forests, and villages of small wooden houses.  Approaching Moscow, you may glimpse the plaques on the station building marked '1812' and '1942' as the train passes through the small station of historic Borodino...

    You can book the Berlin-Moscow train at the Russian Railways website www.rzd.ru and print your own ticket, it's a little fiddly but usually works, or you can easily buy it online with English language after-sales service if you need it, using the Real Russia online system here.

    Don't forget to arrange both your Russian visa and Belarus transit visa as the train runs via Belarus.  See my important update about travel to Russia through Belarus.

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

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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, an overnight train called the Kiev Express leaves Warsaw Centralna at 18:05 and arrives in 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 fare is around €46 in a 3-bed sleeper if you manage to book via the Ukrainian Railways website.  If you have to book via 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 http://booking.polrail.com.  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...

 

A sleeper compartment...

 

...with washbasin.

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Munich to Copenhagen from €39.90...

Option 1, by daytime trains...

  • Book from Munich to Copenhagen as one transaction at www.bahn.de.

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

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

    Fares start at €49.90 in 6-berth couchettes, €59.90 in 4-berth couchettes, €89.90 in a 3-bed sleeper, €109.90 in a 2-bed sleeper or €159.90 in a single-bed sleeper.  Deluxe sleepers with en suite toilet & shower are also available.  There's a shower at the end of the corridor for passengers in the regular sleepers.  A light breakfast is included in sleepers & couchettes, served in your compartment.

  • You can book this as one transaction at www.bahn.de, simply run an enquiry from Munich to Copenhagen with departure time set to 22:00, and look for the option with 1 change marked 'EN, IC' in the search results.  You print your own ticket.  If you have any problems, book each train separately.

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, Malmφ or Oslo...

Option 1, by daytime trains with an overnight stop in Hamburg:  Munich to Stockholm, Malmφ or Gothenburg from just €39.90...

  • Day 1, travel from Munich to Hamburg by direct ICE train in as little as 5h49.  There are regular departures right up until early evening.

  • For Stockholm, take a 125mph X2000 train leaving Copenhagen at 14:10 and arriving Stockholm Central at 19:38.

  • For Malmφ or Gothenburg, Φresund Link trains run hourly from Copenhagen to Gothenburg in 3h53 and every half hour or better from Copenhagen to Malmφ in 39 minutes.

  • For Oslo & Norway, travel as far as Copenhagen, then take the overnight cruise ferry with bars, restaurants and en suite cabins to Oslo, she sails from Copenhagen daily around 16:30, arriving in Oslo around 09:45, see www.dfds.co.uk for times, prices & online tickets.

  • 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.

    However, it's usually cheaper to buy just one sparpreis ticket from Munich to Stockholm, Malmφ or Gothenburg from €39, 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 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.nsb.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 08:20 arriving Stockholm Central 13:35, or have a leisurely breakfast and take a later one.

  • Day 2, if travelling to Gothenburg or Oslo:  Travel from Copenhagen to Gothenburg (= Goteborg Central) on any of the hourly Φresund trains, journey time 3h53.  For Oslo, take the 09:27, change at Gothenburg and arrive Oslo Sentral (= Oslo S) at 17:51.

  • How much does it cost?  You can buy German Railways' sparpreis tickets from Munich to Malmφ, Gothenburg or Stockholm for as little as €39.90 in 2nd class or €69.90 in 1st class.  The fare varies, so book early 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.

    If travelling to Oslo, go to www.bahn.de and book from Munich to Gothenburg with a morning departure selected, but to see the 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.  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.  Now add a connecting Gothenburg to Oslo S ticket using either www.nsb.no or www.sj.se.

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 'X2000' from Copenhagen to Stockholm, at Copenhagen station 2nd class seats on the X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm The self-service buffet on the X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm...

A 125 mph X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm.

 

2nd class seating on the X2000.  All seats have power sockets for laptops & mobiles...

 

Self-service buffet car on the X2000 to Stockholm.

More info on X2000 trains

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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 comfortable way to Oslo...

  • Step 1, travel from Munich to Kiel on any suitable train from €29.90.

    Check times & buy tickets at the German Railways site www.bahn.de

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...
  • For Finland, you'll find ferries the best bet from either Travemόnde in Germany to Helsinki, see www.finnlines.com

  • Then use www.bahn.de to find connecting trains from Munich to Travemόnde from €39.90.

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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 from €39.90 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.

    Check times, prices & buy online with German Railways at www.bahn.de.

  • 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, take an early morning train around 07:50 from Verona Porta Nuova to Bari Centrale from €29.90 booked at either www.italiarail.com or www.trenitalia.com.  Make sure you allow at least 3 hours between between train arrival and ferry departure in Bari.

  • Day 2, then sail across the Adriatic from Bari to Corfu, Igoumenitsa or Patras in Greece aboard a luxurious cruise ferry booked at www.superfast.com.  She normally sails daily except Sundays at 19:30 arriving 13:00 next day (day 3).  The ferry has bars, restaurants, sun decks, lunges, reclining seats and cabins, some with en suite shower & toilet.  It's a lovely crossing, see the photos below.

  • Day 3, Patras is a few hours bus ride from Athens.  If you hunt for it, there's a bus/train combined timetable from Patras to Athens on www.trainose.gr but it's pretty hard to find.

  • The Bari to Athens part of this journey is covered in more detail on the London to Greece page, just disregard the London to Milan part of the recommended journey!

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.

  • 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...
  • You can pick up the London-Istanbul route suggested on the London to Turkey page in Munich.

  • See the London to Turkey page for details of how to book as far as Bucharest online.  The last leg needs to be booked by phone at when you get to Bucharest.

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Find hotels in Munich & other cities

My 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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