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Munich vs. Vienna for flights

Hope this isn't too detailed as a question, but I'll be traveling from Atlanta to Austria in Germany in the summer of 2020. I'm trying to decide if it's worth flying in and out of Munich -- knowing at some point, I'll have to make a one-way trip to/from Vienna to either start or end the trip. Would a train ride between the two cities be worth the savings of flying into one city and out of another one? Thanks in advance.

Posted by
1765 posts

I always say fly to the place you want to visit, not into another country because the flight is cheaper. And fly open jaw when you can. You could fly into Munich and go direct to Salzburg but that might take hours from when you land.

Posted by
1116 posts

First you must check the various flight options: https://www.kayak.com/flights

Then you must do the math whether a cheaper flight combined with some train travel will pay off, and more importantly, you must eventually decide how much time you are willing to sacrifice for travelling between A and B during your trip to Europe.

Posted by
3675 posts

As others have said, you need to do your own research on kayak using the multi city function to see what is best. The cheapest train fare from Vienna to Munich is 29 Euro, but these fares are limited in number and must be purchased online, in advance.

If it were me, I’d rather sit on a plane for 30 minutes than a train for nearly 5 hours, no matter what the cost. My vacation time is valuable.

Posted by
2098 posts

Where are you going on this trip besides Vienna? If your trip is just Vienna - fly into Vienna! If you are doing a loop of Germany and Austria, or planning to spend time in Salzburg then flying into Munich is logical.

Fly Open jaw if you are going to multiple places. You can fly into Munich and home from Vienna. You will need to do the “MULTI-CITY” search option on airline websites, not one way tickets. It’s usually only a little more expensive, often cheaper when you factor that you would pay train fare returning to your round trip city. Occasionally it’s even actually cheaper to do it this way.

Last year, I flew into Munich and went to Salzburg that day - Munich wasn’t really on the agenda but it’s the closest big airport. So I actually visited Munich for a few hours, got an afternoon train to Salzburg, and stayed in Salzburg for a few nights. Continued on my trip, went to a few places then Vienna. If that was the end of my trip I could have flown home from Vienna. Instead I went to Italy and flew home from Venice.

Posted by
123 posts

You can also check "Skyscanner.com." I find the prices much better than those listed on Kayak.

Posted by
649 posts

Train might make sense.
For example, I can fly to Munich non-stop from Phila. For the RS tour that started in Munich and ended in Vienna, flights out of Vienna left at bad times and required a connection. The train back to Munich made more sense to me.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks so much for all the great advice here. Will weigh it all in making our final decision. There's not a one-way flight that I can find from Atlanta to Vienna, so there's going to be a layover of some sort somewhere for sure. Appreciate all the responses in my first ever post on this site.

Posted by
650 posts

As a fellow Atlantan I say fly into the city that has the non-stop and save the flight that has a connection for the way home. Put it this way, if there is a snafu you don’t want it affecting the beginning of your trip where you may miss vacation time. I’d rather have a missed connection at the end of my trip. In addition to a nonstop to Munich on Delta, there is also a nonstop to Stuttgart which actually isn’t much farther away.

Posted by
658 posts

@LizinPA: which direct flight Philly to Munich are you referencing? The American Airlines direct flight ended in March. I would love to know since my best option is BA via London or AA to Zurich direct.

Posted by
3675 posts

Correct, there are no direct flights from Atlanta to Vienna.

Posted by
649 posts

Debbie,

Yes, unfortunately AA has discontinued the PHL to Munich flight I took in 2017. I was using it as an example of RT and train leg sometimes working out better than open-jaw.

You might want to check Lufthansa, too. I'm using them to get to Graz, Austria by way of Frankfurt next year.