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Best way to travel Berlin-Munich

I am trying to find the best, ie. cheapest and shortest, way to travel from Berlin to Munich and Munich to Hamburg. I know that traveling by car is 7 hours, traveling by train is 6 hours and traveling by plane is about 2 hours. With 3 adults and one child under 2, we are concerned about the 2 year old being overtired and cranky if the traveling is too long, but we also don't want to pay too much for transportation. Any help and ideas?

Thank you,

Posted by
4684 posts

The price depends very much on how far in advance you buy, and since you haven't said when you'll be travelling I can only suggest searching for flights and trains and seeing how much they cost. Trains are bookable up to 92 days in advance, but if you're travelling further away than that I suggest you look for fares 3 months from now and then remind yourself to book the ticket as soon as it becomes available.

Both Air Berlin and Lufthansa fly on both of those routes. Check flight times and prices on their websites, and train times and prices on Remember that the air time does not include travel between city centres and airports and time spent waiting at the airport. A train journey of six hours is just about on the borderline of whether flying will save you any time from city centre to city centre.

Whatever you do, don't book any flights which run to or from "Munich West" or "Munich-Memmingen" which a certain budget airline offers. That airport is barely even in Bavaria and will take a very long time to reach.

Posted by
14580 posts


First, decide whether you want to fly or not, if you're not adverse to flying in Europe. By rail: both Berlin-Munich and Hamburg-Munich offer the night train as an option. the CNL. I've taken the Hamburg-Munich CNL route, very satisfactory by me.

Of course, you can break up the Berlin-Munich route by transfering in Nürnberg or Hannover. Munich-Hamburg is a long haul, which is reason I did it by night train; you could break that up by transfering in Frankfurt. Time the transfer so that between 11:00 and 13:00 you'll be at a Hbf (train station) to have a hot lunch, use the facilities, etc.

Posted by
4408 posts

The great thing about the train is that the 2-year-old can sleep, eat anytime s/he wants (bring food and drinks of your choice onto the train), walk up and down the aisle (with an adult, of course!), look out the windows, go potty (if s/he does that) at any time and not only when the seatbelt sign is off, etc. There will likely be a bit of room to spread out, so s/he won't be stuck in a seat for 6 hours :-( nor will the adults - all of the above goes for the adults, too!

On a train, there is never a worry about checking luggage and/or worrying about an airlines' carry-on-bag allowance, or bringing food and drinks onboard.

With travel to and from the two airports (time and $$$), perhaps waiting on luggage, and needing to be at the airport an hour or two in advance of your flight, any time savings is probably a wash.

Posted by
380 posts

Honestly I think the train would be the way to go. Won't be as stressful as flying where you have to get to the airport by a certain time, check in, go thru security and all that details, especially with a little one. We have taken the Berlin to Munich route twice, once with a stop over in Dresden. The first time I was actually 5 months pregnant with our now 2 1/2 year old and then last year with her at 23 months. It was so much easier than flying and extremely comfortable. We sit at a table (reserved ahead of time), pack a lunch and snacks for a picnic, play with her toys or read books, look out the window at everything passing by and sleep without any problems. We also walk a little and even change diapers in the bathrooms on the changing table, which I recall being in the large handicap bathrooms. You just have stand with your feet slightly apart and legs firmly planted so you don't fall over as the train moves. You will see a lot of families traveling this way, plus you can all sit together if you make the reservation far enough in advance.

Another plus, it can be really cheap. We are doing it again our trip next month except it will be Frankfurt to Nuremberg and then to Munich 3 days later. Our daughter has become a great traveler for only being almost 3.