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Itinerary, Lodging, and Train Assistance - Munich at Christmas

We arrive in Munich by plane Dec 23 at 9:00 a.m. Our plan is to travel to Ljubljana, Slovenia on Dec 24 to meet our son who is living there. While in Munich, we hope to stay at a hotel close to the Hauptbahnhof (train station) and Marienplatz (Market Square) so we can see the Christmas market, sleep in Munich (we will have been traveling overnight), then get a train to Ljubljana. 1) Which train should we take and can we find a schedule now? The websites say tickets aren't available until 3 months before, but I would like to plan our itinerary/accommodations. 2) Any recommendations on specific hotels walking distance to the train station? I have looked on Booking.com and Expedia and find the options/reviews a little overwhelming. 3) When we return from Slovenia on Dec 30, should we stop somewhere along the way? Consider a different mode of travel? 4) Any other advice for two quick visits to Munich, especially thsi time of year?
Thank you in advance!

Posted by
20461 posts

The schedule is not out yet for trains beyond December 14, so you will have to wait until the schedule gets published. For Tuesday December 10, there is a direct train leaving Munich Hbf at 12:17 pm arriving at 6:33 pm costing 59.80 EUR for 2 people 2nd class.

I would not get hung up about staying near the Hbf. The train to Ljubjana also stops at Munich Ostbahnhof. There are S-Bahns running between these stations through central Munich with stops including Marienplatz.

The return trains from Ljubjana stop at places like Lesce-Bled (Lake Bled), Bad Gastein (ski resort), Salzburg, among others.

Posted by
1123 posts

There is a Marriott Courtyard a block south of the Hauptbahnhof and an Aloft a block north. I have used both. When arriving in the morning after a night's traveling I prefer the Courtyard, as they have a huge breakfast menu and are willing to store luggage if they don't have a room available right away. From either it's a 10-15 minute walk into the old city to Marienplatz.

I'm pretty sure the Christmas market will be closing down by 24 DEC. Most German businesses do as Christmas Eve is a huge family event.

I'm not sure what route your train will take, but if it goes by way of either Salzburg or Innsbruck you may want to take the time to stop at either of those cities. In December you'll have snow, and from the train station to the touristy parts you'll probably want a cab. That being said, if you don't stop anywhere else there's plenty in Munich to see and do. Don't try to do too much, nothings worse than a rushed vacation.

Posted by
15 posts

Thank you for the information. Rookie question - which train schedule should I use? I see several different train websites and it is a little bit intimidating. Do you think trains will run on Christmas Eve? We were hoping they would early in the day.

Posted by
980 posts

Any recommendations on specific hotels walking distance to the train station? I have looked on Booking.com and Expedia and find the options/reviews a little overwhelming.

I agree with Sam here that there is no need to stay near the Hauptbahnhof. It's not that there is anything wrong with the area it is just more geared to business travelers than people on holiday (similar to what you find near a major airport in the US). I'd recommend staying near the city center or near Ostbahnhof. Both these locations have easy access to the main S-Bahn trunk line so you can get around the city with ease and still easily catch your train. The area between Ostbahnhof and the city center, Haidhausen, is full of nice cafes and shops plus it has it's own Christmas Market which is a bit more "gemütlichkeit" than the main market on Marienplatz. I usually recommend one of the Motel One hotels in the area. There are also other chain hotels in Haidhausen: Hilton, Holiday Inn and Novotel all near Rosenheimer Platz Station. Plus lots of smaller options as well (MK Hotel, Design Hotel Stadt Rosenheim).

Rookie question - which train schedule should I use?

Use the schedule from www.bahn.de or www.oebb.at. These are the rail company websites and will have the most accurate information. I find bahn.de a little easier to use and for your itinerary it shoudl be fine.

Any other advice for two quick visits to Munich, especially thsi time of year?

Make sure to visit some of the smaller Christmas markets in Munich. There is a very cool medieval market on Wittelsbacherplatz that we always enjoyed.

DJ