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Train Travel - Florence to Munich ???

Looking for suggestions. We (two adults + student (20)) will be travelling from Florence to Munich in late april.

We are considering our options fly/drive/train. I'm pricing the overnight train for the 3 of us between 400 and 800 USD. seems pretty pricey. Would flying be a better choice. We were hoping to spend the night on the train - "resting" and not wasting daylight. What is the best site to use for booking train tickets? Can anyone comment on comfort of couchette vs. sleeper? We understand driving is probably not a choice due to distance and extra expense of two country pickup/dropoff.
Any guidance appreciated. Thanks

Posted by
12040 posts

"We were hoping to spend the night on the train - "resting" and not wasting daylight." For most of us, riding on a night train is more like lying awake most of the night, then having to take a nap the next day to recover. Try it for the experience, but don't expect it to be a big time saver or provide adequate rest. Plus, because you can't go from Italy to Germany without crossing through the magnificent Alps, this is one of those long train rides that you might want to consider during the day. You're missing some of Europe's best scenery at night.

Posted by
1437 posts

We flew Munich to Florence in December with Air Dolomiti. The price was very reasonable and we liked the airline (partly owned by Lufthansa). Both of us had a window seat and we had a great view of the mountains during our flight.

Check them out and price out the different fares (luggage being the big difference). It was a quick and convenient solution for us - a great use of our time!

Posted by
16956 posts

Couchette will just be 4 bunk beds, there may be a 4th person put in with you (unless you pay for a 4th person). Economy 3-person cabin will have 3 bunks with sheets and blankets stacked 3 high and a wash basin. Deluxe 3-Person cabin will be similar but include a toilet and shower. It's one of those got-to-try-it for the experience type of things. But if you can get inexpensive airfare, that will probably trump the "experience". As Tom said, a good nights sleep is improbable except maybe for the 20 year old.

Posted by
1878 posts

I never understood the contention that it's hard to sleep on overnight trains. I took the Madrid to Paris line in 2001, slept as one of four strangers in a berth. Next on the same trip my wife and I took the night train from Paris to Florence (after she met me in Paris). We also took the overnight from Barcelona to Granada in 2005. On none of these trips did we have any trouble sleeping. Maybe we sleep sounder than most. I think any time you get on a plane, count on spending the better part of a day, door to door. Think about time before and after the flight (Munich airport is way far outside of town, though well connected by train). Also, flights are much more likely to be delayed or cancelled than trains. Certainly the beds are not like hotel beds, but they are o.k. (We are now in our late 40s/50s so subtract to understand the point of view from which I speak). We tend to plan itineraries that are less far-flung these days, but I would definitely take an overnight train again.

Posted by
1437 posts

Door-to-door in December, with Air Dolomiti:

8am - Left our hotel by taxi to take the airport bus, just out side the main train station in Munich.
1.15pm - Arrived at our apartment in Florence

Flight time: 1 hour and 15 min.

Posted by
3 posts

I would check the airlines $88-130 on Vueling or Air Dolomiti. Kayak will give you a nice sample. Arrive in Munich in the eve and wake up there!! Cheap and gives you an extra day and better night sleep. Otherwise visit Seat61.com for train using Italian lines to Verona etc. I'm going in July and going by air will add a day to Munich and surroundings.

Posted by
12 posts

Thank you all.... for the replies.

Looks like we are leaning toward the night train. Costs more, but, no extra night in a hotel, no daylight wasted, no added costs getting to/from airports.

Only issue is I'm a bit confused about ordering a ticket from RailEurope or D Bahn.... is one better than the other? When I select 3 adults traveling using couchette in a 4 person compartment it prices to 413 Euro - Do I also need to purchase an additional ticket for each of us ????

Posted by
16956 posts

I would not use RailEurope. DB is the way to go.
When in late April? All the train compartments look to be pretty well booked up now. The 413 euro price is 3 in a 4-person couchette including your transportation tickets. There could be a 4th person put in with you.

Posted by
12 posts

Thanks Sam....
Isn't it the same train? How about ItaliaRail ? I see they offer an overnight train on their website but my guess is that it is the DB train as well (same depart and arrive times). Different sites seem to offer different rates and/or availability - but look like the same train.

Posted by
4379 posts

Mike, the trains are the same - the sellers and their prices are different.

RE is a travel agent - they only offer a fraction of the available trains on their website, and the ones they DO offer are usually marked-up in price - quite a bit in some cases. It's kind of like scalpers marking up the price of concert tickets in the USA (and elsewhere). You can buy direct from the train companies themselves, or buy from a middleman like RE. Only if you have a rail pass and need a supplement reservation for an overnight train does it typically make sense to use RE.

And DO see my response on your other, similar thread under General Europe :,-(