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getting to Munich from Zurich

Four of us will be arriving in Zurich mid-morning on Saturday, May 16. We were planning on taking the train to Munich and are finding E156-196/each train prices. Then we looked at bus travel and it is about E76. Can anyone help us? (Travel time for the train is over 4 hours the bus is 3 hours 45 minutes). Money is certain a consideration, but so is seeing the countryside as we travel.. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Posted by
16834 posts

Here is an option. Take a train (3 connections) from the airport to Lindau Germany. Changes at St Gallen, St Margrethan, Bregenz Austria. takes about 2 hours and will cost 42 chf per person. At Lindau Hbf, purchase a 4 person Bayern Ticket from a vending machine for 35 euro total. There are direct ALX trains to Munich every 2 hours at 2 minutes before the odd hours (ex. 13:58, 15:58), or connecting Regional trains at other times. Don't get on any EC, IC, or ICE trains. Takes 2 hrs 45 min with the ALX trains, about 3 hours with connecting trains. That's about 55 euro per person.
Edit- You could also wait for the 13:28 EC direct train getting to Lindau at 15:05. You'd connect to Munich on the 15:58 ALX train on a Bayern ticket. Same price as above. The EC train continues to Munich and it is going for 88 chf pp from Zurich airport to Munich.

Posted by
106 posts

Wow, Sam -- you must have a train schedule handy as well as lots of first hand knowledge about trains in Europe! Thanks so much for the information. You didn't mention the bus at all, so I'm assuming that isn't a good option.....?

Posted by
16834 posts

Not saying it isn't a good option, just pointing out other options. The schedules are always at hand at www.sbb.ch. And knowing that Lindau is in Bavaria and thus eligible for a Bayern Ticket.

Posted by
353 posts

Hi Shay,

The German DB website sells some advance-purchase, discounted tickets for both the direct train and bus. Direct trains are as low as 49 euros, the bus as low as 19 euros. See www.bahn.com. These advance-purchase tickets are limited and often non-refundable, non-exchangeable, so be ready to commit at time of purchase.

Posted by
16834 posts

Yes, there are Sparpreis tickets available for as low as 39 euro per person going through Schaffhausen and Ulm. Sparpreis means you are commited to nonrefundable, nonchangeable tickets. So keep that in mind that if your plane is delayed, you are basically out the money. If you go that route, leave lots of leeway in your time table. I might suggest taking the 2 pm departure. If you arrive on time, you can take the earlier train to Schaffhausen and visit there for a bit rather than hang around the airport. If you are very late and miss that, you can still travel as far as Ulm with your ticket, but you would need to purchase full fare tickets from Ulm to Munich. That would be another 39 euro per person on an ICE train, or 32 euro per person on an EC or IC train.

So there you have it. Options, options, and more options. Now you just have to decide (always the hard part).

Posted by
16834 posts

If you are very late and miss that, you can still travel as far as Ulm with your ticket, but you would need to purchase full fare tickets from Ulm to Munich. That would be another 39 euro per person on an ICE train, or 32 euro per person on an EC or IC train.

I am going to back off of that statement as these are "Europa-Spezial Schweiz" tickets and the terms of carriage are different. You might be able to do it, but check with the ticket agent at the airport and ask or you may get fined.

If you are very late, the walk up price for the 18:28 direct EC train is 306.40 euro total for 4 adults.