Help with Train Service from Munich to Vienna

Hello, Can someone tell me how I book a train from from Munich to Vienna and provide me instructions as to how to find the station? I would be arriving Sunday, December 23, 2012 at the Munich Airport. I want to head from the Airport to Vienna. I only read / write english. I do not want to use a commercial website like eurorail because of the cost. This is my first trip to German / Austria and I am nervous because I only read / write English. I would prefer something direct and the shortest route with not many transfers. Are their options? Thank you for your help Michael

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8761 posts

You haven't left yourself much time to organize this have you? Its not really so bad. Most people you meet in both cities who are involved with tourists will do what they can to help. Once you understand the local spelling for Vienna (Wien) and Munich (M√ľnchen or Muenchen without the umlaut), most signs are in German and English, German and pictograph signs, or all three. It would be valuable to obtain and use a small German phrasebook to help with the few words you had trouble with. I expect that you have the Rick Steves Germany and Austria Guidebook which you will have used for so many other bits of trip planning. Right at the back of the book are a couple of pages of phrasebook that would certainly help. The German DB website is at http://www.bahn.com I suggest you play with it for a day or two before you fly and see how it can help you. Is somebody meeting you in Vienna who can take you around there?

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17796 posts

Michael, You shouldn't have any language issues in Germany, as the ticket Kiosks provide a choice of languages and most of the station agents are fluent in English. However, you might find it helpful to pack along a Phrase book, as it's always polite to be able to say a few words in the local language. Rick's Phrase books are excellent (click the "Books" tab at the top for more information). I was back in Munich in late August, so the route is still somewhat "fresh" in my mind. Once you've collected your luggage, go downstairs to the station where you'll find the ticket Kiosks. You'll be using the S1 or S8 (S-Bahn) trains to Munich Hauptbahnhof (main station), about 40 minutes. When you arrive at the Hbf, you'll transfer to the train to Vienna. As Lola mentioned, you can find all the times and other details using the German Rail website. It should be possible to pre-purchase your ticket from Munich to Vienna on the DB website, possibly at a good savings. I'll have to leave the details on that to Lee or Tim, as I usually just buy tickets "on the fly". One other point to mention is that there's a EurAide office in the Munich station, and they speak English. They're now located in the DB Reisezentrum (travel centre) in the station (first desk on the left as I recall). THIS PHOTO shows the Reisezentrum in Stuttgart, but the one in Munich is similar. If you have any difficulties, I'm sure they'll be able to help. Happy travels!

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

Use the German rail site, bahn.de. It is available in Englishlook for the language ion menu at upper right. You will see that there are direct trains (no changes) from the Munich Haupbahnhof (main station) to Vienna at 9:27, 11:27, 13:27, etc. You can get to the Haupbahhof from the airport on the S-Bahn.

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

There are still Sparangebot (Special Offer) tickets left for the 11:27 and 13:27 trains, if you want to save 20 euros (69 euros instead of 89 euros). but that would tie you into a particular train, and you would have to be able to predict how long it will take you to get through immigration, find the S-Bahn station, and travel from the airpport to the main station. So it is probably better to reduce the stress and just buy the tickets when you arrive. In between the direct trains there are ones with a single connection, so you have more options.

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
2702 posts

Hi, Taking the S-1 or S-8, probably on Gleis (track) 2, is most likely the fastest from the airport, but you do have another choice, the airport bus, "Lufthansa Airport Bus" if you prefer that over the S-Bahn. The bus goes right to the Munich train station stopping on Arnuftstrasse in front of the station. No need to worry about language at all. The staff at EurAide (some are Americans) and the DB Reisezentrum speak fluent English. To avoid transfering from Munich to Vienna take the RJ (Railjet) train. With the others you might have to change at Platting or Salzburg.

Posted by Thomas
Vienna, Austria
502 posts

As others have noted, almost everyone in the travel/tourism sector speaks English. Getting to the Haupbahnhof (main train station) and navigating it will not be as difficult as perhaps you are building it up to be. There are information desks, etc to help. I'd like to focus on a slightly different matter: Once you get to Vienna and check in, go straight to one of the city's many Christmas Markets. They will be closing on the 24th, so be sure to squeeze one in on the 23rd if you possibly can. Dress warm. The temps have been around freezing (a little below or a little above) for the past several days. Have a good trip!

Posted by Michael
Edison, NJ, united states
3 posts

Thank you everyone for your help. Happy Holidays

Posted by Michael
Edison, NJ, united states
3 posts

Nigel, I will be traveling alone. This is my first trip to German, Austria, Eastern Europe .. If you have any suggestions please let me know. Thank you