Train or Plane from Berlin to Munich

Spending majority of a trip in Berlin, but looking for 2-3 nights in Munich. Train looks to be just over 6 hours, versus plane which takes 90 minutes. Any recommendations on which is better? Train is appealing if there are nice sights along the way, but I can't find a detailed map of the train route. Plane is shorter travel time, but need to factor in travel to/from airports, as well as time spent in airport ahead of the flights. Does anyone know where the train goes between these 2 cities? Thanks.

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

A flight takes much longer than the 90- minute you spend in the air. You must add travel time to the airport, security/ wait time ( 2 hours), and transport time from the Muich airport into the city. Probably a minimum of 4.5 hours of total travel time. That is the figure you should use when comparing to the train. You can see the train route on Bahn.de. Just put in Berlin to Munich and pick a direct train. Then use the " show intermediate stops" button. You will see stops in Leipzig, Bamberg, Erlangen, etc. now I am curious about Jena Paradies and have to go look it up!

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
2702 posts

Hi, Time your departure right, you can get a direct connection from Berlin-Munich on the ICE. Yes, that route also includes a stop in Jena Paradise, which I took last summer to change trains Jena-Munich, also an ICE. Nice station for a small town...Jena. I would suggest taking the early ICE from Berlin, you'll be at Munich Hbf. by 1430 or so.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11286 posts

Some things to consider: 1. Between 9 AM and 3 PM, there are 10 distinct connections between Berlin and Munich, roughly one every half hour. Your wait time for a train will probably be less than for a flight. 2. It takes about 45 minutes on the S-Bahn from the airport to downtown Munich and costs 10,40€ for one. Add those figures to time and cost of flying. 3. With sufficient advance purchase, rail fare could be 29€ for one, 49€ for 2 (I found 39€ for one for end of July).

Posted by Eileen
Texan in CA
3586 posts

Anytime I can take a train in Germany...I do. Anytime I can avoid a flight, I do.

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
2702 posts

Hi, Some good and valid points raised here. It may be more subjective depending on the individual, but you do get the feeling that sitting and the Hbf. and/or the airport waiting for flight departure is a waste of time. On the ICE train you feel, at least, you're going to your destination although it's taking more hours. I recall distinctly in '80s waiting at Hannover Hbf, where I booked my flight to (West) Berlin, then taking the airport bus to Hannover-Langenhagen for the flight to Berlin Tegel, more waiting at both Langenhagen and Tegel. You ended up wasting a whole day by the time you landed at Tegel in the late afternoon, even though the flight lasted 35 mins. Very true...it involves more than the 90 min. flight time.

Posted by Walter
Arlington Heights, IL, USA
4 posts

I'll take the train over the plane anytime! The train is much more comfortable, less hassle to board, and a smooth ride. My wife and I traveled first class on the high-speed train from Cologne to Berlin and had the finest meal of our trip in the dining car. The cheaper seats arrived in Berlin at the same time, but the experience was worth the splurge.