Since Munich is the southernmost major city in Germany, it is the starting or ending point for numerous long-distance trains to other parts of the country.
On a typical weekday there are 22 direct ICE (InterCityExpress) or IC (InterCity) trains from Munich to Frankfurt am Main, and 26 more connections where you have to change trains once in Mannheim, Stuttgart, Nürnberg or Würzburg. A direct ICE usually takes three hours and forty-some minutes to get to Frankfurt by way of Augsburg, Ulm, Stuttgart and Mannheim.
Update: They have recently opened up a new high-speed ICE route from Munich via Ingolstadt to Nürnberg, so it is now slightly faster to go that way rather than by way of Stuttgart and Mannheim.
On Fridays and Sundays the trains can be very full, so I usually try to get a reservation on those days, but otherwise when I'm done with whatever I'm doing in Munich I just go to the station and get on the next train to Frankfurt.
Second, third and fourth photos: More people and trains at the Munich main station.
Fifth photo: First class in an ICE train from Frankfurt to Munich. The main difference between first and second class is that in first there are only three seats across, and in second class there are four.
Munich's Hauptbahnhof, or main train station, is quite an amazing transportation hub. You can think of it as 4 stations in one: The main tracks for the longer trains (tracks 11-26); two "mini-stations" on either side servicing local trains, private trains (e.g., BOB and ALEX), and some S-Bahns (tracks 5-10 and tracks 27-36); and the underground station ("Hauptbahnhof Tief," Tracks 1-2) for the S-Bahn (S-1 through S-8). You can also get to the Hauptbahnhof by U-Bahn (U-1, U-2, U-4, and U-5), the Lufthansa Airport Bus, and several trams.
From here, you can get trains to just about anywhere in Europe. Among the destinations reachable via night train: Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest, Florence, Hamburg, Naples, Paris, Rome, Venice, and Zagreb. UPDATE: The direct night train between Munich and Copenhagen has been discontinued.
The train station itself has an impressive number of services, to include food stands, a grocery store, a Starbucks, not one but two Burger Kings, luggage lockers, a EURAIDE office, and a full-service travel center ("Reisezentrum" -- go here to validate your railpass).
The best bet for most local travelers is to use one of the many ticket machines. You can get tickets to most local destinations at one of these, which will save you time waiting in line at a ticket counter. Many machines take major credit cards. Arriving travelers can also buy MVV (local transportation) tickets and day-tickets here, but if a machine is too intimidating, never fear: turn left (with your back to the tracks) and proceed down the escalator. Here, you will find several ticket counters where you can buy any MVV ticket you might need (to include 3-day tickets).
From the airport get the S-Bahn rail link S1which travels from Munich Airport via Neufahrn, Moosach, Laim, Munich Hauptbahnhof (main station), Marienplatz to Ostbahnhof.
Also at the main station in Hauptbahnhof there is a Tourist information at the southern exit Bayerstrasse. This is open Monday-Friday 10am-8pm, Saturday 10am-4pm.
March will be warmer than December (generally), although I cannot think of any specific March Munich events to attend or see? March is a good time to take the train to Garmisch-Patenkirchen and to spend sometime in the mountains walking, snow shoeing, or cross-country and downhill skiing.
Do not take the gondola up to the top of the Zugspitz. It takes 1 1/2 hours to go up, and then the same time to come down, when they are busy (during the winter due to ski season naturally), and once you get to the top there is not much to see that you cannot see from the top of any other mountain? And, it is very expensive (about EUR70-). If you are a serious skier, the skiing on the Zugspitz is pretty tame, and you can go elsewhere for less money and more pistes.
The train from the Hauptbahnhof runs every hour and takes about 1 1/2 hours to Garmisch. From the train station in Garmisch, you can take the Zugspitzbahn. Just walk under the train tracks, away from the main station, and at the end of the tunnel you will see the Zugspitzbahn station on the left hand side.
The train from the Munich Hauptbahnhof to Garmisch-Partenkirchen is the perfect, stressless way, to get to the Alpine town.
Here is an example from Deutsche Bahn www.db.de
München Hbf track 27-36
depart 11.34 a.m.
arrive 1:23 p.m.
approximately 2 hours
price 14,20 EUR
one way, tourist class
Tickets can be booked in advance either online, in person at the HBf, or even bought on the train. Return fare is double, unless you book a special fare. Please enquire directly at www.db.de
The route takes you through some picturesque Bavarian towns, and along the shores of Starnberger See, as well as, through Murnau on the way to Garmisch. If it is a clear day, you will have the panorama of the mountains the whole way.
As one of Germany's biggest cities, Munich is well connected throughout the country, but its also well placed at the center of Europe for access to cities in a number of other countries, like Austria and the Czech Republic. Apart from Dresden, all of Germany's major cities are accessible via direct train from Munich, with Stuttgart just a couple of hours away, and Berlin over six hours. Internationally you can get direct trains to cities like Vienna(4 hours), Ljubljana (6 hours) and Budapest (7 hours). You can also be in Prague in about 7 hours, and Zurich in about 5.
On the west side of Munich is the railway station known as Pasing. Most (but not all) trains arriving from Augsburg, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Weilheim, Kochel, and Buchloe stop here. You can get to Pasing using the S-Bahn lines S-4, S-5, S-6, S-8, or S-20, as well as Tram #19 and various buses. If you plan to stay in the western part of Munich, or one of the western suburbs serviced by the S-Bahn, you can save time by connecting at Pasing instead of the Hauptbahnhof. Conversely, it can make sense to pick up your outbound train at Pasing. Be sure to re-confirm your desired train does indeed stop at Pasing.
The station itself, while not as vast as the Hauptbahnhof, has a number of services, including food stands, a small grocery store, a few dozen luggage lockers, and an information counter. There are also some vending machines on the train platforms for those in a hurry.
Salzburg in Austria is only an hour and a half away by train from Munich and well worth the effort.
There is a train which leaves the main railway station in Munich at 0927 and gets to Salzburg at 1054.Carriages are the enclosed style holding 6 people rather than the open plan we are used to in Britain. There is a return train at 2104 getting back to Munich at 2232.
The cost(March 2008) was 29 Euros return per person. We also reserved seats at 2 euros per person each way and as the train was pretty packed on both occasions, was glad we did.
I booked online using the German Railway website. www.bahn.de. Remember to take your credit card if that is how you booked, on the journey, as the ticket collector needs it and would probably charge again if you didnt have it.
Also remember your passport as we were asked for ours by two plain clothes police officer on the return journey.
The Railway Station in Salzburg is only about a fifteen minute walk away from the centre of town but give yourself enough time on the way back as it looks different in the dark and is easy to get lost!!
Salzburg is a very pretty place and a very pleasant place to spend a day.
The Bayerische Oberlandbahn, or BOB, is a private train service run by Veolia Transport. Departing approximately hourly, BOB trains originate at the Munich Hauptbahnhof and continue to the Tegernsee, Lenggries, and Bayerischzell. (NOTE: outbound trains will split into three parts, one going to each destination. Be sure to get the car going where you want to go!)
If you get on at the Munich Hauptbahnhof, you must go to tracks 27-36 on the Arnulfstrasse side of the station, about 200 meters down Platform 26. This is probably not the most convenient entry point unless you're right at the Hauptbahnhof. Note that the BOB trains also stop at Donnersbergerbrücke (connections to all S-Bahns except S-20), Harras (connections to S-7, S-27, and U-6), Siemenswerke (weekdays) or Solln (weekends) (connections to S-7, S-20, and S-27), and Holzkirchen (connections to S-3).
If you have a MVV day card for the entire network (gesamtnetz), it is valid on the segment from Munich to Holzkirchen, meaning you only need a ticket beyond there (i.e., Holzkirchen to your destination). You can purchase tickets at a BOB ticket counter, or at "BOB" ticket machines at the stations. Note machines are touch-screen and in German only. If you purchase a ticket from a machine, be sure to stamp the ticket in one of the machines marked "E" before you board. Note you must stamp a round-trip ticket a second time before boarding your returning train.
Passes and Special Tickets: Both the Schönes Wochenende Ticket and Bayern-Ticket are valid for the entire route. You can also purchase a special "BOB/MVV Ticket" valid on both BOB and the Inner Zone (Innenraum) of the MVV network for up to 5 people from 9AM until closing (EUR 25, or EUR 17 for a "single" ticket). Eurail / German Rail passes are NOT accepted.
Munich's east train station, or Ostbahnhof, is a stopping point for many regional and inter-city trains headed south and east. Most (but not all) trains headed towards Salzburg, Vienna, and Innsbruck stop here. Connections are also possible with some EuroCity trains headed for Italy and the Balkans. In addition, CityNightLine overnight trains towards Berlin and Hamburg originate at the Ostbahnhof, as do various "auto trains." The train station is reachable by several buses, all S-Bahns except S-20 and S-27, and the U-5.
For those who are arriving at Munich Airport and heading south or east of Munich, the Ostbahnhof can be a handy connecting point. Take the S-8 from the airport to Ostbahnhof and change to your connecting train. If you're going directly to Salzburg, for example, you can save a lot of money by using a Bayern Ticket, the cost of which ranges from EUR 22 for a single traveler to EUR 38 for 5 people traveling together (not valid on IR, IC, EC, or ICE trains; not valid before 9AM weekdays).
While the station itself is not as vast as the Hauptbahnhof, you will still find food stands, shops, kiosks, coin-operated luggage lockers, and toilets.
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