Marienplatz, Munich, GermanyMarienplatz, Munich, Germany
August 1, 2013

Berlin to Munich by train

by Laurel Robbins in Train routes

Berlin and Munich (München) are two of the most popular tourist destinations in Germany. Berlin, Germany’s biggest city, is well known for its arts and culture scene. It is home to over 170 museums, and the nightlife in Berlin is unbeatable. Munich is a beer lover’s paradise with more than 200 beer gardens and some of the world’s oldest breweries – be sure to visit the Hofbrauhaus in the center. Munich is also home to the world’s largest beer festival: Oktoberfest.

The high-speed ICE train is the best way to travel between Berlin and Munich. You can choose to travel direct or break up your journey with interesting but lesser-known cities along the way, including Leipzig, Bamberg and Nuremberg.

How to get from Berlin to Munich by train

By high-speed train

ICE high-speed trains run twice an hour between Berlin and Munich. One is direct, while the other has a short stop in Nuremberg, which is well worth seeing. Reservations are not required, but I recommend making one if you’re traveling on the direct train, especially on Fridays or Sundays, when trains are often full. The reservation fee for Eurail pass holders is 4 Euros.

By night train

Your other option is to travel overnight on the City Night Line train. This night train leaves Berlin Hbf at 8:59 p.m. and arrives at München Hbf at 7:05 a.m. The night train requires a reservation fee – prices start at 11.50 Euros for a reclining seat and 27.50 Euros for a bed in a 6-person couchette.

Getting to Berlin Hbf train station

Berlin has more than one train station, but the city’s central station, Berlin Hbf, is the one you’re usually going to use. It’s centrally located and easily accessible by the city’s public transport network. S-Bahn lines S5, S7, S9 and S95 will all get you there – the S-Bahn is a suburban train network that operates across the city and is covered by the Eurail pass.

If you’re arriving early to the train station, there’s a left-luggage office on the first floor that is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Luggage lockers are also available.

Arriving at München Hbf train station

Munich’s main train station, München Hbf, is a vibrant station with plenty of shops and restaurants. Luggage lockers are available in the main hall, and there’s a tourist information office where you can pick up a map of the city. Munich’s main attractions can be found around the famous Marienplatz (Mary’s Square) – just a 15-minute walk from the station or a few minutes on the S-Bahn.

Top 3 stops along the way

The Eurail pass makes it easy to hop on and off the train as you please. These three cities between Berlin and Munich are well worth a stop:

  1. Leipzig

    Monument to the Battle of the Nations, Leipzig, Germany

    The train journey to Leipzig from Berlin takes just under 75 minutes. One of the city’s most impressive sights greets you the second you get off the train – the central station. One of the largest terminus train stations in Europe, it offers state-of-the-art shopping. Also worth checking out are Leipzig’s Old Town and the Monument to the Battle of the Nations, the largest memorial complex in Europe.

  2. Bamberg

    Bamberg's old town, Germany

    The direct ICE high-speed train takes you from Berlin to Bamberg in a bit more than 4 hours. Bamberg is Germany’s largest UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to 2500 historic buildings. In my opinion, it’s the prettiest city in Bavaria and definitely worth wandering around or, even better, seeing on a guided tour.

  3. Nuremberg (Nürnberg)

    Imperial Castle (Kaiserburg), Nuremberg, Germany

    You can take a direct ICE train from Berlin to Nuremberg in just under 5 hours. This 11th-century city features many medieval sights, with the highlight being the Imperial Castle (Kaiserburg), which was one of the most important fortified palaces of the Old Holy Roman Empire. The medieval dungeons are also worth exploring. Visit Nuremberg in December to check out one of Germany’s most famous Christmas markets and taste arguably the best gingerbread in the entire country!