Cologne Travel Answers

change location
haysnoe's Profile Photo

Cologne to Munich - Train, Bus, Air?

by haysnoe Online Now Mar 20, 2012 at 8:47 AM

I am flying into Dusseldorf early in the day (flight lands from US at 0700). From there I will take local transport to Cologne to visit the cathedral (conveniently located right next to the train station) for several hours. I then need to get to Munich either later that day or by end of the next day.

My question: What is the most economical way to get to Munich from Cologne? A slow train or even a bus would be fine since I'll be jet-lagged and won't mind a slow pace. Most important consideration for me is price. Any help?

Quote & Answer
7 Answers
  • Re: Cologne to Munich - Train, Bus, Air?

    by viewtheworld Online Now Mar 20, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    Best option: look respectable (not like a grey ghost!!) & hitch a ride ;-)

    Seriously, the Germans are good with this sort of thing.

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • haysnoe's Profile Photo

    Re: Cologne to Munich - Train, Bus, Air?

    by haysnoe Online Now Mar 20, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    Thank you Peter. That is the info I needed. To answer your question, no, that is not the extent of my trip. I found a very inexpensive flight into DUS that I can't come close to matching flying into anywhere else. Plus, I got a rental car in Munich for less-than 10 EUR / day. Then, from Munich I begin 35 days in the Balkans (Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Croatia).

    The reason I needed info on Cologne-to-Munich was to take advantage of cheap airfare into DUS and cheap car at Munich. For the two of us, we will save close to800 US flying there and if I get to spend a few hours in Kolner Dom in the process then that is OK by me. So, if I spend roughly200 in trains from Cologne to Munich overall I'll save600 and that is worth another week on the ground in, say, Macedonia, which seems like a good trade to me.

    Though, let's see. If I flew into Belgrade, for example, I would save 1,200 miles of driving which is roughly250 in gasoline, though I surely won't mind spending a day in Salzburg, Bled and/or Zagreb along the way. The rental car would cost an extra300 and the flight would cost an extra1000 minimum (for two of us). Thus, I am paying450 in trains and gas to save1,300 for a net savings of850. That can buy me almost two additional weeks traveling and that's what it's all about, right?

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • Turtleshell's Profile Photo

    Re: Cologne to Munich - Train, Bus, Air?

    by Turtleshell Online Now Mar 20, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    Slow trains are regional trains, and going from Cologne to Munich means that you would have to change trains a couple of times. That's always a drag and a serious one when you are still jet-lagged. Booking a specific ICE (high speed) train well in advance could result in cheaper prices than a last minute purchase of tickets for numerous reginal trains. Besides, an ICE is simply more comfortable which comes as an added bonus when you are tired.

    For booking:
    bahn.de/i/view/USA/en/index....

    Night train, as mentioned above, would be an option, too.

    And if the two of you are going to spend a third day on long-distance trains within Germany, you may want to look into the option of buying a German Rail Pass. Click 'Offers' on Bahn's website (link above): 2 persons, three days = 270 EUR -> 45 EUR for each person and trip with total flexibility. Hardly gets any better. The Ger Rail Pass could also pay off when there aren't any cheap tickets left or if you want more flexibility rather than to book a specific train in advance.

    As far as I know, there is no bus that links Cologne with Munich, sorry.

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • Re: Cologne to Munich - Train, Bus, Air?

    by K_V_B Online Now Mar 20, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    I would suggest the following as a good trade off for speed and price:

    Go to www.bahn.de
    reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/qu...
    Enter "Köln" and "München" in the start and destination fields.
    Check "all without ICE", and enter your date of travel.

    You will no be shown fast IC/EC trains, which are on this route only about an hour slower than the high speed ICE trains. The secret here is that for these IC trains the cheap tickets don't sell out so fast as for the ICE trains, so you can still get such a ticket fairly close to the day of travel. And as these slower IC services take the old route from Köln south you get better scenery as this route closely follows the Rhine. (Which is why I sometimes take that route too if I'm not in a hurry).
    The comfort level on German IC and EC trains is the same as on the ICE trains, they are just a bit slower.

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • abalada's Profile Photo

    Re: Cologne to Munich - Train, Bus, Air?

    by abalada Online Now Mar 21, 2012 at 3:10 AM

    You didn't tell us when you'll fly into Düsseldorf. The prices will depend heavily how far in the future this is.

    Best will be to buy discounted specials using following "trick".
    DB timetable
    reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/qu...
    Start: DUS
    Destination: M
    and add as stopover
    Via: Leverkusen Mitte
    and give the length of this stopover in the form "hh:mm" that the departure time from Cologne (Köln Hbf) suites you. Even if it is on the next day.

    That does not mean that you have to make really a stopover in Leverkusen. This will however force the timetable to give connections with regional trains from Düsseldorf Airport (DUS) to Cologne (Köln Hbf) - as others don't stop at Leverkusen Mitte. Discounted specials are only valid for the connection bought for - but this restriction applies only for the part of the tickets on long distance trains (IC/EC or ICE). Thus with the above query you'll get tickets where you can use any regional train on this day from Düsseldorf Airport to Cologne. But from Cologne to Munich only the train listed on the ticket.

    Köln Hbf (Cologne main train station) is directly next to the cathedral.
    farm1.static.flickr.com/36/8...

    If you like a scenic route you can add a 2nd stopover
    Via: Koblenz Hbf
    (with a stopover duration of 00:00 - just to enforce the route but staying seated)
    This will enforce the route through the scenic Middle Rhine Valley
    http://www.welterbe-mittelrheintal.de/

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • haysnoe's Profile Photo

    Re: Cologne to Munich - Train, Bus, Air?

    by haysnoe Online Now Mar 21, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    Great tips. Thank you everybody. As it turns out I just got an80 RT air fare so I'm just going to fly. If Germany was my ultimate destination I'd do it differently but the Balkans are my ultimate destination so I want to get to Munich ASAP to begin. Thanks again!!

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • Turtleshell's Profile Photo

    Re: Cologne to Munich - Train, Bus, Air?

    by Turtleshell Online Now Mar 22, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    I suspect you are going to pick up your rental car in downtown Munich? In this case I guess it would be best to purchase an Airport-City-Day-Ticket (11 EUR).

    S-Bahn Station is in Terminal 1, ticket vending machines understand English, and are situated next to Bahn's information desk (where you can buy the ticket as well).

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
Your Answer
Advanced Editor View Guidelines