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Trains from Munich to Vienna ...Ben Haines

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Hello,
I am planning to take my mother to Vienna as a surprise birthday present...She is 85.
I would appreciate any help on arranging the easiest train schedule from Munich to Vienna. Possibly morning...restaurant...fastest train. Should I purchase the tickets here in the states? Or should I wait until I arrive in Munich?
Thank you in advance for your help.
Elke

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    I am not Ben Haines, but travel this route several times a year.
    Trains run almost every hour on this route.

    It is probably best to take a train without transfers.
    Example :
    leave Munich 9:27
    Arrive Munich 14:05

    Travel time just more than 4 1/2 hours.( the fastest)
    The train will have a dining car and a porter will come by with coffee, tea, cold drinks.

    Many trains require a transfer in Salzburg. This can be a problem for an older person as this is often a short time for connection.

    No need to buy tickets in USA.
    You can buy them in Munich
    2nd class is OK.

    You will arrive at the Westbahnhof in Vienna.
    Many taxis out front of station to take you to your hotel- fare is by a meter.

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    Given the circumstances of your travel, I strongly suggest that you consider taking the train that leaves the Munich Main Station (Hauptbahnhof) at 9:27 and arrives at Vienna West at 14:05.

    I have two reasons or making the suggestion. First, it requires no change of trains. Second, it is the shortest travel time by about 30 minutes.

    If I can, at my age, I like to avoid moving my luggage from one train to the next.

    If you select another of the trains, you will find quite a few of them which require a change in Salzburg.

    The 9:27 train is scheduled to leave from Gleis (track) 14 in Munich which, if I recall correctly, is at the far left side as you face the tracks.

    The train has a restaurant car, and I have found the food on these trains to be acceptable. In my experience I was able to pay with a credit card or euros.

    Now the question arises, do you want to travel 1st or 2nd class? The cost is greater in 1st of course, but you get a more comfortable seat and a little more space. Usually, the car is not as crowded. On the other hand, I have ridden 2nd class with out problem. I do, however, recommend a seat reservation so that you don't have to search for a seat. Sometimes the train is crowded, sometimes it is not. The express train I suggested is usually near full in 2nd class because it is the quickest rail connection between several major cities: Munich, Salzburg, Linz, Vienna and Budapest. It also stops in Attnang-Puchheim, St. Pölten and Wien-Hüttledorf in Austria.

    I normally get a seat reservation for one simple reason: I know I will have a seat in a non smoking car.

    Also, you can buy your tickets in Germany.

    If you want to leave earlier, there is a train at 7:26 that requires a change.
    This connection takes a little longer, but it does arrive in Vienna a little sooner.

    Although there are frequent 1-change connections, the next 0 change connection is not until 15:26.

    There is nothing wrong with the connections that require a change other than the moving of luggage and a little extra time.

    As far as I know, the change of trains is in Salzburg. Most of them make more stops between Salzburg and Vienna which delays the arrival time.

    I have never noticed any appreciable advantage to riding a train that stops more other than it might give you more time to eat!

    If you take the 0 connection train, I think you do pay an extra charge called a Zuschlag. I don't recall for sure how much it is.

    The Austrian rail web site (The ÖBB for Österreischer Bundesbahn) is not fully in English, but if you need a few English captions, here is the place to start:
    http://www.oebb.at/vip8/oebb/en/index.jsp

    Otherwise, simply www.oebb.at
    The e of course substitutes for the umlaut.

    http://www.oebb.at/vip8/oebb/en/index.jsp

    I know you want a big surprise, but do you know for sure that your Mom might not have her own agenda if she knew she was going to Vienna. Surely she has some knowledge of the city or you would not be wanting to take her there.

    Example: Is she an opera fan?
    Tickets are not all that easy to come by at the State Opera.

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