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Do I need to prebook a train from Munich to Frankfurt

Do I need to prebook a train from Munich to Frankfurt

Aug 15th, 2012, 07:13 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1
Do I need to prebook a train from Munich to Frankfurt

We plan to travel from Munich to Frankfurt on September 3rd after a couple of weeks in London, Italy and Munich. Should we prebook the train before we leave the states or is it ok to book after arriving in Munich on August 31st.
bsmithx200 is offline  
Aug 15th, 2012, 07:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,830
You can look at the situation at:


1. There are hourly trains, so you can eventually get to Frankfurt.
2. Some trains are noted with expected high demand warnings.
3. You notice discount prices still available for 9/3, but no longer for 8/17 or 8/18, meaning you pay the full price if you wait too long. You are not guaranteed a seat unless you reserve a seat. You can stand 3+ if you have to be on a certain train. My German friend tells me she always reserve if it is > 1hr trip during the rush hour with luggage.
greg is offline  
Aug 15th, 2012, 10:39 PM
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Book after you arrive in Munchen...
Travelforbeer is offline  
Aug 15th, 2012, 10:48 PM
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You are already late. The cheap tickets are gone. Still, you can get discount tickets @ €59 instead of €95. Book ASAP!
traveller1959 is offline  
Aug 16th, 2012, 03:05 AM
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You do not "book" trains. You buy a ticket. Standard fare tickets are valid for any train of the same or a lower category on that route during two consecutive calendar days. With standard tickets you have flexibility. Discounted fares limit you to one particular train connection, if you miss that train the ticket is lost. Depends if your plans are set in stone or if you need/want flexibility.

This is a major and busy route, so I'd recommend investing those extra 4 Euros per person and buying a seat reservation together with the ticket. This can, however, even be done last minute at the station prior to departure (if there are still seats left, they always keep some for last minute).
quokka is offline  
Aug 16th, 2012, 08:55 AM
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The trains aren't 'compulsory reservation' o you can ALWAYS just turn up, buy a full-price ticket and hop on the next train, sitting in any empty seat you like - if full, you'll have to stand.

But pre-booking means you can reserve a seat to be sure of one, and most importantly, get a cheap advance purchase ticket, from 29 euros instead of whatever the full price is.

Book online at www.bahn.de/en - booking opens 92 days ahead.
Man_in_seat_61 is offline  
Aug 16th, 2012, 11:47 AM
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discounted tickets however are non-changeable, train-specific and non-refundable I believe so be sure of your date and time - and yes you can always always buy a full fare ticket and get on German trains - always.

Great sources of info on European trains - www.seat61.com (Man in Seat 61 who posts above - his commercial site; and www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 16th, 2012, 01:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Seat reservations are fairly low in cost. If you reserve a seat for a small fee, you get to select window or aisle.
I just recently rode the train from Berlin to Copenhagen.
I was glad I had a reserved seat. Between Berlin HBF and Hamburg HBF the train was crowded.

Some of the Cisalpino trains to Italy ask for a seat reservation. Those I have used were crowded, so I did not mind the few euro I had to pay for a seat.

On the route between Munich and Prague, I definitely say reserve a seat even if you are going 1st class.
bob_brown is offline  
Aug 18th, 2012, 07:25 AM
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Ciaslpino trains BTW stopped running a few years ago - now there are relatively few cross border through trains and more and more you have to change at the Italian/Swiss border to trains in respective countries - some trains run thru the border like Cisalpino ones did and in Italy you need a seat reservations as on all Italian trains apart from regional (local) trains.

In first class you can easily get a single seat - aisle and window seat all in one - couples can have them facing each other so there are benefits to first class IMO - bigger seats, often many empty seats - often can stow my baggage on a seat next to me - in crowded 2nd class cars like Bob above speaks of finding space for luggage is much harder - hoping to find space in perhaps already over crowded overhead luggage racks.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 18th, 2012, 03:18 PM
Join Date: May 2007
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When the good discounts for 2nd class are gone already, it usually does not hurt to check 1st class.
Often the difference between heavily discounted 1st and not so much discounted 2nd class comes down to as little as €10.
Both require to commit on a specific date and time, though.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2012, 03:01 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,226
If you don't mind switching trains a couple of times, and taking a bit longer, you can also ride the Regional trains. For those, you don't need to buy your tickets ahead of time.

Changes are in Nuremburg and Würzburg, and you can even include short visits to those town on your way to Frankfurt, if you leave early enough in the morning.

Total train trip though, Munich - Frankfurt, about 5.5 hours.
Mainhattengirl is offline  
Aug 19th, 2012, 08:28 AM
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Regional trains however would take much much longer and can be very crowded IME at times in 2nd class - IME they at times act as school buses and swarms of kids swarm aboard for a few stops - Mainhattengal however does make a good point - if you want to take all day and stop off in those cities then that is a benefit - most however want to take the direct high-speed train and if you book far in advance it may all told at 29 euros be cheaper than the circuitous regional train route.
PalenQ is offline  

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