Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Night train Florence to Munich-tell the truth-should we or shouldn't we?

Night train Florence to Munich-tell the truth-should we or shouldn't we?

Oct 7th, 2007, 04:27 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 656
Night train Florence to Munich-tell the truth-should we or shouldn't we?

We were planning to take the night train from Florence to Munich next June. This is our first time in Europe. If we do it, we will reserve the double sleeper compartment so we are alone. We are late forties and do like our sleep. We will be finishing up the Italy leg and beginning the Germany leg of our trip. We are doing the train mostly to keep from losing a day spent just traveling. Also for the "experience". BUT we know that it may not be the most pleasant experience. This train makes many, many stops during the night.

Should we or shouldn't we? I keep reading the bad stories on this and other forums. For those who say not - what other options do you recommend? For those who say yes - any advice. Should we reserve via Rail Europe, De Bahn, or Trainitalia?

Thanks.
Cindywho is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 04:43 AM
  #2  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 9,858
I would not myself.

The train I suspect you are thinking about leaves Florence at 10pm and arrives Munich at 6:30am. What do you propose to do at 6:30am in Munich, with your luggage in tow?

If you are like me you'll want to find hotel, checkin, shower, and nap since you may not have had good quality sleep the night before.

But maybe you can't checkin that early? Wander around a bit, drop off bags, get coffee, watch the city wake up, then be ready to drop by 9am?

Me? I'd fly. Since you have 9mo to plan you can look into low cost airlines like TUIfly.com (or check www.whichbudget.com) and pick a combination of airports in Italy and Germany that work well for you. Don't feel stuck on flying out of Florence as it may limit your options.
J62 is online now  
Oct 7th, 2007, 04:44 AM
  #3  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 9,858
TUIfly.com

Rimini to Munich, one way. 50Euros. June 2008 travel.
J62 is online now  
Oct 7th, 2007, 05:03 AM
  #4  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,143
Hi Cindy,

Why not?

The "Smart Price" is 69E pp in a double compartment.

The 00:12 train from Florence Campo di Marte station arrives Munich Hauptbahnhof at 08:30.

Enjoy your train ride.




ira is online now  
Oct 7th, 2007, 05:16 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 656
J62 - I looked at this website - one of the flights was .01 euros - is this for real? Have you ever booked on this website?

Ira - where are you getting the "smart price"? Do you have to be smart and how do they know? Ha ha. Which website - De Bahn?

Cindy
Cindywho is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 05:18 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 656
Forgot to add - we will actually be in Montepulciano, so we don't have to leave from Florence, but for the night train was the best option.

Rimini or Pisa are options.
Cindywho is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 05:24 AM
  #7  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 9,858
When you add in taxes and fees the 0.01 Euro price is actually more, but the final price is still great. Be sure to check out baggage allowance (weight & # bags) if you plan to fly. These can add up as well.

When I was younger I enjoyed overnight trains. No problem staying up till midnight to wait for my train, and no problem sleeping on board. Now that I'm no longer 22 I've become a softie so I prefer timely non-stop flights, and I like to be in bed well before my coach turns into a pumpkin.
J62 is online now  
Oct 7th, 2007, 05:28 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,669
Hi Cindywho,

In January I took two overnight trains: Munich to Dresden and then Dresden to Basel. Loved 'em both. In the 1980s, I took some night trains from France to Germany.

I slept fine, no problems with the stops as I wasn't awake for them.

I love the romance of this trip. Buy a small bottle of wine or champagne, and sip it while your train pulls out of the station; you'll feel like a movie star! It's a really wonderful and old-world way to travel.

Have fun!

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Oct 7th, 2007, 05:40 AM
  #9  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,143
Hi Cindy,

>ra - where are you getting the "smart price"?

See www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html

There is an ad for "smart price" on that page.

When you click on the shopping cart for your train, you will be asked to choose your fare. Choose "Smart".

You have to register to buy tickets online.

ira is online now  
Oct 7th, 2007, 06:12 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 656
Ira, thank you for the information. This is what I have been looking for. Can you help further? I have heard it's difficult or nearly impossible to book thru the trenitalia website. Something to do with credit cards or email addresses not working. Any advice?

Also, I went thru the screens and chose the smart price and chose the "double seat" compartment. Is this double "bed" or seats? Also, the other choices of uomo, donna or compartimento intero - I am assuming this is the actual "bed" you are choosing, upper or lower or ???.

I really appreciate your help.

Cindy
Cindywho is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 08:19 AM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 656
moving up
Cindywho is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 08:21 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,129
The English translations on Trenitalia's website are confusing. There is no such thing as a two-seat compartment. This is a more spacious two berth sleeping compartment.
"Uomo" and "donna" mean "man" and "woman". If you share a sleeping compartment with a stranger, the compartments are single-sex (men share compartments with other men, women with other women).
"Compartimento Intero" means "whole compartment". If two people book a two-berth compartment, their gender is irrelevant.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 08:38 AM
  #13  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,143
Hi C,

GH is correct.

If you choose "double seat" you get a sleeping compartment. Note the pix of upper and lower berths.

You want the whole compartment for 2.

>I have heard it's difficult or nearly impossible to book thru the trenitalia website. Something to do with credit cards or email addresses not working. Any advice?<

You can buy smart price tickets in Italy, but they sell out quickly.

I would register now, and try to buy them online starting 60 days in advance.

If you are unsuccessful, you could try a TA, such as www.budgeteuropetravel.com, or wait until you get to Italy.

Good luck.



ira is online now  
Oct 7th, 2007, 08:50 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,000
Do the train. The Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable shows a EuroNight leaving Florence Campo de Marte station at 00h12 arriving Munchen at 08h30. These are good times for a night train.

My advice, since you are a newbie to Europe and to the trains, is see the web page http://tinyurl.com/y57vft for an intro.

I've taken a number of night trains and never had a bad experience. My overnight Milan to Vienna trip last year was excellent. Bring some wine, cheese, and bread for a midnight snack.

I think your best bet for inside information and probably tickets and reservations is to contact budgeteuropetravel.com. Use their toll free number to talk to a real person.

hopscotch is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 08:52 AM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 656
You are all wonderful - thanks so much. It is just what I wanted to know...
Cindywho is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 12:59 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 4
Hope this is not too late. I travelled alone copenhagen to Florence last year return.
The trip over the dolomites from/to Munich was absolutely lovely. So Id say do it without the night train. Such a pity to miss such scenery. My train times fitted in with a splendid Italian lunch complete with a nice waiter, lovely bottle of red and an interesting Italian doctor who shared my table. The reserved seats were next to a friendly middle aged Japanese couple reliving a trip they had done when first married.
You dont get such travel memories whilst asleep.
But if you do descide on the overnight Ive always felt safe and comfortable in many countries. Im taking my 3 young kids from copenhagen to Milan next week over the Alps- cant wait.
Sarah
jamsarnie is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 02:22 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,421
You can also book those night trains on http://buchung.nachtzugreise.de. The site appears first in German, but can be changed to English if need be. You can pay with a credit card and self-print the ticket on your own printer.

BTW, there are lockers in the station at Munich where you can stash your bags for a few hours in the morning while you explore the town.
Larryincolorado is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 02:40 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 5,830
One of my best memories of taking the night train in Europe was actually waking up sometime in the night and realizing the train was stopped. I'd raise up the shade and look for the sign identifying the station: it always seemed like a romantic dream to look out and see "Split" or "Domodossola" (sp?). Then the train would start up and I would fall back to sleep, rocked like a baby by the motion.

Charnee
charnees is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:34 AM.