Feb 22nd, 2005, 10:46 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 25

After a 2-week European tour (lst time ever), we are planning to take the train from Rome to Munich in May. We hope to purchase a railpass for 5-7 days after the tour including a few days driving. Is that route crowded on weekends and the distance do-able in one day? After 2 days in Munich, we hope to drive to Rothenberg and then visit the Rhine area (St. Goar/or ?) and possibly Heidelberg, Cologne and then fly home from Frankfurt. Any suggestions?
europeandream is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2005, 11:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Check the cost analysis provided at for your train travel plans. Train travel in Italy is such a good bargain, I would be surprised if a "rail pass" is a good idea - - it will probably cost you more than just buying the ordinary ("point-to-point") tickets you need. Be sure and click on the box "only if it saves me money" on railsaver

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2005, 12:05 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,124
It's a long drive from Rome to Munich, and you would have to start pretty early to make it in one reasonable day. I've driven a lot of routes in Europe, but never that distance. My best guess is that it will take you about 12 hours. That might be a bit much for the average person.

If you are going to drive to other areas from Munich, and if you really want to make the trip from Rome to Munich in minimum time, consider air or rail. Then rent a car in Munich. Besides, if you have a car that is rented in Italy and you drop it off in Germany, you'll have a hefty drop-off charge. Good luck.
Wayne is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2005, 01:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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From Rome to Munich by DAY train, take the Eurocity "Michelangelo" which departs from Rome Termini DAILY at 7:54 and arrives in Munich around 18:30. Service is 365 days per year.

This train carries 6 to 8 second class railcars (66 seats per car), 3 to 4 first class railcars (54 seats per car), and a dining car. (Configuration can change depending on the season of travel).

The train gets extremely crowded during the summer and during other holiday periods (when you would need to reserve seats), but is usually fine at other times. This train ORIGINATES at Roma Termini and TERMINATES at Munich Central Station.

I've taken the train myself, and can tell you that it's fine.

FYI, there is also a Euronight train between Rome and Munich.
GAC is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2005, 05:45 AM
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Posts: 25
Thanks for your feedback everyone! A few more questions: Do you need a reservation on the Michaelangelo train for a Saturday or Sunday in April? Would you rent a car for a week to travel in Germany, or do you think a rail and drive Selectpass/Flexipass is a better idea (from Munich to Frankfurt with stops including Rothenberg, Rhine, Cologne)? Thanks very much.
europeandream is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2005, 06:59 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 6,260
I've done this train several times from Roma to Munich; the only time I saw it SRO (and this was in First so I am certain it was jammed in Second) was when I took it last August...mostly local folks traveling. The crowds thinned considerably after the stop in Verona.

My suspicion would be that you will be OK without seat reservations in April. BUT just to ensure that you won't be wanting for seats you can follw this very simple strategy:

the train will be backed into Termini about 1/2 hour..perhaps a bit less..prior to departure time. BE THERE and be one of the first people on the train...there are usually always some unreserved seats somewhere.

As an alternative, wait until you get TO Europe and then go to any rail station and book the seats then..cheaper than doing it through an agency in the US.

Enjoy the route through the Appenine Tunnel and over the Brenner Pass...MUCH more relaxing than driving I can assure you.
Intrepid1 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2005, 10:00 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 5,641
If you want to buy your tickets in US thru Raileurope you'll pay about $115 one way in second class or $165 in first class per person plus pay $11 per seat reservation and a $15 order fee. The Eurail Timetable indicates reservations are required on the Rome 7:54 EC train but like GAC says you probably want them. The eurail select pass drive may be of interest to you as you get some days of rail and car mixed in - you pick up car at train station and drop it off at station thru Avis or Hertz - whether it would be cost effective for you or not is hard to tell. Offhand i'd say just buy the point-point Rome-Munich ticket and do a 7-day car rental in Germany. If you want to discuss the Eurail/Drive plans i'd call BETS' European RailHotLine (800-441-9413), a free information service that will answer all your questions - i've gone thru them for years and they are the experts! I always recommend asking for their free European Planning & Rail guide that has a ton of info in it.
PalQ is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2005, 10:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,398
Intrepid 1 has given you good, practical advice. Don't worry excessively about seat reservations, April 2005 is PAST Easter, so the train will likely NOT be full, especially in first class. And ... you will be boarding at the point of origination, so there WILL be empty, unreserved seats.
GAC is offline  
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