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Train from Berlin to Munich

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Jun 17th, 2014, 08:04 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Jun 2014
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Train from Berlin to Munich

Hello,

I will be traveling from Berlin to Munich (one way) on June 30th and would like to take an early train around 6am. Is it a bad idea to purchase my train ticket the same morning I plan on leaving? Or will the seats likely be filled the "day of"? I am hesitant to purchase my ticket beforehand because I like to leave room for error. After checking various websites, it seems reservations aren't required for early morning train rides.

Any advice would be much appreciated!
hml2020 is offline  
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Jun 17th, 2014, 10:08 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: May 2007
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Except for a handful of trains, reservations are never required.
When you check connections on bahn.com you sometimes see the note "Reservations recommended" which means that those trains can get crowded.
If your connection does not say so, the only downside of not booking in advance will be that you won't get any discounted fares. And the walk-up, non-restricted fares are pretty steep between Berlin and Munich.
In any case, you can get seat reservations up to 10 minutes before departure.
I assume that you will know on the 29th if you will go or not. And then you can get your ticket and reservations if wanted from any S-Bahn station vending machine in Berlin. So you will not have to get extra early to the train station on the morning of the 30th.
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Jun 17th, 2014, 10:55 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Right, you don't necessarily need reservations for the IC/ICE trains, but if you don't get one, you will have to hunt for a seat that isn't reserved, at least no for your portion of the journey. The seats have indicators above them showing which portion of the journey that seat is reserved for. For example, if it says "Leipzig - Munich" then the seat is open between Berlin and Leipzig but reserved from Leipzig to Munich.

I took several IC/ICE trains in Germany in April and never paid for a reservation - but none of my trains was completely full, and I had no trouble finding a seat for my entire journey each time. But if the train is very full, you may wind up standing or sitting in the dining car - and that's a fairly long train ride.
Andrew is online now  
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Jun 17th, 2014, 11:02 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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By the way: I just checked trains for the morning of June 30. That's a busy Monday morning, and already the cheapest saver fare left is 115 euro for a direct train. That's only 15 euros cheaper than an unrestricted fare - so you might as well just buy the unrestricted fare, which you can buy at the last minute, and take any direct train you want.

On the other hand, I might choose to sleep a little later and fly direct on Air Berlin (currently $164 USD to fly 12:40p-13:50p) - a 1:15 minute flight - instead of a 6 hour train ride that costs about the same and would get me in at 13:11 even if I take the 6:39 train out. It is a short bus ride to Berlin Tegel airport and then just an S-bahn train into Munich from their airport...
Andrew is online now  
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Jun 18th, 2014, 03:50 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
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Andrew, you forgot about Security and if this traveler checks any bags then the wait for that. The S-1 or S-8 ride from the airport is going to take at least 30 minutes and that's to downtown. You are usually very very accurate and reasonable when you post so I think we need to be realistic about this.
Dukey1 is online now  
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Jun 18th, 2014, 08:59 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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OP would still likely save 3 hours flying vs. taking the train even with airport security, taking the S-Bahn from Munich airport, etc. That means perhaps getting up at 8AM vs. 5AM to arrive in Munich at about the same time.
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