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Venice to Munich by train in late December? (as part of larger trip)

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Nov 26th, 2011, 02:27 PM
  #1
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Venice to Munich by train in late December? (as part of larger trip)

I am thinking about taking the train from Venice to Munich towards the end of December but I have a few questions. I had originally considered flying but came across some posts about the train.

Is this line subject to delays during the winter and do I need to allow extra time to make this journey?

Is it worth making a stop over in Innsbuck for a day or two at the expense of spending that time in Munich? I will have a few days at the beginning of the trip in Munich (see below for the schedule). This will be my first time visiting Italy and Munich. I have visited
other parts of Bavaria so I plan to focus on Munich (and maybe a side trip to Nurnberg).

While the train trip takes longer, part of the fun might be the scenery and making 1 or 2 stops along the way in places that I might not ordinarily visit. I am in my mid 30's and plan to have a minimal amount of luggage to make train travel convenient. I am not opposed to flying but generally favor train travel for sight seeing and do not mind spending hours on a train. I enjoy walking around old towns, visiting museums, and enjoying the outdoors.

Here is a rough itinerary of the entire trip

12/13 leave US for Munich, stay in Munich
12/16 fly from Munich to Rome (ticket not purchased yet)
12/21 Take train from Rome to Florence
12/25 Take train from Florence to Venice in early AM
12/25 Stay in Venice until 27th or 28th ?

12/31 Depart Munich for return to US

Any comments are welcome. If anything looks unreasonable I am open to changes. The only part that I can not change is the Italy portion between Rome and Venice. I will travel with a friend during that time but outside of that, I will be on my own.

Thanks in advance.
paul_w_c is offline  
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Nov 26th, 2011, 05:32 PM
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Can you do an open jaw so you fly into Munich and out of Rome or vice-versa? That would save you time and may not cost more money (sometimes less money).
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Nov 26th, 2011, 07:00 PM
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If you've already bought your flights to/from Europe and can't do as suggested above, then so be it. Otherwise, you could do the open-jaw and have more time to explore Italy.

The train trip from Venice to Munich is around 6hrs30mins (on the direct EC train)and the scenery changes as you travel north, through the fruit bowl of the Veneto, skim the Dolomites and across fields and mountains in Austria and Bavaria. You could also take a train to Verona and overnight there, then on to Innsbruck (or Salzburg depending on your interests) for another night and arrive in Munich on 30th Dec to spend the night before your flight if you wanted to split the journey. Will make for more travel time, so even one of those cities will be enough. However, more time in Munich is always a bonus and you may find that you wish to spend the additional time there. The Christkindlmarkt (Christmas Market)
in Munich is spectacular and finishes around 2pm on 24th Dec, so you'll certainly encounter it when you arrive. There is also a Christmas Market/Befana market in Piazza Navona in Rome which is huge and a little different to the Germanic ones, but still fun. The German Christmas Market in Pz Santa Croce in Florence is small, perfectly formed and seems a little out of place in Italy, but is worth a circuit as it ends around 21-23 Dec.Otherwise the Mercato Centrale (Central Market) is definitely worth a vist as it will be heaving and in full swing for the season.

If you do decide on the train, make sure you book as far in advance as you can, ie now, at this time of year gets busy on the trains (and planes for that matter) and you don't want to miss a seat on the train of your choice.

Be aware that 24th Dec is the start of celebrations of Christmas, so you may find eating out in Florence difficult on that day. Check ahead with your accommodation for recommendations as a handful of restaurants will be open, but really only a handful. Also check the opening times on 24th Dec for sights as many are closed on 24-26 Dec, churches of course will be open and busy.

The 25th Dec in Venice means many shops/restaurants are closed, as are some of the sights so check ahead for what you're planning to do. This also applies for 26th Dec, La Festa di San Stefano which is considered a holiday, but some shops and restaurants open, as do some sights. You may have to plan ahead for meals on 25th, but 26th is more a family day so more places will be open. The Presepio (Nativity Scenes) will still be on display until 6th Jan, but the Christmas Markets will have ended on 24th, with perhaps a few small Befana (Epiphany) markets still open.
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Nov 27th, 2011, 12:18 AM
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The only direct train per day and during the day between Venice and Munich leaves Venice at 1.30pm. By the time it reaches the Alps, it will be pitch dark outside so you can forget about watching the scenery during that part of the trip.
There are more daytime connections between Verona and Munich.
Oddly enough I don't see many trains from Venice to Verona in the morning hours. Maybe I used the wrong stations in either city so you may want to dig deeper into that option as you could spend all daylight hours in Verona before taking the last direct to Munich at 5pm.

Though, the budget fares which you still can get for the direct (€49 on Dec 27) do not apply when you break up that trip into several segments, so you have to check how much it will cost eventually.
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Nov 27th, 2011, 03:37 AM
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seat61.com/italy

Do train a lot it is fun generally more scenic than flying

have done your route several times go a lot

munich inssbruck(nice rococo "wedding cake" buildings worth a stop) verona venice.

no biggie trains leave hourly along that route

Generally find RT MUC cheaper then train around cheaply

from there best it will be cold rarely lots of snow in

a mountain pass might delay a train but usually in jan.

Flights are usually delayed also just stay flexible.

eurocheapo.com great budget tip lodging map site

Have fun!
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Nov 27th, 2011, 03:38 AM
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never book my trains abroad just hop on like a local

2 to 5 euro per hour of training works great for me.

I have a lot more flexibility that way...

insuremytrip.com always wise
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Nov 27th, 2011, 06:37 PM
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Thanks for all of the tips. I had heard that it gets dark early during the winter but that didn't register in my head when I was initially thinking about the train. I'll have to look more closely to see what trains run from Verona to decide whether the train would be worthwhile otherwise I might as well take the overnight train.

Normally, I would have done an open jaw for this kind of trip. If I had flown (out of my home in Philadelphia) into Rome and out of Venice it would have been close to $1100 for trips that required at most 1 change. Cheaper options would have had me making 2 stops and spending a better part of the day in airports. The other thing is at this time of year, Venice requires at least 1 connection for me at this time of year and the flights are all pretty early in the morning. I discovered that I could fly in and out of Munich and book a separate ticket to Italy (with decent flight times) for the same price. Then I looked into the Christkindlmarkt schedules and discovered as was pointed out that these end before Christmas and I would miss out on these if I waited until the end of my trip to visit Munich. I was also initially planning to spend more time in Munich at the end. If I run out of time, I guess I will have to make another trip in the future Given that my trip will take place during the holidays and the days are shorter, I have accepted the fact that I probably won't cover as much as I usually plan on my trips.
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Nov 28th, 2011, 05:53 AM
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The 13:34 direct train from venice arrives Innsbruck 18:32 and Munich at 20:25.

You can book it online at www.bahn.de, with fares from 39 euros, and self-print tickets.

It travels via the scenci Brenner Pass, though in winter you'l see more on an earlier train which will require a change in Verona.

Start with www.bahn.de and ask for Verona to Munich, from 39 euros. Pick one that gets to Munich in daylight. Now go to www.trenitalia.com and book a train from Venice to Verona giving you at least 45 minutes, preferably an hour, in Verona.

Finally, there's also a time-effective City Night Line sleeper train leaving venice 22:51, arriving Munich 06:30, a far better option than flying in terms of both time-effectiveness, saving a hotel bill, the environment and low-stress.
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Dec 5th, 2011, 08:00 PM
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Thanks again everyone for the helpful info. I'm going to skip flying altogether once I land in Europe. I decided to book a bed on the sleeper train from Munich to Rome.

On the way back, I'll spend a night in Verona and then catch a morning train to view the scenery on the way to Innsbruck and stop over for a day.

I just discovered that I can take the slow train from Innsbruck through Mittenwald and continue to Garmisch or another nearby stop for access to one of the castles such as Linderhof or Neuschwanstein on the way back to Munich.
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