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Old Oct 27, 11, 7:30 am   #1
 
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Munich to Vienna

We are flying in to Munich on December 21. Trying to decide if we should book a flight on a low cost airline or take a train. There are 5 of us. 3 adults, a 13 year old and 11 year old. The trains I have looked at have a connection..some only 6 minutes. Is this enough time? Also, how difficult is it to get to the train station from the Munich airport?
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Old Oct 27, 11, 8:15 am   #2
 
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Originally Posted by alhw03 View Post
We are flying in to Munich on December 21. Trying to decide if we should book a flight on a low cost airline or take a train. There are 5 of us. 3 adults, a 13 year old and 11 year old. The trains I have looked at have a connection..some only 6 minutes. Is this enough time? Also, how difficult is it to get to the train station from the Munich airport?
The total train journey from MUC airport to Vienna takes between 5 and 6 hours; of course flying will be quicker if you arrive at MUC anyway. However, getting from MUC to Munich central station shouldn't be a problem - there's a suburban train ("S-Bahn", line S 1) every 20 minutes. Thus, connecting times in Munich central are not a problem either; just take an earlier S-Bahn.

Train tickets (regular and discounted) are available at www.bahn.de, click on the flag at the top of the page to choose your location/language. The discounted tickets are generally tied to a specific train, however, that applies only to the long-distance trains involved. Thus, you can still take an earlier S-Bahn on such a ticket.
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Old Oct 27, 11, 8:24 am   #3
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Welcome to Flyertalk, alhw03.

Well, the price for all of you by train would start at €87 for a pre-booked, inflexible ticket (€29/adult). Like airlines, availability at the cheapest tariffs is restricted. You can book online at http://www.bahn.co.uk/ but occasionally see better fares at https://ticket.oebb.at/bin/frame_tic...ket=jticket.pl - those are the sites for German and Austrian railways respectively. Both have e-tickets available.

You should be able to buy through fares, that include the S-Bahn (commuter train) connection from the airport to Munich Hbf - this is a simple journey, covered by a couple of S-Bahn lines, but you do need some time to change from the underground (commuter) section of the station to the main lines on the surface.

If you can, it's worth getting one of the many, direct Railjet services from Munich to Vienna. These are excellent quality trains, and save you changing (you can tell they're Railjet as the train number will start 'RJ'). If the timing doesn't work, however, a 6-minute connection may be alright, it depends on the station you're changing in. It's certainly doable at smaller stations (where it may be the same or an adjacent platform). However, if you've booked an inflexible ticket (on one itinerary) with a connection that you miss due to delayes, you will be allowed to travel on the next available service.

It takes about 5h15 from Munich Airport to Vienna this way.

The Railjet services arrive at Wien Westbahnhof, on the western edges of the city centre, and so a good point from which to take an onwards U-Bahn (metro). If you connect to a different service, you may arrive at Wien Meidling, a temporary terminus while the Sudbahnhof is rebuilt. In that case, you can generally book a free S-Bahn connection onwards to Wien Mitte (or wherever is most suitable) or use the U-Bahn.

By plane, you have the advantage of already being at MUC (although that means you need to get from VIE to Vienna - easy enough via S-Bahn or CAT train). FlyNiki operate MUC-VIE, generally around the €50-80 mark per person (child discounts only up to 11) with a few weeks' pre-booking, although you can get down further if you're lucky. The flight is an hour, so it's going to be quicker than flying, door-to-door.

In both cases, of course, you'll need some contingency time to allow for flight delays, as you won't be covered for the onward journey to Vienna if you're late. It's possibly worth planning something to do in Munich in case you're left hanging around for a couple of hours!
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Old Oct 27, 11, 9:21 am   #4
 
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Six minute connections should not be a problem with the rail since you just need to switch platforms (but you do need to be ready to disembark as quick as possible). Check the Deutsche Bahn site for timetables and any advisories regarding traffic. http://www.bahn.de/i/view/DEU/en/index.shtml

If you're considering rail travel, it might be cheaper to just rent a car.
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Old Oct 27, 11, 10:01 am   #5
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It may be easier to rent a car, but I can't imagine it being cheaper than an advance purchase rail fare.

It is worth checking http://www.hertz-transfer.de/ to see if there are any available for your journey, but if not, you're looking at around approaching €300 for a one-way hire in a 5-seater (more if you want automatic transmission). Then let's say 10l/100km, 500km, €1.35/l and that's another €65 on fuel. And maybe €8 for the vignette.

If, however, all the advance purchase rail fares are gone and there is a transfer car available, you could get that down to €170 (vs €266 for a walk-up rail fare).
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Old Oct 27, 11, 10:48 am   #6
 
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Although short connections (eg: 6 mins) on DB generally work (I guess otherwise DB wouldn't sell them?), they can easily be missed - especially if: there are lots of you, with luggage / you're not familiar with the system / it's winter (and so trains are more likely to be delayed).

Note that you can set the journey planner on bahn.de to allow more time for connections (under 'Further search options').

I assume the 6 minute connection you're looking at is the one via Plattling. If you set a minimum connection time of 10 minutes, bahn.de gives you a similar, but slightly longer, journey with a 13 minute change in Regensburg (instead of Plattling). This is a bit more reasonable - but could still be tight (as in Regensburg you'll probably have to go up and over a bridge, and it often seems to be quite crowded - I don't know what Plattling is like in comparison).

As stut has said, even if you're on an inflexible ticket (as long as it's the same ticket for both trains) then if the first train is delayed and you miss the second train, you'll be allowed to take the next available service.

However, I would still advise against the connections via Plattling or Regensburg. These take you on the ICE line that runs from Nuremburg to Vienna. However, there is only one ICE service every 2 hours on this route - so if you miss the connection, you'll be left waiting 2 hours for the next train.

Much better to take the direct Railjet from Munich to Vienna (which I think is also every 2 hours).

For example: the ICE connection via Plattling leaves Munich Hbf at 08:24 and arrives in Vienna at 13:22. Meanwhile, the direct Railjet leaves Munich 1 hour later, at 09:27, but arrives in Vienna only 20 minutes later than the ICE, at 13:44. (Or the same minutes past the hour, every 2 hours later).
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Old Oct 27, 11, 11:44 am   #7
 
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I would agree with other posters - travel via Munich and take the Railjet. They all stop at Wien West - and, if they continue on to Budapest (departures from Munich up to 13:27)- Wien Meidling. Check where your hotel is to see where is more convenient to get off.
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Old Oct 27, 11, 12:13 pm   #8
 
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Originally Posted by Zaphod View Post
However, getting from MUC to Munich central station shouldn't be a problem - there's a suburban train ("S-Bahn", line S 1) every 20 minutes. Thus, connecting times in Munich central are not a problem either; just take an earlier S-Bahn.
If he wants to go to Munich central station he can take whichever train leaves first. Either S1 or S8. Travel time is about the same on either line.

He can also catch the Vienna trains at Ostbahnhof. In that case taking the S8 is quicker.
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Old Oct 27, 11, 8:17 pm   #9
 
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He can also catch the Vienna trains at Ostbahnhof. In that case taking the S8 is quicker.
The Munich - Vienna trains do not stop at Ostbahnhof.
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Old Oct 27, 11, 11:16 pm   #10
 
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Oops, sorry. Guess I was thinking of the Salzburg trains.
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Old Nov 18, 11, 5:07 am   #11
 
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If you haven't purchased your ticket yet there's an easy solution. If you break your trip into two tickets, you'll enjoy full flexibilty and very cheap fares. The trip will take an hour longer or more, but you will not have to worry about making specific trains. If you miss your connection you can just go to lunch or so while you wait for the next train:
1. Purchase the BayernTicket (valid all day for all "S", "R", "RE" services in Bavaria) at a ticketing machine at the S-Bahn Station at Munich Airport. This ticket costs 29 total for 5 people. Get on the S8. Get off at Ostbahnhof.
2. Here get on the any train marked "RE" to Salzburg. (Previous ticket is valid to Salzburg Station.)
3. In Salzburg get on any WESTBahn (www.westbahn.at) train (painted white with blue and green stripes.) On board you'll need to fork over 73.40 for the whole group to be taken to Vienna. The trains leave every hour or two, last departure is at 7:26pm.

Hope this provides a good flexible alternative.
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Old Nov 18, 11, 12:22 pm   #12
 
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Sounds good. Can you still purchase tickets on the train in Austria without a penalty fee?
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Old Nov 18, 11, 1:15 pm   #13
 
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I would certainly recommend taking the Rail Jet between Munich and Vienna. All classes are very comfortable and it's city centre to city centre. If you fancy being extravagant consider either first class, or premium class. In premium you get a luxurious seat, personal space, and excellent (unlimited) drinks as well as tasty snacks! And a very scenic journey as well!
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Old Nov 22, 11, 10:24 pm   #14
 
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Fly on Air Berlin or Miki (sp?). Dirt cheap.
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Old Nov 23, 11, 12:52 am   #15
 
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Fly on Air Berlin or Miki (sp?). Dirt cheap.
Niki

http://www.flyniki.com/start.php?LANG=eng&MARKT=GB
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