Berlin to Munich: Traveling by Train to See Top Sights & Attractions

ICE Train
Germany’s high-speed train, the Inter-City Express (ICE Train)

Traveling by Train From Berlin to Munich

Chances are, if you are in the midst of planning a trip to Germany, you have Berlin or Munich on your itinerary. And why wouldn’t you? These are two of the most iconic German cities that receive millions of travelers each year. Were you aware that when you travel by high-speed ICE train, you don’t have to choose to see one of these cities over the other, a train ride will allow you to visit both! You can take the train from Berlin to Munich, traveling in comfort and style on Germany’s high-speed trains and arrive in just over 6 hours.

After you’ve had a quick bite to eat, you can check-out of your hotel or hostel and head to the Berlin Central Train Station. Board the ICE (Inter City Express) train and travel directly to Munich Main (or Hauptbahnhof) Station. The train takes approximately 6 hours, and fares begin at $141 per person. You can purchase individual train tickets that include a seat reservation, or if you are traveling extensively throughout Germany, you can get a German Rail Pass and simply purchase a seat reservation at an additional fee.

Things to See & Do in Berlin and Munich

Here’s a great list of must-see & do activities when you travel from Berlin to Munich, do one or all, the choice is up to you!

10. Checkpoint Charlie Museum – As you set out to explore the city of Berlin, you may want to include the Checkpoint Charlie Museum on your list of things to see. In this museum, discover objects that were used to escape over, under, and through the Berlin Wall. You can read the stories of those who risked their lives for freedom, and remember those who perished in the attempt to escape. This is a very moving museum – worth a few hours of your time to visit. Entry is included with a Berlin Pass.

9. Have a Liter at The Hofbrauhaus – There is debate about visiting this beer house, is it a tourist trap, or is it worth your time. In our experience, if you’re looking for a place to enjoy lively, upbeat atmosphere, good food and authentic German beer, than the Hofbrauhaus is just the place for you. There are several seating options, from the front hall (where you can enjoy music performed by live bands) to upstairs, or outside in the beer garden. Menus are delivered to you in English – should you not be up on your German, and the servers are polite and accommodating to patrons, including those with special dietary needs. The thing that will really stand out on your visit is the vaulted ceilings and architecture of the Hofbrauhaus. Truly unique and just awe-inspiring to look at! Definitely take some time to either tour the building, enjoy a meal, or both!

8. The Brandenburg Gate – This is probably the most iconic symbol of Berlin, and Germany alike. The Brandenburg Gate has served as the place history was made, on more than one occasion. Becoming infamous during the Cold War, the Brandenburg Gate was the dismal symbol for the division of Berlin and Germany – standing between East and West Germany, it became part Berlin Wall. With the Berlin City Sightseeing Tour from Rail Europe, you can hop-off the bus at the Brandenburg Gate to get a closer look and embrace this iconic structure.

Brandenburg Gate
Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate at night. Photo by Scherf, Dietmar, courtesy of German National Tourist Board

7. The Church of Our Lady – The Church of Our Lady, unarguably, is the most famous landmark in Munich. The domed towers rise above the city nearly 330 feet into the city’s skyline – making it visible for several miles. The cathedral is the church of the Archbishop of Munich and Freising. Built in Munich’s old quarter in Gothic style. Today you will find art in the cathedral that spans over five centuries. Even if you don’t stop into this iconic structure to look around, you’ll definitely want to take a stroll by it to see the impressive design and architecture.

6. Berliner Dom – Dominating the Berlin skyline is the Berliner Dom, also known as the Cathedral of Berlin, this is the largest church in the city. This cathedral attracts thousands of visitors each year from all around the world. The Dom is a neo-Baroque builidng that was built in 1905. It underwent restoration after large parts were destroyed during World War II. The iconic dome is a key feature of the Cathedral and offers great views of Berlin. Using your Berlin Pass, you can get free entry into the Berliner Dom – something you’ll definitely want to take advantage of!

5. Rathaus-Glockenspiel in Munich’s Marienplatz – This is a sight like no other, exciting to see and watch by yourself or with your family. This attraction comes to life at 11am each day (during the summer, you can also catch a glimpse at 12pm and 5pm as well). There are 43 bells and 32 life-size characters that tell stories from the 16th century. The top half of the monument displays the story of the wedding of a local duke, while the bottom half displays the dance of the Coppers. A gold bird ends the show each time with three chirps. Aside from the magical entertainment of this attraction, the best part about it is that it’s absolutely free to watch and enjoy!

Rathaus-Glockenspiel of Munich
Munich’s Marienplatz – home to the infamous Rathaus-Glockenspiel of Munich

4. Tränenpalast (Palace of Tears) – Get ready for a roller-coaster of emotions. Located in the Friedrichstrasse station is the pavilion used for border clearance for those traveling between East and West Berlin. It was commonly known as “Tränenpalast” (Palace of Tears) on account of the countless farewells it witnessed until 1989. The pavilion still stands today and the foundation Haus der Geschichte (House of History) created a permanent exhibition in the Tränenpalast lobby that incorporates historical documents and media stations to illustrate the story of the former checkpoint.

3. From Fast Trains to Fast Cars – Whether you enjoy cars, or just really good museums, the BMW Museum in Munich is a must! This is the world headquarters of BMW. Inside, you’ll find the journey of BMW showcased from 1916 to the present. There, of course, are many vehicles displayed, along with accomplishments and notable moments in BMW history. And while you may not have the funds to purchase a BMW automobile, stop by the gift shop for a nice model of one, or even a cute keychain or baseball cap!

2. The Berlin Wall Memorial – With this being the 25th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, there’s no better time to visit the memorial to pay tribute to the historical significance of the Wall. Located on the strip that used to be located in East Berlin you’ll find the open-air exhibition which illustrates the history of division. The Berlin Wall Memorial includes the Monument in Memory of the Divided City and the Victims of Communist Tyranny. In addition, you will find the Window of Remembrance. On the grounds you can stop and visit the Chapel of Reconciliation. This memorial will naturally spark much emotion and may not be on everyone’s must-see list. However, for history enthusiasts, you definitely want to stop by. Using your Berlin City Sightseeing Tour you can hop off right at the Berlin Wall Memorial – it is a stop on the Green (Wall) Tour.

Berlin Wall Memorial
Window of Remembrance at the Berlin Wall Memorial. Photo © Janet Swisher https://flic.kr/p/dVgBLT

1. Travel by Train From Berlin to Munich – Once you’ve seen and experienced all that the wonderfully historic city of Berlin has to offer, hop on a high-speed ICE train to Munich. You’ll arrive right in the heart of the city (one of the many great benefits of traveling by train) ready to begin your explorations. The travel time is just over 6 hours – just imagine all of the amazing scenery you’ll see en-route!

If you do travel to Germany, we hope that you’ll consider adding both Berlin and Munich to your list of must-sees. They truly are worth some of your valuable vacation time. You’ll come home with such wonderful memories of your time in Germany after exploring these two German gems. Of course, there are certain times of the year where these cities are even more alive and booming – end of September to mid October for Munich is when there are literally millions of people that flock to the city for Oktoberfest.

In addition, for the majority of major cities in Germany, including Berlin and Munich, from the end of November through Christmas, you’ll find the well-known Christmas Markets in the main squares. If you’ve never been to an authentic German Christmas Market, you’ll definitely want to add this to your list! Mulled wine, living Nativity scenes, and just an overall festive feeling that fills the air. Plus, the most unique gifts to bring home to loved ones for the holidays!

For a family-fun trip, consider taking the train from Berlin to Munich, you won’t be disappointed! Don’t forget to share your Berlin and Munich travel stories with us – and any additional items you think should be on a list of must sees!

2 Comments

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  2. iTraveler48

    Thanks for the info and I would like to add two more places. During your trip to Germany don’t forget to visit also Old and New Pinakothek museums in Munich ( http://www.itouristmaps.com/germany/munich/new-pinakothek/ ) and Museum Island in Berlin ( http://www.itouristmaps.com/germany/berlin/museum-island/ ). Both places are recommended for those who interested in art.

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