Want to travel from Paris to Munich by train?
Then here’s all you need to know about how to make this journey…
2 classic cities on the European circuit, there’s no question that if you haven’t visit either Paris in France or Munich in Germany before, that you definitely should!
The sort of the destinations you return to time and time again – or at least I find myself returning to them again and again! – there’s always something new to discover in these historic, yet totally different spots.
From the magical capital of France, where walking along the Seine is like stepping into a movie set, to the beautiful Bavarian centre of Munich, with its famous Oktoberfest, markets and biergartens, these 2 cities make for a great pairing.
And the great news is that it’s easy to travel from Paris to Munich by train – there’s even direct high-speed options that will allow you to enjoy breakfast in Paris and be in Munich in time for a beer before dinner!
I’ve also included some info on catching a coach or flying between Paris and Munich here too – just in case you’d like some more info on these travel options as well.
So let’s get stuck into catching the train from Paris to Munich…
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Trains from Paris to Munich: The Basics
It’s just under 800km from Paris to Munich on a journey which will have you travelling east from Paris in the north of France, to Munich in the south of Germany.
As neighbouring countries, you’ll only have to cross one border here and given that both countries are within the EU and Schengen Zone, this generally means no border or passport checks.
When it comes to whether you should visit Paris or Munich first, it really doesn’t make any difference.
The main things to consider are that Paris’ airports boast marginally more international flights than Munich’s, and that Paris is also home to a Eurostar station if you’re coming from London, which may make it a better place to begin.
However, if you’re already in Europe (and training or flying elsewhere afterwards), then checking prices of onward journeys from each city may help sway your decision as to which city you finish in.
In Paris, trains to Munich all leave from Gare de l’Est station, which is very close to Gare du Nord (the Eurostar arrival / departure station).
There’s also a large metro station at Gare de l’Est, so if you’re coming from across the city or a Paris airport, this station is easy to reach by public transport.
Trains from Paris arrive into the main station in Munich, München Hbf, which is located close to the city centre.
Just a word of warning, Munich is spelt München in German, so don’t get confused if you see this name used in stations!
#1 Direct High Speed Trains from Paris to Munich
So the first thing to know is that there’s usually 1 direct day train between Paris and Munich… and I highly recommend getting this option if you can!
Operated by TGV-InOui – the premier high-speed part of the French rail company SNCF – this comfortable train usually leaves Paris around 4pm and gets you into Munich just after 9:30pm
With a journey time of 4 hours 51 minutes, this is certainly the fastest way to travel between these cities by train.
Choose from flexible, semi-flexible or fixed (non-refundable) tickets, the latter of which are the cheapest and a good option if you’re sure of your travel plans.
Tickets start from around 40€ when booked well in advance and then scale according to the number of seats left, so I recommend using Trainline for booking tickets early (you can book up to 180 days ahead of your journey with this company).
Seat reservations are automatically issued when you purchase a ticket, and all seats have fold-down tables (even in 2nd class).
The TGV-InOui direct services from Paris to Munich are on double-decker, modern trains, which have a cafe-bar carriage, free wifi and power sockets at all seats.
Luggage racks are available both upstairs and downstairs, and there’s toilets onboard too.
The upper deck (which means any seat number greater than 60) offers the best views, and are available in 2nd class, which is the best option for your budget.
#2 Trains from Paris to Munich With Changes
If the later afternoon high-speed direct train from Paris to Munich doesn’t suit your travel plans, there are a lot of other daytime services you can take instead.
Most of these will require you to change (usually in Stuttgart, Germany), but are still fairly speedy at around 8 hours 45 minutes.
There’s around 15 trains per day running from Paris to Munich, with the first service leaving around 6:30am and the last at around 9:30pm.
This means you should be able to find a good option that suits your plans.
Most of these services use both the French SNCF network, until Stuttgart station, where you’ll then disembark and get on to a German Deutsche Bahn (DB) train.
Both the SNCF and DB trains are usually ICE services (Intercity Express), which are some of the fastest and most comfortable trains operated.
Onboard you’ll find toilets, a restaurant car, free wifi and power sockets at all seats.
Luggage racks are at the end of each carriage and boarding is easy via a few shallow steps.
Seat reservations are given at the time of booking on the French SNCF trains, but are optional on the German DB trains; although flexible, semi-flexible and non-refundable (cheapest option) tickets are available across the journey.
As a budget traveller, I’d always opt for a standard ticket when travelling from Paris to Munich, as 2nd class trains in this part of Europe are more than comfortable enough.
Prices start from just 30€ when booked well in advance, but can go up to 100€+, so it pays to be organised!
If you’re booking late and prices are high, then you may need to opt for a train journey with 2 changes.
If this is the case, always check the full journey time, as well as the price, and opt for the route with the lowest combination of these 2 factors.
Booking Train Tickets
As is commonly the case when booking trains that cross European borders, there’s essentially 2 options for this journey – booking through the railway company websites direct, or booking through an international comparison site.
Very often, I find the national sites of European train operators, like DB or SNCF, clunky to use, hard to decipher and difficult to pay in foreign currencies or with international cards.
Which is why I always book European trains using Trainline.
Comparing services is made super easy by Trainline, who handily translate everything into English.
Ticket prices on Trainline include a 1-2€ booking fee, but their easy reservation system makes it well worthwhile in my opinion!
Trainline also allows you to pay using international cards (GBP, USD or EUR) and you can even change the currency to view converted prices.
Trainline also have a great app, which not only allows you to book tickets on the move, but also stores your e-tickets, which does away with the need to print them out or waste time at the station.
In addition, their journey planner is great for letting you know if your train is on time or delayed, and you can book tickets 180 days ahead of your journey.
Book your Paris to Munich trains at Trainline here.
You’ll be pleased to know that there’s no restrictions on luggage on services between Paris and Munich.
As long as you can carry your luggage onto the train, there’s usually ample rack space at either of carriages, as well as above and below seats for smaller bags.
These trains do have room for bikes to be taken onboard too, but cycle spaces are limited and need to be booked in advance – again Trainline can help with this.
If you need to arrange luggage storage in either Paris or Munich, then I highly recommend LuggageHero – a great left luggage app I’ve used myself many times.
Boarding the Train
As with the vast majority of trains in Europe, there’s no need to check-in for your Paris to Munich journey.
Simply enter the station, check the boards for the platform of your departing train, then just head there to board the train and sit in your reserved seat (or a free seat if unreserved) in the correct carriage class of your ticket.
Ensure you then have your tickets (or e-tickets) to hand for when a conductor or inspector passes by.
Use the Trainline app to track your journey and see when your station for disembarkation is coming up.
The great news is that the trains Paris to Munich are electric, which means they have a low carbon footprint.
If you are trying to travel in a more sustainable, the train is a great way to go.
Given the fact that it’s also fast, pleasant, stress-free and relatively good value, means catching the train is a great all-round option for making the journey from Paris to Munich.
#3 Paris to Munich by Coach
If you’re on a real budget however, then it also pays to know you can also get a bus the whole way from Paris to Munich.
With prices as low as 30€ when booked in advance, there’s 6 daily departures with Flixbus, who are my go-to company for well-priced coaches across Europe.
These buses leave from Paris Bercy Seine station and arrive into Muncih Central Bus Station, which is handily located near to the Munich Hbf.
Direct bus services with Flixbus from Paris to Munich take between 11 and 13 hours and include free onboard wifi and charging points at each seat.
There are also Flixbus services from Paris to Munich with 1 change (usually in Karlsruhe or Strasbourg), but as these journeys take longer and aren’t usually cheaper, I’d avoid them.
To check prices, journey times and book your Flixbus, you can again use Trainline, who offer you the ability to compare both rail and coach journeys.
Alternatively, you can book direct through Flixbus.
#4 Paris to Munich by Plane
Direct flights from Paris to Munich can be picked up for around 90€ when booked in advance without checked luggage.
The flight time is around 1.5 hours, but don’t forget to factor in the time you’ll need ahead of departure to check-in, plus the time it will take you to travel to the airport from the city centre.
Most Paris to Munich flights leave from the French capital’s main airport Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and arrive into Munich’s international airport (MUC).
The main operators are Lufthansa and Air France.
Flying is not as good for your carbon footprint as the train, and by the time you factor in the journey time to and from the airport, plus check-in time, you may find it’s no quicker than the direct high-speed TGV-InOui train service.
Nevertheless, I know some people still prefer to fly and if you’re looking for the best prices, I highly recommend checking out Skyscannner.
Top Travel Tips for Paris & Munich
When to Visit?
I recommend visiting both Paris and Munich during the spring or autumn months of the year when sightseeing and day tripping is a lot more pleasant.
May, June and September are great choices when it comes to balancing crowds and prices with sunshine hours.
Where to Stay in Munich & Venice?
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And there it is, my guide to catching the train from Paris to Munich.
Have you made this journey?
Or did you opt for the coach or a flight?
Have any tips to share to help fellow travellers out?
Please leave any info about your journey in the comments box below…