Here’s a rail tale you won’t want to miss: Oktoberfest, a Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket and the Bayern Länderticket
It’s not too late to organise your train tickets to Munich for Oktoberfest. If you’re planning to travel this year, here’s what you need to know.
Getting there from London
If you thought you’d have to fly, think again. Thanks to excellent connections both on Eurostar and Germany’s high-speed ICE trains, London to Munich can be done in nine hours. That’s city centre to city centre, with no queues at airport security to factor in or the expense of a taxi or airport parking. Nine hours. Unlike flying, train travel is relaxing. You can wander along to the buffet car for lunch and watch the world go by from your window seat. Get your timings right and you can complete the journey with just two changes of trains. We’d recommend travelling via Brussels and Frankfurt which is the quickest and simplest route
If you’re wondering how much this will cost, the train compares favourably to the price of a last-minute flight. We checked single fares for travel on September 16th and by train, that two-connection route cost just €129.00 (one-way). Now you check the price of an air ticket, add on the cost of taking luggage with you and getting to the airport, and you’ll see what we mean about competitive.
Getting there from Paris and Frankfurt
Whether you’re looking to combine cities for a two-centre holiday or fly into a major hub and transfer to Munich overland, there’s much to be said for considering rail options from Paris or Frankfurt. One-way fares from Paris begin at a very reasonable €75. Frankfurt is even better value, with one-way fares from just €40.
When travelling from Frankfurt, our recommendation would be to purchase the Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket. As the name implies, it’s a weekend ticket, valid on Saturdays and Sundays. During its period of validity – up until 3 am the following day – you can make as many journeys as you wish on regional transport. In practice, this means that although you wouldn’t be able to catch an ICE, you could make excellent use of the Regional-Bahn (RB), the InterRegio-Express (IRE) and the Regional-Express (RE), plus the S-Bahn (a hybrid urban-suburban rail serving a metropolitan region) and more.
Better still, if one person pays the €40 Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket fare, four fellow passengers pay only €4 for their own ticket, so long as the party travels together. If you’re heading to Oktoberfest with a large group of friends, this represents excellent value for money. Not only can you get all the way from Frankfurt to Munich for a little over a tenner each, you then have a valid ticket to use the Munich S-Bahn to reach your hotel. What a bargain!
See more of Bavaria while you’re there
No matter how good Oktoberfest is – and it is amazingly good! – it seems a shame to travel all the way to Bavaria and only see Munich. So when you’re done with the beer halls and have suffered a humiliating dunking trying to surf the icy River Isar, broaden your horizons. And for that, my friend, you and your mates need the Länderticket. You’ll only pay €25 for the ticket and once again four of you will only pay €6. So that gives you plenty more spending money for beer, bratwurst and pretzels! Yet we advise you to consume all three with caution: you don’t want to put your health at risk just for a good deal on a train ticket. .
This ticket, like the Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket we’ve already mentioned, permits travel on suburban S-Bahn services. If you’ve had to settle for a hotel away from the city centre because everything’s been booked up for months by travellers more efficient than you, no big deal. Hop on the S-Bahn at no extra cost. Bavaria’s huge, so we can guarantee you won’t run out of places to go. Try some of the seven types of beer brewed by the Benedictine monks at the Andechs Monastery, see who’s got the best head for heights at the vertigo inducing AlpspiX viewing platform at Garmisch-Partenkirchen or channel your inner fairytale at King Ludwig II’s Neuschwanstein Castle.
You could even cross the border into Austria and visit Kufstein or Salzburg; they’re covered by the ticket too and only a stone’s throw from Munich. You know what they say: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Except this time. This really is a deal you don’t want to miss. ;