If you are unsure whether to take the plane, train, bus, or car between the two, here are all your transportation options including their pros and cons.
The fastest and possibly cheapest way to get from Munich to Berlin (and vice versa) is flying.
Many airlines, including Lufthansa, Germanwings, and Air Berlin offer direct flights between Munich and Berlin and it only takes about one hour. If you book early and don’t fly during high travel season (e.g. height of summer or Oktoberfest), tickets can be relatively inexpensive.
For Belin's airports, you can choose between Tegel Airport (TXL) and Schönefeld Airport (SXF). From Tegel Airport, take an express bus (around 30 minutes) or a taxi to the city center. The Schönefeld Airport is well connected by S-Bahn and regional train.
Munich Airport (MUC) is located 19 miles northeast of the city; take the metro S8 or S2 to reach Munich's city center in about 40 minutes.
The train ride from Munich to Berlin takes between four and five hours with Germany’s fastest InterCity Express (ICE) train, which reaches speeds up to 190 miles per hour. This may seem a bit slow as France's trains can travel from Paris to Marseille (a similar distance) in roughly three hours.
The truth is, Germany is densely populated and though the trains move fast, even the fastest train—the ICE—stops frequently to serve the populace. Settle in and enjoy the ride as seating is comfortable, the countryside is beautiful, and Wi-Fi is available on board.
Unfortunately, tickets may not come cheap.
There are also several night trains from Munich to Berlin (and vice versa). This can allow you to travel the distance while you are asleep and arrive in the city fresh and ready to explore. Reservations are a must, and you can choose between seats, sleepers, and suites with two to six beds. Note that the better the accommodation and privacy, the higher the price.
It takes about six hours by car to get from city to city—if you are able to avoid the dreaded Stau (traffic). You can either take the route E 45 and E51 with Nuremberg, Bayreuth, Leipzig, and Potsdam along your way, or follow the Autobahn A 13 (which takes around 30 minutes longer), leading you past Nuremberg, Bayreuth, Chemnitz, Dresden, and Cottbus.
Base rates vary wildly depending on the time of year, the duration of the rental, the age of the driver, destination, and location of rental. Shop around to find the best price. Note that charges usually do not include the 16 percent Value-Added Tax (VAT), registration fee, or any airport fees (but do include the required third-party liability insurance).
These additional fees may equal up to 25 percent of the daily rental.
Taking the bus from Munich to Berlin is one of the cheapest travel options—but also the slowest. It takes around nine hours to get from Bavaria to the German capital. But it is not all bad; coaches offer Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, toilets, electrical outlets, free newspaper, and sleeper seats. Buses are generally clean and arrive on time.
The German bus company Berlin Linien Bus offers daily buses between the two cities.