How to Travel From Frankfurt to Munich by Plane, Train, Bus, or Car

Germany, Bavaria, Munich, View of Oktoberfest fair at dusk
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Two of Germany's biggest hubs for tourists, businesslike Frankfurt and traditional Munich are 245 miles (394 kilometers) apart and easy to travel between. The route between these two cities is ideal for a scenic and exciting road trip through southern Germany, but it's cheaper and faster to make the trip by plane, train, or bus. While the plane is best if you have to get to Munich quickly, the low cost of bus and train travel is hard to pass up.

  Time Cost Best For
Train 3 hours, 15 minutes from $20 Convenience
Bus 5 hours, 25 minutes from $18 Budget travel 
Flight 55 minutes from $152 Speed
Car 4 hours 245 miles (394 kilometers) Flexibility

What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From Frankfurt to Munich?

The cheapest way to travel is via the bus company FlixBus, which sells tickets between the range of $18 and $30. While cheap, the bus ride is quite lengthy. At its shortest, it takes five hours, 25 minutes. However, if the bus stops in Nuremburg along the way it could take as long as eight hours. Thankfully, the buses are quite comfortable and you can expect complimentary Wi-Fi, air conditioning, an on-board toilet, and electrical outlets for charging your devices. Buses leave from Frankfurt Central Station and can be taken to either Munich Central Bus Station or Munich Frötmanning Bus Station.

What Is the Fastest Way to Get From Frankfurt to Munich?

It takes just 55 minutes to fly between Frankfurt, which is home to one of Europe's busiest airports, and Munich. Including the time it takes to travel between each city and its airport, this is the quickest way to get to Munich if you are short on time. However, it is more expensive, with one way tickets typically starting at $152, and Lufthansa is the only airline that offers nonstop flights on this route.

How Long Does It Take to Drive?

If you have the time, driving is an excellent way to see the beautiful countryside of Bavaria and you can even stop along the way to visit other German cities like Stuttgart, Nuremberg, or Regensburg. If you choose to drive straight through, however, it's possible to get to Munich in as little as four hours; keep in mind while reading road signs that the German name for Munich is München. From Frankfurt, it's easy to get there via the major highways. You'll simply drive southeast along the A3 until you pass Nuremberg. After that, you'll switch to the A9 and can travel south all the way to Munich.

How Long Is the Train Ride?

A sometimes cheaper and smarter option is to take the train from Frankfurt to Munich. Germany’s super fast Intercity Express train (ICE) reaches speeds up to 186 miles (300 kilometers) per hour and will take you to the Bavarian capital in three hours, 15 minutes. You can book your ticket, find special sales, and reserve a seat on the Deutsche Bahn (German railway) website. In addition to being more thrifty, the train ride into Bavaria is beautiful and taking the train is a lovely way to enjoy views of the German countryside.

When Is the Best Time to Travel to Munich?

Oktoberfest is inarguably Munich's biggest and most famous event, but contrary to its name, this beer-drinking festival actually starts in late September. Certainly a fantastic tradition to experience, this two-week party draws huge crowds and airfare and hotel rates tend to skyrocket at this time of year. If you'd rather see Munich at a more normal time, it's best to visit in the spring or summer, when the weather is pleasant and the crowds are much more tame. If you don't want to miss out on the beer-drinking, you can even plan a trip for Springfest in May which is basically the same thing as Oktoberfest, but draws smaller crowds.

What Is the Most Scenic Route to Munich?  

If you have the time to spare, the trip from Frankfurt to Munich is an excellent opportunity to drive along one of Germany's most scenic routes: the Romantic Road. It will add about two hours of driving time to your trip, but it's well worth it for a route that travels past Bavaria's most beautiful castles and villages, culminating in Neuschwanstein Castle, which is one of the most famous and most Disney-like castles in the world. To get to the Romantic Road, you'll leave Frankfurt along the A3 and switch to the the A7 after passing Würzburg. From there, you can take your time along the A7 until you reach the town of Füssen (near Neuschwanstein Castle), and then you can get on Highway 17 and follow the signs for Munich.

Can I Use Public Transportation to Travel From the Airport?

The Munich International Airport (MUC) is 22 miles (35 kilometers) northeast of the city center. The train is the easiest way to get to Munich via public transportation, costing about $2 for a one-way ticket. Via the S1 and S8 S-Bahn lines, you can reach the city center in about 40 minutes. Trains leave every 10 minutes.

What Is There to Do in Munich?

As the capital of Bavaria, Munich is a modern high-tech city where it's easy to find traditional German food and architecture, as well as plenty of traditional beer gardens. Among the city's most popular landmarks are Marienplatz, the English Garden, and the daily outdoor market in the old town, which is over 200-years-old. On a rainy day, Munich also offers plenty of museums for perusing like the Alte Pinakothek for art and the Deutsches Museum for German history. And if you really like beer, no trip to Munich is complete without ordering a pint at the Hofbräuhaus, the city's most famous beer hall.

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