How to Travel From Munich and Rome by Train, Bus, Plane, and Car

Cobbled street in Trastevere with old vintage car, Rome, Italy
Alexander Spatari / Getty Images

Munich and Rome may be two very different cities, but both make for exciting stops on a grand tour of Europe that includes visiting Germany and Italy. If Rome is your next stop after Munich, you'll need to travel 568 miles (914 kilometers) to get there either by flying, driving, or taking a train, or bus. Flying is the fastest and most convenient way, but going by rail or renting a car can also be an adventurous way to travel.

  Time Cost Best For
Train 9 hours, 15 minutes from $79 Convenience
Bus 11 hours, 30 minutes from $45 Budget travel
Flight 1 hour, 30 minutes from $60 Quickest route
Car 10 hours, 15 minutes 568 miles (914 kilometers) A road trip

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

Although air travel in Europe can sometimes be incredibly cheap, you'll find that traveling by bus from Munich to Rome, with a company like FlixBus, offers the most consistency in terms of affordable fares. The lowest prices start at $45, but can cost more than that. Bear in mind that the the bus journey has a big drawback.

At its quickest, the trip will take as little as 11 hours, 30 minutes—but it could take as long as 21 hours. You're covering a big distance, so most likely you'll have to stop in another city in Northern Italy to transfer along the way. Be sure to always compare the cost of a bus ticket to the going airfare for the same dates. You might just find that airfare is cheaper and even if it's still more expensive, it may be worth it to pay a little bit more to save yourself time traveling.

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

Both Alitalia and Lufthansa offer direct nonstop flights between Munich's Franz Josef Strauss Airport (MUC) and Rome's Fiumicino Airport (FCO), which takes just one hour, 30 minutes. This is the fastest way to get to Rome from Munich and one-way ticket prices usually cost somewhere in the range of $60 and $250. Booking in advance can help you find a better deal, since airlines are known to mark up last-minute tickets. When flying internationally, you'll have to add on time for going through security, checking luggage, and boarding. However as long as you're flying directly, this is still much faster than traveling by any other way.

How Long Does It Take to Drive?

Without stopping, it would take you about 10 hours to drive the distance between Munich and Rome. You'll have to drive through Austria and all of Northern Italy, so you should expect to pay many tolls. This is the kind of trip that would be nice to spread out over a couple of days, as there are many major cities to see along the way such as Salzburg, Venice, Bologna, and Florence. The route requires a lot of highway changes as you leave Germany via the A8 and A93 and pass through Austria via the E45 and A22. However once you get to Italy, you can get on the E35 and take it all the way south to Rome. Before committing to this road trip, make sure you read up on the local driving laws in Germany, Austria, and Italy, and consider the costs of car rental, gas, parking, and any overnight accommodation you might need on the way. A long road trip like this can be quite expensive.

How Long Is the Train Ride?

If you're taking the fastest day train from Munich to Rome, you'll have no choice but to switch trains in Bologna. However, it's possible to book both legs on one ticket. The whole trip takes about nine hours, 15 minutes and typically costs between $79 and $170. If you take the night train, you should expect a journey of at least 13 hours.

Nightjet offers a service that leaves Munich at 8:10 p.m. and arrives in Rome at 9:22 a.m. These trains take longer and tend to be more expensive, but they also offer three different classes of sleeping compartments, so you can actually get a good night's rest and sleep laying down. If you hope to stop in other cities along the way, it would be a good idea to invest in a rail pass which offer the best value for a big multi-city trip.

When Is the Best Time to Travel to Rome?

Summers in Rome can be extremely hot, so the best time to visit is either between April and May or September and November. The weather is much more favorable in the spring and fall and you'll be able to spend more time enjoying the city's magical atmosphere than rushing between air-conditioned rooms. You'll also be able to avoid the peak tourist season, when attractions are often overcrowded.

If hotel rates are still too high for your liking, think about visiting in the winter when things tend to be cheaper. Rome is not known for being very cold, but winters can still be chilly and you'll definitely want to pack a jacket. One of the most exciting times to be in Rome is actually in late February or early March when the carnevale celebrations take this devout city by storm.

Do I Need a Visa to Travel to Rome?

Both Germany and Italy are members of the European Union (EU), so you will not need a visa to travel between them, whether or not you're flying. Additionally, all three countries, and even Switzerland if you are considering a detour, are a part of the Schengen Zone, so your standard 90-day tourist visa (which you do not need to apply for) will allow you travel freely between them.

Can I Use Public Transportation to Travel From the Airport?

The Fiumicino Airport is approximately 18 miles (30 kilometers) away from Rome, so the taxi ride can be quite costly. Thankfully, the airport is connected by train and you can buy a ticket on the Leonardo Express train, which will bring you directly into the city center and costs about $16. Alternatively, you can also take one of the airport buses which offer lower prices. You'll be able to choose between a number of different bus companies when you arrive, so you can find the one that's offering the best price at the time.

What Is There to Do in Rome?

When you're in the Eternal City, you'll never run out of things to do. Whether you take your time to make your rounds to the big landmarks like the Spanish Steps, Colosseum, and the Sistine Chapel or shop around for the best gelato shops in the city, your trip to Rome can be anything you wish to make of it. If you're visiting the Vatican, you can learn a lot more from a guided tour than just walking around on your own. Sometimes your tour guide can even show you secret spots or get you into special access areas. If this isn't your first visit Rome, consider going underground to explore the city's ancient history that's still in tact underneath the contemporary city streets. You can hunt out these underground spots yourself in churches like the Basilica of San Clemente and St. Peter's, but a knowledgable tour guide can really help bring the ancient world back to life.

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