Although they're in two different countries, the route from Munich to Paris is a path frequently traveled. Both cities are common starting points for broader European travel, not to mention that they're major tourist attractions in and of themselves. The two cities are 430 miles apart as the crow flies (just slightly further than Los Angeles is from San Francisco, for reference).
The fastest way to get from Munich to Paris is by flight, of course, but the convenience comes at a cost. If you're comfortable navigating European roads, driving is a fun alternative—although it does take about eight hours, 30 minutes to complete the commute—and it's also one of the most cost-effective, too. Besides flying, taking the train is the second fastest way to travel (with the quickest service taking six hours) and is guaranteed to provide you with some stunning scenery along the way.
- Flight: 1 hour, 30 minutes, starting at $95 (fastest)
- Train: 6 or 7 hours, starting at $55
- Car: 8 hours, 523 miles (840 kilometers)
- Bus: 12 hours, starting at $40 (cheapest)
The fastest way to get from Munich to Paris is by flight. The average time for a nonstop flight between the two metropolises is about an hour, 30 minutes before you factor in the time it takes for transport to and from the airport and checking in.
Skyscanner recognizes 79 nonstop flights per week and you can get them for as cheap as $95. There are seven airlines that provide these nonstop flights, including international carriers Air France and Lufthansa (the most popular). If you're looking for a low-cost option, then seek regional companies such as Air Berlin, which offers daily direct flights from Munich to Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport or Orly Airport in Paris.
Taking the train is the second fastest option after flying and it's far cheaper, too. The speediest Rail Europe service from Munich to Paris takes just under six hours, but the average time is more like seven. According to the railway company, there are about 22 trips per day between the stations of Muenchen hbf or Muenchen pasing in Munich and Paris est, with trains leaving at least once per hour.
Unlike some other modes of transportation, the railway is meant to be more scenic. The fare fluctuates based on when you book, but you're liable to get a ticket between $55 and $75. A first class option is available on the higher end of that spectrum. Non-direct trains usually stop in Stuttgart, Germany, but still the travel time shouldn't be much more than six hours. This is a budget-friendly, comfortable, scenic, and quick travel option.
In the best of traffic conditions, you can get from Munich to Paris in about seven hours, 30 minutes; however, these are major metropolises and you'd be hard-pressed to find a good traffic day. Driving can be stressful, yes, but the freedom to dictate your own travels makes up for the stress. If you're the one behind the wheel, you can stop to smell the roses—literally, if you please—anytime you stumble upon something pretty.
Whereas Munich and Paris might only be 430 miles apart as the crow flies, the road that connects the two is about 523 miles (840 kilometers) long. The trip is more likely to take about eight and a half hours, but you'll be treated to picturesque stretches of Germany and Eastern France and you can always stop for the night in Strasbourg or Stuttgart if you aren't keen to crank it out in a day.
While you will be crossing the border from Germany into France, the borders in Europe aren't like the ones in other continents. You shouldn't encounter any sort of immigration or customs booth. Rather, you'll see a sign on the road, like you would if driving from one U.S. state to another. Do expect to pay somewhat hefty toll fees at several points throughout the trip, though.
A bus ticket can cost between $40 and $55, so it's certainly the cheapest on the list; however, travelers must consider that the ride will almost definitely take longer than 12 hours (sometimes even 14 hours). FlixBus is the main bus service that travels this route and it does so twice daily. Karat-S offers an additional route that stops in Strasbourg, but it takes longer and is only offered a few times per week.
Alternatively, there are a number of coach tours offering longer (much longer) journeys from Munich to Paris by way of the Swiss Alps or other European cities. This is going to be the priciest way to travel (because it includes a tour guide, sometimes even meals, and the like) and it'll also take the longest (11 days minimum), but it could certainly be the most fun.
What to See in Paris
You definitely won't be bored upon arriving to Paris. Aside from the obvious attractions—the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre-Dame, the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs Élysées, and so many more—there's the joyous pastime of simply walking around the city's side streets, sampling every macaron and croissant in sight.
La Ville Lumière, as it's sometimes called by the locals, is brimming with historic cathedrals, basilicas, palaces, and monuments. Just walking around and admiring the stunning architecture is an attraction in itself. On warm days, you can explore the city's green spaces—the Jardin des Tuileries and the Luxembourg Gardens, for instance—and when it rains, you can escape into the famous, chilling Catacombs.
Don't forget to indulge in all of France's culinary delights during your stay. You'll be sure to get your fill of vin rouge and fromage (red wine and cheese, obviously) in the foodie-approved neighborhoods of Bastille, Canal Saint-Martin, and Le Marais. Each little hamlet is known for a specific specialty, whether it be falafel or coffee—bon appétit!