München / Munich to Frankfurt by train

How to travel from München / Munich to Frankfurt (Main) by train

Sleek ICE trains link München / Munich to Frankfurt (Main) but what's slightly odd is that they take two different routes;
1 - via Nurnberg
2 - via Stuttgart
But because the trains on the route via Nurnberg ae faster, the only trains that have tickets available online are the trains on this route.

You might then wonder why, when you're at the station in Munich/Munchen why you can see trains to Frankfurt (Main) leaving before your departure, that you weren't aware of.
However, those other trains will arrive in Frankfurt after the train you will be taking.



From München Hbf/Munich main station to Frankfurt Main Hbf

Travel Information

Final Destination: Dortmund or Essen

Trains also call at: Wurzburg, Frankfurt Flughafen/airport

The alternative route:

Every other hour (in odd hours) there is also an ICE train between Munich and Frankfurt which travels an alternative route via Stuttgart.
Those trains via Stuttgart tend to depart around 5 mins before these trains via Nurnberg, so you will see them listed on the departure screens at Munchen Hbf.

But the route they take is slower, so much so that these trains, which leave later, get to Frankfurt (Main) earlier.

Hence tickets can't usually be booked online for a train journey from Munich to Frankfurt (Main) on that alternative route via Stuttgart.
However, if you use the 'travelling with a bicycle' search option on the DB website, some of the trains on the route via Stuttgart are ICE 4 trains which have bike racks and EC trains which have bike storage, so you will be see those trains when looking up a journey

16 x trains per day


Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: 6 months ahead of the travel date

When making an online booking, check that you’re looking at booking info for the direct trains.

On the DB Bahn booking site look for journeys that have:

  • 0 in the Chg. column
  • ICE (and only ICE) in the Products column.

Trains departing at different times can be cheaper than others leaving on the same day, so you may need to look through the day's departures to find the cheapest fares.

Reservations are recommended for this journey, this is one of the busiest ICE routes.
Though seats are now assigned if you book 1st class tickets.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
DB Bahn from €17.90

DB Bahn Guide

DB is the national railway operator in Germany, so its website can be used for booking journeys by German express trains; the ICE and IC trains and it doesn't charge booking fees.
It also sells tickets for journeys by direct trains on all international routes from Germany regardless of whether DB is operating the train service.

It also sells an extensive range of end-to-end journeys which involve making connections both within Germany and in neighboring countries, but journeys between Germany and Britain cannot be booked on DB.

A key feature of DB website worth keeping mind is that it offers 1st class ticket purchasers complimentary seat reservations on journeys both within and to/from Germany.

Seat reservations for daytime in both 1st and 2nd class can also be booked separately from tickets.

Save A Train from €17.90 (in £s)

Save A Train Guide

Omio from €17.90

Omio Guide

Omio is an online ticket agency which offers tickets for rail journeys in France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Spain.

The three key advantages of using Omio are

  • it offers prices in multiple currencies
  • it usually offers price comparison with other modes of travel including flights and buses
  • when visiting Europe, you can book journeys in multiple countries in one transaction.

The disadvantage of booking with Omio is that it often adds a booking fee to the final price; therefore when it does so without offering a price advantage, SMTJ doesn't tend to offer Omio as a booking option.

Happy rail from €17.90

Happy rail Guide

Happy Rail is a Netherlands rail ticket agency which sells tickets for both national and international journeys within a range of countries including Belgium France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland.

HappyRail doesn't charge booking fees in the conventional sense, but if you're not Dutch you can expect to pay additional transaction fees, which will be added to the total cost.
That's because the most common form of online payment used in The Netherlands is 'iDEAL' and HappyRail doesn't charge a transaction fee for 'iDEAL' payments, but only Dutch residents can sign up to 'iDEAL'.
Other forms of payment include Visa debit cards will incur a fee.

Trainline from €17.90

Trainline Guide

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - NoHigh Speed (partial journey)

Good to Know

What gives this journey its wow factor is the opportunity to travel on the fabulous ICE 3 trains.


Journey description:

This is a journey of six distinct phases

  1. Until Ingolstadt the train will be travelling on a conventional railway through a series of commuter towns.
  2. In Ingolstadt station the train will move on to the high speed line and travel at more than 275 k/mh for around 40 minutes until it reaches the outskirts of Nurnberg
  3. Between Nurnberg and Wurzburg the train will be back on conventional tracks
  4. On departure from Wurzburg comes the part of the journey with a wow factor, the train will be on the high speed line for less than 15 minutes, but there are some nice views as the train crosses some long viaducts; in particular look out for when the train will burst out of a tunnel and then immediately cross the River Main.
  5. Between there and Aschaffenburg comes the slowest, but most scenic part of the trip when the railway winds through some valleys.
  6. From there to Frankfurt the railway passes through a series of towns.
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