There are two routes to choose from when travelling from Munich München / Munich to Innsbruck by train.
(1) The quickest route via Kufstein and Worgl is the only route you will be offered when looking up this journey by the online booking agents, and the Austrian part of this journey has some delightful riverside views
(2) Some of the Regio services from München / Munich to Garmisch have their journeys extended over the Austrian border and on to Innsbruck.
If you favour scenic views over speed then this is the route to take as the birds eye views over the valleys to the south of Garmisch are exceptional.
During the day the EC trains depart from Munchen/Munich every other hour - in the odd hours
Final Destination: Verona or Bologna or Venezia or Innsbruck
All trains also call at: Munchen Ost, Worgl and Jenbach
7 x trains per day
Book early and save: Yes
Online bookings open: 6 months ahead of the travel date - usually
The discounted tickets are the 'Sparscheine' tickets and they can be booked online up until the day of departure.
Though you'll usually need to book the 'Sparscheine' tickets at least a couple of days ahead to obtain them at the cheapest possible price,
Trains departing at different times can also 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
Seat reservations are optional on this journey, but they're recommenced if you want to be sure of a seat when travelling 2nd class on these EC trains, particularly in the summer months when the trains will be busy with rail pass users heading to Italy*
Although if you book 1st class ticket journey tickets on DB, the German railways website, your seat reservation will be included, but if you book a 1st class ticket with OBB you will have to pay for the reservation.
*Rail pass reservation fees don't apply on these trains when travelling between Germany and Austria, they're only compulsory when travelling on to Italy.
Booking from München Ost:
When making a booking online on DB Bahn, it uses ‘Munich (München)’ as a default for looking up journeys from the city in the ‘From’ box.
But it is possible to select München Ost as the ‘From’ station (you need to use the German spelling with the character (the umlaut) over the ‘u’).
You won’t save any money by booking from München Ost, but the departure time of your train from Munchen Ost will be on your ticket.
Booking agents, when looking up Munchen to Innsbruck journeys, will see that the fastest journey from Munchen is from Munchen Ost - so can assume that this is where you want to join the train.
If you're using an agent confirm whether your ticket has been booked from Munchen Hbf or Munchen Ost; particularly if you DO want to join the train at Munchen Hbf.
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The final departure of the day is usually an ICE train.
These trains will call at München Ost AFTER departure from München Hbf.
If the starting point of journey is in central Munich/Munchen (around Marienplatz), it will be a quicker trip if you take a S-Bahn train from one of the stations in the city centre in order to join this train at Munchen Ost.
This journey becomes more scenic once the trains depart from Kuftstein.
For much of the journey between there and the suburbs of Innsbruck, the railway is parallel to the River Inn, most of the views of the river can be seen from the right.
On the other side of the river at the foothills of the Central Austria Alps.
Final Destination: Innsbruck
These trains also call at: Garmisch and Seefeld in Tirol
3 x direct trains per day
Book early and save: No
Tickets will cost the same price if purchased at the same station immediately before departure.
Because these tickets for these journeys by RB (Regio trains) aren't discounted, if you'll be booking in advance, they're typically more expensive than the alternative express trains between Munich and Innsbruck.
If you do want to book online look for the trains that:
Though you won't see these journeys on the DB ticketing service, if you DON'T untick the 'prefer fast connections' box when looking up the journey.
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These trains are more expensive* and slower than the alternative express trains, which travel via Worgl.
*If you don't book in advance.
So why would you travel by them?
The answer is the spectacular views, particularly after the train departs from Garmisch and crosses the border into Austria.
The alternative connections:
If the timings of these 3 x direct trains per day on this route aren't convenient, then in MOST hours when the direct train isn't departing, there are from Munchen to Mittenwald that have easy connections with trains on to Innsbruck.
Boarding at Munchen Hbf:
If you have booked a ticket online, then aim to be at Munchen no later than around 10 mins before the departure of the train.
These Regio trains to Innsbruck via Mittenwald usually depart from Gleis (track/platforms) 27-36 in Munich Hbf and these are some distance from the main concourse.
If you will be purchasing tickets at Munchen Hbf then be at the station a minimum of 20 mins before departure
The most spectacular section of this journey comes is that between Garmisch and the suburbs of Innsbruck
On this stretch of the journey the best of the views can be seen from the right of the train (when facing the direction of travel).
On a clear day you can see for miles across the expanse of the beautiful valleys.
Though our two attempts to make this journey were thwarted by bad weather - hence the lack of images, but we did get sense of why this is considered one of Germany's most scenic railway routes.
Though Far And Wide had better luck with the weather as this journey is featured on its list of the Most Remarkable Train Journeys in Europe.
So if you what to take as many scenic journeys as possible with a rail pass, and time is on your side, take these trains and not the EC trains on the route via Kufstein.
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