When travelling from Munich to Venice, you’ll find yourself treated to a diverse range of stunning landscapes. You’ll also have to choose your preferred mode of transport. If you haven’t considered train travel yet, it should be high up on your list.
Travel by train is comfortable, relaxing, and lets you sit back and enjoy all of the views. In this article, you’ll read some useful tips, and fill you in on everything you need to know before planning your Brenner Pass holiday.
What is the Brenner Pass?
The Brenner Pass is a mountain pass through the Alps, a must-visit European destination. It forms the border between Italy and Austria. For centuries, the Brenner Pass was one of the most popular ways to get from North to South in the Alpine region. It was used by German royalty as they made their way to Rome, and by poets and novelists who used it as they made their way through romantic landscapes. The pass has served as a sort of boarder, a border between cultures and time—you’ll find Mediterranean joy, Austrian hospitality and the down-to-earth manner of the native Tiroleans.
Ways to travel from Munich to Venice
You’ll find that it’s quite easy to travel from Munich to Venice—you can hop on a train, rent a car or fly. But for the purposes of this article, you’ll learn all you need to know to travel the Brenner Pass from Germany to Italy by train.
The train you’ll be using is the EuroCity train, which links Austria to Italy. There is one train per day, and two trains on the weekends that will take you all the way to Venice. The trains are jointly operated by DB German Railways and OBB Austrian Railways. The cars are air-conditioned, spacious and comfortable. Bring a book and a bottle of wine for a total relaxing experience.
Open-plan or 6-seat compartment?
As you are booking your tickets for your EuroCity train from Munich to Venice, you’ll see that you have an option of choosing a seat in an open-plan saloon, or in a 6-seater compartment. Both 1st and 2nd class will offer these options. An open-plan saloon is just as it sounds—open. You aren’t boxed in, and it’s not at all claustrophobic. The best part is that you get a much better view, as you can see out through all of the windows in the car, not just your own. Bags and luggage can be easily stored between the seat backs. This is generally an ideal way to travel if you are solo or with another person or two. However, if you are travelling with a group of five or six people, you’ll want to consider taking about a whole 6-seat compartment. They have sliding glass doors that you can shut to feel like your group has their own private space.
1st class or 2nd class?
Here you really can’t go wrong. 2nd class is quite comfortable, and as mentioned above, you have the option in both 1st and 2nd class between open-saloon and 6-seat compartment seating. If you feel like treating yourself, in 1st class you’ll have a bit more room and it’s quieter as there aren’t as many families.
Best side of the train to sit
It’s good that you’re thinking about where you can get the best views from—the right or left side of the train. That means you’re mentally prepared for the awesome landscapes you’ll pass through. That being said, it really won’t make much difference whether you sit on the right or left side. Although, if you choose an open-plan car, you may want to sit on the right side while going south because you’ll get better views of the valley and a charming old church in Jodok.
Reserving your seat is optional for this trip, and it does cost more to do so. If you don’t reserve a seat, you can sit wherever you like, as long as it’s not a reserved seat. You’ll know if a seat is reserved or not, because a little sign above the seat will indicate if it’s reserved. Handy, right?
It basically comes down to what type of personality you have. If you feel more comfortable having every detail squared away before you travel, then definitely, you should pay the few extra euros to reserve a seat. That way you won’t have any moments of confusion or indecision when you get on the train. Additionally, if you are travelling on the weekend, or with a group of people you’d like to be able to sit with, then you should definitely reserve. Oh, and you should always reserve when travelling during catholic holidays and summer holidays as well.
You’ll take your bags with you on the train, there’s no checking them like on an airplane, or storming them beneath like on a bus. You can store your luggage on one of the many racks that you’ll find in the car, preferably the one nearest to your seat. There are also overhead storage racks for smaller items like backpacks. And as mentioned above, the open plan saloon cars have st5orage between seat backs. Also, no weight limits nor size limits on your train luggage! So back as much as you want! (As long as you can maneuver it).
Ok, so ideally you’ll be admiring all of the landscape as it goes by, but realistically, you’ll want to check in with the rest of the world at some points during your travel. And that means being able to keep your smartphone or tablet charged. Every seat as its own power outlet. But…bad news for you workaholics…no Wi-Fi, so you might want to purchase a portable Wi-Fi router if you know you’ll need internet access.
When to book
Make sure to book well ahead of time for your trip, as prices will rise as your travel date approaches. Also, if really want to find the cheapest fares, don’t go on the weekends, during the summer holidays or during catholic holidays. For some trips you can book up to six months in advance.
Sights you’ll see
Travel by train is far superior, some would say, to any other sort of travel for a plethora of reasons. But chief among those are comfort, and the sightseeing! And travelling across the Brenner Pass from Munich to Venice is one of those journeys that is full of breathtaking sights.
- From Munich: You’ll stall your journey heading through the woodlands of southern Bavaria. After crossing into Austria at Kufstein, make sure to be looking out your window to spot a 14th-century fortress.
- From Innsbruck: When people talk about breathtaking landscapes from Brenner Pass, they are usually referring to this section of the ride. The train gradually climbs some 3000 ft, following a twisting and turning path with steep slopes and deep valleys all around.
- From Brennero: The Isarco River will flow by your side, lending a verdant green to every inch of your winding route.
- From Bolzano: The striking mountains turn into softer, rolling hills. Near Trento and Rovereto, you’ll see the crystalline Lake Garda.
- From Verona: Your eyes will get a rest from varying topography as the train passes through Italy’s northern plains.
Now that you know all the tips for travelling the Brenner Pass from Munich to Venice by train, it’s time to purchase your tickets! (Preferably ahead of time for cheaper prices). Whether you want to travel 1st class or 2nd class, alone or with all of your friends, you’ll enjoy comfortable seating, great views and and best of all the relaxing effect of train travel. Just make sure to keep the previous tips in mind, and you’ll enjoy a seamless holiday.