The Brandenburg Gate is a Berlin landmark. (Photo: Images )
Travelers may journey from Munich to Berlin by plane, car, train or bus. Your choice will depend on your budget, how much time you want to allot to the trip and your preferred mode of transportation. Travel within Germany tends to be extremely efficient, and your trip will likely be comfortable regardless of which method you select.
Flying between the two cities is the fastest way to travel. Nonstop flights are operated by both Air Berlin (airberlin.com) and Lufthansa (lufthansa.com); the distance of 295 air miles is covered in one hour, 15 minutes. In addition, you have to allow for the journey from downtown Munich to the airport, additional time for check-in and security screening, and the transit from the Berlin airport to your final destination.
The shortest driving distance between Munich and Berlin is 362 miles (mapquest.com) and can be covered in slightly more than five hours. More than two-thirds of the drive is on the E51 Autobahn. While the German Autobahn system is famous for having no speed limits, in reality there are limits on dangerous curves or in construction zones (german-autobahn.com), and a recommended speed limit throughout of 80 mph. Familiarize yourself with the rules of the road before you go.
Nonstop service is provided by ICE, the German Inter City Express. The trip takes between six and seven hours, and the trains are comfortable and punctual. Best of all, you travel directly to and from the main rail stations in each city center. If you're traveling extensively by train, consider buying a rail pass. Options include the German Rail Pass, the Eurail Global and Select Passes, and various combinations including Germany and neighboring countries. Rail passes must be purchased before leaving the U.S. and activated before your first trip.
Bus travel is one of the cheapest ways to go, but not the fastest. The Berlin Linien bus line (berlinlinienbus.de) makes the trip in eight hours 30 minutes. These buses are equipped with a wide range of amenities including air conditioning, individual lighting and ventilation controls, telephones, restrooms and on-board kitchens. The journey begins at Munich's central bus station, close to the main train station, and ends in Berlin's central station in the west of the city.