Let us take you on a journey to Germany or Austria

From the Baltic Coast to the German Riviera, from Berlin to Bavaria, Austria’s lake district or the Austrian Tyrol… wherever you’re heading, we can arrange rail travel from London for you. Some destinations such as Lake Constance or the Black Forest can be reached comfortably in a day from London, while sleeper trains make travel to Austria simple and easy. For holidays in Bavaria, an overnight stay in Munich breaks the journey beautifully so that you can savour the picturesque scenery on the approach to the mountains.

Travelling by train to Germany or Austria

Via Basel & through Switzerland to the Black Forest & Lake Constance
The Black Forest and Lake Constance are both so close to the Swiss border that it is most practical to travel via Basel, reaching your first hotel around 9 or 10 hours after leaving London. Crossing Paris to the Gare de Lyon is simple when you know how; we include directions with your metro tickets and allow ample time between the arrival of your Eurostar and the departure of your TGV.

The Franco-Swiss TGV Lyria links Paris Gare de Lyon with Basel in just three hours. It travels at 186mph most of the way, slowing down for a short section of the journey around Dijon before gathering speed and crossing the River Rhine on the approach to Basel, a city which sits at the meeting point of three countries. In fact, its station forms part of the border between France and Switzerland.

Here, if you are heading to the Black Forest, you change to a sleek white German ICE train along the Rhine Valley, passing through a patchwork of vineyards, wheat fields and pastures. Change to a local train for the last hour of the journey through fairy-tale scenery. For Lake Constance, you change in Basel to a Swiss Intercity train to Zürich, arriving late in the afternoon. From here, you take a local train north, seamlessly crossing the German/Swiss border twice on the direct train to Germany's Riviera, reaching the lake shore for a transfer through apple orchards and vineyards to your hotel, arriving in good time for dinner.
Via France’s fastest TGV line east to...
For Bavaria you also travel via Paris, except that on arrival at Paris Gare du Nord, there is no need for a taxi or metro to make your onward connection; a 7-minute stroll is all it takes to reach the Gare de l'Est. We provide directions. The direct TGVs or German ICE trains to Stuttgart and Munich leave Paris Gare de l’Est in the afternoon and reach speeds of 200mph on France's fastest high-speed line across flat plains and wheat fields dotted with wind turbines

...Bavaria, with an overnight stay in Munich

The direct TGV to Munich leaves Paris in the late afternoon and takes just over 5-and-a-half hours. You travel at an impressive 200mph almost all the way to the German border, slowing down just before crossing the Rhine into Germany. The railway briefly follows the Rhine Valley, with views towards the Black Forest, before speeding up again towards Stuttgart. After Stuttgart, you slow down to take in the pretty scenery of the Fils Valley before arriving in Munich at around 9.30pm.

Munich comes highly recommended for an overnight stay. The family-run Hotel Torbrau is one of the most historic inns and is ideally located close to Munich's oldest and largest public square, which brims with character and is lined with cafés and traditional beerhalls serving hearty Bavarian specialities.

Not only does an overnight stay in Munich make an ideal introduction to our holidays in Bavaria, but it also ensures that the most spectacular Bavarian scenery is revealed by daylight. A direct train the following day takes you due south past onion-domed churches and through lush pastures and bottle-green forests, towards Füssen for our Bavarian Castles & Villages cycling holiday and our Bavarian Wander walking holiday at the climate neutral Biohotel Eggensberger, where we also offer winter breaks.

To reach the splendid Alpine scenery that our Where Eagles Soar walking holiday explores, take a local train eastwards, changing to the Berchtesgadener Railway at Freilassing. Less than 2 hours after leaving Munich, you step off into the walker’s paradise of Berchtesgadener Land. In winter, you can take the same route to reach the idyllic Berghotel Rehlegg.

...East Germany & the Baltic Coast

Take the Eurostar to Brussels to join a German high-speed ICE train to whisk you to Cologne at up to 186mph.

Served by a direct ICE train from Cologne, Berlin, the starting point of our Beyond the Iron Curtain touring holiday, is reached 10 hours after setting off from London. Travelling home from Dresden takes a little longer (12hrs 30mins).

To reach our cycling holiday on the island of Rügen, you will also need to travel via Berlin. In fact, you’ll need to stay overnight in the capital, before taking a direct train northwards to the Baltic Coast (3hrs). You can either choose to travel by regional train, which gives you the option to do some sightseeing before leaving Berlin (the tickets we provide are valid on any regional train), or on a less-frequent ICE train, which has the convenience of reserved seating and an on-board buffet car.
... to Austria by the NightJet sleeper
The NightJet sleeper ranks among the best European sleeper trains, making it easier than ever to reach our Austrian holidays, often with just one change of train in Amsterdam or two changes if you are travelling via Brussels and Cologne.

Leave London late-morning on the direct Eurostar to Amsterdam, you arrive in the late afternoon, giving you some time to enjoy a leisurely dinner at one of the many choices in and around Amsterdam’s impressive Neo-Gothic station.

On dates when the direct Amsterdam Eurostar service is not running, you can travel via Brussels to Cologne to join the same sleeper train there. Like Amsterdam, Cologne is an ideal place to break your journey. Admire Cologne’s Gothic cathedral which sits right next door to the station, stretch your legs by the Rhine and have dinner in one of Cologne’s cavernous beerhalls before boarding the sleeper train.

Austria's NightJet sleeper train from Amsterdam and Cologne comprises two trains joined together; one travelling to Innsbruck, the other bound for Vienna. The two trains share part of the journey before being decoupled in the early hours just before Nuremberg. The Innsbruck sleeper then turns south while the Vienna sleeper continues east.

….to the Tyrol and Dachstein Mountains on Innsbruck sleeper route

The Innsbruck sleeper is ideal for our holidays in the Tyrol, which are all within a 35-minute taxi ride of Innsbruck, which is where you'll be by the time you wake up. We offer three walking holidays (Lake Achensee & its Mountains, The Leutasch Valley and An Alpine Stroll) and several winter holidays (including the Inntaler Hof in Mösern, the Hotel Wiesenhof in Pertisau, the Hotel Kristall in Weidach and the Hotel Kitspitz in St Jakob).

In fact, for Lake Achensee & its Mountains, and Hotel Wiesenhof in Pertisau, you don’t even have to travel as far as Innsbruck. Instead, you alight one stop before Innsbruck, and our taxi will meet you at Jenbach station for a 15-minute ride to your hotel. Similarly, for the Hotel Kitspitz in St Jakob, you alight at Kufstein, at the German/Austrian border, approximately 45 minutes before Innsbruck.
For the Dachstein Mountains, change at Innsbruck. You have time to stretch your legs with a stroll around Innsbruck, or indulge in some Kaffee und Kuchen before boarding a lunchtime Eurocity Transalpin train direct to Schladming. This is one of Europe’s few remaining trains with a traditional dining car. The journey is 3 and a half hours, with magnificent scenery all the way, following the Inn Valley before branching southeast along the shores of Zell am See then along the Salzach and finally the Enns Valley where the Dachstein peaks come into view,  towering to the north above cornfields and pine-clad slopes. Alight at Schladming for 15-minute transfer to the Hotel Matschner in Ramsau.

…to the Salzburg Lakes & Vienna

The Vienna Sleeper makes light work of the distance to our holidays in western Austria, arriving in Vienna at a civilised 8.30am. The Austrian capital is the starting point of our On the Trail of the Habsburgs touring holiday. The holiday ends in Trieste, from where you can take a direct Italian Frecciarossa train to Turin to stay overnight before taking the TGV back to London.
For the Salzburg lakes, take the Vienna sleeper and alight at Linz, shortly before 8am. From here take the Austrian Railjet for a 30-minute ride to Attnang Puchheim, where you change to a local train to the Salzkammergut region and Salzburg Lake District cycling holiday, and the Salzburg Lakes & Mountains walking holiday, and our winter holiday at the Hotel Seerose in Fuschl am See. It is a 2-hour train ride plus a 30-minute taxi transfer but the spectacular panoramas of fjord-like scenery afforded by the Salzkammergut Railway are more than worth the longer journey time.

Let us take you on a journey to...

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