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Train travel suggestions from Wolfsburg Germany to Rome

Sydney, Australia
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Train travel suggestions from Wolfsburg Germany to Rome

Hi everyone!

Family of 4, 2 adults, 2 teenagers travelling from Wolfsburg Germany in October to Rome.

I originally posted in the Road trips forum as were were hoping to drive but have since researched car hire and there is a $600 AUD return fee (expensive) and our lovely friends in the Road trip forum advised of the no go zones in the cities, slow roads and expensive tolls and petrol, so directed me here. So we're looking at taking a train or perhaps combining both?

We have 5 days, flying out of Rome to home. Suggestions for travel? We want to avoid flights so we can see the countryside....

Does this sound ok?

Hire a car from Wolfsburg and drive to Munich or Zurich (much cheaper return fee $200AUD), stay overnight then train next morning to Rome?

Where would be buy train tickets from? Someone suggested we should buy 3 months out from our trip for cheaper prices. Is this correct? I know travel agents are a frowned upon in these forums but I contacted one just for a quote and to get some suggestions and she quoted me $1000AUD for our family to travel by train from Munich to Rome in October. This sounds absurdly expensive.

Any thoughts, advice and suggestions appreciated.....

28 replies to this topic
Quainton, United...
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1. Re: Train travel suggestions from Wolfsburg Germany to Rome

Munich to Rome:

Option 1, direct sleeper. Departs 20:10, arrives around 09:30, fares from €59 with couchette or €99 with bed in a 2-bed sleeper, buy at www.bahn.de/en or www.oebb.at

Option 2, daytime. Book Munich-Bologna on 09:34 at www.bahn.de/en from €39.90. Allow at least 45 minutes in Bologna, then book Bologna to Rome from €29.90 at www.trenitalia.com

This takes you through the scenic Brenner Pass.

Zurich to Rome:

Book Zurigo to Roma Termini at www.trenitalia.com from €29 + €29.90 for the Zurich-Milan and Milan-Rome trains. Zurich-Milan takes 3h26, Milan-Rome as little as 2h55 by 300km/h high-speed Frecciarossa.

This takes you via the Gotthard route with lakes and mountains, plus the world's longest railway tunnel.

Edited: 15 May 2018, 20:41
Imperia, Italy
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2. Re: Train travel suggestions from Wolfsburg Germany to Rome

From Wolfsburg to Rome is a long journey. It is possible with only two changes, e.g. the 05.39 departure with changes in Bern and Milan in a total time of 14h 19. But most options take longer and have more changes. Anyone wanting an enjoyable vacation should have an overnight en route. Bern is small and remarkably pleasant for a capital city.

For the above option, the cheapest way of booking would be to use https://www.bahn.com/en/view/index.shtml from Wolfsgurg to Bern (from €39.90 per adult), and http://www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en (from €58.90) from Bern to Roma Termini.

But note that the cheapest fares are already sold out on some October dates, that some of the best Bern-Rome options are not yet online for October and that options requiring a change in Switzerland the train entirely within Switzerland must be purchased from https://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html

If you wished to drive from Wolfsburg to nearer the border, think about Konstanz as an alternative to Munich. Konstanz is much smaller and prettier, and gives train times of around nine hours to Rome, with from two changes, in Zurich and Milan. Munich to Rome is a few minutes slower, but is possible with only one change of train in Verona. For these routes, buy Konstanz to Milano Centrale or Munich to Verona Porta Nuova from DB and the remaining leg from Trenitalia.

Edited: 15 May 2018, 21:08
Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Train travel suggestions from Wolfsburg Germany to Rome

" but I contacted one just for a quote and to get some suggestions and she quoted me $1000AUD for our family to travel by train "

Never ever trust Australian travel agents for train travel advice! They are totally clueless..

Booking opens 120 to 180 days in advance, depending on which country. Certainly for Germany, I have already booked my tickets for October.

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Train travel suggestions from Wolfsburg Germany to Rome

Thank you so much for your replies Maninseat61, perilzia and hadiwi56a. I really appreciate you taking the time to write back to me. Your views and advice are so helpful :)

I agree that an overnight stopover will be the best option. We have since investigated Munich Hotels and it's so expensive as we are just after Octoberfest so possibly Zurich, Bern or Konstanz, but haven't ruled out Munich just yet as the scenic Brenner pass that Maninseat61 suggested sounds lovely. Any suggestions of where to stay near the above train stations or is that a post for another forum?

I also like the idea of Zurich to Rome on the high-speed Frecciarossa and going via the Gotthard route with lakes and mountains, plus the world's longest railway tunnel. Is this really only 6 & 1/2 hours rather than the other options of 9 hours?

Driving nearer the border may be a good option too ie Konstanz. Perhaps the return fee for the car will be cheaper than crossing the border into Switzerland?

"options requiring a change in Switzerland the train entirely within Switzerland must be purchased from https://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html" does that mean if we take the Zurich to Rome option from maninseat61

we can't book on www.trenitalia.com ?

I would like to book in the next week or so so we can grab cheaper tickets.

Any insights appreciated :)

Wengen, Switzerland
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5. Re: Train travel suggestions from Wolfsburg Germany to Rome

If you go via Switzerland you may look at staying in Basel. It is an interesting town. Wolfsburg - Basel is trivial, and you can get your costs even further down by booking to Basel Bad bf (the German station), in stead of Basel SBB. With a hotel reservation for Basel you get free public transit, so you can just take the tram or a local train to your hotel.

Then Basel - Rome you could indeed do in about 7 hours either via the Gotthard or the Simplon route. That you can book on www.trenitalia.com. The 11:04 departure goes via the Gotthard (the longest railway tunnel).

Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: Train travel suggestions from Wolfsburg Germany to Rome

Just my two cents worth, for you to consider:

Munich to Bologna using EC (EuroCity) trains. I have been on this route a couple of times now, and going through the Brenner pass is lovely. Most of the carriages used on this route is the so-called 'Saloon' type, where 3 seats are facing another 3 seats in a compartment with a sliding door. I found handling luggage is a bit difficult in this carriage (stowed in the racks above the seats), and sometime I have to leave one of my luggage outside the door, in the corridor.

Of course you can also select the Open Saloon type, which is what I selected for my next trip in October.

Leave about half an hour if you are continuing from Bologna to Rome. The high speed train tracks in Bologna is in the new underground section, and it may take a while if you are not familiar with the station layout.

If opting for the Zurich Milan route (or Bern Milan route), there are more services from Zurich to Milan, taking 3 hours 26 minutes. At the moment, I can still see plenty of tickets at €29 for mid October. Arguably, Munich is a more interesting place for overnight.

You can try to get the new Frecciarossa 1000 train from Milan to Rome, taking only 2 hours 55 minutes. This is currently the highest speed Frecce train operated by Trenitalia.

Imperia, Italy
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7. Re: Train travel suggestions from Wolfsburg Germany to Rome

<"options requiring a change in Switzerland the train entirely within Switzerland must be purchased from https://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html" does that mean if we take the Zurich to Rome option... we can't book on www.trenitalia.com ?>

Any option which uses a direct train from Switzerland to Italy, e.g. Zurich-Rome, can be booked on Trenitalia.

The warning was put in for Bern-Rome, where some options use a direct train to Italy (Milan) and can be booked on Trenitalia, but other options use a train from Bern to Brig in Switzerland where you then change for Milan. The latter options cannot be booked in their entirety on Trenitalia, as the Bern-Brig train must be booked from SBB.

Edited: 17 May 2018, 18:04
Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: Train travel suggestions from Wolfsburg Germany to Rome

Thank you so much Maninseat61, perilzia and hadiwi56a, krisit v, hadiwi56a! I really appreciate all of your input and advice. It's so helpful. I have been doing a lot of reading and must say that your website Maninseat61 is fabulous! We are lucky to have you :)

I have decided to stick to driving from Wolfsburg to somewhere in Germany as the return fee for the car to drive into Switzerland is around €200 and only €22 if we drop off in Germany.

Still tossing up between Munich (if we can find decent priced accommodation) since its right near Octoberfest or Konstanz. Thank you for that recommendation perilzia. There seems to be a lot of decently priced accommodation there. The 2 stops from Konstanz to Rome with 2 kids in tow is making me lean towards Munich with it's one stop in Bologna. I am also coming up with weird messages when I look on banh for the Konstanz to Milano. I will post them below.

This is what I have discovered. Let me know what you think -

Munich to Bologna using the bahn website

Munchen hbf 9.34am

Bologna Centrale 16.20

€79.80 + €9 for a family reservation for 2 adults, 2 kids (2nd class)

Should we choose open saloon, Open saloon with table, family cabin or compartment?

hadiwi56a you say open saloon?

Bologna to Rome on trenitalia

Bologna Centrale 17.35

Roma Termini 19.29

super economy €59.80 for 2 adults, 2 kids (2nd class)

on Frecciarossa 1000 9645

(1hr 54 mins)

Maninseat61, loco2 says not available to book yet so I have sent up an alert. Should I book the above or wait for loco2? Your website suggests all in one booking is easier? $195USD ( €165) through loco2,

€140 using above 2 websites.

Any suggestions, help etc appreciated I'm getting closer to deciding and booking thanks to all of you lovely people:)

Any suggestions of where to stay in Munich?

Sydney, Australia
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9. Re: Train travel suggestions from Wolfsburg Germany to Rome

Sorry, I think I can book on loco2, I didn't put in the stop in Bologna originally in the "more options"

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10. Re: Train travel suggestions from Wolfsburg Germany to Rome

" hadiwi56a you say open saloon? "

My preference is open saloon, since only myself and my wife are travelling, but if you are a family, a compartment may be nice for privacy (of course there is always a possibility that a couple will join you later in the trip)

I really do not feel the need to use Loco2 for Germany and Italy. The EC train can also be booked with OEBB, but stick with DB since it starts in Munich. (Reservation is slightly cheaper with oebb)

I have just booked another ticket myself with Trenitalia. In my personal opinion, use Loco2 for Spain and Portugal, because Renfe for one is not user friendly, but Trenitalia/DB are quite easy to use.

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