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Logically the next stop after Austria should be Czech Republic. However, the journey and connection times from Salzburg to Prague (~6 hours) weren’t ideal and we came up with a creative solution: why don’t we head north to Berlin first?
Deutsche Bahn (DB) has an excellent website where we could research our options. We would need to make at least one change at Munich and the fastest connection would take around 8 hours. We reckoned that instead of spending the day on the train, the distance was long enough for us to take City Night Line, DB’s overnight train service.
We booked almost 3 months in advance and managed to purchase the tickets for €70,50 each. There were two legs of the journey: the first leg between Salzburg Hbf and München Ost would be on an ÖBB 2nd class train and the second leg would be on CNL 1246 where we had two berths reserved in a 4-person compartment.
The cheapest of transport it ain’t but we saved a night of accommodation while traversing Germany.
Salzburg to Munich
Train: ÖBB EC 110
Depart: Salzburg Hbf – 19:51
Arrive: München Ost – 21:22
Distance: ~140 km
Minutes after leaving Salzburg Hbf we found ourselves in Germany already.
It was only a short 90 minute-ride between Salzburg and Munich and we arrived at a rainy München Ost.
Munich to Berlin
Train: Deutsche Bahn City Night Line 1246 “Sirius”
Depart: München Ost – 21:50
Arrive: Berlin Hbf – 8:04 (+1)
Distance: ~800 km?
As one could tell from the map, the route wasn’t the most direct. Seeing the information at platform 12 helped me to make sense why.
Carriages A to D were meant for passengers for Berlin while carriage E onwards were headed for Hamburg. They would share the same locomotive until Hildesheim before splitting to the respective locations. This arrangement would allow CNL 1246 to arrive in Berlin at an earthly hour and afford passengers more sleep en-route.
We were the only ones in our compartment who boarded at München Ost; the other two would board at München Hbf.
It didn’t take long before we got comfortable in our berths.
Both of us had a surprising good sleep for the night and I didn’t wake up until the train was already in Berlin’s outskirts.
Properly rested, we were raring to tackle Berlin.