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I get this question all the time. "How can I get from Frankfurt to Munich as inexpensively as possible?" The first questions they should answer is, "Are you already going to be in the Frankfurt area, or are you flying into FRA, but want to be in Munich? And, how quickly do you want to get to Munich?"
ICEs makes the trip from Frankfurt to Munich in just over 3 hours. The full, 2nd class fare via ICE is €85 one-way, per person. That's an open ticket, usable on any train, on any day, and fully refundable. You can buy that ticket up to train time at any ticket counter or automat. If you are willing to spend an extra hour to save some money, there are IC connections, still in under 4 hours, for €67, full fare.
For the person who is already going to be in Frankfurt, and has no problems committing to a train connection time, the answer is to book ahead by at least three days on the Bahn website and take advantage of one of the lower, promotional fares offered. With a Sparpreis fare it is possible to travel from Frankfurt to Munich by the fastest express trains (just over 3 hours by ICE) for as low as €29 per person. The Sparpreis fares are very popular and the lowest prices often sell out quickly. After that, prices go up to €39, €49, etc.
Another promotional fare, for people who will be returning to Frankfurt, is the Sparpreis fare. A Sparpreis 25 fare is for a round trip with advance purchase on a specified train, and offers a 25% discount off of the full fare for the first person and a 50% discount off of that fare for the next four people travel with that person. A Sparpreis 50 offer also requires a weekend stay, and gives 50% off of full fare for the first traveler and 50% off of that fare up to four people traveling with that person.
The only problem with these Sparpreis offers, is that they require use of a specific train, and are non-refundable, so if you are flying into Frankfurt and want to leave immediately for Munich, a late flight could cost you the promotional fare ticket, and you would have to pay full fare to replace it.
One solution is to do something in the Frankfurt/ Mainz/ Middle Rhine (Bacharch or St. Goar) area for a day, and take the train the next day, when you know you will be able to commit, at one of these promotional fares.
On Saturday, Sunday, or legal holidays, up to 5 people can travel by regional trains all the way from FRA or Frankfurt Hbf to anywhere in Bavaria for €35 (total) with a Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket. Get the S-W-T at a red/white/blue DB ticket automat or at a blue/white regional automat in the Regionalbhf or from a DB ticket counter for €2 more.
By now, most people are aware of the savings they can have using a Bayern-Ticket, but few people realize that Bavaria starts just a few km from Frankfurt. If you take the Regional Express (RE) from Frankfurt Hbf to Würzburg, the first stop in Bavaria is in Kahl am Main, just 33 minutes from Frankfurt. You can buy the Bayern-Ticket from a DB automat or at a ticket counter (€2 more) at FRA and use it from Kahl to anywhere in Bavaria. A local, RMV, point to point ticket from FRA to Kahl costs just €6,75, so two people can go from FRA to anywhere in Bavaria for just €40,50, €20,25 each. For three people it costs only €15,75 each.
For details on using the local and Bayern tickets, click next