How extreme winter weather in Germany could affect your travel plans

The Local Germany
The Local Germany - [email protected]
How extreme winter weather in Germany could affect your travel plans
People queue at the information point at Munich main station on Monday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Roland Freund

Southern Germany has been battling full-on snow storms and sub-zero conditions. It's led to travel chaos which will continue this week.


Heavy snowfall hit southern Germany on Saturday, resulting in Munich airport closing and dozens of trains being cancelled.

But the disruption continued on Sunday - and there are expected to be problems in the first few days of this week. 

Rail traffic in southern parts of the country was brought to a standstill as trees blocked tracks, overhead lines froze over and trains got buried in snow, leaving them unable to travel. 

"Due to the onset of winter, there will probably be delays and train cancellations in the south of Germany until midweek," said rail operator Deutsche Bahn in a service statement on Monday. 

"Access to Munich Hauptbahnhof (central station) is currently only very limited. There are therefore only a few long-distance trains running to and from Munich."

READ ALSO: Heavy snow paralyses parts of southern Germany

DB advised that journeys to and from Munich should be postponed.

There were still no connections between the state capital and Innsbruck and Salzburg in Austria, as well as Zurich in Switzerland. These services were expected to resume on Tuesday. 

On the route between Stuttgart and Singen, some services had resumed, however, there could be short-term cancellations.

DB also said that there may be train cancellations and delays in other parts of Germany due to the freezing weather. 


Deutsche Bahn advised that passengers who want to postpone their trip planned from December 2nd to December 4th due to the weather can use their ticket at a later date. 

It is also possible to take a different route than the one booked if it is going to the same destination. Meanwhile, seat reservations can be cancelled free of charge.

A stranded regional train from the Swabian Alb Railway on Sunday.

A stranded regional train from the Swabian Alb Railway on Sunday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Thomas Warnack

Because running train services were expected to be packed on Monday, train bosses recommended that passengers plan their postponed trip from December 5th onwards. 

Refunds are also possible if passengers cannot travel at a later date. 

A free hotline (08000-996633) has been set up for customers who want more information about the current situation.

S-Bahn and regional services around Munich are also impacted, with tracks expected to gradually improve over the next few days.


What about other possible disruption?

People planning to fly will be glad to hear that the situation at Munich airport is slowly returning to normal - but bosses have warned that disruption is still expected. 

The second runway at Munich reopened at around 7:20 am on Monday. The airport was forced to close on Saturday due to the severe snowfall, throwing travel plans into disarray. 

On Sunday due to the snow conditions, flights could only take place via the northern runway.

A total of 840 flights were planned to take place on Monday, however around 230 had been cancelled.

A spokesperson from Munich airport said there were still "severe restrictions in air traffic".


"The flight schedule has been greatly reduced due to the airlines' cancellations," the spokesperson said.

"We therefore recommend that all travellers flying today or tomorrow check the status of their flight with their airline or contact the airlines directly before arriving at the airport.

"It is not yet possible to predict how the situation will develop in the coming days."

The Christmas and winter market at the airport was to remain closed on Monday and Tuesday. 

Other parts of Germany were also hit by snow and freezing conditions at the weekend, including Baden-Württemberg. 

The weather also impacted road travel in parts of northern Germany with one car in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania coming off a snow-covered road and hitting a tree. The driver and one passenger were seriously injured.

When it comes to the roads on Monday, there was no major disruption but drivers were urged to stay vigilant, and police have warned of slippery roads. 

Meanwhile, some youngsters got a snow day on Monday. In parts of Upper Bavaria and Augsburg, schools were closed due to the weather. 


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also