Germany by Train- Toddler Approved

Train ride from Garmisch Partenkirchen to Fussen

I asked Athena, “What do you want to do most today?” “I want to ride the train,” she replied just as quickly as I’d asked. It’s been her favorite thing to do. She loves the entire process including getting tickets, riding the elevator, waiting on the platform, listening to the conductor blow the whistle, picking a seat, giving her ticket to the conductor, and watching everything pass by out the window. It’s all like going to an amusement park and I get to experience it with her rather than driving myself. The public transportation system is definitely toddler and parent approved.Β 

I could have picked up all of my tickets for the entire trip in one day but Athena loved the process so much that I decided to pick them up before each ride. She wanted to help push the buttons and anxiously waited for the ticket to arrive behind the plastic. It was like she won a prize at a candy machine. Rather than a worthless candy, though, she gets a ticket that she can hold and give to “the conductor” when he asks for it. (Keep in mind that anyone who works at the train station or on the train is “the conductor” from here on out.)

After we got out tickets, we rode the elevator, another one of her favorite things, to get to the correct platform. She searched for the number 4 like it was a treasure hunt and yelled, “There it is, Mommy” when we were getting close.

Trains were at every platform and her eyes grew with wonder. She yelled, “whooo whooo” to every train and at every conductor. She smiled at everyone around and giggled every time the whistle blew. Thankfully, we weren’t there too early. I thought passengers would be annoyed with her but everyone that walked by or was around us smiled with delight. She was a show stopper, mesmerized and transfixed with a happiness that could only be so obvious on a child’s face.

Athena on the Train in Germany

She carefully selected a seat, rubbing her hand on each one until she found the perfect spot for her. “I want to sit here, Mommy.” It wasn’t a big deal to let her choose so we sat where she wanted.

She proudly handed the conductor her ticket and the conductor gave Athena a ticket of her own to keep for the entire trip. The smile on her face was priceless as she said thank you and held on tight.

Athena on the Train in Germany

It wasn’t until 20 minutes later when she started to color that she passed me the ticket and asked me to hold it for her.

Every so often, she’d glance out the window and say “Wow! Look at that, Mommy!”

Mountain View from the Train, Germany

She asked if we could climb all the mountains in Germany (I think I’m gong to have a run for my money with this kid when she gets older) and she picked her favorites based on which ones were biggest.

Today was magical. I watched my child do something she’d talked about for months. We watch Dinosaur Train and Thomas the TrainΒ on a regular basis and she constantly tells me that she wants to ride trains. It all became reality today. As much as she wants to visit castles and amusement parks, she wants to ride trains. I don’t know if she’ll remember this moment for the rest of her life, but I’ll certainly remember it for the rest of mine.

****Our trip to Germany is sponsored by the German National Tourist BoardΒ but all thoughts, ideas, and options are my own.***

56 thoughts on “Germany by Train- Toddler Approved

  1. The look on her face says it all. So great that she loves the trains and the mountains.So glad that you made it since you were concerned about the long plane ride and the time change. Looks like it’s going to be a great trip πŸ™‚


  2. We just did a return trip from Venice to Vienna by sleeper train (originally only supposed to be one way, but a delayed outbound flight etc…). The bottom line is that, although the cabins were really small (even for me!) they were totally adequate for what we needed and, when you factor in the saved hotel room for the night, pretty reasonably priced. You even got breakfast. And an awesome arrival in Venice with the sun barely up yet!


  3. My last message didn’t make it through thanks to my poor internet connection. Just wanted to say I am so surprised at how much Athena has grown! She is so cute!

    My husband (at the time my boyfriend) and I visited Germany in 2008 and we went everywhere by train. It is our wedding anniversary today. He proposed in the Singer’s Hall at Neuschwanstein Castle in Fussen. If you have not seen the castles there, they are well worth a look.


  4. What a beautiful experience to share with your daughter, sounds like you have an adventurer on your hands! I was just in Frankfurt last month and have to say I had a bit of the same enthusiasm as Athena about riding the trains, although I never saw a conductor, not once during my journey…hmmm


    • I often wondered if it was doable but we are getting along great and I’m traveling with her on my own. Both parents would be even easier. Europe is perfect for family members of all ages, especially Germany. The Germans love children and have been more than helpful. It’s like having grandparents around πŸ™‚


  5. Aww bless her – this sounds like a great trip for with the kids and really reminds me of how excited me and my sister got as youngsters when we got to ride the little train in one of the coastal villages nearby – it was such a treat and although so simple, really ignites the imagination of a child :)and you’ve always got to do the “whooo whooo”!! haha she is such a cutie xx


  6. Just something else fun you could do with her, my mum always used to get us to write a story and do pictures of our trip after we went so we would have a bit of a storybook momento from it – was lovely to create these with my sis and parents’ help and we still have them now, 20 years later! xx


  7. I am so happy Athena loved her train ride and was entertained by the experience. She is a good traveler! I can’t wait to hear more about your adventures in Germany with her! Have fun! πŸ™‚


  8. I’m happy to hear that Athena is enjoying her vacation. Here in Wales, the conductors on the trains also give kids their own special ticket that they can keep hold of. They love it πŸ™‚


  9. I love this! I remember when we traveled by train through Italy for a month with my older daughter when she was three. Everything was “wow!” and all the people were so much nicer to us because she was along. What a great experience you two get to have in one of my favorite countries. Enjoy!


  10. This is so sweet! I’ll bet Athena will always love riding the trains. This I know first hand because I too rode trains when I was a child, & I have always loved trains. My husband & I are traveling by train next month half way across country, & I can’t wait. He hasn’t ever been on a train, so this should be extra fun. I expect his reaction to be the same as Athena’s except for the coloring part!


  11. so glad to hear she is having so much fun. i didn’t get to ride any train when i was there :(, but i do remember the many scenic views i get to pass on my road trip there. your pics here are reminders on one of the many things i miss from germany.


  12. Is this the first time your daughter is travelling with you? She is a nice age now to travel with… I assume? I mean younger… with nappies etc… would be pretty tough I guess…


  13. Reminds me of when I used to take my little girl grocery shopping. All of the old folks would just melt. I remember the looks on the faces of the older men. A bit sad, a bit happy a bit off in a memory. It never seemed creepy to me, just odd that anyone would feel that way when my daughter and I were just grocery shopping.
    Now I know how they felt.


  14. We just travelled Italy , Austria and into Munich by trains through June and July. We all enjoyed the trips but the one from Venice to Munich was magical as we first glimpsed the Alps on this journey. The small snow caps and chalet houses were picture postcard perfect.


  15. Wow, Athena has really begun to come into her own little person. Her face is wonderfully lit up from within and she is filled with joy. You must be super proud. Watching my kids discovering something new is the absolute best gift for a parent to receive. I do think that you have a budding Adventurer on your hands. πŸ™‚


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