Brenner Pass Route

31 May 2019

Brenner Pass Route

Each day, EuroCity 87 runs from Munich in Bavaria to Venice, via Innsbruck, the Brenner Pass and Verona.  It is one of Europe’s most spectacular journeys linking two world-class destinations and one of our most popular routes through the Alps.


Time of departure: 11:38

Distance from start:  0 miles / 0 km

Elevation above sea level: 519m / 1703ft

Your EuroCity train leaves Munich’s immense station this morning, firstly heading east through the wooded landscape of southern Bavaria.  The train crosses seamlessly into Austria at Kufstein, where you can look out for the fortress, which dates back to the 14th century.

The train then heads west through the Tyrol, following the watercourse of the River Inn.  After a brief journey through a tunnel, you’ll emerge into the regional capital, Innsbruck.


Time of departure:  13:27

Distance from start:  100 miles / 162 km

Elevation above sea level: 574m / 1883ft

The section from Innsbruck up to Brenner is the main highlight of your journey.  The train climbs over 3000 ft as it twists and turns, along with the motorway that links Innsbruck with Italy.

HOT TIP: Make your way to the very back of the train, behind the cycle storage area, for spectacular views out of the rear window of the train as it climbs from up to the summit.


Time of departure:  14:14

Distance from start:  130 miles / 210 km

Elevation above sea level: 1370m / 4495ft

Shortly after 2pm, you glide effortlessly into Italy, stopping for 15 minutes at Brenner, where you are free to hop off and stretch your legs.

Once on the Italian side of the pass, you begin a gentle descent through the region of Süd Tirol (Alto Adige in Italian).  This is an autonomous region of Italy that was once part of Austria, so you will notice that station signs and train announcements are in both languages.  The region is majority German-speaking and you may even here a cheerful “Gruss Gott” from your Italian ticket inspector!  Twist and turn through the beautiful scenery in time with the Isarco River, a watercourse that will be your companion for the next 50 miles or so.


Time of departure:  15:31

Distance from start:  172 miles / 278 km

Elevation above sea level: 262m / 860ft

The dramatic cutting mountains begin to give way to more rolling hills as you trundle through out of the bilingual Alto Adige and into “Italy proper”.  As you stop at the stations of Trento and Rovereto, Lake Garda is only a few miles to the west and Rovereto is often used to access the northern part of the lake by rail users.

Gradually, the train swings slowly around to the left and the looming lights of Verona are ahead of you.  The train joins the Milan-Venice mainline as it calls at Verona for a Northwest


Time of departure:  17:00

Distance from start:  275 miles / 444 km

Elevation above sea level:  59m / 194ft

After the train leaves Verona, the topography is a lot flatter, as the train zooms across the northern plains of Italy into the state of Veneto.  Passing through the city of Padua, the excitement builds as the train approaches Venice, crossing the long causeway (Ponte della Libertà) from mainland Venice Mestre, right onto the island itself.


Time of arrival:  18:10

Distance from start:  337 miles / 543 km

Elevation above sea level: 0m / 0ft

As you walk out of Venice’s modernist Santa Lucia station, you couldn’t be anywhere else in the world, as the Grand Canal stretches out before you, marking a magical end to this epic journey.

On board the train
Standard Class

Standard Class seating is in the front 4 to 6 coaches of the train.  It provides seating in either an open-coach format or compartment for 6 people.  Seats are comfortable although can be crowded at busy times and for the busier stretches of the journey such as over the Brenner Pass.

Photos courtesy of VagonWeb

First Class

We highly recommend upgrading to First Class for this journey.  There are usually two carriages of First Class accommodation at the rear of the train – one is an open-coach and one is compartments of 4 or 6 comfortable leather seats.  First Class passengers are also entitled to use the lounges at Munich or Innsbruck before boarding.