The German Train System
Here is a list of train connection times between some of the major cities you might base yourself. It should give you an idea of the geo-temporal size you’re dealing with.. I’m listing them from northern Hamburg, down the eastern side to Berlin, Leipzig and on down to München. This is a major train corridor is near theaters in much of northern Germany, virtually all of the them in former East Germany (or DDR, as it was known), and extends to Bavaria and the prosperous areas of southern Germany.
Köln anchors the theater rich western side. It has direct connections to Berlin, Frankfurt München and Hamburg. I have added Kiel and Dresden to give an idea of travel from the more distant corners of the country. Trains do not always go “as the crow flies”. They tend to go North-South and East-West. They also follow older trade and historical paths. Your audition city may be on the main line or may require changes, which make the journey longer and more difficult.
Delays happen and changing trains increase that possibility. It’s best is when the connection is on the “Gleis gegenüber”-the tracks on the other side of the platform where the you arrive. Sometimes cheaper trains (IR)will be an hour slower but direct: Less stress, more time. ICE trains are modern and fast. There is now wifi and I think most of them even have plugs (bring your adaptor plugs!)
Hamburg-Frankfurt Flughafen 4-5 ¼ hrs
Berlin-Munich – 3 ½ to 5 ½ hours, mostly 4 ½ (there’s one very fast train)
Berlin-Köln-4 ½ to 5, mostly direct
Leipzig-Berlin-1 ½ hrs
Leipzig-Frankfurt Flughafen-3 ½ hrs
Leipzig-München 3 ½ – 4 ½ hrs
Leipzig-Hamburg- under 3 ½ hrs
Leipzig-Köln-5 – 6 ½ hrs. with 1 or 2 changes.
München-Hamburg-5 ½ – 6 ½ hrs
München-BMrlin-4 ½ – 5 ½ hrs
München-Frandfurt Flughafen 3 ½ – 4 ¼ hrs
München-Köln 4 ¾ – 5 ½ or 6 hrs
Köln-München-4 ½ to 6 or 6 ½
Köln-Berlin- 4 ¼ – 5 hrs, often direct
Köln-Frankfurt HBf-just over 1 hour to 2 ½
Köln-Frankfurt Flughafen-Just under 1 hr!
Kiel-Munich 7-8 hours
Dresden-Köln 5 ¾ – 7 hrs