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Dusseldorf to Sibiu on a train

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I want to take a train from Dusseldorf, Germany to Sibiu, Romania next month but I'm not sure exactly how to go about it.

Do I just walk up to the ticket counter in Dusseldorf and buy a ticket to Sibiu or do I have to buy separate tickets along the way for different legs of the trip?

And how long does the trip take and are sleeping cars available?

And for the return trip, can I purchase the ticket for entire trip in Sibiu?

Will the train ticket personell speak enough english to comunicate my itenerary?

Any help would be appreciated?

I can fly direct to Sibiu out of Munich on a Tarom ATR prop plane for $350 or so round trip but would rather save some money by taking the train.

Thanks in advance!

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    Al,

    Haven't done this route before, but looked it up on http://bahn.hafas.de/bin/query.exe/en and found that it takes anywhere from 26 to 32 hours with anywhere from 2 to 6 changes along the way. Sleeping cars are available for parts of this trip. Sounds like a pretty hairy ride. I don't know about the cost, but imagine it'd be pretty pricey. I don't know for certian, but imagine that you'd be able to purchase this ticket in Dusseldorf for the entire journey roundtrip. Most Germans speak great English, but as in anywhere in Europe any attempt at their language is appreciated. If it were me, I'd fly. That plane fare you quoted seems high to me? No? Good luck.

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    Fodors

    It's an interssing ride, but far from hairy -- indeed, you need a good book for some of the duller bits.

    The Europe desks in the Travel Centre at the main station in Dusseldorf have all your trains on their computer. If I were going non-stop I'd choose the Joseph Hsydn restaurant car Expresss from Dusseldorf at 0928. Change at Vienna West from 1950 to 2005, the Dacia Express. In the Dacia I'd book a berth. It has a 1, 2 or 3 berth sleeper, or a 6 berth couchette. I think the 3 berth gives the best balance of cost and comfort. The train has a restaurant car for the first three hours, and again from the Romanian frontier, so offers breakfast. It reaches Sighisoara at 0939 (which feels like 0839, due to a time shift), and there you want the next local train to run two hours to Sibiu that the Europe desk can find you. They just tell the computer you want to go from Dussedorf at 0928 to Sibiu, and it tells them the connections, which they print out for you. The change at Vienna is just over the platform, and Sigishoara is a small station: you won't get lost.

    To have a break on the way I'd take my first sleeper from Dusseldorf at 1951, change at Vienna, reach Budapest at 1203, enjoy the city, take a sleeper in the Transbalkan Express at 1940, reach Brasov at 0830 (feels like 0730), and go back northwards to Sibiu on the first suitable train.
    You just walk up to the Euroope desk in Disseldirf, with money or a crdfdit card, and buy the one ticket the whole way. Indeed, you might as well buy the two-way, or return, ticket, and your reservation notrthbound from Budapest, though you'll have to make your reservation north from Sibiu there in Sibiu. You don't need separate tickets along the way.

    At the Europe desk and in Budapest Keleti station there will be a couple of officers at least with good English. In the Sibiu rail booking office (which is in the city, not in the stsation) you join the queue (line), look behind you for a well dressed young person, find who speaks English, and ask for help in making your reservation or buying your ticket.

    I'm afraid I'm not sure this will be cheaper than the plane. Munich to Bucharest second class one way is shown as 178 US dollars. But you can ask about that at a travel centre in any large German station. And it will certainly be more fun, especially if you take a break in Vienna or Budapest (or one southbound, one northbound).

    Please write after you've seen the Europe desk people, if I can help further.

    Ben Haines, London

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    Thanks Ben. As usual, your a goldmine of info!

    I plan on staying at the hotel you recommended on a previous post - I call it the "King of Romans" Hotel. But it's actually the Impurer Roman...(can't remember what it is but I know where it is - a block or so from the square in the center of Sibiu)

    Anyway, thanks again,

    Al

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