3 country rail pass

Feb 16th, 2011, 09:05 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 67
3 country rail pass

Arriving Hamburg June 8, going from Hamburg airport to Bremen Vegesack
June 11th- 12th Heidelberg and Mannheim
June 13th -15th To Munich
June 15th night leave Munich for Rome. Overnight train 1st class (2 people in cabin together)

Will be doing sightseeing within each stop. Can I use public transportation with rail passes? Going on a day trip from Munich to Salzburg to Ludwigs Palace using the train and public transportation.
The trains have me quite confused so say the least. Which rail system should I use? How to schedule the sleeper car? Book first class all itineraries
Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
tilly2354 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2011, 09:12 AM
  #2  
 
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You may find that the Eurail Select 3 Country Pass costs more than the sum of regular tickets but this would only be true I believe if comparing 2nd class tickets to the first class pass - and after decades of European training I always advice strongly first class for the average tourist - not that 2nd class is a cattle car but first class much more relaxed - bigger seats, more empty seats, more room for luggage, etc.

Anyway most of your questions will be answered in these really informative sites - www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com. Go to www.bahn.de - the German Railways web site for schedules of trains all over Europe and fares for German trips - if you can book the discount online fares from bahn.de then that may be cheaper than the pass - but these must be booked way in advance to guarantee getting - if you want flexibility to hop on any train in Germany anytime then the pass is a boon as such fully flexible fares, as a glance at bahn.de will show, can be extremely expensive.

And if buying a 3-country Select Pass keep in mind that if you buy one for 6 days or longer before sometime in March then you get an extra day free - about a $60-70 value if it fits into your plans. (No free day with 5-day passes.) A Saverpass is cheaper and has two or more names on one pass - good for folks traveling together on train at all times.
PalenQ is online now  
Feb 16th, 2011, 12:01 PM
  #3  
 
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Things to think about...

with a pass you still have to pay extra for the optional type of sleeping accommodation on overnight trains - the pass pays for the train fare but not sleeping berths, etc. expect to pay $50 or more p.p. IME for a private double- significantly less for a couchette - see if on bahn.de you see if they discount the Munich to Rome overnight train and what it would cost for you that route for a T-2 - private double p.p. - and check full price as well of course - esp if you want flexibility - I have ridden this overnight train several times and have always had no problem booking my sleeping berth once in Germany - so if flexibility is key that is a criteria as discounts are generally non-changeable non-refundable.
PalenQ is online now  
Feb 17th, 2011, 08:39 AM
  #4  
 
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Will be doing sightseeing within each stop. Can I use public transportation with rail passes? Going on a day trip from Munich to Salzburg>

With a railpass you can use all the trains in Germany operated by Deutsche Bahn (DB) and also some non-DB railways - in effects nearly all inter-city trains and even inside cities like Munich the pass would be valid on commuter rail lines (S-Bahns) as they are run by DB - thus you can ride S Bahns with the pass but not U-Bahns, which are not run by the state rail system DB - and in Munich there are useful S-Bahn lines running right thru the heart of town. But you would only use these with a railpass if you were also doing significant intercity train travel that day as you would not want to burn one of your flexible travel days on the Select Pass just to ride a few cheap - few euro S-Bahn trips - but if arriving in Munich from say Heilbronn then for the rest of the day you can use the S-Bahn free with the pass anbd also on days you day trip to Salzburg and Fussen and back.
PalenQ is online now  
Feb 17th, 2011, 12:50 PM
  #5  
 
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trains have me quite confused so say the least. Which rail system should I use? How to schedule the sleeper car? Book first class all itineraries>

which rail system? The only one there is basically in Germany, Deutsche Bahn or DB - the national rail service that runs probably 88+% of all trains - with a railpass you can just hop on any of the zillion of daily trains - going often twice or more hourly between main cities and about hourly to places like Fuessen (Mad Ludwig's fantasy castles about 2 miles from station -mini-buses, buses or taxis readily available or you can walk on footpaths thru a forest - there are a few non DB trains and for the most part, like those in Bavaria you can also hop on with your pass - so there is only one system basically (no special trains for Eurailpass holders - the pass allows you to hop on any train basically in Germany but there are no special Eurail trains as often thought.

How to book the sleepr - upon landing in Germany go to the train station in Frankfurt Airport and show and activate your railpass and have them book the train for you - I have done this umpteen times and never not gotten the reservation - you can also I guess with a pass book the train yourself at www.bahn.de - DB's web site and folks have said they did but I have not and do not know exactly how to do that. Or if the type who wants everything booked before leaving and can't do on bahn.de then you can have American-based agents do it - but do it when you buy your railpass or for just a reservation without a pass purchase you may have to pay a steep mailing fee but if done with the pass usually no fee at all - I would recommend the folks at www.budgeteuropetravel.com whom I have bought passes from for years and can attest to expertise and personal service via phone - but you will pay more booking here gnerally and if it were moi I'd wait until Germany - that said I understand while novice rail travelers want everything buttoned down and that can be priceless.

Your Select Pass, if going first class, will be a great deal if you want flexibility as full fare fully flexible first class tickets can be awfully expensive (just look at bahn.de Mannheim to Munich and Munich to Salzburg and back for an example of that!

anyway trying to answer your questions and please feel free to pose more!
PalenQ is online now  
Feb 20th, 2011, 01:09 AM
  #6  
 
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The mind-bogglingly simple thing to do is just go to www.bahn.de and book your tickets.

If you book in advance, any long distance journey within Germany starts at 29 euros, and no railpass can compete with that, especially when agency fees are added as well. Of course, the 29/39/49 euros deals are no refunds, no changes to travel plans, so this assumes you know when you want to travel. A reserved seat costs 3.50 euros extra, but it's optional (a good idea for a long trip)

Munich to Rome on the direct City Night Line sleeper train starts at 79 euros with a bed in a 2-bed sleeper with washbasin (shower at end of corridor), rather more if you insist on a compartment with en suite toilet and shower. To see what CNL sleeper trains are like, see www.seat61.com/citynightline.htm, and once again book at www.bahn.de. You print out your own ticket. Easy!
Man_in_seat_61 is offline  
Feb 20th, 2011, 11:22 AM
  #7  
 
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If you book in advance, any long distance journey within Germany starts at 29 euros, and no railpass can compete with that, especially when agency fees are added as well.>

Well that type of blanket statement is just bunk IMO - it depends on how many days or train travel in Germany you plan - if you do five or six different trips - not unusual for someone spending 2-3 weeks and hitting Munich, Berlin, Dresden, the Rhine, etc and landing in Frankfurt - take a six-day German Twin Pass p.p. is about $40/day in 2nd class which comes out to about 29 euros a day - and that is the cheapest online disconts if you can get them - you may have to pauy as man in seat 61 says above 39 or 49 euro - and those are severely restricted whereas with the pass you can hop on virtually any train anytime. And agency fees - at least in U.S. many agencies will not charge a dime extra to ship your order. and priceless to many will be the hours saved trying to book those deep discounts, which often must be done weeks in advance to secure.

and if traveling in first class the railpass is even cheaper so only four days or so of rail travel can be as cheap as the online discounts from bahn.de
PalenQ is online now  
Feb 21st, 2011, 06:18 AM
  #8  
 
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OK, point taken - I'm used to seeing global or several-country eurailpasses working out at 40-50 euros per day, then with booking and reservation fees to pay on top.

The only solution is to do the maths for your specific itienarary!
Man_in_seat_61 is offline  
Feb 21st, 2011, 08:05 AM
  #9  
 
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Even 40 or 50 euros a day IMO for first class travel is a bargain if going internationally or on several longish train trips - folks always compare the online discounted and severely restricted tickets often with the fully flexible first class passes, which in countries like Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the UK and a few other countries still provide generally hop on any train anytime possibilities. Comparing apples to oranges IMO - given for the average casual tourist that first class will be a much much more relaxed way to go - if you were doing trips all the time then the savings in 2nd class would be advised but for the trip of a lifetime why chince a few bucks?
PalenQ is online now  
Feb 21st, 2011, 12:11 PM
  #10  
 
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Currently a 3-country Select Pass like OP mentioned in the OP costs:

7 days/2 months flexipass
$430 p.p. Savrpasss or about $60/day or about 40 euros a day - this to me is a great deal for first class travel - how can online discounts beat this?

9 days $509 or about $55/day or about 38 euros for FIRST CLASS travel?

11 days $590 or about $54/day

I just get tired of folks who without looking at fares say that railpasses rarely make sense - show me how online discounts can be a good a deal for first class travel.

The Eurail Select Saverpass to me is a great deal for many itineraries, not all of course but to say a railpass like the OP mentions is rarely cost effective IMO is misinformation.
PalenQ is online now  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 06:30 AM
  #11  
 
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If buying a Eurail Select Pass for 6 days or more if you buy it before March 30, 2011 as then you will get an extra day free - 7 days at the price of 6, 9 days at the price of 8, etc. Does not apply to 5 day passes but at 6 or more makes of course the per day rate of the pass cheaper.
PalenQ is online now  
Feb 23rd, 2011, 09:21 AM
  #12  
 
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You may find that a German Twin Pass combined with an online discounted Munich to Rome night train fare would be a good deal for you - especially if you wish to hop any train anytime in Germany - like going to Salzburg on a day trip the Bavarian Pass limits you to regional trains I believe so you take an hour longer about each way than just hopping on the hourly at last ICE express trains. And a German Railpass passes all the way to Salzburg, considered a German station for pass purposes even though just inside Austia - and I think also for Bavarian Lander tickets too.
PalenQ is online now  

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