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Advice on Rail Pass for Germany

Old Apr 6th, 2011, 03:16 AM
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Advice on Rail Pass for Germany

Our tentative itinerary works :
Arrive in Frankfurt
Proceed to Rhine area for 3 nights
Move to Black Forest for 2 nights
Then proceed to Munich 4 nights
Make day trips to Innsbruck and Salzburg
We will be 2 adults and 2 kids.
Kindly advise us the most economical pass that we should take.

Kind regards,
SKPKCP11
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Old Apr 7th, 2011, 03:26 AM
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Please provide your arrival and departure dates and the kids' ages for the most helpful advice.
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Old Apr 7th, 2011, 05:22 AM
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If traveling within one state, then you can use the Lander tickets for about 30E for all of you.

If traveling between states
On weekends use Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket for around 40E

I have seen a pass called quer-durchs-land before but I can't find it on the german rail website today

great info at www.bahn.de.
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Old Apr 7th, 2011, 09:23 PM
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Dear Russ & Bigtyke,

Thanks for your quick revert.

We are 2 adults and 2 children - 9 years & 8 years

My tentative itinerary looks like this :
May 12 arrive late into Frankfurt
Need some advise on budget / 3 star accomodation on conveniently located place to spend night of May 12.
May 13 proceed to St. Goar - not sure which station to select St. Goar or St. Goar KD. Is there any speciality of the region to take back? Where can we get to eat budget typically German food in St. Goar or in nearby villages.
Kindly advise must do / must see things in the area. Can I do Trier? Which ticket do I take for this region and from where? Can I buy in Frankfurt after I land?

May 15 go to to Hausach in BF from St. Goar.
Kindly advise how to reach Hausach in the most economical way. Is there any speciality to take back from this region? Where do we eat budget recommendations please? What are the things we can do in this area without incurring too much expense.

May 17 go to Munich from Hausach.
May 22 depart Munich
Would like to make the most of my stay in Munich and make maximum day trips - not through tour operators:
Salzburg / Innsbruck / Ludwig castles / Zugspitze / Garmisch-P / Berchtesgaden / Romantic Road Towns / any other day trips to neighbouring countries
I am not clear how to work it out and what are the places we can combine. Which pass to take? We are okay with making early starts for our day trips to pack maximum things as we are not sure when we will be back again. Also, recommend what are the must do in each of these day trips.

In case we need to take a German rail pass - then how many days pass should we take. Will children travel free? Do I need to use the pass on consecutive days. How does it work? On the bahn site I could not figure out the restrictions etc.

We are budget travellers and the internal routing is working out high. Lastly I am unable to locate a thread which was started sometime back where in all the favorite German things were listed by all the experienced Fodorites. Can someone please forward me the link?

Thanks once again for all the great advise. Keep up the good work.

SKPKCP11
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Old Apr 8th, 2011, 04:55 AM
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You have a lot of questions. Let me deal with your core transportation needs first, the long trips.

Railpasses will cost you roughly $600 for the major legs of your trip. That's too much. Here's how to do the same distance for about 130 Euros.

Day 1: It's not very far to St. Goar and it's easy to get there. Also, accommodations will be cheaper there than near the airport or in Mainz.

Take a train from FRA's Regionalbahnhof, where the local trains depart - the stops are "Frankfurt(M) Flughafen Regionalbahnhof" and "St. Goar". The trip will cost your family 31.60 and takes only 1.25 hours. Just buy a ticket at the airport from a DB ticket machine with your credit card or cash. You will have to change trains only once - in Oberwesel, which is a small station. You don't even have to change tracks.

Use this page to figure out your train trips; for this trip, be sure to click on "only local transport", which gives you the regional trains:

http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en

Sunday 5/15: St. Goar to Hausach

This trip takes 4-5 hours by fast train. If you want to buy the cheapest advance tickets for the fastest ride, you can probably get them for 50-60 Euros for your family; use the above page and enter two adults, two children, and click "all" under "means of transport." These tickets are good only for the itinerary that you choose at the time of purchase and cannot be used if you are late for your train.

But I think it's better for you to get a "Schoenes Wochenende" ticket instead. This ticket is a daypass for 39 Euros that is good for the whole day on the regional trains throughout the country. The trains you use on this ticket will take only a little bit longer; with the SW ticket, you'll take 3 regional trains instead of the 2 regional trains + one fast train (the "fast" connections.) With the SW ticket, you can get on any regional train you want all day. Use the above website and be sure to click "only local transport" to find your schedule.

T 5/17: Hausach to Munich

There are advance sale tickets available now - 49 Euros for your family on the 8:18 train. Regular tickets on the "fastest" trains will cost around 130 - 160 Euros or more, so this is a good deal for you. Remember that you must use the exact trains that you book with these tickets.

Alternatively, you can get two Länder Tickets - daypasses for the two states you are traveling through - one for Baden-Württemberg and one for Bavaria. Each one costs 29 Euros for your family, 58 Euros total; use the regional trains ("only local transport" again) and travel at any hour after 9 am.

I will address the short train outings, which can be done cheaply or for free, and some of your other concerns, in a later post.
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Old Apr 8th, 2011, 06:02 AM
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The "Länder Ticket" daypasses cost about 30 Euros for your family per day no matter what state you are in. With all of them, you use the regional (RE, RB, MRB, VIA, for example) trains and many buses, and travel after 9 am. They can be bought at any DB ticket machine anywhere in Germany for any specific day. If you know exactly what days you will use the passes, you can buy them all at once at FRA if you want. (NOTE: Some very small stations, like the one in St. Goar, do not have DB ticket machines, only the local transport authority, VRM, machines. You cannot buy Länder tickets for other states or long-distance tickets at these machines.) You can read about Länder tickets here:

http://www.bahn.de/i/view/GBR/en/pri...r-ticket.shtml

Daytrips from St. Goar on 5/13 & 5/14: Use the Rheinland-Pfalz ticket.

Daytrips from Hausach on 5/15, 16: Your daytrips within the Black forest by train and by bus are free because you are staying in a town that offers the Konus Card:

http://www.blackforest-tourism.com/konus

Daytrips from Munich on 5/18-22: Use a Bayern Ticket for Salzburg, Garmisch, etc. The ticket will not get you to Innsbruck but only to the Austrian border. The Bayern Ticket is also good for public transport within Munich and to the airport.

So even if you bought a Länder Ticket for both days in St. Goar and all 5 days in Munich, the most you would spend for travel in Germany would be an additional 200 Euros or so, for a total family transport expense of around 330 Euros. With German railpasses, you'd pay about $500 per adult and about $250 per kid - close to $1500 for 10-day twin-passes.

"Where can we get to eat budget typically German food in St. Goar or in nearby villages."

You can try the Hotel am Markt in St. Goar; although it's not really budget, it's fairly priced. For low cost tasty food, try "Point", a place in the pedestrianized Heerstrasse where all the shops are. It's got some Turkish stuff and a variety of other food items. I also like "Alla Fontana", a nice Italian place on a narrow street off Heerstrasse.
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Old Apr 8th, 2011, 06:34 AM
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Oops. My error. The $1500 railpass was for Germany/Austria, not only Germany. Your family would pay roughly $1000 for 10-day German railpasses, still far more than the tickets I've outlined.
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Old Apr 18th, 2011, 01:58 AM
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Thanks Russ for your rail advise. Our itinerary has undergone a change :

Munich will be 2 nights only
We intend to spend 3 nights in Garmish & 2 nights in Berchtesgaden

Any recommendations on where to stay (budget) and where to eat in these 2 areas. We will not have a car.

Regards,
SKPKCP11
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Old Apr 18th, 2011, 06:16 AM
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Garmisch: There are private B&B's with good rates like this one:
http://www.herzog-gap.de/index_en.htm . Many cheap places don't have websites however.

This place has rooms, but the main attraction is the Bavarian Evening dinner with traditional food, music, and dancing:

http://www.gasthof-fraundorfer.de/

http://www.gapa.de/Garmisch-Partenki...omodation-List

It might be good to contact the TI office for help with choosing and booking a place to meet your needs.

Tourist Information
Tel: +49 8821 180 700
Fax: +49 8821 180 755
[email protected]


For Berchtesgaden:
http://www.berchtesgaden.de/en/startseite.html
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