Bavaria by train?

Old Sep 19th, 2006, 07:40 AM
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Bavaria by train?

Hi everyone,

There's a really good thread right now about where to base yourself for the Romantic Road, and I was wondering if you could advise me, as well. I've been to Munich, Salzburg, Oberammergau, and Fussen before, but am taking my mom this time. We are going to be taking the train, not driving. I'll be in Munich for 3 or 4 nights, and then wanted to head to the smaller towns up north on the Romantic Road that I didn't see the last time. I was thinking of staying in one hotel (Wurzburg, Bamberg??) and taking the train to different towns everyday. I was getting the feeling that Wurzburg would be a good base, but it was a little unclear, because then everyone started talking about driving. What's the best plan strictly by train?

Thanks!
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Old Sep 19th, 2006, 07:50 AM
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Wurzburg has great rail links and is a fabulous city - if going by train and trains are so frequent and go virtually everywhere strongly consider the Bavarian Pass, where two can ride for a pittance, with some restrictions that are easy to live with. Sold at stations in Bavaria. Search here for LarryinColorado and TimS as these two German train gurus have written volumes about the Bavarian pass.
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Old Sep 19th, 2006, 08:12 AM
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Hey, I've never been called a "guru" before. Thanks for the compliment!

The German rail site, www.bahn.de, tells about two deals you could take advantage of, the Happy-Weekend-Ticket and Lander-Tickets which include the Bayern (Bavaria) ticket.

Click on "Internat. Guests" at the top of the home page. Under the heading "Planning Your Journey" click on "Offers for Travelers in Germany." On the new page click on "Regional Tickets" under "Offers for Travelers in Germany." Now you can read about the Happy-Weekend-Ticket" and at the bottom of the page you can click on a link to get detailed information about Lander-Tickets.
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Old Sep 19th, 2006, 08:15 AM
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As they say with compliments - consider the source!
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Old Sep 19th, 2006, 09:03 AM
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Thank you, TimS! I've only ever looked at this site to get times and connections; I didn't realize there was so much more. These are really great deals. I wonder if there's a limit to how many days you can use them in a week.

So, Bob, you think I should stay in Wurzburg over Bamberg?
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Old Sep 19th, 2006, 09:06 AM
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Not necessarily - Bamberg i actually like even more - one of Europe's cutest towns - some rivers running right thru it and a huge collection of old buildings. Perhaps would be more centrally located but may not have better rail links as is on a sideline i believe.

Someone else can give better answer to this i believe.
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Old Sep 19th, 2006, 12:04 PM
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On my recent trip to Germany I used only trains to travel in Baden-Wurttemberg and Bavaria.

When I left Stuttgart to go to Wurzburg, it was on a Saturday and it was the perfect time to buy a Happy Weekend Ticket.

The two cities are in different lands, and if it wasn't for the weekend ticket, I'd have bought two lander tickets.

The Happy Weekend Ticket cost 30 euros for up to 5 persons travelling together, while the lander ticket costs 25 euros for the same number, of travellers.

I travelled only by regional trains and it was a pleasant experience throughout.

Moreover, these Bavarian or Happy Weekend tickets are also good for local transportation.

Wurzburg is a very beautiful city. On a side street by the St. Mary's Chapel, Marienkapelle, there's a 600 years old wine house, called Stachel.

It is superb, a small place with a few tables in an inner court with a terrace and hanging plants and flowers. Have a bottle of white Franconian wine. I had a splendind evening with my wife there this summer.

Of course, you must see the Residenz, Neumunster Church and St. Kilian Cathedral.

Also next to Marienkapelle is a superb white-cream building with rococo decorations - Falkenhaus.
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Old Sep 19th, 2006, 01:11 PM
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Wurzburg is a major transportation hub and would be the best city to use as a base strictly by train - and is a nice city to visit. Bamberg on the other hand is a true jewel. It would be easy to catch a train to Wurzburg (or to Nuremburg from Bamberg.)

Bamberg was spared destruction during WWII, Wurzburg was mostly destroyed and reconstructed. Bamberg is also easier to get around by foot.

Romantic Road cities like Rothenburg are more limited by train - but doable. I would choose Bamberg.
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Old Mar 6th, 2007, 08:40 AM
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Old Mar 6th, 2007, 10:07 AM
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I think a good place to get a description of the Bayern Ticket is the Bayern-Takt website (www.bayern-takt.de). Click on "Englisch Version", then on the red rectangle next to Bayern Ticket.

I'm not sure what you mean by "up north" on the Romantic Road. If you mean the towns between Rothenburg and Würzburg, I think your best bet is to base in Würzburg. Romantic Road websites show the towns of Weikersheim, Röttingen, and Creglingen as being on the Road between Würzburg and Rothenburg. I have also had people recommend Bad Mergentheim and Tauberbischofsheim as worth stopping at along this route. Of these towns, each one except Röttingen is accessible by train from Würzburg; Röttingen is accessible by bus from Weikersheim.

All of the above towns are in Baden-Württemberg, so you won't be able to use a Bayern Ticket. However, they are all in the transit district of VRN (Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Neckar, www.vrn.de). Würzburg is in another district (Mainfranken), but travel from VRN to Würzburg (but not within Würzburg is included in VRN tickets. VRN sells a 24 hour ticket (Ticket 24 Plus) for the entire district (Verbundgebiet) for up to five people for €18,50. Unlike day tickets, which are only valid until sometime after midnight of the next day, Ticket 24 Plus is valid for 24 hours from the time you stamp (Entwerten) it. On weekends, it is valid until 3 AM the next workday.

You can purchase the Ticket 24 Plus in the VRN; I am not sure about in Würzburg, there might not be VRN ticket automats, but maybe at the ticket counter. At worst, you might have to buy two single point-point tickets from Würzburg to Lauda the first day, then buy the 24 hour ticket in Lauda. Then, each day, as you go through Lauda on your way back to Würzburg, buy another 24 hour ticket.
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Old Mar 6th, 2007, 02:45 PM
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In the previous post, I assumed by "up north" that you meant Rothenburg to Würzburg. If you meant Rothenburg and south, such as Dinkelsbühl, Nördlingen, and Donauwörth, then I think you should base yourself in Nürnberg.

Rothenburg and Dinkelsbühl are both in the Nürnberg transit district (Verkehrsverbund Großraum Nürnberg, www.vgn.de). With a Tageskarte 10+T for €13,70, up to two adults (6 people max) can travel all over the VGN using regional and district transport for an entire day (or all weekend long). You can go to Rothenburg for €13,70. You can go to Dinkelsbühl for €13,70. Dinkelsbühl is not accessible by train, but Ansbach is, and there is a bus that goes from there to Dinkelsbühl (Feuchtwangen, too).

You can also go by bus from Dinkelsbühl to Nördlingen for a little more than €13,70. Nördlingen is outside VGN, so the VGN ticket does not cover the entire trip. You would have to pay extra for the part of the trip outside of VGN. On the other hand, you can go by train from Nürnberg to Donauwörth to Nördlingen. You can use a Bayern Ticket for €27. It costs a little more that way, but it takes less time than with the bus.
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Old Mar 6th, 2007, 05:03 PM
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I stayed in both Wurzburg and Bamberg last October. Bamberg is definitely my first choice. The Hotel Brudermuhle is exeptionally charming, clean and reasonably priced. It's a great walking town (but be aware of the cobblestoned streets and the steep uphill climb to the cathedral). Bamberg was not originally in my plan but after reading The Third Secret by Steve Berry I wanted to go there and see the places where some of the action takes place. Bamberg seems more authentic and appears to be a weekend desitination for Germans (ran into very few Americans/Canadians/British). (Skip the riverboat ride.)

Wurzburg was more stark in my view (it drizzled during the time I stayed there, maybe clouding my judgement).

That said, I think access to other German towns is relatively the same whether you base yourself in Wurzburg or Bamberg, but others with more experience may know more.
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Old Mar 6th, 2007, 06:28 PM
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Hee, it's funny to see this thread again. I ended up doing two nights in Wurzburg (visiting Rothenberg and a cute place called Sommerhausen from Wurzburg) two nights in Bamberg, one night in a tiny but pretty place called Eichstatt (so random), and then four in Munich.

I had a similar experience as MKE. It rained a lot Wurzburg and it was a little stark. However, it was a good base for Rothenburg, and the Tiepolos in the Residenz did not disappoint aftear years of obsessing about them. Bamberg was an absolute dream, and my favorite part of the trip. I actually liked it much better than Rothenburg. That hard-to-reach church at the very top of town is not to be missed, and we had a couple of truly amazing dinners.

I think I've thanked everyone in other threads, but just in case, thanks! It was a great trip, and I achieved my goal of getting my mom to fall in love with Germany.
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Old Mar 7th, 2007, 08:04 AM
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Bamberg is an absolute gem of a small city--our favorite in Germany. Wuerzburg is nice, too, but we much prefer Bamberg. It's a World Heritage Site--even has both an emporer and a Pope buried there. The old town is lovely, and unlike Rothenburg, the old town is a part of the real city, not a seperate tourist enclave of souvenir shops, Christmas stores, tourist hotels, Schnellball vendors, and restaurants.

But if your aim is to find a base up north for the northern Romantic Road traveling by rail and/or bus, then either Wuerzburg or Nuernberg would be more convenient than Bamberg would be--from Bamberg you'd have to go thru either Wuerzburg or Nuernberg to get to the Romantic Road towns.

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Old Mar 7th, 2007, 08:42 AM
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Leaving for Munich tomorrow! yay! We left Tuesday day/night/and Wednesday day open. Initially we were gong to rent a car, but to save $$, we're **thinking of taking train up to Fussen Tuesday, spending night somewhere, checking out another town wednesday, and then head back to Munich for our last night. Thoughts?
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Old Mar 7th, 2007, 09:25 AM
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As long as you are not too fanatic about leaving for Füssen early in the morning, you can make the round trip for €54 (two €27 Bayern Tickets). The Bayern tickt validity begins at 9 AM. You can leave Munich Hbf at 9:51 and get into Füssen around noon. If you want to start an hour earlier (8:52), also buy an MVV Partner All Zones Dayticket for €17. That will cover your travel until 9:20.

The Bayern ticket is also valid for the bus to and from Hohenschwangau, where the castles are. See Neuschwanstein the first day. On the second day, get a Bayern ticket at the Füssen bahnhof first thing in the morning, use it for the bus to Hohenschwangau, see the Hohenschwangau castle, then hop the 12:43 bus (RVO 9606) for Wieskirche (arr 13:16).

Spend about an hour (+/-) at Wieskirche, then catch the bus back at 13:57 or 14:31. It gets to Hohenschwangau at 14:40 or 15:21 respectively, or to Füssen bahnhof 10 minutes later. The Bayern Ticket is valid for all those buses, as well as your train trip back to Munich that night.

You can find the schedule for the bus by negotiating the website, www.rvo-bus.de, or just go to www.tiny.cc/RVObus_9606.
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