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Best website from train tickets from Zurich to Munich?

Best website from train tickets from Zurich to Munich?

Jun 25th, 2008, 06:56 PM
  #1  
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Best website from train tickets from Zurich to Munich?

I've tried to do some research on the board, but most of what I've found was over a year old, so I thought I would try to make a new post.

This question is for a really good friend of mine who is traveling with her family to Europe this October. Their group is as follows:

Friend in her early 50's, has been to Europe twice, but hasn't been back since 1988.

Her two parents both in their 70's, and in relative good health - never been to Europe.

Her two nephews ages 18 & 22, both of whom have not been to Europe.

I don't think they need a railpass, as I believe the only train travel they will be doing is from Zurich to Munich.

What are the best sites to look at from train travel between these two countries? I've seen others suggest www.bahn.de and www.sbb.ch for travel between Switzerland and Munich - would you recommend one over the other?

My friend is mostly concerned about reliability of the company(she's never done European travel plans of the internet) and cost. They are on a budget, and she's trying to save costs. Will it be cheaper if they buy so many months in advance?
Anna1013 is offline  
Jun 25th, 2008, 07:15 PM
  #2  
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Just went to check the sbb.ch website - I must be doing something wrong since 5 tickets came out to 310 euros for 2nd class...is this a normal price? I'm not sure if youths/seniors get discounts. I'm wondering if it's expensive because they are not doing a return journey.

Would it be cheaper for them to purchase the tickets while they are in Zurich? They have a friend living in Zurich, and he will be with them for most of their stay. I know when we went to Italy, we easily bought our tickets from Florence to Rome while we were there, but I'm not sure how easy it would be to travel between two countries.

Any suggestions?
Anna1013 is offline  
Jun 26th, 2008, 12:18 AM
  #3  
 
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>would you recommend one over the other?

No, the only difference in pricing is due to (very small) CHF/EUR rate fluctuation (+ - 3%)

>My friend is mostly concerned about reliability of the company

What do you mean? The trains run unless there is a major disaster. In case of a disaster, where you buy the ticket hardly matters.

>Just went to check the sbb.ch website - I must be doing something wrong since 5 tickets came out to 310 euros for 2nd class...is this a normal price?

Yes, this is a normal price. 60 Euro per person is pretty normal price for a 300 km trip.

> I'm not sure if youths/seniors get discounts.

No age discounts. You can however take the train Zürich to Lindau, buy a Bayern-Ticket there (27 Euro for up to 5 persons) and take an RE train to Munich. It will take longer and require getting off the train in Lindau, though. OTOH Lindau is a very pleasant place to spent a few hours - a medieval city core on an island in the Lake Constance.

There are other discounts (discount cards giving you 25 or 50% discount on full price tickets) but buying them for one trip is more expensive than paying the full price.
There are significant group discount s (up to 50%) but they start at 6 persons - your friend is 1 person short. You cannot get the group discount online and have to go to the station to get them.

>I'm wondering if it's expensive because they are not doing a return journey.

No. The return journey is 2x the single price.

>Would it be cheaper for them to purchase the tickets while they are in Zurich?

With the exception of the group discount, there is no difference where you buy the tickets.

>I'm not sure how easy it would be to travel between two countries.

Why should this make a difference? Itīs a commuting distance where locals go for work or day trips. Not a trip across th Iron Curtain.
altamiro is offline  
Jun 26th, 2008, 12:52 AM
  #4  
 
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altamiro's suggestion to make a stopover in Lindau sounds like a good idea. It's a nice town and you save almost 50% compared with the direct EuroCity train.

one-way Zurich-Lindau appr. €135 (for your party of 5)
Bayern Ticket €27
total costs €162 (instead of €310)

Total travel time does not increase that much, as calculated for a mid-day connection to Munich:
direct train ZH-Munich 4hr10min
versus
ZH-Lindau 1hr50min
layover Lindau 45min
Lindau-Munich 2hr40min
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Jun 26th, 2008, 03:02 PM
  #5  
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Thanks so much altamiro and cowboy1968! I've only done train travel in Italy and England, and I have no idea about which companies to use for travel between Switzerland and Germany.

Since my friend has never used these companies before when purchasing tickets, which would you say is more user-friendly and easier to use?

Do either of these companies run promotions for the Zurich-Munich route?

I only priced out the 2nd class train prices and not the 1st class - I know trains vary from country to country and you will find that with some trains there is almost no difference between 1st & 2nd class, while others have a big difference...how are these trains? All of the guys are over 6 feet, and my friend is 5'10 - is the space difference between the two classes noticeable?

Thanks for the suggestion about going Zurich-Lindau, but what is a bayern ticket? Is the RE train just not a direct train?

Also, would it be reasonable for her to wait and just purchase these tickets in Zurich? She might decide to do that instead of over the internet, but I was wondering if it was a route that gets sold out quickly.
Anna1013 is offline  
Jun 26th, 2008, 08:49 PM
  #6  
 
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All the fares which got mentioned so far, do not require prior purchase or reservation. Your friends could buy them same day at the station in Zurich -- except for the Bayern ticket (more about that later).
The fares have all been calculated for 2nd class. Not that much difference (except in price!) in comfort.

So far, I have not seen any promotional fares for Zurich-Munich. Maybe there will be some for October, maybe not. Since there is still some time until your friends will travel, you can check sbb.ch or bahn.de regularly for updates.

If your friends would opt for splitting up the travel in Lindau, they would buy the tickets for Zurich-Lindau at Zurich main station.

The Bayern ticket is a day pass for up to 5 people, but only valid on regional trains, only for 2nd class, and only valid after 9am (except on weekends and holidays, when it's valid all day).
In the case of traveling from Lindau to Munich, it does not make much difference: The direct Regional Express trains Lindau-Munich will need a bit more time, and stop a few times more often than the direct EuroCity trains - but the difference is not huge.
The Bayern Ticket can be obtained from ticket machines at Lindau (and not already in Zurich!) station for €27, or at a manned counter at the station for €30. Even if your friends would not want to spend time in Lindau, they had 45 minutes to buy the Bayern ticket at Lindau -- which is more than enough time.
Since the regional express trains from Lindau to Munich start in Lindau, they won't have a problem finding a seat.

Cowboy1968 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 02:34 AM
  #7  
 
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>Since my friend has never used these companies before when purchasing tickets, which would you say is more user-friendly and easier to use?

Please understand that you do not have a choice between SBB andDB on the trains; within Switzerland any mainline train is for all purposes an SBB train, within Germany almost any train is a DB train,. Even the same train traveling from Switzerland to Germany. There are NO competing serices.

>Do either of these companies run promotions for the Zurich-Munich route?

Continuously - if youlook for a ticket well in advance you can get promotional fares of 29 or 39 E p. P. But these sell out very fast (2-3 months in advance from bahn.de). Normal tickets are always available.

>I only priced out the 2nd class train prices and not the 1st class - I know trains vary from country to country and you will find that with some trains there is almost no difference between 1st & 2nd class, while others have a big difference...how are these trains?

Hardly any difference.

>All of the guys are over 6 feet, and my friend is 5'10 - is the space difference between the two classes noticeable?

Maybe. They just have to decide whether the 60% added fare is worth it.

>Thanks for the suggestion about going Zurich-Lindau, but what is a bayern ticket? Is the RE train just not a direct train?

Cowboy1968 expeained iBT in alld etails. There are hourly connections between Lindau and Munich by RE or RB trains, some direct, others with an easy change in Buchloe.

>Also, would it be reasonable for her to wait and just purchase these tickets in Zurich? She might decide to do that instead of over the internet, but I was wondering if it was a route that gets sold out quickly.

Trains in Germany and Switzerland cannot sell out. Only the promotional fares can. But you can always get on the train you want to take.
altamiro is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 06:43 AM
  #8  
 
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If you book well in advance (up to 90 days allowed) at www.bahn.de, you can get Europa-Spezial Schweiz fares of €29 for Zuerich-Muenchen on the fast trains. That's a total of €145 for a party of five. You print your own tickets. Be aware, however, that these discount tickets are non-exchangeable and non-refundable and are only good on the specific train(s) for which they are booked.
TimS is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 07:04 AM
  #9  
ira
 
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Hi A,

www.bahn.de does offer 29E one way fares.

ira is online now  
Jun 27th, 2008, 11:12 AM
  #10  
 
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Stupid me.. I thought bahn.de already had no €29 tickets available anymore, but did not notice that OP checked only SBB for fares.

In this case, please forget all I have posted before, and go for the €29 Europa-Special fares on bahn.de (unless your friends cannot commit themselves on times/trains and need an unrestricted ticket for whatever reason).

If travel time is not an issue, and if they would not mind one transfer, you will find a €19 special fare for Zurich to Munich via Innsbruck/Austria. The routing is longer (with a comfortable long-distance train for both legs), but they would go on a rather scenic trip through the Alps before heading North to Munich. The difference in travel time is quite huge (4hrs 15min vs. 6hrs 45min), but it could be a nice trip for little money.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 07:18 PM
  #11  
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Cowboy1968, Altamiro, Tim and Ira - thank you so much for your suggestions.

Can anyone explain to me where I can find the Europa-Spezial Schweiz fares of €29 on the bahn.de website? I went to the special offers page, but I couldn't find anything.

Cowboy1968 - that's a really interesting recommendation that you made. I'll suggest it to my friend, but it will probably depend on if they want to spend that much time on the train.

Also I'm guessing the 29 euro fares are for 2nd class - anyone know what the 1st class fares are like?
Anna1013 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 07:27 PM
  #12  
 
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On the Bahn site after you get summary timetables for Zuerich-Muenchen, look at the Savings fares column on the far right-hand side of the page. Click on "Check availability" for the time(s) of your choice.

The normal 1st class fare is €102.

TimS is offline  
Jun 28th, 2008, 12:38 PM
  #13  
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Thanks Tim - does anyone know how far in advance I can purchase tickets for October? I tried to plug in the dates, but the site said I couldn't buy the tickets yet.
Anna1013 is offline  
Jun 28th, 2008, 12:58 PM
  #14  
 
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You can purchase tickets at bahn.de no more than 90 days in advance.
TimS is offline  

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