Central Europe in 2 weeks

Jan 17th, 2011, 01:07 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Berlin has several train stations and one main train station, its Hauptbahnhof (the name of the main central train station in any German town) but by the new Berlin Hauptbahnhof there is little of anything - there may be one expensive hotel in the station but otherwise this station is in a zone full of government buildings like the Reichstag. Now the Berlin S-Bahn links many other train stations to the Hauptbahnhof and a station like the Berlin Zoo station have many hotels around them and some of the long-distance trains may even stop at Berlin-Zoo station (in the heart of former West Berlin)
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Jan 17th, 2011, 06:13 PM
  #22  
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I checked out the Eurorail East pass and it has everything we need, except Berlin and Dresden Germany. Are there any passes that include these?? I couldn't find any passes that had everything. Anyways, thanks again for the advice. I guess we will just have to buy separate tickets.
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Jan 18th, 2011, 07:32 AM
  #23  
 
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The Eurail Select Pass could include Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and Hungary - all your countries but it is much much more expensive I believe - the cost of getting from Berlin to the Czech border can be really cheap if you book the advance online SPAR type fares at www.bahn.de - the German Rail web site - those tickets are not changeable but can be often had from 29 euros in 2nd class. Compare the price on getting to the Czech border added onto the Eastern European pass and I thik you will do better with that than buying the Eurail Select Pass (for current prices check these sites - www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com and www.raileurope.com - prices are always the same but pass prices rise and fall with the dollar so some sites may be slow on changing them.
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Jan 18th, 2011, 11:39 AM
  #24  
 
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Rthomson-

I may have spoke wrong - after looking at the Eurail Select 4-Country pass, valid in Germany, czech Republic, Hungary and Austria I see you can buy a 5-day first class pass (Saverpass - two adults traveling together - for $423 p.p. or for a 6-day pass (it seems in your OP you have at least 6 rail travel days) $462 p.p.

vs E European Pass for 6 days first class p.p. (no saverpass exists on this pass) $338 but this pass is not good in Germany so if you are working your way south from Berlin to Austria $128 would be the difference in price of the Eurail Select Pass over the E European pass for the same number of days and you can easily spend that if going north-south thru Germany - especially if you want the flexibility to just hop any train anytime (you can often get 29 euro fares but those must be booked weeks in advance to guarantee getting them and then I believe cannot be changed nor refunded)

But due to a current special on Eurail Select Passes if you buy a pass before sometime in March - I forgot what date it said - you would get an extra day free but only on 6-day or longer Eurail Select Passes - not the 5 day pass - so you could get a 7-day E Select Pass for $462 p.p. - good if 7 days of rail travel are envisioned - and sometimes day trips from say Munich or Vienna can even be costly)

And the European East Pass does also come in 2nd class whereas if over 25 with the Eurail Select it is only first class - and after zillions of European rail trips and especially in old Eastern Europe I always highly encourage the typical traveler to go first class - lots more empty seats, more spacious seats, more room for luggage - I always it seems can put my luggage on a nearby empty seat and keep a good eye on it and have it be accessible rather than being in a stuffed full overhead rack, etc.

But the cheapest pass I think for you would be the 2nd class European East for 5 days (minimum number at $209 p.p. and pay point to point in Germany - but again even 2nd class fares on a fully flexible basis in Germany can literally cost hundred bucks or way more - see www.bahn.de for Berlin to Munich full fare for example.

anyway to clear up my previous post - do investigate the Eurail Select 4 country Saver Pass and if 7 days of rail travel are envisioned buy before sometime in March to get a 7-day pass at the price of a 6-day pass.
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Jan 18th, 2011, 08:12 PM
  #25  
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Thanks for your info PalenQ, I appreciate your time. I will definitely check out all my options. I have found a pass called the Central Europe Triangle pass, and combining it with point-to-point tickets from Berlin-Dresden and Dresden-Prague it is cheaper than any other option we have found. Is it better to pre-purchase these passes/tickets now, and then have them in hand for when we get over to Europe? Are reservations needed? Much obliged for all your info!!
Rthomson is offline  
Jan 18th, 2011, 08:14 PM
  #26  
 
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Rail passes are frequently sold only outside the target area because they are meant for the foreign tourists.
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Jan 19th, 2011, 09:59 AM
  #27  
 
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Like Michael says since locals are often not eligible to use those passes they are not sold at stations or travel agencies in those countries - the Central Europe Triangle pass takes a lot of analysis and if it fits your triangle it can be the best deal if you are going directly to Prague from Berlin and not working your way south thru Germany to Austria - like via Munich and Salzburg then it would not be an option.
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Jan 26th, 2011, 12:22 PM
  #28  
 
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Are reservations needed>

depends IMO on whether you have a first-class pass or 2nd class one - 2nd class can often be IME quite full and SRO at times - in Germany - but very few German trains require reservations in most cases as is the rule in places like Italy, Spain and France - so you can always board. In first class on German trains and even in Central Europe and especially Austria I have never in decades of train travel ever recall seeing a full first-class train car and no Austrian train TMK also requires reservations - I believe most in Czech Republic and Hungary do not require reservations as well. If you want to pre-reserve it will only cost a few euros if done in Europe.
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