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Confused about train fares from Switzerland to Germany

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Sep 18th, 2006, 04:34 PM
  #1
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Confused about train fares from Switzerland to Germany

We will be visiting friends in Bern, Switzerland, plan on leaving there on 11/8. We would like to go to Nuremburg and visit a small town near there, Plech, for some family research. Then would like to drive on the southern part of the Romantic Road and end up in Munich. I know we will be driving out of the way some. Our flight leaves on 11/14 from Munich.

Right now we are planning a rail trip to Nuremburg from Bern and then will rent a car there and return it to Munich airport. It seems as if there are so many different train lines and I am confused. I did go to raileurope.com where I got the rate of $486 for both of us. Then went to bahn.de where I got a rate of 191.60 euros for both. I don't get it. Am I reading something incorrectly. Are we better off waiting to buy tickets once in Switzerland. Will it be cheaper?

Or is there any chance we would be better off renting a car in Bern and dropping it in Munich?

Thanks for any help!

Pam
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Sep 18th, 2006, 05:28 PM
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You want to be sure you are comparing the same products, such as first class or second class, with or without seat reservations, high speed vs. local trains, etc. Note also that raileurope quotes in dollars, I believe, while Bahn.de quotes in euro, so 191.6 euro is about $250, making the discrepancy a bit less.

I think raileurope.com is analogous to a travel agency, and you can anticipate they will include some profit in their quotations, but they may also provide some services that people want, such as mailing the tickets to your home.

Bahn.de is the site of the German rail system, and the prices they cite should be virtually identical to those you would pay buying tickets at the station.

We have always had good luck buying tickets at the station when we want to go; you will always get on the train, but you may not get a seat reservation. If you want the certainty of a seat reservation, just go to the station a few days in advance of your trip and buy the tickets.

To be absolutely honest, I prefer going by train to driving, as its harder to get lost, and I can spend my time enjoying the scenery, rather than looking for road signs. Even if you like driving, I would suggest that training from Bern to Nuremburg will probably be quicker. If you rent a car you won't have to buy the second ticket, but you will have to pay for gasoline, and probably a hefty drop off charge as you are returning the car in a country other than where you picked it up, but you could check out all the costs of renting a car and see if the train costs less.
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Sep 18th, 2006, 05:33 PM
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As the previous poster said, renting a car in one country and dropping it off in another will cost you plenty.

And RailEurope's prices are inflated. The E191.60 price for two tickets is what you'll pay, whether you book them now at bahn.de or buy them when you get to Bern.
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Sep 18th, 2006, 06:15 PM
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Rail Europe prices are out of bounds. I recently traveled from Munich to Basel, SBB station, and paid about one third of the RailEurope price.

The Die Bahn website is showing to me exactly the same price that you quoted.

The Swiss site is www.sbb.ch
The German site is http://bahn.hafas.de/bin/query.exe/en

The prices I got were in the summer. I just looked and there are no bargains.

You can order your tickets in advance via Die Bahn. The process for me was fairly easy. Register an account, select your date and train, and confirm your credit card number. In my case Die Bahn sent me a PDF file with my train ticket which I printed at home.

The ID required is the credit card you used to pay for the tickets. The self-printed ticket works just like any other.

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Sep 18th, 2006, 07:02 PM
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Thanks for your quick responses. Are there ever any discounts on rail tickets if you purchase the day you are travelling or are there ever any specials offered?

Pam
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Sep 19th, 2006, 02:38 AM
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Swiss rail sells Click & Save Europe tickets by internet for prices starting at 45euro into Germany. THese are sold over the internet and are the only tickets that non-europeans can buy directly prior to arriving in Switzerland. They seem to be only available 7 days or ess prior to departure date.

The ony ticket showing up for Bern is Berlin but it may be worthwhile going to Zurich and take the departure from there. Nuremberg doesn't show up but you may get a cheap local fare from another German destination.

Departure
BERN
ZÜRICH HB

Destination
BERLIN HBF
FRANKFURT (MAIN) HBF
HAMBURG HBF
KÖLN HBF
MÜNCHEN HBF
STUTTGART HBF
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Oct 17th, 2006, 05:10 PM
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This is driving me crazy! I just went online to the sites I had been on last month to see if I could book the train ticket before we left (need seats from Bern to Nuremburg on 11/08/06) and I keep getting messages they cannot quote fares online. don't get it because when I checked earlier they did. Guess I will have to wait until we get to Germany to do this or does anyone have any other suggestions? Thanks

Pam
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Oct 17th, 2006, 05:19 PM
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Did you try bahn.de? I just got a price of 95.60 euro, per person, second class. Maybe try again?
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Oct 17th, 2006, 07:04 PM
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I got the same price, €95.80, with a change in Karlsruhe. Travel time of a little over 7 hours or a little over 6 hours depending on changes.

You can make the trip an hour faster if you will change in Basel and again in Karlsruhe. Usually not a big deal to change trains unless you have loads of luggage. You can leave Bern an hour later and get there at the same time if you are able to make the 2 changes.

It is just a question of where you wait.
If you opt for the 1-change connection, your wait in Karlsruhe is over an hour.

You might want to make sure you are using the correct entry when you put data into the train scheduler:
Nürmberg Hbf

The ü is made with ALT-129. Or use a ue. The Hbf is necessary for full identification.

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Oct 18th, 2006, 05:28 AM
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And write the date as 08.11.2006, not 11/8, otherwise the system will understand 11th of August.
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Oct 18th, 2006, 05:45 AM
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August 11th a date for which they probably won't quote a fare
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Oct 18th, 2006, 07:44 AM
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Well I finally got it to come up but the only option for ticket delivery appears to be mail and we are leaving on Friday which sort of rules that out. We will be in Germany for two weeks before ending up our riverboat cruise in Switzerlands

For you experts out there, do you think I will be able to get the Bern - Nurnberg ticket at any train station in Germany or will I have to wait until we get to Bern. Also do you think the cost will be about the same?

Sorry to be so dense about this

Pam
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Oct 18th, 2006, 09:57 AM
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Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but you should be able to buy your Bern-Nuremberg ticket at any station in either Germany or Switzerland.
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Oct 27th, 2006, 11:50 AM
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>For you experts out there, do you think I will be able to get the Bern - Nurnberg ticket at any train station in Germany or will I have to wait until we get to Bern. Also do you think the cost will be about the same?

You will be indeed able to get the tickets at any station in Germany or Switzerland. And the prices will not be about the same - they will be exactly the same.
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Oct 28th, 2006, 06:32 AM
  #15
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Pam
Don't sweat the tickets thing. It's november travel, which means you should have absolutely no problem purchasing train ticket once you get there. I've traveled to Europe eight times, mostly in more peak tourist season and only needed advance ticket purchases on one overnight route. You will not have a problem.
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