German trains

Jul 18th, 2016, 11:18 PM
  #1  
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German trains

We are two couples traveling in Germany for 2 weeks in September. We arrive in Frankfurt Airport and plan to take the train to Berlin, which will be our base. From there, we plan trips, presumably by train too, to Hanover, Dresden and Potsdam.
Are there recommended trains to take? (There seem to be 3 kinds of trains) Are there discount passes for such an itinerary or do we just book each leg separately?
Thank you!
afrancisco is offline  
Jul 18th, 2016, 11:34 PM
  #2  
 
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You take the train that offers you the best compromise between price, schedule, and duration. Traveling by ICE would make the most sense since it is faster and you can get inexpensive tickets.

Discount tickets are available in advance but you have to take the trains booked -- full fare tickets generally let you take any valid combination of trains between Point A and Point B.

https://www.bahn.de/p_en/view/index.shtml
sparkchaser is offline  
Jul 18th, 2016, 11:35 PM
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I can't help you with passes because I've never used them because they have never been cost effective for me.
sparkchaser is offline  
Jul 18th, 2016, 11:53 PM
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Discount passes? Do you know how to do a google search? Feed "Germany train discount" in www.google.com. You get www.bahn.com and presented with several kinds of passes.

For example, the most useful, but also most expensive is the German rail pass valid on any DB and participating trains.
http://www.bahn.com/i/view/USA/en/pr...railpass.shtml

Much cheaper are day tickets of all kinds. For nationwide, there is /www.bahn.com/i/view/USA/en/prices/germany/quer-durchs-land-ticket.shtml but limits you to Regional trains only. There are regional versions also: http://www.bahn.com/i/view/USA/en/pr...r-ticket.shtml

You can also buy point to point long distance train tickets on discount: http://www.bahn.com/i/view/USA/en/pr...ngs-fare.shtml

Look at www.bahn.com to get a grasp of last minutes/advance ticket prices and travel time.

>>> Are there recommended trains to take?

You are planning to base in Berlin and seems to be assuming you can take day trips to Dresden, etc. Did you actually look at the travel time?

Depends on what you want to optimize. You can travel fast or cheap, but not both.

For example, feed Berlin-Dresden into www.bahn.com.

If you choose regional trains only, it takes 3.5 hours. If you can use EC/IC trains not covered by discount day pass, you can cut down the trip time to 2 hours. It is still a long trip to Dresden with a lot of things to see.

Berlin-Hanover is 90 min if you can use a high speed train, but over 4 hours with Regional trains using a discount day pass.

Do you think you really have a choice of train?
Do you think you have time to see other cities if you base yourself in Berlin?
greg is offline  
Jul 19th, 2016, 07:38 AM
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don't forget to check the German (Twin) Railpass that lets you hop any train anytime anywhere - compare vs a string of discounted restricted tickets and if not much more go for the complete flexibility of the pass -just showing up at the station and hopping the next train -not saying it is the best deal but research it.

For good stuff on German trains and passes check www.ricksteves.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.seat61.com.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 19th, 2016, 10:01 AM
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I's a good question to axe 'bout trains.
Whathello is offline  
Jul 19th, 2016, 10:25 AM
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I can't help you with passes because I've never used them because they have never been cost effective for me.>

No doubt but others should consider the German Railpass if taking several longish trains (OP appears to not be) - the more days you buy on a pass the cheaper they become - at some point about $30 a day or about 26 euros a day for completely unlimited fully flexible train travel all over Germany and now including travel also to Verona, Venice, Prague, Innsbruck I understand.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 19th, 2016, 12:06 PM
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I's a good question to axe 'bout trains.>

Making light of the ax attack on a German train?
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 19th, 2016, 12:39 PM
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Will the authority offer tickets for 'no axe' train cars, and what will be the premium?
FranknSense is offline  
Jul 19th, 2016, 01:10 PM
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Greg, why do you come across angry?

http://www.seat61.com/

https://www.captaintrain.com

We have bought tickets for trips before hand but day of was cheaper last fall for our Augsburg to Paris ticket. We do the Bayern ticket in Germany but buy day of usually. I like the man in seat 61, he is very good explaining all.
Macross is offline  
Jul 19th, 2016, 01:32 PM
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We have bought tickets for trips before hand but day of was cheaper last fall for our Augsburg to Paris ticket.>

that was a total anomaly then- you can do a search of today's or tomorrow trains and you will see pretty much full-fare tickets only I would think at much higher than you could have booked weeks ago.

Man in Seat 61 is one of the most forceful advocates of getting tickets way in advance to nab discounts - he would hardly advise waiting until the day of the train I would think.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 19th, 2016, 02:25 PM
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afransisco, are you planning to spend your whole time in Berlin and just do day trips? I'm all in favour of stopping in one place for a reasonable length of time but in this particular case you may be going too far in the other direction.

Potsdam you can do by day trip from Berlin of course, but there is a lot to see and enjoy in Dresden which would merit a 3-4 night stay and certainly 2 nights in Hannover would not be wasted.

As you are already planning to go to Berlin from Frankfurt, from there you could go to Dresden, and then back to Hannover on the way back to Frankfurt - bahn.de says that there is a direct train [no changing trains] leaving at 9.20 which takes about 4 hours.

it's then about 3 hours from Hannover to Frankfurt airport [change at Frankfurt for the airport]

I think that you could fit this nicely into your 14 night stay and still not feel short-changed in Berlin.
annhig is offline  
Jul 19th, 2016, 03:13 PM
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Greg, why do you come across angry?>

If greg appears angry it is very uncharacteristic IME - he has always shown to be very very attentive to needs of posters and laboriously outlines like he did many various options. a very valuable Fodorite to posters with questions like this one.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 19th, 2016, 03:19 PM
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'Making light of the ax attack on a German train?'

Good ! you caught that one.
Whathello is offline  
Jul 19th, 2016, 04:56 PM
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Pal, he has been that way on several threads of late. Very off. I google or bing everything but trust me many don't and they still are confused if they do. That is why they ask and after all this is a travel forum for questions and answers. We could be dead as Frommer's travel forum if no one post a question. Poor Pauline has to ask and answer her own questions on that forum.

We were surprised by the price of the day of ticket as we bought a couple of weeks in advanced. We are buying in advance for an upcoming trip as I think that was an anomaly.
Macross is offline  
Jul 19th, 2016, 10:34 PM
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Pal and Whathello, do you two really think that your stupid remarks about that terrible incident are funny?
quokka is offline  
Jul 20th, 2016, 12:46 AM
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Quokka

Yes. I do.

Life doesn't take us seriously, so why should I not make light of it ?

We can have a long discussion about stupidity. And humour. But I feel like we can skip it, we will not find common ground.

BTW, I like the term 'incident' - very politically correct. I would have used 'attack'. But incident is nice. So what happened, dear, what is the cause for the delay ? - Oh, there was an incident.
Whathello is offline  
Jul 20th, 2016, 05:25 AM
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Pal and Whathello, do you two really think that your stupid remarks about that terrible incident are funny?>

Quokka - re-read my remarks and you will not find I made fun of that but called out whathello about his/her remarks as making fun of something we should not. I agree with you.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 20th, 2016, 07:06 AM
  #19  
 
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Tsss PQ.
Not even showing male solidarity with me.
Disappointing.
Whathello is offline  
Jul 20th, 2016, 07:13 AM
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don't drag me into this morass.
PalenQ is offline  

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