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Help travelling from Frankfurt to Prague

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May 2nd, 2012, 10:23 PM
  #1
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Help travelling from Frankfurt to Prague

We are travelling from Chile to Frankfurt where we will arrive at 2:30 pm on May 30 after a 16 hour trip and need to continue to Prague. We cannot seem to find a train to get there without spending a night somewhere like Nuremburg. We do not want to waste a day because our trip is short. We will greatly appreciate any help. Airline tickets start from aprox. US$250.00 which is over our budget. We are buying a Eurail pass. Thank you very much for any help.
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May 3rd, 2012, 12:25 AM
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I would check the cost of train travel for your itinerary on a point-to-point basis and then see if the pass is really worthwhile.

Can you change your ticket to an open-jaw that lands you in Prague? That might reduce the price of the ticket and get you in Prague that evening.
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May 3rd, 2012, 01:30 AM
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What do you mean by "wasting a day"? I think when you booked the flight you must have been aware of the fact that Frankfurt is quite a distance away from Prague and it would take the rest of the day to get there. It doesn't make a big difference IMO to stay the night somewhere else and take the first train in the morning to get to Prague compared to waking up in Prague and starting to explore in the morning.

Example: Take the train to Dresden, stay overnight and take the first train to Prague. Dep. Dresden 7:08 am, arr. Prague 9:26 am. Buy separate saver tickets for each train trip. Dresden to Prague is available for 19 Euro per person. Frankfurt - Dresden for 49 or 59 Euro.
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May 3rd, 2012, 05:23 AM
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It's most likely that a Eurail pass won't be economical. Only 2/3 trains max. Why are you coming into Frankfurt if only to go straight on to Prague? It's at least 6.5hrs by train, i.e. not close. As Ingo points out, it is hardly wasting a day if you plan to come into Germany and then need to get from there to Czech Republic...

If you're getting in at 14.30 then you won't make the 14:54 or 15:20 trains that depart Frankfurt for Prague that involve 1 change.

So it is better to either spend a night or suck it up and take a flight. The only other option would be a journey with 3 changes, and who likes changes in the early hours? See bahn.com for details.
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May 3rd, 2012, 06:35 AM
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I'm not sure why you're buying a rail pass. Germain trains are cheap when booked in advance and Czech trains are even cheaper. I'm sure you'll over pay with a rail pass.

It's very easy to get to the main train station in Frankfurt from the airport. The trains run every 15 minutes and take about 10 minutes.

When you arrive take the train from Frankfurt to Nuremberg. You can book the 16:54 train for E34. Grab some food (there's a cafe in front of the train station or many vendors selling food inside the station) and get on the train.

Stay overnight in Nuremberg. Take the morning bus to Prague. There's one departing at 7:41, arriving in Prague at 11:18.

Or you can go via Dresden, as suggested above. I think the Nurenberg route is slightly shorter.
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May 4th, 2012, 01:22 PM
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Thank you very much for all your help.
We are travelling to Frankfurt round trip because it was the most convenient price since we are travelling for two weeks in Europe (Prague, Budapest and Vienna) by train and later we will continue to Asia and from Frankfurt was the best airline combination from Chile.
And yes, you are right, we were very ignorant and by looking at the map we thought Prague was closer, or we thought there were more direct trains to Prague and now, that we cannot make any changes to the original airline ticket we realize that we will have to spend a night somewhere else.
We are now explorFrankfurt and make our whole trip by car instead. Does this possibility seem correct? We were goint to by the Eurailpass for 4 countries (Germany, Check Rep, Hungary and Austria) and it will cost about US$600.00 each.
Any suggestion will be greatly appreciated.
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May 4th, 2012, 02:01 PM
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I'm not really clear about what you're doing. It appears that you're renting a car because you don't want to spend the night someplace between Frankfurt and Prague?

You're renting a car to go from Frankfurt to Prague to Budapest to Vienna and then back to Frankfurt. That's 5 days use (actually less since each leg does not take an entire day) and you're paying for a 2 week rental? You're not going to be able to use the car in the cities so it will sit parked someplace and you'll probably pay for parking.

<< We were goint to by the Eurailpass for 4 countries (Germany, Check Rep, Hungary and Austria) and it will cost about US$600.00 each. >>

Is there a question on this? You're not getting the train pass, correct. I didn't think it was a good idea anyway but that's my opinion. If you reconsider the pass you should add up the point-to-point ticket prices to see if it's a good deal or not.
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May 4th, 2012, 02:25 PM
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For the car option - check to see if you can take German cars into Czech Republic and Hungary. I know that Austria is not a problem, but the others may be. Then there will be the issue of parking on the cities on your itinerary. Having a car will limit your hotel choices and I am sure you will have to pay for parking, which will add to your costs.

Nuremburg is a nice town, so if you stick with the train option, I don't see an overnight in Nuremburg as wasting a day. If you take the train mentioned by adrienne, you will be in Nuremburg by 7. You can have dinner, wander around in the evening - Nuremburg is absolutely great for evening wanderings - and then be on your way to Prague in the morning. And you don't even have to take the train from the airport into Frankfurt - there is a train station IN the Frankfurt airport. In Nuremburg, the Altstadt is adjacent to the train station, so it couldn't be easier. We did an overnight in Nuremburg last summer when travelling from Prague to Frankfurt, and it worked out wonderfully.

To determine the train (either point-to point tickets or pass) or car is more economical - price out the point-to-point tickets and then compare to the cost of a car rental and the pass. With the car rental, be sure to include gas, and parking.

A quick search for point-to-point train tickets using advanced purchase option if available, I get ~140 euro/person for train travel:

FRA to Nurembug: 34 euro
Nuremburg to Prague (Express Bus): 19 euro
Prague to Budapest: 481 crowns (~19 euro)
Budapest to Vienna: 19 euro
Vienna to FRA: 49 euro

This is WAY cheaper than the rail pass, even adding a few euro per trip for seat reservations. You could all travel for not much more than the price of one pass. I suspect that once you price the car rental and add parking and gas it will be cheaper than the car too.
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May 4th, 2012, 04:12 PM
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Well, if you were flexible re. the order of visiting Prague, Budapest and Vienna you could take the night train from Frankfurt (dep 23.00) to Vienna (arr 8.52) and do your trip in reverse order.
Check bahn.com if the overnight runs on the date you plan to arrive in Frankfurt.
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May 4th, 2012, 05:20 PM
  #10
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I am impressed by your generosity Adrienne, November_moon and Cowboy. People around here have lost this virtue. No words to thank you. The truth is that my friend and me are in our sixties, kind of clumpsy with the web, ignorant and our children and friends would not dare spent time helping like you. I am really touched. Thank you. It is only that once we had our tickets already bought we realized that travelling by train is not THAT simple or mayble we are a little bit afraid. With the explanation of november_moon we again feel confident. Thank you again very much.
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May 4th, 2012, 05:52 PM
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Glad you feel more comfortable with the train situation. It would have been good to mention your lack of knowledge and comfort up front to make things more understandable to responders.

If you take the Nuremberg route, the bus will be in front of the train station. It's a large, white, double decker bus. You put your luggage underneath (actually the driver stows the luggage for you). There is an English-speaking facilitator to check you in (show your ticket to).

When I took this bus (in May) there was plenty of room. The train system assigns seats in order so everyone is bunched up front. I moved my seat when I saw there were tons of open seats. There is little room for carry on luggage (like on a tour bus) so don't bring much with you onto the bus unless there are extra seats to use for your carry on.

Minimal snacks and drinks are offered on the bus but they are expensive and there isn't much of a choice. Bring snacks that you can pickup at the train station.

The bus makes no stops but there is a toilet (like on an airplane).

Do I need to tell you not to pack large suitcases if you're taking trains since it may be difficult to get the bags on board. What you do is one person gets onto the train and the other person hands up the luggage. If you take too long doing this maybe someone will help you.

How are you getting to your hotel in Prague and other places?
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May 4th, 2012, 06:31 PM
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Taking the train is actually very easy and pretty convinient. You do want to pack light because you'll have to handle your own luggage for the most part. For train rides that will last through a meal time, we usually pick up standwiches and drinks at the train station and then have a picnic on the train.
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