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Help w/ trains Germany, CZ, Austria plus...

Help w/ trains Germany, CZ, Austria plus...

Jul 26th, 2007, 07:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 9
Help w/ trains Germany, CZ, Austria plus...

Hi All!
Need some help or suggestions for the following trip, with an Aug 7 Frankfurt arrival at noon, and an Aug 20 departure at 0830- also at FRA. There are 2 adults, both over 30, one with Student ID. We'd like to leave Frankfurt the day of arrival to visit 4 cities: Munich, Prague, Vienna, and Salzburg. We need to be in MUN (at a minimum) on Aug 10,11,12 and 17,18.

I've been doing the internet research, and checking train schedules and fare charts- with Larry's outstanding site as the most helpful. Here's some specific Q's, but I appreciate anything else you have to offer. Thanks in advance!

1) Should we buy a one or two country 2ndC rail twin pass?
2) *What is the best order of travel between these cities, given our schedule?
3) Can we work one or more overnight sleeper trains into the schedule, preferably from MUN to FRA on Sunday Aug 19? What would these cost for a double?
4) What should we expect for total rail costs?
5) What are the best options for travel in MUN which covers S and U Bahn? We are camping outside the city, and will also use the trains to get to some of the obscure and distant beer gardens, plus Dachau.
6) I've read many great suggestions for hotels, does anyone have good insights on camping in Prague or Vienna? Or safe, clean budget lodging?
7) No visa required for US citizens to the Czech Repblic- correct?
8) Anyone visit the breweries in Czech?
9) Should we consider the Romantic Road bus, or skip it? If avoid, what are the one or two walled cities we might visit, and at what cost?
10) I've read that Rothenburg and similar cities are best at night- anyone agree, and have insights on lodging?

Anything I've missed? Thanks!!!
beseeingyou is offline  
Jul 26th, 2007, 07:27 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,939
On your arrival day the only close city on your list is Munich. Otherwise, you'll be on the train for several hours to get to any of the other three. Salzburg would be your next closest at about 51/2 hours.

The train from Munich back up to Frankfurt will not be a night train. It is only about a 4 hour trip.

On most overnight trains a double is approx. 100 Euros if you have a rail pass. You can get couchettes for about 20 Euros each.

I can't help with a budget hotel in Prague. My son stayed at a real budget place, Pension Unitas about 5 years ago, but I checked their website and they are closed for renovations.

I think I read some place that you will need proof of medical insurance when traveling in the Czech Rep. Not sure about this.
scatcat is offline  
Jul 26th, 2007, 08:48 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,421
I don't think a rail pass will pay off for these relatively short trips. There is a German-Czech pass, but it does not include Austria; a Eurail select pass does not include the Czech Republic.

If you don't mind riding in 2. cl. with the rest of us, go to Salzburg for a day trip or for overnight from Munich using 1 or 2 Bayern-Ticket(s) at €27 per day.

For the rest of the trip, you can purchase Europa-Spezial tickets for €29 pP from Munich to Vienna. These are non-refundable tickets, so be sure of your dates. An Austrian Rail ticket from Vienna to Prague should cost you about €30 pP. In Prague you can buy a ticket to the German border for 204 Kc (about €7,25). The rest of the trip, from the Czech border to Munich can be done using a Bayern-Ticket (puchase in advance in Munich) for €13,50 pP for two.

That totals about €80,- pP for the loop trip (Munich, Vienna, Prague, Munich).

I have a few more rail suggestions, but I will save them for tomorrow.
Larryincolorado is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 06:29 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,421
I know what you are thinking with the night train, "Wouldn't it be nice to get on a train at Munich and get off at FRA just in time to check in." Nice thought. I looked for that some years ago, but didn't find anything. For instance, the CNL train from Munich to Amsterdam makes its last pickup in Stuttgart at 1:26 AM, then doesn't stop again until it begins letting off passengers in Bonn at 5:20.

There are a couple of night trains that go through Dresden and stop in the Frankfurt Hbf, where you would take the S-bahn to the airport, arriving at 5:28 or 6:42. Unfortunately, it will take you longer to get to Dresden to catch those trains than it would take to get to Frankfurt by ICE.

There is also a Euronight train that stops in Straubing at 23:49 and drops you at the regional bahnhof of the airport at 3:59. You would have less than 4 hours to sleep on the train and would arrive at the airport hours before checkin.

I think your best bet is to take an evening ICE from Munich to FRA and maybe stay at the airport or in Mainz. I found €39 pP Dauer-Spezial fares still available on an ICE that leave Munich at 16:52 and arrives at FRA at 20:22. Dauer-Spezial fares are limited in quantity and non-refundable, so get them as soon as you can commit.
Larryincolorado is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 06:45 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,421
A way to search for night trains without having to know the starting point is to go to the Bahn Query page (where you start a search). Over on the RH side, under Additional Services, click on Arrivals/Departures. From there you can pick a station (e.g., FRA fernbahnhof) and look at all arrivals at hour intervals during the day. Also look at places close to FRA, like Frankfurt Hbf, Frankfurt Südbf, and Mainz. You might find something.
Larryincolorado is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 06:53 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,421
Trying to arrive at FRA and then going to a distant station always creates a dilema if you want to use low cost promotional fares. These fares, such as SparPreis or the current Dauer-Spezial, are train specific and non-refundable, so you risk losing your ticket if the plane is late. Of course, you can always build in a huge buffer, scheduling your rail departure late enough to cover most contingencies, but then you will spend hours of idle time if you flight is on time.

It might be best to just bite the bullet and pay full fare when you get there. ICEs take about 3:45 from FRA to Munich and the fare is €81 pP. There are some ICs that take a little longer (4-5 hrs) and cost a little less at €67.

Instead of scheduling a train for hours after you arrive, you can use that time to save money by going by regional train and using a Bayern-Ticket. Regional trains from FRA to Munich take about 6-1/2 hours, and with a local (RMV) ticket to Kahl and a Bayern-Ticket from there, you can make the trip for two for €40.
Larryincolorado is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 07:13 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,421
As for you best options for travel on ALL conveyances (S-/U-bahn, trams, and buses) in Munich, you probably want day tickets (Tageskarten).

You need to become familiar with the MVV (Munich metro) website, www.mvv-muenchen.de. Click on the British flag for English.

Click on Tickets/Prices > Prices and scroll down the page to find the prices for day tickets. Except for Dachau, everything most people see is in the inner zone. A dayticket for more than one person costs €9. To get to Dachau you need an XXL dayticket for €11,80.

If you are staying within the boundary of Munich metro (see map, description follows) you might need an all zones day ticket for €18. That would get you into town and anywhere you want to go.

Or, if you are staying outside of town, with a Bayern-Ticket you can ride into town on any regional train and ride all the MVV conveyances for the day.

For a map of the entire MVV rail system, from the homepage, click on MVV Network > Network Maps > Urban Rail Network, then download the pdf file "Network map 2007". That map shows all the rail lines as well as the zone boundaries.
Larryincolorado is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 07:58 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,421
Ever seen the middle Rhine? If not, this might be a good time. If you arrive on the 7th, and go down and stay in Bacharach, you can schedule a Dauer-Spezial fare from Bacharach to Munich on the 9th. I found a €39 pP fare on the 7:31 connection from Bacharach to Munich and €49 pP for the 9:31 connection.
Larryincolorado is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 08:42 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,144
Hi B,

>I've read that Rothenburg and similar cities are best at night-

Not necessarily at night, but after the tour buses have left.

>anyone agree, and have insights on lodging?<

In Rothenburg on der Tauber:

We very much enjoyed our stay there.

ira is offline  
Jul 30th, 2007, 11:05 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 9
Larry (and everyone else!)-
Thanks so much for the terriffic information. I really appreciate it.
I think I'll try to gather some comments and insights on the other topics in a seperate post- maybe with a sexier title??
Thanks again!
beseeingyou is offline  
Jul 30th, 2007, 01:01 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,421
Just another thought. Since you have a few days to get to Munich, and since you want to see Rothenburg and will pass right by it from FRA to Munich, why not stop in Rothenburg the first night. It costs the same for FRA to Rothenburg (€40,20) as for FRA to Munich, but you don't have to pay to come back.

I have done a pretty detailed study of the Romantic Road for an upcoming trip. Most of the interesting castles (Harburg) and walled towns (Nördlingen and Dinkelsbühl) are in the part from Augsburg to Rothenburg. Nördlingen is the most accessible. If you leave Rothenburg at 9 AM, it is a 2-1/2 hour train trip to Rothenburg and you can do it with a Bayern-Ticket. After seeing Nördlingen, it is another two hours to Munich, and, if you do it all in a day, you can do it on the same Bayern-Ticket
Larryincolorado is offline  

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