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How early should I make night train reservation?

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May 13th, 2011, 08:36 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Apr 2011
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How early should I make night train reservation?

I will be taking 2 night trains in mid June from Berlin-Munich and then Munich-Rome. I feel like I should reserve early to secure a spot, but not sure if I can even do that this early. I have read somewhere that the updated train schedules begin on June 12th. If so, can I reserve the sleeper now (we will be taking the night train on June 18 and 19) or should I wait? Since I am in the US and will be leaving in 4 1/2 weeks, would they mail me the night train reservations if I order them before we get to Germany? How does that work? Thanks so much!
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May 13th, 2011, 09:02 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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We purchased both of ours once we got to the country we were going to take the night train from. I would recommend at least 3-4 days in advance. We purchased a Munich-Berlin in June 2009 3 days in advance and had no problem. We also did Frankfurt to Milan 4 days in advance and also had no trouble getting what we wanted.

I can't help with ordering online because I never have.
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May 13th, 2011, 11:34 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: May 2011
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Three days is good enough already. But if it's the peak season to visit the place, 4-5 days. Enjoy your trip!
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May 15th, 2011, 01:42 AM
  #4
 
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Booking opens 90 days ahead.

True, this is squeezed down to less than 90 for dates after the 12 June Europe-wide timetable change, but those dates are open now.

The above posters are recommending you buy only days in advance, when the price for a couchette will be a full-whack full-flexible price, over 158 euros.

I recommend you book as soon as possible, looking for 'savings fares' from 49 euros for the same journey!

It's worth remembering that in the last 10 years most western European international (and many national) trains have sdopted airline-style pricing. Buy on the day and it can cost you, like buying your airline tickets at the airport half an hour before the flight takes off!
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May 15th, 2011, 01:43 AM
  #5
 
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I should add, buy online at www.bahn.de, not at any overseas agency.

You can see what the different types of couchette and sleeper look like on both these excellent City Night Line sleeper trains at www.seat61.com/citynightline.htm.
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May 15th, 2011, 08:56 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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I also agree if you book online, do it at bahn.de.

We travel with railpasses so booking in advance doesn't save us any money, but if you don't have a railpass, yes you can save by booking farther in advance.
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May 15th, 2011, 08:07 PM
  #7
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I have a eurail pass! Thanks for the info
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May 19th, 2011, 02:13 PM
  #8
 
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I always travel with a railpass and have frequently booked German overnight trains as I went along - a day or so sometimes before the train so I would not worry and just wait to Germany where you could book them with your pass at any train station.

I would especially book the Munich to Rome train when in Berlin as it can be harder to book at times - for lots of great info on overnight trains and European trains in general I always spotlight these fantastic IMO sites - www.seat61.com (Man in Seat 61 who posts above his commercial site) and www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
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May 19th, 2011, 05:08 PM
  #9
 
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Another good site with night train information is http://tinyurl.com/y57vft.
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May 22nd, 2011, 06:28 PM
  #10
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Well if I wanted to reserve a night train before I left the US, would that even work? We have Eurail passes but if I reserve before I leave for Europe, do they have to send me a paper ticket or are the reservation computerized? I would be afraid that the ticket wouldn't get here in time. My trip is 3 wks away and it took like 3 wks to get our Eurail pass in the mail.
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May 23rd, 2011, 06:51 AM
  #11
 
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I have not been able to figure out a way to book night trains on bahn.de if you have a railpass. Maybe somebody has had more luck than me, but I never found a place to put in that you have a railpass.

If you are able to get them ordered you can make it where you pick them up at the train station you are leaving from, they can be mailed, and some can be printed at home.
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May 23rd, 2011, 08:05 AM
  #12
 
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>Well if I wanted to reserve a night train before I left the US, would that even work?

Of course.

>We have Eurail passes but if I reserve before I leave for Europe, do they have to send me a paper ticket or are the reservation computerized?

You get a PDF file which you print.

>I would be afraid that the ticket wouldn't get here in time.

10 seconds is fast enough for you?

>I have not been able to figure out a way to book night trains on bahn.de if you have a railpass. Maybe somebody has had more luck than me, but I never found a place to put in that you have a railpass.

Funnily, it only appears in the German language selection.
You get a link on the bottom of the page "Nur Aufpreis buchen" ("book only the supplement" where you get a choice of railpass, BahnCard 100 etc.
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