Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Night Train to Berlin from A'dam/Paris? Berlin to Munich?

Night Train to Berlin from A'dam/Paris? Berlin to Munich?

Old Dec 30th, 2016, 09:52 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 46
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Night Train to Berlin from A'dam/Paris? Berlin to Munich?

I am looking for Eurail-covered trains from either Paris or Amsterdam to Berlin: If I can head out of either Paris or A'dam in the evening and reach Berlin in the morning... Seems like some trains have been discontinued this month? Have checked out updates on Mark Smith's blog (Seat61) etc - are there any connections I have missed where I can get a few hours of sleep enroute; without travelling in the day or reaching 11 pm etc.

Similarly, trying to find a night train out from Berlin to Munich:

Berlin's connectivity with Vienna, Prague etc, I observe - but am trying to work out an effective itinerary within Germany. Any night trains or high-speed evening trains I have missed in my search?
Any option other than stopping overnight at, say, Nuremberg enroute from Berlin to Munich?

(Have posted some other queries in thread related to same journey at: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...last-comment)?
pbal is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2016, 09:59 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 11,642
Received 26 Likes on 4 Posts
Generally speaking, does the "Eurail" reference mean you've got, or are planning to get, a pass? Have you done the comparisons with point-to-point?

I've gone from Venice to Vienna & Budapest to Munich on overnight trains but those were long enough to really sleep in a compartment. I just wonder if the shorter routes within Germany will be worthwhile in that regard if you require actual sleep, as I do. I know some don't.
MmePerdu is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2016, 10:15 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 46
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am trying to decide between a 4-country pass + Swiss pass and a global pass as I am travelling for close on a month across 4-5 contiguous countries. Also, travelling with kids - and while they are used to early mornings most days of the year and to roughing it, a night-train or even a single train with no changes will be good I think.

I had earlier thought to include Berlin and Dresden in a later trip... but if I could find a night train connection to and from Berlin, I would get 3-4 days in Berlin - by no means enough for sure, but at least we won't feel like we missed it altogether...
pbal is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2016, 10:26 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 11,642
Received 26 Likes on 4 Posts
Just to reiterate my original question, for most trips a pass is more expensive than point-to-point tickets. If cost is an issue then you may want to compare, if you haven't already, of course.
MmePerdu is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2016, 10:27 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 16,981
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There are no night trains from Amsterdam any more. Cheap flights did for them.
hetismij2 is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2016, 10:31 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,358
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Flights here:

https://www.skyscanner.com/
RonZ is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2016, 11:16 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
https://translate.google.com/transla...g/&prev=search

Here are some CNL -City Night Liner hotel trains operating in Germany and to Austria and Italy

check www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.seat61.com for lots on night trains.

There is no more a direct Berlin to Munich night train it seems- have to change en route at Fulda about 2:30am

There is an Amsterdam to Berlin night train-well you take an IC train Amsterdam to Duisburg and catch a direct night train from there about 10pm or so to Berlin-I have taken that one a few times.

From Paris take Thalys to Cologne and catch night train to Berlin from there.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2016, 02:05 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,659
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'd be very careful here, because most City Night Line trains have been scrapped.

this is what's left

https://www.nsinternational.nl/en/trains/nighttrain
menachem is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2016, 02:08 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,659
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Also, PalenQ, please check your info. Apart from Cologne, Dusseldorf is the transfer point, not Duisburg.
menachem is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2016, 02:10 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,659
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Haha, my bad: Oberhausen is the top station now, from Ams.
menachem is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2016, 02:22 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Also, PalenQ, please check your info. Apart from Cologne, Dusseldorf is the transfer point, not Duisburg.>

www.bahn.de says Duisburg as of tomorrow anyway - that's where I got that from-same train from Dusseldorf but maybe in future not stopping in Duisburg?

Anyway better to go to Dusseldorf or Cologne and spend the afternoon perhaps then hop the night train.

I spent a week in Duisburg one day trip there from Amsterdam!
PalenQ is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2016, 02:33 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
re-checking yes I misread- not Duisburg but like you say Dusseldrof - but it appears that for tomorrow night at least you must change both in Dusseldorf and and at midnight at Frankfurt Hbf?

Not fun if quick check shows that on www.bahn.de/en.

Get your ear plugs out for New Years Eve in Holland (and The Netherlands too!)

Cheers!
PalenQ is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2016, 03:50 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,737
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Let's go back to the original question. It is, in my opinion, riding backwards to try to fit an itinerary into a Eurail (or any other) pass. Instead, pick destinations and look up the point-to-point ticket prices. Only then can you judge the value (or lack of value) of a pass.
www.bahn.com is an important research medium, as mentioned, especially since it sells German tickets. Otherwise, the essential tool is www.seat61.com which will guide you to every source you need. And you do need to do your own research since it will be you riding the rails.
Southam is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2016, 05:05 PM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 46
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
@mmeperdu just wanted to be sure most, if not all, travel I plan goes towards making that expensive Eurail pass earn its keep

Have checked out the connections you all speak of... wanted to be sure there isn't something I haven't thought of.

I find the chance to spend some time in Cologne's splendid cathedral most appealing... Would it be sensible/safer/practical to get back to Cologne station after seeing the Cathedral and getting something to eat? Would it be convenient to wait a couple of hours in the station for IC447 to Berlin? Also - having arrived in Berlin at 0533 will it be safe and practical for me to get a move on to find my hotel or will I need to kill time at Berlin station for activity to pick up on the streets?

If I instead take the IC 241 from A'dam at 1700, I have two concerns:

1. At Hannover, I have to change from platform 10b at 2118 to platform 9 by 2130 to catch ICE 645 - is that do-able?

2. How worried should I be about getting to Berlin late in the night (~2310) with kids and baggage? I wasn't sure if it would be busy enough to make it a simple matter for me to get to my hotel... ? If I book somewhere moderate within walking distance - e.g. Meininger - will it be safe to actually walk?

Are there places you can recommend that are safe, convenient for S-bahn travel in Berlin, and family-friendly and welcoming I should consider for that night or for the 3 nights I stay?

@Southam due to several trains being cancelled this December I was looking for suggestions for either some connection I might have overlooked. I have of course been trying different combinations and connections on the DB website; and am keeping a running total of costs point to point for such a comparison. I guess, asking for "Eurail-covered" might have been misleading. My focus is still on getting to Berlin from A'dam - would just prefer to explore all train options and not try to jump on a short hop flight due to all the hassle and overall time end to end. Plus costs too of course!
pbal is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2016, 05:23 PM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 46
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>
...and to Munich from Berlin without our travel cutting too much into our time in Berlin.
pbal is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2016, 06:01 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 70,163
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
>>I am trying to decide between a 4-country pass + Swiss pass and a global pass as I am travelling for close on a month across 4-5 contiguous countries. Also, travelling with kids -
janisj is online now  
Old Dec 30th, 2016, 06:08 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 8,247
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
1) At Hannover central station changing from platform 10 to 9 is very doable as you just walk 10 meters across the very same platform. So it's one platform with track 9 on one side, and track 10 on the other side.

2) Yes, you can walk around the city also late at night. 23:10 is not exactly late anyway. You have "daytime" schedules for public transport until past midnight.
If you don't stay at a hotel near Berlin central station, a cab will not break your bank to go to any hotel in the central districts.. appr. 15-20 euros.
Also at 5:30 in the morning, you don't have to wait inside the station. Public transport switches back to daytime schedules at 5am.

Re. train vs. plane from A'dam to Berlin:
Unless you can/want to incorporate a detour and additional sightseeing (as you mentioned, Cologne), there is nothing spectacular to see on the direct route. AMS airport is not exactly a hassle, and flights can be cheaper than rail tickets. Just keep in mind that low cost carrier easyjet flies into Berlin Schönefeld airport which is located further away from the city center than Tegel airport which KLM uses.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2016, 09:23 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,911
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Night Train to Berlin from A'dam/Paris? Berlin to Munich?
Posted by: pbal on Dec 30, 16 at 12:52pm
I am looking for Eurail-covered trains from either Paris or Amsterdam to Berlin: If I can head out of either Paris or A'dam in the evening and reach Berlin in the morning


Making the trip to Berlin from Paris is easier than the route from Amsterdam. From Paris you can take a TGV to Basel (3 hr), see the city and have dinner, then take a EuroNight to Berlin (d21:13/a06:06). The TGV and EN are direct trains with no changes. Another easy option is Zurich but I think you will like Basel more.

If you get your tickets early enough they will be cheaper than a rail pass. Besides Eurail Pass does not cover the cost of the bunk in a couchette or sleeper. That is extra, and sometimes a complication with a rail pass. For an illustrated introduction to night trains see http://www.enjoy-europe.com/hte/chap17/rail3.htm. Schedules and costs are shown on bahn.com. Maybe you can purchase on that site. If not I suggest contacting BETS, http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/. BETS is in Ann Arbor and is an excellent information source, and sells passes, tickets, and reservations. Make the call.

Assuming you book your Berlin hotel ahead, tell them when you will arrive. The room may not be available until mid-afternoon but they will certainly allow you to drop your bags early.

I suggest that you bring a sack of sandwiches, fruits, and beverages on the night train. Normally there is no food service available on EN trains. Sometimes breakfast in your cabin is provided. There is normally food service on the TGVs.
spaarne is offline  
Old Dec 31st, 2016, 09:54 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Great info as ususal from Spaarne BUT;

If you get your tickets early enough they will be cheaper than a rail pass>

OP in other threads I believe has lots of train trips in lots of countries - and as always if over 25 Eurails are usually first class only and are fully flexible -in most countries like comparing apples to oranges - discounted 2nd class unchangeable non-refundable usually fares vs fully flexible first class fares. And even a string of discounted fares can be more than a pass - especially if one long leg you can't score the limited in number discounted fares and have to pay full price- plus the tedious hours of time it may take to pin them all down from some sites that are rather hard to use many say.

So I object to blanket statements about that-must be qualified- again apples to oranges.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Dec 31st, 2016, 10:57 AM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 46
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks @Cowboy1968, @Janisj.

I will keep keep the flight option in mind to get into and out of Berlin.

@Spaarne, will explore the Paris-Basel-Berlin route - I had been intending to be in Switzerland a few days later… will have to see how I can be effective in this routing. But bringing some food onto the train is definitely a necessity

I am heeding the regulars’ comments about point to point fares - esp if I can get Sparpreis fares for several of the segments - and as I work through my costs I am increasingly finding that (FOR MY ITINERARY, at least) between reservation fees for high speed trains and per day cost of the Eurail pass, the Eurail pass proved significantly more expensive over the Saver fares.

This is less likely to hold true over the duration of my itinerary - esp. to and from The Netherlands, in Italy as I cross and re-cross to cover Rome and head back North and certainly in Switzerland of I want the Panorama trains. So I haven't written it off either.

Further, like PalenQ pointed out - neither the experience nor the costs are really comparable... ....except that they are all coming out of my pocket and even with a first class global pass in play, with budgetary considerations in mind, I ended up picking 2nd class reservations for several segments. I am pretty sure I will need some form of Eurail pass - just not one to cover my entire trip as I have been thinking all along.

For sheer convenience - the pay and forget it experience - I think the continuous Global pass wins hands down for my kind of packed itinerary. Except that, given the number of times I need to make mandatory reservations on TGV or Thales or OBB Nightjet, I find that I do need to plan ahead anyway - so might as well snag some Saver fares and reduce the number of days for which I need the Eurail pass.

The 25 Bahn card has actually held up quite well over several segments - and combining its City travel with a City card, I am able to see good savings on the Bahn card across Germany vs. Eurail.

Am working my way through some other wonky bits in my itinerary - however, I got enough data to discourage me from going in for a Eurail promotion (ending tonight!) that was offering me a non-refundable 20% off regular fares. Will take a decision over next couple of weeks.

I am still trying to find a good evening exit from Berlin that does not cut into my morning in Munich the next day - so your advice all most helpful.
pbal is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -