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Q's about usage for Eurail Regional Pass...

Q's about usage for Eurail Regional Pass...

Dec 27th, 2006, 01:26 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 15
Q's about usage for Eurail Regional Pass...

I am considering buying a 4 day Eurail Regional Pass Youth for Germany-Benelux.

These 4 travel days do not need to be used consecutively, right?
(I'm pretty sure i know the answer to that)

Okay, so, saying that the 4 days do not need to be used consecutively, right as i am purchasing the pass, do i need to already give the dates for each day i plan on traveling? Or can i just give one date at a time, as the time comes?

I am in baumholder, and will be leaving out of k-town. so if i wanted to go to berlin for 8 nights, then go to hamburg for 3 nights, then go to amsterdam for 9 nights, then to brussels for a night, then back to k-town, would i have to give them each of those travel dates before i even leave to my first destination?!

i really hope not, because this is what is causing the most stress in my brain while trying to plan this journey itenerary.

Can anyone just give me tips on ways i can use this 4 day pass?

And help me out with where to find better information on how to use it, or just give me the information if you have experienced it yourself!?

i have posted other topics, but i finally know my main goal for my journey. i just want to make sure that i know how to use this pass before i actually buy it..

dawna is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 02:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,000

If your pass is a Flexipass you write in the current date on your pass as you take your seat on the train. Flexipasses do not need to be used every day. But it is unclear what you are asking about. There are very few 4 day passes. Most are 5 days or more, out of a 60 day period or so.

Call Budget Europe Travel in Ann Arbor at 800-441-2387 and ask for their free "European Planning and Rail Guide." It is a great planner and has information about all the passes on the planet. Their site is http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/.

What is baumholder? Is this about a pass only available in Europe?

hopscotch is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 02:26 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,273
I had to google Baumholder - never heard of it before; is k-town your slang for Köln?

Before you use a Flexipass or other Eurailpass for the first time, you need to go to a station (ticket) agent and present the pass and your passport, because only overseas residents can buy that pass, so you prove that you came from the US (I presume?).

The agent will ask if you want to travel today and mark the first day with today's date, plus some other stamp, and maybe s/he will enter the number into the computer. You can do it a day before - just make sure s/he knows the correct date for your first trip.

Every subsequent day of travel, you must devalue a day's worth of a space on the pass before you board a train, and do it in ink. Don't forget, or you're in for a serious language lesson and a fine, or the pass can be taken from you, period.

You do not have to indicate your travel dates ahead of time - just do what I described on the morning of each travel day, and don't use the pass until you have seen an agent on Day One.

Conductors may want to see your passport in addition to the pass, so have it handy, but safely tucked away so nobody can get at it.

You are correct in thinking that the best use of the pass is for the long-haul trips. Pay cash for any local trips, and read the literature that comes with the pass carefully - it may entitle you to some discounts on local transport systems (without using up a day's worth, just because you have the pass you may qualify). When you buy such a local ticket on your off-pass-days, ask the ticket agent, it doesn't hurt.

WallyKringen is offline  
Dec 28th, 2006, 03:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,334
Hi D,

Have you checked the prices for point to point tickets?

Passes rarely save money, especially if you purchase discount fares in advance.

ira is offline  
Dec 28th, 2006, 08:46 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 15
thanks for the response!

wally, baumholder is just a small town, mainly for the military base. k-town is what everyone around here uses to refer to kaiserslautern.
thanks for the information on how to use the pass.. very helpful. and i also found that rick steves site, which helped me out a bunch.

i checked prices on point-to-point tickets, and for me to go to berlin, then to amsterdam, then back to kaiserslautern, it would be pretty much the same amount, but with more hassle and not as many options for visiting other random places.

so i did it!

today i purchased the 6 day Eurail Regional pass for Germany-Benelux.

i am definitely going to hit Berlin first. then thinking maybe Hamburg?

Or should i just skip Hamburg? or maybe just visit there for a day, and get back on the train before that day of travel is up?

then, from there, im going to amsterdam.
so, by this time, i would have only used 2, maybe 3 travel days.

so where else should i hit up using my pass?

i just need to make sure i save one last travel day in order to get back to kaiserslautern.

any suggestions on things to see in berlin/amsterdam?
dawna is offline  
Dec 28th, 2006, 04:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,000

"any suggestions on things to see in berlin/amsterdam?"

I suggest using the "search this forum" box above. Enter berlin and then come back with amsterdam. Many of us have answered this query many times in the past and there is a world of rich experience and differing opinion expressed on this Fodor's forum. If you want specifics it would be best to let us know what you are interested in, e.g. art museums, music, dope, fine dining, cafe sitting, whatever. When are you going? That makes a big difference.

Do you have a reason to spend 8 nights in Berlin and Amsterdam? There is so much more in each country. It appears that this is your first expedition in Europe. I suggest that you get the Lonely Planet guidebook "Europe on a Shoestring." Do some serious study and then decide what you want to spend your time/life doing.

hopscotch is offline  
Dec 28th, 2006, 06:25 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,273
Congrats on bringing the hammer down.

Berlin is easily worth 8 days, and go outside to Potsdam etc. Ditto with Amsterdam. Hamburg is hugely cool, make sure you take a harbor boat cruise - to go around in a tiny boat looking up at those giants and taking it all in is awesome. Be smart about visiting the Reeperbahn area - red-light district but much more, theaters and music joints (the Beatles' first claim to fame...) and what not, worth seeing but don't give'em the wrong impression... Much more, of course.
WallyKringen is offline  
Dec 29th, 2006, 12:16 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 15
hmm..i dont know how i am putting myself out there to sound stupid about computers or getting information.

i have definitely been putting queries into the search box above. probably thousands!! i just figured i would also ask here because there are certain people that might read my posted topic, while not reading others for some reason. so its another place to gather more information.

And the thing is, im trying to get INSTANT info, because i am going back to the states on Feb 8th, and i need to pretty much figure out a few little things within the week.

I am not looking to have an entire specified itenerary, just a bunch of prospective things to do.

I am now thinking that i will spend maybe 4 or 5 nights in berlin then make it to potsdam and hamburg before getting to amsterdam.

then i still want to spend 8 or 9 nights in amsterdam, as of now. then i want to go to other random places in holland around that area.. like haarlem. then from leaving the netherlands, i will probably just come right back to where i need to be, in time for my flight back home.

things i am interested in?
people watching, walking around and looking at normal/everyday life going on, sitting down and enjoying the people around me, writing, photography, arts, history, smoking a bit, drinking a bit, etc.

i am pretty diverse in my interests, as i can see the beauty in everyday things.

thanks for your help
dawna is offline  
Dec 29th, 2006, 02:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,000

things i am interested in?
people watching, walking around and looking at normal/everyday life going on, sitting down and enjoying the people around me, writing, photography, arts, history, smoking a bit, drinking a bit, etc.

Here are some ideas for Amsterdam and Haarlem.

In Amsterdam, besides the touristy Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein, go to the Spui and sit at the Cafe Luxembourg, glassed in patio or at sidewalk tables. Also the Hoppe cafe, two doors north, is a hangout for Amsterdamers after work until about 8 PM and often later. It is one of the most famous of the brown bars.

The Rijksmuseum is my favorite museum in Europe. Great works by the Dutch masters. Also Anne Frank House, Heineken museum, ship museum, etc. Get a guidebook. Michelin Green is the best for touring.

Walk around. Use the tram for longer distances. Buy a Strippenkaart and ask for a free tram system map.

Others here will advise you to take a canal boat ride, a rondvaart. I don't favor that. Walk the canals. Plenty of photo ops from the bridges.

Find the flea market. Try your luck in the casino. The Jordaan district is nice for walking.

Beware of pickpockets, especially in the train station, on trams, on Kalverstraat, and everywhere there are crowds. Take their picture!

In Haarlem, where I lived, stop at the VVV tourist office on the SW corner of the train station for a map and guide pamphlet. You can walk this city. It has buses but no trams.

The Grote Markt, town square, is one of the best in Europe. The Frans Hals museum is great though small. The Tylers Museum is an ecclectic eccentric collection of art, scientific instruments, fossils, and etc.

For a great burger stop at the Cafe Brinkman on the Grote Markt. If it is a nice sunny day you can sit outside for a beautiful view of the square, the citizens, and their dogs.

Cafe In Den Uiver has jazz on Thursday and Sunday evenings. It's a very cozy place, about 100 yards east of the Brinkman.

Little streets just north of the Grote Kerk (Big Church) feature all kinds of shops and eateries. The Langeverstraat has the best, and worst, pubs.

Good photo ops from the east side of the Spaarne River near the Gravestenenbrug, the counter-weighted white pedestrian bridge.

On a nice day go on over to Zandvoort. It's a beach town and is overrun on hot days in the summer. Not much in off season.

Rent a bike and ride through the dunes between Haarlem and Zandvoort.

I enjoy smoking Dutch cigars, but not the plant you are probably thinking of. There are "coffie shops" everywhere which sell all sorts of MJ.

Those are some ideas to get you started.
hopscotch is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 09:35 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,652
I second the notion that Haarlem is a wonderful city that is also a snap to get to from Amsterdam - Haarlem is a real Dutch regional town and one of the cutest in Holland - amsterdam is great but in many ways it, as a city, is not typically Dutch.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Jan 4th, 2007, 07:30 AM
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<would i have to give them each of those travel dates before i even leave to my first destination?!>

back to OP - no - the pass is a flexible pass good over a 2-month period and you chose the days as you go along - you need not declare them ahead of time. If you have a 4-day pass you'll have 4 boxes on the pass that you are supposed to fill in with the date (calendar day midnight-midnight for unlimited train travel) that you want it to be valid - do this before getting on the train or at least before the conductor comes along or you'll be considered to be riding without a valid ticket.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 07:05 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 15
everyone, thanks for your input!!

we now have a better idea of what we are going to do, without going overboard on the plans!

one stipulation i have now is the train station to leave out of. i am trying to find the closest train station to baumholder, germany, since that is where i am right now and the person that is taking me to the train station isnt happy about driving any long distances to get me somewhere.

so i know there are train stations in idar-oberstein, i just dont know which one is closest
dawna is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 08:36 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,271
Idar Obedrstein is only a small village. Trains to Frankfurt will stop at the Bahnhof. There are other 'stops' you can find on the bahn.de website but I believe they are bus stops.

A bahnhof is a bahnhof anywhere in Germany. According to the bahn.de website it's a 30min bus ride from Baumholder to the I-O bahnhof. If you are uncertain which stop to get off at, just ask the bus driver to tell you.

If you are getting a ride, look on www.viamichelin.com for directions. The bahnhof is on Bahnhofstrasse.
J62 is online now  
Jan 7th, 2007, 08:17 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,273
The nearest station is Neubrücke (Nahe), about 6 - 7 miles (10 km) west of Baumholder, trains to Bad Kreuznach and Mainz etc. stop there before they stop in Idar-Oberstein.

Trip from Neubrücke (Nahe) to Mainz takes about 90 minutes or so.
WallyKringen is offline  
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