Rail Pass vs Bayern Tickets

May 5th, 2007, 08:30 PM
  #1  
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Rail Pass vs Bayern Tickets

I did a lot of research and I originally thought I'd need a 5 day Denmark/Germany Pass and a 5 day Swiss Flexi Pass. I'm going for about 3 weeks in June to Europe. We fly into Copenhagen. Here's my basic itinerary:

Copenhagen: 1 night
Train to Hamburg, spend a day or two in or around Hamburg.
(Friends are driving us to Berlin for 2 days and then onto Nuremberg).
Base ourselves in Nuremberg for a few days:
Train into Nuremberg & Bayreuth (Wagner fans).
Train to Munich for the day.
Possible train from Nuremberg to Salzburg (via Munich) for a day.

Train to Dornibirn, Austria, where we will be based for a few days.
Possible day trips in the area (Bregenz, Feldkirch, etc.) and a bit of E. Switz (Appenzell, etc.).

Train to Zermatt for 2 days.

Train to Nyon, Switzerland, where we will be based for a few days:
Day trip to Montreux, Gruyeres.
Day trip to Berne.
Day trip to Geneva.

That's basically it...then flying out of Geneva.

I'm pretty set with my Swiss Pass. I realize I can purchase the Bayern tickets for each day trip around Nuremberg, right? One for Munich and one for Nuremberg/Bayreuth. Can I use it to go all the way to Salzburg?? Or do I need some sort of Austrian ticket as well for that?

My concern is the trip from Copenhagen to Hamburg. I know I can get a Denmark pass pretty cheaply (or a Copenhagen Card...is that better?) for the train from the airport to the city, and train to the border of Germany and possible trip to Roskilde, or something.

Then, there's the train from Nuremberg to Dornbirn, Austria which I'll need to cover. These are longer train rides.

Is it worth it to forget a German railpass altogether and just get Bayern Tickets, or Laender tickets for specific areas?

T.


tms99 is offline  
May 6th, 2007, 06:29 AM
  #2  
JN
 
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I won't attempt to answer your big question on Laender vs DG Pass, but I do know that the Bayern Karte will take you all the way to Salzburg without extra cost.
JN is offline  
May 6th, 2007, 08:02 AM
  #3  
yk
 
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tms-

I can answer the Bayern Ticket part:

< I realize I can purchase the Bayern tickets for each day trip around Nuremberg, right? One for Munich and one for Nuremberg/Bayreuth. Can I use it to go all the way to Salzburg?? >

The Bayern ticket is good all the way to Salzburg, according to the Bayern ticket website. I think that's an excellent deal.

Link to Bayern Ticket website:
http://tinyurl.com/2883al
yk is offline  
May 6th, 2007, 08:12 AM
  #4  
 
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Eihter a Bayern Ticket or a German Pass will pass all the way to Salzburg, as that has a German station as part of the main Salzburg station even though it's a few miles inside Austria.

Swiss pass is a no-brainer it seems due to your fairly extensive travels there.

For German pass efficacy just go to www.bahn.de and see what the Danish border to Hamburg to Nurnberg train will cost - could be steep enough to interest you in the German Twin at $173 p.p. for a 4 day flexible pass out of a month and then use it to speed to Austria on ICE trains, not allowable on Bayern Ticket. An easy to access the Wonderbar bahn.de site's English page is to go to: www.budgeteuropetravel.com home page and click on the link All European Railway Timetables and up pops the English bahn page where you just put in the date and Hamburg to Nuerenberg and you'll get the fares and even, if available, SPAR online discounted fares only that if available would make the pass a non-started as they can be so cheap. But walk up fares can be very expensive and the pass can be used without reservations on practically any train in Germany save the rare ICESprinter trains which require a reservation and small supplement with a pass. As for passes i always recommend Budget Europe for their sheer expertise on the phone answering all questions and don't have some of RailEurope's mailing fees. their European Planning & Rail guide available free on their home page is an invaluable primer on using European trains with a detailed chapter on Germany.
From Copenhagen i'd just buy a point point ticket to the German border, or the German-Denmark pass may come into play if traveling much around Denmark but the Strip Card will take you cheaply to Roskilde and perhaps pay part of the train fare to Puttgarden and the German border.
You should also investigate www.euraide.com, a German train specialist for German tickets.
PalenQ is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 07:08 AM
  #5  
 
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Lander Tickets i guess cost about 27 euros for up to groups of five that's about $40 at today's exchange rate.

So if 2 that's $20 a day - about the same as extra days on the German Twin Pass after the first four and the pass lets you on any train. Seems a better deal in the scenario were your other German travels warrant a pass - add on days at the same price p.p. (Twin) as buying the restricted Lander Tickets.
PalenQ is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 06:01 PM
  #6  
 
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PQ,

first, $40 for €27 is an exchange rate of almost $1.50/€. We haven't quite gotten there yet. Even assuming you buy your Bayern-Ticket with a credit card and pay that extra 3%, €37 is still only $38, compared with $42 for each extra day of a railpass (at least from RE).
Larryincolorado is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 06:05 PM
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As I read the original post, someone is driving them to Berlin, and then to Nürnberg - nice person. So, the only rail travel in Germany is Nürnberg into town and out to Bayreuth and Nürnberg to Munich (and maybe Salzburg). If that is true, a railpass can't come close to a couple of Bayern-Tickets.
Larryincolorado is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 07:04 PM
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tt
Sarvowinner is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 09:15 PM
  #9  
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Just to clarify...we do have to worry about the trip from Copenhagen to Hamburg and again out of Nuremberg to Dornbirn, Austria. The rest seems to be covered by the Bayern ticket or just subway tickets (Hamburg, Berlin, etc).

I wouldn't buy any extra days on the Germany twinpass if I got one. I'm still torn by the Germany/Denmark pass. It just seems easier and less expensive it indeed I would have to purchase an actual ticket from Copenhagen to Hamburg for two and then a ticket from Nuremberg to Dornbirn, Austria for two.

I'm wondering, I think you can buy a Bayern ticket for use from Nuremberg to Ulm, right? Could I buy the ticket from ulm to Dornbirn, in Nuremberg when I buy the Bayern ticket??

The total per person for both passes would $445. So a total of $890

Otherwise it would be about $225 for the Swiss Pass, plus the Denmark pass for $70, plus about $100 for 3 Bayern Tickets, plus the train from Ulm to Dornbirn. So that's a total of about $690 plus the train (Ulm to Dornbirn).

So maybe a savings of about $200. Hmmm, could be worth it. And actually, I didn't figure in the seat reservations for some of those train rides. I think Copenhagen to Hamburg would need a reservation fee.

I think I'm planning too much. I realize we wouldn't go to Salzburg on those Bayern tickets....it's about 5 hours from Nuremberg on the regional trains! Too long for a day trip. However, my husband really wants to get to Vienna (I've already been there).

T.
tms99 is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 10:15 PM
  #10  
 
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German Rail has a promotion called Europa-Spezial (shown on the German language side of Bahn.de under Surf&Rail International), see http://tinyurl.com/epdhf. Nürnberg to Vienna is €29 one way per person on ECs that run every two hours. You have to buy the tickets 3 days in advance. You can buy them online and print the tickets on your home printer, or you can buy them (while they last) at a ticket counter in Germany for an extra €5. If you want round trip, you have to buy both directions at the same time. You can't buy just Vienna to Nürnberg one way from DB at this price.

If you are taking the regional trains to Ulm with a Bayern-Ticket, you can continue down to Lindau to the Austrian border using the Bayern-Ticket, then buy tickets to Dornbirn (~€7) in Lindau. Just make sure your route to Lindau goes through Bavaria and not Baden-Württemberg, where the Bayern-Ticket is mostly not valid. If you go through Memmingen you should be OK. Some connections from Memmingen go through Kempten; that is all in Bavaria. The route from Memmingen to Lindau via Kißlegg, Wangen, and Hergatz goes through Baden-Württemberg, but that route is included in the Bayern-Ticket. I think Nürnberg to Dornbirn this way by regional trains takes about 6 hours.
Larryincolorado is offline  
May 8th, 2007, 06:35 AM
  #11  
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Wow...thanks for that info on the trip to Vienna....and it even goes from Nuremberg. even better.

Ok....I'll look at those routes to Dornbirn.

Thanks!
T.
tms99 is offline  
May 8th, 2007, 07:14 AM
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<first, $40 for €27 is an exchange rate of almost $1.50/€. We haven't quite gotten there yet. Even assuming you buy your Bayern-Ticket with a credit card and pay that extra 3%, €37 is still only $38>

i was figuring 1.40 to $ as that was what i read when the euro hit an all-time high against the $ but now i see in today's NYT it's 1.36 - that's the official rate so if pay with credit card let's say 1.37 that's $37 plus 3% cr card makes $38 - would be $40 at 1.40 which it was recently and may be again soon. So i think $40 is in the ballpark right now. So for two folks on a Twin Pass i'd pay $2-3 more a day for complete flexibility - more than two would be much better with the Lander Ticket.

PalenQ is offline  
May 8th, 2007, 07:39 AM
  #13  
 
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Time is money. Vacation time is priceless.

My biggest problem with the Länder-Tickets is the time and train restrictions you're saddled with: no travel before 9AM weekdays, and no fast trains at any time. These prohibitions have a way of limiting your options big time.

To me, the ability to get on any train any time is worth a few dollars a day.
Robespierre is offline  
May 8th, 2007, 01:13 PM
  #14  
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My original thought was that we'd be wasting time trying to figure out which train we could take, have to wait in line to purchse tickets...etc. Couldn't just hop on any train.

We may still go with the minimal Denmark/Germany pass (I wish you could get a 2 or 3 day pass...arrrgh), which is 5 days. For any other trips, we'll buy the bayern tickets (Nuremberg, Munich, etc).

Of course, I'll be researching and doing numbers until the day we go....(hopefully not)...

T.
tms99 is offline  
May 20th, 2007, 07:59 AM
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and the envelope please - your decision?
PalenQ is offline  
May 22nd, 2007, 09:28 AM
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ttt
PalenQ is offline  
May 27th, 2007, 06:19 AM
  #17  
JN
 
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tms99----you're right. You're over analyzing this situation. When I find myself in that situation, I realize it's time to quit stewing, make a decision and not look back. My suggestion would be to call Budget Travel Europe (0-441-9413 or 800-441-2387), ask your questions and take their advice.

Personally, I'd pay the extra for a twin pass to avoid the really long Laenderkarten rides--slow trains with little to no services for long hours is time lost. It's one thing to ride two hours on a Bayernkarte from, say, Munich to Salzburg. It's quite another to ride six-seven hours when a regular or ICE train could get you there in 4.
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