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-   -   Savings on Deutsche Bahn (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/savings-on-deutsche-bahn-968983/)

Pegontheroad Mar 3rd, 2013 08:58 AM

Savings on Deutsche Bahn
 
When I travel in Germany, I usually drive or, if I don't have a car and want to go to one or two places, I buy individual tickets at the train station. I was looking at the Deutsche Bahn website and I'm wondering how much one can save by buying tickets ahead of time on the internet.

Can anyone tell me whether the savings are substantial?

PalenQ Mar 3rd, 2013 09:13 AM

The can be substantial if a longish train trip - discounted tickets begin with a 29 euro flat fare regardless of distance on any one train - some may be 39 euro - much cheaper than full fare but the discounted tickets are train-specific and cannot be changed nor refunded - sold in limited supplies you also should book far in advance to guarantee availability.

To see that savings can be go to www.bahn.de/en and you will see for any particular train the full price and a discounted price if available - if it says no discounted price then those tickets are already sold out I think.

But bahn.de has all the info.

Check out these fine IMO sites for more on German trains and tickets, etc - www.seat61.com (great info on discounted online tickets); www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www,ricksteves.com.

Note that within regions or Lander in Germany there are Lander Cards bought at stations that give a day's unlimited travel on regional trains and most public transports like metros, trams and buses - these can like in Bavaria include a large area. You are restricted to regional trains however that are significantly slower than the IC or ICE trains - those are off-limits to the Landcer Cards which can cost 23-29 euros or so but that allows several folks to travel on just one card - very very cheap if you are taking local trains in a certain Lander.

If traveling 4 times or more on inter city trains then the German Railpass can actually be as cheap as the 29 euro tickets and provide unlimited flexibility to just hop any train anytime.

danon Mar 3rd, 2013 09:19 AM

I bought tickets from Berlin to Hamburg well ahead of time, later checked the rate a few days before the trip, the saving was substantial ... Cannot remember exactly, but at least40%...inflexible,though.

Perhaps it depends on the destination?

PalenQ Mar 3rd, 2013 09:27 AM

Perhaps it depends on the destination?>

seems not to but a flat fee possible on it seems all ICE trains at least - those are the most expensive trains - local or regional trains can be much slower and cheaper so savings is less and time is longer.

I have seen literally full fare tickets of 100 euros and discounted tickets at 29 euros - huge savings - but yes savings would depend on how long the trip is on ICE trains - the longer the more the possible savings.

adrienne Mar 3rd, 2013 09:40 AM

Peg - you can check the price differential for your specific journey by choosing to travel tomorrow and then choose the same journey 3 months out.

I did a test for Frankfurt to Berlin. Prices for this Tuesday are E120; prices for May 28 are as little as E39 for the ICE train with no connections. I'd say the savings is substantial.

Pegontheroad Mar 3rd, 2013 10:13 AM

Thanks for the answers, folks. I think I'll do what Adrienne suggests--check the price for tomorrow and then for May/June, which is when I'll be going.

29FEB Mar 3rd, 2013 10:14 AM

I'm interested in this question as well ~
when I entered "play" dates, it seems the savings are not available on Sundays?
Hoping someone will clarify and thank you!

adrienne Mar 3rd, 2013 11:00 AM

29feb - I see a fare of E59 for May 26 Frankfurt to Berlin so there are savings. I think it depends on what tickets are available. The E39 tickets may already have been sold.

Peg - you may not be able to see June fares yet so just try a date in May to get an idea.

Russ Mar 3rd, 2013 11:02 AM

Savings fares are sold in limited quantities, and as tickets sell, the price goes up. Normally, the earlier you buy, the greater your chances of getting a great price. But Sunday isn't blacked out by DB for savings fares.

Sundays generally tend to be a heavy travel day for folks returning from weekend travels. You'll probably find that fares in the afternoon and evening are higher than morning fares - because travel later in the day is more popular and tickets for the pm have already sold. Certain Sundays may be popular travel days for certain routes depending on the time of year, holidays, special events, etc. If you look right now for Frankfurt-Munich, for example, morning fares for Sunday June 2 are 49-69€ for one. The same trains a month earlier are 29-49€ on May 5. Go figure. Sunday June 2 is just a more popular day for travel than Sunday May 5, for whatever reason. It's not that the lowest prices aren't available on Sundays. It's just that cheaper tickets have already sold.

29FEB Mar 3rd, 2013 11:33 AM

Thanks, I very much appreciate the insight.
I was looking at direct trains Warsaw to Berlin and will be certain to book as early as allowed.

adrienne Mar 3rd, 2013 11:57 AM

I was comparing prices for this route on the German site and the Polish site and the same train is about $14 cheaper from the German site. Weird!


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