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Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic May 2013

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Jan 11th, 2013, 09:07 AM
  #1
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Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic May 2013

Upcoming visit May 2013. We fly into Geneva and currently have reservations for a two night stay there. We would like to take a day trip to Leysin. We would then like to travel by train to Munich for two-three nights, followed by train travel to Prague for two nights, and ending in Berlin/Potsdam [via train] for 3-4 nights. We fly home from Berlin. Any suggestions on sights/restaurants/trains would be greatly appreciated!
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Jan 11th, 2013, 09:20 AM
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I usually try to have some sense of where I am going by reading guidebooks before establishing an itinerary. In your case, I suspect that Prague is too short, and Munich would be if only a two night stay.
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Jan 11th, 2013, 09:44 AM
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As for the train part these sites will help a lot IMO - www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

You may look into a Eurail Select Saverpass for Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany if you want first class travel and there are IME of decades of rail treavel in Europe significant differences in class - much more relaxed in many ways though many find 2nd class perfectly adequate - but if first class the pass may save you money and let you hop on any train in all those countries practically - just show up - for 2nd class try to score deep discounted tickets online - those however are sold in limited numbers and must be booked months in advance often to secure and are generally non-changeable nor refundable.
Potsdam can be reached by S-Bahn train from anyplace in Berlin - in cities like that investigate day passes where several folks can travel unlimited times for a pittance.
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Jan 11th, 2013, 11:06 AM
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Geneva to Munich - via a change of trains in Zurich - a long day of 6-7 hours I would think.

Munich to Prague is a long day if by train but if you take a train to Nurnberg, just north of Munich, there are several daily buses to go to Prague and probably constitute the quickest route all told (if railpass it is valid also on the bus, normal fare about 50 euros - discounted limited in number fares about 19 euros.)
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Jan 12th, 2013, 09:06 AM
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Note that there is also an overnight train between Munich and Prague I believe - save travel time in not so exhilarating scenery and the cost of a night in a hotel as well. Bargain rates can be had at www.bahn.de/en - German Railways web site.
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Jan 13th, 2013, 08:59 AM
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As the train ride Prague to Berlin is now fairly short you could break your journey in Dresden and spend a few hours traipsing around that historic Florence on the Elbe - put bags in station locker - lots of trains to reboard - but if you get a discounted Prague to Berlin ticket I do not think you can break your journey on those restricted tickets.

IMO consider staying a night in Dresden if possible.
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Jan 14th, 2013, 07:34 AM
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Thank you so much PalenQ for your suggestions! They are much appreciated.
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Jan 14th, 2013, 02:15 PM
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Kcfoonian - thanx for the thanks!
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Jan 14th, 2013, 04:14 PM
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Actually, there is now a direct bus between Munich and Prague, so no need to take the train to Nuremburg and change to the bus there. The trip takes 5 hours and if you reserve your tickets ahead, can be as low as 29 euro/person.

The direct train takes 5 hours and 50 minutes.

For overnight trains - it looks like the service between Munich and Prague was discontinued.
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Jan 15th, 2013, 08:19 AM
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Yes thanks nov moon for the info on the overnight train Munich to Prague being scrubbed - I can see no mention of it in schedules though sometimes in summer they may run such trains at times.

Buses according to www.bahn.de take 4 h 39 minutes so are more than an hour faster than the direct train - and these buses also honor railpasses for the basic fare - not the mandatory see reservation- a few euros I think.
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Jan 15th, 2013, 11:54 AM
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LOVED Mike's Bike tour in Munich, also toured Dachau (history major) -

took the train from Prague to Munich and back - train changes were a pain
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Jan 15th, 2013, 01:16 PM
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ook the train from Prague to Munich and back - train changes were a pain>

Yes buses are faster on routes from Germany to Prague because the Czech Republic does not have true high-speed rail lines but old congested ones IME going thru lots of industrial detritus and cities - Germany's high-speed rail lines often skirt most cities, only serving the big cities (like Frankfurt to Cologne high-speed line).
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