Train Pass Question for Germany

Aug 5th, 2006, 08:01 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 88
Train Pass Question for Germany

We will be visiting Germany over a 10-day period and are considering purchasing some type of rail pass.

We are 2 adults and 3 children (8, 5, and 6 months). I understand that if we purchase individual point-to-point tickets in Germany that children under 15 are free as long as they are listed on our ticket. If we buy the German Rail Twin Pass (i'm sure I botched the name), do the kids still travel free or do we need a pass for them as well.

If so, it would seem to me that we would not benefit from the passes. True?

Note that we will also be traveling from London to Amsterdam via Eurostar and from Amsterdam to Koln/Munich. How do I research what the discounts are on Eurostar for railpass holders and whether Amsterdam is a 'border' city included with the standard German Rail pass?

Thanks for the info!
sdfamily is offline  
Aug 5th, 2006, 08:12 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,939
Amsterdam is definately not considered a border town. The border town is Emmerich. I'm sure that the kids will not be free because there is also a youth pass available. WE are buying a Germany-Benalux pass for this September. We probably won't save any money, but we can just get on any train at any time without standing in line for tickets, so it is worth the convenience for me.
scatcat is offline  
Aug 5th, 2006, 08:16 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 32,920
Before purchasing a pass, enter your itinerary on www.railsaver.com and click only if it saves me money. Railsaver will tell you which pass is best, if at all.
kybourbon is online now  
Aug 6th, 2006, 04:42 AM
  #4  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,414
Hi SD,

>.. understand that if we purchase individual point-to-point tickets in Germany that children under 15 are free as long as they are listed on our ticket.<

I would check that again.

AFAIK, children under 5 are free. 5-11 need "child fare". 12-25 are "youth".

As noted, check with Railsaver before buying passes.

Have a nice trip.
ira is offline  
Aug 6th, 2006, 06:07 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 88
I guess what I mean by border town is: Will my German Rail Pass cover the ICE train from Amsterdam to Koln?

As far as the children issue the DB Web Site says...

Families travel for less

Profit from our attractive family offers. Children up to 14 years of age travel for free, when accompanied by their parents or grandparents. However, the number of your children must be included on your ticket.

I'll check out railsaver.com and see what they say.

Thanks!
sdfamily is offline  
Aug 6th, 2006, 07:03 AM
  #6  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,414
Thanks for the info re child fares, sd.

ira is offline  
Aug 6th, 2006, 09:13 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,421
Don't trust RailSaver. The fares they use for point to point are highly inaccurate. Sometimes they are too high; sometimes they are too low. And, they don't take into account special point-point fares that you can get, particularly in Germany.

You didn't say what all of you itinerary might be. Amsterdam to Köln and Köln to Munich are only two days. Are you planning to stop between Köln and Munich? A German Twin pass is for at least 4 days; a Germany Benelux pass is for at least 5 days. You would have extra days to use, but by using Länder tickets in Germany, a whole family can travel for less than €30 per day. For shorter trips, particularly those with only regional trains, using a railpass is a waste.
Larryincolorado is offline  
Aug 6th, 2006, 09:45 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 88
I did seem to me that 'railsaver' did not actually provide accurate information. It just tried to sell railpasses based on the number of days traveling.

Our train segments (as of now) are:
Day 1: London to Amsterdam via Brussles
Day 4: Amsterdam to Oberwesel (also K-D boat ride)
Day 5: Obersesel to Garmisch (I'm trying to determine a stop mid-day for lunch, etc.)
Day 7: Day trip Garmisch - Munich
Day 8: Zugspitze Railway
(at this point we might rent a car for exploring castles and Salzburg, or just do day trips from Garmisch)

I'm planning way ahead (April 2007) so I think that I should be able to get a good fare on the Eurostar portion of the trip. That leaves the Amsterdam - Oberwesel and Oberwesel - Garmisch segments. Given the child fare issue, it seems cheaper (and easier) to book online before we leave and use the Lander ticket for the Munich (and any other) daytrips.

Anyway, that's my current plan.

Thanks for the help!
sdfamily is offline  
Aug 7th, 2006, 12:41 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 6
hi
you will visiting germany for 10 day ?

are you sightseeing in munich or hamburg? the best price for the tickets you are find on http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...es=29&start=50 or in the travelguide from www.familienreise.de

sincely
holidayfrank
holidayfrank is offline  
Aug 7th, 2006, 12:42 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 6
sorry

the link from the bahn guide is http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en

holidayfrank
holidayfrank is offline  
Aug 7th, 2006, 11:56 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,421
Why your interest in Oberwesel?

I was there a few years ago (stopped by for an hour between Bacharach and Boppard), and I was not particularly impressed. You had better pre-arrange transportation to your hotel, because the station is way off on one end of town. All the hotels seem to be a long walk away (with luggage and kids?), and I did not see any buses. The only thing on that end of town is the grossly overpriced Schönburg, and it is at the top of a very high, steep hill.

You might want to consider staying in St. Goar instead. Most all of the hotels are just are just a couple short blocks down the hill from the station.

After checking in at St. Goar, take the train to Oberwesel (if you really have to see it) and Bacharach, and take the boat down the river back to St. Goar. That is supposed to be the most scenic part of the Rhein, but, except for the Pfalzgrafenstein, the toll castle mid-river, it was kind of boring. The Loreley is really just a big cliff. I went up the river to Bacharach. It took 70 minute. The trip down the river takes only 40 minutes and you still get to see everything.

As for Oberwesel to Garmisch, I would stop for lunch in Ulm (in fact, we did). Seems I remember eating at an outdoor table on a tree-lined street between the station and the cathedral (Dom). In fact, while you are there, some of you might want to climb the inside steps to the top of the Dom. It is the highest Gothic steeple in the world, and the view from the top is spectacular.

The fastest route from Oberwesel to Garmisch is through Munich, but if you go south from Ulm to Kempten, you can take the very scenic "Ausserfernbahn" through part of the Tirol section (Reutte) of Austria and come into Garmisch from Erwald. Trains from Bingen to Kempten are on an hourly schedule, but from the Rhein to Bingen and the Ausserfernbahn the trains run every two hours, so you would have to stay in Ulm for two hours. That should make it a 9 1/2 hour trip total, including the two hours in Ulm.
Larryincolorado is offline  
Aug 7th, 2006, 12:17 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 5,641
The only way you could get a passholder fare on the Eurostar (currently $77 one way) is if you have a pass valid in Belgium, France or Britain - the German Pass won't pass for that but the Benelux-Germany pass would - but the extra price of that pass would not be worth it just to do the pass holder fare.
And be sure the German pass would only take you to the Dutch border, from where you'd probably have to pay about $25-30 to get to Amsterdam.
Larry in Colorado can walk you thru the regional train pass aspect - a bit Byzantine for a novice to wade through but if not in a hurry (can't take fastest direct trains) it works beautifully.
PalQ is offline  
Aug 7th, 2006, 05:22 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 88
I was thinking Oberwesel because of the castle lodgings, but I see that it is very expensive. St. Goar might be a better option.

Thanks for the advice the on "Ausserfernbahn". It sounds like a fabulous route. When I'm on the DB web site I think I can click 'show intermediate stops' to make sure that the routing is through the cities you specified. It looks like a combo of trains RE32651/RB5517/RB5481 will do the trick.

I've been on the DB wesite and read their info on the regional passes and the weekend fares. I think I've got the big picture. If you choose a route over which the fare is applicable, it will display that as a choice.

I was going to the Rhein area to avoid taking the overnight train from Amsterdam to Munich with my children. Now to complicate matters, I could not get the routing on American I wanted and need to depart from Frankfurt instead of Munich. So somehow I need to revise my plan to travel from Bavaria to Frankfurt area (stopping in Rothenburg possible) for my flight back to the states.

What about approaching Germany from the south instead of the north? I'll be coming from London.

Looks like I'm ready for more research....
sdfamily is offline  
Aug 7th, 2006, 06:13 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,421
If you want to take the Ausserfernbahn, select "Pfronten" for the via.
Larryincolorado is offline  
Aug 9th, 2006, 03:58 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 729
sdfamily, I ordered a German Twin pass today (8-9-06)from Byron at BETS (1-800-441-9413) and he mentioned that many of the train fares went up as of 12:01am last night. Luckily my German Twin pass was not one of them. If you have priced out your fares, you may want to review them again to see if there were any changes. Sorry, I did not get any other rate increase details because they did not apply to me. Barb
BabsB is offline  
Aug 9th, 2006, 05:17 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,421
Despite my respect for BETS, I am not sure how much to believe. I just made a quick check on the Bahn website of four Länder tickets, and none of them went up today. German Rail has traditionally waited until the first weekend in December to announce new fares.
Larryincolorado is offline  
Aug 9th, 2006, 05:26 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,421
No, I don't see any changes. Must be a different Germany.
Larryincolorado is offline  
Aug 9th, 2006, 05:42 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,939
My Germany-Benelux didn't change.
scatcat is offline  
Aug 9th, 2006, 06:16 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 729
Sorry for my mis-statement, I should clarify. It was not only German routes but other countries as well. I mentioned it because it might affect the Amsterdam leg of the trip. Barb
BabsB is offline  
Aug 9th, 2006, 08:40 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,421
Just checked their cost from DB for Amsterdam to Oberwesel on all trains and it hasn't changed. Same for Amersterdam to Kaldenkirchen via regional trains.
Larryincolorado is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:13 AM.