Train reservations Germany

Oct 15th, 2012, 11:43 AM
  #1  
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Train reservations Germany

I have a select pass and will be traveling by train from Berlin to Prague on Friday November 30th. Do I need to make a reservation? The pass is for first class travel if that matters at all. I am new to train travel so thanks for the help. My other legs are from Prague to Munich and then Munich to Strasbourg (on a Saturday). Would reservations be advised for any or all of this? Thanks in advance.

Joe
JoeCal is offline  
Oct 15th, 2012, 03:19 PM
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tt
JoeCal is offline  
Oct 15th, 2012, 03:56 PM
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Especially if the train originates in Berlin and depending o0n what time of day you may not need a seat reservation.

Unless this is some sort of reservations required service (which I doubt) and most of those timings are Eurocity trains...there may very well be some seats which are reserved for the entire length of the trip (Berlin to Prague) but you can sit in any seat which is not rteserved; you can sit in any seat which IS reserved as long as you don't sit in it for the portion that someone else has reserved it.

For example, if a seat is reserved between Dresden and Prague, you can occupy it up until Dresden.

Get to the station early and board as soon as the train doors open in Berlin...that way you can look for any unreserved seats; otherwise make a seat reservation. And don't forget that with a First Class pass you can sit in either First OR Second.
Dukey1 is offline  
Oct 15th, 2012, 05:49 PM
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At least on French trains, there is a little card with a name on it on the luggage rack above a seat that is reserved - that's how you know whether a seat is reserved. Don't know if that's how German trains do it, or not.
tom18 is offline  
Oct 15th, 2012, 09:31 PM
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There are three relevant factors to your question.

1. Time of departure
2. Type of transport you take
3. Amount of luggage, etc limiting your mobility

Time: Trains are busy to/from big cities on weekday morning and later afternoons. For example, about 90% of the seats on my 2nd class ICE car leaving Dresden at 7:53am had seats reserved for some segment. While this seems high, if you are willing to move around, there are seats available even if everyone who reserved seats show up – which is not always the case.

Type of transport: use www.bahn.com to find out which one you don’t even have a choice – you MUST reserve. This is indicated by letter “R” which means at least one transport making up the trip has a mandatory reservation requirement. The Berlin-Prague is probably an EC train without mandatory requirement. Prague-Munich, if you choose a trip with bus segment, you must make a reservation as noted on the web page. Munich-Strasbourg is covered by mix of trains with mandatory reservations. Any segments with the French TGV trains have mandatory seat reservation requirements.

Amount of luggage, etc: Suppose you hop on a car, and that particular car does not have a seat for you. If you are mobile, you can keep trying cars until you find one with a seat.

Reservation: On older trains such as EC trains, the reservation is shown on pieces of paper on the door for compartment type seating and on the overhead luggage rack for open seating. On ICE trains, look for red LED digital displays on the wall. If the LED is blank, no one has reserved that seat or the display is kaputt.
greg is offline  
Oct 16th, 2012, 07:59 AM
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NO

As this train is not 'reservation compulsory'
Man_in_seat_61 is offline  
Oct 16th, 2012, 09:21 AM
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Gee, what did I not say earlier???
Dukey1 is offline  
Oct 16th, 2012, 10:04 AM
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Nearly no trains in Germany except a handful of ICE Sprinters and Thalys trains - which the average tourist will never have to take - require seat reservations and in first class in umpteen train trips in Germany I have rarely if ever not found ample empty seats - in 2nd class you may want to reserve but since you have a first class pass just forget all that and just hop on the train. Since the train probably starts in Berlin you will find lots of empty seats.

For lots of great info on European trains and answers to questions like this I always spotlight these IMO fantastic sites - www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com and Man in seat 61 who posts above his commercial site - www.seat61.com.
PalenQ is offline  
Oct 16th, 2012, 12:21 PM
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My other legs are from Prague to Munich>

The fastest route on this leg seems to be the bus from Prague to Nurnbertg and then train to Munich - the bus I understand is valid with a railpass but I am not sure if you need to make a reservation on it or not - think not but not sure. Check out www.bahn.de - German Railways official site to see if "reservations are obligatory" or not. I think most daytime rail travel Prague to Munich now takes this bus link route to Nurnberg, being fastest than the all rail route I believe.
PalenQ is offline  
Oct 16th, 2012, 01:43 PM
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I am almost certain that the Nuremburg-Prague bus requires a reservation due to limited space. All seats are assigned and the bus can be quite full.

1st class is downstairs and more roomy than 2nd class - also fewer people ride 1st class IME. One trip I was on, 2nd class was full and 1st was empty. So since you have a 1st class rail pass, go ahead and reserve a 1st class seat on the bus.
november_moon is offline  
Oct 16th, 2012, 02:07 PM
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Thanks everybody. Always a learning experience here on the Forum.
JoeCal is offline  
Oct 17th, 2012, 02:16 PM
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Yes according to www.bahn.de the bus portion does demand a reservation. But there are also direct Prague to Munich trains that do not demand a reservations and are only slightly slower. I'd take the direct train anytime over having to change from bus to train en route.
PalenQ is offline  
Oct 17th, 2012, 09:06 PM
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The fastest connection between Prague and Munich is the direct BUS (no change in Nürnberg to train required) which will also pop up when you search on bahn.de
Reservations are mandatory for that bus connection as well.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Oct 18th, 2012, 09:02 AM
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I saw that bus and could not be sure that a railpass would be accepted on it - seems so because it says regional tickets are not valid on it - presumably ICE type tickets are and thus passes are - but if passes are not valid then useless to the OP.

But the time difference is just about 45 minutes or the direct train and IME trains on long rides are infinately more comfy than buses where it is hard to get up and stretch and fewer WCs easily accessible.
PalenQ is offline  
Oct 18th, 2012, 09:12 AM
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The direct bus is said to be governed by the same ticket rules as the other one to Nürnberg. So this means, IMO, that whatever is valid on the one connection is also good on the other. But when in doubt, it may be best to send a short e-mail via the contact page.

The direct train is somewhat more convenient as you can stand up, walk around and go to the "dining" car. But on that Munich-Prague leg, often really dated cars are in use so the overall travel experience probably won't be like on an ICE or TGV.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Oct 18th, 2012, 10:00 AM
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We took the Nuremburg-Prague bus both directions. While there isn't as much room on the bus as on the train, it was suprisingly comfortable. I'd definitely take the bus again over the longer train - 45 minutes is worth it to me - plus as Cowboy says I have heard that the cars used on the train line are old stock, so not particularly comfortable anyway.

Luggage on the bus was great - the driver stows it under the bus when you arrive, so you don't have to bring it on board and find a place for it. This isn't a huge deal on trains, but it was nice not to have to stow my own luggage.

Bathrooms - there is 1 bathroom on the bus and it is fine. If you are a large person, it would be tight as it is a smaller bathroom than on most trains. The one bathroom seemed sufficient for the bus load of people - I didn't notice any lineups.

You can't really walk around much on the bus, but you can stand in the aisles and walk around a little bit - stretch or whatever. I never go to the dining car on trains anyway, so that wasn't a factor for me on the bus, but it could be for others.
november_moon is offline  
Oct 20th, 2012, 07:32 AM
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The direct bus sounds good and it is valid with a railpass - but if you have to change from train to bus as on the via Nurnberg route then changing is always a hassle - porting luggage from bus to the train means a few-minute walk or so - always for me a direct train or bus is desirable.
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