Train travel in Bavaria

Old Feb 14th, 2009, 07:14 AM
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Train travel in Bavaria

I need some help in selecting the right rail pass for travel in Bavaria. My travel itinerary is as follows:
1. Sunday, March 29: Arrive at Frankfurt; take train to Nuremberg Hbf, and then the underground to my hotel in Nuremberg.
2. Monday, March 30: Train from Nuremberg to Frankfurt; return to Nuremberg in evening.
3. March 31 to April 2: Daily underground from hotel to Exhibition Centre in Nuremberg, and back.
4. Friday, April 3: Day trip to Bamberg and back
5. Saturday, April 4: Day trip to Rothenberg ob der Tauber and back.
6. Sunday, April 5: Train to Frankfurt airport.

There will be two of us travelling together throughout. I looked at the Bayern ticket, but I am confused about its validity (is it for a single day, or a week ?). Price quoted is 28 euros for 2-5 persons, without any mention of validity period.
Am I better off just buying point-to-point tickets? What about the underground at Nuremberg; is there a weekly pass or something ? Cannot find any site that explains it all.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old Feb 14th, 2009, 08:16 AM
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Why, pray tell are you riding the train back and forth from Nuremberg every day? I can't think of anything that makes less sense. How many hours a day are you committing to riding on a train?????
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Old Feb 14th, 2009, 08:29 AM
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The Bayern-Ticket is valid for a day, after 9AM on weekdays and all day on the weekend.

It is good for the state of Bavaria which includes Bamberg, Nürnberg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

From N. to R. and back it is better to use the Tages-Ticket Plus on the local VGN network. It costs 14.20 euros.

http://www.vgn.de/komfortauskunft/auskunft/?Edition=en

You can even use the Bayern-Ticket from & to Frankurt but it is a little complicated. You use the Bayern Ticket between Nürnberg and Kahl (nearest Bayern-ticket station to Frankfurt am Main) and then a local ticket between Kahl and Frankfurt. The Bayern-Ticket is only good on regional/local trains so it is slower between Frankfurt and Nürnberg (3+ hours vs. 2 hours by ICE)
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Old Feb 14th, 2009, 08:39 AM
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Verkehrsverbund Großraum Nürnberg (metro district of greater Nürnberg, www.vgn.de) will have a lot of information about travel inside Nürnberg.

You can get from Nürnberg to the Bavarian border at Kahl(Main) with a Bayern-Ticket (€20 single, €28 2-5P). From Kahl to downtown Frankfurt is a local (RMV) tickets. You could also use the Bayern-Ticket to get to Bamberg.

Rothenburg odT is inside the VGN. A €14,20 Tageskarte will get you there and back for a day trip.

For FRA to your hotel, you can buy an RMV local ticket to Kahl and a Bayern-Ticket from Kahl to Nürnberg. The Bayern-Ticket will cover your local transportation in Nürnberg (to your hotel) as well.
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Old Feb 14th, 2009, 09:00 AM
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Larryincolorado, you mentioned taking a VGN ticket for 14.2 euros for travel from Nuremberg to Rothenberg obT. Is that for one person or two ? If it is for only 1 person, wouldn't it make sense to use the Bayern ticket for 28 euros (for 2 persons) ?

Using the slower local trains between Frankfurt and Nuremberg does not sound appealing, due to the time factor. I think I would prefer using the ICE or IC trains. I notice that the fares are discounted upto 50% for advance purchase. However, they come with a rider that one cannot change the selected train. Is there any way of changing the selected train if my flight to Frankfurt is delayed for some reason ?

Mainhattengirl, surprised to read your comment. I have to be in Nuremberg for 3 full days for an exhibition, when I am not travelling anywhere by train. It seemed to me to be a good idea to base myself at one place for the entire week, rather than shifting base camp everyday with luggage and everything. Can you suggest a different plan of stay/travel based on my above needs ?
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Old Feb 14th, 2009, 09:17 AM
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Ok, if I have understood this right. You land in Frankfurt on Sunday and take a train to Nuremberg (3 hours?) On Monday morning, you take a train from Nuremberg back to Frankfurt (3 hours?) and in the afternoon, take the train from Frankfurt back to Nuremberg (another 3 hours?).

This is the point I don't get. Why would you go back and forth like that? If you have to be in Frankfurt, stay in Frankfurt, and then move on to Nuremberg when you have to be there. Does sitting on a train for a total of 9 hours in two days , plus the cost of 3 trips (how many people?), trump the difficulty from moving from one hotel to another one? It just is not that hard to move to another hotel.

I fully understand you using Nuremberg as a base for your other travels, just not the going back and forth from Frankfurt and Nuremberg. If you would like to see Frankfurt, just stay there your first night and then go on to Nuremberg the next day. You will save a ton of time and money.
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Old Feb 14th, 2009, 04:47 PM
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Mainhattengirl, actually I have a business appointment at Frankfurt on Monday. Did think about the possibility of what you suggested. Originally, I had never planned on visiting Frankfurt, as I thought it would be boring, and had planned on using all my "free time" in Nuremberg, which is probably a more interesting city.
Now that this Monday appointment at Frankfurt has emerged, and I am having to make an extra round trip from Nuremberg to Frankfurt, the suggestion which you make appears to be a valid one. My question is, is there enough to see at Frankfurt on a Sunday from a tourist viewpoint, or should I be spending it in Nuremberg ? Please let me know what Frankfurt has to offer for a tourist.
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Old Feb 14th, 2009, 10:40 PM
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The Kaiserdom - where the Holy Roman Emperors were always elected beginning 1152, and coronations were also held from 1562 - 1792.
The Römerberg - town square, containing city hall, built 1322 with its beautiful Emperors hall, Alt Nikolai church, built in 1290, and very nice reconstructions of the half-timbered houses that used to sit there before the war.
St. Leonhards church - built in 1213, with a beautiful "star vault" built around 1410 and also a "hanging vault" a one of a kind piece of architecture.
Alte Oper - one of the most beautiful Opera houses in the world.
Holocaust Memorial Wall - this memorial has the names of the 11,200 Frankfurt Jewish citizens who lost their lives at at the hands of the nazis.It surrounds one of Germanys largest and oldest Medieval Jewish cemetaries.
Eschenheimer Turm - an original guard tower left from Frankfurts defensive wall, built in 1425.
Klein Markt Halle - a wonderful indoors produce market, filled with stands selling veggies, fruits, breads, meats, fresh pasta, and well, you name it. (open on Monday)
Main Tower - go to the top of this skyscraper for the very best view of the city and surrounding countryside.
Sachsenhausen - Applewine pub district with narrow cobblestone lanes and half-timbered buildings.

Some other places - Hauptwache, Goethes birthplace, St. Mary (Teutonic Order of Knights church), Staädel Art institute, Liebig Haus sculpture museum, Communication Museum, Judengasse and Jewish Museum, Geld Museum (money), Leather Museum, Architecture Museum, Thurn & Taxis palace reconstruction, Sachsenhause Warte and Friedberger Warte - both 700 year oldguard towers where you can dine.

There are many more smaller and less well known museums and sights, but space is limited and so is your time. You might want to try a walking tour.
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Old Feb 15th, 2009, 03:24 AM
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If it were me arriving on a Sunday I'd probably look for something relaxing to do before my Monday in Frankfurt. I'd go to Mainz, which has a pleasant pedestrians-only old town area around the Marktplatz, a couple of lovely cathedrals, an attractive city park, and some nice cafes around the Marktplatz and along Augustinerstrasse. It's almost as close to FRA as Frankfurt is, but Mainz isn't nearly as big or as modern, much easier to get in a stroll and see a few sights without dealing with the megacity stuff that Frankfurt involves. And train connections into Frankfurt on Monday morning will be excellent.
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Old Feb 15th, 2009, 03:33 AM
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As you can see from Mainhattengirl's post, there is plenty to see in Frankfurt for an afternoon. I agree with her that it makes sense to spend time there before going to Nürnberg
There are many good museums in Frankfurt but I would particularly recommend the Städelsches Kunstinstitut und Städtische Galerie with an excellent collection of Flemish primitives and 16th century German masters.

I have also enjoyed staying in Mainz which is right on the S-bahn from the Frankfurt airport and has all the attractions Russ described
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Old Feb 15th, 2009, 04:57 AM
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Frankfurt is definitely less boring than six extra hours on a train...

Seriously: If you have to be in Frankfurt on Monday anyway, stay there. Backtracking does not make much sense. As you see, there is more than enough to do and see in Frankfurt to keep you busy.
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Old Feb 15th, 2009, 06:13 AM
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I bow to everyone's advice. Fodorites have never let me down. I have changed my hotel bookings. Now I spend the Sunday in Frankfurt. Have found a centrally located hotel, very near the Hauptbahnhof at Frankfurt.

My flight gets into Frankfurt at 12:30 in the afternoon, so I should be in and out of my hotel by around 2:30pm. That half-day is probably all I will get for seeing Frankfurt. Mainhattengirl, you have listed a very large number of possibilities. Can anyone narrow them down, and suggest only a few things that are doable in half a day. To help, I can say that I am not much into museums. I would like to basically walk around those parts of Frankfurt which have interesting quaint architecture (if any such part exists), and generally wander around interesting pubs and pedestrian areas. The Sachsenhausen pub area she talked about sounds interesting, as does the Holocaust Memorial Wall, Romerberg Town Square,etc. How far apart are all these places, and how much would you attempt in the limited time available ?

The idea of going into a different town like Mainz does not sound appealing, given the time constraints. On Monday, after my morning meeting, I would like to catch an afternoon train to Nuremberg. I think it would be painful to go back to Mainz to retrieve my luggage, and then proceed to Nuremberg.

Please keep the advice flowing. And could anyone also venture to offer a one-day itinerary for Bamberg for the following Friday ? And a one-day itinerary for Rothenberg obT for Saturday ?
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Old Feb 15th, 2009, 08:17 AM
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Regarding Bamberg and Rothenburg, the biggest attractions for us in both towns are the streets and alleyways. Get a map and walk the towns.

Bamberg:

http://mcchelsea.smugmug.com/gallery...33579617_FpWtT

Rothenburg

http://mcchelsea.smugmug.com/gallery...33647595_SGBvs

The Cathedral is quite nice in Bamberg as is the old town hall.

In Rothenburg, I liked the Reichstadt museum with its 19th Century paints of the area.

Regards, Gary
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Old Feb 15th, 2009, 08:54 AM
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From the main train station (Hauptbahnhof) take the #11 tram to Römer/Paulskirche stop. This is the towns square which also contains the Alt Nikolai church right in front of you and the Römer. The tourist bureau is also there. You can go in the Römer and see the Emperors Hall while you are there. You should be able to see the Kaiserdom from there too. As you walk towards it, you will walk past the Roman bath ruins. After your visit to the Dom, as you walk out the door, continue going straight out to the street to the Museum of Modern Art. Turn right. This is Braubachstrasse, the same street the tram was running down. Walk 2 blocks and you will come upon the Holocaust Memorial Wall. It sits next to the Judengasse Museum. After that, I would walk over the bridge to Sachsenhausen. You can usually get good photos from the bridge too, especially at night or sunset. Paulaner restaurant which is right behind the cathedral, is quite good and with decent prices. Otherwise, Adolph Wagner on the Schweizer Strasse is a fun restaurant to go to. http://www.apfelwein-wagner.com/

Frankfurt is very walkable, and almost everything is easy to get to by foot, though the public transportation is also efficient and easy.

Try and get over to the Alte Oper too, as it is truly beautiful, night or day.
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Old Feb 15th, 2009, 08:56 AM
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Here's a link to a map with main tourist sights
http://mappery.com/maps/Frankfurt-Tourist-Map.jpg

Based on your interests I think I would concentrate on the Römer and Römerberg the small part of the old town reconstructed after bombing in 1943-4)in the afternoon and Sachsenhausen in the evening
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Old Feb 15th, 2009, 09:48 AM
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Since you are going to be in four different cities including Nürnberg, I would invest in a German guide with suggested walking tours or try to find one in a library so you can copy relevant sections.

In Bamberg you should be sure to try the famous Rauchbier
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Old Feb 15th, 2009, 05:18 PM
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Thanks a ton everyone for your wonderful advice. It has really been helpful.
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Old Feb 16th, 2009, 04:25 AM
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Indiancouple: I’d have done the same as you, i.e. stay near the main train station at Frankfurt. But in case that you change your mind: there are luggage lockers at the train station where you could leave your luggage in the morning and get it back on your way to Nuremberg.

Alternatives to Frankfurt would include places as Heidelberg where you could get a train at 7:24 in the morning, arriving 8:18 at Frankfurt. But after a long flight I’d prefer to stay in Frankfurt and see the things already recommended by others.

The region around the train station in Frankfurt is kind of seedy. Nothing to be afraid of (I stayed there quite often because of the convenient access to the railway), but I’d recommend not to go for the cheapest hotels.

Train to Nuremberg: if you’re sure about the trains you can take, you can combine the saving for advance booking with a 50% saving for a second person travelling with you (needs to be round trip). ICE is certainly more convenient for that trip than local trains.

Local transport in Nuremberg: you can buy daily passes (5-6 Euros, I think) and there are probably weekly passes, too. Alternatively you can simply buy a “Streifenkarte”. The normal one has 10 fields, costs 8.60 Euro and you need to stamp 2 fields for each trip. Best ask in the hotel for details. There are vending machines at most stations or maybe the hotel also sells the tickets.
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Old Feb 16th, 2009, 04:44 AM
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Hans, thanks for your thoughtful suggestions.

As for the hotel in Frankfurt, I have selected one which has excellent reviews on tripadvisor.com, so I think I should be OK. I am pretty sure I will have an exact time on my Frankfurt business meeting for Monday, so I will be able to set an exact time for my departure from Frankfurt. As for the return journey the following Sunday, that is fixed, as it is dictated by my return flight timing. So I am looking forward to availing of the huge discounts for advance purchase, as I have noted that they are substantial. However, the discounts that I have seen on the bahn.de site is only a discount for advance purchase. When I put the number of travellers as 2, I do not notice any additional discount. Am I missing something ?

As suggested by you, I will check at my Nuremberg hotel about weekly passes for local underground travel etc. I also plan to use the Bayern ticket for my day trips to Bamberg and Rothenburg. Is the Bayern ticket valid on all trains except ICE, or are there additional exclusions ?
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Old Feb 16th, 2009, 04:58 AM
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Hans, correction to my earlier post. You are right about the 50% discount for the second person, provided it is a return ticket. That was the mistake I was making. I was looking at two sets of one-way tickets (because my onward journey will be from Frankfurt Hbf, and my return journey will be to Frankfurt Airport). Now when I look at the return journey also to Frankfurt Hbf, I can see the 50% discount. I guess it is a lot cheaper to do this, and just buy an extra ticket from Frankfurt Hbf to Frankfurt airport during my return.

Can I buy the return ticket originating and ending at Frankfurt Airport, and just board the train in one direction from Frankfurt Hbf ? This should be possible if the train from Frankfurt Airport to Nuremberg passes through Frankfurt Hbf, which I am not aware of. Please enlighten me.
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