Train trip in and around Germany

Sep 3rd, 2012, 07:38 AM
  #1  
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Train trip in and around Germany

We will be a group of 3 or 4 ( 2-50ish & 2-late teens)in June/July of next year. We plan to travel light, starting in Munich, we plan to meet our friend there and travel with her (one of the teens). We have about one month to visit Bavaria, Paris -Belguim -Netherlands, Rhine valley (our friend is from near Dusseldorf), A taste of Scandanavia. Does anyone have advise about a route for this trip by train? What makes sense to try to fit in? We are looking at flights into Munich and out of Bergen, Oslo, Copenhagen, or Amsterdam. Thank you so much for any help you can provide.
k_ogren is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2012, 07:53 AM
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. Does anyone have advise about a route for this trip by train?>

Well with that much train travel investigate the Eurail Select Saverpass (two to 5 names on one pass - cheaper than four solo passes) and this pass if over 25 comes in first class only and in those countries I would advise with a group of 4 going first class - except in France all the other countries you can just show up without formality and hop on virtually any train anytime and IME find 4 adjoining seats or four seats near each other - not so IME in a much more crowded second class - and in first class you have lots more room for luggage (25% fewer seats about in same-sized train car as in 2nd class) - seats are bigger and again often IME in those countries oodles of empty seats.

You could get a Eurail Select Pass for Germany, Benelux - Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg as one unit or country for pass purposes - and Germany, Denmark and Norway - taking the boat from Denmark to Norway (possible discount on the boat, not sure) - a 5 Country Eurail Select pass or a Global Pass if you want to include Sweden and take a train from Copenhagen to Oslo perhaps.

Anyways check out these IMO fantastic sites for planning the rail part - www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.seat62.com. Railpasses are 100% valid on the Rhine River K-D boats as well and on the whole of the dramatically scenic Oslo to Bergen railway, one of my Top Ten scenic railways in Europe and in my decades of European railway travels I think I've taken all the so-called most scenic rail lines! do not cut the Bergen trip out of your itinerary even if you must return to Oslo for a cheaper flight - there are overnight trains Bergen to Oslo. You can also do other overnight trains to save time and money in a hotel for a night and give your kids a real experience - like between Germany and Copenhagen or Paris and Germany - Munich.
PalenQ is online now  
Sep 3rd, 2012, 08:08 AM
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Provide a little more information please.

What are your interests?
Budgets?

Get a good map of Europe and start figuring out your best route.
LSky is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2012, 08:32 AM
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Provide a little more information please.>

yup like a crucial one - going by car or train or still have not decided. Renting a car in one country and returning it in another often results in daunting special fee for doing that so be sure about that if driving - you may need two cars for a party of several people.
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Sep 3rd, 2012, 08:47 AM
  #5  
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Mostly we are interested in seeing the places, small towns, some bike riding, I like a bit of museum, but my wife and daughter get bored with them quickly. Shopping is not a draw, we do want to see some castles, eat local food. we will be on a budget, no fancy rooms or expensive dinners, picnic lunches. We plan to travel light, wheeled carry-ons or backpacks. I don't plan to rent a car, but am in the early planning stages.
k_ogren is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2012, 10:50 AM
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If you're on a budget you may want to consider not traveling around a lot.

Sometimes renting a car is cheaper than a train. Check it out.
LSky is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2012, 11:00 AM
  #7  
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It seems the gas and parking costs would add up quickly, as well as the cost of drop off in a different country. I will look though, thank you for your thoughts.
k_ogren is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2012, 11:07 AM
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I should have finished the thought.

The train makes it easier when you go to a big city. The car is cheaper usually, if there are 4 you might want to make sure you get a diesel.

Here's the website for Germany www.bahn.de

Read the part about special offers and regional offers.
LSky is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2012, 12:30 PM
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As I asked you on the other thread you started, are you willing to take budget flights between any of the cities?

As I recall you wanted to see Copenhagen, and Stockholm, and Oslo; is that still correct?

You also wanted to see Brugges and Amsterdam. right?
Dukey1 is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2012, 12:57 PM
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I read your other thread but I'm going to post my opinion (for what it's worth) on this one.

You have a month, Nueschwanstein isn't out of the way and the surrounding area is lovely. Consider taking a trip up through the Black Forest on your way to Rhine Valley and possibly add a trip on the Mosel. You'll see a great deal of Germany.

Then head over to the Belgium and the Netherlands. My husband and I spend 2 weeks at a time in Germany and have yet to see it all. 2 weeks was a good amount of time for Belgium and the Netherlands also.

You could skip Belgium and unless you really can't get enough of small towns and/or art or modern architecture, you'd be fine. Spend some time in Amsterdam (5 days was plenty for us and we took a daytrips but that's us.)

Spend your remaining time in Paris. You can't go wrong. Rent an apartment and save some money on meals. Buy museum cards and enjoy.

I would fly open jaws into Munich and out of Paris.

(heck, truth be told I'd spend 2 weeks in Germany and 2 in Paris
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Sep 3rd, 2012, 01:11 PM
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I'm not fond of the Idea of taking flights, I am familiar with loosing a lot of time on both ends of a flight, needing to get from the airport to town. I don't want to forsake all the potential towns in between.

So my answer would be yes, I would be willing to take regional flights, but I'd be interested in why I would want to.
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Sep 3rd, 2012, 01:17 PM
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yes a whirlwind tour through Scandinavia is something we are considering. Amsterdam and Bruges are next door neighbors to our friend in Dusseldorf, so yes these seemed logical.
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Sep 3rd, 2012, 01:21 PM
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L Sky, thank your for your thoughtful response. Can you tell me more about your time in Paris?
k_ogren is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2012, 03:58 PM
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Certainly k_ogren, it's a short story. We went once in 05 or 06 for a 12 day trip in the middle of Feb. I loved it.

We spent our time at museums some, like the d'orsay and the pompidou twice.

Buy the museum pass and save some money if you like museums.

I haven't been back, not because I don't love Paris. It's just that I love Germany more.

We didn't stay in an apt, we rented a hotel. Next time, it'll be an apartment.
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Sep 3rd, 2012, 05:41 PM
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Anything you'd hate to have missed while you were in Germany?
k_ogren is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2012, 07:00 PM
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I could and have spent entire vacations in Germany and will always go back for more.

I am happy that I've been to Neuschwanstein and the Burg Eltz because they are popular and one has to see them. There are better castles because Neuschwanstein was like Ludwig's playhouse. The Burg Eltz is impressive until you really think about it as a defensive unit.

I would have hate to have missed the Mercedes Benz Museum; not only a great museum but a phenomenal piece of architecture. It's in Stuttgart.

Is this your first time to Europe?
LSky is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2012, 07:08 PM
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Sorry I seem to always hit submit too soon.

If this is the 1st time to Europe; ask yourself and family what they envision Europe to be? Is it about food? Nature? Buildings? etc.
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Sep 4th, 2012, 05:33 AM
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www.seat62.com>

Oops my post far above recommended this fantastic rial site but a type - it is www.seat61.com and has great info on online discount tickets if you want to go that way.
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Sep 4th, 2012, 08:41 AM
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If on a real budget eschew Scandinavia, which to me is obscenely expensive - much more so than most of Europe (except Switzerland)- especially things like restaurants, cafes and just food in general.
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Sep 4th, 2012, 01:06 PM
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Sometimes renting a car is cheaper than a train. Check it out>

Cars are great if wanting to meander thru the countrside - say up the fantastic Mosel River Valley or thru the Black Forest but in cities like Amsterdam they are useless and at last I knew cost at least $25-30 a day just to park in the city.

Wide areas of many European cities are now off-limits to private vehicles so if going to bigger cities as most of us are wont to do then cars can get you there but more and more are a liability once there - many hotels do not offer parking or if they do charge at times an arm and a leg for it.

So the efficacy of a car IMO is the kind of trip you are doing.
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