Travelling within Germany

Oct 9th, 2013, 08:56 PM
  #1  
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Travelling within Germany

Two people 26+ traveling Late June to Early July. Need help with trains.

Flying into Munich, staying 4-5 nights.
Taking train to Dresden, stopping in Rothenburg for 4 hours. Staying in Dresden 2-3 nights.
Taking train to Berlin, where we'll stay for a week then fly out of Berlin. 2-3 train rides total, depending on how the train stopping in Rothenburg works.

Should we get a deutschbahn 3 day twin pass? Does this mean we get 3 train rides within a four week period? If not, what does a 3 day pass mean? Is there a cheaper or better option for 3 train rides within 2 weeks?

Any advice??
awheaton is offline  
Oct 9th, 2013, 10:08 PM
  #2  
 
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You should plan to stay a night in Rothenburg, if possible. The tourist crowds are gone in the evenings and early mornings. It's delightful at these times. I stayed two nights and didn't regret it one bit. You will also miss the legendary "night watchman tour" if you just stop for a few hours during the day. It's a bit of a hassle to get there by train: Another reason to stay a night or two.
susan001 is offline  
Oct 9th, 2013, 10:23 PM
  #3  
 
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Don't bother with a pass, you're not nearly planning on doing enough distances to make one pay for itself.

Instead, look at www.bahn.de within 90 days before your trip and book the cheap "Sparangebot" tickets (discounted offers) that you see.

Since it is way too early to look for your dates, I just checked for a random November date and saw these:

München Hbf - Rothenburg ob der Tauber, 2:30 hrs (or slower), from 39 EUR and up
Rothenburg ob der Tauber - Dresden Hbf, 5:50 hrs, from 29 EUR and up
Dresden Hbf - Berlin Hbf, 2:10 hrs, from 19 EUR and up

Note that Hbf is short for Hauptbahnhof, the main principal station - many cities have secondary stations also - depending on where you book your lodgings you might want to use one of those if it's closer.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber (means on the river Tauber - there are at least two other Rothenburg towns in Germany) is in a remote location on a minor local railway spur. You should indeed spend the night as somebody suggested, or you'll be spending almost nine hours in stations and on trains that day - doesn't leave much time for the town of Rothenburg that gets awfully crowded during the day, a bit like a Disneyland....
michelhuebeli is offline  
Oct 10th, 2013, 04:57 AM
  #4  
 
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"Does this mean we get 3 train rides within a four week period? If not, what does a 3 day pass mean?"

The 3-day railpass allows you to take as many rides as you wish on 3 dates within the period of validity. Per Rick Steves' website...

"A travel day is a calendar day, running from midnight to midnight, during which you can take as many trips as you like." You can actually start out prior to midnight under certain circumstances, however. "A direct overnight train uses only one flexipass travel day (not two) if you board it after 7 p.m. and do not change trains before 4 a.m."

You might want to look this page over for more information:
http://www.ricksteves.com/rail/usepass.htm

A 3-day twinpass is sometimes a good deal over full-priced tickets if your trips involve any sizable distances. Are you traveling far enough to justify a railpass? Well, if you bought tickets at the station on the day of travel, your Munich-R'burg-Dresden trip would cost 216€ for two; Dresden-Berlin would be 78€ for a total of 294€ or $384. So you'd pocket a few dollars by avoiding the railpass altogether.

To compare railpass prices with point-to-point ticket prices like I just did, look up your p-2-p prices at the German Railways itinerary page:

http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en

When you use this itinerary search page, you will also find the "Sparangebot" savings fares michelhuebeli mentions in a separate column. Savings fares are a terrific deal, much cheaper than the standard fare or the railpass in most cases. Note that the prices are even lower for a couple than if you buy the tickets individually.

However, these savings fare tickets are good only for the specific trains you choose at the time of purchase - if you miss a train or change your mind and want to travel later or earlier at the last minute, you lose the ticket. Unlike standard fare tickets, refunds or changes done in advance incur a penalty. So be sure that you can really do the savings fare trips before purchasing. Savings fares are possible 92 days in advance; prices rise as tickets sell, so it's best to snag them as early as possible if you are certain about them.

I would strongly advise you NOT to purchase any railpass this early. Most folks change their itineraries when their itineraries are made 8 months in advance.

I would also encourage you to look into other destinations over the next few months. You are zooming past some wonderful places on the way, places that might give you a more interesting and more authentic introduction to Germany than the over-rated Disneyesque tourist mecca known as Rothenburg, with its somewhat hokey nightwatchman tour (watch it on You Tube if you like) and its somewhat pricey shops, where English is almost the native language. There are still plenty of lovely old-world villages in Germany where you aren't always stepping into some other tourist's photo. Here are a few of many examples:

Gelnhausen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtCzNK12U3U

Sommerhausen, Ochsenfurt and Marktbreit (near Rothenburg):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLUgpoQIFHI
Russ is offline  
Oct 10th, 2013, 05:14 AM
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Hr
Huggy is online now  
Oct 20th, 2013, 08:26 AM
  #6  
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Thanks Russ!
awheaton is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 08:43 AM
  #7  
 
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This is the best (English) page from which to access the German Rail site;

http://www.bahn.com/i/view/overseas/en/index.shtml

You can fill in the same basic timetable information for a query, plus see some information on all the rail passes and other information.
Aramis is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 08:55 AM
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Rothenburg is justifiably famous. To suggest that it's architectural and situational wonders qualify it as being over-rated and Disneyesque simply because it makes people want to see it is trite.
Aramis is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 10:12 AM
  #9  
 
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"To suggest that it's architectural and situational wonders qualify it as being over-rated and Disneyesque simply because it makes people want to see it is trite."

I did not comment specifically on "it's architectural and situational wonders" but on the entirety of the Rothenburg experience, which includes the architecture but also includes the tourist trappings that I did specifically mention (and other unmentioned trappings as well.) Sadly, the architecture and the trappings come together in Rothenburg.

My overall impression of Rothenburg is just that - my impression - and it's highly subjective. You're welcome to express your (yes, also highly subjective) opinion as well. But why not just express it without deriding others? Most adults find this easy to do.

I'm not alone in this opinion, by the way. Rick Steves says on his own website that "...Rothenburg is well on its way to becoming a medieval theme park." That's pretty close to "Disneyesque" if you ask me. Suggest you pen him a note as well for spreading "trite" comments.
Russ is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 11:31 AM
  #10  
 
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Travelling within Germany
Posted by: awheaton on Oct 9, 13 at 11:56pm
Two people 26+ traveling Late June to Early July. Need help with trains.
Flying into Munich, staying 4-5 nights.
Taking train to Dresden, stopping in Rothenburg for 4 hours. Staying in Dresden 2-3 nights.
Taking train to Berlin, where we'll stay for a week then fly out of Berlin. 2-3 train rides total, depending on how the train stopping in Rothenburg works.
Should we get a deutschbahn 3 day twin pass? Does this mean we get 3 train rides within a four week period? If not, what does a 3 day pass mean? Is there a cheaper or better option for 3 train rides within 2 weeks?
Any advice??


The folks at http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/ can answer your specific questions. For a general introduction to using the trains see http://tinyurl.com/eym5b.

The HI hostel in Dresden is really good. See http://tinyurl.com/ctrsftf.

Rothenburg was a famous tourist site long before Steves was born. Be careful quoting him. He does make some gross errors. A 4 hour visit to Rothenburg is about right.
spaarne is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 12:00 PM
  #11  
 
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I was in Rothenburg on my own in 2011. I stayed 2 nights and was so glad I did. Early mornings and early evenings in Rothenburg are truly magical. And you really have the place to yourself. In the daytime it can be a bit overrun with tourists (but not terrible when I was there).

I was in Bruges last month and did not have the same feelings there. In the evening I went to the Belgian Fries stand to find two Singaporeans running it. Nothing wrong with that, except it starts to lose its identity when Belgians are not the proprietors. I also just felt it to be highly commercial and overrun with tourist bus hoards.

I didn't find this to be as true in Rothenburg, at least when I was there two years ago.

I suggested that the OP consider staying overnight. To truly experience the place, one needs to be there in the evening when the bulk of the tourists have left. Plus, there's the Nightwatchman tour which is entirely worth an overnight visit.
susan001 is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 04:37 PM
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Russ;

I expressed a view that the comments that many express about Rothenburg are trite. You just happened to have typed the most recent one.

Since "trite" means "lacking in originality or effect because of overuse" and must consequently have been directed at the content of the comment, I think it is a leap to arrive at the conclusion that it was a personally derisive comment. It is my impression that those types of comments are trite and that is all that I stated - that appears to be permitted behaviour if I understand your (personally directed) objection.
Aramis is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 07:02 PM
  #13  
 
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It is probably even more "lacking in originality or effect because of overuse" to make the comment that Rothenburg is wonderful at night once all the tourist mayhem of the day has subsided - like we haven't heard that a million times! - just in case you're looking for other comments to call "trite."

But I just generally don't think it's necessary - or polite - to assess other people's comments in the first place. What exactly do you think you accomplish for the OP by deeming my comments "trite"??? On this board, we are what we say - nothing more, nothing less. Whether you choose to deride my comments, or those of the next poster who says something you don't like, it is rude, and a waste of time. It's one thing to say you disagree - another to use derogatory language.

Sorry you don't understand this. I suspect that explaining this to you might have been a waste of time as well, so with that, Tschüss.
Russ is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 10:49 PM
  #14  
 
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The cheaper option to travel would be to use the long-distance buses.
Obviously those take more time than the train between major cities where you have direct highspeed train connections.
But on mid-range distances like Dresden-Berlin, it makes not too much of a difference. And when you book in advance you can travel for under €10 pP on this connection.
Or the bus can be more convenient on legs where you had to change trains or had to use regional trains.
Unfortunately, only the largest company has so far made their website accessible also in English:
https://www.berlinlinienbus.de/index.php
For the sake of completion, or in case you know German: Google "fernbus" and you get the links to the competing bus companies like Flixbus or meinfernbus or the also only German-language meta search engine busliniensuche.de which compares fares of all companies.

Whether or not you need or want to include Rothenburg ob der Tauber in your itinerary is more your personal choice. Let's just say it's usually not that high on most twentysomethings wishlist.
There are no individual sights or buildings which would make Rothenburg stand out (you can see more impressive castles, fortifications, medieval streets, etc elsewhere) but the completeness of the whole set.

If you wanted to see something like a historic small(er) town but not go afar from the direct travel route Munich-Dresden as Rothenburg makes you do, you could add a day in Dresden and make a side trip in 20 minutes to nearby Meissen. Or Görlitz.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
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