Which Train pass should I buy ?

Nov 21st, 2009, 03:12 PM
  #1  
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Which Train pass should I buy ?

Hi everyone

I am planning a short (2 week) trip to Europe in early Feb 2010 (coming from Sydney Australia).

We are visiting some of the smaller quaint town in Germany such as Nordlingen, Shordorf (just outside of Stuttgart), possibly Brugge in Belgium....before reaching our final destination of Amsterdam.

So my question is do any or all of the train passes take you to the smaller towns or do you have to make your own way from the nearest main city ?

Also, when searching on http://www.raileurope.com/ there are a few options such as "Eurail Benelux", "German Railpass" etc etc.....are any of these better than any other? Is the availability of the trains pretty much the same across all different carriers?

I am hoping that someone else may have had a similar holiday recently and can advise on how they travelled by train to small town in Germany.

many thanks!!

Tony
tony8028 is offline  
Nov 21st, 2009, 03:17 PM
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>are any of these better than any other? Is the availability of the trains pretty much the same across all different carriers?


Sorry, but I don't understand the question.
If you go only to Benelux countries, you buy a Benelux pass. If you go to Germany, you buy a Germany pass. If you go to both, you buy the combination of both. What do you mean with carriers?
altamiro is offline  
Nov 21st, 2009, 03:21 PM
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Ok, well thats what I am asking....can I buy a pass that will work across Germany, Belgium and Holland or do I have to buy 3 passes?

Please forgive me, I am just starting to plan my trip so my question might be a dumb one, thats why i was hoping to get some help.
tony8028 is offline  
Nov 21st, 2009, 03:27 PM
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hi tony -
depending on your plans, a pass may or may not be your best bet. Take a look at http://tinyurl.com/ygp9mnc or http://tinyurl.com/yhldoze or google "best european rail pass" for more info.
Seamus is offline  
Nov 21st, 2009, 04:05 PM
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thanks Seamus, checking out out now.
tony8028 is offline  
Nov 21st, 2009, 04:29 PM
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Wow, these tickets are just so confusing, with so many terms and conditions about when and where you can use them, it might be safer to just purchase point to point as I go.

And did I read correctly that these passes cannot be purchased in Europe? I'd need to buy before I leave?
tony8028 is offline  
Nov 21st, 2009, 04:35 PM
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Passes must be bought before you leave. And before buying any pas I would have a look at your itinerary on bahn.de - to see if all the towns you want can even be reached by train.

You might well be better off just buying tickets on the spot. Or - buying advance discount tickets if you know which days you want to go where.

And trains aren;t like airlines - with different one flying the same route. There is one train system within each country (not counting local systems inside major cities) - no competition between different ones.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2009, 03:22 AM
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>it might be safer to just purchase point to point as I go.

In many cases it is true. If you plan several long-distance trips, a pass may work out slightly cheaper. But you should first make up your itinerary, and only then look up the ticket prices and compare them against the pass. Use www.bahn.de for schedules and prices in Germany, www.b-rail.be for Belgium, and www.ns.nl for the Netherlands.
Also, with some high-speed (e.g. Thalys from Cologne to Brussels and Paris) or overnight trains you cannot just "hop on" with a pass - you get a large discount but still have to reserve a seat in advance.

>And did I read correctly that these passes cannot be purchased in Europe? I'd need to buy before I leave?

Yes.
altamiro is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2009, 04:57 AM
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I do not know about passes other than the German Rail Pass. These can be purchased at the airport in Frankfurt. I have done this twice in the last year. However with the present state of the dollar it would be wise to purchase it here before you go. A year ago it was cheaper in Germany. I believe that the prices will change in December and reflect the current exchange rate.
haxter1 is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2009, 02:49 PM
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many thanks for the replies above.

I am thinking that I will indeed just buy train tickets as we need them, especially as we are keeping our plans slightly flexible at this stage.

Do the passes also work on the suburban lines or do additional fares need to be paid for once your get out of the main rail network in germany?

Tony
tony8028 is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2009, 06:00 PM
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For the most part they do not work on local/regional suburban lines. They are for long haul trains, not for metro type service.
Seamus is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2009, 07:19 AM
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>For the most part they do not work on local/regional suburban lines. They are for long haul trains, not for metro type service.

Most suburban services (S-Bahn) are run by DB, and on them the passes are valis. On a city transportation (metros, trams etc.) they are not. But then, a 2 € ticket won't break the bank for you.
altamiro is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2009, 08:02 PM
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thanks everyone for taking the time to reply.
tony8028 is offline  
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