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Another question about trains

by emmweb Online Now Feb 20, 2013 at 8:24 AM

We will be in Germany for two weeks. We'll need to take a train from Berlin to Wittenberg, from Wittenberg back through Berlin to Munich, and then for a couple day trips out and back from Munich. We'll be taking public transport in Munich to get around for about a week. For a husband/wife couple, do you have any suggestions on the best sort of ticket for us? I'm reading lots about the many discounts/fare types available, and that some include some transportation within cities and some do not, and I'm having trouble figuring out what might be the best option for our travel. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Erin

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  • Re: Another question about trains

    by K_V_B Online Now Feb 20, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    For longer trips, where you can commit to a particular departure you can book beforehand on www.bahn.de to take advantage of reduced fares.

    Berlin - Witenberg I wouldn't book in advance. However, Wittenberg - München I would. There are even a few direct trains on that route, and you can save quite a bit of money by booking early. For day trips from München and local transport it's best to use local day passes valid for München. or the Bavaria Ticket for trips a bit further ways. Again, these you buy on the spot.

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    Re: Another question about trains

    by shrimp56 Online Now Feb 20, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    When I was traveling in Germany in 2003 I got the Bahncard. You have to do a little math to figure out which is best for you. I think I had the 25 one. You can get it at any Reiseburo in a major station. No need to get it ahead of time. I got mine in Frankfurt. You do need a picture. They can point you towards a photo booth in the station. You will travel on a temporary one and receive your official one via mail at home later. It made a great souvenir after the fact.

    You can get more info here: bahn.com/i/view/GBR/en/price...

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    Re: Another question about trains

    by shrimp56 Online Now Feb 20, 2013 at 9:00 AM

    I seem to have answered the wrong post LOL. Yes for inter city and longer routes it is good to book at least a few days ahead, especially for weekend travel. By failing to do that in 2003 I ended up in a smking care from Frankfurt to Berlin. Fortunately most of the people in the car were non-smokers like myself LOL

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  • shrimp56's Profile Photo

    Re: Another question about trains

    by shrimp56 Online Now Feb 20, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    OK now in the right place LOL

    When I was traveling in Germany in 2003 I got the Bahncard. You have to do a little math to figure out which is best for you. I think I had the 25 one. You can get it at any Reiseburo in a major station. No need to get it ahead of time. I got mine in Frankfurt. You do need a picture. They can point you towards a photo booth in the station. You will travel on a temporary one and receive your official one via mail at home later. It made a great souvenir after the fact.

    You can get more info here: bahn.com/i/view/GBR/en/price...

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  • abalada's Profile Photo

    Re: Another question about trains

    by abalada Online Now Feb 20, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    For Lutherstadt Wittenberg (or Berlin) to Munich you best buy your tickets in advanced. You can do so from 92 days before the travel day.

    DB timetable

    reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/qu...

    Start: Lutherstadt Wittenberg

    Destination: München Hbf

    For Berlin to Lutherstadt Wittenberg the best deal is a Berlin-Brandenburg Ticket. A day ticket covering all local public transport (regional trains, S-Bahn, U-Bahn, trams, buses) in Berlin and Brandenburg and also the regional trains to Lutherstadt Wittenberg. EUR 29 for both of you together.

    For the day trips out of Munich there is a similar ticket, the Bayern Ticket. EUR 26 for both of you together.

    bahn.de/i/view/DEU/en/prices...

    toytowngermany.com/wiki/Baye...

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    Re: Another question about trains

    by Dymphna1 Online Now Feb 20, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    I had a Eurail when I was there this winter. I found that many of the highspeed trains still required you to get special tickets and they charged extra for those. If it was not highspeed, they often did not even check to see if I had a ticket. But the first one we ran into where we did not have a ticket reservation - I ended up standing for the better part of an hour and still had to pay an extra 23€.

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  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Re: Another question about trains

    by Nemorino Online Now Feb 20, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    About the smoking cars: All trains in Germany are now completely non-smoking, which makes them a lot more pleasant.

    Seat reservations are not compulsory on German trains, but I usually get them to be sure of having a seat, especially on Fridays and Sundays. (Reservations cost a bit extra.) On the German railway website they also indicate certain trains that will probably be quite full, and suggest getting reservations for them.

    I personally have a BahnCard 50, but if you're only going to be in Germany for two weeks that would not be the best option.

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Another question about trains

    by leics Online Now Feb 20, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    My feeling is that a combination of advance online booking (which can give you excellent discounts on fares) for the faster trains plus using the 'Laender' tickets (regional tickets like the Bayern ticket) for making local daytrips by regional train is the most financially logical option.

    Certainly none of the bahncards I've seen which are available now would really make sense, and I doubt buying a Eurail pass for Germany would either: Eurail (which is only an agency) passes are no longer the budget option they once were.

    Bahn.de offer excellent advance online discount fares for some routes/dates/departures. The only disadvantage is that you are tied to a specific date & departure time with the ticket you buy...but, imo, the savings make that slight lack of flexibility more than worthwhile.

    My preferred link for exploring bahn.de online fares is:

    bahn.com/i/view/overseas/en/...

    You'll get an eticket to print out and absolutely *must* take the same card with you as you used to purchase the ticket; the inspector will want to see it as proof of your ID. It's an excellent system, imo; it worked very well for me and, combined with using the Laender tickets for daytrips, it saved me a lot of euro.

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  • shrimp56's Profile Photo

    Re: Another question about trains

    by shrimp56 Online Now Feb 20, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    I figured they were non-smoking by now. The lady at the Reiseburro helped us do the math and my 25bahn card more than paid for itself, since I had not booked any tickets before I left.

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    Re: Another question about trains

    by leics Online Now Feb 20, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    The Bahncards available now are detailed here:

    bahn.com/i/view/overseas/en/...

    You'll see that the Bahncard25 is unlikely to be cheaper than a combination of online discount fares for the long journeys and the BerlinBranderburg ticket, plus regional faresor Laender ticket for daytrips.

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  • christine.j's Profile Photo

    Re: Another question about trains

    by christine.j Online Now Feb 20, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    A bahncard is great if you stay in Germany for some time and plan to do lots of train travel.I have one and I use it often. But I don't think there is any value in it for a short stay. However, if you do decide to get one, make sure to cancel it immediately. It is a subscription which automatically renews itself if not cancelled in advance. This is true even for the special offers, like trial bahncard for four months only.

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