In 2012, I spent the year traveling around the world. By October, I was making my way from the southern to the northern hemisphere, and a return to Europe. Spending a few weeks in Berlin, Germany in the fall meant that I had a number of friends to visit throughout Germany. Thus began the start of my “Germany tour”:
- Berlin to Heidelberg
- Heidelberg to Freiburg im Breisgau
- Freiburg im Breisgau to Köln
- Köln to Berlin
- Berlin to Frankfurt am Main: for a wedding!
- Frankfurt am Main to München
- München to Passau (daytrip)
- München to Berlin
- Berlin to Dresden (daytrip)
From the German Rail Passes website, I found the 10-day (within 1-month) rail-pass in 2nd-class for $428 USD in mid-November. I purchased the rail-pass with a valid start-date of 22 November 2012. While I was already present in Germany, my transaction was successful, the ticket printed in Dublin, and sent by DHL-courier to where I was staying in Berlin.
I checked fares on the Deutsche Bahn website in early-2013 after fare prices were raised on average by 2.8 percent in early-December 2012. I searched fares for trains on an assumed time and date of “10am, 15 March 2013”, and took note of the highest and lowest 2nd-class fares in the “Sparpreis” category, which are the cheapest available fares. The “Normalpreis” fares were more expensive than “Sparpreis” fares by at least 10 to 20%; some “Normalpreis” fares were two times more expensive. The distances shown are approximate and estimated from “Strecke” values returned by the Luftlinie distance calculator (in German).
|Route (Nov-Dec 2012)||Distance||2nd class, Sparpreis|
|Berlin Hbf – Heidelberg Hbf||620 km||€ 69—129|
|Heidelberg Hbf – Freiburg (Breisgau) Hbf||180 km||€ 35—84|
|Freiburg (Breisgau) Hbf – Köln Hbf||430 km||€ 35—99|
|Köln Hbf – Berlin Hbf||560 km||€ 79—99|
|Berlin Hbf – Frankfurt am Main Hbf||540 km||€ 35—99|
|Frankfurt Hbf – München Hbf||400 km||€ 35—79|
|München Hbf – Passau Hbf, return||400 km||€ 38—44|
|München Hbf – Berlin Hbf||580 km||€ 69—109|
|Berlin Hbf – Dresden Hbf, return||400 km||€ 19—55|
|Total||4110 km||€ 414—797|
|Total in USD (1 € = $1.3 USD)||…||$ 538—1036|
|Ten-day German Rail Pass, in USD||…||$ 428|
|Minimum savings, in USD||…||$ 100+|
The Rail Pass does not bind the passholder to a specific train on a given date and time; so, I gained the flexibility of choosing any Deutsche Bahn scheduled-train whenever I needed to travel. Even though I only used nine of the ten days in the Rail Pass, I still saved at least $100 USD. The savings increase with longer distances between destinations.
If a traveler knows they’ll be staying and traveling within a European country for some time, a European Rail Pass can be a good way to save money on intranational travel. Staying in Germany for up to 3 months meant that Rail Pass(es) represented good value for the money.
My previous posts about German Rail Passes:
I made the two photos above with a Canon EOS450D (XSI) camera. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.
Disclosure: No Connection, Unpaid, My Own Opinions. I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein (cmp.ly/0).