Fotoeins Fotografie

location bifurcation, place & home

German Rail Pass (fall 2012, RTW)

Dom, cathedral, Hohenzollern Bridge, Koeln, Cologne, Germany

Dom, Hohenzollernbrücke (Cathedral, Hohenzollern Bridge): Köln, Germany – 1 Oct 2011 (HL)

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+

German rail pass, November 2012

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:

•   Yet another trip with German Rail (2011)
•   Across the country with German Rail
•   Saving money with a German Rail Pass
•   Flexibility with a German Rail Pass

Hauptbahnhof, Central Station, Berlin, Germany

Hauptbahnhof (Central Station), Berlin, Germany – 1 Oct 2009 (HL)

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.I made the two photos above with a Canon EOS450D (XSI) camera. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at

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