Fotoeins Fotografie

questions of place & home

Posts tagged ‘German Rail Pass’

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)

( Click here for more )

Flexibility with a German Rail Pass (fall 2011)

Change in plans? No problem!

I wrote about saving money with a German Rail Pass, and I drew up a table comparing individual and total city-to-city fares against the cost of a Rail Pass.

As fate would have it, plans changed significantly the day after I published that post. I’m sorry, Weimar (Goethe/Schiller), but I’ll visit you another time.

Fortunately, with my Rail Pass, I don’t have to rebook or reschedule the changes in my itinerary. All I have to do is look up train schedules on the Deutsche Bahn website, and I’ll simply hop onto the trains as needed.

The new table below accommodates my change in plans, and is identical in structure to the table in my previous post.

Route Distance 2nd class 1st class
Frankfurt(Main) Hbf – Köln Hbf 190 km € 19–64 € 49–104
Köln Hbf – Hamburg Hbf 430 km € 44–89 € 69–144
Hamburg Hbf – Frankfurt(M) Hbf 490 km € 59–109 € 79–177
Frankfurt(M) Hbf – München Hbf 400 km € 29–91 € 59–147
München Hbf – Frankfurt(M) Flughafen Fernbf 400 km € 44–91 € 69–147
Total 1910 km € 195–444 € 325–719
Total in USD (1 € = $1.3 USD) $ 254–577 $ 423–935
Total in USD (1 € = $1.4 USD) $ 273–622 $ 455–1007
Five-day German Rail Pass, in USD $297 $394

I (re)checked fares on 16 September, and the total distance traveled has been reduced by about 200 km. Although there’s little change in the numbers for first-class (no surprise), the total point-to-point fares have changed in second-class.

With careful planning, a traveler can find and purchase early-fares (Sparangebote). But the flexibility of the pass still has allowed me to change plans, and I don’t ever have to go back to a train station to ask for changes or purchase new tickets.

For an extra $20-$40, there’s more versatility for the second-class Rail Pass over the entirety of a two-week trip. The savings for a first-class Rail Pass remain the same as before.

My previous posts about German Rail:

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. This post is published originally on Fotoeins Fotopress (fotoeins.com).

Frankfurt(Main) Hbf

Saving money with German Rail Pass (fall 2011)

Between (2011) September 28 and October 11, I’m visiting friends in Germany, and I already have a German Rail Pass to travel around the country. However, somebody might ask:

  • Should I spend a chunk of money on a rail pass weeks or months before traveling?
  • Should I try instead to get individual city-to-city fares when I’m in-country?
  • How can I get some flexibility and/or better cost savings?

What follows is a price comparison between a German RailPass I purchased with RailEurope, and point-to-point fares one might expect in person at a counter or at a ticket-machine in a train station.

DB Reisezentrum, Frankfurt(M)

With an upcoming tour of Germany, I have five planned days of long-distance train travel. I’m referring to “long-distance” as a trip whose distance is over 200 kilometres (125 miles).

I made my way to the RailEurope website in early-June (2011), and thanks to their “buy-4-get-5” promotion at the time, I purchased a four-day German rail pass, and received an extra and fortunate fifth day of travel.

A five-day German rail pass for one adult from RailEurope costs (*) $297 and $394 USD in second- and first-class, respectively. A similar pass from German Rail Passes costs $305 and $404 USD, respectively. Shipping and insurance costs are not included in these listed prices.

The following table lists point-to-point fares (*) in Euros from the Deutsche Bahn (DB) website. Total fares are listed in Euros and US dollars at the bottom of the table. Individual fares are dependent upon whether slower or faster trains are used; the InterCity Express is the most expensive option. Distances listed below are approximate. ‘Hbf’ is an abbreviation for Hauptbahnhof or ‘Central Station’.

Route Distance 2nd class 1st class
Frankfurt(Main) Hbf – Weimar (Thür) Hbf 270 km € 34–56 € 49–91
Weimar (Thür) Hbf – Hamburg Hbf 440 km € 34–82 € 59–132
Hamburg Hbf – Köln Hbf 430 km € 59–89 € 79–144
Köln Hbf – München Hbf 580 km € 59–129 € 69–209
München Hbf – Frankfurt(M) Flughafen Fernbf 400 km € 44–91 € 69–147
Total 2120 km € 230–447 € 325–723
Total in USD (1 € = $1.3 USD) $ 299–581 $ 423–940
Total in USD (1 € = $1.4 USD) $ 322–626 $ 455–1012
Five-day German Rail Pass, in USD $297 $394

I checked individual fares on both German- and English-versions of Deutsche Bahn’s website. All fares were obtained without the BahnCard option; a BahnCard is a frequent-travel savings card for residents. For means of transport, I chose all the available options. Finally, within each fare-class, I noted the range of prices in the “Sparangebote” (save offers or early-booking) category and in the “Normalpreis” (normal price) category.

To get both flexibility and cost-savings, my preferred choice is the rail pass in either fare-class, because

  • to get the “Sparangebote”, you have to know in advance the dates and destinations and order your tickets early;
  • you do not have to purchase each fare separately, either online or in-person at a train station;
  • and the traveler is not restricted to specific day, time, or train.

In addition to the websites above, Deutsche Bahn also provides a brief description of the German Rail Pass for customers in North America and the United Kingdom. The Bahn’s listed prices for the two five-day rail passes I described above are € 202 (2nd) and € 268 (1st).

To read more about other rail passes within Europe, Lily Leung wrote a detailed article about Eurail in her blog.

My previous posts about German Rail:

(*) – I checked all fares on 2011 September 14. The two photos above were made in Frankfurt Central Station on 10 October 2009.

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. This post is published originally on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.

%d bloggers like this: