Germany Benelux Train Pass

We are spending 3 days in Berlin, then taking a train to Amsterdam (3 nights) train to Brussels to catch the high speed train to London. Is the best to get the Germany Beneluxe Pass or just pay as we go? We are primarily staying in those cities and not exploring the respective countries.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2824 posts

A railpass is almost never a good deal these days, particularly if you're only taking a few trains. If you know your days of travel and can commit to non-exchangeable and non-refundable tickets, you'll do much better buying these in advance online. The price goes way up if you wait until the day of travel. It used to be that a pass covered last minute travel, but on your routes, some of the trains have hefty passholder supplements and/or quotas on the number of passholder tickets they sell; research this carefully before buying a pass, or you may find you can't use it and will have to buy a full priced ticket on top of the pass. To buy Berlin to Amsterdam, use http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en. Be sure to put in all your travelers, as a ticket price for 2 people is less than double the ticket price for a ticket for 1 person. It's not clear if you wanted to stop off in Brussels, or were just transiting through there (and wanted to get to London as fast as possible from Amsterdam). If you want the fast option from Amsterdam to London, use these directions:
http://seat61.com/Netherlands.htm#by%20Eurostar If you want to go from Amsterdam to Brussels, and then later from Brussels to London, buy the first part on http://www.thalys.com and the second part on http://www.eurostar.com.

Posted by Shelli
Westborough, MA, US
9 posts

Thanks so much Harold. I'll let you know what I find out.

Posted by Shelli
Westborough, MA, US
9 posts

It is looking like it is cheaper to fly to amsterdam on EasyJet. Thoughts?

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10854 posts

How much cheaper? Remember the hassle factor of airline travel and using discount airlines. You need to save a lot to make it pay.

Posted by Shelli
Westborough, MA, US
9 posts

Well cheaper by several hundred dollars and 5 hours quicker.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2824 posts

Yes, the flight is shorter, but you have to account for all of the time, money, and hassle before making your decision. Looking at the Bahn website I linked above, a train from Berlin Hauptbahnhof to Amsterdam Centraal (the main stations in each city) takes 6:21 with no changes or 6:10 with a change (part of it is on a faster train). These stations are very central, so a taxi from your hotel will be inexpensive and fast. And, you can show up for the train right up to departure; since Berlin Hbf is huge, you will want to arrive 15 minutes before to find your platform and get to it, but that is sufficient. A flight takes 1:25, true. But for Easyjet, you have to get to Schoenefeld Airport from central Berlin (takes at least 30 minutes), and be there at least 60-90 minutes before your flight. Then you have to get from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam (frequent trains, taking about 15 minutes to Amsterdam Centraal). Getting to and from the airports by taxi will cost much more than to the train stations. And if you're taking mass transit to the airports, you'll save a lot of money, but you have to allow more time. I'm not saying you shouldn't fly, but on a trip like that, for me it's a toss-up. For many on this Helpline, the lack of hassle with the train would make them choose it in this case. Remember, on the train you can settle in, spread out, plug in devices like a laptop or music player, and generally relax.