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General questions about train travel in Germany

Hi, we are Americans with the fortunate circumstances to be living in the UK for a few years. We are taking a short 5-day/4-night trip to Germany later this month, and are trying to understand the train system. We will be flying into Memmingen and taking the train to Fussen. The next day, we will be taking the train to Munich, and then the following day taking the train to Salzburg (and will end up flying out of Salzburg). We aren't sure if we need to reserve our train tickets in advance, or if we should just plan on buying them once we are there. We don't know how long it will take to clear customs, so we don't want to buy tickets for a train that leaves too early from Memmingen and then miss the train (because it sounds like we would lose our money, but perhaps that is incorrect?) Do train prices go up closer to the day of departure? (that has been our experience in the UK, but we realize that the train system here is different that most of Europe). Also, is there any sort of rail pass that would make sense for only 3 days of train journeys? Finally, we are traveling with 2 children, ages 10 & 13, if that makes an impact on advice. Thanks!

Posted by
16761 posts

All of your trips involve regional trains, which never sell out. Furthermore, you can use Laender tickets, which allow 2 adults and 2 children 6-14 yo to travel the whole day on regional trains for one low price, 34 EUR. You do have to travel after 9 am weekdays, anytime weekends and German holidays. You just buy these tickets out of vending machines and write your names on the back. It also includes local transport. Children travel with you free.

So from Memmingen airport, that includes the bus from the airport to Memmingen train station. For your trip to Munich, that will also include all S-Bahn, U-Bahn, Tram, and buses in Munich city for the day you arrive. It also includes regional trains to Salzburg, but no local transport in Salzburg.

Note: traveling from Memmingen to Fuessen make sure to travel via Buchloe to insure whole trip is covered by your ticket.

Further info at:
https://www.bahn.com/en/offers/regional/regional-day-ticket-for-bavaria?dbkanal_007=teaserSliderBigImage_3-1_link_laenderticketbayern

Posted by
27713 posts

Have you flown Ryanair or Wizz before? If not it is a good idea to become familiar with their tighter than normal requirements. For example, with Ryanair if you have to decide to check a piece of luggage at the airport rather than buying that checked luggage when you buy your tickets it will cost you more to check it than your whole flight will cost. Same with asking them to print a boarding pass at the airport.

None of these things is unavoidable, but you need to understand the system beforehand...

When you land at Memmingen you will just a few km from the magnificent Ottobeuren Abbey. You may even fly over it. http://www.abtei-ottobeuren.de/

Posted by
18301 posts

Sam, I think you are mixing tickets.

The Bayern-Ticket for two adults (2 kids free) would be 34€ (26€ + 8€), and would include the bus from Memmingen airport to the train station in Memmingen and all local trains RB & RE in Bavaria. It would not require you to go through Buchloe on the way to Füssen.

There is also a ticket called the Regio-Ticket Allgäu-Schwaben, which costs less, 31€ for two adults (23€ + 8€). It would not include the bus from the airport to Memmingen Bhf . It also specifies Memmingen to Buchloe as well as Memmingen to some other towns, and maybe from there to Füssen, but Memmingen to Buchloe to Füssen seems like the most direct.

But since the Regio-Ticket Allgäu-Schwaben only saves 3€ and doesn't include the bus from the airport, I would use the Bayern-Ticket.

Posted by
18301 posts

Tickets for Long Distance Trains (ICE/IC/EC) are offered at a substantial discount with advance purchase, and these tickets are at their lowest price when originally offered, and do increase in price as the lower tiered tickets sell out.

However, tickets for regional trains never go up, and there are great deals on all day passes, such as the Bayern-Ticket.

Posted by
16761 posts

If you do use the Bayern Ticket (a no-brainer IMO), use only regional trains. There is an EC train that goes through Memmingen, but you cannot use it. Likewise trains from Munich to Salzburg, you must use the regional trains, not the RJ and EC trains going the same way. Regional trains go about 45 past the hour, mostly from Track 9, but sometimes Track 11.