Please sign in to post.

Amsterdam to Berlin DB October 2018

We bought a 2 country Eurail Pass (Germany, Czech) but need to get to Berlin from Amsterdam to start using it.
Rick had mentioned it was cheaper to buy a ticket from AMS to maybe Emmerich and then activate the Eurail Pass there.
My dilemma is trying to figure out the logistics of the trains. When the timetable states 7 minutes train change (or track change); do we have 7 minutes to get to a connecting train with our luggage? We looked up the station in Emmerich...it doesn't look huge, maybe only two tracks.

If anyone has done this before, we are all ears! Thanks in advance for any help! We are so excited for our dream vaca in Oct 2018
We are flying into AMS for two nights and then heading to Berlin for 4 nights...Dresden 2 nights and the non to Prague for 3 nights before our Viking Cities of Light tour!

Posted by
3681 posts

"When the timetable states 7 minutes train change (or track change); do we have 7 minutes to get to a connecting train with our luggage?" The answer is yes!

Check your other routes to see if there are train changes and how much "transfer time" you have. This is one of the reasons why the advice is to pack light. You need to get to the doorway with all your stuff before the train stops, get off, get to the next train and get on in the amount of time allowed. You will have to schlep everything yourselves.

Use DB Bahn to do the checking. The schedule may not be up for October yet, so use a spring date just to get an idea. Click on "Show Details" and "Show Intermediate Stops" and my personal favorite, "Show Map" to get a better picture of the journey. Hopefully there will be trains with no changes that suit your time schedule, but if not, you can see how much transfer time you'll have between trains.

I took quick look for late March and saw that there are trains between Berlin and Dresden and between Dresden and Prague that have no changes. But there appears to be 1 change in Arnhem on the Amsterdam to Emmerich route and 1 change in Duisburg on the Emmerich to Berlin route. The transfer times vary for both routes.

Posted by
143 posts

When travelling from Amsterdam to Berlin, why would you want to travel via Emmerich? The most logical would be travelling via Bad Bentheim. At Emmerich only the regional train from Arnhem (NL) to Düsseldorf calls. There is no change to another train at Emmerich.

You can activate a Eurail Pass before you receive it: https://www.eurail.com/en/help/using-your-pass/how-do-i-activate-my-eurail-pass. If you havent bought the Eurail pass yet, consider buying point to point tickets via bahn.com (the german railway operator). A single from Amsterdam to Berlin starts at 40 euros. A single from Berlin to Prague starts at 20 euros.

Posted by
9 posts

Thank you! I had orignally looked at Emmerich; but then did see Bad Bentheim. Would it be best to wait until we arrive in Amsterdam to purchase our tickets to Berlin then? Or should we purchase before we leave? I guess we could activate our Eurail passes in AMS? instead of waiting until we get to Bad Bentheim, what with the short track change times. I'll keep researching also. thanks so much for your replies!

Posted by
5555 posts

"We bought a 2 country Eurail Pass (Germany, Czech)"

I see 3 travel legs in your plan:
A-dam - Berlin - Dresden - Prague

As you already know, you aren't fully covered on one of those legs. Will you use your pass for other trips too?

It's very possible that you can do the same trips much less expensively on advance-purchase individual tickets (especially since you are already having to buy additional individual tickets.) A rail pass refund (usually 15%) + 3 or more individual tickets will likely be less expensive. If you share your full train itinerary and your pass details, you might get some advice in this regard from those in the know.

Posted by
1757 posts

Why do you want to interrupt your trip in Bad Bentheim, in the middle of nowhere, if you go directly to Berlin? According to the DB station database, B. Bentheim is just a unmanned stop, where the train to Hannover and Berlin stops for just two minutes. So you cannot activate your rail pass there. Do that in Amsterdam and stay on your train.

Posted by
9 posts

The only leg we need to purchase a separate ticket for would be Amsterdam to Berlin: the portion from AMS to German Border (Bad Bentheim). If we could activate the Eurail Pass in AMS, that would be great and then just purchase the leg we need.
We will be in Berlin 4 nights, Dresden 2 Night and then on the Prague

We will be using our Eurail Pass for Berlin to Dresden and Dresden to Prague - would it be advisable reserve seats?

We had purchased the Select Pass during the 20% off sale and did the math. It turned out less expensive this way (2 Country plus separate ticket for AMS to border, going with Rick Steve's advice on one of his blogs). If we had had to pay full price for the Select Pass, then maybe the separate tickets would turn out better.

Posted by
9 posts

Sla019 How can you tell if it is an unmanned stop? I see some info saying certain trains do not run every day also. I hope we do not get "stuck" in AMS! LOL
Thank you all for your help.

Posted by
5555 posts

"We are flying into AMS for two nights and then heading to Berlin for 4 nights..."

I assume you are not staying at AMS (airport) for two nights but instead somewhere in Amsterdam. If that's the case, then you should probably be using one of the direct trains to Berlin from Amsterdam Centraal - they leave mornings at 7, 9 and 11 am - and that way changes of train and late trains are not an issue. If indeed your hotel and your departure for Berlin are at AMS airport, then you will need to change trains in Amsterdam (if you want only 1 change) or elsewhere (multiple changes.)

Either way you will require a ticket to the German border. Buy it at the station in Amsterdam. Normally your train for Berlin will travel through and likely stop in Bad Bentheim, but there is no reason to get off the train in Bad Bentheim as your rail pass can be activated in advance (see the link provided previously) and is valid once you hit the border.

"We had purchased the Select Pass during the 20% off sale and did the math. It turned out less expensive this way..."

Unfortunately you can't get a complete picture of the non-pass pricing options from rail pass sellers or from Rick Steves' rail pass advice. That math will always be off. I will do the math, using your travel circumstances, in the way the forum "regulars" here would typically do it below, for the benefit of future readers (and perhaps for your own future travels)...

If you are planning day-by-day trips several months out (like the OP is doing) then it's good to look not just at normal prices but at advance-sale prices. These lower prices usually involve train-specific travel - then compare totals to the rail pass option.

The cheapest two-person rail pass in 2nd class that I can find at Raileurope provides 4 days of travel in DE and CZ for $546.

If you bought your 3 travel legs at the German Railways website instead... The cheapest one-way point-to-point tickets in 2nd class at DB, using the same trains you would use on a rail pass, price out at €40, €20, and €15 per person for each of your 3 legs. That's €150 total for two, or $184 total in dollars.

Posted by
1757 posts

As I have mentioned above there is a DB station database: https://www.bahnhof.de/bahnhof-de (I'm afraid it's presently German only). Enter your desired station under "Bahnhofssuche" and it will bring upt what's (not) on offer, e.g., lockers or elevators or the phone # of the regional service center. If it doesn't have an entry for a "Reisezentrum" or a "DB Information" then there is no ticket window. Just try it.

Look up train schedules at www.bahn.com. If it shows a train for your date then it will run and you can ignore the "runs not dd mm" info. No reason to be afraid to be stuck in Amsterdam - unless you like it there too much. ;)

EDIT: a station / services finder in English is here.