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Berlin to Dresden via bus

We want to travel from Berlin to Dresden via bus. How far in advance should we purchase a ticket? We’re not traveling until June 2018 but not sure how far in advance we should purchase the ticket. Tickets, at this point, are 10 euros. Do they go up in price as you get closer to your departure date?

Thanks for your advice

Posted by
366 posts

My daughter and son-in-law lived in Berlin for a year and spent a June weekend in Dresden, traveling between the cities by bus. My daughter said that the trip there was a miserable experience in that the driver refused to turn on the air conditioning, despite requests from numerous passengers. The bus windows were fixed glass, not able to be opened. It was a stifling hot, crowded bus. The bus ride back to Berlin was a better experience. They think they recall that ticket prices do go up as you get closer to travel. They waited until a week before the trip to book the bus and don't remember it being terribly expensive.

Posted by
12773 posts

I've done the Berlin-Dresden route by bus once. It was all right, quite satisfactory. It was a guided tour of Dresden departing from Berlin, all day, obviously. This was in 1992.

Posted by
4872 posts

Train tickets can be cheap too if purchased long in advance. I'd definitely compare train travel times and prices to the bus. German trains are overall pretty nice - and you can get up and walk around at will. Personally I dislike long bus rides and love the trains, so given the choice, unless there was a huge price difference or convenience difference, I'd opt for the train every time. Some people don't mind a long bus ride so maybe for them it wouldn't matter.

I took a bus from Freiburg im Breisgau to Zurich and back as a day trip a few years ago. The road was mostly flat and the bus was comfortable (it was a precursor of what is now FlixBus I think). The bus also had free WiFi; I think that's almost a standard feature on these buses nowadays. In that case, because I booked last minute, the bus was quite a bit cheaper than the expensive Swiss trains.

As far as the bus ticket prices: they tend to go up as more tickets on a particular bus are sold and there are fewer empty seats. Could be the bus won't cost much more if booked last minute than now - or it might be nearly sold out and get expensive (or truly sell out at some point). Hard to know - depends on the route, the time of day, time of year, etc.

Posted by
16 posts

Thank you for your replies and insight. I'll check out the train schedules and prices based upon your comments. (We were pricing out the FlixBus)

Posted by
11280 posts

If there's more than one of you, the train is even cheaper. In 2012 when I did this route with my mother, the train from Berlin to Dresden was €38 full fare per person each way, but €19 Saver fare for one and €29 for 2. So, with the Saver fare, we saved €47 each way. The catch is that Saver fares are only good for one specific train.

It's your choice, of course, but if bus fare for 2 is €20 and train fare for 2 is €29, I know I'd take the train.

I was advised that although train reservations are optional on this route, they are a very good idea. They sure were for us. On the way back, the train was quite full, and many were sitting in the aisle on their luggage. With our reservations, we simply went to our seats, stashed our bags above them, and relaxed. Reservations were €4 per person at the time (I believe they're €4.50 now), so you do have to add that to the cost of the train tickets when comparing with the bus.

Posted by
4872 posts

Yeah, you might like reservations for the trains. Traveling solo through Germany a few years ago, I traveled without reservations. If the train isn't full (I don't think any of mine were), you can look above empty seats to see how long (to which stops) they are vacant; if a seat isn't reserved for a few hours of stops, you are free to sit there. Or sit in the dining car. I guess I was lucky - I never needed to sit in an aisle or stand on any of my trains, but I'm sure it can happen.

Posted by
16442 posts

Reservations expire 15 minutes after the train departs the station where the reservation was made from. Not sure about the EC trains on the Berlin-Prague route, but German ICE trains have electronic indicators above the seats showing between which stations it has been reserved for. So if you got on the train in Berlin and saw a seat reserved Dresden to Prague, you can sit there until you get to Dresden.