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Buying Rail Passes in Germany

Hi,

I'm headed to Germany from the Untied States at the beginning of September and plan on buying a rail pass. Given the narrow shipping window, not to mention the strain of trying to compare different pricing and offerings between various vendors, a thought occurred to me: why not just buy the pass in Germany once I get there, especially since the euro rate offered by DB Bahn appears favorable compared to the USD offerings of re-sellers. My only concern is that I'm not certain whether buying the passes once you're in Germany is possible. From digging around the web, it seems they may be sold at the Framkfurt airport to those with a foreign passport. Anyone know if they are also sold in the Munich airport or Munich Hbf?

Thanks in advance!

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks for the responses.

I took the advice above and inquired with DB at the indicated email address. They responded and, in case anyone is curious, I am informed that rail passes can be purchased within Germany (and elsewhere) at the following locations:

Basel Bad Bf

Berlin Hbf
Berlin-Schönefeld Flughafen
Berlin Südkreuz
Berlin Zoologischer Garten
Bonn Hbf
Dresden Hbf
Düsseldorf Hbf
Düsseldorf Flughafen
Frankfurt (M) Hbf
Frankfurt (M) Flughafen
Hamburg Hbf
Hannover Hbf
Heidelberg Hbf
Kaiserslautern Hbf
Köln Hbf Bonn Hbf
Köln/Bonn Flughafen
Leipzig Hbf
München Hbf
München Flughafen
Hbf Wiesbaden Hbf
Zürich (DB-Verkaufsstelle bei der DB AutoZug GmbH Dortmund, Zweigniederlassung Zürich (CNL))
DB France Paris
Generalvertretung der DB Vertrieb GmbH für Großbritannien London (booking centre)
Generalvertretung der DB Vertrieb GmbH für Italien, Milano

Posted by
14580 posts

Hi,

Thanks for the information, very good to know where the Pass can be bought.

Looking at that list one can see that it stands to reason why one can get it at these train stations (Hauptbahnhöfe). Too bad Berlin Ostbahnhof isn't on the list as is Bahnhof Zoo. Anyone can see that Bhf. Zoo is just "dead" compared to the others in Berlin...Hbf, Alexanderplatz, Friedrichstrasse, Ostbahnhof, Gesundbrunnen, Ostkreuz.

Posted by
10 posts

Dear Travelers, I just want to make sure I understand this: THAT I will be able to purchase a German Twin Pass 1st class at the Munich Airport and or Munich Hbf. for 6 days and other point to point tickets going from Munich to Kehl to Colmar to Strasbourg and from there back to Munich after an overnight stay in Strasbourg then back to Kehl from Strasbourg and then back to Munich.
Thank you for your patience from a senior citizen.

Posted by
6798 posts

rpass22: "a German Twin Pass 1st class at the Munich Airport and or Munich Hbf. for 6 days"
Both places will offer you the German railpass - each has a German Railpass aid office

German Railpass info

But the real question is... do you need a Railpass for your trips around Bavaria/Munich?? That is usually severe overkill. Two adults can use a first-class Bavaria Ticket daypass for €50 per day for day trips or journeys within Bavaria. If you have 6 travel days, that will be a lot cheaper - the first class twin pass is €529.

"other point to point tickets going from Munich to Kehl to Colmar to Strasbourg"
That doesn't make sense to me. If you go from Munich to Kehl, you are headed to Strasbourg first, not Colmar.

Long trips between Munich and France should be done with an extra German Railpass day. Then you pay a few Euros extra for the stretch between the border and Strasbourg, or the border and Colmar - IF you're getting a railpass anyway. If not, then look into advance-purchase saver fares. They are a bargain and they go on sale 92 days in advance.

Posted by
10 posts

Dear Russ, thank you for your information. The reason for backtracking is a hotel has already been booked in Strasbourg. I just thought going to Colmar first and spending several hours strolling around the Christmas Markets and then heading back to Strasbourg for the night and spending a full day roaming the streets and Christmas Markets.
Thanks for your input.

Posted by
6798 posts

"other point to point tickets going from Munich to Kehl to Colmar to Strasbourg" "The reason for backtracking is a hotel has already been booked in Strasbourg. I just thought going to Colmar first and spending several hours strolling around the Christmas Markets and then heading back to Strasbourg for the night and spending a full day roaming the streets and Christmas Markets."

OK, so about this one-day, 7-8-hour series of train rides... If you travel via Kehl to Colmar, that means you'll stop in Strasbourg between Kehl and Colmar. Perhaps you can arrange to drop your bags there during this stopover. If that's what you hoped to do, be sure to specify Strasbourg or Kehl as a stopover on the way to Colmar when you check schedules. If you don't do this, you will pull up schedules that take you to Colmar via Basel (the more usual routing) and you will need to find a place for your bags once you reach Colmar.

You have 2 nights planned in Strasbourg, right? I would suggest an alternative that breaks up this train travel a bit more evenly. Unbook Strasbourg - then when you leave Munich, take the 5-hour train ride to Gengenbach, just east of Offenburg, for a 2-night stay. Specify a routing via Donaueschingen, and the train will take you there via the scenic Black Forest Railway line through the Black Forest. Gengenbach is Christmas-card-photo perfect - Gengenbach's town hall is made up like an advents calendar; the windows are opened daily at 18:00. The Christmas Market is open daily.

The next day, your outing - Gengenbach - Kehl - Strasbourg takes only 1 hour; Strasbourg to Colmar is only 30 minutes more. So about 3 hours of train travel that day starting and ending in Gengenbach.

Tickets:
Look for a saver fare for Munich - Gengenbach (or use a railpass day.)
Outing to Strasbourg and Colmar: Round trip between Kehl and Strasbourg: cost only €10.40 with the "Europass 24 hr Mini" - a daypass you can buy at the station. It can also be bought online HERE. Round trip between Gengenbach and Kehl is free with the KONUS card (guest card) your hosts in Gengenbach will provide. Then you have to pay only for the Strasbourg - Colmar round trip on top of that (unsure about cost but should be minimal.)

This brochure in German and French explains the 24 hr mini pass.

Posted by
10 posts

Hi Russ,
Thank you for the additional information. I was planning only one night in Strasbourg the first week of December. My original plan was to leave Munich at 6:27AM and arrive in Colmar about 11:30AM and just stroll around Colmar for 3 or 4 hours checking out the Christmas Markets. Then head to Strasbourg for the 1 night and spend the following day strolling around the Christmas Markets and later that day head back to Munich for the rest of my stay. However, I will do some checking on your suggestion. I checked into the Bayern Pass, but I understand that pass cannot be used before 9AM.

Again, thanks.

Posted by
6798 posts

"I checked into the Bayern Pass, but I understand that pass cannot be used before 9AM."
On weekends you can use it at any hour.

Wow - I assumed you had more time, rpass22, the sort of time such a lengthy trip implies... you are really investing A LOT of travel time (and €) to visit Colmar and Strasbourg and to stay there for just one night. Scratch my comments about Gengenbach, etc. I would encourage you to spend the 2 days / 1 night somewhere closer to Munich instead. There are SO many good options. Even if you traveled all the way to Prague and back, you'd save a lot of ground travel time over a trip into France.

Posted by
10 posts

Hi Russ, again, thanks for your comments. I will have a total 7 full days in Germany ( does not include travel time from States), hence the hurried trip to Colmar and Strasbourg. I looked @ Gengenbach and the village looks delightful, quaint--I will just save it for another trip--motivation to return.
Thanks again.