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Help with trains/passes

We have 6 adults traveling and using many trains for commute. I’ve been trying to figure out if there is a pass that will save us money as opposed to buying individual tickets but it’s very confusing. Below is our itinerary.

Oct 24 - train from Lauterbrunnen to Nuremberg (I’m assuming a change in Zurich). Questioning if bus, train or air is best from Zurich to Nuremberg

Oct 26 - day trip to Munich from Nuremberg and back that evening

Oct 27 - train to Rothenburg

Oct 29 - train to Boppard

Oct 30-31 trains between towns in Rhine. Want to see Burg Eltz & Marksburg castles, Bacharach, St Goar etc.

Nov 1 - train to Frankfurt

Thank you for all suggestions.

Posted by
6515 posts

I would not have booked nights as you have apparently booked them. But here's how I would ticket the itinerary you created.

Oct 24: Buy saver ticket NOW at DB. Best price I see now is one ticket for €199.50/ 5 adults so €240 total with the 6th ticket.
10:32 - 18:18 for L'brunnen > N'berg with changes in Interlaken, Basel, Karlsruhe.

Oct 26: Bayern Ticket day pass for 5. €58/5 + 1 Bayern ticket for 1 @ €26. Ride regional trains only there and back after 9 am.
9:09 - 11:00 for N'berg > Munich with one change of train.

Oct 27: 3 x VGN Tagesticket Plus day passes for two persons each = €64.50; ride regional trains only.
8:05 or 9:05 departures for N'berg > R'burg with one change of train. Trip takes 1 hr. 45 minutes.

Oct 29: Quer durchs Land Ticket day pass for 5 = €70 + 1 Qdl Ticket @ €42. Ride regional trains only at any hour.
8:05 - 14:39 w/ 4 changes of train.

Oct 30-31: Trains are FREE with your Boppard guest ticket. Just ask your hosts. But to visit Bacharach you will need a supplemental ticket for Oberwesel > Bacharach since this stretch of track lies outside the free zone. It's only a few euros per person each way.

Buy Oct 24 ticket online ASAP; pay attention to no-refund policies.

ALL OTHER TICKETS SHOULD BE BOUGHT AT THE STATION ON THE DAY OF TRAVEL. There is no advantage to pre-purchase, only penalties if you have to get refunds for some reason. To find the same (or different) schedules for the regional-train-only journeys after 10/24, be sure to click the "only local transport" box.

On Nov 1 are you traveling to FRANKFURT or to FRA airport? If you have a morning flight from FRA, it would not be my choice to spend the night of Oct 31 in Boppard; I would book a final night in MAINZ instead. spend the 31'st on the Rhine if you wish, then catch a train to Mainz that evening. The next morning, you are a very short ride from the airport and have no changes of train to mess with your on-time arrival.

Posted by
19 posts

Thank you greatly, Russ, for all of that great info. I’ll get started on the DB tickets right away. I’ve been so confused with all the trains possible passes. This is wonderful help.

In answer to your question on Frankfurt, we are flying out on Nov 2 so heading to Frankfurt on Nov 1 and staying the night.

So now my curiosity has the best of me. You said you would not have booked nights as we did. Based on our itinerary, how would you have booked nights? Not knowing Germany and schedules, it was somewhat of a puzzle I was trying to put together. We already booked hotels but they’re still refundable.

Posted by
5949 posts

I would have made Munich a stop along the way from Switzerland to Nuremberg. The fastest way from Zürich to Nuremberg is via Munich so why not spend some time there since you are changing trains anyway.

Posted by
6515 posts

The previous plan:

  • The day trip to Munich on a weekday will either make the round trip on fast trains pricey or shorten your time there if you go with the regional trains and the cheap Bayern ticket. Very little time and daylight hours are short.

  • The Lauterbrunnen to Nuremberg journey is super long, makes me go ugh. Sadly, the trip is so long that there is no time to squeeze in a visit to Munich on this day either.

  • I doubt you can fit in all those Rhine destinations as planned. At least not very comfortably.

You asked how I would arrange it...

10-24... The Rhine Valley railway is the fast way north. I would visit the Rhine first. The 10:32 departure from Lauterbrunnen to MAINZ is just 5.75 hrs vs. 7.75 hrs to Nuremberg and €50 cheaper for 5... current price, €149.50. Add 30 minutes and €21.30 for 5 adults on a local RNN ticket to reach BINGEN, the gateway to the Rhine and a good place for one night. The riverfront NH Bingen is a great hotel choice near the Bingen Hbf station. Take a walk along the river promenade to enjoy the river scene, find some dinner.

Alternatively, stay in Mainz. Nice city. The short train ride to Bingen can be done the next morning. But the Bingen riverfront scenery is very nice.

As before the above ticket from Lauterbrunnen is a SAVER FARE and should be pre-purchased ASAP for the best price - note refund policy!

The rest of your train rides would get purchased as you go... as before.

Suggested breakdown of nights beginning on the 25th:

25-27: 3 nights in Boppard
28-30: 3 nights in Nuremberg
31: 1 night in Rothenburg
1: 1 night in Frankfurt

Rough-out for the following days... NOT all details are provided.

10-25... After breakfast, check out by 10:30 and use the Bingen Rüdesheimer Rhine cruise boat at 11 am to enter the Rhine Valley for the first time, a better way to enjoy the scenery. Arrive 1 pm in St. Goar. Move on to Boppard by train... 10 minutes, €4 each. Maybe take the chairlift ride after checking in. Stay 3 nights in Boppard.

10-26... train to Bacharach, back to St. Goar for Rheinfels. VRM guest ticket plus supplemental tix to Bacharach.

10-27... train and bus to Burg Eltz, back to Boppard. VRM guest ticket covers all.

10-28... check out, take train 9:12 - 9:27 to Koblenz, stow bags in locker. Train to Braubach 9:52 - 10:05 for Marksburg tour. Return to Koblenz whenever. Pick up to-go food and drink at Koblenz station for the PM train from Koblenz to Nuremberg... 15:04 - 20:54 on regional trains only. The QdL Ticket at €70 for 5 adults covers ALL trains this day. Check into Nuremberg hotel for 3 nights.

10-29... Day trip to Munich... Bayern ticket on regional trains can be used at any hour on Sat or Sun so get up WAY early today.

10-30... Day in Nuremberg

10-31... Travel to Rothenburg on the VGN Tagesticket Plus daypasses at any hour.

11-1... Travel to Frankfurt on regional trains with the QdL day pass anytime after 9 am

11-2... RMV tickets to FRA airport on the S-Bahn

Posted by
19 posts

Great ideas on itinerary and providing time in Munich. I’ll have my sister look at this too and digest the changes. The info is very much appreciated!