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Train--First or Second class ?

Hi all you experienced travellers,We are looking to purchase a rail pass for Germany----Is the cost difference between first and second class justified? Thanks in advance.

Posted by
32223 posts

wayne,

If you're over about 26 years, you may only be able to purchase a first class pass. I generally go with P-P tickets these days, and find second class is perfectly comfortable (especially in Germany).

Posted by
20259 posts

Second class is perfectly fine. I'd only go 1st cl if a) someone else was paying for the ticket, b) by some circumstance (it happens), I can score a first class advance purchase ticket for the same or nearly the same price as a 2nd cl ticket. The pass may (there is a Sit'n'Stay special going on now with 25% off, but you must buy a 4.50 euro reservation for all ICE, IC, EC trains) or may not actually save you money. Depends on your itinerary.

Posted by
12040 posts

If you have to prepare a presentation or business report during your trip, 1st class is worth it because you have more work space. The seats are exactly the same, except they're not spaced as densely. You also have waiter service. That's about the difference. For most casual travelers, 2nd class is more than adequate.

3rd party rail passes rarely save people any money these days. Search this website for details on advanced purchase discounts and regional passes sold directly by Deutsche Bahn... if you're not buying your tickets directly from them, you're likely paying too much.

Posted by
19118 posts

"if ... someone else was paying for the ticket"

Actually, the last time that I was traveling in Germany and someone else was paying for the ticket, I went 2nd class anyway because I thought the difference was not worth the cost, regardless of who was paying it.

Posted by
12040 posts

Speaking of traveling on an expense account and using the extra space to get some work done, this guy, seems to be the type who can make good use of a 1st class compartment.

Posted by
2393 posts

If the budget allows and you want to - go 1st - we find it a little quieter and rather enjoy the waiter service. I'm on vacation - why not? It is not true only business people travel in first class - we have met others - both local and fellow travelers. We did have a very interesting chat with a couple of investment bankers from Bratislava on the train from Prague to Budapest. It was interesting to hear about the split of Czechoslovakia from someone who lives there. We met an older couple going to visit their son & his family one time and another couple from France who were traveling in Austria.

Posted by
16894 posts

For travel just in Germany, the German pass is offered in 2nd class for travelers of any age, or in 1st class for 35% more, and is sold at train stations there. While I've also always been happy with second, having first gives you the option to sit in either class if one is less crowded. Most 2-country combos also offer 2nd class, but generally are not sold in Europe.

Posted by
46 posts

Hi all, Thanks for the info re the class situation. We have purchased the twin rail pass (7 days) 2nd class,so we shall see how we go!!

Posted by
12172 posts

I've ridden both first and second in Germany. When I'm traveling privately (paying for myself), I always choose second class. It's perfectly fine - slightly more crowded, a little more noise - but never a problem. First class is a little roomier and quieter but not worth the extra money unless I'm traveling on business (and someone else is paying).