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Train Travel Questions

My wife and I are traveling through Italy, Switzerland and Germany by rail this summer. Our trip through Germany includes the following rail legs in July:

Lauterbrunnen/Munich (July 8)
Munich/Cochem (July 12)
Cochem/Frankfurt (July 16-then fly to Stockholm)

Wondering if any of the above routes would be beneficial to book in advance if there are reduced fares? Any suggestions on routing (especially for the first 2 legs) would be appreciated. I posted a similar topic in the Italy forum as we'll be coming from Varenna to Lauterbrunnen. Will need to research more to see if one of the Swiss rail cards/discount tickets are beneficial as we'll be spending 4 nights in Lauterbrunnen and using the mountain lifts/trains.

Thanks for your input and suggestions!

Posted by
2830 posts

Yes you can save a lot by booking in advance on some legs. For example,mfor Zurich to Munich on July 8, you can buy a ticket for 29€ on Bahn.de for the direct train that departs Zurich at 13:16. Use your Swiss pass to get to Zurich from Lauterbrunnen. You can print the Bahn.de ticket at home.

Or you could take the bus, slightly faster than the train, on the same route for 19€.

For the Italy to Switzerland portion, is that July 4? You can buy a Smart Fare ticket on Trenitalia from MilanoCentrale to Zurich (direct train) for 22€. Check the Swiss site SBB.ch to compare prices but make sure there is a print at home option. Some SBB.ch tickets have to be picked up in Switzerland. If you buy on Trenitalia it will be a print at home ticket. You will take the Regionale train from Varenna to Milan and cannot buy that yet. There is no discount for advance purchase for those. The price is around 6-7€.

I can't help with the Cochem parts, but you could look on Bahn.de for those too.

Posted by
2830 posts

Or you could travel to Lauterbrunnen via Spiez instead of Zurich. Then you would look on Trenitalia for a Smart Fare from Milano C. To Spiez, and use your Swiss Pass from there.

This route is a bit faster but has some long tunnels which some people (like me) do not like!

Also, if you wanted to use the Golden Pass route from Lucerne to Interlaken to get to Lauterbrunnen, just get off the Zurich-bound train at Arth-Goldau and transfer to Lucerne there ---it is a short hop. But this route takes even longer.

Posted by
16883 posts

A 5-day Germany-Switzerland pass is another option at $276 per person, instead of the Swiss Transfer Ticket that I mentioned on your other question. It covers most of your trains rides (such as from Tirano to Interlaken) and gives you 25% discounts on trains from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen and around that valley.

Posted by
11613 posts

I am finding 50-60% discount fares by booking ahead - if you already know your travel dates, it makes sense to book ahead even though you lose some flexibility.

Posted by
1765 posts

If you purchase tomorrow, you should be able to get the Munich-Cochem ticket for as low as 49 E for the both of you. www.bahn.de

Posted by
472 posts

Thank you all for your responses! Very helpful. I will look to book our Munich to Cochem train today (Just so I have the stations correct, it's Munchen Hbf and Cochem(Mosel)?). We are set on our hotel dates so we can book now.

Lauterbrunnen/Munich I need to do some more research on and see what makes the most sense with my trip from Varenna to Lauterbrunnen. I'll work on that as well.

Cochem/Frankfurt I'm up in the air still. Looking at flights to Stockholm last night they are about $200 each. Want to explore that a bit more and some alternate cities to depart. Saw service from Cologne/Bonn airport as well as Dusseldorf. Not sure train-wise if either of those cities makes sense from Cochem versus Frankfurt.

Let me know if any other thoughts or ideas, thanks all!

Jed

Posted by
16768 posts

From Cochem, both Cologne/Bonn and Duesseldorf airports are easily reached by train. Duesseldorf a bit more so since there are hourly direct trains from Koblenz.

Posted by
5556 posts

"I'm using Stockholm as a fly-in destinations for central Europe as well this June."

If you want to fly home out of there (ARN), one cheap option for reaching Stockholm might be Ryanair. They fly from Düsseldorf Weeze airport into Stockholm Skavsta, a short distance from Nyköping by bus. Transfer from Nyköping to Stockholm by rail. That worked nicely for me last October - I stayed in Weeze overnight for my early am flight.

Posted by
472 posts

Thanks Sam and Russ!, Russ, how long a transfer is it from Nykoping to ARN? We are going to fly from there to Lulea to visit friends for a few days. I see RyanAir is about $83 per ticket including a bag fee from Dusseldorf. SAS out of FRA is around $200 per person, so I'd be interested for sure. Still exploring some other options.

Thanks!

Posted by
18302 posts

"buy a ticket for 29€ on Bahn.de for the direct train that departs Zurich at 13:16. Use your Swiss pass to get to Zurich from Lauterbrunnen."

Or, instead of using a day of a Swiss pass, for only 10€ more (39€), you can get an advance purchase ticket from the Bahn all the way from Lauterbrunnen to Munich.

"They fly from Düsseldorf Weeze airport".

WARNING: Düsseldorf Weeze is not Düsseldorf. Connecting service to Weeze is limited. Make sure you know how you are going to get to Weeze at that time before committing to a flight from Weeze.

As for Cochem to Frankfurt (if you decide to do that), a Rheinland-Pfalz-Ticket at 28€ for 2 people will get you to Mainz via Koblenz, then it is a local RMV ticket to the airport by S-Bahn or local train (might even be the same RE that you got on at Koblenz). The Mainz to FRA tickets cost 4,55€/person.

Posted by
5556 posts

"Russ, how long a transfer is it from Nykoping to ARN?"
It takes about an hour. The coastal scenery is good.

"WARNING: Düsseldorf Weeze is not Düsseldorf."

Exactly why I called it Düsseldorf Weeze :)
Yes, check the bus schedules to Weeze airport before you arrange your flight.

I stayed at the Hotel Alt Weeze (cheap, OK) and walked a few yards to the bus stop in the morning. It was a snap.
Weeze airport is a former Brit airfield, a tiny crappy little airport. But it works.
Weeze town itself is small and very cute - lots of brick like you're in Holland. Had a nice meal at an Italian place in the old town there called...

PORTOFINO

Posted by
472 posts

Thanks Lee and Russ,

Found also LuxAir which flies out of Luxembourg Airport. That was only about $170, but it requires a bus from Trier, and we'd arrive at the airport at 9:19 for a 10:40 flight. Not sure if that would work. Feel we might have to just bite the bullet and pay the extra to fly out of Frankfurt. Looking at Weeze, looks like it's a bit of hike into Arlanda from Skavsta where they land and we'd have a connection later that day up to Lulea.

Posted by
472 posts

Just an update.....purchased the Munich to Cochem ticket just now and got it for 49E for my wife and I. Thanks all for your help!

Update #2: Also purchased Lauterbrunnen to Munich for 39E each!

Jed

Posted by
472 posts

Looking to book a train to Dusseldorf Airport (DUS) and when I look on the DB website I just want to make sure I've picked the correct destination (Dusseldorf Flughafen). Would hate to end up somewhere else and miss our flight! :-)

Thanks for your help!

Posted by
18302 posts

If there is a purely train connection (not a train and a bus) it's certainly not Weeze, which is only accessible by bus (from a train). Düsseldorf Flughafen (DUS) is 12 minutes by S-Bahn and 9 minutes by regional train (ERB) from Düsseldorf Hbf, if that helps.

Posted by
1765 posts

Don't forget to have the credit card you charged the ticket on with you on the train.

Posted by
16768 posts

The train station you will use at Duesseldorf airport (at least using a direct regional train from Koblenz) is located more or less at the end of one of the runways. There is a sky train (kind of like a monorail) that goes from there, stopping at the parking garage and then two stops at the terminal.
http://www.dus.com/en/services/location-map
There is also a smaller station right at the terminal, but it is only served by S-bahns from Duesseldorf Hbf.
Edit- There are 29 euro (for 2) Savings Fare tickets available if you make a change at Duesseldrf Hbf. In that case, its more convenient to use the S-bahn station. For that, specify "Duesseldof Flughafen Terminal" as you destination.

Posted by
472 posts

Thanks you guys for the info. Booked our flight out of DUS. Need to wait a few more days to book the train, but will definitely get that taken care of this week. Thanks for the tip on the S-Bahn to the terminal. That will put us there exactly 2 hrs before our flight. Thanks also for the credit card reminder. Will definitely have that along. This time I've learned to use the same card for all our bookings so I don't have to remember which one I used! :-)

Posted by
18302 posts

If, as Sam says, you want to arrive at the Düsseldorf Flughafen by S-Bahn from Düsseldorf Hbf, you might need to manipulate the Bahn schedule website a little to get to the correct station, otherwise, it seems to want to direct you by ERB to the regular train station.

If you use the stopover function to force a change at Düsseldorf Hbf, then go down to the Means of Transport section and uncheck the first four boxes (ICE, IC, D, & NV) in the second row, it will leave 'S' as the only rail means for Düsseldorf Hbf to DUS. Then the Savings Fare ticket you book will take you all the way to the airport S-Bahn station.

You can also force this by making sure you input "Düsseldorf Flughafen Terminal C". Select "Terminal C" from the drop-down list that appears after you type "Düsseldorf Flughafen".

Posted by
472 posts

Thanks Lee! Going to try to book this tomorrow when tickets are available.

Jed