We are getting ready to order our German Rail Passes. We were curious of the real differences between purchasing 1st vs 2nd Class Passes. We are getting the "Twin" Passes. Our routes are primarily between major cities and we will be traveling in the mornings. Can someone explain the differences? Is it worth the extra money to upgrade to 1st Class? Thank you!
You should use this search tool: "How to Search the Site for All the Answers to Your Question"
that is on the "To The West" page. There is a lot of good info that has been discussed about this exact topic in the past. Let us know if you can't find the other posts.
The main difference between first and second class is that in first class the seats are a little wider and there is more legroom. But, it's nothing like the big difference between first class and economy on an airline. Second class is still quite comfortable on European trains.
The main advantage of first class is that, because it costs more, there is less chance in first class that the train will be oversold and you won't get a seat. This would only happen if the train happened to be particularly popular and you got on without a reservation. (For a slight extra fee, you can reserve a seat in either first or second class.)
So, it really comes down to whether you want a little extra luxury and are willing to pay the difference. Going second class in Germany isn't like the "cattle car" experience you get in economy these days on most airlines.
I usually get 1st class if the train ride is going to be more than a couple of hours. We found 1st class on the German train to be much nicer than on some other trains.
I'm happy in any class. When traveling on business I usually go first class with reservations. When on my own, I choose second class without reservations.
First class is quieter and more private but second is plenty comfortable and more likely to include interesting conversation and people watching.