RS offers two ways to join up with tour group in Trier. Both involve trains from either Frankfurt or Luxembourg airports. Any advice? Also can anyone tell me about the hikes on this tour. . .how strenuous.
I've taken the train from Frankfurt to Luxembourg City and we stopped in Trier on the way.
Frankfurt to Trier is a little longer train ride, but it has the advantage that you catch the train right at the airport. In Luxembourg City, the train station is in the city center while the airport is outside the city.
I also think that you might want to consider what activities you might like to do pre-tour. Would you like to spend some time on the Rhine? Do you want to explore the American Cemetary in Luxembourg (Patton is buried there)? Are you wanting just to get to the start of the tour as soon as possible? What are the differences in air tickets from your starting point in the US? My guess is that tickets to Frankfurt will be significantly less, but I haven't priced these.
We flew from the west coast, landed in Frankfurt, and took the train to Luxembourg all in the same day. It was a long day, but not too tiring and it could certainly be done.
Did you buy your train tickets in airport?
Was train a regional train. . I’m reading that is what we want rather than the high speed.
Did you have to transfer along the route? Thank you so much for responding to my question.
You can always buy your tickets, particularly for regional trains, at the airport. For long distance trains (ICE, IC, or EC) advance purchase tickets can be less expensive, but require a specific train commitment.
The most common route is FRA to Mainz to Koblenz to Trier. I don't think you will find any non-change connection (except maybe a bus I don't know about). The time difference between regional and long distance train is about an hour.
If you buy a standard (full fare) ticket for a route using long distance train(s), you can use it for any train that day, but you will pay more for the higher speed. You can buy a less expensive (SparPreis or Savings Fare) ticket for a high speed train, but it is only good on pre-specified long distance trains as shown on the ticket, so you either build in a huge time allowance for a late arriving flight or risk loosing the entire price of the ticket.
On the other hand, regional tickets are open (any train, any time), so you don't risk loosing the ticket, but it will take longer to get there. With regional trains, you can use what are called Länder Tickets or regional passes, valid all day long on any regional trains in one German state (generally). The Rheinland-Pfalz-Ticket, 24€ for one person, 5€ for each additional person up to 5, total, will get you from Mainz Hbf to Trier on regional trains as long as you stay in Rheinland-Pfalz, such as the Mainz to Koblenz to Trier route. A ticket for FRA to Mainz Hbf, by either S-Bahn or regional train costs 5€/P So, one person can go from FRA to Luxembourg for 29€. It will cost an additional 10€ for a cotraveler.
But probably the best deal, if your airline offers it (Lufthansa does) is what is called Rail&Fly, which is a ticket you purchase from the airline along with your flight and is valid for any train, including long distance ones, on your day of arrival or the following day. I think it cost 33€/P, which is a lot less than a full fare ticket for a long distance train. This deal allows you to take advantage of a fare similar to that of the Savings Fare without the risk.
You can find schedules and some fares on the German Rail Query webpage. This site shows most fares. If you put in Mainz to Trier, it will show you the Rheinland-Pfalz-Ticket option, because that travel is all in one state, Rheinland-Pfalz. If you put in FRA to Trier, it will not show the Rheinland-Pfalz-Ticket option, because it includes travel outside Rheinland-Pfalz, which is not included in the RL-P-Ticket.
I think a ticket from Luxembourg to Trier is only 5€/P.
If you could stand high enough at Findel Luxembourg airport you could see Trier. As the crow flies they are nearly adjacent, just down the river. By car, just 40 km/25 miles.
You can take a train from FRA (Frankfurt – Flughafen Airport) to Trier that requires a connection in Koblenz Hbf taking a total of 3h 45m.
Luxembourg airport is more convenient since all you need to do is catch a bus at the airport that will drop you off in Trier in 45m.
travelbuddy2004, hiking is not mandatory - no forced marches. There is opportunity for optional hiking on your own time when you are in Mürren, which can be as easy as strolling along a well-groomed gravel path, to as difficult as you want. Other than Switzerland, your stops are almost all towns and cities where you walk a lot, on pavement.
Note that if you're coming from the US, you are more likely to have direct flight choices to Frankfurt, and at a better fare than Luxemburg. We took the train from the Frankfurt airport train stations, because we wanted to stay overnight in Bacharach on the Rhine, before the tour started. Very easy, and there are English-speaking agents art the airport train station who can help with tickets and explain the connections if you arrive dazed and confused. I don't think we could have bought tickets on the local train ahead of time. We changed in Mainz and Bingen to other trains but there are lots of options.
Agree with Stan here. I did this tour in 2019 and I'm not in the best of shape. However I was still able to lug around my 25-30 lb backpack and 10 lb day bag and walk to and from the hotel, and also do the walking during the day. It's not a big deal you don't need hiking boots or sticks. In Switzerland, they did split us up into two groups at one point and some of us chose to take the easy walk down and stop at a little restaurant for food and drink. The other group took the longer hike, but none of them needed or had gear. Everything was a well-worn path.
As for the trains, I purchased all my tickets online in advance. I actually flew into London, stayed the night and took four trains to Trier the next day. It was a long day but well worth it. Would I do it again? Probably not, because you risk missing your next train If the previous train is late. The Eurostar between London and Paris was running late, so I came very close. Overall though, it was a cool experience!
Hi travel buddy, I did the the GAS tour a few years ago, great tour! I flew into Luxembourg and took a shuttle to the hotel in Trier. I booked the shuttle in advance. It was a little more expensive but very easy.
The tour is very nice. I don’t recall much hiking at all unless it’s something you want to do in your free time. As mentioned, there was an optional walk/hike in Murren. Loved Switzerland and Murren so much we did the RS Switzerland tour and another trip there on our own. Have fun!
One thing to ask yourself is what time would you be arriving in either Frankfurt or Luxembourg. Arriving in the morning, a 3-4 hour train trip may not be to bad. But arriving late afternoon or night maybe not so much. If you have the time maybe fly into Luxembourg and stay 2 nights.
regarding the train from Frankfurt airport (flughafen is German for airport), it is worth knowing that there are two stations at FRA. There is a station for long distance trains which is known as Fernbahnhof (literally remote station) (Frankfurt(M) Flughafen Fernbf on the Bahn website) and a station for regional trains which is known as Regionalbahnhof (literally regional station) (Frankfurt(M) Flughafen Regionalbf on the Bahn website).
Both provide services to Trier via Koblenz. The difference is that is you use the train at the Fernbahnhof you will have a high speed ICE train to Koblenz (stops once on the way) and change onto a regional train (stops 30 times) to complete the journey to Trier. If you use the Regionalbahnhof you will be on a regional RE type train and change - by default although you could wait for the regional train - onto a bus in the woods at Türkismühle. Taking a regional train to Koblenz and then the regional train to Trier is even slower.
The difference to you is that the ICE is a premium train with seats and quality to match, even in Second Class - you don't need First unless you want it - and that service is about 3 hours and 20 minutes; regional (13 stops on the regional to Türkismühle plus bus (50 bus stops on the bus) is just short of 4 hours.
All three choices from Frankfurt Airport to Trier are valid - you just need to know what to expect.
I still like a short bus and train or short bus from Findel Luxembourg Airport to Trier.
A couple of additional comments from a 2015 tour. The train from Frankfurt to Trier is very scenic along the Rhine and Mosel but it is a long ride. The second leg stops at every rail crossing. Someone said 30 - sounds about right.
Trier is a lovely historic town. Originally a Roman city. Great wines too! The tour barely scratches the surface there. We arrived two days early and had a wonderful time exploring on our own.
On a GAS tour next July…
I prefer a nonstop flight for international so for me that would be DFW-FRA RT. I plan to take a short flight from VIE to FRA the day the tour ends, overnight in Frankfurt and depart international FRA-DFW nonstop the next day.
LUX is a 2 stop process for me ….DFW-ATL-AMS-LUX or DFW-DEN-FRA-LUX….this is a non-starter.
We arrive FRA in the morning the day before the tour starts and I’m looking at the feasiblity of breaking the train trip from FRA - Trier by staying in one the towns along the Rhine overnite….ie Bacharach, St. Goar or Boppard…I know time will be short but looking at bahn.de we could have close to 24 hr. Before meeting tour group. Which would be best to try to take a short river cruise from?
I know the Rhine flows north and folks have opined it’s best to take train south and cruise north.
The next morning we would continue our train travel to Trier with several hours to spare before meeting group @ 4 pm.
@ Chris, You could take a regional train from Frankfurt Airport Regionalbahhnhof to Bingen Stadtbahnhof, walk to boat dock, then take one of the KD boats to Boppard and spend the night there. That covers the most scenic part of the Rhine going downstream. The train is with an RMV ticket for 8.70 EUR per person with a train change in Mainz.
@travelbuddy, Lee outlined the absolute cheapest way to travel requiring 2 separate tickets, and RMV ticket to Mainz and an R-P Laender ticket from Mainz to Trier. Since the GAS tours start on either Tuesdays or Saturday, assume you will be arriving in Frankfurt on a Monday or a Friday. The R-P ticket is only valid after 9 AM on weekdays, so keep that in mind if you are arriving earlier, which you may depending on where you are coming from. The RMV ticket is not time dependent, so you could travel to Mainz right away, then wait until 9 am and take the next regional train connecting to Trier. I doubt that any helpful people at the Frankfurt Airport would recommend this 2 ticket strategy. They will probably recommend the next cheapest ticket, which is a QdL (Quer durchs Land) ticket. This costs 42 EUR plus 7 EUR for each additional person up to 5 traveling together. That also requires travel after 9 am week days, so if you got there earlier, you must wait until after 9 to leave the airport. Finally, to get the list prices for the R-P and QdL tickets, you must buy them out of the ticket machine. If you by them from a human at the window, there is a 2 EUR surcharge. Not sure, but I think RMV tickets must be purchased from the ticket machine.
A bit of advice when you arrive at the train station in Trier. While there are Ubers throughout Europe, this is a small town and you obviously won't find that here. You could take a taxi to the Residenz hotel (or whatever hotel your tour starts at), but I honestly recommend walking if your feet can handle it. It's a cool, fun way to get to know the city before the tour starts. Be sure to walk through the outdoor market, maybe try currywurst for the first time! (I'm a fan!)
I doubt that any helpful people at the Frankfurt Airport would recommend this 2 ticket strategy.
Why not? Because they don't know about it? Do they think buying two tickets is really too much work, not worth saving 13€.
Unless you only had time to purchase one ticket before catching the train, I can't imagine why not. You're just standing around in the station doing nothing else. Might as well buy two tickets. BTW. you don't have to get off the train just because you ticket the route with two tickets. You just stay on the train and switch tickets.
I did exactly that (RL-P-Ticket and a local ticket to Mainz) when I went from FRA to Treis-Karden (near Cochem) in 2008.
On the other hand, in 2017 I was only going as far as St Goar, not far enough into RL-P to make the Länder-Ticket pay, so I didn't buy one. But I still bought two tickets. Local (RMV) tickets, which only go as far as Bacharach are less expensive per km than a Bahn ticket, so I bought an RMV ticket to Bingen Hbf, for 8,70€ and a Bahn ticket from Bingen to St Goar for 7,70€. Total was 16,40€. As far as I can tell, that is the cheapest way to get from FRA to St. Goar.
Thank you all for your information. I have a year to sort it all out but I am a planner so I needed to know my options.
When I did this tour, I flew in to Paris stayed for a week or so then took a train to Trier, changing at Saarbrucken. Someone on this forum had done a scrapbook the year before I went and had stayed in Paris first so it seemed like a good idea to me!!!
I do urge you to give yourselves at least a day before the tour to visit the interesting sights in Trier. After the tour starts you’ve only got a half day or less there.
For myself, flying into Paris was easier as there was non stop service from my nearest airport hub.
This is a fun tour!
I took this tour in 2018 with my nephew.
We flew into Frankfurt and then took the train to Bingen for our first night to recover from jet lag.
Spent the next day at leisure with a cruise of the middle Rhine to see the castles from the boat.
Next day we took train to Trier to connect with the tour. This happened without a hitch.
Was very happy to have chosen this option. Gave a pre-tour day to recover from jet lag but still do something and was manageable to me, even with pressure of having young nephew to whom I was trying to act like I knew what I was doing (which is a stretch even when I’m not traveling abroad)
What made this work for me was giving myself a bit of extra time right before tour and see something that was not included in the tour.
Three years later I have only pleasant memories.