Lee and Harold recommended point to point over a pass.What do you suggest? The schedule we have:1- Basel via Frankfurt to Bamberg.2- Bamberg- Wurzberg to Rothenberg.3 Roth via Nurenberg to Munich.4 Munich-Fussen.5 Fussen-Salzberg.6 Salzberg via Munich-Prague.7 Prague via Dresden to Berlin.8 Berlin-Amsterdam.Days 1,3,6,8 we need early departures before 9am.Days 2,4 and 5 can be later and a Bayern would work.Day 7 is from Prague and the Germain train from the bounder. Day 6 via Munich is to use the nonstop ALX train(not the faster bus).The Czech trains we will buy the tickets on the train at the border crossing I assume.We have two travelers.One is 60.The 8 day pass is around $300 each.Bayern $30+ for two plus bus use for the day to the castles in Fussen? All travel will be in Sept 2013.
First suggestion, when looking for fares, schedules, etc, use the correct spelling, Salzburg. Using Salzberg could give you erroneous information. A Bayern-Ticket is 26€ for 2 persons. The bus from Füssen to the castles at Hohenschwangau is included in the Bayern-Ticket. For Basel to Bamberg, you can book an advance purchase Europa-Spezial fare from Basel SBB to Bamberg, but if you leave instead from German Rail's Basel Bad Bahnhof, you can get a less expensive Savings Fare ticket, possible as low as 49€ for two people. You specify Rothenburg obT to Munich via Nürnberg. Do you intend to spend time in Nürnberg or just pass through? If you don't intend to spend time, you don't need to go via Nürnberg. You can go a more direct route by regional trains only and use a Bayern-Ticket. For Salzburg to Prague, you can go by regional train from Salzburg to Munich to Pilsen with a Bayern-Böhmen ticket for 29,50€, then purchase Pilsen to Prague on the train for about 5€ each. For Prague to Berlin, you can get an advance purchase Saving Fare ticket for as little as 58€ for two. You can specify a stopover in Dresden, if that's what you want to do, but the train from Dresden to Berlin will be specific, so you need to know how long you want to stop. Finally, with advance purchase, you can get Berlin to Amsterdam for 39€ each, 78€ for both of you. So, by following the advice above, your total fares, including your travel in the Netherlands to Amsterdam, but not including 5€ each from Pilsen to Prague would be about 270€, less than $350 at today's exchange rate.
Note: if you want to stop for an indeterminate time in Dresden, use Dresden as a stopover and use Modes of Transport to specify regional trains from Dresden to Berlin (RB from Dresden to Elsterwerda, RE from Elsterwerda to Berlin). The regional part is not train specific. You can spend as much time in Dresden, as long as you use the same RB/RE connection via Elsterwerda. That connection runs at least once every two hours. Similarly, if you use Frankfurt as a stopover for Basel to Bamberg, and specify regional trains from Frankfurt to Bamberg, you can stay in Frankfurt for an in indeterminate time and take the RE to Würzburg. If you intend to stop over in Nürnberg, you can still use a Bayern-Ticket. There are REs every two hours on the same line from Nürnberg to Munich as the ICE takes. The trip takes about ½ hour longer than the ICE, but you can stay as long as you want in Nürnberg and take the next RE.
Thanks again Lee.We are planning to leave from Basel Bad.We do wish to visit Nurenberg and Dresden so the regional train is a great option.So you purchase your Savings Fare tickets online in advance-how soon 60-90 days out? Specify mode of transport to include regional trains(non specific times of departure is the advantage).The Bayern tickets,can they be purchased online or best from the machines? Can you purchase more than one and date them as needed? Can we purchase this group of tickets all together? What fees are involved with shipping and handling.If we miss a specific train what options do we have if any? Thanks again for your time.