I am going from the Rhine Valley in Germany to Prague on my vacation in December and am wanting to take the overnight train from Frankfurt to Prague. I am still debating if I need the railpass for the whole vacation (9 days - 4 in Rhine and 4 in Prague with one day travel) but I am wondering if anybody has a good company to purchase the train tickets in advance. In 2009 I did this for my tripo through Germany, Austria, and Italy, where I bought the railpass and the reservations with the same company, but I do not remember who I used. It was very convenient and painless. Any advice on this is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Bob
Are you familiar with Laender tickets? They provide unlimited rides all day long in a Land (state) in Germany. You are limited to regional trains and cannot depart until after 09:00 on weekdays (anytime on weekends). Nordrhein-Westfalen has the Schoerer Tag Ticket NRW for €27. Rheinland-Pfalz has the Rheinland-Pfalz-Ticket for €21. Hesse has the Hessenticket for €31. Here are two more special deals: 1. The Quer-Durchs-Land-Ticket allows you to travel all day long on weekdays anywhere in Germany with the same type of train and time restrictions. It costs €42. 2. The Weekend Ticket allows you to travel all day long on either a Saturday or Sunday anywhere in Germany on regional trains. No time restriction. It costs €40. Just for the record, a single ticket from Mainz to Frankfurt costs €15. If you take any trains while you are in Prague, the tickets will be dirt cheap. If you decide to get the Germany-Czech Republic pass, you can pay for the sleeping accommodation for the CNL night train on the German Rail site. It costs €27.50 for a bunk in a 6-person couchette and €37.50 for a bunk in a 4-person couchette. All couchettes are the same size. The only difference is in how many bunks are pulled down. Paying a little more for a bunk in a 4-person couchette is well worth it for the extra space for both people and luggage.
If the only train you will take is the CNL night train that leaves Frankfurt at 00:54 and arrives in Prague at 10:29, then you certainly don't need a railpass. If you book your ticket today on the German Rail site, you still should be able to get a discount fare.
I will be using the train for all of my travel needs for the 9 days. In Prague, I don't expect to use it often, if at all, but in the Rhine Valley area, I will be travelling from town to town, and don't have an exact itinerary. I suspect that I will not need the railpass, but I do see that there is a discount for the sleeper if you have one... So without actually doing the math, I suspect that it will be at least reasonable to think about the pass.