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DB Bahn direct routes "Savings Fare" versus a Rail Pass

Tampa, Florida
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DB Bahn direct routes "Savings Fare" versus a Rail Pass

My gf and I will be spending some time in Germany for Oktoberfest and then on to Prague for a few days to end the trip.

Our plan is to arrive in Stuttgart and then take a train to Rothenburg for the night, then return to Stuttgart the following day. After a couple of days in Stuttgart we'll head to Munich for Oktoberfest. Then after a couple of days there we'll move on to Prague.

That makes a total of four train trips.

Stuttgart -> Rothenburg -> Stuttgart -> Munich -> Prague

Prices for four day rail pass w/ Prague extension is about $500 total for the two of us.

If I price out direct routes via bahn.de, I get two options for Prices. "Savings Fare" and "Standard Fare". Savings Fare is usually around half of standard fare. If I use all savings fare's, the total for the two of us comes to about $250 for all the trips. That's quite a savings versus the rail pass.

I understand that "Savings Fare" dictate that we must take a specific train. Outside of that, are there any other things I should consider about the Savings Fare before I purchase our tickets. Is there a reason why I should still consider the Rail Pass?

San Jose, California
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1. Re: DB Bahn direct routes "Savings Fare" versus a Rail Pass

Nope - no considerations beyond the restriction to the particular departure that you have purchased. The only thing that I can think of that you would need to be aware of is that you need to bring the credit card with you that you use to purchase the Savings Fare tickets with. To prevent fraud (ie reselling tickets to multiple people) the conductor will want to see that card along with the ticket to verify that you are the person who purchased the tickets - or at the very least close enough to the person to have their card in your possession.

Rail Pass rarely seems to be a cost savings for people - unless they have a lot of long-distance travel and want a totally flexible schedule.

Paradise, California
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2. Re: DB Bahn direct routes "Savings Fare" versus a Rail Pass

"Our plan is to arrive in Stuttgart and then take a train to Rothenburg for the night, then return to Stuttgart the following day."

It's 5-6 hours of train travel to Rothenburg and back. Rothenburg is tourism in the extreme. There are in fact interesting and attractive old-world destinations much closer to Stuttgart, places not so overrun by tour bus crowds - Tübingen comes immediately to mind - so does Calw in the Black Forest, or Bad Wimpfen north of Stuttgart on the Neckar River. All these places are about one hour away, and you can reach them on local or regional daypasses - figure 24-26€ for two for a day's outing, depending on the destination and daypass. You can stay in Stuttgart and won't need to pack, check out, schlepp luggage, unpack, and check out again either.

bahn.com/i/…baden-wuerttemberg-ticket.shtml

You might want to check in with destination expert marcopolko for further advice on these and other local outings.

Tampa, Florida
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3. Re: DB Bahn direct routes "Savings Fare" versus a Rail Pass

I appreciate everyone's input here. Looks like rail passes are out. Thanks November_Moon.

We'll definitely look into your suggestions here Russ. We were aware that Rothenberg can be quite the tourist trap, but we were under the impression that later in the evening it was less so. We're not the "touristy" types either, so we'll most certainly look into these other locations you've mentioned as alternatives.

We still have almost 6 weeks to nail this down. Anyone else with input is greatly welcomed.

Paradise, California
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4. Re: DB Bahn direct routes "Savings Fare" versus a Rail Pass

"We still have almost 6 weeks to nail this down."'

If that means your trip starts in 6 weeks, then I would encourage you to get the savings fare tickets ASAP for any travel legs you are absolutely sure about - fares will go up as tickets sell.

Tampa, Florida
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5. Re: DB Bahn direct routes "Savings Fare" versus a Rail Pass

I was about to buy tickets until I ran into these questions. :)

I'll give us another week to figure out some ideas. Thanks again for your insight, Russ.

San Jose, California
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6. Re: DB Bahn direct routes "Savings Fare" versus a Rail Pass

We visited Rothenburg obT a few years back and really enjoyed it. It is touristy, but it is also really easy to ditch the masses and be out on your own. I actually didn't even realize how touristy it was until I got back.

When we arrived, we walked from the train station to the old town, and then once inside the town gate (they have a moat and everything) we took a quick left, climbed the stairs onto the city wall and walked the city wall for quite awhile. For Europeans and people who have spent a lot of time in Europe, this stuff is probably old hat, but to be able to walk along an old city wall like that was an incredible experience. I come from California - our old stuff is a few hundred years old, at the most. We have forts and things, but nothing like this. I was in heaven.

After we walked the wall for awhile, we took a random set of stairs down to a random back street and continued wandering - much of the time, it was just us and a few other people on a street, maybe no one else except a cat. We found some interesting shops, we ate lunch at a restaurant/gasthaus that had a beirgarten in the back - menus entirely in German, the waitress didn't seem to speak much English, didn't look like it was set up for tourists, really. We just found it because we were hungry, so we followed a sign that said "beirgarten" down an alley that opened up on a nice shady yard with a friendly-looking beirgarten in it.

After lunch we continued our wandering - I think this it the town that has a medieval torture museum in it - we went to that. Then eventually found the main square of the town - there were quite a few tourists there - so we kept going. We came back later and pretty much everybody was gone, so we hung out awhile.

Anyway - I think that most of the visitors sort of may a beeline from the train station, through the gates, and onto the main square and never venture very far from that route. Just by making one change - climbing the stairs onto the wall - we had an entirely different experience in that town.

Tampa, Florida
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7. Re: DB Bahn direct routes "Savings Fare" versus a Rail Pass

November_Moon. I'm so glad you had a good time in Rothenburg and managed to steer clear of the tourist mess. Thank you for sharing that experience. It will make our decision making a lot more informed.

Adelaide, Australia
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8. Re: DB Bahn direct routes "Savings Fare" versus a Rail Pass

We had exactly the same experience in Rothenburg as november moon, .... we walked the wall, until we felt like lunch, and we didn't come across many other tourists until the town square. I loved it, we all did, actually. Not the Disney theme park I had been warned about, but a delightful town with many quiet spots to enjoy. Expect the crowds when you come to the main street. There is good reason it is so popular, it really is lovely. Enjoy.

On the train travel.... we did most of our trips using the Bavaria ticket (each region has their own), and noted that the bus to Prague (albeit from Nuremberg) was very cheap.

Vilnius, Lithuania
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9. Re: DB Bahn direct routes "Savings Fare" versus a Rail Pass

Rail passes sometimes require you must buy seat reservations, add 3-13 EUR to that depending on the train.

10. Re: DB Bahn direct routes "Savings Fare" versus a Rail Pass

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