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train reservations online for Germany

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New York City, New...
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train reservations online for Germany

While in Berlin in late April, my wife and I want to visit Dresden. I notice the online "DB Bahn" website lists round-trip tickets at full fare ('standard" price) and at a discount price. I've heard that buying (or reserving?) ahead of time will save us money. Is this what they meant? Can anyone tell us how much in advance we should reserve (or buy) to get the most savings? Thanks.

London, United...
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1. Re: train reservations online for Germany

Advance tickets are released 89 days in advance and can be as little as €19 per person one-way (for shorter intercity trips). After that, they increase in €10 steps. If you buy a Sparpreis ticket, you are tied to that train and if you miss it, you'll have to buy a Normalpreis ticket. I think Berlin-Dresden starts at €29 one-way, but you can save a lot.

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2. Re: train reservations online for Germany

Thanks. According to the railway website, I can buy online or just make reservations. I take it the savings are good only if I buy online?

Another U.S. traveler said that the railway website wouldn't accept any of his credit cards other than his CapitalOne card. Anyone know anything about that? (We are in the process of getting a card, though it's a credit card, not a debit card)

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3. Re: train reservations online for Germany

Buy online and print your ticket at home - though note you will need European A4 size paper. US Legal paper might be OK as long as it's at least as wide/long. You also have to give a credit card number as ID and present it, even if it later expires.

Do you know what cards that other person tried to use? DB accepts Visa and Mastercard. If the card was rejected, it may have been the issuer rejecting a foreign-currency transaction.

Frankfurt, Germany
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4. Re: train reservations online for Germany

Check for fares as early as 92 days in advance.

Saving fares don't have to be booked online. But as they do sell out quite quickly and I assume you won't be in the country to go to a Bahn counter 2-3 months in advance, it's probably the best way to buy it online.

Don't worry too much about the printing. The standard US paper size will be fine, it might be a little smaller than DIN A4 but only very slightly.

I saw somebody yesterday who printed his ticket on a DIN A5 paper, that's half as tall as the required size. The conductor complained but it worked nevertheless. So it will be fine.

If your credit card shouldn't work for some reason, you can also use PayPal, although I'm not a 100% sure if it works for international customers.

Chula Vista...
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5. Re: train reservations online for Germany

Hi,

I had no problems using my AMEX to purchase my tickets online in November. Also printed my tickets on standard 8.5 x 11 paper here and they had no problem scanning the barcode on any of the trains. (Just make sure you don't fold or crease over the barcode; I kept my tickets flat in a little folder I carried with me.)

Cincinnati, Ohio
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6. Re: train reservations online for Germany

I would buy my tickets now before they sell out the discounted rate. I purchased my Berlin-Dresden-Prague tickets for mid-May last week, and it was very easy to do online, including the seat reservation if you want one. We were able to stop for two nights in Dresden and still get the reduced rate for both segments of the trip. I already have a CapitolOne MasterCard so that is what I used.

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7. Re: train reservations online for Germany

Thanks, everyone, for all these valuable answers. (Cinti, I wish we were going to Prague, too! Maybe next time)

8. Re: train reservations online for Germany

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