Trains in Germany - General

Discussion in 'Europa-Park Trip Plans and Reports' started by emmerse2891, 25th Oct 2021.

  1. emmerse2891

    emmerse2891 TowersStreet Member

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    I have a Christmas trip double-header booked for early December - Phantasialand - then Europa, flying in and out of Frankfurt - and accessing each park by train (because I don't drive).

    Now I've used German trains a couple of times - Europa via Baden last year and recently returned from movie park Germany via Netherlands.

    on this recent trip i found myself getting 'told off' on almost every train trip I did, once for not having pre-booked a ticket, despite the station/platform I got on not having any office or machines, and another for getting a ticket but not 'stamping it'. I had another tricksy moment buying a ticket because the main machines didn't list the destination I wanted - and it transpired I needed to go to a separate counter at the back of a shop. Unrelated to tickets - I also got told off for not taking ALL my bags/belongings with me to the toilet on the train, despite being in motion between stations - terrorism?

    Also found you had to get a separate ticket to take the monorail train at dusseldorf airport to the terminal from the train station. There just seems to be lots of different separate lines and systems, that only if your German or 'you know' you know!

    Anyway as someone who is confrontation adverse - It sort of has my anxiety up about my future trip. I WANT to do it right etc.

    So I'm really just asking for tips on using the German train (and bus) system

    Is there a German equivalent of Netherlands OV-chipcard that you top up with funds and can use across the transport system?

    How do you book ahead train trips when you're not sure what time or train you'll take? is it best to buy online - and have digital tickets? for example I don't think Ringsheim has machines/office - so how would i get tickets from there?

    How do you buy bus tickets? i.e. the bus to Phantasialand from Bruhl? can you buy on bus? with card? or is it more a cash based system? can you get tickets that include trains and bus? should I always have Euros for bus usage etc?

    So my journeys will Basically be Frankfurt airport to Cologne, Cologne to Phantasialand, Phantasialand-Cologne-Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Ringsheim, then Ringsheim back to Frankfurt airport

    Thanks in advance for any tips, suggestions, knowledge etc.
     
    Posted 25th Oct 2021
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  2. RicketyCricket

    RicketyCricket TowersStreet Member

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    Download the Bahn.de app and get all your tickets on there. Worth booking at least a week in advance for the longer journeys to save a few quid.

    Withdraw 20 euros or so for buses as most only take cash.

    Don't quite understand this tbh. It's a very straightforward train network.
     
    AstroDan and Plastic Person like this.
    Posted 25th Oct 2021
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  3. Plastic Person

    Plastic Person TowersStreet Member

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    Yeah, the Bahn.de app is absolutely the way forward, especially for journeys that require combo tickets and bookings.
    One tip I've learned from living in Germany is that if your train is running late and you've been delayed enough to miss a connection with a specific booking, check in with the Customer Service at a larger station, and they'll verify it and write you a note. This will save you any additional hassle with uppity inspectors and they might also give you some vouchers for free food and booze to apologise.

    The 'stamp' thing you speak of mainly applies on local networks in cities. They are barrier free so require you to stamp a ticket to cover your two-hour window before stepping onto a train. It's an easy thing to forget to do, and a profitable way for local authorities to catch tourists out with plain clothes inspectors.

    Otherwise, I find travelling round Germany occasionally pricey, but generally very simple. Also, and this may vary, but the staff who work for Deutsche Bahn seem to really know their stuff about routes and timetables, much more than in the UK. It's a treat for theme park autists!
     
    Posted 25th Oct 2021
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  4. Ramius

    Ramius TowersStreet Member

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    You don't need money for the bus when you go to Europa-Park. Just enter Europa-Park,Rust as destination and the bus will be included in your ticket. I'm not sure if this is also possible for Phantasialand.
     
    Posted 25th Oct 2021
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  5. Plastic Person

    Plastic Person TowersStreet Member

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    Phantasialand bus is pay to the driver, if I recall? It's run differently to the EP bus, I think it's privately operated.
     
    Posted 25th Oct 2021
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  6. Ted

    Ted TowersStreet Member

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    If you're getting the Stadbahn (tram) from Cologne to Phantasialand, you'll need to pay the driver upfront. Don't know what it's like going the mainline train though.
     
    Posted 25th Oct 2021
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  7. emmerse2891

    emmerse2891 TowersStreet Member

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    Your probably right - it's just an impression I got after having to get that ticket from a separate counter and then the additional monorail fee from another machine - made it seem like there was lots going on, compounded by not knowing the system & Language.
     
    Posted 25th Oct 2021
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  8. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    +1 for the amazing DB app!

    Sent from my SM-G991B using Tapatalk
     
    Posted 30th Oct 2021
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