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Saturday, May 19

Traveling with Transportation

One thing we’ve learned to rely on (and become fond of) is the available transportation in and around us. Nürnberg is very well connected to other major German cities as well as Europe. It also helps to be centrally located in Europe. We often check and use Deutsche Bahn for the long distance trips. Within Bavaria, we get the Bayern pass for 29 Euros and can travel the state in a short period. 

Although the rail network is extensive what many fail to understand is the cost of travel. One thing is obvious- living in Europe is expensive (compared to US). Given that, it is still perplexing to pay high prices for travel outside of Bavaria. If, for instance, we want to travel to Zurich for a weekend, average cost for tickets is 100 Euros/person. The only hitch is to plan 60- 90 days before the trip. This is also the case for traveling to other German cities outside of Bavaria, like Cologne (Koln) or Hamburg. Last minute booking and travel is not common here. After speaking with some coworkers the husband learned “last minute travel” is defined in 30 days, for Germans. And very rarely there will be deals for “last last minute travel.” Having lived in America and planned many trips last minute and traveling that very weekend, it’s taken some adjusting to this. 

And this isn’t just for rail travel. 

Air travel isn’t much different. Since Nürnberg isn’t a top 10 city for international travel in Europe, the flight options are limited. Of course, we have a functioning airport and there are many international flights yet finding deals for flights out of Nürnberg is a challenge. A discount carrier that flies out of Nürnberg is Air Berlin. It has reasonable deals (i.e. Mallorca) unfortunately other than Mallorca we haven’t found a steal. Other discount carriers like Ryan Air fly out of a city close to Munich, Memmingen. To get there, we’d have to travel to Munich and then a bus to Memmingen so although ticket deals (i.e. Dublin 60 Euros/round trip) are inexpensive, adding train tickets (a day pass for going and returning) and bus the total equates to taking the train from or flying out of Nürnberg. 

Car rentals are sometimes worth the deal and sometimes not. For instance, we rented a car recently for a trip to Austria and it turned out to be expensive (with the cost of gas). On the other hand, when we rented a car for Budapest, it was very inexpensive. Nonetheless, I pick train and plane over car. When road trips are 4+ hours it’s easier to be in a train where both passengers can be mobile and can enjoy the ride. 

The key to traveling in Europe is to look for deals in advance and book a port of transportation that is convenient and economical at the same time. 

Thankfully we still have plenty to see in Bavaria and those day trips will continue to happen. And at the same time plan our long distance trips well in advance.


  1. Bayernticket is the way to go!

    We still (after 8 years of living in Regensburg) have major Bayern points of interest on our list, all easily coverable with a Bayernticket, like Würzburg and Bamberg and Bayreuth. I'm sure, when the time comes, that we'll be doing it via Bayernticket.

  2. Totally agree with your assessment here. The major discount airlines are always a good deal out of the way and the cost of bus/train can sometimes make up for the lower fares. Sometimes planning 3 way trips can help (and reduce on number of tix bought).

    Train travel IS expensive! It's always puzzling how far you must plan in advance to travel.

    And does this mean you'll have a lovely Budapest write-up soon? ;)

  3. Yes, yes, a Budapest post coming soon as well as few others that we've traveled to and I've put of writing about them. I have so much to say and am not sure if I can cover it all in a blog post or two.