If you plan on traveling by train within Germany (especially last minute) you might be surprised about the big savings that await if you book through third party booking sites such as Ltur.
While the railway company DB Deutsche Bahn sells their saver fares often up to a day before departure, usually same day tickets are very expensive.
Also, some routes have much less saver fares available than others. A welcome option is to avoid booking on the Bahn website directly and look at third party providers instead.
This week I decided on short notice to fly to Munich and a day later visit a friend in the Stuttgart area. As my visit just became a viable option the same morning I had to look at a train connection.
Here is what was available on the DB Bahn website (access here):
I found that price to be excessive for a 2 hour train ride and would have probably opted not to go for that price.
I then checked out Ltur, a last minute provider I had used in the past for air and train travel (access their website here):
The ticket was 30 EUR cheaper and only costs 27 EUR instead of 57 from the Bahn website directly. Keep in mind that during very busy periods it might be recommended to do a seat reservation for 4.50 EUR or search for First Class tickets that already include that service.
You should look for ‘Sparangebote’ (Saver Fares) whic designate the cheap fares.
The Long Distance trains in Germany are a convenient alternative to air travel and if you can get a good fare then it’s certainly worth thinking about it.
If you arrive or depart by air you might also want to check with your airline prior to booking if it offers so called Rail & Fly, either already included in the ticket or for a small surcharge. Lufthansa offers it for 29 EUR each way (or 55 EUR in First Class) which is considerably cheaper than buying the ticket directly. sweet spot: the ticket is also valid a day before/after your flight and not tied to a certain train. See the lufthansa website here for more information. There is more information including a list of all partners on the DB website as well (access here).