Okay, I will be spending a few days in Brussels, Belgium, and then travelling up to Amsterdam. From there, I expect to travel to probably Rotterdam, and then maybe a trip to somewhere in Germany before ending my trip in Frankfurt. All the train travel will be over 7 - 8 days.
Should I buy a pass of some sort, or do point-to-point tickets? If you think pass, which pass.
And, yes, I know this information would probably be easily found with search or poking around the internet, but I'm feeling lazy today, so sue me...
depending on how old you are, you can get a benelux-germany pass from 174euros for 5 travel days in 2 months. if youre below 25 its cheaper...
you can look on www.9292ov.nl or www.ns.nl for transport in the netherlands, and www.bahn.de for trains in germany, id ont know the website for belgium... im feeling lazy too so you can compare the prices :D
There are usually special offers for Brussels-Amsterdam, either by train or by bus. Amsterdam-Rotterdam should not be that expensive, so my guess is that a rail pass is not worth it if you buy the tickets in advance over the internet. For Amsterdam-Cologne or Brussels-Cologne there are frequent special offers too. Only distance that might be costly is Cologne-Frankfurt, but that can be taken care of if you travel on regional trains with Laenderticket (51 EUR) or on a Saturday or Sunday with a Schoene-Wochenende-Ticket (33 EUR) or once again buy the ticket a few weeks in advance over the internet.
Have fun on your trip!
[ Edit: Edited on Jun 18, 2007, at 7:54 AM by t_maia ]
It's going to be at best very close as to whether you save money, and if you do it properly, P2P will be cheaper.
If you know when you are going from Bruxelles to Amsterdam, you can book ahead on line at thalys and normally get a discount on the price. If you turn up on the day, it will cost you 46euros. However, you can use the normal Benelux trains (hourly) which only take 20mins longer but are much cheaper. Longest journey time is just under 3hours. Special offers are frequent.
Amsterdam to Rotterdam costs 12.5euros, is less than an hour and very frequent via two different routes (offering stop off options in Leiden, Den Haag or Delft in the one way, and Gouda and Utrecht in the other). Note that from Bruxelles to A'dam you pass through R'dam anyway, so you can save money by switching the order and visiting R'dam first.
Amsterdam - Frankfurt (airport) tickets turn up and go are 103euros, via direct high speed ICE trains. By changing this can come down to 75 straight away. If you book in advance, it can be as low as 22euros. And of course, if you stop off on the way, use lander/weekend tickets as per Maia's suggestion &/or use regional/normal IC trains, it's cheaper again.
I figure that if you just turn up and go, and travel with the two top end (Thalys and ICE) services, for a Bruxelles - A'dam - R'dam -A'dam - FF Airport trip, you will pay an absolute maximum of 174euros. Which is the same as the pass. Anything pre booked, slightly slower etc, and you are into a saving.
Incidentally, if you stop in Germany, logical stop points on a Amsterdam - Frankfurt run would be Dusseldorf/Köln/Bonn (all worth a look. Köln being the biggest), or somewhere like Koblenz further south in the Rhine valley.
Also, when you go to Frankfurt (assuming during daylight) DON'T use the ICE trains. Instead, take an IC/EC train down the old route [direct, and at least hourly south from Köln - any train which is going via Bonn/Koblenz/Mainz is good for you], and sit on the left hand side. This older route goes right down the Rhine valley and is a lovely trip in its own right.
Only distance that might be costly is Cologne-Frankfurt
Turn up and go prices on the high speed ICE (1 hour ish) are 59euros, by the slower IC/EC (2hr ish) are 38euros.
[ Edit: Edited on Jun 19, 2007, at 10:30 AM by Gelli ]