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FRA Main to Stuttgart: train or other options?

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Seattle, WA
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FRA Main to Stuttgart: train or other options?

I was looking at the high-speed train from Frankfurt - Main Airport to Stuttgart, but I waited too long and the price has gone up to $99. Since we get into Frankfurt at 1pm, we have plenty of time (no plans that day). I have 2 questions:

1. Is there a cheaper option? I can't find any good bus or other train options that could save money.

2. If we decide to go for the high-speed train, is it even worth getting tickets in advance? I'd rather just wait until we're there in case a flight is delayed or something, but I'm worried the trains will fill up

Thank you!

Frankfurt
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1. Re: FRA Main to Stuttgart: train or other options?

If you come into Frankfurt, you can get the ICE for 45 euro. If you want to take the slower Regional trains which will take you about 3.5 hours, you can get the price down to 35 euro.

Trains don't fill up usually.

Seattle, WA
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2. Re: FRA Main to Stuttgart: train or other options?

So if I wait until I get to the airport, it should be 45 euro? On the Rail Europe site they want $99, and for some reason on Bahn.de 2nd class is 122 euro while 1st class is cheaper somehow at 99 euro. We're flying in at 2pm on a Friday so hopefully the trains won't be full around then.

Edited: 2:04 am, June 17, 2013
Karlsruhe, Germany
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3. Re: FRA Main to Stuttgart: train or other options?

Train tickets cannot sell out. However, a train ticket buys you the right to be on board a train but it does not guarantee you a seat. Friday afternoon is peak of peak travel time with weekend commuters, so expect trains to be very busy, especially on a major route like this.

Did you check with your airline whether they offer Rail&Fly tickets? These are notably cheaper than regular tickets and fully flexible.

With overseas flights, you never know if you arrive on time. Hence I'd abstain from any discounted tickets that are valid for one particular train only. Get standard fare tickets (unless you can get Rail&Fly, of course) which are valid for any train on that day and route, and buy it from DB, not Raileurope or any other reseller. What I'd do is invest those extra 4 € per person and book seat reservations for the train that you are most likely to catch if all goes according to schedule. If you miss that train, all you lose is the reservation. Last-minute reservations can still be obtained from ticket machines until right before departure, but it's Friday and unlike tickets, seat reservations can sell out.

Frankfurt
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4. Re: FRA Main to Stuttgart: train or other options?

Use Deutsche Bahn, not Rail Europe. They have all the trains and prices, and Rail Europe doesn't.

Germany
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5. Re: FRA Main to Stuttgart: train or other options?

If you buy on spot you pay the standard fare price. Which is EUR 61 per person 2nd class from Frankfurt Airport to Stuttgart. You can buy a standard fare ticket as well in advance. Standard fare tickets are flexible. Discounted specials for long distance trains are cheaper - but not without risk after an incoming flight.

DB timetable

http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en

Start: Frankfurt(M) Flughafen

Destination: Stuttgart Hbf

One option to travel cheaper is to use regional trains only. Select at the DB timetable as means of transport "only local transport" for this. Will need on this route considerably more time and a few changes of trains. Specials for regional trains are day tickets which can be bought on spot.

Friday afternoon/evening is the peak travel time of the week. No matter if on the rails or roads. Thus invest the EUR 4 for a seat reservation as Blandine suggested.

Rail&Fly information (the best deal in combination with an incoming flight).

bahn.de/i/…rail_and_fly.shtml

However only offered by some airlines and often you have to buy it together with the flight at the same time.

Freiburg im...
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6. Re: FRA Main to Stuttgart: train or other options?

Going by bus could be a cheaper option. but they are leaving from Frankfurt main station:

busliniensuche.de/busverbindungen/frankfurt-…

Seattle, WA
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7. Re: FRA Main to Stuttgart: train or other options?

Thanks for your help. The thing is, if I buy from Bahn.de it'll cost 99 euro per person vs. 45 euro at the station. As much as I don't want to be stuck at the airport, I also hate to pay more than double.

Karlsruhe, Germany
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8. Re: FRA Main to Stuttgart: train or other options?

Where did you get the "45 Euro at the station" from? Standard fare prices are always the same, no matter if online, from ticket machines or the station counter. There are no last minute fares.

Seattle, WA
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9. Re: FRA Main to Stuttgart: train or other options?

Nevermind, I just saw that I was reading the prices on bahn.de wrong and it's 99 euro for both of us. That is reasonable so I will do that and reserve seats. Thanks everyone for your help!

10. Re: FRA Main to Stuttgart: train or other options?

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