We did our first backpacking holiday covering the Netherlands, Germany and Austria over 8 days.
The trip started in Amsterdam which we flew in from Kuala Lumpur on KLM non-stop flight. Flight time around 12 hours.
Our trip will cover mostly Germany and much usage of trains, hence, we made use of a Rail pass covering just Germany as this pass is available for selected countries of choice. We chose a 5-day flexi pass which gives the flexibility to select the days to use it (can be non-consecutive). The pass covers all trains such as intercity (including ICE but non-reserved seats) and local trains but not buses, trams and subways within cities.
We bought the pass in Kuala Lumpur (from MSL) prior to the trip.
Here’s some helpful information on the rail pass:
- For our train from Amsterdam (Netherlands) to Cologne (Germany), the Germany rail pass is valid after the Netherlands border therefore purchase a supplemental ticket to cover from Amsterdam to Germany border station (in our case to Emmerich). This way both supplemental and rail pass ticket can cover the single train journey
- For our final leg overnight City Night Line train (unfortunately DB the operator has stopped all overnight trains) from Munich to Amsterdam, we use the same method with the rail pass, purchasing additional for the beds and supplemental for the Netherlands part. Use the tickets offices at stations to book this as these options are not available from the website or kiosks
- The rail pass is valid for all German high speed trains like ICE but only on non-reserved seats. Most of the time these seats are available but for popular routes and during peak hours it can be a challenge to get seats. Booking reserved seats is possible with additional fee, but we did not use it
- Try to use as much high speed or express trains to cut journey time. Use google maps for information on best train options
- A bonus of the German rail pass, it can be used to travel to some cities outside of Germany (https://www.germanrailpasses.com/en/passes-prices/pass-extension). We used this to travel from Munich to Salzburg and is valid also for high speed trains such as the OBB Railjet
Our travel itinerary as below:
Day 1 – Amsterdam, Cologne and Cochem
Day 2 – Burg Eltz and Trier
Day 3 – Cochem’s castle and vineyards
Day 4 – Middle Rhine cruise St Goar to Bacharach and Munich
Day 5 – Munich
Day 6 – Salzburg, Austria
Day 7 – Amsterdam
Day 8 – Zaanse Schans