In March I will attend the biggest tourism fair worldwide – the ITB Berlin. I am really looking forward to this, as I have never attended this fair before and I never visited Berlin, either. I will use the ITB to meet potential partners for my company (www.happyheartofeurope.com)
Today I was planning my trip to Berlin and after checking flights and connections I also checked the train schedule.
This was my outcome:
Best way to get to Berlin by Plane is via Zurich Airport: It will take me 5 hours 30 minutes to get from my place to Berlin City Center and it will cost me €310 (with 15 minutes estimated from arriving at Berlin Tegel to leaving the Airport)*
To go there by Train it will take me 9 hours and 10 minutes – for €88. This is possible due to a special offer of the Austrian Railway Operator. I am not allowed to change my schedule (but I am not allowed to do this on the plane, too).*
* both options with my house as starting point
I went for the train option – for several reason:
- Costs – €230 are good money, and as I am setting up a company, this is something I have to consider.
- I do like train rides – I have always plenty to do: read a book, have some coffee, work on my net-book or prepare my appointments… if the train is not too crowded, a lot of work can be done. Moreover I will be able to SEE a lot of Germany, just by passing through it – and I am looking forward to that.
- My carbon footprint – train rides are more ecological. I did some very long flights in December (to and from India) and I believe its time to be more aware of my carbon footprint again.
- Social aspects – I somehow tend to be get drawn into interesting conversations, while taking the train – and I can remember only one conversation to a stranger on a plane. This might be connected to my
- Slight feeling of shakiness, whenever I am flying. I know its safe, I know nothing will happen – but still I am getting nervous during when starting, during landings and whenever we hit the slightest turbulences.
As you can see, the time factor was not my decisive for flying. As I am using my train time to do some work, I do not feel I lose that much time, that it weights up all the other upsides of taking the train.
So, what are your thoughts … is time so valuable that you always take the fastest options? Have you suffered too much on trains to consider them (I have friends who tell me just that)? Are you a airplane enthusiast? – or would you have made the same decision?
4 responses to “Going to Berlin: Train vs Plane?”
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I lived in Europe for quite a few years but never really got used to the idea of driving in the left side of the car. In the quiet countryside, it probably doesn’t matter. But in built up cities, I don’t trust my judgement enough, in case of a driving crisis.
So you are absolutely correct about reducing your carbon footprint and getting to meet lots of locals. But for me, trains are FAR more relaxing than driving on the wrong side of the road.
Sorry for replying late, but for some reason your comment was put into the spam category by Akismet. I never even thought about driving to Berlin, as it is just too long. I do longer car rides whenever we are two or three people, but sitting behind the wheel on my own for 6+ hours is not what I intend to do.
And its not sound economically and ecologically.
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