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What's the cheapest way to get from Nuremberg (Nürnberg) to Prague (and back) with public transport (buses, trains etc.)?

I've found that ICE costs about 100 Euro, so it's definitely not what I understand as cheap at this relatively short distance...

If the solution requires advance booking, please also mention how long before the connection should be booked. I'd prefer to exclude planes because of locomotion sickness.

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

You could take a Eurolines bus directly from Nuremberg to Prague for 39 € (or 35 € for "Promotional Ticket - can not be changed or refunded!")

The trip takes 4 to 4½ hours, and looks like there are 1-3 daily connections.

I don't know if this is the cheapest public transport option available (probably not), but it's much better than the ICE price, and quite convenient because it's a direct connection.

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Right, the Deutsche Bahn bus can be cheaper, but normal price (= without advance booking) is better on Eurolines. – Jonik Jan 2 '13 at 12:33

Where did you find the price for the ICE? I think there is no ICE between Nuremberg and Prague. There is even no direct train. If you do want to go by train, you have to travel on regional trains and change once. Just check the schedules here.

The Deutsche Bahn has a bus service from Nuremberg to Prague. Prices start at 19 EUR for a single ticket. It takes 3h45 and it is a direct connection. How long you have to book in advance depends on when you want to travel travel and how flexible you are. Note that if you want to have the 19 EUR ticket, you have to book at least 3 days in advance.

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From the DB site: normal price 50,00 €; "BahnCard 50" 30,00 €; "Europa-Spezial" from 19,00 €. More details on how to get a cheaper price would be useful in this answer... – Jonik Dec 30 '12 at 21:59
@Jonik Just input age (no idea why that's needed) and fill out the captcha on the DB's search page. – phihag Dec 31 '12 at 2:00
@phihag I wondered that myself every time I booked a ticket and checked several ages and no change in price at all. – greg121 Jun 26 '13 at 9:21

Have you tried to rideshare with a website such as blablacar? usually people will let you car pool with them into Germany for about 20 euros each way.

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€19 is the lowest fare that's generally available for buses. Fares vary depending on the how full each bus is, so booking either four weeks or more in advance or online very close to departure (some companies have a last minute special) is the best way to secure the cheapest price.

You can compare prices on Busbud (full disclosure: I work on this project).

There are 12+ buses a day, most are run by Student Agency in cooperation with DB IC Bus, or by Eurolines, MeinFernbus FlixBus or SemiTimeS.

The trip takes about 4 hours.

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